Another Conservative MP Claims He Has Liberal Patronage Offers on Tape
|Conservative MP Henry "please speak directly into my lapel"|
Conservative Member of Parliament Henry Scarlet says it wasn't just Gurmant Grewal and his wife that the Liberals tried to woo. The veteran MP has come forth with allegations that he too was offered a plum gig if he left the party before last week's confidence vote in the House of Commons.
To prove his story, Scarlet has released an audio recording of what he says is a conversation he had last week with Niles Jackinshaw, the Prime Minister's Director of Inter-Party Defections.
While the two-minute tape is difficult to decipher, and appears to include footage of the MP ordering a six-inch steak and cheese at Subway, Scarlet claims that the recording also proves that Jackinshaw offered him the ambassadorship to Antarctica if he crossed over to the Liberals, or at least abstained from voting against the government, in the crucial May 19 vote.
"I said I'd think about it, but then, I went and checked where Antarctica is, and I said no," said Scarlet, who represents the interior British Columbia riding of Screw-Trudeau. After consulting briefly with Conservative party officials, Scarlet returned to the scrum to say, "Uhm, I mean, no. I didn't think about it. I said 'no' right away. Integrity. Trust."
"As a matter of fact, my caucus chair has informed me that Canada doesn't even have an embassy in Antarctica. They tried to dupe me."
| "It doesn't matter who approached who first. Or, wait. It does, but, uh, the Liberals are corrupt."
| Henry Scarlet
Harvey MacScotch, the chair of the Conservative caucus, was outraged with Scarlet's tale. (When aren't they?) "I can't believe those lowdown Liberals would try to take advantage of one of our more gullible and slow-witted MPs. This is just more typical Liberal vote-buying that we can't wait to get the opportunity to do ourselves once we're in power.
"You're not taping this interview, are you? That last line should be uhm, off the record," added MacScotch.
However, this isn't the first time Scarlet has accused the Liberals of backroom malfeasance. In 1999, he claimed that an aide to former Prime Minister Jean Chretien offered him the position of Pope of Canada if he crossed the floor to the Liberals, and right before last year's election, he alleged that he had secretly recorded a Liberal organizer promising him that he would be made Prime Minister immediately if he defected from the blue team to the red team.
Both allegations were proven to be unfounded.
Judge for yourself: Listen here to the tape that Scarlet has released. What do you think? Is it evidence of unethical Liberal horse-trading? Or is it just whale music?
Reached for comment, Jackinshaw said it was Scarlet who approached him, and it wasn't the first time. "He's been begging me for a patronage appointment as long as I've been here. Every time he sees me on the hill, he runs up screaming about how he hates his colleagues and I have to get him out of this hellhole or something like that and then he clings on to me like a lamprey. Usually, I have to get security to pry him off of me."
"Besides," added the Liberal operative, "we don't dangle ambassadorships and cabinet positions in front of just anybody-you have to be rich, telegenic and a brilliant public orator for us to offer up one of those."
When confronted with Jackinshaw's side of the story that it was he who approached the governing Liberals, Scarlet appeared to backtrack somewhat: "Well, being a backbench opposition MP for the past eight years is everything I dreamed it would be, but I wanted to explore whatever opportunities they presented. Erm, no, uh, what I mean is, I wanted to see how low the Liberals would sink. Yeah, that's it."
When asked for comment about Scarlet's allegations in the foyer of the House of Commons, an uncharacteristically pessimistic NDP leader Jack Layton was blunt: "I can't fucking believe we're still in third place in the polls. I hate this country."
Posted on May 24th, 2005