The Great Man Pronounces

April 19, 2010

If the upper classes are not going to lead by example, what use have we of them then? It is their duty and obligation to educate us and elucidate for us, the grubby lumpen proletariat, the ways in which we should live our lives and to serve them best. In return we allow them untold riches and space in the broadsheets to issue commandments and correctives.

So how are we to understand the merits of shame and opprobrium and learn to show remorse if our betters do not display those traits for us?

To whit, Lord Conrad Moffat Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour’s latest communiqué from Coleman Federal Correctional Complex (even the gaol he inhabits sounds highfalutin) in the pages of this weekend’s National Post. One might think, given the Baron’s present incarcerated circumstances that we would be on the receiving end of some note of contrition; a tutorial of mistakes made, lessons learned and amends to be offered. Meus erroris planto mihi a melior vir, as the great one might say to fill up space with ostentatious portentousness in order to deflect from the fact that he is just another convicted felon.

A hardened criminal doing time who just so happens to get space in a national newspaper whenever he is possessed of a gaseous bubble of opinion to belch out. It is the very same newspaper he once controlled through the now infamous Hollinger International and unceremoniously dumped in a selling frenzy, as a hot air balloonist might when his contraption is dangerously losing altitude and all ballast is tossed overboard in an attempt to avoid crash landing. Just as a beaten whelp of a pup eagerly seeks the outstretched hand of its brutal master in the hopes of the slightest touch of affection, the Post allows Lord Black free reign to let loose his blowsy, clearly comically intended prose stylings whenever he sees fit.

The latest Blackian expulsion came in a 1300+ word endorsement of Sarah Thomson for mayor of Toronto. This ought to secure her a healthy chunk of the fraudulent former multi-millionaire vote but will it be enough to firmly plant her candidacy in the imagination of the average joe voter? Only if a perspective voter looking to Conrad Black — locked up away behind bars off down in Florida as he is — for direction on whom to support in this fall’s mayoral election here in Toronto, possessed the Herculean mental stamina to still be functionally conscious after eleven, verbiage laden, antiquities referencing paragraphs listing all the other cities throughout the world Lord Black prefers to Toronto before he eventually meanders toward the Thomson endorsement in the article’s final paragraph. (See? Imagine that kind of sentence construct stretched out over 3 pages.)

Even then, Lord Black could hardly be considered over the moon with Thomson, referring to her as he does as “… a declared candidate, is youngish, attractive, intelligent, peppy, original, is a competent businesswoman with a colourful past and would work tirelessly for the city.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement, and very likely one that a smart aspiring politician would keep off their Facebook site. What kind of bounce should they expect from having someone with Lord Black’s colourful past refer to their own ‘colourful past’?

The sentiment oozing from the pages of Lord Black’s missive from prison can best be summed up as: well, since we must have elections if we are to insist upon living within the crushing confines of an ill-serving, ill-advised democracy, we could do worse than vote for Sarah Thomson. Let see Ms. Thomson make mayoral hay with that.

Moreover, it is deeply disturbing that after everything Lord Black’s been through, the crimes he has committed, the relationships he has severed, the trust that he’s squandered, he seems fundamentally unchanged and very much unrepentant. Where’s the shame? The remorse? Even after the harsh, brutal treatment that is most certainly meted out behind prison bars to privileged, white collar criminals like Conrad Black, he remains bombastic, monumentally pompous and egregiously supercilious. Everything that we have come to expect from our wealthy, silver spoon-fed, self absorbed and improvident elite. It’s almost as if Lord Black actually still believes, like every other cheap hood who has emerged on the wrong side of the law, that he is an innocent man wrongly convicted.

What lesson are we, the great unwashed, supposed to take from that?

snivellingly submitted by Acaphlegmic