Why a win for Stephen Harper will mean more kids with cancer and privatized healthcare
Stephen Harper has hired a man who makes millions of dollars a year selling cancer to kids and dismantling universal healthcare to run his campaign. If Harper wins the election with Lynton Crosby’s help, we can expect Canada’s Conservative government to relax tobacco regulations even further while intensifying the attack against universal health care.
How do we know this?
Because this is precisely what the Australian is doing in the United Kingdom with British Prime Minister David Cameron. After using downright dirty tactics to propel Cameron to power, the ‘Lizard of Oz’ is wielding his influence to lobby Westminster against introducing legislation mandating plain packaging for cigarettes.
All research points to plain packaging for cigarettes helping save lives by making smoking less appealing, especially to children. Lynton Crosby apparently has no qualms about a few kids coming down with lung cancer if it means that he gets his cool millions from his client: Philip Morris International, the makers of the Marlboro brand of cigarettes.
That is not to say that giving cancer to kids does not weigh heavily on Cameron’s conscience. But he has no choice in the matter. Once you get into bed with the likes of Crosby, there’s no going back. If you cross Crosby by saying no to the evil genius’s corporate clients’ outrageous demands, he will just tell the public about all devious tactics you used to come to power. I won’t blame Cameron for not relishing the prospect of being chased by an angry mob with pitchforks.
One does not simply sign a contract with Crosby|Textor. It’s a Faustian bargain. And after propelling his clients to victory, the merchant of cancer will come for his pound of flesh.
One would think that even a man like Crosby would stop at giving cancer to children. But no, Crosby|Textor’s client list include private healthcare companies who see publicly funded universal healthcare as barrier to big profits. How lucky it is, then, for Crosby to have an obliging man in No. 10 who’s only too happy to do his spinmaster’s bidding?
Crosby drew up a cunning plan to help his private healthcare clients, concluding “achieving decision-maker recognition that health investment in the UK can only grow by expanding the role and contribution made by the private sector.”
Stephen Harper has now done a deal with the devil to remain in power. Lynton Crosby’s fingerprints are all over Conservatives’ new strategy on refugees. John Howard won the 2001 Australian federal election after his campaign, lead by Crosby, falsely alleged that refugees were throwing children overboard to seek asylum in Australia.
The Canadian Conservatives, facing harsh criticism for not doing enough to help Syrian refugees after photos of drowned Alan Kurdi drove the whole world to tears, are trying to frame a new narrative. A narrative where the toddler’s aunt Tima in Vancouver is blamed for not filling out the application correctly and the toddler’s father is a human smuggler. A narrative where all Syrian refugees are ISIS fighters in disguise.
If enough Canadians buy into politics of fear, Harper will win the elections on October 19, and Canada’s Prime Minister will be forever beholden to the strategist who helped him win. Tobacco industry will send a message to Lynton Crosby, a message that will be readily conveyed to the Prime Minister’s Office. One can expect little resistance to the tobacco industry demands from Harper, who has been steadily gutting tobacco control.
The private healthcare industry will soon follow. In this case, Crosby’s will not have to do much to convince Stephen Harper, who has slashed federal spending on healthcare, which public health experts deem to be a recipe for privatization.
Lynton Crosby’s brand of divisive fear-driven politics has worked well for the conservatives in Australia, New Zealand and Britain. Unless the Canadian electorate wisens up, Canada will also fall prey to the Lizard of Oz’s black magic.
[Photo Credit: Warwickshire County Council, licensed under the Open Government Licence]