Tuesday, June 07, 2005

7 June, 2005: K.M. Grace, Countdown to Immolation

COUNTDOWN TO IMMOLATION by Kevin Michael Grace, 2.55 p.m., 7 June 2005 (originally published in 'The Ambler')

A few days ago I had a long conversation with well-known Western Canadian activist of unimpeachable integrity, a fellow I have known since 1992. Mostly I listened, and he ranted. Canada was no longer a democracy, he told me. The Liberals must be brought down. By any means necessary. If this means working with "the Devil," he said, so be it. Yes, we were talking about Gurmant Grewal.

One does get weary of being accused of trading in moral equivalency. My activist friend berated me hotly for harping on the Conservative mote while ignoring the Liberal beam. I responded, as politely as I could, that I didn't need (or appreciate) any lectures on Liberal perfidy. My record in this regard speaks for itself. Even so, said my friend, it's well past time all you fair-weather friends in the media got behind Stephen Harper and his party.

Bollocks to that. If the Conservatives or any other party want my services as a propagandist, they can make me an offer, and I might consider it. The enemy of my enemy is not my friend. I had hoped the Canadian "Right" had put aside Pecksniffery when it put paid to Preston Manning. No such luck. One gets especially weary of being told that "Everybody's doing it" is not a good excuse. It's a perfectly good excuse, if the "it" in question is blameless. There is nothing wrong with inducing MPs to cross the floor or step aside with the promise of future preferment. This is called "patronage," and, yes, everybody does it. People do not enter politics because they want to "make the world a better place" or whatever; they enter politics because they want to get ahead.

The Conservative Party is not a crusade. It is a party conceived in deceit and betrayal, midwifed by oligarchy, committed to binning every policy that once distinguished Reform from the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives. Stephen Harper's "hidden agenda" is no agenda at all; it is a praxis: By any means necessary. You thought we stood for something, did you? Oh, grow up.

I strongly recommend that readers head over to a site called Buckets of Grewal. (Thanks to Blank Out Times for the heads up.) Therein you will find proof that Grewal's tapes have been edited repeatedly in order to exculpate Gurmant Grewal and incriminate Tim Murphy, Ujjal Dosanjh, Joe Volpe and Paul Martin. Such is the extent of the editing that the result can be described only as fraud.

And Stephen Harper and his minions are up to their necks in it. Check out this slideshow of some of the excisions. It is now glaringly obvious that the excuse given by the Conservative Party for the "glitches" in the tapes is not physically possible. Anyone who has ever made CDs knows that files are often truncated, but these truncations are caused by corrupt source materials—the computer attempts repeatedly to write the corrupted file to the disc, gives up, then moves on to the next file in the chain. What the computer does not do is repeatedly stop and restart the transfer, conveniently omitting embarrassing material. The Conservative press release was not merely a pons asinorum; it was another fraud. No wonder they buried it.

The Conservatives, presumably the Official Opposition Leader's Office, had possession of the Grewal tapes for two weeks before various versions of them began to be released. It is now indisputable that the Conservatives connived in the tampering of the tapes or engaged in a cover up of the tampering or both.

Gurmant Grewal was sent to Coventry yesterday, i.e., took "stress leave." (And did he present a note from a physician, I wonder.) Effectively—and this has been mentioned nowhere else that I know of—he accepted temporary suspension, with pay, from the Conservative caucus. Apparently Harper believes this—combined with the Ethics Commissioner's investigation—will silence discussion of his little local difficulty. Sorry, chaps, can't discuss it. Ongoing investigation, you know.

It's not going to work. Conservative MPs, including Peter MacKay, are putting as much daylight between themselves and Grewal as they can. Grewal, as Saturday's nervous collapse at Vancouver Airport testifies, has added desperation and madness to his previously existing character set of ignorance, arrogance, stupidity, vanity and venality. It is a near certainty he will shortly shop Harper just as he shopped Murphy and Dosanjh.

Shortly, too, the Press Gallery will wake from its slumber and ask Stephen Harper some pertinent questions:
  1. What was the provenance of the Grewal tapes for the fortnight after his May 18 press conference?
  2. Who tampered with the tapes?
  3. Who authorized the release of the tampered tapes?
  4. Who authorized the June 2 press release?
  5. And that old Watergate favourite: What did Stephen Harper know, and when did he know it?
I was wrong about the Grewal affair. It is not a "skit." It has become a conflagration that will consume Stephen Harper and doom any chance the Conservatives had of ousting Paul Martin. So my question for my Western Canadian activist friend (and all the other members of the Our Stephen Harper Fan Club) is this: How do you like your cloven-hoofed boy now?