His achievements are well documented, culminating in the Bretton Woods agreement in 1944, which formed the modern system of international finance. Keynes, as adviser to the British Treasury, was a principal negotiator.
But less known are the economist's astonishing stock-picking skills. His Cambridge college, King's, appointed him bursar in 1924. He channelled its resources into the Chest fund. Between 1924 and his death in 1946, the Chest fund grew from £30,000 to £380,000, a remarkable feat given the stock market turbulence of those decades and the economic impact of the Second World War.
Arts organizations play a key role in bringing the arts to Canadians. They are contributing to the vitality of our communities and artistic practices – all while managing rapid changes due to demographics, technology and the economic downturn.
The art that most Canadians consume doesn't come from nebulously termed art organizations, it comes from major Hollywood studios, television networks and online services such as Netflix. None of these organizations need subsidies. So this is not "bringing the arts to Canadians." It's bringing some art to some Canadians at the expense of all Canadians. But since when did logic dissuade the bureaucratic imperative?
That’s why the Canada Council is taking a more strategic approach to organizational development – one that helps arts organizations to build resilience and the capacity to face change and adapt creatively. This approach includes a new grant program, Leadership for Change: Grants for Organizational Development, and a number of related initiatives. Leadership for Change has been developed from the review of Flying Squad program.
Ahem. That last line provides visions of men in Sopwith Camels and silk scarves. Tally-ho! Government grant at 3 o'clock!
This program provides funding to organizations for consultations with a
specialist or expert in order to develop new management practices, explore
alternative organizational structures or seize valuable opportunities that clearly
address the objectives of the program. It supports projects that strengthen an
organization, a sector or a community’s ability to adapt to their changing
environment. The program encourages collaborative approaches.
What the above has to do with art, or the price of bread, is beyond me. Imagine the sort of artist who would spend his days seizing "valuable opportunities that clearly address the objectives of the program." Or indeed being involving in any organization that talks like that. The butchering of the English language is a poor way to conduct any activity related to the creation of art.
The establishing of the Canada Council, and similar government bodies in other developed countries, was suppose to free artists from the tyranny of capricious patrons and vulgar publics. Somehow the artist would float above the grubby needs of daily life, existing in a taxpayer subsidized Arcadia. That was the dream. The reality of Big Government is not a license for creative expression, as imagined, but a regimentation of the creative process under bureaucratic processes. Instead of placating some nobleman, the artist was reduced to filling out forms.
The most pernicious aspect of government backed art is its creation of a semi-official class of artists. Since an arts council cannot hand out cheques willy-nilly, it must select only the deserving applicants. But who decides who is deserving? The short answer is government selected experts. These experts in turn determine who gets the money. Government, one step removed, is deciding what is and what is not officially sanctionable art.
That should give any lover of freedom the creeps. Many artists posture as individualists seeking to go beyond conventional norms. But when the rent comes due they scamper off to collect their cheques from the most conventional and uncreative force in any society, the government. While some artists of talent have suckled on the statist teat, the vast majority of this official art is mediocre and quickly forgotten. If their creators, pardon the abuse of the word, were as brave and independent as they fancy themselves to be, they would try to sink or swim on their own merits. Instead they force others to subsidize their lifestyle choices.
Here's another tip for our Tory masters. Do something conservative and conserve the taxpayer's money from these posturing parasites.
Alberta Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, under fire by critics as a weak leader and climate change denier, announced Friday she now believes climate change exists and that mankind is at least partially to blame.
"I accept that climate change is a reality, as do our members. I accept that there's a human influence on it," Smith told reporters as her party delegates opened a weekend policy convention.
"I leave the debate about the details to the science about (to) what extent it is and how fast it is occurring."
I had written, “in effect, we will form a CF Sonderkommando”. Anyone with basic German could tell you that Sonderkommando means, literally, special task force. However, it was also a term used by the Nazis to refer to groups of concentration camp prisoners, mostly Jewish, who were forced to aid in the disposal of gas chamber victims. Taking five seconds longer to write the report by doing a quick search would have told me as much, but through sheer intellectual arrogance I assumed that if the word had dreadful connotations I would have known about it.
So a bright young fellow, a small time Tory activist, drops a bit of German into a party memo. The memo, as things usually are, gets leaked to the local papers. Next thing you know David Oldroyd-Bolt is getting described as a Nazi. The piece is a bit of self-flagellation. The tone of the writing and the hyphenated name suggests education in a minor public school, in the English sense. If not quite to the manor born Mr Oldroyd-Bolt looks to be a cadet branch member of the old Tory ruling class. He has also committed the unpardonable sin of being politically incorrect.
A wander through Labour leader Ed Miliband's oeuvre, to saying nothing of his loony Leftist father, might turn up stuff far more inflammatory than "CF Sonderkommando." Class plays roughly the same psychological role in British politics as race does in America. A working class lad without the hyphenated name might have survived the lashing. But the Leftist media loves hanging up the scalps of Tory Toffs, no matter how young or innocent.
Having done a bit of research on young David, I've become rather fond of him. He describes himself as High Tory and High Church. He is also on the executive of something called Friends of the Hereditary Peerage. I have liked the group on Facebook. My suspicion is that Mr Oldroyd-Bolt can quote Evelyn Waugh at length. According to his bio some of his writings have brought him to the attention of Roger Scruton.
Like I said, I'm quite fond of young David. Gladstonian non-believer though I am. There is a certain kind of delicious thrill in seeing the absurdities of the modern Left attacked with vigour. Not on economic grounds but aesthetic ones. The vision of the Left is soulless, sterile and totalitarian. Opposition is to be encouraged. The old hereditary House of Lords at least tried to stop David Lloyd George's incipient socialism. More than you can say for the Commons.
Despite my fondness for young David I think he erred greatly in issuing so profuse an apology. Clearly the word was ill-chosen and somewhat silly. A clarification and brief mea culpa would have been sufficient. When you cross the line into self-immolation more than courtesy is at stake. If the Left can wreck a young man's career because of an innocently chosen word, then they can dictate the terms of public debate. It is a ceding of the rhetorical and moral high ground to the statists and collectivists. They become, in effect, the arbiters of language and by extension of the terms of debate.
The scandal and the disgrace isn't a badly chosen word, it's a political culture where innocent mistakes are confused with grave moral crimes. It is an impoverishment of political and civil culture of a nation. Both here in Canada and back in the Mother Country.
Paul Reichmann, the ambitious Toronto developer who built and lost a global real estate empire, died Friday morning at the age of 83.
A spokeswoman for ReichmannHauer Capital Partners, a Toronto company run by his son-in-law Frank Hauer and nephew Philip Reichmann confirmed the news. She said family members were currently gathering at Mr. Reichmann’s Toronto home and were not available to comment.
He reshaped the skylines of Toronto, New York and London. Not bad for a Jewish kid from Austria.
Hillier had sent an e-mail to caucus criticizing his own party for seemingly using a private members bill to try to secure donations from construction company EllisDon.
"In caucus, it was stated quite explicitly that following a successful EllisDon fundraiser for Tim (Hudak), our party would continue to benefit financially with the advancement of this legislation."
He claimed he didn't leak the e-mail to the media, but didn't deny the nature of its contents.
You mean the member for Lanark tried to do his job as an MPP? Oh these wacky country folks. He'll be expecting the Premier of Ontario to tell the truth next.
It's nice to see Randy still making himself usefully obnoxious. There was a long tradition in Canadian politics that backbenchers came in three varieties; the ambitious, the indifferent and the obnoxious. The first were eager for critic or cabinet posts, the second were marking time and the third believed that their duty was to serve the electorate. A skillful political leader would know how to manage all three groups. It was understood that the obnoxious were the conscience of the party and more broadly of the legislature.
Those days are mostly gone. Instead we have cheap theatrics like this:
The Progressive Conservatives are trying to force Ontario’s governing Liberal Party to pay back $950-million for cancelling two gas plants prior to the 2011 election.
Conservative Jane McKenna’s motion demands the Liberal Party of Ontario repay the cost of killing the gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga, which the auditor puts at $950-million to $1.1-billion.
This is a kind of stupid I thought beyond the Hudak Tories. Silly me. It sounds appealing at first glance. Politicians, or their party, being financially liable for their actions. Thing is that it would make governance virtually impossible.
Imagine being a cabinet minister trying to decide on a new highway, knowing that if something goes wrong they would be personally liable. It's hard enough to get governments to make public policy decisions, except the reflexive dolling out of money, if a party or minister could be bankrupted because of a bad decision, they simply wouldn't make decisions. Worse they might simply delegate the responsibility to some obscure and unaccountable bureaucrat. There goes whatever remains of democratic oversight.
This doesn't even get into the issue of how a party could repay a billion dollars. It would take decades if not centuries. It is reminiscent of the Tory plan in the lead up to the 2011 election to bring chain gangs to Ontario. Not very practical, but it was red meat to a certain quick to judgement segment of the base. Nor is there a private sector parallel. Corporate executives can be held liable for fraud, not simple incompetence. How to prove in court that a cabinet minister was being fraudulent rather than incompetent? Or how about having courts decide on the fitness of politicians?
It's an idea that isn't so much half-baked as it is a small pile of wet flour.
On the other end of the spectrum we have Mr Hillier making this observation:
He said the provincial government has its priorities backwards -- the legislative process is too hasty and implementation of the legislation takes too long.
"You can wait 10 months for a new health card, but to change legislation sometimes only takes a day," he said.
"Administration of government should be efficient, but legislating public policy should be methodical. It should be slow, if you're going to get it right."
Now that's a point too little made. The bigger government gets the bigger the mistakes become. A bit of caution when moving the Leviathan about is warranted. Now how is it that an electrician from Perth, which I believe is east of Scarborough, can figure this out? But the political science majors and lawyers that dot the legislature can't?