In the aftermath of the Jon Stewart wake up call to journalists about the complicit role they played in the financial meltdown through their lax standards and often completely superficial knowledge of the subject matter they were covering, there appeared two articles in the Globe and Mail. One was written by Lawrence Martin entitled "To save journalism, bring on that Jon Stewart outrage" and the other was written a few days later by Jeffrey Simpson entitled "With Wall Street exposed, will Bay Street get the message?"
I am beginning to think that most journalists at the Globe and Mail suffer from multiple personality disorders, as there is the image of themselves that they project in their columns, which is the more revealing image and then there is the more flattering image they see of themselves in the mirror. Both of these recent columns by Lawrence Martin and Jeffrey Simpson were written based on the image they see of themselves in the mirror.
However, the Jeffrey Simpson column contained a very revealing deception when he spoke disdainfully about the role of the “plutocracy” in our society, i.e. Bay Street.
Plutocracy is defined as “ an elite or ruling class of people who derive their power from wealth”. Jeffrey Simpson had the audacity to write “But no one should wait for this to happen because the Canadian plutocracy, although much less extravagant than the U.S. one, still seems removed from the preoccupations of ordinary people.” Audacious on Jeffrey Simpson’s part, because the Globe and Mail is nothing more than an instrument of Canada’s plutocracy. What could better define Canada’s plutocracy than the holding company known as CTVGlobeMedia which owns the Globe and Mail and which is owned by the billionaire Thomson family, BCE, Ontario Teachers’ and Torstar? It doesn’t get more plutocratic than that, apart from perhaps the other plutocracy held media empires in Canada.
The plutocracy in Canada are the very group of people in Canada who brought about the income trust tax that caused the group of people that Jeffrey Simpson has conveniently glommed onto, namely “ordinary people”, to lose $35 billion of their hard earned savings, based on the mistake of having placed their faith in Stephen Harper’s promise to NEVER tax income trusts. They were told that “A Conservative government will NEVER let this happen. Evidently in Harper’s vernacular, NEVER means nine months, because nine months later, with ZERO public consultation and with even less evidence to support the canard argument that income trusts cause tax leakage (a total falsehood), Harper completely reversed himself. That would not have been possible without the coordinated support of Canada’s plutocracy held media, including what passes for journalism at the Globe and Mail.
The reasons for Harper’s income trust reversal/betrayal can be found in the very pages of the Globe and Mail itself on November 2, 2006. Tell me what part of the following doesn’t read like a definition of “plutocracy”:
“High-profile directors and CEOs, meanwhile, had approached Mr. Flaherty personally to express their concerns: Many felt they were being pressed into trusts because of their duty to maximize shareholder value, despite their misgivings about the structure. Paul Desmarais Jr., the well-connected chairman of Power Corp. of Canada, even railed against trusts in a conversation with Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a trip to Mexico, and told him he should act quickly to stop the raft of conversions, according to sources.”
So what do you think these peoples’ “concerns” over income trusts were? Reasons that served their interests or the broad based interests of Canadians? Meanwhile, the Conservative government’s backroom process was such that the broad based interests of Canadians were never canvassed or represented. That’s how true plutocracies work. Those with wealth have the power. In this case quite literally in was those in Power, who were in power.
Meanwhile Jeffrey Simpson talks in lofty and disjointed terms about the plutocracy in Canada, as if to suspend in disbelief the fact that he works for a plutocracy, and retains his ongoing employment by espousing the wishes and beliefs of the plutocracy that he works for. Why else would Jeffrey Simpson’s view on income trust be summed up by his facile comment that it was the “right policy”, without lowering himself to even explain why or question the patent falsehoods on which the policy was based. The answer to that can be found in the fact that Jeffrey Simpson is a dutiful organ of Canada’s plutocracy, since the income trust tax is a double taxation imposed only on “ordinary people”, and a tax that can easily be avoided in ways that are uniquely available to and uniquely beneficial to Globe’s very owners, Ontario Teachers’, and BCE (in its failed leverage buyout which was nothing more than the equivalent of a private income trust) and which are protective of Torstar’s wishes to retain its voting/non-voting share ownership structure and which have been exploited by the Thomson family it its purchase of undervalued income trusts, that upon taking private it has exempted itself from paying any such 31.5% tax. But then, the Thomson family’s private holding company. Woodbridge, pays no taxes in Canada whatsoever.
That’s because taxes are for ordinary people to pay and for plutocracies to avoid, and it’s the role of modern day journalists to obscure the existence any such distinctions in the minds of their readers. Why else would the plutocracy own the media, if not to “miseducate and misinform”?
Friday, March 27, 2009
Posted by Fillibluster at 9:01 AM