Look at us, we’re doing stuff


In case you’re wondering why various news outlets are currently festooned with photographs of the Prime Minister and various members of his cabinet standing around awkwardly…



OTTAWA – Public event for Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Tuesday, January 27th is:


9:15 a.m.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet with key economic ministers.

Office of the Prime Minister

307-S Centre Block

House of Commons

*Photo opportunity only*


And in case you’re wondering how this blog could be updated from inside the budget lock-up, rest assured it couldn’t and I’m not there. Man has not yet invented a lock-up that could hold me.


Look at us, we’re doing stuff

  1. HA! I was just wondering that AND came to Macleans to find out if anyone knew why these ridiculous photos were all over the internet.

    In one of them, Minister Finley points at a document as Minister Flaherty looks on. That’s how I know things were being negotiated right down to the last minute!

  2. Something had to be done. The Master Strategist had put his government in the position of making it look like Michael Ignatieff was calling all the shots and making all the big decisions.

  3. But they’re not “doing stuff.” They are simply stand-ins for a competent government.

  4. People losing jobs, worried about their pensions, and all TheStrategist ™ can do is to use taxpayer resources (Aaron forgot to mention the sitting map) to arrange a photo-op.

    What a tone-deaf moron!

  5. You guys are taking a very conventional (and boring) photo shoot way too seriously.

    • Actually not. This government prefers to create images over substance — think warm blue sweaters. The G&M currently features on its front page the exact photo described here — and it made me laugh when I saw it. The men all in shirtsleeves — hard at work, says the photo — flanked by the two female ministers — girls ARE allowed, it turns out, and their input is taken seriously. They are sort of poised on the arms of the couch — just like my son’s girlfriend likes to sit on the arm of his chair. They are the handmaids, I guess — but they’re right there in the room, and they’re helping to make policy!

      It’s all meant to build a team player image for the very non-team player prime minister, and his ministers. Who really are nothing but photo opps, as it turns out.

      Honestly, I just wish the media would say no. Don’t show up to the photo opp, don’t take the photos, don’t distribute them. Ask for more. Do it for us.

      • What they really need to do, to prove that they’re truly working, is to have one of them with his shirt sleeves rolled up.

        Let’s say Stockwell Day. It would go well with the cup he’s holding; very “Stockwell Day grabs a cup of coffee after a hard day helping the government with… whatever it is he does.”

    • Fair point, but you have to admit the ‘optics’ of the situation aren’t the greatest. Personally, I find the one of the webpage of the Globe and Mail kind of funny. On the left you have the Finance Minister all smiling and happy, and on the right you have Stockwell Day giving a very pained facial expression. I wonder what they were talking about that would give them those expressions.

      • If only Dion could save us all from this maddening budget! Please Dion, become PM!

      • Well it smacks of trying too hard. Their record is very thin, so they must concoct a visual to try and fool people into thinking that these guy work (doing this kind of photo-op actually takes a minister away from actually working).
        But that’s all secondary. It’s *all* about the image and perception. If Harper could stand a bit of scrutiny and be accountable for his *work,* then he would be much more open to taking questions and, you know, being accountable for his actions, such as they are.

        • Why do they bother? I’v’e yet to see this govt produce even one convincing or memorable image. It’s not that i blame them. It’s that they’re all such naturals, don’t you think! Stick to what yr paid to do guys unless you actually can act!

  6. “Man has not yet invented a lock-up that could hold me.”

    Aaron Wherry . . . (not quite International) Man of—er—Mystery

  7. Man has not yet invented a lock-up that could hold me.

    Great. Then may I suggest that instead of blogging for weeks on end about the plight of Omar Khadr, you do something about it.

    1) Go and visit Khadr in Guantanamo
    2) Do something to get yourself incarcerated while you are down there
    3) Break out. Take Khadr with you.

    Problem solved.

    • Does Wherry come to your house and force you to read them? If not, and the Khadr posts make you so obviously unhappy, there’s an easier solution to the problem than what you’ve suggested.

      • Wherry makes house calls now? That’s awesome! How much does he charge?

        • Under normal circumstances, I would let him do his talking for himself, but I have reason to believe he’s locked up. I don’t think Wherry makes house calls, but if I’m wrong and in fact he does, I don’t know how much he charges. You’ll have to wait ’til he’s out of stir.

      • If your solution is that I stop reading the posts, how will that help poor Omar?

        • If I’m mistaken and you are actually interested in helping poor Omar, then I apologize. I certainly wouldn’t want you to deprive yourself of opportunities for personal growth, etc., due to a simple misunderstanding.
          But, if I’m not mistaken, and you are not interested in helping poor Omar, then 1- isn’t not reading and not helping easier than reading and helping, 2- especially when reading and not helping appears to make you so cranky?