Friday, February 03, 2006

“How dare u speak to me like that?”

Okay, it’s not quite up (or down) to the level of “Kiss my ass” as Scott Brison was reputed to have said to Sandra McGrath, a long-time Nova Scotia Grit who felt entitled to be reappointed to a government post.

But – as reported in today’s Ottawa Sun – it was Brison’s response to an e-mail from one of his own staffers, who is apparently unimpressed with Brison’s efforts to learn French:

An e-mail message from his personal assistant Adele Desjardins, obtained by the Sun, scolds the outgoing public works minister for falling behind with his French lessons.

"I know you are the best to lead the Party and I am ready to work hard," reads the terse exchange with Brison. "But I am not a machine, and co-operation is needed."

The e-mail, sent out with the subject line, "You will never learn French the way you are doing it," included an angry response from Brison: "How dare u speak to me like that?"

I don’t know what sort of French program Brison is following, but so far his fluency has been best demonstrated by his habit of calling female reporters “mon petit chou” (or should that be ma petite chou?), which he apparently thinks is funny. The female reporters, I’m guessing, not so much (not all women over 30 are fag hags, Scott!).

Despite the intemperate BlackBerrying Brison does have a point. Political staffers who find themselves working for an MP considering a leadership bid need to ask themselves whether they can wholeheartedly support the MP’s campaign, not the other way around: an MP should not have to earn the support of his own paid staff. If the staffers are not inclined to work for their boss' leadership, they should leave the MP’s employ under their own steam. That’s a position I found myself in once upon a time, and I left of my own accord (without telling the MP why).

On the topic of another former Conservative pondering the Liberal leadership, Belinda Stronach’s “En Anglais, s’il vous plait” seems to have set a new bar for the number of words it takes to sink a leadership bid. Last night on TVO’s 4th Reading, Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson added his name to the list of reporters who think Stronach’s campaign is over before it has begun, thanks to her unilingualism.


Anonymous said...

Nice spin on that one Joan... nowhere in that e-mail did it say anything about a staffer not supporting him. She was expressing a personal opinion regarding the way he was going about learning French. It was a private e-mail that never should have been made public and i'm sure it is being blown enormously out of proportion. Wasn't this a personal assistant? I am sure that they are really good friends and the language really wasn't all that harsh. I think we should stick to writing and publishing issues that matter... you know... public policy? social issues? Things that matter to Canadians frankly. Also, I really didn't think your language was all that inspiring in your post... "fag hag"... there goes your credibility out the window.

fag hag said...

im offended that you would use my birth name in that context joan. i am truly hurt.

Joan Tintor said...

anon: I'm afraid I don't see the offense in "fag hag". Should I have added "not that there's anything wrong with fag-haggery?" Or is the term itself objectionable? I think it's a lighthearted colloquialism.

TonyGuitar said...

I always marvel at Anonymous. Which Anonymouse is speaking? Is anony / annoy a variety of mouse?

If we people know nothing about anything, then you have no need to hide behind anonimity.

Use a handle like *Barfly* or something. Thus you remain behind your mask while we can then get an idea of which anonymous you are and look forward to your wit.

Sorry, the weather has been nasty on Vancouver Island lately and it's enough make one edgy. TG

Anonymous said...

Put in context, Adele has been with Scott since his PC days. She is an older French Canadian woman who has shown nothing but loyalty to Scott, even crossing to the Liberals when he did.