Can someone please call The Guardian a taxi, they’ve had too much to drink.
Imagine a West Wing episode come to life, and that’s basically Justin Trudeau. The winsome Canadian prime minister blew up the internet again this week via an old photo of him larking about for the cameras, balancing his entire weight on his wrists on the edge of a desk in trademark manly-but-sensitive fashion. One more for a photo album that so far includes Trudeau cuddling pandas, Trudeau proudly proclaiming himself a feminist, Trudeau wearing a Barbie-pink sweatshirt in solidarity with kids bullied for looking different – and of course a newly elected Trudeau last autumn answering questions about why half his new cabinet was female, with the words “because it’s 2015”, and a shrug that clearly meant “so deal with it.”
Who else is still pulling off the whole hopey-changey thing, still surfing a wave of sunny progressive feeling when the US and much of Europe are increasingly convulsed with rage against either poor migrants or privileged elites, or both? While Britons contemplate a supposedly “kinder, gentler politics” of the left that turns out to come garnished with vicious personal attacks and repulsively antisemitic undercurrents, lucky old Canada gets a photogenic ex-snowboarding instructor calmly explaining why it’s not so mad to run a deficit.
Just little bit more? Go on then…
From the outside at least, Canada seems to be pulling off the elusive trick of remaining tolerant, relaxed and at ease with itself in challenging circumstances with more aplomb than most. You’d think all progressives would be hammering on the door to find out how they do it. But while any leftish policy wonk can give you chapter and verse on Scandinavia, few have made a life’s work of studying Canada, even though its quietly self-effacing culture seems in some ways a more realistic vision of what a future progressive Britain could be.