Will Conrad Black finally return to “third world dump run by raving socialists” (ie Toronto, Canada)?

Jul 23rd, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief
Conrad Black at Upper Canada College in Toronto in 1958, 14 years old.

Conrad Black at Upper Canada College in Toronto in 1958, 14 years old.

[UPDATED AUGUST 6: SEE BELOW]. Our first thought was just a very short post on “Conrad Black released from jail on $2-million bail.” No more than two sentences say — to underline the point that this news is not important, even in Canada where Mr. Black was born.

But part of the trouble with Conrad Black is that, important or not, once you get started he does seem slightly more interesting than two sentences. If you live in Canada, eg, you may be vaguely intrigued by the Huffington Post’s report that “Attorney Miguel Estrada said Black would prefer not to stay in Palm Beach for long … ‘His home is in Canada.’”

Of course this begs a question already covered by the CBC News website: “Conrad Black: Should he be allowed to return to Canada?” As of 12:30 AM, July 23, almost 1200 people had answered this question: 42% said Yes, 55% said No, and 3% were unsure.

Conrad Black’s Palm Beach mansion — transferred in March 2010 to Blackfield Holdings LLC,  to settle a $11.6 million mortgage.

Conrad Black’s Palm Beach mansion — transferred to Blackfield Holdings LLC, to settle a $11.6 million mortgage.

The Maclean’s website has been more exact about just where in Canada: “Is Conrad Black headed back to Toronto? … Black is currently confined to the continental United States under bail conditions … But Black’s lawyers are expected to use a hearing scheduled for Friday [ie today. July 23] to argue their client should be allowed to return to Canada … Black’s financial situation is dire and he is facing eviction from his Palm Beach mansion. Prosecutors have so far objected to his request to return to Toronto, but it’s believed his diminished financial state could be used to convince the court he is not a flight risk.”

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Barbara Amiel (l) and Alana Black (r), leave federal court building during recess in Conrad Black's trial in Chicago, March 19, 2007. CHARLES REX ARBOGAST/AP.

Barbara Amiel (l) and Alana Black (r), leave federal court building during recess in Conrad Black's trial in Chicago, March 19, 2007. CHARLES REX ARBOGAST/AP.

Across the pond, in the old mother country for whose unique honours Mr. Black abandoned his Canadian citizenship a while ago, Douglas Haddow has offered some related further speculation on The Guardian website”: “Oh Lord, it’s Conrad Black again … If indeed he does end up a free man in the near future, where on earth will he go? … The odds are he will attempt to reclaim his Canadian citizenship, and if the legal system permits, he will almost certainly be allowed to return there. The country Black once described as a ‘third world dump run by raving socialists’ now has a prime minister more in tune with Black’s politics … During his tenure in the Florida penal system, Black spent much ink penning love letters to Stephen Harper … And with his new comrades in parliament gearing up for a culture war against the forces of liberalism that Black railed against for much of his adult life, it looks as if he might be able to resume various campaigns which he had left off …”

Well … maybe, maybe not, some will say. As the latest fierce debate on the long-form census suggests, Mr. Harper’s hegemony over the third world dump run by raving socialists is (or ought to be) far from complete. In the latest EKOS poll only 32.4% of cross-Canada decided voters would opt for the Harper Conservatives if an election were held today. In the exact Toronto metropolitan region of Canada where Mr. Black apparently wants to resettle, a full 67.4% support one or the other raving socialist hordes of the Liberals, New Democrats, or Greens.

Mr. Black's current and boyhood home, in the Bridle Path neighbourhood of Toronto. J.P. Mozculski/The Globe and Mail.

Mr. Black's current and boyhood home, in the Bridle Path neighbourhood of Toronto. J.P. Mozculski/The Globe and Mail.

There are those who would say Mr. Black and his wife, Ms. Barbara Amiel, should sell their Toronto house, and buy a new one in Calgary. (Assuming they are not “facing eviction” from their Toronto mansion as well?: SEE UPDATE BELOW.)

Still others, however, will note that before his tenure in the Florida penal system began Conrad Black published a massive volume called Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom.  And back in March 2004 this weighty tome earned some respectful enough applause from the American historian James Chace in the New York Review of Books: “In a heroic attempt to uncover FDR’s personality and policies, Conrad Black, a Canadian-born press magnate who now sits in the British House of Lords, and whose control of his newspapers has recently been challenged, has produced a remarkably balanced and lucid assessment. It is also an exhausting, though not a ponderous, book, 1,134 pages excluding notes and index, a monumental work making the case for a man Black immensely admires.”

Conrad Black’s old Canadian business headquarters at 10 Toronto Street, purchased in 2006 by Morgan Meighen & Associates for a reported $14 million, and subsequently renovated.

Conrad Black’s old Canadian business headquarters at 10 Toronto Street, purchased in 2006 by Morgan Meighen & Associates and subsequently renovated.

How, still others again will wonder, can a man who so immensely admires FDR also rail against the ‘third world dump run by raving socialists’ in the Canada of Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretien? (To say nothing of the incredible Canadian Liberal giant William Lyon Mackenzie King, whom FDR liked to refer to by just his rebel grandfather’s name of Mackenzie?)

Has the leopard actually changed his spots — a little at least?  Well, judging by the love letters to Stephen Harper he has recently spent so much ink penning, certainly not.

And then of course there is also the case of the recent journalism of Ms. Barbara Amiel, Mr. Black’s wife whom, David Frum has just informed the Canadian television audience, has shown such impressive steadfastness in standing by her husband’s side in all his latest troubles. Back in February 2009, eg, the “Londoner’s Diary” on the Evening Standard website in the UK rather breathlessly reported that: “In an extraordinary article for the current issue of the Canadian magazine, Maclean’s, Lady Black compares the treatment of [current] bankers [whom FDR would likely enough have called “economic royalists”?] to that meted out to the intelligentsia in Mao’s China and the kulaks in Stalinist Russia … ‘I suspect current economic criminals resemble past ones in that they come in two varieties: the ones who really commit economic crimes and the ones who are elevated by political fashion to the status of criminals … Driven by old fears and left-wing hates, we are moving to notions, à la Bertolt Brecht, that all wealth is suspect. If, as I suspect, the economy is a psychodrama, anti-market hysteria is unlikely to restore equilibrium.’”

 “Bankers are the new kulaks, rails Lady Black”, Londoner’s Diary, 18 February 2009 10:32 AM.

“Bankers are the new kulaks, rails Lady Black”, Londoner’s Diary, 18 February 2009 10:32 AM.

It is all enough to make you think that Douglas Haddow’s ultimate advice in his recent Guardian posting on Mr. Black’s desire to return to Canada may be especially worth bearing in mind : “Perhaps Canadians … should take this opportunity to glean a bit of wisdom from the words of George W Bush, the man who refused to give Black a pardon when he had the opportunity. ‘Fool me once, shame on … shame on you. Fool me … you can’t get fooled again.’”

UPDATE JULY 23, 3 PM ET: See “Black can’t return to Canada yet … “Conrad Black cannot return to Canada yet, federal judge Amy St Eve ruled in Chicago Friday …  Judge St Eve said she still wants more information from Lord Black’s lawyers before making a ruling. She gave him two more weeks to pull it together …

“‘I want more certainty,’ she told Lord Black’s lawyers, referring to the financial information she had received … Judge St Eve also read Lord Black the conditions of his release but restricted him to the United States. She has given Lord Black’s lawyers to Aug. 16 to give her the information.”

CBChicagoNote as well, from the same source: “Lord Black’s Toronto house is also tied up by a Canadian court ordered asset freeze which was put in place in 2006 as part of a civil suit.”

For a still more succinct report see “Black must stay in US for now: court.”

UPDATE AUGUST 6: Mr. Black has decided, for the time being at any rate, that he will not continue to pursue his wish to return to the country of his birth.  See “Black drops bid to return to Canada … Lawyers say he won’t submit further financial disclosures.”

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  1. Cultural Marxists took over Canada long ago, Europeans have been brainwashed into pathetic purveyor’s of sophistry and hypocrisy. Yes , yes I know, “If I don’t like it then I should leave”, the only problem is, in thirty years there will be 0 white majority countries……so my options are somewhat limited.

  2. All very sad Bdog. But it may be that the kinds of jails people like Mr. Black get sent to will always have white majorities. And maybe you can join him there, safe at last from all the “Cultural Marxists,” whoever they may really be.

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