Stephen Harper and the Legacy of John Lennon

CANNABIS CULTURE – Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the politician attempting to enact the most restrictive marijuana laws Canada has ever seen, has again invoked the memory of singer and pot activist John Lennon – this time by performing a “tribute” to the former Beatle on the 30th anniversary of his death.

In what could be argued as a stroke of propagandistic genius or a confusingly bipolar attempt to win a bump in lackluster poll numbers, Harper took to the stage with a group of musicians at the Conservative Caucus Christmas Party and belted out a set of groovy rock hits of the sixties and seventies to an adoring crowd.

With Harper taking lead vocals, the band played classic hippie-era tunes including “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, “The Seeker” by The Who, “Share the Land” by The Guess Who, and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones – and the Conservative audience went nuts! The white-collar crowd was dancing, singing along, and taking photos as the PM kicked out the jams.

At one point Harper slowed things down and addressed the crowd.

“The guys reminded me that tonight is uh, sort of a sad night”, he said into the microphone hoisted above his Yamaha keyboard. “This is the thirtieth anniversary of the death of probably the most important person in the history of rock. So lets just take a moment to remember before we move on.”

The Prime Minister then played a short piano solo, tapping out a few bars of Lennon’s iconic peace anthem “Imagine”.

“The late, great John Lennon,” he said. “Let’s hear it for John.”

CLICK HERE to watch the video of Harper’s piano solo. CLICK HERE to see the PM’s entire show.

John Lennon was shot dead by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980 just outside the entrance to his apartment building in New York City. Lennon was a politically charged public figure known for his activism almost as much as his music, and he was a staunch opponent of the war against marijuana.

“THE LAW AGAINST MARIJUANA IS IMMORAL IN PRINCIPLE AND UNWORKABLE IN PRACTICE” read a full-page ad in the UK’s Sunday Times paid for by Lennon and the other Beatles in 1967. The ad was just one of many attempts by Lennon and his friends to expose the futility of cannabis prohibition and bring drug culture into the political consciousness of the Western world.

In another famous act of dissension, Lennon wrote and performed a song for imprisoned poet John Sinclair, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for giving two joints to an undercover narc in 1969.

Lennon sings:

It ain’t fair, John Sinclair
In the stir for breathing air
Won’t you care for John Sinclair?
In the stir for breathing air
Let him be, set him free
Let him be like you and me

They gave him ten for two
What else can Judges Columba do?
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
gotta, gotta, gotta set him free

Sinclair was released three days after the song was played at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally when the Michigan Supreme Court declared the state pot laws unconstitutional.

If you want to read more about John Lennon’s marijuana activism, check out the article “Was John Lennon Killed for his Pot Activism?” from the Cannabis Culture archives.

Harper’s invocation may have been motivated partly by his supposed love of the Beatles and rock music, but is more likely another ploy to increase poll numbers – a ploy that worked last year when Harper performed the Beatles song “With a Little Help from My Friends” at National Arts Centre Gala in Ottawa and received a 10-point bounce in the polls.

The PM again referenced the legendary peacenick when he sent out a calendar this year featuring a photo where he and his family recreate the famous cross-walking album cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road.

Of course, Harper isn’t the first politician to use his musical abilities to win votes (remember Bill Clinton playing his saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show?), but these attempts to gain popularity are especially distasteful and ironic considering Harper’s plans for Canadian marijuana smokers, who under proposed Conservative legislation Bill S-10 would be subject to mandatory minimums sentences for growing as few as six plants or making pot cookies. S-10 even includes life sentences for non-violent marijuana offenses.

So please Canadians, don’t be fooled. John Lennon was an advocate of peace. Stephen Harper, with his support for destructive occupations overseas and the crack-down on civil liberties at home, stands for the exact opposite: war.

The ideals John Lennon fought for before his death are directly threatened by Harper and his Conservatives, and it’s sad and troubling to see the activist’s legacy co-oped and used for propagandistic purposes.

No matter how loudly Harper shouts “share the land” and other messages of peace into a microphone, Bill S-10 and other harmful efforts against his fellow Canadians speak louder than his borrowed words ever could.

UPDATE: This must be what Haper means by “Share the Land”: the Globe and Mail is reporting on a secret security deal worked out between the Harper government and US authorities designed for “greater information sharing” that is expected to “increase the amount of data exchanged between law enforcement and other government authorities in both countries”:

Under a perimeter deal, Canada and the United States would harmonize rules and practices for screening offshore imports and travellers. They would more closely collaborate on the defence of North America including on immigration, border protection and law enforcement.

After listening to the song “American Woman” by Canadian band The Guess Who, it is evident that “Sharing” the sovereignty of our country with the American Empire is probably not what they had in mind.

Comments

18 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    This guy is a fucking bozo..rubbing it in our faces..
    Im sure Lennon is rolling in his grave.
    If only Lennon and Harper could trade places :)

  2. Anonymous on

    The only Beetle Harper knows is the long-horned beetle that infects trees in Canada!
    The only thing that Harper likes about Lennon is his cock!
    The only thing Harpers Family likes is the 0.000001 seconds of reality per day in their own head!
    You know, his child looks like a target for a traffic accident walking through the street like that. Bogus. Encourage Drunk Driving subconsciously? Maybe children will run into the street quicker because I’m pretty sure there a lot of dumb kids still like every generation for walking into traffic, this pic represents the idiot population of defective kids from all the governments errors and lies and risks of commercial products, where’s the public transit?
    Don’t encourage The Beatles, they were an overload and Beatle-mania looks like worse than reefer madness, does your mother have a flashback period of that…. and scream and worship them like gods? THATS WORSE THAN ANY TERRORIST ATTACK, SEEING An OLD BEATLE CONCERT In BLACK & WHITE, UGLY MOTHER FUCKERS! BEATLEMANIA! OR BEETLE INFESTATION???? SAME THING!

  3. 420miller on

    Harper just wants all the dank for himself. Prob sits at home blazing j’s rocking out to the beatles. For some reason I can see him being that type of person. Open your eyes harper! Literally.

  4. vote NDP on

    This is not the first example by a long shot of steves hypocrisy. This is a guy who came on the scene as the “leader of taxpayer’s rights”. Champion to fight against (?) excess taxes (HST) and senate corruption (Cons stack the Senate with Cons) and an elected senate (when??). Wake up Canadian voter – this bunch needs to be sent packing out of Ottawa FOR GOOD!

  5. Anonymous on

    WE can stop the harper now with our votes if we just stop look at voting as an “inconvenience” rather than as the god-given right it really is. “OH I didn’t vote because it was raining, or snowing or any other number of lazy useless excuses”. Get out and vote for your country and your future, Canadian Voters! Get Steve OUT and get Marc HOME!!!

  6. Johns waitin redneck on

    I can’t imagine how lousy this guy must be (I don’t want my ears assaulted by the “ShetHarper badNotes dog&pony show”) hope he kept a tarp over the stage for the rotted tomatoes LOL. take it on the road ya Sad f**k.
    Not hard at all to boycott arden, Adams and shetckleback – they’re either washedup or they STINK!

  7. Anonymous on

    You may not be religious and I respect that yet Harper says he is religious, and so keep this in mind, Jesus warned;

    Luke 6:24 “Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.”

    Amos 6:1 “What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury, and you who feel safe in your high position”

    Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how those in the past treated religious leaders that were liars.”

    I wish that it were not true, yet Harper is a liar. I know it with all of my heart.

  8. Anonymous on

    You may not be religious and I respect that. Harper says he is religious, well then keep this in mind, Jesus warned;

    Luke 6:24 “Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.”

    Amos 6:1 “What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury, and you who feel safe in your high position”

    Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how those in the past treated religious leaders that were liars.”

  9. Anonymous on

    Harper says he is religious, well then keep this in mind, Jesus warned;

    Luke 6:24 “Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.”

    Amos 6:1 “What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury, and you who feel safe in your high position”

    Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how those in the past treated religious leaders that were liars.”

  10. Pedro on

    Harpo TWO-FACE… High-Jacking Classic Rock songs while plotting to imprison Pot-providers. Boycott Bryan Adams, Jan Arden & Nickleback… who engaged in mutual exploitation/photo-ops with Little Stevie Blunder

  11. Anonymous on

    Simple…The muppet is a rebel with out a clue.

  12. Anonymous on

    What a fuckin loser.I wish he would just get booted out of office,or assassinated…
    He’ll sit there playing the stoner songs,give credit too the biggest freedom’s icon that has ever set foot on this planet (aside from J.C. for the believers) all while he’s trying to set up a new “lil Berlin”,go smoke some pole you howdy-doodie lookin mo-fo.

    UP YERS YOU GOOF!!!

    I don’t believe that my grandparents fought and died for this bullshit,baby Adolf.

  13. Canadian Slave on

    Dear Harper & Associates,

    You have a Country to Love; although you are the father of lies, we love you.

    Bless your dark soul Harper.

    All return to the ocean whence they come, some simply take a lot longer than others.

    In the name of the One – All is Love

  14. Anonymous on

    I am wondering how the name Stephen Harper can be printed so close to the name John Lennon in the same sentence.I am really also wondering why cannabis culture web site is so fond of informing us about the stupid whereabouts of Mr.Harper while Marc Emery is rotting in a US prison thanks to Harper. WTF

  15. renney b. on

    i have to give it to the guy, he is a rock star… the problem is ; he is on the wrong side of the cause or in other words a rebel without a cause and we know how dangerous that can be… rock stars appeal to the masses to come together to address the isims in society but this guy in power is mocking rock… he could make a difference while he is in office but his actions proves he is making it harder for the people… yet he tries to use musical talent like the pied piper leads the rats to kill them… the real issue harper is the war on marijuana and canadians freedom of choice for food ,clothing , medicine and fuel oil and the so many other properties and uses of the cannabis plant in industry… the plain truth is , harper should quit both jobs and attend the cannabis university; then and only then i will believe his songs to be inspirational… peace and love to one and all cannabis lovers…r.b.

  16. PeyotePal on

    Its not just me that was thinking that P.M. Harper was being a two-faced, hypocritical, back-stabbing, ego-maniacal, pompous jerk.

    One year ago he cut funding to “The Arts” and then he rubs it in their face with his “little number”.

    Oh … and now he’s cramming mandatory minimums down our throats even though that has been proven to make things worse.

  17. Anonymous on

    I sure wish S@#$ H… could do his Puppeteer work on his family and not the rest of our families. What a sad little boy we have for a PM, truly and embarrassment to us real Canadians. Canada is really going to hell in a hand basket…

  18. Pastor Ray Christl THC Ministry on

    If Sir John was still around he could in public state “stop your lies”. It’s a disgrace for his BOZO to use the memory of a great man to promote the tyranny sweeping a once excellent country.