Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wheels Within Wheels

As I read Paul Wells' piece in Macleans about Guergis, Bernier and Harper this morning, something clicked.

Bernier has been in the news recently, for a number of reasons: his 'opinon letter' (sic) about greenhouse gases, his declarations about Québec to target audiences and, in a less flattering light, his possible knowledge of events in Afghanistan while he was minister of Foreign Affairs.

By the way, our John Cross wrote a splendid rebuttal to Bernier's pretentious perorations about climate change.

It would be interesting to know who is supporting Bernier's reincarnation as a maverick Tory. Harper is undoubtly trying to uncover that information, particularly as a news item in the NP offers the following: ...

Le Devoir reported that Mr. Bernier has taken to "flaying" Quebec as he travels the country. One columnist has suggested Mr. Bernier should buy a one-way ticket to Alberta. Jean-François Lisée, an influential sovereigntist commentator, delivered the ultimate insult, writing that Mr. Bernier has taken over the late Pierre Trudeau's role as "the Quebecer who speaks badly of Quebec."

Is Bernier being used as misdirection, to divert Harper's attention away from a nascent leadership putsch in the PCP? That would be a devilishly clever tactic. Harper's Achilles heel - the man's irrational vanity - suffered a direct hit when Julie Couillard's book "My Story" spilled the beans about her ex-lover's contempt for the PM.

Do you remember this?

... she added that Mr. Bernier once entertained thoughts of replacing Mr. Harper as the leader of the Conservative Party. Mr. Bernier allegedly sought support in Conservative circles, feeling that he would benefit from the fact that Mr. Harper is anglophone and would need to be replaced by a francophone.

But she also said that Mr. Bernier frequently criticized Mr. Harper's eating habits and the fact that he often drank Pepsi in meetings. The comments were likely made before Mr. Harper went on a diet, but Mr. Bernier apparently made fun of the Prime Minister's belly.

Could Stephen Harper be conned, in the same manner the National Arts Centre audience was played last October?

There are wheels within wheels in the byzantine inner sanctum of the Conservative party.

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