Archive for November, 2013

November 5, 2013

An open letter to the supporters of Rob Ford

Truly, I’m trying to understand.

I know Ford’s schtick is that he’s for ‘the little guy’. I can see why that idea is attractive. Most Torontonians are little guys and, of late, the bureaucracy has been more evasive…more distant.
Many officials treat the public with disdain. The economic recession has left a greater gap between haves and have-nots. There is much to be pissed off about.

But how is Rob Ford a reasonable response to this unease and sense of distance from our government?

Let’s just look at some facts. Many of the people I see interviewed on T.V. Who speak in support of Ford look like people who are self made and worked hard. But what about Rob Ford?

He grew up in a rich family. His father was a wealthy business man. HE may have been self made. Rob? He grew up rich. Did he use that privilege to go out and make something of his own?

No. He went into Daddy’s business … with his brother Doug, also a non self starter.
Their father was an MPP in Mike Harris’ government. Hardly an outsider by anyone’s definition.
So from where does this ‘outsider’ status accrue to Rob Ford? He’s been a politician for years. His Dad was one. He grew up rich and he lives rich. How many of you are riding around in a Cadillac?

Ok, then, but his policies are for ‘the little guy’.
Who uses public transit more: the rich or the poor and working class? Rob Ford has supported every policy in favour of cars over transit. In fact, his cancelling of Transit City when he came to office cost far more ($82,000,000) than any savings he has found on the gravy tran.
He supported cutbacks for the Toronto Public Library system and doesn’t support spending on community clubs in ‘at risk ‘ neighbourhoods. He doesn’t support public housing either.
So just who are the ‘little guys’ then?

When his private company held a party he called the City and asked it to pave the street in front of his building. They did.
When his football team needed a bus he called the Chair of the TTC … directly. The bus arrived.

Can you or I do that?
Is that the actions of the little guy or the privileged? You tell me.

So what about Rob Ford draws you to him?
He comes from the upper class and lives the lifestyle (out of the camera’s glare) and certainly behaves as if he is entitled.

Now, if you are just right wing and, on principle, believe that there is little or no role for government and that taxes are simply theft on your private wealth then I can see that you’ve found your man.
And I know that some working class people, in addition to many of the wealthy, have this point of view. I disagree with it but that’s democracy.

But for the majority of you for whom Rob Ford’s policies are destructive … I just don’t get it.

And this talk of ‘the elites’ out to get Ford. Well I have already covered this. How many of you can get the Prime Minister out to a barbeque, along with the Minister of Finance? That’s an outsider? C’mon, wake up folks!

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