Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 1, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Friday, March 1, Woe Britannia The British election has produced, not unexpectedly, an inconclusive result. In this Britain has followed the pattern established in elections held in other democratic countries in the last year or two. As a result of the outcome of the election there will be plenty of opportunity for the testing of the famous ability of the British to muddle through. Onlookers fear that the muddling will not bring the nation through, but down. Already Britain looks to be on the ropes. Those who have faith in the British as a people who always rally when on the verge of defeat are forgetting that the trumpets have been sounding for some time and the troops have been marching off in different directions. A sawoff election doesn't provide much reassurance since it discloses that divided condition dramatically and unequivocally. It is really amazing that Mr. Edward Heath thought an election was the answer to the grave problems besetting the government. Those problems would not have been more solvable had he been given a large mandate. Certainly the prospects of dealing with the country's ills have worsened as a result of the election. Support the gallery proposal Converting the old library building into an art gallery is an eminently sensible idea which should gain the support of a wide segment of the city's population. Even those who have little or no appreciation for art will recognize that it would enhance the city to have a gallery and to have it housed in such a suitable building as the old library. Fear that once the building is remodelled into offices ;t is apt to remain that way indefinitely is real. There are too many precedents for that sort of, thing in centres across the country for anyone to dismiss it lightly. The need of the community services department for space is doubtless the chief obstacle to a decision to make the old library building available as a gallery. An established and important city service cannot be given less consideration than something still only in embryo form. But alternative office space can surely be found. Members of city council have shown themselves to be responsive to public opinion. If there is sufficient support for using the old library as a gallery and suitable quarters can be found for the community services department, council can be expected to be agreeable to the new proposal. Letters Much more to be said Lynne Van Luven's take off on energy savers' (Chinook, Jan. like her friend Mazie, contained more sense than was probably intended. Mazie had some very good ideas. Although cooking over the fireplace and leaving icy spots dark may be extreme, she didn't go far enough in other ways. For instance, she blames greedy consumerism for starting the energy crisis long ago. But what started the consumerism except enterprising businessmen with money making ideas who hired advertisers to subtly make people crave his product? Now, to resist their illegal subliminal blandishments we must be cynical and blase and teach our children to trust no one. Also, like most observers, Mazie missed another way to conserve energy all over the world. Though'trade usually improves economies and increased knowledge, we often thoughtlessly waste energy and labor time shipping luxury items from one end of the earth to the other. Do we need cookies from Europe? And oranges from South Africa could be replaced by juices of our gooseberries and black currants, good sources of vitamin C. The more we use what we can grow or make efficiently the less fuel will be wasted in transportation. And we'll have more money left to help the starving to grow food for themselves and store at away from rats. Of course Mazie gardens and will persuade her friends to join her and to freeze all they can (that use of electricity is She must convince them that cabbage is beautiful and that a few lonely little onions won't hurt the petunia patch. She can arrange "garden parties" where guests wear gardening gloves and bring trowels, going to different gardens or a common gardening area. Why should Victory Gardens wait for a war to start? If enough people went all- out to produce food for the undernourished we might even prevent a war. And she should inspire her husband to play garden golf with a hoe. Why isn't a score of 10 in 1 (big potatoes in one hill, that is) as satisfying as a hole in one? Keep it up Mazie! Use ever more initiative and spunk to challenge the threatening crisis. And incidentally., where can one take old newspapers for re cycling? M. LUCA Foremost Sticking it out Chancellor Willy Brandt in West Germany is apparently under criticism, as are most of the leaders in the Western World, for failing to inspire great confidence. The world which he was going to put together in a new way threatening to fall apart instead. Irrational as it is to blame the leader for things over which he has little or no control, this is something all public figures must be prepared to accept with outward shows of equanimity at least. Most of them, with occasional lapses, do this quite well and Willy Brandt is not likely to be exceptional in this respect. It would not be too surprising, in the face of the faltering of movement toward a more united western Europe and setbacks to his drive for better relations with eastern Europe, if Chancellor Brandt experienced times of disappointment. But when German newspapers describe the chancellor's mood as so black that he has been thinking of resigning, disbelief is provoked. That is surely nonsense. The normal exuberance of style which has characterized Willy Brandt may have been somewhat repressed by the burdens of office but that does not mean he is thinking of quitting. If Richard Nixon can stick it out with all the pressures that are on him to resign, there is little reason to think that Willy Brandt will cave in. Just as Richard Nixon finds sustenance in his achievements on the international scene so Willy Brandt can find encouragement in his accomplishments. Although it is not often acknowledged, it may well be that better relations between the United States and the Soviet Union owe a good deal to Willy Brandt's ostpolitik. Desire for more rapid progress toward less disunited Germany may be blinding people to the improvements that have already been made. Since the agreement in 1972, for instance, visits to East Germany by West Germans have risen 60 per cent and traffic with isolated West Berlin has increased more than 65 per cent. At least a start has been made toward better relations. However much Willy Brandt has been disappointed he must know that he is on the right path and that Germany, Europe and the world nead him to keep holding up his vision. ART BUCHWALD Those were the days WASHINGTON Everyone seems to agree that the United States is going through a nostalgia craze. What people are not aware of is that the nostalgia gap, which used to be 10 to 20 years, is closing fast, and now people talk about the good old days of a year or six months ago. Cyrus Wankel. who runs a nostalgia store here in Georgetown, says that the biggest nostalgia items in his store are less than 12 months old. "I guess the energy crisis is he said. "People talk about the good old days and they want something to remind them of the past. For example, here is some Tupperware. Remember when you used to get a plate every time you bought five gallons of gasoline? And here are some green stamps. It's hard for people to imagine the days when they got green stamps just for driving into a gas station." "Those were great times." I said, wiping a tear from my eye. "Here are some ashtrays with Spiro Agnew'r. photograph on them." "Spiro Agnew. He was the 39th vice- of the United States." "Under "Richard M. Nixon." "Oh, yeah. I think I remember." 41 "Some of our biggest sellers are Uiese" Cadillac, Lincoln and ChrysJer fall-page advertisements that promoted the largest. most comfortable cars on the road." "What do people do wiUi "They frame them and hang them on the wall. They make lovely decorations and bnng back fond memories of an era well never sec again." "What are these photographs I asked "They're pictures of different people who appeared in front of the Watergate committee in 1973." "I think I remember the hearings. The faces look familiar, but I can't place the names." "That's why the photos sell so well. No one can remember any of the witnesses, but. they associate them with a past that was so much happier and simpler than it is today." "What are these Earth Day bumper "Well, a few years back environment was a big thing in this country and everyone talked about it. People used to put Earth Day stickers on their cars and hold rallies demanding clean air and water. It was quite a fad. Now the only people who are interested in environment are collectors." "I hate to show my ignorance, but I see these Richard Kleindienst match covers. Who was Richard "Wait a minute, I'll look it up in the Nostalgia History Wankel said. "Here it is. Richard Kleindienst was attorney-general under Nixon, after John Mitchell and before Elliot Richardson and William Saxbe. He didn't last very long, so he didn't have many match covers made." "That political poster over there is interesting. It says 'Taxpayers for Nixon' and it's signed 4The Committee for the Re- Election of the President.'' "People buy them as Wankel said. I walked down the aisle and saw a glass case. Inside were cuts of sirloins, filet rnignons and T-bone steaks with 1972 prices on them. My mouth watered. "How much are I asked Wankel. "That's my private nostalgia collection of meal." he said. "It's not for sale." Count him out "Another lost lamb returned to the security of the flock." Throne speech no clarion call By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator Welfare, union analogy OTTAWA The road maps of an earlier age were notable for the number of routes in- dicated by broken or dotted lines. While such trails ap- peared frequently to lead to recognizable destinations, only experience could determine whether they were passable by motor vehicles or solely, on better days, by prong-horned antelope. A Speech from the Throne is a document of similar charac- ter. It is meant to be reas- suring; it creates a general impression that someone knows where we are going and where we are not going. There are usually intimations that the significance of the dots, which occur in abundance, will become apparent later as Bills receive first reading or the Minister of Finance resolves any continuing uncertainties with the presentation of Ms Budget. There is, of course, no guar- antee that the government will adhere to its chosen the extent that this is discernible. For Bills are sometimes dropped like hot potatoes and not uncommonly the unexpected takes over, as happened with the energy crisis which was not in the government's mind when the prime minister met Parliament last year. The present Speech follows tradition although the tone seems rather muted. As Mr. Trudeau explained at his press conference, it is not, like its predecessor, a "clarion call." On one point, there is clarity. We are not headed for controls (apart from selective if the government can help it. The Ministerial response to inflation is what it was: concentrate on supply policies and where possible mitigate the impact of rising prices on the most vulnerable groups. In the more specific question of oil pricing, the Speech is particularly notable for dotted lines. There is to be legislation establishing a national petroleum company which is to assure "greater Canadian presence and participation." How and on what scale? That remains to be seen. There is to be an orderly transition to higher oil and energy costs. The government" must ensure that the price of domestically-produced oil does not increase at an unreasonable rate and that the price, subject to transportation costs, is the same in all parts of Canada. There is going to be legislation to ensure that the government can discharge its responsi- bilities effectively. Since, however, the government is still in discussion with the provinces about major unresolved problems, it cannot be said that the Speech does much to improve visibility. Better supply policies have been advocated in numerous speeches by Eugene Whelan, the Minister of Agriculture. Much space is devoted to this theme, a perfectly reasonable one, in the Throne Speech. Mr. Whelan has placed special emphasis on stabilization schemes; the Speech mentions other en- couragements such as guaran- teed loans, improving the availability of manpower, assistance in constructing new storage facilities, research, advance payments, a prairie grain market insurance plan and so on. Much will depend, of course, on the quality of the legislation. There are certain words and phrases which turn up with amazing regularity in Throne Speeches. Indeed, it is remarkable that there can be so many improvements from year to year without apparent relief to those whose duty it is to think up themes appropriate for inclusion in the next welcoming address by His Excellency. While the Speech may not be a clarion call, it does contain one millennial sentence. "Steps will be taken to end any discrimination in freight rates." The nature of the steps is not explained; perhaps Mr. Marchand intends to lock up the freight rates lawyers. It is pleasant to learn that the government has an end in sight; only the dots may be visible to the consumer but somewhere beyond the horizon they come together in a last great vanishing point. We are, as usual, to have more and better federal in- stitutions, enlarging the opportunities for high-priced help. This is to be the year of the Federal Business Development Bank which is to assist and counsel small businesses; of the Federal Commission on Human Rights and Interezts (a rather odd which is to concern itself particularly with discrimination against women, and the National Urban Transportation Development Corporation. The latter, presumably, will make itself welcome through subsidies and is also to nursemaid Canadian tech- nology; the federal government is seldom inhibited nowadays by lack of jurisdiction as it looks for interesting ways of ex- panding its roles. Parliament, as the mitigator of inflation, is to be asked this year to do something for persons aged 65 to 69; specifically to remove the earnings test from the Canada Pension Plan. The prime minister, at his press conference, did not en- courage suggestions that the government was exerting a major effort to hold down public spending. Although a few programs have been cut (partly, it would seem, because many taxpayers have expressed themselves forcefully on the subject of the work the posture is still expansionary. The gov- ernment's view may be that restraint, like controls, is in- effective in the fight against inflation and equally difficult This point should be clarified when Mr. Drury tables the Main Estimates although the Blue Book in recent years has become an uncertain guide, having this in common with the Throne Speech; that it should not be taken too literally by interested readers. THECASSEROLE Some economic statistics are a little hard for the layman to grasp. But a recent pronouncement by the chairman of the Bank of Canada, the country's largest, is not hard to understand. He pointed out that the consumer price index was nine per cent above the level of a year ago and added that if inflation reaches a level of 10 per cent, the value of money will be cot in half every seven years. That's very clear. ElspeU) was really v pictures she had taken Tor her passport, reallv look like she wailed. By Dong Walkt r c-.' 3 ".-a. 'but we love you anyway. .'Speak for said Paul. A joke currently being passed around by the Wall Street Journal has Nixon saying to Gotda Meir, "Now we both have Jewish secretaries of and Mrs. Meir replying, "Yes, but mine speaks fluent English." The oil crisis may see the oriental influence reach beyond Chinatown. A Taiwanese firm is offering for sale in the United States a kind of glorified rickshaw perched on a bicycle chassis, to be known as a pedicab Some are powered by small gasoline engines. Others, equipped with foolpedals, tootle along on good, old leg power. So serious is the problem of saving the Alps that environmentalists will meet in Trento. ItsJy in May to find ways of saving these magnificent mountains Evidently road building, hydro electric plants and tourism have taken their toll. There is today an in- teresting analogy between striking unions and the welfare recipient. Many in the so-called work force would deprive welfare recipients of respect because they are regarded as persons getting "something for nothing." organized labor demands and gets more iT'oney for the same input or eftort they are in effect getting "something for and when this abuse of freedom is perpetuated unlike the reap: of social assistance, real damage is done to the system, in my opinion. It appears that the reason governments can do little or nothing about the unemployment problem is that it is created by circumstances beyond their so long as they remain non-dictatorial. Traditionally capitalism has used profits not only as a bulwark against minor recessions but also for the socially honorable purpose of expansion of industry and consequently the production of thousands of jobs to absorb the emerging young adults. Today organized labor is set upon a course of claiming these profits of capital and management; and that they are being very successful is reflected- in the luxury spending and savings accounts of this segment of society never before equalled in its history. Ostensibly this will in time lead to a severe imbalance in the distribution of not only material and services wealth but also basic human needs. If nothing is done to restore justice then our governments would have no alternative but to dictatorial in nature if bloody revolution would be averted. Who will benefit from'the natural resources, the machines, and the technology, which are the major basic components of our society? Are they here to gratify a certain segment or to serve all of society in a more fair and just way in keeping with our principles? LLOYD R. WEIGHTMAN Lethbridge. Parents and education Parents can hardly be blamed today for being confused over education: the so-called experts are disagreeing among themselves to such an extent that one wonders' what they will say next. We hear the pros and cons on every topic, including open areas, non- grading, family life education, management by objectives, pupil teacher ratio, teacher training, politics in education, the Worth report, financial priorities, top-heavy administration, etc. Education, Your Best Buy, the theme of Education Week, is coming up next week in Lethbridge. If we are to get the "best buy" for our educational dollar, we, as parents, must be prepared to listen carefully to all these arguments, to weigh with a critical mind the accuracy of these statements, to judge the bias hiding behind the bluster, and above all, to put forward our own opinions, our own experiences, our own hopes for the future of our children. It is all very well for teachers to claim superiority in the field of curriculum patterning and in decision making on matters of staffing, schedules, semestering, evaluations and assessing of student progress. As an ex- teacher, I understand some of their problems. As a parent. though, I hope there will always be a system of checks and balances, so that the costs of education will be controlled, not by the Alberta Teachers Association, but by the elected representatives of the parents who pay the costs. Perhaps the School Board is an out-moded institution, as some critics have suggested, but I believe that if this body is made up of knowledgeable and interested people, it serves ,a real purpose in keeping an eye on both the teacher and the student, and acting as a liaison between the school and the home. Here again, parents can be a vital part of the set-up, making sure that board members are indeed conscientious and interested. Parents must be the watch- dogs of the educational system, as well as co- operative workers, willing to help with volunteer activity in and on committees, councils and associations. Remember that Martin Luther was very unpopular with the high authorities for hu> "protests." but those same protests led to the establishment of a completely different concept of human responsibility. Nina Kloppcnborg Secretary Lethbridge Council of Home and School Associations The Lethbridge Herald SWTThSI S Lethbrttfge. ATbprta MEHALO CO 3.TD Proprietors ana Second Class Man Registration NO 0012 CAEO MOWtWS, Cdflor and Publisher H PltUTKG Managmg Edflor OONAlOft OORAM General Manager Advertising OOUGtAS K Page flOBEflT M FEWON Manager KENMETW SAKNFTT Business Manager THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"