Public intellectual (II) -

Public intellectual (II)


Douglas Bell responds to Andrew Steele’s advice for Michael Ignatieff.

Steele points to Ignatieff’s review of Leslie Gelb’s new book on American foreign policy as a good example of what Ig ought to be doing, ie exercising his considerable skills as a writer and intellectual to augment the leadership grind … True. But I would also suggest it’s all a bit of a mixed blessing. Here are two things that bug me about Ignatieff’s writing, his style of intellection and ultimately his leadership. On bad days he can be both glib and needlessly scheming. Both cropped up recently.

As one example of Ignatieff’s diabolical nature, Bell cites the Liberal leader calling Brian Mulroney to wish him him a happy birthday. Because, as everyone obviously knows, no one ever just wishes someone else a happy birthday. Not to mention that, as is generally accepted by those pure of spirit, no one accused of political crimes really deserves to have their birthday recognized anyway.


Public intellectual (II)

  1. SH: “Let him eat cake.”

  2. Bell seems a bit of a nit picker. Nothing wrong with that Iggy piece – bit cheeky phoning Brian up though; still, “no whore like an old whore,”eh Brian!

  3. Just wondering, but am I missing some pre-existing relationship between Ignatieff and Mulroney to actually explain the call? And if not, how many people are in the habit of calling up others they don’t know (but who happen to be well-connected and/or former occupants of one’s desired job) to offer up personal greetings?

    • Hard to say. If not for the vigilance of investigative journalist Bob Fife, who’d a known? Didn’t he also scoop that story when Brittany went out for a night with Paris?

      • Fife is the reason why some Scots wear skirts, in honour of his prowess with the fair sex.

  4. I think the point is not that Ignatieff called up Mulroney, it’s that his media relations staff planted the story that he had done so … in other words, Iggy wanted it known that he had placed the call.

    • More likely it was Mulroney’s people – Robin Sears, L Ian MacDonald or whomever- I suspect they arranged the phone call as well. Doubtful Iggy was prompted by an e-mail from reminding him that it was Mulroney’s 70th, and btw, here’s his Palm Beach phone number…

  5. This is completely not regarding this (but i do find it interesting!)
    However, I would really really like to understand how this is possible..

    Women better educated, still paid less: Statscan


    Globe and Mail and Canadian Press

    May 1, 2008 at 11:08 AM EDT
    TORONTO — Young women are better educated but still make less than their male counterparts upon entering the work force, the latest census figures show.

    The Statistics Canada release on income and earning show women aged 25 to 29 made 85 cents for every dollar earned by men in the workplace in 2005 – a 15-cent gender gap that has remained constant in the last five years. The median income for women in 2005 was $32,104 compared with men who earned $37,104.

    Essentially, just wondering, how it can be that a man and a woman doing the same job do not get paid the same amount of money? Don’t the bosses know that’s not right? What happens, they get their paychecks and why isn’t something done about it? As a soon-to-be university graduate, heading into business or law, I’m wondering how “practically” is possible?

    • That statistic alone doesn’t say that women are paid less for doing the same job. As a group, women also work fewer hours, take more time off for child-rearing, make different job choices,… Nevertheless, there are studies that show women are still paid somewhat less (I recall 5% or so) when these factors are taken into account. It happens on a case by case basis, where the people setting the salaries are typically not aware that they are undervaluing women or overvaluing men. It is only when you look over the large group that you see the difference.

    • The comparisons made in pay equity stats are looking at equal pay for work of equal value, not equal pay for the same job. Jobs that have traditionally been filled by women have traditionally been paid less. That is the gap that people are now trying to close.
      However, the situation you describe, women being paid less for the same job, did exist quite openly in the past.

  6. So, we’re so backward that the big news of the day is that Ignatieff called Mulroney – good grief. Hello! In the US, for example, former presidents call each other and help each other.

    It’s 2009 – let’s stop this pettiness. Is it a requirement that former PM’s and leaders of parties have to hate each other?