Conrad Black: Shameless
By N Oji Mzilikazi
October 29, 2012
Psychopaths, we are taught, have no sense of emotion or regard for others. They will doggedly go after, charm, bully, abuse, trample, stop at nothing to get what they want, and have no remorse whatsoever.
Former newspaper tycoon and convicted felon Conrad Black meets the above-mentioned criteria.
Though convicted of defrauding Hollinger, the company he ran, and having served a 42-month prison sentence in America, Black sees himself as “innocent” and unfairly targeted by the U.S. justice system.
In his U.K. jaunt this month, Black was interviewed by Susanna Rustin of The Guardian. When asked, “What is the appropriate punishment for people convicted, as you were, of financial crimes,” his response was “Working for free.”
When BBC television interviewer Jeremy Paxman made the point that Black was a convicted criminal, Mr. Arrogance Personified declared he was not a criminal. Black then called Paxman “a priggish gullible British fool.”
This is the same Black, who in pursuit of “class and status in relation to Empire” renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to be British, to be inducted into the British House of Lords, blasting Paxman for the very Britishness he craved, identified with.
Black was honoured with the Order of Canada in 1990.
Any recipient convicted of a criminal offence could lose the honour, be stripped. Black’s conviction led to endless calls for revocation of his status as an officer of the Order of Canada.
Although Black pyssed on Canadians in the process of becoming British, that insatiable desire to be “somebody with prestigious titles” saw Black going all out to try and keep the Order of Canada.
Failing in his bid to appear in person before the Order of Canada Advisory Council to plead his case (Perchance in the belief his charm, force of character, and skill at manipulation would win them over.), he told CBC’s Susan Ormiston, “I would not wait for giving these junior officials the evidently almost aphrodisiacal pleasure of throwing me out. I would withdraw.”
Poor Conrad Black…everyone is out to get him…