Saturday, April 30, 2016

John Ibbotson's Scary Journey Into Harper's Head

Ten days ago the Globe writer John Ibbotson was awarded the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, for his book Stephen Harper.

With the jury praising him for managing to "put us inside Harper’s head during some of the most critical moments of his life."

But although I've always been interested in meeting the voices in Harper's head, and asking them to explain themselves, I haven't read the book.

Not after I read Bob Rae's review, and what he had to say about Ibbotson, and what Ibbitson had to say about Harper.

The “Harper revolution” is permanent and can never be undone. For all his flaws, we are told, his successes and achievements justify the ruthless means. Ibbitson is a fan of the core of the Harper agenda and so attempts to put the most positive gloss on its shortcomings. He is a sophisticated and intelligent cheerleader.

And not after reading this other review.

Ibbitson’s approach to Harper is generally approving: “I believe that he sought office hoping to leave things in better shape than he found them,” the author writes in his afterword, “and that he has, in the main, succeeded. I believe he has governed well.”

Which convinced me that reading Ibbitson's book, might be bad for my health.

Persuaded me that the only situation in which I could see myself reading it, would be if I was on a camping trip and had run out of toilet paper. Or had swallowed a poisonous mushroom and urgently needed to vomit.

And of course warned me that John had gone wild over Steve. Again...

Still Ibby is not stupid, just besotted.

So when I saw that he had made a little video telling us the three most surprising things he had learned about Stephen Harper, I couldn't resist watching it.

And when it was over I must admit I was stunned to discover that Ibbotson and I did agree about something.

Harper was clearly a deeply troubled young man who only lasted two weeks in university before running back to daddy, to seek refuge in the mail room of Imperial Oil. 

Or in his room...

To escape his paranoid delusions.

That mutated into delusions of grandeur, when he became a monstrous control freak who thought he owned the truth.

And he was a lousy tactician, NOT a political genius as so many in the MSM had us believe for so many years.

So maybe I will buy Ibbotson's book, as soon as it's remaindered.

So many years from now, I can remember what a small and crazy man was Stephen Harper. 

And how so many in the MSM  made him seem bigger and better than he really was...

Harper will live in infamy, until he is soon forgotten.

But those who collaborated so eagerly with him, should live in shame for the rest of their lives...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


  1. “I believe that he sought office hoping to leave things in better shape than he found them,” the author writes in his afterword, “and that he has, in the main, succeeded. I believe he has governed well.”

    Empty words from an empty head. Ibbitson was shown to be plainly wrong. Delusional even. He's as stupid, lazy and useless as Margaret Wente.

    1. hi thwap...I think Ibbotson has two problems. One he is a real Con who could write sympathetically about Mike Harris' reign of terror. And two he wrote the book The Big Shift: The Seismic Change in Canadian Politics, Business, and Culture and What It Means for Our Future which predicted that Harper's legacy would endure and that Alberta would rule us all. After defeating what Ibbitson likes to call the "Laurentian elite." Which has turned out to be complete nonsense, with Harper's legacy being demolished, and Alberta going bankrupt. And the Laurentian elite still waiting to be spotted like the Loch Ness monster. He's trying to justify what he wrote before and it's just not working...

  2. .. someone talented should catoon herr Harper escaping his political plague ship - herr Majesty Queen Firewall Alberta.. He'll be stepping on the heads of Canadians, political animals, indigenous women, Vets, pensioners, voters, children - and headed to a bright future with his millions & mebbe Ray Novak too - somewhere safe like Geneva, Washington or London.. He was just visiting y'know .. experimenting in poli sci and alternative ekonomiks.. dabbling so to speak

    1. hi salamander...well I hope you're not asking me to come up with such an elaborate and sophisticated cartoon because I have no talent. Although I have to admit it is tempting. What I am struck by at the end of the Harper years, is how quickly the bully was deflated. I've deflated quite a few bullies in my life, with my fists, but I've never seen anything like it. And what will forever haunt me is this question: how could a man so small and so mediocre rule over this country for almost ten years? And of course, how can we make sure something a nightmare like that one never happens again?

  3. Simon, public libraries are your friend. There are many books I'd never buy which I'll either borrow or simply leaf through there. Now the system is much better through computerisation - it is easy to retrieve a book from any branch in your system.

    1. hi lagatta...that's a good idea. I must admit I haven't used a library since I left university. But if I can read Ibbotson's book for free, that would be a bonus... ;)

  4. Don't order yet, check the bargain bin at Walmart first. I certainly couldn't stomach another book about The Dictator, I'm waiting for Micheal Harris's next book. I would rather read the truth instead of fiction. Ibby's slavish grovelling to Harper makes me wonder what's in it for him. Cheers Simon, Sunny Ways everyone! Pamela

    1. hi Pamela...well that's a good idea too. Although I am interested in reading everything about Harper, I'm not willing to pay for it. As for Ibbitson, I have no idea why he keeps polishing our dictators tarnished legacy. I used to think he was trying to beat Rex Murphy to a Senate seat. But anybody who could suggest that Harper governed well, must be out of their mind. Or a born stooge. As I said in my post, the verdict of history will be a harsh one...

  5. e.a.f.10:19 PM

    won't be reading the book. life is too short.

    my late on Harper is, he will be forgotten by most. Just a blimp on the radar. those who remember him will be those who are students of democracy. The P.M. who almost destroyed the democracy of Canada. When we think back on history how many P.M.s do any of us really remember and what do we remember them for.

    For those who think Harper "ruled" well, that is because they agreed with his agenda. Now he did accomplish much of what he set out to do, unfortunately for him, the Liberals undid some much of it so quickly. And then there was the Supreme Court of Canada, who ensured some of steve's stuff never got going. Harper, a foot note in history.

    1. hi's also my belief that Harper will occupy a very small place in Canadian history. He left no great project or shining legacy for anybody to remember him, and his foul little legacy is being rapidly demolished. I find it only fitting that Harper should have disappeared himself, which saves us the trouble of doing that ourselves...