By Harvey Oberfeld
Keeping It Real…
December the 9th, 2014
Victoria’s new mayor Lisa Helps doesn’t get it: in a civil society, respect for history and tradition and institutions is JUST AS IMPORTANT as change and modernization and redressing issues.
Helps refused to swear allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen at her inauguration as the city’s new mayor….saying she was doing so out of respect for the First Nations. Huh?
Big deal, though! I’m sure Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors will not lose any sleep over this tidbit of insolence from one of her subjects in a far-flung part of her realm.
But I am not amused.
Sure, have a mayor who may be more comfortable in runners, rides a bike, has chickens in her backyard and dug up her front yard to grow vegetables there instead. If that’s what “the people” want, go for it. (Please, though, no guillotine for recalcitrant bloggers on the City Hall front lawn (is it still there or a pumpkin patch by now?)
It may also be very popular … even politically correct … in today’s society to “diss” tradition, disrespect heritage links to our past and only pay attention to those parts of our history where we can flagellate ourselves for mistakes or mistreatments or failures of our forbearers.
But why stop with refusing to swear allegiance to Her Majesty?
What about all those other archaic nuisances we, the people, can do away with under Mayor Helps.
In fact, why call her “mayor”? That’s a REALLY old fashioned moniker that traces itself back to REALLY old English, then REALLY old French and even REALLY, REALLY old Latin. Down with the rights-trampling EMPIRES …. even those a thousand years ago!!!
Surely, Helps might prefer something more local and historically appropriate … like Chief.
And, of course, no Chief would allow a Royal Mace in the Council Chamber! Or ever wear that old Chain of Office handed down since the 1400s. Out they go too!
And that city name, VICTORIA also has to go!!
What kind of a chicken-raising Chief wants her city … I mean, traditional territory, named after a foreign imperialist????
How about Place of the Running Tongues? A tribute to the Great House (new name) on the Inner Harbour where all British (Oops..does that have to go too?) Columbia MLAs …sorry, tribal leaders … gather to say much, but do little … a perfect reflection of many other tribal gatherings throughout the province or country.
And among her first acts, I expect Chief Helps will ban Afternoon Tea at The Empress (another name that HAS to go!) …. because Afternoon Tea is a true throwback to Imperialist ENGLISH traditions and the exploitation of overseas INDIAN agricultural workers.
And of course, those red double-decker buses will also have to go … far too clear examples of in-your-face imperialism sent here from London.
But don’t worry, after Helps gets finished with forsaking Victoria’s royal history, links to the Crown, traditions and historical realities … all those busses won’t be needed for tourists anyway.
They’ll all be gone …replaced, no doubt, by bike lanes.