Thursday, May 03, 2007

 

Stephen(Steve) Harpers National Citizens' Coalition loves you - ha! ha! ha!

The National Citizens' Coalition loves you - ha! ha! ha!

35 years of fighting for fat cats while posing as ordinary citizens
Toronto - It would be hard to find a more mis-named organization than the National Citizens' Coalition.

The NCC was founded 35 years ago by an insurance millionaire named Colin M. Brown in London, Ontario.
Official NCC corporate symbo: bulldog

Brown liked to jet off with rich pals to the Masters golf tournament in Georgia, where blacks were barred until recent years, and women are still banned as members.

One of the fires that burned in Brown's well-fed belly when he launched the NCC was his hatred of public health care.

The motto he chose for the NCC was, "More freedom through less government." It meant more freedom for the rich, not the poor, of course.

The symbol Brown chose for the NCC was the bulldog. It was meant to convey tenacity but works better at symbolizing the NCC's elitism, and real interest, which is to keep the masses at bay and protect the interests of the wealthy.

Brown and the NCC were also thin-skinned, quick to turn their lawyers on those who dared to question or criticize the organization - another habit that makes the bulldog image unintentionally appropriate.

Back to the future

All this was many moons and much chest-thumping ago. Colin Brown died in 1987.

But not much has changed. The chairman is now Colin T. Brown. You guessed it - son of the late, great founder of this outfit that has masqueraded for so long as a defender of the people - and still reaps fawning attention from mainstream media.

In all that time the NCC (which has poured millions of dollars into billboard campaigns, national newspaper ads and Supreme Court cases on behalf of the elites) has never allowed any outsider, not once, to look at the names of the "citizens" who actually make up its membership lists - or to view its list of donors.

Nor, if you go to its web site, can you find a list of current officers and board members. All for good reason, of course.

Despite a dusting of right-wing cranks who no doubt do send in annual membership fees, the NCC is financed largely by corporate bigwigs, and the corporate puppets who run it have little use for the masses.

Like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders

The only ordinary citizens the NCC cares about are the chickens dumb enough to vote for Colonel Sanders - and thus lend it a thin veil of legitimacy. In a free society there are always a few - akin to the hapless talk-show guests who submit to the tender mercies of Jerry Springer.

The quickest way to see what the NCC really stands for is to read the list of people, over the years, who have been awarded the esteemed Colin M. Brown Freedom Medal.

Later this month, the NCC will proudly bestow its medal on Stephen Harper, who served as NCC chairman before becoming leader this year of the Canadian Alliance. That's all you really need to know about either the NCC or the Alliance. They are peas in a pod.

In fact, some of the original founders of the Reform Party, which preceded the Alliance, were NCC diehards in the 1980s, concentrated mainly in Alberta.

Citizens dinner special: $250

The medal presentation this year will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Nov. 21. Citizens are allegedly welcome. Immigrants, single mothers, welfare recipients, street people, etc. are free to line up for tickets at NCC offices in downtown Toronto or Calgary. The price: $250 a plate (tux not included). Bring the kids too, if you like.

For the record, here are some of the other great 'citizens' the NCC has honoured over the years: Conrad Black, Peter Worthington, Ted Byfield, David Somerville, Mike Harris (yes, him), Ralph Klein, John Crosbie, Thomas Bata, Michael Walker and Diane Francis.

A finer club of fat cats would be hard to assemble. National Post columnist Diane Francis (gentle soul that she is) is listed as a recipient not once, but twice, in the NCC's current press release −so great, apparently, has been her service to ordinary Canadians.

Meanwhile, Black, that beloved man of the masses, is no longer even a citizen. He abandoned Canada in a huff for England and now sits in the British House of Lords, cheek by jowl with folk more attuned to his greatness - such as renowned commoner Margaret Thatcher.

Straight Goods

Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, recently wrote an article about the NCC for Straight Goods. Here is an excerpt which offers a quick overview.
Straight Goods 27 May 2002:

The NCC was born out of opposition to national public health insurance should be cause for serious concern. Health care is the number one issue for Canadians. The future of Medicare and public, equally accessible health services are being decided today. And there’s Harper, leading the Opposition to whatever solution is proposed by a government that has already demonstrated its unwavering faith in the corporate agenda...

Despite it’s name and the rhetoric it employs, the NCC is a very private organization. It claims to be funded through 'the voluntary support of 40,000 Canadians', but the real money and power sits with an advisory council drawn from this country’s corporate elite. Chairs and members of this council have come from the Bank of Montreal, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Power Corporation, Canadian Pacific, Brascan, Goodyear, major insurance companies, advertising agencies, and other corporations. It is this blue ribbon panel that provides the connections to raise the funds that support the NCC’s activities.

In bed with Mulroney

The NCC has led campaigns, in the name of freedom, against limits on third-party advertising during election campaigns. This from the same group of corporations that spent an estimated $19-million (more than all political parties combined were legally allowed to spend) during the 1988 federal election in support of the free trade deal advocated by Mulroney’s Conservatives and the free trade agenda that has since killed the Autopact and has farmers and workers in the forestry sector on the ropes today.

They have backed campaigns by big grain companies to kill the Canadian Wheat Board and trumpeted their opposition to having to do business in French in the province of Quebec. They have attacked labour with union-busting campaigns and calls to muzzle the democratically elected representatives of working people with claims they have a 'radical political agenda'.

The next time you see an NCC billboard or National Post ad bawling about some 'populist' cause that sounds good, take a second look. It won't have much to do with ordinary people. You can count on that.

(NUPGE Nation Union of Public and General Empolyees: 8 November 2002)
http://www.nupge.ca/news_2004/n08no02a.htm
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CALL FOR ENTRIES

CREATIVE COMMERCIALS
Deadline: JULY 1, 2007 entry fee: $275
Submit online at www.lashortsfest.com
323-461-4400

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The deadline for entry is July 1, 2007. Entry fee is $275 and the entry form and submission guidelines are available online at www.lashortsfest.com

“Commercials are short films in their own right and should be looked upon not only as a selling mechanism, but as works of art and be recognized and awarded as such!” –Robert Arentz, Executive Director, LA Shorts Fest

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LA Shorts Fest is the largest short film festival in the world. The Festival is accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Festival winners in the primary categories are eligible for Academy nomination. The festival boasts an outstanding past record of 25 Academy Award-nominated films, including the last 8 Oscar winners. Through a variety of yearlong activities, LA Shorts Fest educates, entertains and honors those who have mastered the craft. The Festival has honored some of Hollywood’s legends of the past: Charles Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and Robert Wise; along with actors Martin Landau, James Woods, Gary Oldman and directors Jan de Bont, Tim Burton, Bryan Singer and Paul Haggis. The Festival annually attracts more than 10,000 moviegoers, filmmakers and entertainment executives looking for the hottest new talent as well as brand name sponsors looking to connect with the trendsetters in Hollywood.
 
CALL FOR ENTRIES

CREATIVE COMMERCIALS
Deadline: JULY 1, 2007 entry fee: $275
Submit online at www.lashortsfest.com
323-461-4400

The 11th annual Los Angeles International Short Film Festival is proud to announce the return of our creative commercial competition. Last years commercial competition was a big success- in all 53 of the finest commercials from top ad agencies around the world screened at the 2006 Festival. ADWEEK sponsored a panel discussion moderated by ADWEEK’S creative editor Eleftheria Parpis that included creative directors, commercial directors and producers discussing the possibilities and pitfalls found in advertising today. The winner of the competition was “Love Story” submitted by ad agency: The Furnace / Client: Herringbone.

The deadline for entry is July 1, 2007. Entry fee is $275 and the entry form and submission guidelines are available online at www.lashortsfest.com

“Commercials are short films in their own right and should be looked upon not only as a selling mechanism, but as works of art and be recognized and awarded as such!” –Robert Arentz, Executive Director, LA Shorts Fest

About Us
LA Shorts Fest is the largest short film festival in the world. The Festival is accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Festival winners in the primary categories are eligible for Academy nomination. The festival boasts an outstanding past record of 25 Academy Award-nominated films, including the last 8 Oscar winners. Through a variety of yearlong activities, LA Shorts Fest educates, entertains and honors those who have mastered the craft. The Festival has honored some of Hollywood’s legends of the past: Charles Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and Robert Wise; along with actors Martin Landau, James Woods, Gary Oldman and directors Jan de Bont, Tim Burton, Bryan Singer and Paul Haggis. The Festival annually attracts more than 10,000 moviegoers, filmmakers and entertainment executives looking for the hottest new talent as well as brand name sponsors looking to connect with the trendsetters in Hollywood.
 
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