Rex Bites

Rex Murphy: The ‘two nations’ of Canada, land of mad gas prices

While a privileged class cheers the carbon tax, the rest of us suffer

Rex Murphy

May 28, 2022  


Eloquence is a dead practice in modern politics

… it was in one of [Disraeli’s] novels, Sybil, that he spoke of the “two nations” within England at that time: “Two nations … who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets …”

Two nations. Disraeli was speaking of the contrast between the rich and the poor, much more stark then, though still present, today. But it is that phrase “who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones of inhabitants of different planets …” that arrests my attention. And its possible application to present day, post-COVID, inflation-ridden Canada, land of mad gasoline prices.

For example, there is one class or nation in Canada for whom maintaining a carbon tax on gasoline, when gas prices are already surging to record highs because of inflation, is not a big deal. Even more to the point, members [of] this class can almost be seen as rubbing their hands in glee that gas and diesel and home-heating fuel prices have leapt ferociously, because that fits so perfectly with their plans and wishes to — as they put it — wean people off fossil fuels.

Nothing better matches the eco-mania of the Liberal-NDP government than a vicious spike in the cost of fundamental energy. The lads at Davos, the mandarins of the IPCC, the private-jet and government-endowed participants at all the great world-solving festivals, are all for it, too. Of course they are. It perfectly ties in with their global agendas. And they have no sense, at all, of the hurt it brings to those so much further down on the economic scale. Those protected by income or status from the rages of the current inflation are, in Disraeli’s words, “ignorant of the other’s thoughts, habits and feelings.”

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