Wednesday, July 28, 2010

When It's Summer in the Rockies

The national guardians are at it again. After pulling off a brilliant eclat at the Winter Olympics and an interesting riposte at the recent Ontario summits, the RCMP have begun to look inward. and what they see, they don't like. Well, not so much see - for the red serge and cavalry stripes always look sharp, it's more what they hear that they dislike. It seems their head honcho is a 'yeller' fer petes' sakes!

The wunderkind civilian overseer of the mounties, one 'wild bill' Elliot, who was appointed to 'make changes' in the RCMP three years ago, has turned out to be every bit the 'martinet' the last honcho was, and he's a screamer forbye! At present he has an upper echelon revolt of sorts on his hands, or rather on the hands of his boss Vic 'moustache pete'  Toews. It appears some higher-ranking Mounties, after complaining to him, decided to do their complaining in the press. They no doubt will be among the most substantive changes in the Mounties for, after embarrassing Vic, who's usually asleep at the switch anyway, they've got 'the screamer' in trouble, too and a civil service inquiry into the 'poisoned environment'.

The scoop, as the papers are reporting, is that Elliot's management style leaves something to be desired. Whatever his background, his training led him to believe that the 'fuhrerprinzip' was best, complete with public 'bawlings-out' of those who displease him. One would think that such management behavior isn't a recently acquired strategy and might have been noticed in his other appointments. But then again, he's more than likely viewed as an unqualified therapist sticking his big nose in where it can't do much good and the notion of a laugh at his expense couldn't be much amiss. On his part he claims that some of his critics are resistant to the kind of change he's taking so long to introduce. Cleaning house shouldn't take so long, and generally the more noise involved, the less 'cleaning' actually gets done.

It sounds like the 'imperium' kicked-in, as it so often does when mere mortals get promoted to greatness.  Elliot probably got to like the snappy salutes from his 'boys', his service did qualify him for the Award of Police Merit.Which is right up there with Elvis' collection of police badges - he was probably an honorary Mountie, though Elliot has, yet, become that. What he does have, along with the golden buttons and crest on his 'official' blazer, is the 'stick of greatness' - the Commissioner's baton. For other Commissioners this was a commonplace sort of thing, but for our 'shrieker' the baton has become, literally a caber, a two-hander if anything, or else he lacks the stature, as well as the 'quals', of others.

Those deputy commissioners are largely those raised in the school of Ghirardelli  the former honcho at RCMP. A fat ex-civil servant cutting the orders probably rankles like heck.  Or maybe all this is being orchestrated for the best cop in Canada - 'Julius Caesar' Fantino. Fantino let it out fairly recently that he was not considering a run in politics after he put aside the swat outfit at the OPP. And what a wonderful improvement in look, the red coat of a Canadian icon!  But Julian's 'grandeur' would put Ghirardelli's to shame, for Julian is a true Roi Soleil and any house-keeping he would do there would probably be of the empire-building kind.

Don't expect much different from the Mounties for the foreseeable future.

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