Saturday, December 07, 2013

If Nigel Wright is a "Hero" ...

According to Christie Blatchford, Canadians apparently should revere Nigel Wright and his actions in the Senate Expenses mess.

I don't believe that Mr. Wright was acting in a knowingly criminal manner - I have always thought that he believed firmly that he was acting within the bounds of his job and responsibilities.

However, having said that, Ms. Blatchford's analysis misses a few things.

First, Mr. Wright was smack in the midst of a conspiracy to cover things up when there was a looming audit that was almost guaranteed to generate a lot of bad press.

Second, based on the evidence available to this point, the issue of repaying Duffy's expenses appears to have devolved to Wright after the Conservative Fund (headed up by Senator Gerstein) decided to balk at the amount to be repaid.  Whether or not Wright's action in giving Duffy a cheque for $90,000 were strictly legal, they certainly have the whiff of political cover-up at the very least and poor moral judgment on Wright's part.

The real question that should be asked is why bother with trying to hide the expenses of a single, errant senator?  What about Mike Duffy was so important to the party that they felt it necessary to go to these lengths to protect him from scrutiny?  Would it not have been far simpler to direct Mr. Duffy to his bankers to extend his loans to cover the amount in question?  Last, but far from least, the degree of Mr. Harper's involvement and awareness in this whole mess deserves scrutiny as well.

Mr. Wright is far from the "villain" in all of this.  He no doubt had been told by his boss to "make the problem go away".  He tried ... and failed.  Unfortunately for Mr. Wright, his choice of actions are at best a sign of poor judgment.  He may have acted as the lesser player in the entire mess, but that does not make him any kind of "hero".


bazie said...

"I don't believe that Mr. Wright was acting in a knowingly criminal manner - I have always thought that he believed firmly that he was acting within the bounds of his job and responsibilities."

I'm not going to insult Wright's intelligence by assuming that he was too stupid to recognize that his actions - actions that took up literally weeks of back and forth between a range of people - were at the very best highly morally grey. I suspect that he was indeed very aware that the actions being considered stepped far outside the appropriate role of his job. If you want to give a possible narrative that doesn't paint him in such a negative light, I think it is better to speak to the pressures he undoubtedly faced to take this action that I am sure he was well aware was inappropriate and immoral.

MgS said...

Don't forget the "bubble effect" that happens in political environments. People can self-justify a lot of crazy things which only make sense in the context of the bubble they are in. In that context, I believe he thought he was within bounds.

Objectively, Wright's actions are at best morally and ethically suspect, and possibly even criminal at some level.

I am by no means defending Wright in this post, rather calling into question Blatchford's analysis of the situation.

the salamander said...

.. lost in the mainstream media slants.. is the reality that a paid horde of unelected Harper serpents (not behaving as public servants) were in this up to their necks on a daily, even hourly basis.

Like dung beetles, this is their ecology.. to consume and break down & distribute shit..

So to believe that Ray Novak was not being a conduit to Stevie?, nor Jenni Byrne, nor Stephen Lecce, nor Peter Van Loan, or Fred de Loray or Arthur Hamilton is way far beyond ludicrous..

And at the same time they were juggling obstruction of truth re National Energy Board's fake review of Northern Gateway, pressing their malice re First Nations, bungling Arctic patrol vessels & F35's lies, agreeing that spying on G20 was good, whether legal or not.. and still trying to bury electoral fraud ever deeper under their political & unethical dung heap..

Busy people, these unelected, self righteous Harper folk.. and above the law? They believe they are the law.. !!

Anonymous said...

I'm perplexed why anyone would think Nigel Wright was ever honourable, other than his physical appearance.
Why did he take a massive pay cut to work for Harper instead of staying in the corporate sector? Something was very about that deal. It wasn't to serve the public.