Tuesday, February 26, 2013

No Sam Pollack


Stephen Harper, we're told, is writing a book on hockey. It will be interesting to see if he has anything to say about the legendary Sam Pollack. The Montreal Canadiens were a power house for two decades because Pollack -- the team's general manager -- had an unfailing eye for talent, on the ice and behind the bench.

If there's one skill that Stephen Harper does not possess, it's knowing how to spot excellence. Micheal Harris writes that, again and again, Harper has displayed a talent for picking duds:

Consider the case of [Patrick] Brazeau. At the time of his appointment to the Red Chamber, there was lots of buzz that he wasn’t exactly the man on the top of the wedding cake. There were media accounts of sexual harassment allegations in the workplace, of missed child-support payments, and drinking on the job. None of those allegations were proven. And while his current run-in with the law is well documented, Brazeau is guilty of one thing: the non-statutory offence of atrocious poetry.

And, of course, there was Bruce Carson, that paragon of Conservative virtue:

Then there was the disastrous hiring of Bruce Carson as a key advisor to the prime minister. People make mistakes, yes. But I am still looking for another prime minister who hired someone with a criminal record to sit at his right hand. A fraud conviction is not usually a big selling point when looking for work.

But having a checkered relationship with the law is no impediment to advancement in Harperland:

Carson’s dubious appointment is small potatoes in comparison to the lack of judgment involved in welcoming confessed money-launderer Nathan Jacobson into the Conservative party’s inner sanctum.  Jacobson, who was proudly photographed between Prime Minister Harper and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in 2010, (or 2012 if the PMO is to be believed), acted as the seeing-eye dog for senior Harper cabinet ministers anxious to meet top Israeli politicians.

When it became public that their wealthy donor and door-opener was actually a man who was guilty of more than $40 million in money laundering in the U.S., cabinet heavyweights like Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Treasury Board President Tony Clement displayed shock. They claimed they hadn’t known a thing about Jacobson’s shady criminal past until a warrant was issued for his arrest in the summer of 2012 after failing to appear for sentencing in California.

As Harper appoints people like Carson and Jacobson to positions of responsibility, he sends  inspectors to the homes of Maritimers, accusing them of defrauding E.I.

Clearly, the prime minister is no Sam Pollack.


the salamander said...

The entire Harper government has proven its ability to skate.. and yes, the nausea of seeing tim horton Harper at hockey arenas may pass.. some day soon, ideally

Who knows .. maybe Ray Novak or his wife will write a tell all book .. and we can all be even more nauseous.

I'm sure Sam Pollack would have spotted a phony such as Harper in a microsecond.. while Don Cherry is still trying to sort the tangle out.

Owen Gray said...

It's always been my impression, salamander, that Cherry talked a better game than he ever played or coached.

I suspect that, when historians get around to Stephen Harper, they'll reach the same conclusion.

thwap said...

A book on hockey! Between that empty-headed pandering and his onstage warbling, he's almost made me forget he's a total sleaze-ball.


Owen Gray said...

The word is that Roy McGregor is helping with the book, thwap.

Just as past surpluses were the result of someone else's efforts, I suspect the book will owe more to McGregor's expertise than Harper's.

The Mound of Sound said...

It's reflective of one-man rule that underlings are chosen, not because of character or even their ability to contribute, but because of their perceived willingness to follow directives and carry them out.

Owen Gray said...

And, like Pickett, Mound, they charge uphill and live in infamy.