Cherry’s “pinko” speech sets the tone of Ford administration by Eric Mang at rabble.ca.
[Cherry] got his game face on by noting that he was happy to see the ass-end of the artsy elites and it was time for some lunch-pail, blue collar workers to run Toronto.
Cherry and Ford are millionaires. Hardly blue-collar but every inch the elite.
He used the word “pinko”, a term as outdated as Cherry, four times. He said he was wearing “pinko” for “all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything.” Then he referred to left-wing pinko newspapers and left-wing pinkos who oppose Ford (unlike Ford, at least he didn’t call anyone a “right-wing communist bastard”).
This will be news for a few days as Torontonians and Toronto media attempt to figure out what happened to this city. One day we had a man who was Harvard-educated and well-spoken, now we have a Mayor who struggled with polysyllabic words during his swearing-in and thought Cherry a wise choice to deliver an address to the opening of council.
So, I think that Rob Ford is Canada’s GWB Lite. All the similarities are there, including the representation of the “working class” by a consummate insider, rich man, and member of the privileged elite. Oh and a white guy, of course. Who manages to spin it the other way, by, what? Magic? I have no fucking idea. But people buy it.
On wikipedia (I know! Sorry!) it lists Ford’s birthdate as 1969. I’m three years older than this asshole. What the fuck?
Ford has been a strong critic of the perks that are afforded to city politicians. He regularly proposed motions to cut back such spending. All of his proposed cutbacks have been defeated. He has also made headlines by claiming the least amount of money budgeted for councillor office expenses. Ford has consistently filed an expense budget of $0 or close to it. As of 2007, councillors are allowed a maximum office budget of $53,100. In November, 2007, Ford was investigated by the city’s integrity commissioner over his spending habits. In a report to the Executive Committee, the commissioner concluded that Ford had failed to report office expenses that he had paid for out of his own pocket. He also printed flyers at his family’s printing business for distribution to his constituents, again at his own expense. City policy requires that these expenses must be paid through the councillor’s budget rather than with personal funds even though this would likely entail Rob Ford paying himself for the use of his own printing facility. As of November 27, Ford refused to comply with the city’s policy.
Interesting. So the hyper-fiscal-conservative has an accountability problem? How surprising. Not!
Many people have talked about the model that Ford proposes, that if all councillors reduced or zeroed their expenses, think of all the money the City would save! That in fact this model denies accountability, culpability, and the worst of all, ensures that only the rich and the privileged are able to hold municipal office.
One could argue that this is technically in place now, as nobody who is on a marginal income could ever run successfully and get elected, but the notion of not being accountable for established, and fairly reasonable office budgetary expenses is pretty basic. If Ford couldn’t comply with that while he was a councillor, how will he deal with the much larger budget of the city of Toronto?
Eric Wang ends his excellent piece from rabble.ca on a high note:
In a meandering three-minute stand-up routine, Cherry neatly expressed the rigid ideology of Ford and his cronies. The loathing they feel toward anyone who questions or protests or criticizes.
Toronto, we are the nerds and city council is run by the football team and for four years they’re going to punch us in the gut, steal our lunch money, and stuff us in a locker.
Because the nerds are smarter, and we will prevail. My concern, as always, is what services, what costs will the most marginalized, the most vulnerable in this fabulous city, have to bear until this dreadful situation will be corrected.
I’m hoping for a scandal, but I’m not sure what kind would be on the scale to require a stepping-down or an impeachment. Can a mayor be impeached?
I’ll get back to you all, my readers.