Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wading Back Into The Fray

Having spent yesterday recovering from the temporal vicissitudes imposed by trans-Atlantic travel, my first post back will be brief and on one of my favorite subjects, The Man Who Would Be King, a.k.a. Dear Leader, the ersatz head of a country whose government, thanks to his contemptuous and heavy-hand ministrations, is at least as democratically dysfunctional as the one I just visited, Italy.

While away, I read about his office's attempt to ban CTV cameraman Dave Ellis from boarding Herr Harper's plane leaving for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for daring to try to pose a question to the Exulted One in New York, thereby running the risk of puncturing his carefully cultivated, orchestrated and, of course, completely false public persona while out of the country.

As usual, Toronto Star readers confront the issue with their usual perspicacity:

Re: When shot at, messenger fights back, Oct. 3

It is laughable that Prime Minister Stephen Harper thinks he can “set the rules” for engagement with the press, and pitiful that we’re letting him get away with it. Mr. Harper is our employee. He is bound to answer any question we ask, at any time or place, about anything at all.

He is not in charge. He is in service. And as a civil servant, his conduct is open to constant scrutiny.

When we can’t be in Ottawa, the investigators of the press are our stand-ins. And they may ask anything they please, on our behalf.

Mr. Harper and his claque have become overweeningly arrogant, imperial and dismissive of the citizenry and our press. We are his employers. He doesn’t set the rules of engagement. We do.

Here’s to this paper, and rest of our ink-stained wretches, for working to puncture Mr. Harper’s self-regard and hold his feet to the fire.

Peter Ferguson, Kimberley

Tim Harper’s report that Stephen Harper wanted to ban the sole TV cameraman from boarding the prime minister’s plane (more appropriately, our plane) for the trip to Asia, because he asked him a question, is appalling but not surprising.
Stephen Harper has a long history of threatening to sue journalists, avoids unscripted contact with Canadians at all costs and spends millions of tax dollars on Action Plan propaganda.

During a recent trip to U.K., I was amazed and impressed to see that David Cameron has the guts and ability to vigorously discuss and debate his policy, on TV, with an interviewer who was asking intelligent and aggressive questions.

This was not the “conversations with a deity” that pass for interviews with Stephen Harper.

Geoffrey Kemp, Mississauga


  1. Welcome back, Lorne. As you can tell, Mr. Harper has not changed course during your absence.

    1. Thanks, Owen. Maybe I should have stayed away until 2015 for any prospect of change?