Bienvenue dans ma journée: 18 October 2021 – the Cantons de l’Est edition

Good morning, everyone! Liberal Democrat Voice is brought to you today from a less-travelled part of southern Quebec.

Obviously, moderation is going to be a bit erratic, as I’m five hours adrift and trying to combine my day editor responsibilities with a crash course in being an evil step-grandfather, so do bear with me.

The continuing debate on what the tragic murder of Sir David Amess means for our politics seems, to this observer at least, to overlook the fact that any prospect of a new, more respectful politics will be stillborn in the face of a media which craves binary, adversarial argument and abhors complexity, or shade, and of social media which encourages emotional reaction rather than measured response. Indeed, those who report on our politicians need disharmony and disrespect. Doubtless the Government will feel the need to react via legislation which will serve to reduce the freedoms of those who respect the law whilst doing little to protect us from those for whom common decency is an absurdity. I would so love to be proved wrong though.

Somewhat appropriately, today is the 102nd anniversary of the birth of Pierre Trudeau, Justin’s father and a former Prime Minister of Canada (1968-79, 1980-84), whilst on this day in 1931, Al Capone was convicted of federal income-tax evasion – well deserved to my mind. And, on 18 October 1922, the British Broadcasting Company Ltd was established, leading directly to the existence of Strictly Come Dancing.

Peter Wrigley responds to Michael Meadowcroft later, and he’s well worth reading. But other than that, the day beckons for anyone with an opinion to share, so you know what to do…

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

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  • Andrew Toye 18th Oct '21 - 9:53am

    Talking of anniversaries, 18th October 1990 was the date of the Eastbourne by-election, the first gain for the Liberal Democrats since its creation in 1988 – a tragic reminder that it came about from the terrorist murder of the former MP.

  • John Marriott 18th Oct '21 - 11:27am

    @ Mark Valladares
    Bonjour, Marc. J’espère que vous prophiterez de votre séjour canadien. Vive Le Québec! Vive Le Québec…..libre?

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 18th Oct '21 - 1:43pm

    Good morning, John!

    Our granddaughter is burbling away with Ros in the kitchen and all is well.

    Quebec libre? I admit to being of a self-determinist bent, in that I favour peoples having the right to seek independence if that is the popular will. Of course, what you would do about the newly cut-off Atlantic provinces would be a matter of debate and long-term treaty commitments, but unlike in Scotland, opinion is not as keen on independence as it was at the time of the 1995 referendum. Pragmatism appears to rule here.

  • John Marriott 18th Oct '21 - 2:25pm

    @Mark Vallarades
    The “Québec libre” quote comes, of course, from President Charles De Gaulle. On a state visit to Canada on the pretext of visiting the Montreal Expo, De Gaulle addressed a crowd at City Hall on 24 July 1967. If you listen carefully, he started by saying; “Vive Montréal! Vive Le Québec!” before adding; “Vive Le Québec libre”, with a particular emphasis on the word “libre”. Now, when I heard it again recently, I thought that, like David Steel at the 1981 Liberal Assembly, when he told delegates to “go back to your constituencies and prepare for government”, the final sentence should have ended with a question mark. That’s certainly how both speeches sound to me. Given the flak that De Gaulle and Steel got from their rallying calls, no wonder they might have been crossing their fingers 🤞🤞when they made them.

    Bonne vacancies, mon ami!

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