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Great moments in modern communication


 

Condolences are apparently due to the Transport Minister.

Some 1,700 luminaries, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, were in the middle of dinner Tuesday night when smart phones throughout the room began to buzz with the news: “Lady Thatcher has passed away.”

… It eventually reached the ears of Harper, or someone close to him. Harper aide Dimitri Soudas, back in Ottawa, was dispatched to confirm the news and start preparing an official statement mourning the death of the Iron Lady, an icon to many in Harper’s Conservative party.

Soudas immediately emailed his contacts at Buckingham Palace and in British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s office. They had no idea what he was talking about. Lady Thatcher, they informed an embarrassed Soudas, was still very much alive.

… Turns out it was Transport Minister John Baird’s beloved 16-year-old cat – whom he’d named Thatcher out of admiration for one of his political heroes – who had ceased to be.


 

Great moments in modern communication

  1. OMG THAT COULDN'T BE REAL.

    • I couldn’t care less. Hated the women myself; she’s one of the principle reasons i was glad to see the back of Britain. Not that i held the bunch of self delusional trade union leaders who were her principle opponents in any higher esteem. She was a divider and a leveller and she left my homeland in ruins. Not in a literal sense of course – it’s undoubtably wealthy largely due to her influence and later Blairs. But she helped to gut a still largely communal nation, and i’ll never forgive her for it. Her mantra was greed is good. Her idol American capitalism in the raw. She may well be universely respected in Britain [ although i doubt it ] but she wasn’t universely loved. Did she help to end the cold war sooner? Very probably. Do many Brits remember her fondly to this day? I highly doubt it!

  2. Not a funny story, almost had a heart attack. Thatcher was best leader in western world since WW II, she was an absolutely brilliant leader.

    That's a weak story. What's the point of it? It might make sense if an international incident did take place but this story is about a few Brits wondering how much alcohol the Canadians have been drinking.

    • Yeah, it is actually kinda funny.

  3. If I didn't know better I'd swear this was some kind of satire.

  4. I have never owned a dog, so I guess I don't quite get how it is such a compliment to name one after someone you happen to hold in high esteem.

    And I agree completely with jwl that Lady Thatcher was an absolute gift to the people of the UK and the free (now freer) world. So I cannot fathom putting Lady Thatcher on a leash. But, like I said, I have never owned a dog, so it must be some kind of non-intersecting universes thing going on here.

    • Unfortunately for your canine musings, Lady Thatcher was a cat.

      • That might explain why MYL's "cats" liked to fetch and hump his leg. Probably related to his early adolescence when his lawn pets, magpies Heckle and Jeckle migrated at a critical juncture.

      • Whoopsie. Thanks, CR.

        I have never owned a cat, so I guess I don't quite get…

        (slinks away quietly, voice that no one wants to listen to fading away as he exits…)

  5. NOBODY IN THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION IS ALLOWED TO HAVE A PET WHOSE NAME RHYMES WITH NUCLEAR ATTACK!

    • I guess Gary Goodyear's gerbil, "Pooklyar Mattack", will have to be "put down" or flushed. He could always change the name, but that would be more complicated.

      • PM is a gerbil? He seems more shrewd.

        • Nah, he flushed "Darwin" eight months ago. The gerbil was giving him a headache.

          • No, that's how Gary thinks fish evolved gills.

  6. That's pretty funny. Soudas is lucky he used email. That would have been a very awkward conversation on the tele….

    • aka "Rusty"

    • "The Iron Kitty", starring in "The Dead Cat Bounce".

      • Or maybe, "The Tale of a Passing of a Pussy: Baird's 'Thatcher' Takes a Dirt Nap"!

        • How about: "Baird's Pussy 'Irreplaceable': Will Never Find Another One Like Her, Says Minister."

  7. Poor puddin'. Condolences to Thatcher's cat-daddy.

  8. I couldn't care less. Hated the women myself; she's one of the principle reasons i was glad to see the back of Britain. Not that i held the bunch of self delusional trade union leaders who were her principle opponents in any higher esteem. She was a divider and a leveller and she left my homeland in ruins. Not in a literal sense of course – it's undoubtably wealthy largely due to her influence and later Blairs. But she helped to gut a still largely communal nation, and i'll never forgive her for it. Her mantra was greed is good. Her idol American capitalism in the raw. She may well be universely respected in Britain [ although i doubt it ] but she wasn't universely loved. Did she help to end the cold war sooner? Very probably. Do many Brits remember her fondly to this day? I highly doubt it

    • Thatcher was a bulldozer, not a builder. Strident and dramatic when knocking things down, but not so impressive when one looks at her wake.

      In London a few weeks ago, I mentioned to some "friends in finance" (a few not at all liberal) that London was looking better than ever — even really dodgy 'hoods and sleepy residential areas had smartened up. This surprised me given the financial struggles of the past few years. They noted — without grudge — that these improvements were very much the result of more than a decade of Labour policies finally bearing fruit (reforming local councils, more support to families with young kids, etc.), just when they were most needed.

      They are now worried that Cameron's Conservatives might take power and "muck it up" just because Brits are tired of Labour and Brown, despite Cameron not having any constructive ideas of his own on offer. I noted then that Canadians saw fiscal reform, economic growth and return to surplus during 13 years of Liberal Gov't. Then we tossed them out in a fit of pique.

      It makes me wonder … after knocking things down and tearing things up …. what do Canada's Conservatives have to offer? What will they build, literally and figuratively? They seem focused on righting perceived wrongs by shutting down programs and winning the short wars of polls and news cycles. Except for some admiral expansion of National Parks and raising the age of consent (two things they DO deserve credit for), what exactly are they building that most Canadians will benefit from in 10 years time?

      • I heard they were building lots of skating rinks and otherwise smartening up previously dodgy hoods and sleepy residential areas.

        • Perhaps I was a bit too breezy about the heavy lifting that took place under Blair. They didn't just tidy up a bit. Labour radically transformed local and municipal financing, public service management/competition, etc. Not all of it worked, but they did try to change things. This would be akin to a restructuring of how Canada's levels of government are financed and who delivers services, etc. Right now, the big chunk of the tax pie goes to the Federal level. They transfer some of it back to the Provinces, who add it to their revenue. Municipalities beg for the scraps, though they are on the front line of delivery in many areas.

          I'm no fan of Harper. I think he's a bit of a vandal, trying to weaken the ability of the Federal government to launch any big idea plans and also undermining people's confidence in government as a solution for anything. However, I don't want to cut off my nose to spite my face. If Harper did, indeed, come up with something long-term and constructive, I'd swallow my revulsion at his ideologies and accept the good works for what the were.

          The problem is, I'm not seeing anything from him or his caucus. No big ideas. No plan. Just tactics to move them from week to week, sitting to sitting, election to election. Those are necessary evils for any party. But we need some meat on those bones.

          • The reforms you attribute to Blair were begun by Thatcher – before over=reaching on local council reform brought her down. None of the improvements in local neighbourhoods would have been possible if Britain had continued its pre-Thatcher economic growth.

            The Harper agenda of closer economic union that Paul Wells has suggested could hava similar long-term effect…

          • Wow, way to prove Amateur's point. Paul Wells, as great as he is, isn't our Prime Minister. While Paul may have been bang on with his suggestion, he could also be way off. Be nice if the Prime Minister outlined his long-term goals, wouldn't it?

          • Doesn't Advantage Canada cover the relevant points?

      • I don't know how to deal with the irony of your association of the Liberals fiscal conservativism (which to some degreee was done by burdening the provinces) with British Labour's community programs vs. Harper's "vandalism" when the Harper minority has increased federal spending by 40%.

        We're thinking in sterotypes here.

        • Fair enough — on generalizations, stereotypes, etc.

          I'm mainly curious about what Harper's vision is for Canada in terms of the financing and responsibilities of different levels of gov't. plans for industrial and technology investment, energy, employment, education, even our role in multilateral and military organizations. Not now or for next year's budget, but for the longer term.

          Nearly 4 years into power and he really hasn't said much or articulated any coherent agenda (not just one I might approve of … but his and his party's vision for Canada). I'm not being snarky, I just find it odd that, given that he has had time to move from opposition agendas to governance, he hasn't really put forward much on the long-term policy front … and that's a bit odd for someone reputed to be a policy wonk.

          Until he does, we're left to interpret (or misinterpret) his tactics for issue to issue, crisis to crisis and try to see what they all mean, if anything. Consider his comment on US TV about healthcare being mainly a Provincial thing. Maybe he just didn't want to get bogged down in the US debate. Maybe he really sees the Fed getting out of the Healthcare business down the road. I don't know. it would be nice if someone asked him … in an interview, debate, etc.

          • What did you find lacking in Advantage Canada and related documents, like the Science and Technology strategy (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ic1.nsf/eng/h_00856…. They seem to cover most of the issues you've raised here…

  9. Seeing as Thatcher is a senile old lady at this point, I don't see what the big deal is. She's already a historical figure–that is, in the past. Her body is still alive but her mind is half-gone. She may have done big things for Britain and the world in the past, but she won't be having any effect on current events either dead or alive.

  10. Could have been worse. Baird could have authorized another multimillion dollar ad buy to commemorate his kitty.

    • That would be so cuuuuuute!

  11. My condolences on your loss, Mr. Baird.

  12. The interesting thing is that the Conservatives quickly got on high alert because the passing of Margaret Thatcher would be an opportunity for Stephen Harper to look and sound presidential (and no I don't mean prime ministerial).

  13. My pet weasel "Harper" is not well either. For the past 3 1/2 years he has been delusional and falsely believes he is destined for greatness. I will keep you informed if he pulls thru. I suspect he will need to be fitted with small ferret sized strait-jacket and sent to pasture.

    My Jack Russell "Poilievre" keeps bouncing off the off the walls of his cage in some caffeinated frenzy (sadly I have physically restrain the dog since Pollievre started licking the weasels rear-end) …

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