Friday, July 22, 2011

July 22nd: The Next Big Idea!

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Our Next Big Idea!
Brad, I just had an epiphany reading Dobbin’s latest article – he suggests the NDP start a culture war and I think he’s right. So, can you gear up the war room – it’s time for a true orange jihad. And, this is a war we can easily win since the people are with us. If we act fast, we can catch the stupid conservatives off guard – they’ll just be eating burgers at their idiotic lame barbecues. So, call up your contacts at the CBC and tell them it’s time to go to the mattresses! Olivia and I have been waiting for this magic moment for years.

And I think I know exactly where to start. I was just sent an advance copy of “A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store’s Guide to Chicken Keeping”, and I haven’t been able to put it down for a second. Here’s where the rubber meets the road – instead of just talking about sustainability, we can lead the movement for the urban chicken! Who doesn’t have a hankering for fresh eggs? Gee, the Americans made a big deal about ‘a chicken in every pot’, so it seems natural that we can make a big deal about “a chicken in every yard”. This could be the big idea that proves we are ready for power.

I mentioned to Olivia that Stornoway would be perfect for the NDP’s first coop. But, as soon as I mentioned it, she said no fucking way was I was going to ruin her backyard! My god, she actually threw a pot at me! It might take her a while to warm to the idea, so how about we ask the GG whether we can set up a coop at his residence. They have a ton of room and this way we can call it Canada’s coop!

The best part is that for just $100 we could have a real sturdy coop – so, it wouldn’t take much out of his budget. So, can you please have someone purchase the materials and get going (just send the invoices to the office of the GG). We must have some summer interns who can handle this, no? But, before we start, can you find out if the GG is exempt from Ottawa city regulations about chicken coops? If he isn’t, I can set up a meeting with the Mayor to ask for an exemption – or make a trade if we have to. What can we give Watson that will make him happy? Well, tell him the first hundred eggs are his! If you have to bargain, we’ll go to 150.

And Libby had a great idea to mobilize the masses – one that really shows why we can win the culture war. Instead of going to silly barbecues around the country this summer, how about we start the NDP Vegan Circle Tour. We can make them all potlucks and that way we can all sample the best vegan food! We can do this in local parks, and Olivia and I would be happy to bring some of our incredible raw vegan zucchini pasta with flaxseed and parsnips! I think everybody is going to love the O’Doul’s Premium Non-Alcoholic beer which has just received its vegan certification.

The only problem is that vegans don’t eat eggs, so how do we square the circle? Can we get a ruling from Greenpeace or somebody that this is all kosher? Or, please call the people at CLUCK - Canadians Liberating Urban Chickens Klub - in Ottawa..they might have an idea.

One last thing, please call our Tee supplier and order a few thousand of the Layton tees with my picture on the front and back. I have a feeling I’ll be autographing a whole bunch of them this summer.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12th: Grandstanding!

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Grandstanding!
Brad, I am wondering if we have time for a quick press conference this month. I think the press needs to understand the new NDP muscular foreign policy. Last week, Dewar and I stared down the Israelis regarding the Canadian Boat to Gaza (we told Miriam Ziv, the Israeli Ambassador not to harm the Tahrir and she was quaking, let me tell you), and this week we’ve torn John Baird a new one.

Can you believe Baird announcing that Canada will boycott the UN Disarmament Conference because North Korea is the chair? Dewar drew some blood with his line about the Conservatives “grandstanding”! I mean that’s what they always do....they swagger, they strut, and they flaunt. But, we’re the party of talk, we’re the party of constructive engagement – and they’re the party of boycotts.

For God’s sake, they’ve even announced a boycott of the Durban III conference on racism! How stupid is that? They haven’t even seen the agenda! Well, guess what? We’ll go to the Durban conference and we’ll show people why Canada needs to engage on the world stage. Brad, can you book Olivia and me first-class tickets to New York for September? Let’s book now to avoid the rush – and can you book the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons? Olivia feels their Infinity Edge bathtubs are perfect for my back, and I love their Swedish Hastens Vividus mattress (I sleep like a baby). We’ll need their limousine service to quickly get us to and from the conference. And, for some reason, it’s the only hotel in Manhattan that carries the CBC!

Do we have to take Dewar? Probably best to leave him at home – Olivia and I are much more photogenic, no?

And, can you find out how many delegates are going to attend the Durban Conference? I’d like to give them all an Orange Jack Layton pen and pencil set – you know the ones with the natural vegetable dye inks? Perhaps we can package them in a recyclable paper box with my picture on the front (do we have the budget for four-colour printing?). And, then inscribe them with a “Happy Durban III from your friends at the NDP.” And, one last thing – have them numbered sequentially for authenticity. I have a feeling they’re going to be collectible.

This might be the perfect time for my maiden speech to the UN. But, instead of addressing the General Assembly, I can focus, like a razor, on human rights. And, that’s always been our specialty, no? All the right people will be there, so who can make this happen? Can you call Naomi and see if Stephen Lewis can make some phone calls? If you have to, tell Naomi we’ll give out copies of her latest book out along with our pen sets.

And, should we give the exclusive to the Toronto Star? Normally, I’d give it to Rabble, but I want to see this in print – perhaps a huge above-the-fold headline linking to a double-page colour foldout. Something like – “Jack goes to the UN” – complete with pictures of Olivia and I talking to foreign leaders. Or should I say engaging foreign leaders?


Friday, July 8, 2011

July 8th: Libby Returns...

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Libby Returns!
Brad, thanks for organizing that welcome back party for Libby! She is exhausted, tired and just plain worn out from waiting in Greece for our great Canadian boat, the Tahrir, to set sail. I didn’t know it, but Libby’s been sea-sick for two weeks now and the ship’s bathrooms could hardly keep pace with all the sick passengers.

She says the docks of Athens are now swarming with gravol dealers, and that a small bottle is more expensive than crack cocaine. Anyways, to alleviate the sea sickness, the passengers had to all toke up (cause it’s cheaper), and Libby said the munchies were quickly eating up the food supplies, which is why she decided to pack it in and come home.

Libby is a true NDP hero and we are all so proud of her. They took a great picture of her at the helm when they made their attempt to leave Greek waters. They even gave her a captain’s hat! But, why wasn't she wearing one of my orange Layton Tees? But, no matter. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Front cover, baby, of our next newsletter! But, let’s make the story about NDP leadership and you can tie it in with our amazing diplomatic outreach.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am with Paul Dewar! He set up a meeting with Miriam Ziv, the Israeli Ambassador and it was terrific. It did get off to a rather shaky start. She thought we wanted to hear her views and so she just went on and on and Dewar almost fell asleep. She finally clued in that WE were the ones with the advice! Of course, our main concern was Libby – so Dewar warned Ziv that if even a hair was harmed on Libby, the NDP would go postal. We were so tough that she was speechless! I don’t blame her – lots of people are speechless after they tangle with us.

And, Brad, while you’re at it, can you call John Baird and tell him we want to meet with the Greek Ambassador? For some reason, he's not returning Dewar’s calls. All we need is an hour – less if we do all the talking. Maybe they’ve heard from Ziv what tough cookies we are!

Perhaps that also explains why the American Ambassador kept avoiding us at his garden party on July 4th. I wanted to tell him that I am ready to fly down to DC anytime to meet with Barack. Perhaps I can advise him on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hell, we’ve shown we can make Parliament work, so who best to tell him how to make Congress work?

Brad, these are heady times for the NDP. First, the filibuster success, and now negotiating with Israel and Greece! Do you think I can be invited to address the UN in September?


Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th: Feedback on Canada Day...

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Feedback on Canada Day
Brad, that was the worst Canada Day ever! I was all set to meet Kate and Will when Lemelin called and told me I had to serve burgers at the CUPW BBQ. He had me standing out there for over three hours doling out burgers and hot dogs and then I had to wash some dishes. My god, he had most of the caucus there cleaning up (he had more NDP MPs there than we get to caucus meetings). Let me tell you, my back is now killing me. And, no honourarium or anything - all I got after was a CUPW reusable enviro bag.

I’ve agreed to be on the cover of the next CUPW magazine dressed in a mail carrier’s outfit. But, Lemelin wants me to wear something off the rack rather than having it custom tailored! Can you talk to him about that? And, Olivia’s all bent out of shape because she wants an outfit too and she thinks we should both be on the cover. Olivia doesn’t buy off the rack, so there’s no room for compromise there. So, how about a picture of me delivering the mail to Stornoway with Olivia at the front door? Olivia’s even agreed to smile! Ask Lemelin if he can also get me a mail cart to roll around – I think I can use one of those at the cottage.

Libby’s stuck in Greece waiting on the Canadian Boat to Gaza. Apparently, her first-class cabin doesn’t have its own bathroom, and she hasn’t been able to find any vegan food. I guess with all the rioting the suppliers can’t get to the boat and that has made her a tad grumpy. She’s particularly upset that the satellite TV in her cabin has 589 stations but no CBC! So, she has nothing to watch while she waits. Is it possible for us to FEDEX over some cucumber sandwiches and a bushel of carrots for the trip?

And, while you’re at it, when you are sending that package to Libby, perhaps you can include Layton T-shirts for the crew and passengers. Imagine the photo op – the Israelis diverting the ship with everybody on board wearing an orange Latyon Tee. Make sure we send the shirts with my picture on both sides, not just the front. If the Israelis board the ship, we could get some major coverage world-wide, no? Time for us to think big here!

By the way, I’m still basking in the glow from the filibuster. But it’s the small stuff that’s getting us points. Those earrings that Papillon wears are amazing! I knew she was a good pick to run in Quebec City. It’s that sort of attention to detail that’s made us the official opposition. Can you send her a Layton Tee with a big thank you?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28th: Lessons from the Filibuster....

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Lessons from our Filibuster...
Brad, boy did we catch the Conservatives off guard with our filibuster! Did you see Stephen Harper’s icy cold blue eyes? Of course you didn’t. My god, they were red! I caught him yawning 3 times! Baird could hardly see straight (a joke, Brad!). And, those guys never have any fun – gee, we had a slumber night; I counted at least 5 poker games; and Libby showed “I Love Lucy” reruns all night. It was like being back in University! I even won a few bucks.

I was really sad when Lamelin called it all off – I was all set for an evening of Murphy Brown. Olivia had even bought hot chocolate with those tiny marshmallows. Oh well, we’ll save it for the next filibuster.

I do think there were some key learning’s – I want to show that the NDP is open to change and that we can even make filibusters better.
1. That revolving poker game was a hoot! I can’t believe that Libby smoked us all out. Fuck, those NDP kids from Quebec don’t know squat about poker – I think they’ll be doing Friday duty for Libby for years. But, next time tell them they can’t crap out after losing a few hundred dollars – Goddam, they’re in the the big leagues now. And, tell Rae to get his own fucking game – I think he was looking for some easy marks.

2. Brad, can you call Van Loan? I think it would be much better for the next filibuster to use the Senate Chamber rather than the House of Commons. Since we’re rotating MPs in and out of the debate, we don’t need as many seats, and let’s face it, the seats in the Senate are much more comfortable. They’re almost made for a filibuster, no? I wouldn’t have to bring in all my extra cushions. If Van Loan agrees, we can play this up as yet another example of how the NDP is making Parliament work.

3. Can you keep Justin Trudeau away from our MPs? I think he was playing Hide and Go Seek with Brosseau and her friends. I can’t say for sure because they all ran when I walked down the hall, but I can tell Trudeau’s Armani shirts from a mile away. Can’t he play with his own caucus?

4. Can you call Lemelin and tell him not to text me 487 times in one evening. He was sending over amendments, talking points, and even fake letters from constituents. I mean, helpful stuff, but can’t you get him to text Mulcair or Dewar? And, can you tell Lemelin to give us some warning before he pulls the plug? We had just ordered in Chinese and we had to wait for the delivery.

5. Can you tell all the MPs to keep at least 3 changes of clothes in their office? The big win out of all this is that the Canadian public realize that we dress better than the Conservatives, but let’s really drive the point home in the next filibuster. And, can you ask the Speaker to perhaps loosen the rules for filibusters – perhaps easing the requirements for ties. Maybe we can get all party approval for this.

6. Olivia wants to know if she is entitled to overtime pay. I couldn’t see why not, but can you check with Privy Council office?
Brad, one last thing. Can you make a small statuette for the entire caucus to commemorate our first filibuster? And put on the back “Mr Layton Goes to Ottawa”. Let’s make it classy!


Friday, June 24, 2011

June 24th: The Filibuster...

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Our Filibuster..
Brad, can you run a few errands for me while I am tied up in Parliament? I have a few overdue bills to pay, so can you quietly find an NDP staffer who can drive my cheques to Toronto and hand deliver them? I think Olivia also has a few things she needs delivered, and can you pick a few pairs of stockings from our house?

Jesus, sitting here all day has not only fucked up my back, but my haemorrhoids are killing me. Can you run out and get a few tubes of Preparation-H? You might want to text Libby and see if she needs some as well. Is there any chance I can bring in an extra cushion for my back? Perhaps you can check with the speaker if he’ll allow it? That big orange cushion (with my picture on it) in my office would be perfect. Perhaps we can make a deal with the government to shorten the debate if I can get my cushion. Once again, we can show how the NDP makes Parliament work.

As a nice touch for the caucus, can you go out and buy 103 of those neck pillows that people use on the plane? Get them in orange – it would be a nice statement if the whole caucus used them tonight. Do you think there’s enough time to put my picture on all of them?

Libby is getting crabbier and crabbier. If this goes on much longer, she’s going to explode in the house. First, she’s trying to get out of here to catch the Canadian Boat to Gaza. She has a first class seat and they’ve promised her only the best vegan food. All of her friends are on board and Rabble is paying her to cover the journey. If she misses the boat, life is going to be hell back in her riding. Secondly, she has to pee every 10 minutes and half the caucus has to get up to let her through. Mulcair refused to get up and forced her to jump over him and, let me tell you, that was a kerfuffle. When I suggested she use those adult diapers, well, let’s just say she was a tad miffed.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 22: Feedback on the Convention...

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Feedback on the Convention
Brad, I am totally exhausted from the Convention. I’m really happy Olivia insisted on using the corporate VIP box – the wine bar alone was more than worth the price! I don’t want to be picky, but can you tell them they need to stock a few more Quebec wines? Olivia also found the couches to be a tad on the hard side, so she had to send her staff to buy some throw pillows and an ottoman for my feet. It was a good thing you were able to talk the store into opening at midnight, otherwise Olivia would have been grumpy. I’ve attached the receipts, so please have the office send her a cheque as soon as possible.

It’s great that we’re so united, but the bitching and complaining was a pain. Every two minutes somebody was knocking on our VIP door telling on somebody. Libby was upset that Mulcair accidentally spilled his apple juice on her seat. Dewar complained that Pat hogged the cucumber sandwiches at the Vegan Circle lunch. Comartin didn’t think it was fair that Brosseau’s seat was three rows in front of him. And, the young socialist bunch was really pissed when they were called the young socialites in the programme. But I had to laugh when Judy suggested we take the word ‘socialite’ out of our constitution! I never knew she had a sense of humour.

I didn’t know that Libby was on garbage patrol. I can’t believe she had her team go through all the garbage and send me a report. For Christ’s sake, it was 27 pages single-spaced! She found 178 Harvey’s wrappers; 135 KFC boxes; 457 water bottles; 265 hot dog wrappers from vendors outside the Convention Hall; 477 Coca-Cola cans (diet and regular); 389 condoms (a new NDP record by the way); 18 crack pipes; and 235 needles. What was most troubling was that she found over 190 copies of the National Post! If I know Libby, she’s now checking the security tapes and dusting those papers for fingerprints; I told you she watches too much CSI.

Brad, can you have a chat with Dewar? When I saw that the initial turnout from our youth wing was poor, I sent him over to bail some of them out of jail. But, he had to miss half of the first day and he wasn’t happy at all. Dobbin thinks they rioted because of Preston Manning and I think he’s onto something. Can you get him to work this up into a speech on, what I would call, the Manning Generation? Give the speech to Dewar and let him run with it – perhaps he can get some testimonials from some of the kids he bailed out – you know, blaming Preston?

Brad, I was delighted to see that the Broadbent Institute will be opening in the fall. Is there anybody in Canada who is more qualified to bring some ethics back into government? Can you call Ed and see if he can put Olivia on his Board of Directors? But first, find out if the Directors get a honourarium. If the pay is right, she might also be willing to teach a course or two. In return, I think I can get Rabble to be a co-sponsor of the Institute – gee, we can make it the Rabble-Broadbent Institute. A win-win situation for everybody!