Barbara Amiel on Rob Ford’s loose ends

Never mind Toronto, the only damage done is to himself


Nathan Denette/CP

A cartoon in the British Spectator magazine last spring shows a skinny mother, one hand on her hip, the other waving a bag of something in a fat teenager’s face: “This bag of white crystals I found in your room,” reads the caption, “please tell me it’s drugs, not sugar.” Here in Toronto, the mum’s dream came true and Toronto’s worthies discovered their wildest hopes had been realized: The mysterious video of Mayor Rob Ford smoking what appears to be crack and looking beyond wasted was real. Manna from heaven for the left—albeit in the form of cheap basing. Yep, our mayor is a closet baser.

I probably would have voted for Ford in the last election since I think it more important to get the garbage picked up regularly than celebrate Toronto as a nuclear-weapons-free zone. For me, a good mayor is either a great visionary or a good janitor. Great visionaries are in short supply and more often than not suffer from astigmatism. Ford was an efficient janitor who, unlike his predecessor David Miller, did not think the answer to everything was higher public-sector wages and new taxes. “What’s the story on your mayor?” friends in the U.K. email me and all I can say is, as a mayor, OK, but he’s got a few loose ends in his personal life.

I’ve known some rounders in my time. Ford worked hard and played hard and his mates were rounders. As far as I can see, he always hung out with them. Perhaps they seemed hip and in the know, easy after an uptight day in city hall. Their boozy chumminess clicked with his cultural tic. That’s deadly because, sooner or later, rounders will drag you into their sleazy little world of crooked deals, intoxication and anything that makes a buck out of someone else’s misery. They will have mates willing to sell you out to the Toronto Star for a few thousand. In a world where everything can be taped, playing with rounders is a crapshoot and Ford lost. Probably it’s my U.K. upbringing, that love of hypocrisy so dear to the British, but so long as you watch your manners in public, I’m not too fussed by what you do for your private entertainment, short of violence. However, there is a level of politesse that a public person must exhibit. Ford’s intoxicated persona is boorish and unsuitable for office, so goodbye.

The remarks about the damage he has done to the image of Toronto are tripe. The only damage done is to himself. Do you look down on Washington because mayor Barry smoked crack, went to jail and then was re-elected mayor? Do you look down on Rome because prime minister Silvio Berlusconi paid underage Ruby the Heart Stealer for sex and then survived votes of no-confidence? Well, obviously not, but you won’t get on CBC or quoted unless you say with a dead-serious face that this is a day of shame, locusts, plague and darkness for all Torontonians. This sort of idiotic sound bite has been especially loved by robotic thinkers who have been weighing in en masse on how destructive this is to Toronto’s image abroad. “The world is laughing at us, not with us,” said one, assuming sackcloth and ashes for all. More to the point was Conan O’Brien: “The mayor was charged with being way too exciting for Toronto.”

When you are considered right of centre in your politics, you have to be doubly sure to keep your nose clean. Whether on the international, national or municipal stage, the minute the status quo is threatened by talk about balanced budgets (which inevitably means cutting civil servants) or immigration policy designed to fit the national interest rather than some diversity theory, the left will start hounding, investigating and putting snitches into your staff. The great and the good of the land most often sit on the left side of politics and have strong views about the right sort of person for the governing classes. They don’t like overweight Joes from suburbia. If, on the other hand, you are “clubbable” like Dalton McGuinty (two university degrees, boyish trim looks, very keen on wind turbines), when a billion dollars goes missing in the wind together with deleted emails and files, it seems only to build your resumé into a Harvard appointment.

If you are Brian Mulroney, being groomed and well-educated won’t help when you have right-wing friends like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and anti-statist policies like cancelling the National Energy Program, privatizing Crown corporations, as well as being architect of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. False allegations of Mulroney accepting a bribe went on for years and, even after he was cleared, his most scurrilous accuser was awarded an Order of Canada. Stephen Harper avoids all personal scandal, cultivates his policy-wonk identity and politically survives by cautiously moving left if absolutely necessary. Hard to remember him from his days as president of the National Citizens Coalition.

One puzzle in the Ford matter: Toronto’s police force is by and large excellent, but I’ve never encountered a police chief—or at least one who retained his job—like Toronto’s Chief Bill Blair, who holds a press conference to say he can’t give any info about evidence because his job is only to investigate but, by the way, speaking as a citizen, he’s disappointed in Ford and yes, the Toronto Star description of the Ford video is accurate. Normally, commenting on a piece of evidence this way—even if it had been to say how relieved he was to announce press reports of the video were not accurate—would taint the investigation with partisan politics and imperil the prosecution of Alexander Lisi, Ford’s sometime driver and the apparent target of the police investigation. But I like my caffeine strong, my codeine on prescription and my police force close-mouthed and publicity-shy. Them were the days.

Have a comment to share? barbara.amiel@macleans.rogers.com

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Barbara Amiel on Rob Ford’s loose ends

  1. The good side of it all, is that Ford now is a well known celebrity, this is where I see him next, Hollywood,

    • You think Hollywood wants someone so volatile? This is a one-time flameout reality which can’t be sustained without Ford ending up very sick.

  2. There are many more true victims. Think about about people that aren’t wealthy and privileged like you.

  3. Apparently Rob Ford should have hobnobbed with Benjamin Levin if he wanted to avoid the self proclaimed “elites”wrath,and all insiders know that Justin Trudeau got his marijuana grown and delivered by cherubs with speckled wings.

    • If you have any proof that Trudeau hangs around murderers, present it.

      • Does Fidel Castro fit the bill?

    • Harper has commercialized medical marijuana and Canada’s police chiefs aren’t interested in charging people for smoking anymore. The majority favour either decriminalization or legalizing marijuana. You’ll have to find another way to demonize Trudeau, who, by the way, supports most of what Harper does economically (which is why I don’t support him).

    • Actually, compassion clubs aren’t involved in gun violence and they try to help people. Mob mentality is a constant careening violent soap opera as we can see with the Fords. So did all Cons get a script? “Have you EVER smoked MARA-WANA? YES or NO?” Right, Doug. Whatever.

  4. That was two minutes I’ll never get back. Nothing more than the usual Ford Nation blather except with bigger words. Bonus points for “scurrilous” – she must have borrowed Conrad’s thesaurus.

    • Honestly, it sounds to me like Conrad wrote that article. She’s just as pompous and irritating as he is.

      • She admits she has had her share of acquaintances who are rounders. Hell, she is married to one!

  5. “When you are considered right of centre in your politics, you have to be doubly sure to keep your nose clean.” Yes, I’m sure that if Rob Ford was more left of centre in his politics he’d be getting a free pass from the Canadian media, or at worst a slap on the wrist and an admonition to comport himself in a more seemly fashion (at least while
    the cameras are rolling). Does anyone other than Barbara Amiel see the disaster which is Rob Ford as little more than an ideological battle between left and right?

    “The great and the good of the land most often sit on the left side of politics and have strong views about the right sort of person for the governing classes. They don’t like
    overweight Joes from suburbia.” Oh dear, there she goes again with the “left vs. right” argument again. I’d suggest that “the great and the good of the land” – and, more importantly, almost everyone else in the country – don’t have a problem with “overweight Joes from suburbia” (by the way, thanks, Ms Amiel, for your delightful categorization of a large swathe of Canadians). They do, quite rightly, have a problem with any elected official, of any political stripe, who confesses to smoking crack cocaine, driving drunk, being in a “drunken stupor” more than once, and making tasteless and vulgar comments which would be considered crude in a locker room, let alone live on TV (you know you’ve crossed a line when a professional sports team scrambles to distance itself from your remarks). As to how Ford’s behaviours and remarks have affected his wife and children: well, a man who seems to show no concern for how what he does and says affects the people who are supposed to be nearest and dearest to him probably doesn’t have much more concern for the people he’s supposed to be governing.

    This isn’t “left vs. right” or “elitists vs. ordinary Joes”; this is a deeply flawed man with seemingly multiple addictions, no concern for the truth, no self-control, and no perception of how his actions impact on others, in a state of denial that is frightening to anyone looking on from outside. Unfortunately, rather a lot of people around the world are looking on from the outside, and will conflate Toronto with its Mayor. It’s not ideology; it’s human nature.

    • He kinda reminds you of Conrad Black doesn’t he?

      • Yes somewhat but less full of himself.

    • Well said. Absolutely correct. It seems that well-rounded politicians with leadership qualities are in very short supply today – regardless of their political stripe. But when we accept a person as flawed as Rob Ford as the Chief Magistrate of our largest city, regardless of his policies & their success or failure, we have indeed reached an extreme low.

      • “Well-rounded politicians”

        Thanks for that!

    • Blah. Blah. Blah. Lefties. Blah. Blah. Blah. Elites. Blah. Blah. Blah. You just hate fat people. Blah. Blah. Blah. Gravy train. Blah. Blah. Blah. Please shoot me now so I don’t have to listen to more drivel.

  6. Is this what we have come to.letting cocaine smoking,alcoholic people run this great country that we live in. HOW SAD!! We are defending people of such important positions.

    • If they are right wing, their core base will support them no matter what. It is good to see so many right of centre folks now denouncing Ford and admitting that they made a mistake.

  7. ‘Ford’s intoxicated persona is boorish and unsuitable for office, so goodbye.’ Thanks for your analysis of the Rob Ford Travesty. You and Conrad are a beacon of moral rectitude that is above reproach. We give thanks and praise!

  8. I am overwhelmed at how people say just about anything and everything, the ignorance here is UNREAL but yet I know that the majority of people are not like that, it is only a few bad apples, and they make the most noise, I sort of feel bad for Ford, and his folllowers

    • Your ignorance is all too real. I wish it were UNREAL, but alas…you support Rob Ford.

  9. Pseudo intellectual tripe. Ford does represent a certain, special kind of stupid. He is no conservative. Hilarious to watch this privileged, self entitled high society schlub defend Fords actions.

    Birds of a feather, it seems. This is apparently the new conservative way. Deny, deny, deny then when caught, make a phony apology and expect that all will be forgiven.

    If the man was left wing, you would have skewered him. Shameless partisan hackery from a truly reprehensible individual.

  10. I am tired of the “poor little me” syndrome of some the Toronto ‘s people. The wynne/mcguinty is the REAL problem for -All of Ontatians

    • nice try conservative staffer

    • No doubt there are issues on the provincial front that need more media attention than they are getting because of the Ford circus. Neither excuses the other. But at least on the provincial level the opposition parties can send Wynne to the voters whenever they choose (more or less). Toronto appears to be stuck with Ford until the next municipal election date.

  11. Damn, this woman is an imbecile! The only way she could be dumber is if she was bigger.

  12. A rapist sympathizer, married to a sociopathic crook, supports Rob Ford. Call me gobsmacked!

  13. How about Fantana Mayor of London 3 charges but he’s a Lieberal…

  14. This comment was deleted.

    • Congratulations on writing the smallest comment I’ve seen all year.

  15. One should be neither ashamed nor proud of one’s poverty or humble beginnings. It’s another thing entirely to act poor, regardless of your economic situation.

    Dignity is more valuable than wealth, and those who have it behave accordingly. Those lacking dignity fool nobody.

    I have more respect for the low-wage worker struggling to survive with her held held high than I do for Mayor Ford, a man born into wealth but not with self-respect. The former does not allow her circumstances to define her The latter is a self-indulgent pig in real danger of drowning in his own swill. Whichever indulgence it is that does him in eventually- be it crack, alcohol, or obesity- it is no fault of societal injustice that will have brought him low.

    Perhaps that is the origin of his refusal to assist the poor. Seeing himself the victim of his own misbehavior, he presumes that everyone dooms themselves. His apologies are acts of contrition, a few Hail Mary’s thrown out casually after the act as if that’s all that is needed to avoid the consequences of his behavior. He presumes that those who do suffer suffer only for a lack of this formality. One can merely apologize his way out of anything.

  16. If Rob Ford was a dapper latte sipping elite he would still be facing public scrutiny.

    Why does he use municipal staff to change lightbulbs in his home anyway ? Is this a good use of public taxes ?

    • Yes. It frees the mayor up to answer phone calls about potholes, trees and fences. Now seriously, imagine the reaction if Kathleen Wynne was found to be using her highly paid political staff to do the same things as Ford. Ford Nation and their sycophants would go on a general strike.

    • And you honestly believe those lightbulbs were all that got a bit of the old twisteroo?

  17. To pluck one gem from this hilarious column, er, the bribe allegations against Mulroney aren’t true? What crack have you been smoking Amiel?

    • Damn right Derek !
      Now, give us all the details showing proof that the allegations Amiel was referring to are true.
      Don`t be afraid to use Stevie Cameron as a reference.

    • The envelope stuff was after he was out, for lobbying. I don’t know for certain, but I’m pretty sure you can’t be bribed when you hold no office.

    • If Rob and Cawm in this thread truly believe Mulroney was paid ($250K cash in envelopes no less!) for his post-PM lobbying activities and not because of the Airbus purchase while AC was a Crown corp under his premiership, then congrats on your typing abilities because you both must’ve been born yesterday.

  18. Toronto’s image is damaged and not just because of Ford. It’s damaged because somebody like Ford has the backing to not only come to power, but to continue to hold onto it. It makes Toronto look like a bunch of suburban bumpkins who will vote for anybody, no matter how low the sink, just so long as they save them $60.

    And if the mayor is supposed to be the chief administrator, out helping to foster trade deals, he’s not the guy you want out front.

    • The mayor does not foster trade deals.

        • The only trade “deal” we have is NAFTA. A trade mission is to elicite outside interest in locating to Toronto or setting up a subsidiary in Toronto.

          • Regardless, it was call a “trade mission”. And he is not the guy you want leading the charge.

          • I dunno. Doesn’t he describe himself as 300 lbs of fun? Trade missions usually involve much alcohol, partying and sports events.

          • True. But they don’t usually involve cracked out liars who get so drunk the pass out in the middle of the room after grabbing a bunch of @sses and slurring racist comments at cabbies.

          • You don’t know that, do you?

          • You are compounding your original sniping error with more. Canada has close to a dozen nation to nation trade agreements and another dozen or so in negotiation.

          • I was referencing Sugarlarry’s mention of Chicago. He didn’t mention Rob Ford going to Berlin or Bagota.

  19. What a load of elitist crap. The only way to cut costs is to cut the wages of civil servants? Really?

    I got news for you Babs, when you look around and all your friends are “rounders” as you say, or criminals like us lowly working class peasants call them, you are the company you keep. Do you see convicted criminals in your presence? Yeah that’s what I thought.

    Your only beef with Ford is he is “boorish”. After reading this “tripe” I would have a few boorish sentiments for you as well.

    • Yeah, that Stop Harper sign gives you all the credibility you deserve.

      • Like Amiel’s bias towards her criminal husband?

        • Nobody said anything about your husband.
          Why would you bother other folks` husbands.
          Maybe you have nothing better to say.

          • It’s hard to argue with law and order Conservatives like you defending the criminals in their ranks. Nobody can figure out where the hell you stand on things anymore except that to you, it’s only bad when the other guy does it.

          • I was right the first time. You have nothing to say.

      • ford nation = tea party

        • I don’t think that’s tea in their cups… or tobacco in their pipes.

          • i c wut you did there

    • Ugh.

      The beef with this guy is that he is a lying, crack smoking alcoholic. He talks about elitists, but I doubt you actually know what that word even means. It has nothing to do with lattes. It has everything to do with believing you should be treated differently than everybody else, and that is Ford to a tee.

      He thinks he should be able to do stuff that any of us would have been fired for long, long ago. He uses hard drugs, he splits from work constantly on personal business, he shows up at city functions drunk and/or high, he uses city and staff resources for personal reasons, AND he keeps getting caught in lies.

      It’s unbelievable that you don’t see this, but I guess not surprising. All it takes is for Ford to slap on an Argo’s jersey and he convinces you he’s an outsider and friend of the working man, despite being born the son of a rich man who was also part of the political establishment. You’re a sucker who has been conned by a moron. That’s quite the accomplishment.

  20. I fear Ford may be addicted to both legal & illegal white powders, including sugar.
    Obesity-related diseases kill as many Canadians each year as does smoking (each killing 40K+ Canadians each year), Alcohol causes deadly cardio-vascular & liver disease, cancer, & diabetes – diseases illicit drugs don’t cause. And forget crack, meth, & dreaded “bath salts”, good old alcohol is the most dangerously impairing popular drug there is.

    There are good rational & statistical reasons to believe Ford’s legal habits are far more damaging & deadly than are his illegal ones, including dreaded crack smoking.

    Why is our society so irrational, unjust, & hypocritical in its views towards substance use & abuse? I’d have more sympathy for Ford if he himself wasn’t a shameless drugs hypocrite. Publicly he’s been pro-drugs-war while privately indulging. He’s the drugs issues equivalent of the anti-gay pastors & politicians we see in the States who publicly preach against gays while personally cruising for gay sex themselves. Among the worst types of hypocrites, imo, are anti-gay & pro-drug-war ones like the dishonest Rob Ford.
    This makes him unfit for office, imo

  21. rounder: a habitual criminal or disreputable person

    We’re not completely sure Rob Ford knows what “left” and “right” are on the political spectrum. He probably thinks it has something to do with football, Anne Coulter, or listening to spurious talk shows on radio.

    Now that all the newspapers (left and right) are asking him to give it a rest, him and his brother have gone all warm and fuzzy for the U.S. as if us Canadians have all become nasty little Ford-hating lefties and therefore not worth the time of day.

    His so-called “coup” fails the definition too: it has left both the leader and the centre-right executive committee in power.

    Barbara did get one thing right: he hangs with those who seem ideologically inspired to do: “anything to make a buck out of someone else’s misery.” This is not to say that Rob Ford is ideologically inspired. Ideology is more than just being angry all the time and acting like a fool.

    As for his racism and homophobia, most of us know it as a form of low intelligence. Others know it as a penetrating and tear-invoking form of abject cruelty designed to hurt someone. I hardly think this kind of person should be encouraged as an ambassador to one of the largest cities in North America. At some point, the laughs die down and the reality kicks in.

  22. The usual bluster, bafflegab and gobbledegook from yet another ‘populist’ millionaire. Rob Ford is OK as Mayor? Really? We prefer Mayors who can actually explain their policy positions beyond catchy slogans and one sentence solutions to complex problems.

    And Ford’s decorum? Like driving DUI to a Danforth street festival and getting away with it? Having his Chief of Staff fired for telling him to get help. Six or seven fellow staffers quit rather than work with this man. Ford’s campaign manager, Kouvalis, also says he will not work for Ford unless he gets help.

    And those damn public servants? A predictable attack from the right on the people who keep this city running smoothly. They shouldn’t get a decent wage? Well Mr. Ford hired his old football, David Price, for $130K, twice the going rate and gave him the title of Director of Logistics. More like the Director of Thuggery, Windbaggery and Mendacity from a man who kind of personifies ‘bullyhood.’ Wonderful public servant, eh?

    Maybe this columnist should do some fact checking before she embarrasses herself so publicly. Speaking of embarrassing oneself publicly. Please Robby, do the right thing and step aside. We don’t wanna be world famous anymore!

    • You are responding to a article written by a person who would enthusiastically involve a secretary and a chauffeur in obstruction of justice!

  23. This is a less than thoughtful column. Disappointing.

    • For Amiel, it’s par for the course.

  24. Well, for everyone who thinks this is about elites vs. plebes, it doesn’t get much more Upper Canadian posh elitist than Amiel or her husband.

  25. Amiel is trying to make this political. The whole Ford debacle is about morals,integrity and honesty….nothing to do with with where you are on the political spectrum. You either have it or you don’t. Ford clearly doesn’t, Barbara, don’t know you enough to say, but you stay married to a guy who also clearly and legally doesn’t, so your views are not convincing.

    • And you are living in a dream world. The great and good of Toronto have been after Ford since the day following the election. T*rSt*ar has been having a melt down since then. It is political. George Smitherman was suppose to be the next mayor. They had it all worked out. John Tory stood aside rather than run against Smitherman. With McGuinty at the provincial helm, his right hand man as the mayor and John Tory heading the Toronto Civic Action Alliance just think of the damage they could have done. Toronto would be bankrupt along with the province.

  26. Dreadful column. Whiny and arrogant at the same time. Quite a feat.

  27. Damaged goods get elected sometimes by the Floored Nashon….the madness goes on!

  28. This left versus right lives in the minds of thugs and their supporters. They (be they left or right) turn political and societal issues into a wrestling match where there are only the good guys and the bad guys. This is the approach of street gangs: to exist you must have an enemy. I had imagined Ms. Amiel as smart and mature enough to have realised that all human beings are different from one another, so why the need to simplify everything down to the philosophical level of the world wrestling federation?

    Ms. Amiel would apparently vote for the re-election of Rob Ford if he were to promise to buy and use crack cocaine, get drunk and drive drunk, hang out with convicted criminals, as long as he disposes of her malodorous garbage efficiently. She has a very limited sense of smell.

  29. Barbara, one always knows where you stand. Unfortunately that tainted point of view, i.e. from the vantage of the wife of Lord Black, posits the template of privilege = those among us whose wealth impels us to pontificate, with the corollary of right = might. It’s easy to see Conrad as an amalgam of Rob and Stephen and why your sympathies would automatically side with them: blusterer and conniver, steamroller and henchman, schoolyard bully and gang boss.

  30. I know a few good janitors. They keep the place clean and don’t tend go on numerous drunken binges where they lose control of all faculties. The bad janitors do, though.

  31. Barbara Amiel; You troll almost as good as Rob Ford.

  32. Rob Ford is and remains simplistic. The only way to balance the budget is not to hack wages of public employees, you could also raise taxes. You could do a dozen things that don’t fall under the simplistic Less is More philosophy, but economics is a complicated science that requires hard thought and careful reading. The reason those lazy French are actually outperforming those austerians in England, and Germany may yet win the war and sink the Euro. Ford Nation’s philosophy is to excoriate public employees by showing them power snoozing through their morning break and displaying it on public media as evidence all public employees are overpaid sloths. Picts of Ford smoking (is crack actually illegal?) from a crack pipe, admitting to drunk driving to say nothing of reading a newspaper while driving, apparently are poor form. We’re beating up on the little guy. No, we’re beating up on an idiot who is incapable of imagining he wouldn’t get away with this. He’ll also never teach economics at Harvard. Neither will Barbara Amiel or Conrad Black.

  33. Yep, Ford hasn’t stolen from the people and doesn’t take low rent for council favors.

  34. There is no justification for fords behavior, and somehow justifying it on political grounds borders on the insane

  35. Would barb smile like her hubby to discuss their sex life in the same manner as ford about his? I am thinking no.!

    • Actually, Peter Newman did it for them (the discussing in public, that is. –I’m not sure where he got the information.)

  36. Why publish this rubbish?

  37. I honestly don’t care what anyone does behind the scenes to themselves. But I think Amiel is correct: when you’re mayor of a city, the rules of the game change. You oughta keep your nose clean in the public eye, full-stop. Ford has been a disaster against this criteria and the insanity of the past few weeks is, as Jon Stewart called it, “the closer.” I don’t care if it’s his fault or it isn’t, whether the media is biased or not- these issues are irrelevant. We’re not in the principal’s office. This is politics in a nutshell, take it or leave it- no one lives in a vacuum. The mayor is an ambassador for the city to the world more than he/she is anything else and Rob Ford is getting pillaged like no other. This is not war- he’s not arguing anything out of principle, he’s merely fighting a battle that’s already been lost. I’m so tired of hard-lefts and hard-rights trolling each other on every issue and mixing themselves up in a crisis that is not political at all. Just get out of the way. Stop embarrassing this city. Go exhaust your vacant political fumes somewhere else. I don’t care if I’m Ford Nation or not; I don’t care if the taxes are going up or down or round and round: STOP SMOKING CRACK ON VIDEO AND PUBLICIZING YOUR SUBSTANCE ABUSE/BELLIGERENT BEHAVIOUR AS A RULE. I don’t care what your policies are. You simply aren’t cut out for the job. The mayorship of Toronto is not TMZ… although one could argue it’s become an acronym for Toronto Mayor Zingers.

  38. Apparently Barbara has a new liberal attitude since her husband began bringing home his new ” rounder” friends from the US penal system.
    However when the mayor of any city is hanging out with people who are smoking crack, getting killed and extorting him, that should be a red flag that falls a little more under the prime ministers “get tough on crime” policy than it is boys being boys.

  39. The on-going tawdry spectacle of Rob Ford is damaging Toronto – it’s tripe to suggest otherwise.

  40. Tripe.

  41. Excellent article, can’t wait to see how many thumbs down I get for agreeing with you. If you think Ford has tarnished the city of Toronto then your mind is very simple. The only way it could tarnish Toronto is if you let it in your mind. Nobody gives a crap that much about Toronto outside of Toronto. When people ask me in China where I come from and I tell them Toronto, they say “nice city” they don’t say “what a sad city, with such a mayor”

    Unless you are a simpleton the acts of one person does not reflect on a city. Luka Magnotta being mentioned in China is met with “he is such a sick man” not “Scarborough is a hell hole”
    The only reason one would think it’s damaging to Toronto is they want it to be damaging to Toronto, to satisfy their own warped minds.

  42. I can’t help myself. Every time I see Amiel speak about her `UK upbringing’ I wonder if dementia is playing a role with her memory. How could she forget St Catharines?

  43. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Yawn. Oh Barbara. You have forgotten how to be interesting.

  44. Ford needs to declare to the media that he is on a hunger strike for some reason or other.
    Then the media will quit stalking him and instead will wail and pour tears while agonizing over how long he has left to live.
    And the best part is he wouldn’t even have to quit eating since the meatheads in the media would never question someone who says they are on a hunger strike.
    He could ride that pony for years if necessary….

  45. Interesting article. We all know that if Ford cleans up – and he is definitely starting to look healthy – he will win the next election. The Ontario Liberals have to call an election early next year – they don’t have a majority. If the conservatives get in – Blair is gone – ship him back to Orangeville and let him live out his life with all those Orange/Mason Catholic hating dinosaurs.

    • I agree…forget the silly photo-op poop, the Fords know a hawk from a hand-saw…there’s a higher-class underworld in their near future if they can just hold on a little bit longer.

  46. Apparently the wife of a crook doesn’t look down on the millionaires who flout the law themselves. Shocker.

  47. Amiel is helping out the Cons (who backed Ford for Mayor) with a little illusion. Rounders? Uh, no, criminals he gave jobs to, and at twice the normal salary at least in David Price’s case. Oh, and the target of the investigation was Rob Ford. Lisi got caught up in Ford’s investigation. Harper should have seen at least some of this esp. with Flaherty being “close” as he says with the family. This was on a large scale, not just buddies Ford hangs around with.

  48. Actually,what worries Ms. Amiel’s like is neo-conservatism’s empty promises have been exposed for their lies,and embodied in the obese,seemingly substance-addled,certainly mendacious and clownish person and persona of Toronto’s dis-empowered,popinjay
    “chief executive” Rob Ford!!!!

  49. ‘Ford’s intoxicated persona is boorish and unsuitable for office, so goodbye.’ – Ms. Amiel, did you fail to notice the reality of the situation? Mr. Ford exhibits nothing less than archaic, bullying, childish and ‘boorish’ behavior on a daily basis, with every word he delivers, and every move he makes. Intoxication has nothing to do with it. So goodbye.

  50. Jeez, who are you to talk!!! So self-righteous and trying so hard to be British. It’s not worked Conrad and will never work.

  51. “False allegations of Mulroney accepting a bribe”

    Come on now Babs. Are you saying you didn’t read the report from the 2-year inquiry into your buddy Lyin’ Brian’s stash of cash? Here, let’s make it quick and easy for you to read in plain and simple English:

    “Something was amiss,” Oliphant said. “These dealings do not reflect the highest standards of conduct, nor do they represent conduct that is so scrupulous it will bear the closest public scrutiny.” If the dealings were appropriate, there would have been a contract, an exchange of letters or some documentation confirming the agreement, the judge said. “Why, then, was there a need for such secrecy? The answer is that Mr. Mulroney wanted to conceal the fact that he had received money from Mr. Schreiber.”

    Kinda like Conrad deciding to empty his office of boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff on the Friday night before a long weekend and to carry them out personally because he didn’t realize the broken security cameras had been repaired since his departure that captured him in action.

    As always Babs, your sense of denial and delusion never fail to entertain us simple folk.

  52. I’m embarassed to say Barbara Amiel is from Niagara orignially, she was always on her way UP but this takes the cake ,although not a big surprise supporting the bully boy Ford.

  53. Yes, I do look down on supporters of Silvio Berlusconi and it does make me think less of the place that elected him. If you are known by the company you keep you are known even better by the leaders you elect.

  54. Is she pitying the fact that she ain’t Canada’s queen Moll anymore?

  55. I look at so many of these hateful comments by many Torontonians and others and say to my self Ms. Amiel is correct in her analysis.
    Yes; the guy screwed up in his personal life but does that change anyone’s opinion of Toronto and if it does then who cares? Image and $1.50 will get you a coffee @ Tim’s.
    Rob ford never stole a dime, his record on keeping taxes and costs down is enviable, the garbage is being picked up on time and the municipality is running fine even if the police chief talks way out of turn.
    I live in Ottawa and our Mayor Watson and too many on council portray themselves as good decent folk but screw us over year after year with tax increases that are criminal, a 10 year garbage fiasco that costs millions of extra taxpayers dollars, bridge building delays that run into years and on and on. Meanwhile Mayor Watson is on TV every night opening a school cafeteria that won’t serve fries, playing bingo at some old folks home and opening up bike lanes that causes more traffic congestion then they’re worth. Meanwhile my garbage is now being picked up every 2nd week and the weeds on the street makes my town look grubby.
    Image! The hypocrisy of many Toronto Counsellors is truly pathetic and now Premier Kathleen Wynne is on the sidelines trying to find a way get rid of Mr. Ford.
    Image! Let’s really kick the guy when he’s down when a bit of understanding and compassion may be the solution to Mayor Ford’s personal problems.

  56. Great article.

  57. Babs is, or should be, an expert on people who have done damage to themselves.

  58. Amiel’s defense of her portly friend is absurd. Why does she write for Macleans ? She is entitled to her opinion but I certainly will not pay to read any of hers. Her constant whining arrogance is wearing thin.

  59. It is so incredibly snotty that garbage collection is more important than nuclear free zones, especially in the face of Japan’s ongoing catastophic event and its unknown as yet consequences on the rest of the world.
    Rob Ford is a disgrace to the human race never mind Toronto. How he ever got to any position of power is depressing, were he mayor of a town of 200 would be bad enough.
    That he is mayor of our so called most sophisticated city is a travesty, A big, fat, pathetic pig who has not the intelligence of a sloth.
    Why would anyone defend such a person? Why would anyone claim to be on his political side as if he had one?

  60. To those of anti-Barbara persuasion – how is it that common sense sounds so right-wing to you ?

  61. ah The Discreet Charm of the Bourgoisie.Of which Mr. Ford is trying so hard to gain entry. How I miss the days of Bunuel. Luckily he leaves a legacy.

  62. Actually,the “overweight Joes from suburbia” are well-represented in all media.It’s
    we handsome Brads from EVERYWHERE who are disliked and ignored by print and eletronic media,as well as virtually ALL entertainment.(From 1968-’72,Brad was Barbie’s then-boyfriend Ken’s handsome black best bud;Yours Truly is a black lad,60,with boyish good looks,a muscular build-I’m 5’9″,200-205 lb.,181/2″ biceps,though like quite a few
    older chaps,I’m attempting to shed 15-20 lb.-who’s said to resemble a handsome black cowboy IN my Western garb.However,you won’t see anyone like Yours Truly as a movie leading man,a sit-com stud,or on reality TV [I may be 80 before we see a
    black “Bachelor” on the popular-and racist “love-com”].)

  63. The “overweight (white) Joes from suburbia are all over the print and electronic media.It’s we
    handsome Brads who are almost absent from the big and small screen,even magazine depictions.
    (From 1968-’72,Brad was Barbie’s then-boyfriend Ken’s handsome black buddy;Yours Truly is a 61-year-old black chap with pinup boy looks,a muscular though somewhat beefy build-I’m 5’9″,205-210 lb.,boasting 181/2” arms,though like a lot of older lads,I’m trying to lose 20-25 lb.-who’s trying to become a Country music song-writer and said to resemble a handsome black cowboy stud in my Wranglers jeans and other casual and/or Western garb.When was the last time you saw someone fit-
    ting my description ANYWHERE IN THE MEDIA?

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