We have written before about one Tom Flanagan, a member of the so-called Calgary School, a small, shadowy group of neoliberal academics from the University of Calgary’s political science, economics and history departments. Flanagan and other members of the group played a key role in promoting and expanding the Alberta-founded Reform Party, finally facilitating its takeover of the old Progressive Conservative Party in 2003 to create the federal Conservative Party that Stephen Harper, a Calgary MP, now leads. Flanagan then became Senior Advisor to the Conservative Leader and National Campaign Chair for the Conservative Party. Flanagan is part of the U.S. fifth column in Canada that operates on different levels. He was originally hired by the University of Calgary in 1968 during the height of the youth and student movement by the first chair of the political science department, U.S.-born Edgar Burke Inlow, who himself was hired in 1961 directly from an intelligence position with the U.S. Department of Defense. Flanagan is a director of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute, based in the university’s Centre for Military and Strategic Studies and financed by some of the world’s largest arms contractors (General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin Canada, and Com Dev to name a few); founding member and president of the discreet, neo-liberal Civitas Society; and has been given a national platform by the CBC and the National Post. Now, his media career as a pundit has come to an end, writes PEGGY MORTON in the first of a two-part series, due to the courageous stand of First Nations’ activists in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Who speaks for Alberta?: Tom Flanagan’s last stand
By PEGGY MORTON*
ON FEBRUARY 27, 2013, the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA) and the University of Lethbridge hosted a talk on the abolishment of the Indian Act with Tom Flanagan. Flanagan is a University of Calgary professor of political science, former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Wildrose campaign strategist in the 2012 Alberta election.
During the talk, Levi Little Mustache asked Flanagan about a comment made to the student paper The Manitoban back in 2009 in which he stated, “But that’s actually another interesting debate or seminar: what’s wrong with child pornography – in the sense that it’s just pictures?” Flanagan’s response was filmed by Arnell Tailfeathers and posted to YouTube. The video went viral and led to the University of Calgary announcing Flanagan’s early retirement, CBC’s Power and Politics dropping him as a commentator and the University of Calgary announcing that Flanagan would remain on sabbatical until he retired later in 2013 but would not return to the classroom. Continue reading