Opinion

NELSON: Statement shows true Tory thinking

Tri-City News
Tri-City News' contributor Jim Nelson.
— image credit: tri-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Minister of Industry and Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam MP James Moore’s pre-Christmas gaffe showed what conservatives think of the poor — and it was horrendously timed.

Santa was packing up his sleigh to distribute toys, some undoubtedly earmarked for children in Moore’s neighbourhood. Food banks were working 24/7 distributing items to the less fortunate and we’d just finished watching an old Christmas movie about the redemption of a Christmas curmudgeon who refused to help his neighbour’s needy offspring.

And this is when Mr. Moore chose to ask: “Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child?”

Let ‘em eat cake during the season of selfless giving?

He might have added, “are there no jails? Are there no workhouses?” Ebeneezer Scrooge was spinning in his grave.

The answer to Moore’s question — “is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child?” — was so obviously “yes,” that after a collective wince, the media and Twittersphere screamed in protest. And so, Moore proffered the required apology and we’ve gotten on with life.

But before we let Humbug-gate go altogether, let’s not forget that gaffes are Freudian slips. Moore’s gaffe revealed the suspicion conservatives share; that society’s downtrodden are to blame for their plight.

U.S. presidential candidates Mitt Romney lost the election, arguably because he called 47% of Americans lazy takers. Moore’s remarks, in or out of context, show a similar disdain for the underprivileged.

My colleague excuses Moore’s remarks as clarification. In fact it isn’t Moore’s job to feed his neighbour’s child because child poverty is a provincial, not a federal responsibility.

Right… Oh, and his remarks were taken out of context.

Perhaps. The media is prone to overblown hysteria. And it’s true that Moore hasn’t seemed a social extremist. He courageously supported marriage equality when it was heresy for a Conservative to do so.

O.K., so move on, nothing to see here. It was all just a misunderstanding.

But I’m still waiting for any conservative gaffe that expresses something other than contempt for underprivileged Canadians. No politician concerned with the deteriorating status of working and middle class Canadians could utter Moore’s words — at Christmas or anytime.

 

Moore’s gaffe, like Romney’s, wasn’t a statement taken out of context. They were inelegantly stated conservative beliefs.

 

 

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