Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vancouver Canucks game rioters "stupid and contagious" but rot starts at the top - why expect better behaviour?

Vancouver police face rioting crowd June 15 - thanks to Cassandra for exclusive photo - click on photo for full sized detailed look

Vancouver Rioters and the Hollow People Higher Up

Why be surprised at the Vancouver crowd's bad behaviour when the rot starts at the top?

Bill Tieleman's 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday June 28, 2011

By Bill Tieleman

"Here we are now, entertain us / I feel stupid and contagious"

- Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Nirvana

The Vancouver Canucks riot was not an aberration nor was it conducted by "anarchists" as Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu wrongly claimed.

The rioters were instead pathetically hollow people with no moral compass.

Most had jobs, good parents and an education. One even held a prestigious membership on a national sports team.

None of that mattered.

They wanted entertainment and what better than a riot with burning police cars and the lasting memories that come from having your pictures taken in front of jumping flames?

But why expect better behaviour from young people when the rot in our society starts at the top?

Take Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini repeatedly telling media -- including one woman reporter - to F*** off for doing their job of asking questions after his team lost game seven.

Apparently making millions from a sports franchise does nothing to improve basic manners and instil professionalism.

By June 17, the foul-mouthed Aquilini was telling Global TV that "Real fans don't riot."

Are you kidding? Of course they do!

Who but a real Vancouver Canuck fan would buy an overpriced team jersey valued from $80 to $320 to wear on a riot and looting spree?

Watch the videos, Francesco, and in each incident you'll see about $15,000 worth of your Canuck merchandise-wearing fans rolling and burning cars or smashing downtown storefront windows.

Yes, "we are all Canucks" -- even the crazed rioters.

Corruption and disrespect

And why would we expect exemplary behaviour from young fans when everywhere they turn they see corruption and disrespect at the highest levels for the values we want them to respect?

After the riot we learned that four senior RCMP officers face multiple serious corruption charges in the infamous 2007 Surrey Six massacre that saw two bystanders and four gang members murdered.

The allegations include one officer impregnating a potential witness, the girlfriend of a man who pled guilty to murder in the case.

Last month four other RCMP officers were charged with perjury over their testimony in the tragic 2007 Robert Dziekanski tasering death incident at Vancouver Airport.

The allegation is that they lied under oath to protect themselves from prosecution.

While these officers deserve the presumption of innocence before trial, the impact is deeply disturbing.

Nationally, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government was voted in contempt of Parliament by the opposition for the first time in history -- and nonetheless rewarded with a majority government in the following election.

In this province, two former B.C. Liberal ministerial aides who pled guilty to breach of trust for disclosing confidential government information to a bidder in the $1 billion privatization of B.C. Rail had their $6 million legal fees covered by the B.C. government, ending their trial after just two witnesses testified.

And B.C. Premier Christy Clark said during her leadership campaign that she wouldn't cut the Harmonized Sales Tax rate because it would be like trying to buy people's votes -- then she did exactly that once in office.

Government and big business Smart Tax Alliance television and print ads falsely proclaim that the HST is 10 per cent when in fact it is 12 per cent and can't possibly be 10 per cent until 2014 -- if the B.C. Liberal government is both re-elected and keeps its words.

And they say "Vote no for lower taxes" when a no vote will keep the HST in place -- a tax not previously paid on hundreds of goods and services.

Yet they run the ads without a hint of embarrassment.

Those who give a damn

The gap between the good behaviour we expect and the results we see from our role models is tragic.

Fortunately many, many other Vancouver residents do give a damn about something and about their city.

Some tried to stop the rioting and destruction while others made the effort to help clean up, express their disgust for the riot and attempt to restore our city's tattered reputation.

Not all Vancouverites are "stupid and contagious" -- literally thank goodness.



Anonymous said...

And of course, we had Gordon Campbell - who was solely responsible for the "Decade of Dishonesty, Deception and Deceit " in British Columbia. Yes, that does send out signals that it is ok to lie, cheat and steal - you get rewarded for it in Canada. Gordon Campbell now the new Canadian High Commissioner to the UK !

In Canada, we reward crime and corruption with high diplomatic postings overerseas - hhhhhhm ! What does that tell us about the Conservative government of Canada - under the dubious leadership of Stephen Harper ???

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Good article until the politics entered into it.

Who in their right mind would ever consider Basi and Virk to be role models??

The BC Liberals aren't a monopoly on bad judgement. The NDP had its fair share. David Stupich was convicted of skimming off the top of charity funds, Jack Davis took the difference between a first class seat and a coach seat on an airline ticket and paid for it for the rest of his political life, Recently a Senator was charged with wrongdoing.

There's going to be bad apples in every bushel.

The major problem with the rioters is that they should indeed have the book thrown at them, or better stilll be made to clean up the DTES including rooms and halls in the more run down hotels there.

Anonymous said...

The HST caused it.

What can anyone say?

This is BC.

Gary E said...

Good spin anona 1:48 PM. Lumping Jack Davis in with Stupich to try and make it seem like the NDP are baaaaad. The problem is that Jack Davis was a FEDERAL Liberal and a provincial LIBERAL/SOCIAL CREDIT.
If your going to try and blame the NDP with all the bad things in the province then name the NDP MLA's. And then we will counter with all the Liberal crooks and liars. And believe me when I say they number about 150.

Andrea Coutu said...

While I think you've made some excellent points in your article, I cannot for the life of me figure out why you mentioned that there was a female reporter present when Aquilini used the F word. Why did you include this detail?

Bill Tieleman said...

Andrea - I reported what I read from sports columnists.

I think the fact that a woman was present still for many people means using the F-word in a public setting is worse - you may disagree.

Basi and Virk weren't cited as role models - the point was a government that paid their legal bills even though they pled guilty to criminal actions.

Lastly, there are issues of individuals doing personal wrong in government, police etc.

My point is that when there are widespread problems beyond the individual - the RCMP - or systemic - the BC Liberal government's actions - then it serves as a bad example - that's all.

Anonymous said...

"the BC Liberal government's actions - then it serves as a bad example - that's all."

oh sure, when its the BC Liberals.

How about when the NDP gets into wrong doing. The usual spinnn, Bill?

Anonymous said...

Good spin anona 1:48 PM. Lumping Jack Davis in with Stupich to try and make it seem like the NDP are baaaaad. The problem is that Jack Davis was a FEDERAL Liberal and a provincial LIBERAL/SOCIAL CREDIT.
If your going to try and blame the NDP with all the bad things in the province then name the NDP MLA's.

Moe Sihota (cited by the Law Society and dumped off cabinet twice)

Glen Clark (Fudge-It Budget and not knowing the true cost of the Fast Cats)

David Stupich (skimming off bingo charities

Robin Blencoe (found guilty in court of sexual harrassment)

"And then we will counter with all the Liberal crooks and liars. And believe me when I say they number about 150."

There's lots of crooks and liars within the federal Liberals. We'll start with Pierre Elliott Trudeau (start point) and end with Jean Chretien (Ad Scam)

Anonymous said...

This is so embarrassing to the Canadian and especially to the BC citizens. How could Harper send such a corrupt, lying, deceiving, cheating, thief to England, as ambassador.

There are some BC citizens, who are sending, all the information of Campbell, all over Britain. Including, his drunk mug shots. They need to be warned, of Campbell's corruption and thieving. How could Harper, be so stupid?

We all knew Campbell was working for Harper. We also despise Harper, who is also underhanded, a dictator, cheats to win, and a sneak. But to send that scum, of a Campbell to England. Is an atrocity. Good God, what next? How many more times is Harper going to shame us?

NeoDude said...

Why expect exemplary behaviour indeed. I know I don't. Given the examples of our police and politicians I'm surprised we don't have more small riots like that. I think the brave but not too smart people who tried to stop rioting have more to do with that than people realize. Also surprised more of them didn't get hurt badly.

The result of a hockey game is a stupid reason to riot but there is no arguing with the latent anger in our society. As you said, the rot starts at the top. It affects nearly everyone to the point where the online vigilante mob has the same moral compass as the street mob and I would argue the same level of intellect. The only difference I see is which side the government and police are on. Do we really want to be on the side of rot?

Anonymous said...

Actuallyt the rot is at the bottom. The idiotic rioters who took advantage of very large crowds and simply didn't behave.

The other parts of rot are those insidious Anarchists. They are cowards (always have to wear black hoodies and masks, never showing their faces).

This ins't 100% to blame on those at the top. It's also to blame to those idiot rioters who caused the damage, and of course the weasel lawyers that will protect Johnny and Jane from any long lasting legal harm despite their violent behaviour.

Remember, the Stanley Cup riots occured during the NDP's time in office.

So what about the top end rot then?

Patrick said...

If there was a good that came out of the riot maybe it was that it rattled the cage of our smugness. I am so sick of the town pumpers with their "best place on earth" mantra. One can slice and dice the riot from any preconceived perspective and find evidence for your point of view. In fact it was multi--faceted.

There were 'punks' (if you like) and you can argue about how they got that way. There was way too much booze, the preferred fuel of stupidity. But there were elements we don't like to look at as well.

Sports itself seems to fuel this type of behaviour, especially when it comes to championships. Little reported was a soccer riot in Buenos Aires Jun 27 which was reportedly more violent and out of control than ours. Studies have shown that sports riots are a real phenomenon.

But I like where Bill was going with his comments. What are ordinary people--people who might subscribe to "we are all Canucks"--supposed to think of $8,000 ticket prices?

And right next to Roger's Arena is the half--billion dollar boondoggle of BC Stadium's new roof. While we can't find money for health care or a couple of million to fund legitimate participants in the the Missing Women Inquiry.

Let's be blunt: today if you're not cynical, you're stupid. Our current cultural and economic environment doesn't build respect for our hallowed institutions.

One could go on but let's just ask what do you expect when the most enthusiastically watched shows are Jackass and Jersey Shore?