March 19, 2005

Claude Charron: Closing Jonquiere is like the Holocaust

Our French Canadian readers will be happy to know that the press is reporting that "Former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister Claude Charron has apologized for comparing the tactics Wal-Mart uses to advance its business interests to Adolf Hitler's in prewar Germany."

What did he say about Wal-Mart?:

On Thursday, he touched off a controversy when he said Wal-Mart has become so big and powerful, nothing can stop it from doing whatever it wants. Its decision to close the Jonquiere outlet rather than negotiate with the newly installed legally recognized union is a good example, he said.

"In 1933, when Hitler took power in Germany, in the sick democracy of the time, people found something of a genius in him, too," Charron said. "For 15 years, the Germans were starving and feeling humiliated by their defeat in 1918. Any demagogue could succeed if he knew how to proceed.

"We know capitalism has had its share of victims, too. Wal-Mart's strategy seems to have been inspired by prewar Germany. No law, no regulation, no government can stop them and everyone has to conform to their blackmail.

"One day, as we remember the valiant opponents of Nazi cancer, we will remember the name of Jonquiere."

Well, I'm sorry, but this does not adequately describe his earlier comments or his "apology".

He actually referred to WM closing the Jonquiere store as a holocaust, and referred to the town itself as Auschwitz. [Link in French]

What a moron.

Also, he did not really apologize to WM or to its supporters; he still calls WM's policies totalitarian. The written apology, translated tells all:

Charron said he was angered by the lack of solidarity citizens were showing for the workers when they said the union got what it deserved for messing with Wal-Mart.

He said people who say that are in fact victims who have fallen for globalization propaganda and become the unwittingly accomplices of the multinational that is closing the store.

He said he was trying to say sincere, poor Germans also believed Hitler would pull them out of the mess they were in and would work for them.

"That is not to say that the biggest employer in the world does not lend itself through its practices to behaviour worthy of a totalitarian regime through its negation of rights recognized by parliament," Charron added.

In other words, the most positive characterization of his previous remarks is that he maligned those who said that the union got what it deserved by fighting Wal-Mart. He called them accomplices of a multinational, victims of an ideology of globalization, in short, dupes, just like sincere Hitler supporters. He says, basically, that these people have given up their dignity and their judgement as citizens for mere consumerism.

This is an apology??? What a smug elitist?!

In a way, though, he sounds just like the UFCW spokesperson.

H/T: The Eclectic Econoclast via the Emirates Economist.

Posted by Kevin on March, 19 2005 at 12:52 PM