Wednesday, August 24, 2011

dreaming in Jacknicolour

And still, the papers are full of Mr. Layton. A beautiful obituary by Michael Valpy in the Globe yesterday; today in the Star, a front page picture of the messages of gratitude and grief that young people have scrawled in chalk all over the walls of City Hall. How fine a grass-roots tribute is that?

Picking up on Jack's mad optimism, here's what I hope: that young people with idealism and energy are inspired by the message he wrote directly to them and join the political process.

And that his message and example inspire every politician in the House of Commons to be better than they are. Stephen Harper is going to sit in Roy Thomson Hall on Saturday, listening to speaker after speaker tell of Jack's empathy and fight for social justice, the fact that he listened and heard and genuinely cared about people, that he refused to stoop to pettiness or attacks or negativity of any kind.

What is our Prime Minister, famed for his petty attacks and lack of genuineness, his cold-hearted policies, going to think? This man was a pinko idiot, he will think. Get me out of here.

But he'll have to note the huge impact the man has made, the outpouring of love and respect. Perhaps he'll realize he wants people to think well of him after he dies. Perhaps a tiny sliver of human kindness will enter his heart, like the fairy tale of the Ice Queen. And he'll rush back to Ottawa and draw up a bill putting billions into social housing, education, daycare, health care.

Dream on, says my cynical mind, which Jack would banish.

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