There Is No I In Mayor

Jesus Christ.

avertyoureyes

I promised myself I wouldn’t dedicate any time or space to this, the latest Mayor Ford misdeed on Friday night while attending the Taste of the Danforth. Stay focused on the more important matters at hand, I kept saying. Bigger fish to fry. Avert your eyes and move on.

But while writing another post for today, I made the mistake of taking a moment to read Matt Gurney’s article about the Friday Night Spectacle in the National Post and just felt a minor explosion in my head. canttouchthisHopefully it’s purely metaphorical and not an actual aneurism.

It’s not that I disagree with Mr. Gurney’s point that supporters of the mayor support him warts and all. I do think there’s a certain over-statement of the narrative that Mayor Ford is made of Teflon and criticism of his bad behaviour only strengthens his core support. Like some reverse kryptonite, he should just keep up with the outrageous antics and he’s sure to get elected. The scandal fatigue works both ways, I imagine, ultimately wearing on some who want to see a sense of normalcy restore in their municipal politics.

Still, being drunk in public will not diminish Mayor Ford’s support nor necessarily should it. Setting aside for a moment the concerns about how he got to the event and questions of driving under the influence, I’m a proponent of our politicians being given a little leeway in their private performances. gonefishing1I myself witnessed a former mayor in his cups at a local pub a few years back and didn’t for a second think, he’s clearly unfit for office. Any notion of hermetically sealing our elected officials off in some bubble to keep them from behaving in certain human ways just further divides the public from their representatives.

It’s when we move into the ‘official’ capacity where the problems arrive. There is one crucial paragraph in Gurney’s piece that needs to be emphasized.

It’s not quite as innocuous as all that. Mayor Ford had been scheduled to meet with his staffers at the event to do the civic leadership thing as the festival — a huge event in Toronto — got under way. He never showed, and the staff went home. He then arrived hours later, clearly inebriated, and his staff had to scramble to find him. According to those who’ve worked with the Mayor, this is part of a pattern of behaviour that one wearily described to me as a “late-night red alert.”…

whereswaldo2“The civic leadership thing”.

This is no longer about having a few pops, blowing off some steam, TGIF letting your hair down a bit. It seems Mayor Ford was supposed to attend the Taste of the Danforth in his official capacity as mayor of the city but blew off a scheduled staff meeting in preparation for it and showed up hours later, on his own, in more “unofficial” position. So let’s stop talking about this as teetotaling, politically motivated tsk, tsk, tsking of mayoral hijinks and bring up the subject of dereliction of duty.

I write this as we approach 3 p.m. on a Monday afternoon with no news of the mayor showing up for work yet today. This is not at all unusual. His schedule is shrouded behind freedom of information requests. Just last week, after the latest staffer in his office to leave, questions arose about discrepancies between the mayor’s official datebook and the City Hall parking records, suggesting Mayor Ford’s not working when he claims he is.

That, as I see it, is the nub of the problem here.

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Whatever Mayor Ford’s personal troubles may be, if personal troubles there are, hey, god speed and good luck coming to terms with them. That’s not my business. But his routine abandonment of being mayor of this city, and the obligations commensurate with that title, well, that’s something I think we should all be concerned with, supporters or not.

reluctantly submitted by Cityslikr

10 Responses to There Is No I In Mayor

  1. Ron Wm. Hurlbut says:

    It just occurred to me… If I was a puppet/stooge of the Neoliberal movement I’d probably develop substance dependencies too.

  2. Patrick Smyth says:

    The folks at AFUITBS are all in a tizzie again. Why do they think Rob Ford is important to the running of the city? I don’t think he’s even up for the task of being a puppet/stooge. What is it with people? My God, he’s getting way more credit than he deserves, and it takes the focus away from where the problem lies.

  3. Sonny says:

    Ford has admitted to drinking a couple/few beers. Also needed a driver to bring him home. I suppose the videos of him can’t be dismissed as non existent OR fake.

    The shameless Ford is embarrassing the City. The folks at the money losing Post or “free market” Sun can’t get CRTC to broadcast their brand widely. Ultimately it is Newstalk1010 where Ford coined his “Nation” though they did not come out in Scarborough for Kirupa…

    P.S. heard the Taste of Danforth was delicious!

  4. Simon Says says:

    Downtown elitists and Neophyte Politicos are embarrassed. Spent three weeks in the US and Canada. Outside of TO, no body cares what happens here. You’re from Canada? Toronto? Is it cold already? You guys love hockey!

    ps. Even people in Vancouver didn’t care.

    • steve says:

      You make a very ignorant point, the people that live in Toronto care and that really is all that matters.
      By the way what is a downtown elitist, how does it differ from a suburban elitist. By the way you present yourself as an elitist, most likely you do not know what one is being one yourself.

      • Simon Says says:

        I am lunch bucket kind of guy. Hang out the the VFW and play hockey. BTW, my friends call me a salt of the earth person, hardly an elitist by definition.

  5. Brendan says:

    To Ron and Patrick: I think the idea that Rob Ford is a ‘puppet/stooge’ of neoliberalism is just totally wrong. Is there anyone who doubts that he’s genuine in his hatred of government? He’s just such a hypocrite that he doesn’t care about his own examples of waste (like using city resources to coach football).

    We should care about this story because the same script is followed every time one of these scandals breaks:

    1. Rob Ford does something stupid. In this case it looks like he was supposed to be at the Taste of the Danforth in an official capacity, ditched his staff and then showed up alone and wasted; and probably drove drunk.
    2. The media has no choice but to follow it. It was already a story on social media.
    3. People complain that the media is bullying him.

    It’s a big part of how he keeps on getting away with ridiculous things.

    • Stevedore says:

      Not to mention, he doesn’t consistently follow instructions from anyone, except maybe Doug. In that respect, I suppose, the narrative that he is “his own man” and “tells it like it is” is marginally accurate — he lies like a rug, but at least he doesn’t say what he’s told to say. Thin gruel IMO, but clearly Ford Nation disagrees.

      • Ron Wm. Hurlbut says:

        Rob Ford is a tool – a very blunt tool – of the neoliberal movement. Consistently pushing it forward. His own personal excesses are totally in line with that movement as can be seen at the federal level with PMSH and his team.

        He is a puppet/stooge that follows the neoliberal doctrine like a religious zealot. He even makes pilgrimage to the neoliberal mecca of Chicago (Chicago school of economics).

        They take from the undeserving poor and give to the entitled rich. Token acts of charity to sooth their own consciences and to give the appearance of generosity.

        Sympathy for the devil: Somewhere berried deep inside of him is the last remnants of a conscience which he suppresses with what ever he can stuff or huff into his gullet; Alleged drugs, booze and KFC.

        Rob Ford may not say what he’s told to say but he toes the neoliberal line.

      • Stevedore says:

        Ah, I think I see what you mean. Yes, and because he has so much trouble complying with the most basic rules of etiquette, professionalism or the criminal law, Ford Nation still sees him as “anti-establishment.” Useful idiots, all.

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