Lebo says that Haliburton’s educators are out of touch with their community


Full disclosure, I don’t like Bram Lebo. But that’s not what this column is about. No, this column is about what Mr. Lebo just wrote in his weakly column in the Haliburton Highlander, a flouncy little rag, known for its weak writing, supercilious editorials and ragged content… along with the lickspittle, pus-riddled and slovenly emanations from The Lebola Virus, Bram Lebo. Owner and Publisher.

In this week’s column, the publisher/owner  takes his readers and local teachers to task. As with all novice and assiduously stupid hacks, Mr. Lebo has seen fit to bury his lede at the bottom of his wretched ad hominem. He does this a lot. Mr. Lebo is the master of smothering his columns in pabulum, before getting down to the real business. Or his agenda, as we journos call it: In this case it’s just another of Lebo’s many smarmy and anachronistic renderings full of the offal that emanates from the mind of the modern-day robber baron. Lebo is part of that unenlightened crowd that think unions are crooked or diseased or just plain old-fashioned.

Mr. Lebo once spiked a story about a union while I was in his employ. It wasn’t my story but it raised my ire. We challenged him and he said he was pro union. I thought he protested too much and told him so. He pouted and looked hurt. As if we had challenged his bona fides as a man of the people. True colors went on display shortly after that and some of us decided that Mr. Lebo was just another in a long line of anti-union bullies.

True colors are out today.

“With more teachers’ strikes in progress or looming, it’s time for our teachers and principals to answer a simple question: who do you report to?” writes Lebo in his opening salvo in a column called How High. 

“It’s definitely not this community, its parents or students.

“On the teachers’ side, their representation is with the union office in Lindsay, which in turn reports to Toronto. There is no local community representation.”

(Just for spits and giggles I invite you to regard the style. One sentence paragraphs with an interrogatory or one of these “?”. The fawning, whimpering lad once derided me in an open office for utilizing these features in columns. I swear to God that’s true. Nice to know that he picked something up while working for me. He also hates this “…” an ellipsis for those of you not up on Gav’s wingin’ it style. TG-ED)

Now that’s his lede. Oh… by the way… lede here defined: the introductory section of a news story that is intended to entice the reader to read the full story. (Merriam Webster Dictionary) I include this because I know that Bram or Uncle Scratchy, reads these scrapes and I include it as an instructional jerk of his collar.

Fascists come in all shapes and sizes... They're all dangerous even if they're dumb as a bag o hammers.

Fascists come in all shapes and sizes… They’re all dangerous even if they’re dumb as a bag o hammers.

So we know where this is going. In fact Mr. Lebo moans at great lengths to make his anti-union point. Not much thought goes into it. We’re used to that from Mr. Lebo. I think he’s maybe just incapable of it… thought, that is.

“It’s time our county took a hard look at who is educating our kids,” drones Lebo. “At the toxic lessons both sides are teaching our students. From the teachers, the message is to follow orders. When the union says strike, you strike. Always fear retribution; never stand up for yourself or what’s right.” This is absolutely dumb, deplorable and reprehensible stuff emanating from the slavering gob of an educated guy.

But there’s more. “Teachers have choices,” whinges Lebo. “It’s the constant threat by the union of taking out anyone who strays from the herd that keeps everyone in line. If a large group decided to actually put the students first and refuse work action, what recourse would the union have?”

It’s as if Lebo had never studied unionism. He has a law degree and an MBA. And there we have it. The bread and buttering of a Canadian fascist or a Fox News Panelist, or Ezra Levant begins with a law degree and an MBA.

I once wrote an essay on the General Strike in Winnipeg, which broke out on May 1, 1919. Generally known as a pivotal event in Canadian labor history, the Winnipeg Strike set some tenets for labor action in Canada.

“The local newspapers, the Winnipeg Free Press and Winnipeg Tribune, had lost the majority of their employees due to the strike and took a decidedly anti-strike stance. The New York Times front page proclaimed “Bolshevism Invades Canada.” The Winnipeg Free Press called the strikers bohunks,” “aliens,” and “anarchists” and ran cartoons depicting radicals throwing bombs.” (Wikipedia and recollections)

Bohunks, aliens and anarchists. That was written by the local press in 1919. How much anachronistic bullshit can the Lebola Virus dredge from the bottom of that cistern that sits atop his shoulders? A lot apparently. He’s just compared the local teachers — who do one hell of a lot more in one afternoon than Bram Lebo has done for the county in all six years of his miserable, woebegone tenure as village idiot and woebegone waif — to mindless machines in the thrall of some dangerous cabal.

Teachers are community people. They are some of the best people I know in Haliburton. They give back. Mr. Lebo just takes. Mr. Lebo would not know an act of altruism or fairness if it hit him square on his simpering, whinging, whiny puss.

This sordid shite from Lebo can be likened to the drippings that clunk and plop from the south side of a north-ambling Hereford Bull.

Because here is the lede that was buried in Lebo’s soulless and gutless screed. About unions and your teachers Haliburton. Your teachers. Your soulful and strong and upstanding teachers.

Mr. Bram Lebo: On teachers…

“As for being exploited at $90,000 per, benefits for life and summers off: where do I sign up for that?” (Lebo, one short para with an interrogatory! Again. I guess even brain dead zombies can mimic the great ones.)

Woody Guthrie had this inscribed on his guitar.


Good God I hope that Woody’s there at Peter’s gates when Mr. Lebo is ordered downstairs. And I hope he plays him down the escalator with a roaring rendition of “This Land…

Can I end this with something that Woody Might say?

Oh, what the hell…

Fuck You Bram Lebo…

And goodnight from the brothers and sisters who support the… Union!


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