“The play’s the thing” For Rob Ford

For a few weeks now there has been a hubbub in Toronto over the issue of Mayor Rob Ford’s distracted driving situation. A few times now Ford has been caught driving while distracted. Not only has his driving skills come into question on the streets of Toronto, he reportedly gave the middle finger to a mother with a child coming out of a street car he almost hit. There have been photographs of him reading while driving, which the mayor has bushed off as though they were nothing. He is little concerned over his questionable driving. He has categorically refused to get a driver to take him from home to work and back again.

Recently, concerned over the welfare of the citizens of Toronto, his brother Councillor Doug Ford, Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday and Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair have stopped short of demanding that he get a professional driver. Ford is apparently being altruistic in his refusal to do so. His concern is spending tax payer money, he doesn’t want to do so you see. He believes that no unnecessary public money should be spent. Even if it means saving the lives of the people who voted for him on the road.

Which is strange because lately he’s been on this safety kick determined to save the public. The recent shootings that have happened in Toronto has caused Rob Ford to suddenly decide that public safety is the number one issue. (Aside from ruining good paying full-time jobs working for the city.) The shooting at Danzig St. cost the lives two people and injured 23 others was made centre stage in Ford’s war on street violence, prompting him to declare safety on the streets number one. Except of course when it comes to his driving, which boarders on criminal.

His excuse that it will cost tax payers too much seems to be a bit of a cover for him. Because Rob Ford has a decent amount of money, estimates put him at almost a million dollars a year. Its a rough estimate, but we know he has moneyed interests. He certainly has enough to hire his own driver if he doesn’t want to have the public pay for. Especially if he is so concerned about the public’s safety.

I don’t think he’s all that concerned about the taxpayers, I think he’s concerned about his public image. Ford has done a skillful job of trying to convince the voters of Toronto that’s he’s one of them. An everyman who is just trying to get by and deal with “evil” pointless government bureaucracy. Take a quick look at his history with public image. He declared that he was going to lose weight in his “trim the waste” campaign, while the city lost public libraries and jobs. This was an attempt to get the public to see that he was suffering right along side with them. That he was one of them about to go through a tough time like them. Perhaps in his mind not eating fried chicken and ice cream is the same as losing a job or a place to take out books to read.

I see no difference now. This refusal to get a driver probably has less to do with spending tax payer money and more about making sure he is seen as a regular everyday man. No driver for Rob Ford, that’s an “elitist leftist” David Miller kind of thing to do. Often Ford reminds me of how gullible the right wing public is, willing to believe the most scumbag politicians are on our side. (Scumbag is a word I’d use to describe Ford for several reasons.)

Its clear to me that this whole refusing to get a driver and putting the public’s safety at risk is all making it appear as though he’s a regular Joe. His desire to exaggerate the level of violence in Toronto is all to make it appear as though he is concerned about public safety. A measure of it could be achieved if he would only get himself a driver. Out of his own pocket of course, its too much for the taxpayer. There is an acute contradiction here. He has a chance to create more safety but refuses to do so. It appears to me that his safety kick is a mere act of theater, just like his everyman public image.

It seems that for Rob Ford, “The play’s the thing”.

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Sources:
Mayor Rob Ford parks idea of getting a driver
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/08/21/mayor-rob-ford-parks-idea-of-getting-a-driver

Man charged over Danzig shooting
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/19/man-charged-over-danzig-shooting

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