Monday, November 18, 2013

The Hypocrisy Of The Harperites

It is no revelation to state how hypocritical the current Conservative cabal is. However, those tough-on-crime zealots are betraying new depths of their natures by their advocacy of 'compassionate', or should I say expedient, treatment of that exemplar of all that is wrong with the right, the disgraced Chief Magistrate of Toronto, Rob Ford. Not for them the fury they direct at Justin Trudeau for admitting to smoking a joint, but rather compassion for those who need to seek treatment.

Contrasting, for example Peter MacKay's public musings about Trudeau's unfitness to lead due to his dalliance with weed, the Justice Minister had this to say recently about the beleaguered Ford:

Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay is calling on Rob Ford to get help after the Toronto mayor admitted publicly that he had smoked crack cocaine, an illegal drug.

But Mr. MacKay, whose Conservative government styles itself as tough on crime, declined to offer an opinion on whether Mr. Ford should step down. “That’s not for me to say,” he told reporters in Ottawa.

In his column in today's Star, Tim Harper offers some stinging commentary on this most troubling double standard:

The Conservative party of Canada, most significantly its Toronto ministers and MPs, is now defined by its silence over the tumultuous train wreck known as Rob Ford in the past two weeks.

“Conservative values are Canadian values. Canadian values are conservative values,’’ Stephen Harper told us after he won his 2011 majority.

But watching those “values” daily trashed by a man his party embraced, Harper has remained silent. He has done what he so often does. He has merely made himself unavailable to any Canadian journalist while chaos engulfed Ford.

The reason the conniving Conservatives have adopted what Tim Harper calls their 'hug-a-thug program is obvious:

The Conservatives will not risk alienating what is left of Ford Nation, even if it is the last man or woman standing.

But one would be wrong to think that Peter MacKay, who some regard as an upper class twit, is the only hypocrite here.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose, a woman so unrelenting in her war on drug use she cut off heroin for addicts in treatment, now has nothing but hugs for a self-confessed crack cocaine user.

“It is a touchy subject only because none of us want to pass judgment on someone who is going through a very difficult time,’’ Ambrose said in Calgary Friday.

And who can forget Julian Fantino, the perpetually dour and apparently humourless Veteran Affairs Minister and ex-cop whose selective remorseless pursuit of some ne'er-do-wells is the stuff of legend (Toronto bathhouse raids when he was the chief cop there is but one example)?

“I look at it as a humanity issue,’’ he told his local newspaper. “I’ve been involved in my whole career (in policing and politics) in dealing with situations where people, for whatever reason, get into serious personal difficulties and family difficulties. I’ve looked at it strictly from a human dynamic point of view.’’

Of course, last week Finance Minister Jim Flaherty teared up, brimming with compassion when contemplating Mr. Ford's demons. No judgement there.

Tim Harper saves his greatest scorn for Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver:

In the midst of last week’s Ford follies, Oliver appeared on CBC’s Power and Politics and was asked by host Evan Solomon about the unbelievable event of the day in his city.

“This is a sad and difficult situation but I have nothing to add,’’ Oliver offered.

When pressed on to whether he might have a view as an MP from Toronto, Oliver served up a civics lesson.

“Well, they are different levels of government, they are elected separately and they each have their different constitutional responsibilities and we respect the constitutional division of powers.’’

I suppose at his age, Oliver should be commended for his obvious agility in twisting himself out of shape to avoid answering Solomon's questions.

I shall leave you with a picture that my friend Gary alerted me to that perhaps pictorially sums up the Conservative cabal's solution to the problem of Rob Ford, given the obvious importance of altering the optics and 'changing the channel':


  1. They can dish it out, Lorne, but they can't take it -- especially when it comes from one of their own.

    1. Recent events have certainly exposed the extent of their moral poverty, Owen.

  2. Lorne, you must know that Harper had prided himself on being a "cat" person. Seems that Robbie and Steve share a common love for .... ahem .... cats.

    And judging from their pictures, they both seem to have plenty to eat at home (or otherwise) too, eh?

    1. I believe you have rendered an accurate assessment of both these exemplars of the Right, Anon. ;)

  3. We have included your post in our 'Around the Blogs' section at Loonie Politics.

  4. That will be "His Worship, Mayor Ford" to the likes of you, Lorne. Mind your place.

    1. I rely upon commentators like you, Mound, to bring me back down to earth when I get 'uppity.' ;)

  5. Harper needs those FordNation votes to maintain and grow his hold on Toronto so no way Con cabinet ministers are going to risk pissing any of them off.
    This Tom Clark column lays out it out quite well I think : The Silence of the Political Lambs

    1. Thanks, Alison. I'll check it out right away.