Saturday, March 19, 2011

Paul Carson and the harpercons

There's something about this Paul Carson guy that seems to typify the entire harpercon culture.

Paul Carson is 66 years old. He was a lawyer who lost his license for some (
apparently small scalemore like stealing $20,000 from his clients!) criminal behaviour. He became an adviser and political fixer for the Canadian federal "conservative" movement. He became one of stephen harper's personal advisers, before obtaining some serious wingnut welfare position as the head of the harpercon created Canada School of Energy and Environment in Canada (created with a harpercon federal grant in 2007).

Now, somewhere between 2008 and 2010 it appears that Carson became involved with (now 22-year old) Michelle McPherson. McPherson was, at one time, an Ottawa escort.

[Right off the bat I'd like to say that I don't see any moral problems with something like an "April-December 29th" romance. Whatever. Anything's possible. I also don't have that much of a problem with prostitution. I especially don't have any problems whatsoever with the prostitutes themselves. Sex is morally neutral. It's their bodies, and it's their lives. Whatever. Personally, I don't think that I would ever avail myself of a prostitute's services but only because I can't be sure that they're not being coerced with physical threats or by bitter economic necessity.]

All that having been said, the idea that a 66-year old man getting engaged to a 22-year old former escort, is bad optics.

But I wouldn't even be talking about this stuff if not for the real scandal. That link to "Accidental Deliberations" is pretty cool. It assembles some reporting and commentary that you all should read.

Basically, the story goes like this: When a health crisis erupted at the Kashechewan Reserve after decades of Liberal mismanagement and neglect, Paul Martin's minority government was forced to cobble together the Kelowna Accord. When Martin told the NDP to go fuck themselves over their concerns about health care privatization and his government fell, the Liberals were defeated in the ensuing election and the nauseating stephen harper came to power. Being a complete scumbag, harper cancelled the Kelowna Accord, including the money for building the infrastructure for providing safe drinking water to First Nations reserves.

Of course, not even harper (at least at the time) had the unmitigated gall to try to pretend that everything was hunky-dory at places like Kashechewan. They would provide money to help these reserves obtain clean drinking water. They said it, but they didn't do it.

What they did announce, with great fanfare, was the legislating of tough, new water quality standards for First Nations reserves, but, as the Globe & Mail reports (and hat-tip to "Accidental Deliberations"):
First nations leaders were allegedly being warned by the promoters of the H2O Pro system that new legislation before the Senate will require them to meet stringent drinking water standards but will provide no resources to do so.
And then Carson came along with H20PRO and some helpful advice:
The communities were allegedly told that government connections could be used to find money for the equipment and training if they purchased the systems.
Nice 'eh? Our long-suffering First Nations are being used as a cash-cow for racist politicians and their crooked hangers-on. And, apparently, as part of the extortion, Carson's fiancee was being given 20 percent off the top of these water contracts, just for showing up as H20PRO's agent. (This WAS extortion. They were being forced to clean up their water. They weren't given the resources to do it. They were told that buying the resources from the politically connected company MIGHT allow them to access the money to give their communities safe drinking water and avoid penalties for not complying with federal legislation.) And then, to top off the racism, the extortion, and the sleaze, the connected harpercon stooge wants to soak the First Nations even more by attaching a 20% gratuity for his trophy wife.

There is something about the naked corruption, thuggishness, and crudely obvious criminality of Carson's behaviour that makes this scandal so emblematic of the harpercon government in general. As well, the titanic levels of incompetence (Carson's blatant influence-peddling and self-aggrandizement were all revealed after all) give it that typical harpercon flavour. This whole movement is the slip-shod construction of a political movement out of fifth-rate hacks and goons.

Just look for yourself at the sort of people associated with this nauseating government:

One of harper's front-bench champions is the always idiotic, always bullying, always pathetic John Baird.

Then we have Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet, who took $11.5 million dollars to scream at her staff and not do her job.

There's Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's Shirish Chotalia who likewise creates toxic work environments and prevents the institution she's paid to lead from doing its work.

There are the cowardly, Zionist-imperialist simp bullies dragging Rights and Democracy into despair and irrelevance.

One and all these harpercon shills reveal themselves to be bullies and incompetents. With this Paul Carson specimen we see all that and more. I suspect the whole underside of a rock that is Canada's organized "conservative" movement is equally sleazy, corrupt, and pathetic.

Canada has always had its flaws, but we are better than this as a people.


Kev said...

That's quite the compendium of graft and corruption and the worst thing is that you just scratched the surface and could have made a list of transgressions a mile long.

With Carson having met with Kent as recently as last month it is becoming increasingly difficult for Harper to create space between Carson and himself.

thwap said...

Unless the people harper appointed to enforce his lobbying rules were the utter incompetents they appear to be.

But that would mean the cabinet ministers harper appointed were also clueless, if they didn't inquire with harper after being lobbied by his formal personal adviser.

Like "AdScam" it is possible that harper, like Martin, wasn't in the loop, but it's even more dubious than Martin's supposed ignorance of what the Liberals in Quebec were up to.

The main thing for me is that I don't want to be associated with these scumbags.