By Robert Tuomi
(WINDSOR, ON) – Even for the city’s head sycophant, running two vanity articles in a row on the same person has got to be a record.
That is exactly what happened May 5, 2012 when the Windsor Star’s vanity columnist Gord Henderson attempted to set the record straight on his disgraced idol councilor Al Maghnieh. A week earlier he was sort of suggesting that the rookie politician needed to be cast over to the has-been-heap.
Sneakily by half, there was Henderson roaring back giving the rose city his suggestion as to how his beloved Maghnieh could really get his rehabilitation going strong without even having to do any heavy lifting. He thinks that the best way would be for Maghnieh to take a mental health break and have some doctor write a letter that orders him to stay home and work on his future. He does say that such a scheme would be reprehensible but why would that matter, this is Al Maghnieh and we all know that it is no longer government for the people by the people but government for me, Al Maghnieh.
Claiming the need for a stress rest could remove Maghnieh from the spectacle of having to distribute mea culpas to his fellow councilors repeatedly at all of its next meetings. Even though he would most likely pass out the meas with the same intensity he used, as he said, buying a few sandwiches on his library-issued credit card.
Possibly the best way to get Maghnieh out of his mess, and maybe even Henderson thought of this, was to issue Maghnieh a library credit card under the new rules that library boss Barry Holmes was trying to get his board to approve.
Apparently, these new rules would allow non-library employees, like councilors, to spend as they pleased and all would be well if they paid back what they charged immediately, if they used their cell phones, or something confusing like that.
Sadly, somehow the revised policies got side-lined at the library’s last board meeting. Possibly this made Holmes sick for a few days, seven to be exact.
Although giving Maghnieh another chance with a taxpayer funded credit card might not be all that much of a bad idea.
Consider that he could head over to the CBC in Windsor and set up a lunch meeting with all those he hasn’t dined with previously. The genius in this is that the CBC would have to make another of its strange announcements and claim that it was no longer allowing Maghnieh’s dining partners to cover the incredible Al Maghnieh story which most would want to do because the story just get better with each new day.
Of course, this would leave no one at the public broadcaster allowed to cover Maghnieh which, given this is continual breaking news, might force the Mother Ship, as the CBC is sometimes called, to fly in a new team. Possibly its members would fly in from Regina, spend the week covering Maghnieh in Windsor and catch Air Francis back home on the weekend.
This is the scheme the mayor of Windsor, Edgar Francis, had dreamed up to fly workers out west and then back to the rose city on weekends.
Unfortunately, it never happened, like much that the mayor promises which means that the CBC reporters would have to Greyhound it like everyone else.
Henderson also scolds the city and those in it who are repulsed, most of them from the county apparently, by a councilor who does stretch the truth a bit. These repulsed people need to chill out.
According to Henderson local citizens are suffering “collective hysteria” because they trusted Maghnieh to do the right and honourable thing.
Henderson’s advice, “cool a few degrees and remember that this foolish and arrogant young man’s credit card transgressions, offensive as they appear, are not exactly the crime of the century.”
What Maghnieh did is probably not the crime of the century. It is probably not even up there with Twisted Sister turning into a mariachi band to promote some distillery. But, it is not hard to fathom that Henderson’s column is pretty close to a crime itself as he works to freshen up Maghnieh’s image by downplaying the whole thing and blaming it all on the NDP and councilor Ron Jones.
No, despite what Henderson is trying to do, divert attention away from Maghnieh to Jones, we need politicians we can trust not just for the big things but all things.
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