No Good News – Rex Murphy, Vultureman

There are some big questions in life, and this one’s an all-timer: if Rex Murphy knew about Sam The Eagle, would he still do Rex Murphy?

Why there has always been a place for a vulture that can speak and is posing as a human being is beyond me. Obviously, the vulture-man known to us as Murphy (his vulture-man name is SKLAW!) is acting only in the interests of vulturemankind. Here are some examples:

Vulturemankind is working against Newfoundland.

Vulturemankind is working against the Canadian Liberal Party.

Vulturemankind sent Conrad Black to prison in the United States.

Vulturemankind has prevented the Maple Leafs from getting a Stanley Cup for decades.

And now, vulturemankind is working against the NDP. In a National Post editorial, Murphy works  some shifty magic about the two biggest issues facing Canadians: oil and Quebec.

I am beginning to hope that someone strikes oil in a really big way in Quebec — and then moves to ship it south or west with a pipeline. Because it occurs to me that only the presence of oil in Quebec will move the federal NDP or its leader, Thomas Mulcair, to give their voice to what goes on in that province.

Oil in Quebec? Madness! Sheer madness! They already have all of the asbestos. And the province that controls the asbestos controls the… what?

Drop by NDP headquarters anytime if you want to rage against the oil sands. Just don’t ask anyone there about Quebec separatism.

Thanks. I WON’T ask anyone there about Quebec separatism. Hang on, why am I not asking anyone at NDP headquarters about Quebec separatism?

The NDP caucus is uniquely situated both to understand and influence Quebec’s rapidly shifting politics. The party was by far the largest beneficiary of the seismic implosion of the Bloc Québécois in the 2011 election. As a result of that implosion, there are 57 NDP MPs from Quebec, and if that accumulation does not give the NDP standing to talk Quebec politics, I do not know what can.

Oh, great. Turns out Murphy doesn’t know either. Why’s he bringin’ it up then? Huh, SKLAW? Whatcha bringin’ the separatists up for?

There is no one on the federal scene with an equal depth of involvement and personal familiarity with Quebec than Mr. Mulcair, and no other party can touch the NDP’s legitimate claim as a voice of Quebec’s interests.

In fact, the surge of popularity and support for the NDP outside Quebec since the last federal election is due in part to the NDP being seen as having scuttled Gilles Duceppe and his band, and thus separatism itself. The NDP have benefited from a “gratitude dividend” for having re-established, it is thought, a real federal presence for Quebec in the Commons.

Alas, though the country sees the NDP as the timely shepherd of the national interest in Quebec, “the hungry sheep look up and are not fed” (as Milton put it).

In a time when most Canadians are obsessed with the GOP, or oil, or just arguing about rape all of the time, Murphy brings some vulturevision to the table: what about Quebec? Those crazy fuckers are capable of motherfucking anything. Quoting Milton is vulturemanese for “Quebec will fuck you”. But how do the vultures know so much about Quebec when the NDP did so well there? Did the NDP strike a deal with vulturemankind for those seats? That would make as much sense as anything else. Is Murphy issuing a threat on behalf of his vulturepeople?

And, there is, at the very least, the possibility of a separatist government once more in that province. Is it too much to expect the federal party with all the sway in Quebec, with the deepest political bench, to speak out on behalf of the federal state during such troubling moments?

It seems like part of a pattern: Mr. Mulcair and his party, recall, stayed mute and out of sight during the violent Quebec student “strike” that precipitated the election call in the first place.

Yuh oh! Looks like SKLAW is calling out Mr. Mulcair on something big. If you ask me, and you are clearly asking me, because you’re reading this column as millions of Canadians do every week, SKLAW has put strike in quotations because he knows something we don’t. Don’t show your hand, SKLAW! Here’s his poker face. See if you can tell if this is Rex Murphy or not.

You know, it looks like we’ve gone off the rails here. I’m calling on Murphy to show his cards. Why are you bringing up the separatists?

Could we not at the very least hear Mr. Mulcair’s thoughts on what a separatist government might do to the economy of Quebec and Canada? That’s surely a national consideration — and there may even be a Dutch-disease parallel he could dust off.

ZING! Quebec separatism is the same as the oil sands! Hang on; that doesn’t work at all. Not as a metaphor, not as a simile (I tried), not even as a syllogism. What the vulturemen have given us here is a red herring. Of course, not one they will eat until it’s half-dried out and lifeless in the sun. Quebec separatism has absolutely nothing to do with oil, and Murphy’s argument is a pithless distraction: a classic “What if?”. My favourite one of those is this classic:

Murphy may as well be telling National Post readers they have a space-war to win, because his conclusion is a bundle of pandering, tut-tutting speculation the likes of which haven’t been seen since I sat through the trailer for In Time.

Another dip into referendum politics is the biggest national concern this country has. As the threat rises, it is time for Mr. Mulcair to show his mettle — if he has any.

Is it? Is “a dip into referendum politics” a national concern? Or is it just one of vulturemankind’s biggest pet peeves? Or is Rex Murphy just a man? A squawking, impotent little man describing himself perfectly when he says:

A national voice that does not speak to national concerns is useless.

About Matt Collins

Matt Collins is a musician (Ninja High School), cartoonist (Sexy), jock (Manhunt), and comedian (Matt Collins) in Toronto, Ontario. Please buy more Matt Collins. [Other Posts By Matt]