Watching Mike Duffy on television last night as he agreed to repay his housing premium reminded me of another television gem -- when Brian Mulroney was before a House of Commons committee talking about taking money from German businessman Karlheinz Shrieber.
Both admitted taking money they shouldn't have. Both refused to take blame for their action. The difference between the two scenarios, of course, is that Mulroney didn't have to pay money back, just the income tax on it.
The Puffster and Brian Mulroney are very similar characters, full of hubris, needing to be loved, playing the angles, engaging in some pretty dodgey behavior particularly when under the influence. And neither of them sees anything wrong with what they do, so full of themselves and their entitlements. Duffy needed money to renovate his cottage, so he took advantage of the people of Canada. Mulroney needed money to keep Mila in the style to which she was accustomed so he kept the Shreiber money.
Both of the men had regrets, of course, but regrets only because they got caught, like Pooh, with their hands in the honey pot. Mulroney didn't realize he needed to pay income tax on the Shrieber sum. Duffy didn't understand the form.
It's hard to believe that two men with superior intellect -- in the case of Mulroney, a man whose government drafted income tax legislation -- couldn't understand the rules. It's hard to believe, because not one of us believes them.
They are out and out fibbing.
How do you know? Their lips are moving.