|Donald 'Darth Vader' Bayne|
Nigel Wright testified Tuesday that he knew there was a chance his $90,000 personal cheque to cover Mike Duffy’s Senate expenses might not remain a secret, but said he didn’t expect the public impact to be as great as it became.
“My view was when I decided to write the cheque myself that it could well become known and if that were to be the case it would be embarrassing,” he said. “But I had no concept of the impact it would have or the connotations that would be put on it.”
His explanation was met with skepticism by Duffy’s lawyer, Donald Bayne, who says the cheque from the independently wealthy Wright was nothing more than part of an elaborate political damage control strategy concocted by Harper’s senior aides.
Wright, 52, spent most of his early testimony Tuesday sparring with Bayne over his role in a confidential Senate-ordered audit of Duffy’s expenses.
Bayne accused Wright of attempting to influence the outcome of the audit and ignoring its highly sensitive nature.
Bayne also reacted skeptically to Wright’s claim that he didn’t anticipate the public furore over his apparent gift to Duffy.
“You had no concept?” asked the lawyer. “The chief of staff in the prime minister’s office whose job is damage control and you had no concept? Are you walking around in a cloud?
“I got that one wrong,” responded Wright.
Bayne’s question goes to the heart of the reaction by Canadians to the page after page of emails disclosed at the Duffy fraud trial. Millions of Canadians are asking themselves the very same question: Were the senior Conservative Party advisors involved in the attempt to mislead Canadians about the true state of affairs, all walking around in a cloud?
With so many of his advisors from the PMO and senators involved for months and in over 500 emails, was Prime Minister Harper walking around in a cloud?
And here we all thought he was just walking around in a bubble?
Must be a new style of governance by the right wing in north America, eh? Cloud-walkers, all of them.
Perhaps they all thought, as the Bard wrote in The Tempest:
“...and then, in dreaming, / The clouds methought would open and show riches / Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked / I cried to dream again.”
No doubt the riches Wright sought in the clouds was the Duffy mess going away quietly.