“False. Total lie. Mindless. Childish.”
Saturday morning I woke up to discover the Federal Minister of Industry, James Moore, took to Twitter to respond to one of my tweets, which he deemed “false”.
It started with his tweet below, which I never saw, because I “have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user”.
I remember this “blocking” occurred roughly a year-and-a-half ago during The Freefall Festival. I was debating the merits of Conservative cultural policy on Twitter with Moore during Jonathan Goldsbie’s Enchanted Streetcar Ride. Soon after I mentioned that our hashtag #route501 was trending above the Ontario provincial budget, Moore proceeded to block me.
Anyhow, the narrative begins with this tweet:
Heavens. I sure hope not…. Thank you NDP for the enlightening mail out. “Hope is better than fear”… Indeed pic.twitter.com/8ZfzilcCun
— James Moore (@JamesMoore_org) December 6, 2013
As if hope was the exclusive providence of mindless platitudes…. But this is a story about specific facts, so I will refrain from commenting further. Because I am blocked from seeing tweets by Minister Moore, it came to my attention when it was quoted by Kelly Nestruck, Theatre Critic for The Globe and Mail (who has not blocked me, yet).
When I saw this, what didn’t come to mind was grammar or Layton. What occurred to me was that Moore’s tweet was extremely rich. As a Cabinet Minister his staff would have been responsible for putting together one ‘Enemies List’ for incoming Heritage Minister Shelly Glover, and he would have received a second list to be brought up to speed on the “enemy” situation from the people that brought you Industry Minister Christian Paradis.
So given that Moore was involved with not one, but two sets of enemy lists during the cabinet shuffle several months ago, I tweeted this:
— Michael Wheeler (@michaelcwheeler) December 6, 2013
Of course by “predecessor” I meant “successor”.
There followed a brief conversation between Nestruck, playwright Sean Dixon and myself about whether the NDP used apostrophes properly in their mailings. Went to bed early enough to avoid The Raptors embarrassing themselves, and woke up to this tweet:
— James Moore (@JamesMoore_org) December 7, 2013
I was confused by this tweet by a Minister of the Crown in response to allegations that he and his office created lists of enemies at the request of, (say it in your best Duffy Baritone) The P.M.O.
On July 16, 2013. The Globe and Mail reported Harper’s office
Is The Honourable James Moore calling The Globe and Mail “liars”?
On July 17, 2013. Recent Harper Cabinet Minister Peter Kent heavily criticized Enemy Lists:
Is The Honourable James Moore calling Conservative MP Peter Kent “mindless”?
On July 24, 2013. The Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt reported over 200 civic-society groups, including Amnesty International Canada and Oxfam Canada, had asked for access to enemy lists, but were being stonewalled by the Harper Government:
Is The Honourable James Moore calling Amnesty International “childish”?
I am asking these questions non-rhetorically, because for Moore’s tweet to be truthful, then the answer to each must be “yes”.
So we are left with two versions of the truth:
A massive conspiracy involving The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, a broad spectrum of civic society, and even a member of Moore’s own caucus, which has colluded to make us falsely believe Cabinet Ministers in The Harper Government created and received ‘enemy lists’ during the last Cabinet shuffle.
Harper Cabinet Ministers and their offices made and received ‘enemy lists’ as requested by PMO.
Perhaps the Minister mis-tweeted and this was just a Fordian slip? Getting a bit tedious being asked to believe in the absurd as plausible these days.