Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Barbara Amiel considers the plight of people who spend under $2,000 on a handbag

Amiel : "If ostensibly privileged defendants like us can be baselessly smeared, wrongly deprived, falsely accused, shamelessly persecuted . . . what happens to the vulnerable, the powerless, the working-class people whose savings have been eaten up trying to defend themselves?"
This marks, to my knowledge, the first time that such a consideration has ever crossed the rightwing mind of Baroness Black of Crossharbour, but it's fitting, I guess, given that her title is named after a public transit subway stop in London.
Here's another good question, Barbara : What happens to the national reputation of a prime minister who crosses your husband's ambition to join the British peerage if your husband owns the National Post?


West End Bob said...

What happens to the national reputation of a prime minister who crosses your husband's ambition

Alison, since that's before my "Canadian time", can you supply a brief synopsis of the referenced incident?

Thanks . . . .

Alison said...

Oh, you are so just giving me a soapbox!

In 1998 Conrad Black, who already owned over 50% of Canada's daily newspapers, launched The National Post, a veritable bastion of neocon ideology.
Black had always opposed Chretien and the Libs and what he called the welfare state, but was super pissed at PM Chretien for blocking a peerage offered to him by Brit PM Tony Blair.
Black sued Chretien, lost, renounced his Canadian citizenship and accepted the peerage. (Yes it really is named after a subway stop.)

From then on the National Post was all Shawinigate all the time all the way up to and beyond the next election.

Shawinigate : While he was PM, Chretien, the "little guy from Shawinigan" (who is, incidentally, a millionaire) pressed the head of a Crown Corporation to lend money to a hotel in his Shawinigan parliamentary constituency.
Chretien was part owner of an adjoining golf course, had previously sold his shares in it in '93, but the deal didn't go though till '99 - hence a conflict of interest.

Yeah...yawn...I know. Buying off Quebec votes to forestall Quebec cessation just doesn't quite carry the same cachet as embezzling millions of dollars while lunching with Kissinger and Richard Perle.

There's lots to criticize about Chretien - he gutted social programming in the course of mending the Mulroney deficit and signed on to NAFTA after promising not to and supported invading Afghanistan, but I always held a grudging affection for him after he told Harper and Day in the HoC to piss off when they wanted to send Canadian troops into Iraq.

Here it is on YouTube

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