Thursday, August 11, 2016

It's Hard To Say Goodbye

Stephen Harper has disappeared. Rumour had it that he was going to resign his seat in the House. Jason Fekete writes:

He has registered his own company with two longtime aides and has all but left politics, but questions persist about exactly when Stephen Harper will actually resign as a member of Parliament.

Even members of the board of directors of his Calgary Heritage Conservative riding association aren’t quite sure — they’re relying on media reports.

It is approaching three months since reports first surfaced, shortly before the Conservative party’s national convention in May, that Harper would resign his seat as Calgary Heritage MP before the fall sitting of Parliament, which begins Sept. 19.

He appears to be planning the next stage of his journey:

Harper, his former chief of staff Ray Novak, and Jeremy Hunt, another longtime trusted aide, are listed as directors of Harper & Associates Consulting Inc., a business incorporated in late 2015 with an Ottawa-based address.

And, of course, he's still earning his parliamentary salary of $170,400 a year. At those prices -- and with the memory of the fear in the eyes of his underlings still fresh -- it must be hard to say goodbye.

Or perhaps the consulting business isn't working out.



Steve said...

Like GWB his post leadership ride is rough.

Owen Gray said...

You'll notice that George W. has also all but disappeared, Steve.

Anonymous said...

i'm predicting a kiosk in bragg creek featuring harper signed clown paintings which will document his decent into madness.
it is interesting watching the conservative servants of canada as defeated leaders just vacate with contempt for the whole political process

Owen Gray said...

That's because they never understood the process, Anon. They were -- and are -- ignorant of the mechanisms by which Canadian democracy works.

Anonymous said...

A bit hard to run a consultancy business when you have zero expertise to sell. What can they put in their advertising blurbs? "How to run a marginally uncriminal office" by Ray Novak, or "How to lose an election by trading on fake fear and racism" by Stephen harper?

One thing about big business and the far right: if you fail them, they never want to see you again, because the stink of failure clings like heated plastic wrap.

Seeing as harper is not an unintelligent being, perhaps he could devote the rest of his existence on this mortal coil to thinking up what a conservative political "vision" could be. It would be a hard task. From the time in Grade 11 back in 1962, when our rather good history teacher had to explain to some bright but wet behind the ears students what "reactionary" meant because we were studying Metternich circa 1825, it has been obvious to me that conservative/reactionary meant a yearning for old and "better" days - perhaps Metternich had experienced a better previous time, but his subjects hadn't. Not that he cared about such piffling worries among his serfs. Emperors don't.

But by marking time in the social sense or praising some aspect of society that they somehow believe was so much better decades ago, like gazingly longingly at old Norman Rockwell paintings and wishing that was now, vision is not by definition a conservative trait. Unless, that is, one perverts the meaning of the word to embrace yesterday's values, and then one gets stuck in the loop of understanding the difference between, as one example, the words "famous" and "notorious". Most people use "famous" exclusively, and it is that perfidy of not exercising one's mind to its full extent and just giving up on having a good think that breeds conservatism in the social sense. Too much trouble to exercise brain cells when you can sit on the sidelines and snipe at people who do have original thoughts.

So, Stevie baby, can you write an opus on why conservatism is merely an ideology of the blinkered and dimwitted rather than a social force for the future? Decades ago I used to laugh out loud at the mouthings on PBS of William F Buckley Jr, whose main talent was possessing a witty and ascerbic mind, while the words he uttered were in fact unmitigated horseshit. Couldn't believe his debating opponents were so stupid they fell into his verbal traps. If that's the best conservatism can come up with, harper won't have a chance. Well, what government in Canada is going to give him a consultancy contract? Or company? On what subject? He has no marketable skills except perhaps writing books on hockey.

That's why harper hasn't quit as MP. He needs the income, and there's no Austro-German saviour with $300 grand in a paper bag to save him. Sheldon, my man, save your former mouthpiece from ignominy!


Owen Gray said...

There is something good to be said for conservation, BM -- but that's not conservatism, as defined by Harper, Buckley or Metternich. One of the facts of life is that you can't turn back the clock. Even when he fall back an hour in the Autumn, time still marches on. And it will march over us if we get in its way.

Steve said...

those who are looking backward always miss the on ramp to the future. Those in the future dont know what an on ramp is so I will say a popular access point to the best opening acts of data, culture whatever,

Owen Gray said...

Sometimes we find our way to the on ramp accidentally, Steve.