Saturday, August 17, 2013

Oh, What A Tangled Web

Things are starting to get interesting -- and potentially nasty. John Ivison reports in The National Post that Mike Duffy is unhappy:

Mr. Duffy’s lawyers have barred him from speaking to the press but he has told friends that he feels he has been thrown under the bus and that the Conservative PR machine is out to destroy him.

Sources close to the now-Independent senator at the centre of the expenses scandal said Mr. Duffy was recruited to present a “kinder, softer” face to the Conservative Party in the run-up to the 2011 election. Friends say he was told that political appearances on the Senate tab were not only tolerated, they were expected by the Prime Minister.

Harper has no qualms about throwing people under the bus if they threaten his own political future. Ask Garth Turner. Ask Bill Casey. Ask Helena Geurgis. Ask Brian Mulroney. And, so far, the prime minister has been able to hear the thump under the wheels and move on.

But, if the Duffy case gets to court, Ivison reports that:

the senator’s lawyers will call Stephen Harper as a witness and grill the Prime Minister under oath, sources said.

That rotund but smiling face may now be haunting the prime minister's dreams:

Mr. Duffy’s case for the defence is likely to rest on public statements by Mr. Harper that show he was comfortable the senator satisfied all residency requirements (the RCMP alleges Mr. Duffy broke the law by claiming a primary residence in Prince Edward Island, when his primary residence was really in Ontario). Back in February, Mr. Harper told the House of Commons that all Conservative senators conformed with the Red Chamber’s residency requirements. “That’s the basis on which they were appointed to the Senate and those requirements have been clear for 150 years,” he said.

The prime minister wove this web. He now appears to be caught in it. If nothing else, the Senate scandal reveals that Stephen Harper is a poor judge of character. He may, indeed, discover that he misjudged the kinder, softer face of the senator from Kanata.


Kirby Evans said...

I would love to see the morbid, ignorant, bloated Duffy take down Harper but this PMO will deposit a few million in a Cayman Islands account to Mr. Duffy and so he will take his wrist-slapping and that will be that. One of the reason is difficult to take down tyrants is that they always have the cash behind them so that if push comes to shove they buy the necessary silence.

The only individual that can bring down a guy like Harper is one who has an ideological bone to pick and therefore cannot be bought off. Duffy doesn't qualify for this post.

Owen Gray said...

You may well be right, Kirby. But don't discount ego. I read that Duffy has a large one and it does not take well to bruising.

Harper has been kept in power by people who lack self respect. It'll be interesting to see how much self respect Duffy has.

Anonymous said...

I find it strange that Duffy should need a loan, to pay his corrupt expenses? Where is Wrights canceled cheque to Duffy?

As far as Harper's teams self respect? They work for Harper, do they not?

The Mound of Sound said...

Duffy's now departed mother was a fiercely-loyal Liberal and she was devastated that he chose to become a Conservative senator. She was open about that right to her death and I'm told it bothered Duffy no end. I think if he's forced to jump off the Peace Tower he's planning on holding someone else by their lapels.

Harper has shown that loyalty has weak currency within the Tory apparatus. That much was obvious from the way Wallin was given an hour to resign or be booted out of caucus. It was reinforced by the way she was mauled by LeBreton.

I was told at the peak of the Duffy scandal, when Harper buggered off to South America, James Moore was flown out to P.E.I. with orders to come back with Duffy's resignation. I think Moore has become a favourite Harper heavy. In any case he went (completely unnoticed by reporters) but came back empty handed.

Owen Gray said...

When it comes to self respect, Anon, Harper's employees have none. They do have career advancement. Andrew McDougall is just the latest example.

But there is a price to be paid for that advancement.

Owen Gray said...

Something tells me that Duffy is not going to go quietly, Mound. And he has said before that he knows where bodies are buried.

Harper may be about to learn the meaning of "bad karma."