Spoof of the decade?

You have to love the Yes Men – the court jesters who first came on the scene by impersonating WTO officials making outrageous neo-liberal recommendations to an audience so enamored by their ideology that they actually took it seriously.

If you haven’t read the double-spoof you must take the time to do so. Ridiculing a political regime as foul and obnoxious as the Harper government is not easy but this inspired group- mostly Americans and Africans but with Canadian collaborators – managed with stunning effectiveness and creativity. They should get an award.

The first phase of the spoof was, of course, a news release that announced Canada was going to radically change its position – a news release that picked up in media across the globe. The statement included this gem: “This agreement tackles the core drivers of social and ecological vulnerability,” said Matthew Delane, Canada’s Attaché for Environment and Planning in Copenhagen. “It’s nothing less than a new vision of international responsibility.” News organizations interviewed Ross Laver of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. who was also sucked in: “We are still trying to learn more about the proposal, but it’s clearly a major concern for our members. This is not the way to create jobs for Canadians.”

The spoof included a fake news conference (posted on a fake conference site) by the “Ugandan delegation” thanking Canada for accepting the notion of “climate debt” and its willingness to pay reparations for its past carbon emissions.

But perhaps the funniest part of the spoof was part II which denounced the first spoof in over-the-top language:

“The Office of the Environment Minister and Environment Canada confirm that this release and all statements within it are unequivocally false. Worse, they risk heavily damaging the negotiating process. Canada wishes to fully expose these efforts for the irresponsible deceit they represent, and shall seek the full measure of legal recourse against these criminals under Danish and international law”

If you haven’t read these priceless pieces take the time to do so. And we can only hope they will demonstrate than even a sociopathic government Stephen Harper’s can be successfully ridiculed.

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