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The ghost of gag orders past

January 25, 2017

If you live in Canada and are of a certain political persuasion, you will long remember the country’s last federal election, because it brought with it the satisfaction of seeing back of Stephen Harper as the country’s oil-mad prime minister. It didn’t matter if you hadn’t voted for sunny-days Justin. All that mattered was that Stephen Harper was g-o-n-e. The Harper era was finally over. Praise the Lord and pass the prosecco.

Yesterday he came back with a vengeance to haunt, not Canada, but the United States. I can easily imagine the conversation that led up to his reappearance, in spirit if not body.

HARPER: Congratulations, Mr. President.

DICKHEAD: Thanks, Stevie. I wish you were still President of Canada. I’d have you down here like a shot. Best suite at the Trump hotel. I’m staying away from that Trudeau kid. He’s too good looking. BAD photo op!

HARPER: No one wishes that more than I do, Mr President. So much unfinished business.

DICKHEAD: Don’t worry, Stevie, I got your back. First week in office I’m going to get that Keystone pipeline going. And those Indians in South Dakota can go screw themselves. Oil is what we need to make America great again – yours, ours and anyone else’s I can get my hands on.

HARPER: Music to my ears, Mr President. I wish you’d been around four years ago, instead of that namby pamby tree hugger. Let me know if there’s any way I can help.

DICKHEAD: Funny you should say that, Stevie, ’cos there is something you can help with.

HARPER: Anything.

DICKHEAD: It’s this climate change bullshit and all these environmentalists screaming about oil being bad for the planet. Boo, hoo. And the fucking scientists. Do you know some of them are actually on the government payroll at the EPA and the Department of Energy? Solar power, my ass.

HARPER: I hear ya.

DICKHEAD: I sent Kellyanne out on Sunday morning to pitch the obvious: That there are two sides to every fact. She’s a great gal. If anyone could put it over with a straight face, it’s her, but the alternative facts thing didn’t catch on.

HARPER: That’s too bad, Mr President. I thought it was a great line.

DICKHEAD: Thanks, Stevie. I knew you’d see it my way. Thing is, I need some other way to deal with all that damn science. It’s a pain in the ass. I thought about just saying to them all, you know (sound of Dickhead laughing) “You’re fired!” But apparently I can’t do that.

HARPER: Well, that I can help you with, Mr President. Just do what I did. Shut them up.

DICKHEAD: Whaddaya mean, Stevie?

HARPER: Gag ’em. Tell ’em if they want to keep their government jobs with their fat government pensions, they need to shut the fuck up. Tell them they can keep doing their science shit and they can still publish it in some stupid academic journal, but they can’t discuss it with anyone – not the public and definitely not the media. Then if they do talk to the press (Harper chuckles) you can fire them.

DICKHEAD: I can do that?

HARPER: Absolutely! I did it for years.

DICKHEAD: Thanks, Stevie! I’ll get on to that on Tuesday.

HARPER: My pleasure, Mr President.

DICKHEAD: Say, Stevie, when’s the next election up there? It would be great to have you back as President of Canada. I need a guy like you working with me.

HARPER: Wish it could happen, Mr President. We could have done great things together, but that’s not how it works here. Once you resign as head of your party, you’re done.

DICKHEAD: Never say never, Stevie. I’ll get my people on to Putin. It’s amazing what that guy can do with an election.


During the Harper years, thousands of Canadian scientists (and people who simply believe in science) marched against the Conservative government’s gag order. Apparently a similar protest is already being planned for Washington.

From → Columns

  1. Irmani permalink

    Love the Kellyanne bit. Horrifying stuff.

  2. krysross permalink

    I was going to click ‘like’ but it is so grim

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