Winnipeg Sun

October 20, 1999

The lady oughta zip her lip

GG Clarkson out of line with haughty sermons

By ROSS MCLENNAN -- Winnipeg Sun

Adrienne Clarkson, Canada's official pinch-hitter for Queen Elizabeth, popped up in Calgary last Monday to unveil a memorial to five Alberta women who fought to win the recognition of women as "persons" under Canada's constitution 70 years ago.

It was the first of many progresses her Royal Replica has planned to make good her promise to visit all us little people "where you live and make your lives."

Oh, frabjous day!

Pseudo-Queen Adrienne has deigned to descend from her ersatz throne unto the hinterlands below so she can lift up all the little rocks scattered about and gaze upon us busy little beetles as we scurry about "making our lives."

But it beats me why people who didn't give a rodent's glutinous maximus about Clarkson before she became Governor General should rush to see her just because she agreed to don Canada's equivalent of the emperor's new clothes and become our quasi-queen.

Maybe because, adding injury to her patronizing insult, Madame also promised to throw us a bunch of parties as she wends her way through the kingdom, like a prince scattering coins before an adoring crowd.

"We are initiating the holding of a public levee in each province and territory we visit," she declared. "You are all invited."

It's as if Marie Antoinette decided to put Versailles on wheels and trundle it before mouth-gaping peasants across the length and breadth of France.

Except our counterfeit queen is going to actually allow the people who pay for her parties into the parties.

You choose which is more annoying:

The government's assumption that a great majority of us are going to straighten up momentarily from "making our lives," like those muck-covered peasants in Monty Python's Holy Grail, and cheer huzzah over the manufactured excitement of anointing and going gaga over a new gee-gee.

Or having to witness the hypocrisy of a woman who voluntarily chooses to luxuriate in all the perks afforded the impotent representative of the anachronistic acme of a class-ridden society and then poses as a bracing and liberating voice of the Canadian people.

And so in Calgary we were treated to the ludicrous spectacle of a synthetic blue blood speaking from a borrowed royal soapbox praising women who fought to be recognized merely as persons.

"We must never feel that the work (of seeking equality for women) has been done," Her Manufactured Majesty told her audience, who, if they had taken Clarkson at her word, should have stormed the podium and dragged her right down into where they "make their lives."

They didn't, of course.

In fact, Toronto physician Bette Stephenson somehow thinks our new gee-gee is a tribune of the people rather than the government's hand puppet.

"I don't think her (non-partisan) role will stop her from doing the things that she feels are necessary," said Stephenson, betraying a monumental misunderstanding of the gee-gee's office

"Nothing has ever kept Adrienne Clarkson's mouth shut when she was concerned about an issue. I don't think she'll hesitate in any way to tell the prime minister precisely what she thinks he should do."

Er, I know you were one of the people Her Royal Drone Clone honoured in Calgary, Betty, and that she says all the politically correct things. But the truth is, her Mock Majesty should, indeed, keep her mouth well and truly shut.

Nobody elected her to tell the prime minister precisely what she thinks he should do.

Nobody cares what she thinks the prime minister should do. Precisely or otherwise.

And it's especially because she's the Governor General.

Listening to Clarkson just because she's the gee-gee would be as politically incorrect as you can get and just another variation of that old joke about her rumoured ego:

"I'm Adrienne Clarkson, and you're not."

E-mail Ross McLennan.
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