Two stories this morning -- one in The Globe and Mail and the other in The National Post -- put the Conservative Revolution in perspective. In The Globe, John Ibbitson claims that the Conservatives still see themselves as underdogs. Their summer strategy is to shore up their beachhead around Toronto and to storm B.C.'s lower mainland, warning that the Liberals are coming. They hope to become "Canada's Party"
by convincing themselves and their supporters that the big, bad liberal elites are still Goliath and Mr. Harper’s Conservatives remain the underdogs, even if every shred of evidence suggests that it is the Tories who are the giants now.
Harper's Conservatives, born of Western alienation, arrived in Ottawa with a chip on their collective shoulder. That chip has grown bigger with their majority. But there is more than Western alienation behind the Harper Conservatives. There is a distinct world view which defines all Conservatives these days. That world view was best expressed by Scott Fitzgerald ninety years ago. "The rich," he wrote, "aren't like the rest of us."
And this morning, in The National Post, we have an illustration of that observation. Affidavits, filed by U.S. prosecutors, suggest that time behind bars has not humbled Conrad Black:
“Black initially demanded special treatment, expecting counsellors to prioritize his requests over those of other inmates,” said Tammy Padgett, the unit manager of Lord Black’s prison ward. “During the time that Black was at Coleman, I observed that he gathered a following of inmates who performed services for him, acting like servants,” she said in a two-page affidavit filed by U.S. prosecutors in advance of a June 24 re-sentencing hearing.
“These inmates cooked for Black, cleaned for him, mopped his floor, ironed his clothes and other similar tasks. This is not at all frequent at Coleman.”
Conservatives are convinced that class matters -- and that class distinctions, which have been fudged by the welfare state, need to be re-established. It's time, they proclaim, to reassert privilege.