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Mar 20 , 2017

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Lynching Lenehan: Halifax's mob mentality

by Eddie Cornwallis
Lynching Lenehan: Halifax's mob mentality

It’s possible former Halifax cab driver Bassam Al-Rawi is a sexual predator of the top order.
He’s possibly a very dangerous man. It pisses me off. I wouldn’t want Mr. Al-Rawi hanging out with too many unescorted women.
But let’s not stop there.
There are other equally dangerous characters in this saga. None of them named Judge Gregory Lenehan.
They know who they are.
They are the mob members who for two full days clogged the streets of downtown Halifax howling for vengeance and screaming for blood, demanding that bloodied heads plop into the basket. Mob members like Ashley Avery, Nicole Pettipas, Cameron Milner.
These are dangerous people.
They are the organizers behind these hysterical mob events. Good lady “community activists” like Amanda Dodsworth, Chrissy Merrigan, Barbara Jessome.
These are dangerous people.
They are the politicians, who show up as part of the mob, who encourage the mob and reinforce the frenzy. Unscrupulous political reprobates who will show up anytime, anywhere, say anything inciteful for the promise of a vote. Ambulance chasers in search of public approval.
These are the Jamie Baillies and the Alfie MacLeods of the world.
These are dangerous people.
They are the media members who show up in droves, the Preston Mulligans of the world, the Carolyn Rays of the world, the Angela MacIvors of the world. Their only purpose is validation, to offer to the mob the media’s blessing and absolution.
The media are not on-site to ask questions or to challenge crazed conspiracy theories. They are there simply to hand over their microphones to the mob. And that’s just what they do, hand over their microphones. No serious questions asked in these sensitive times. God forbid.
These are dangerous people.
It is paranoid tribalism in its starkest form. Complex issues are reduced to incendiary slogans, catchy chants and funny hats. The mainstream media licks it all up without batting an eye.
The mob organizers take to the microphone like a pack of wolves. Basking in the glow of their wonderful creation. Mob organizers yip, whine, whimper and howl. The poetry is bad, the props are clownish, the symbolism is overstated. It is a brand of zealotry which gets no points for artistic impression.
But then again, neither were the Salem Witch Trials or the French Reign of Terror a pretty sight.
And that, my friends, is pretty much where we’re at with this Judge Lenehan deal.
Halifax, with this latest wave of passion over reason, better resembles Puritan Massachusetts in the 17th century or the French First Republic than a land of law and order; protocol and process.
The revolutionary tribunals are fortified by those straight off the street, accomplished Facebook aficionados like the aforementioned Amanda Dodsworth and Chrissy Merrigan. The star chamber pathology is paid homage to by those who should know better. People like Jamie Baillie.
Baillie is a special case. Or maybe not.
Our Leader of the Official Opposition has morphed perfectly into a white Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Wherever the huddled masses gather to lift their voices in heartrendering remonstration, Jamie Baillie trots himself out like one of Pavlov’s salivating dogs. Jamie Baillie stands for everything, which in essence means he stands for nothing. A serious lack of onions, here.
To put it in plain-speaking ’70s language, Jamie Baillie is not the type of politician who would ride into Saskatchewan and proclaim to disgruntled wheat farmers, “Why should I sell your wheat?” They don’t make politicos like that anymore.
On the other hand, believe it or not, leave it to a Trotskyite N-Dipper to bring common sense and clarity to this Judge Lenehan circus-like hysteria. That’s what Dipper justice critic and lawyer Marian Mancini did, when the Dartmouth South MLA told the CBC’s Mike Gorman:
“I think he (Judge Lenehan) made a mistake, but it was a legal error. It doesn’t turn him into a misogynist that needs to be removed from the bench... I have a problem when the public starts turning more into a mob and that causes me concern.”
You’re not alone, Marian.
 

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