Rob Ford is the Mayor of Toronto, and he smokes crack. In fact there’s even a video of him smoking crack. Gawker and the Toronto Star have both seen the video, and now Gawker have managed to raise $200,000 through give-us-your-money-for-nothing website Kickstarter – the full asking price for the video which is being touted by some anonymous sellers, to cover their expenses to get out of the country and set up shop somewhere else. The problem is though, whoever these people are – they appear to have gone missing. Uh oh.
If I had a video of Rob Ford smoking crack I’d probably be worried. It seems that being a drug associate of Ford isn’t all that safe – two of them were shot by an unknown killer a few days before newspapers were approached about the crack video, with one dying in hospital. The Toronto police are currently investigating if there is any connection between the murders and the video.
Ford himself initially stayed quiet in the face of questions about the video, but since the mystery man has disappeared, he’s denied the existence of the video and called journalists who might feel compelled to investigate a major allegation about the Mayor of the 5th largest city in North America liking a bit of the old toot toot beep beep a “bunch of maggots”.
So who is Rob Ford anyway? He looks a bit like Eric Pickles, and acts a bit like Glasgow’s own Stephen Purcell. If Stephen Purcell was a loudmouthed bigot who governed a metropolitan area population the size of Scotland.
Toronto is a fairly liberal city, which is why it’s surprising that they elected a brash conservative like Ford as their Mayor in 2010. Taking advantage of a split in the opposition vote in an election where transport was the main issue, he stood as an independent candidate and won the support of suburban commuters by promising to get rid of yearly $60 car registration fees and like, lower all the taxes and shit. In doing so, he created a $320 million deficit. Which was then used as justification for cutting social programs that supported children living in poverty. WOO! GO CAR OWNERS! SOCK IT TO THOSE GREEDY KIDS, KIDS DON’T NEED BREAKFAST ANYWAY AMIRITE?
Essentially, Ford is just a rich bully who’d rather smoke crack with Toronto’s disenfranchised than use his position of power to help them in any way. He rallies against the local government “gravy train” while simultaneously taking illegal donations, personally asking civil servants to approve and hurry along street repairs of benefit to his family label company, and literally forcing public transport passengers off of buses so they can be diverted to pick up the high school football team he coaches. And I haven’t even got on to the issue of his selection of bigoted comments yet.
Even before this bizarre bit of news, Ford was proving himself capable of combining in one handy package the best traits of our two favourite kinds of politicians to take the piss out of: ill informed Republican hate mongers and lubricated Labourites who think with their fists.
Here at A Thousand Flowers we like making lists, so we now bring to you the
Top Ten Rob Ford Fuckups:
10) He wants to get rid of bike lanes in Toronto, and doesn’t feel much remorse for cyclists killed by motorists: “Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks, not for people on bikes … My heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.”
9) He cut out of a controversial community council meeting to wander around the car park, sticking Rob Ford fridge magnets on people’s cars.
8) He argued that Toronto should get rid of the positions of Integrity Commissioner and Ombudsman. Shortly after they had both separately filed reports on his improper behaviour.
7) He said on live radio that centrist councillors who opposed him were “two steps left of Joe Stalin.”
6) He got asked to leave a fancy military ball and dinner cause he was out his fuckin tits.
5) He questioned the need to provide grant programs for transgender people, saying “I don’t understand. No. 1, I don’t understand a transgender, I don’t understand, is it a guy dressed up like a girl or a girl dressed up like a guy? And we’re funding this for, I don’t know, what does it say here? We’re giving them $3,210?”
4) After sexually assaulting another Mayoral candidate, grabbing her arse during a group photo, he hit out with the same old ableist pish about women who speak out about men’s behaviour being mental, saying “I must have taken 500 pictures and it was never an issue with anyone else except for this lady that in my opinion, I’ve always said, I don’t know if she’s playing with a full deck from the first time I met her.”
3) He faced protests after angering many of Toronto’s diverse Asian community, using racist stereotypes that make light of the harsh conditions in factories where workers are exploited by Western capitalism for cheap labour: “Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out. They are workers non-stop. They sleep beside their machines. That’s why they’re successful in life. I went to Seoul, South Korea, I went to Taipei, Taiwan. I went to Tokyo, Japan. That’s why these people are so hard workers (sic). I’m telling you, the Oriental people, they’re slowly taking over”
2) He questioned why the City of Toronto should help fund efforts to prevent the spread of HIV, stating that “It’s very preventable. If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably, that’s the bottom line.” When someone pointed out that the fastest growing demographic of HIV positive people is women, he drew from his deep pools of wisdom and hit out with “How are women getting it? Maybe they are sleeping with bisexual men.” Just in case you were wondering, the UN says the majority of HIV positive people are straight and haven’t injected drugs. He also endorsed a fundamentalist pastor who said that same sex marriage would “dismantle a healthy democratic civilization.” And he refuses to attend Pride, which in Toronto is a ten day long festival which is huge for the economy and a big tourist draw.
1) When someone asked him to stop being so loud while he was steaming at a Toronto Maple Leafs ice hockey game, he responded “Who the fuck do you think you are? Are you a fucking teacher? Are you some kind of right-wing commie bastard?… Do you want your little wife to go over to Iran and get raped and shot?… Green Party fucking rules.” They only knew who he was cause he left behind a business card.
And finally, a parting gif: