The Globe and Mail did a feature article yesterday on Rob Ford’s family association with drug dealing. By many accounts, Rob’s brother Doug – a Toronto city councillor and Rob’s most trusted advisor – dealt hash while in high school. It was a major article, running four pages, digging up scores of high school associates of the Ford brothers who built a pretty compelling case that Doug probably did deal in high school and that the entire Ford family (with the likely exception of Rob) was pretty involved in the local soft drug trade.
Is anyone really surprised at this? If The Wire were shot in suburban Toronto, Doug Ford IS D’Angelo Barksdale – a young, bright, ambitious bully with a narrow sense of loyalty and a belief that he can make up his won rules.
Doug Ford comes across as having been a stereotypical suburban high school jerk – the drug dealing football player from an 80’s John Hughes movie. But who cares. What matters is not that Doug may have been an asshole in high school – many people were and matured out of it quite well.
What really matters is that he (and Rob) have never grown up. They are still complete assholes who believe politics is a popularity contest, accountability to the media and the public is not an imperative of the job and that personal and intellectual discipline are elitist.
Rob Ford is an awful mayor and Doug is an awful councillor and advisor. Running the 6th largest government in Canada requires professionalism and discipline. They exhibit neither. They don’t allow themselves to be informed by staff or evidence; they exercise no restraint over their impulses and they celebrate – and are celebrated for – boorish tendencies that diminish government and his office.
It doesn’t matter that Doug may have been a small time drug dealer in high school or that Rob may or may not have been involved. It matters that they never grew up, they are crappy politicians and that they still have idiotic members of “Ford Nation” who celebrate their ineptitude. The Globe diminished itself with a hatchet job that is irrelevant to the controversy now surrounding Rob. But the fact remains – the Fords are incompetent to run Toronto.