There are so many questions raised by the disclosure, by the Prime Minister’s Office no less, that the Chief of Staff cut a personal cheque to cover Mike Duffy’s illegitimate claims for a housing allowance in the place where he has been ordinarily resident for decades, that even to list them is a challenge.
The problem with most of the questions is that they start a bit later in the scenario than they should.
First up, was Mike Duffy promised a Senate seat if he worked really hard to sabotage the Liberals in the 2008 election?
I had been interviewed by Mike Duffy and known him for years. I was fond of him. I never thought he was biased one way or the other – until his coverage of the 2008 campaign. Some may recall me taking him on in a live interview when his introductory set up for Peter MacKay (interviewed just ahead of me) was so outrageous that I accused him of a lapse in journalistic ethics. When the interview was over, I remember thinking, “Well, I will never be on Mike Duffy Live ever again.” And when he was appointed to the Senate right after the election, I knew I was right as the show ceased to exist. His lapse of ethics was more spectacularly evident in broadcasting out-takes from the Atlantic bureau’s interview with Stéphane Dion. Opportunities to do “re-asks” are not uncommon and they are never broadcast. Doing so, when Dion’s team had been told they could ask the questions over again, was outrageous. It clearly impacted the election results.
The other questions also matter. Did the Prime Minister promise Duffy he would fix the financial and legal mess created by false claims for a housing allowance? Why would the Prime Minister do such a thing? Does Duffy have anything he can hold over the PM, such as proof of the Senate seat for journalistic shilling in an election campaign? Did the Prime Minister ask his Chief of Staff to write the cheque? Frankly, I can see no other reason why a smart person like Nigel Wright would do something so obviously wrong, unless he was directed to do so by the Prime Minister.
Normal people are asking questions like “who has $90,000 in their chequing accounts? Who has $90,000 in their chequing account and they have it to spare in case someone needs it?”
None of these questions matter as much as why is it that no reporter has been able to get a response from anyone in Harper’s administration about the chemistry of the atmosphere now being dangerously altered. The news that we have hit 400 ppm of carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere makes Mike Duffy’s expense account scandal look like the petty criminality it likely is. And, of course, there are approximately 1% as many words in our press about the 400 ppm news as there is about the Mike Duffy scandal.
The big crime continues to hide in plain sight while Stephen Harper continues his looting of our children’s future.
UPDATE: Just received news that Nigel Wright has fallen on his sword for the PM and become the literal fall guy. All questions still stand.