On Friday night, Conrad Black was stripped of his membership in the Order of Canada. Tim Harper writes:
Black is now one of only six Order of Canada recipients stripped of the honour and forced to return the insignia. And what a photo op that would be when he hands it over.
He joins a pack of fraudsters, a Métis leader who let loose with a string of anti-Semitic invective, and a one-legged kid who ran across the country, only to be convicted later of fraud, assault and drunk driving.
Black fought to keep the honour, at the same time claiming that the people who would review his case were anonymous nobodies. They included Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Clerk of the Privy Council Wayne Wouters. One presumes that you are anonymous if you don't travel in the same circles as Black.
Now the former Lord of Crossharbour sounds like the fox in Aesop's fable: “It’s really a sideshow. I’m not preoccupied with the Order of Canada. All sorts of people who should have it don’t. And frankly all sorts of people who do have it shouldn’t.’’
The Greeks held that tragedy generates catharsis. Despite the mistakes a tragic hero makes, one can still feel pity for him. However, Black is no tragic hero.