This man may be extremely arrogant… he may have given up his Canadian citizenship (a sin!)… he may have used corporate money to pay for trips to Bora bora and parties for his wife… he may even have scammed millions out of shareholders… but damn it if I don’t respect the guy.
I’m not going to try to defend what he did, hell, I’m not exactly sure what he’s even done. I’ve done some research (by research I mean reading random websites) and it doesn’t seem like the press have any detailed knowledge of how he’s committed fraud, other then to say “it’s complex.” It was an easy story to jump on to, with the public wanting blood from this famously arrogant and ostentatious tycoon.
Recently, public opinion and even the press (see this Globe and Mail article) have been warming up to Black as he makes moves to change his public image. All of a sudden he has become a “demonstrative Canadian flag waver” (his words), trying to negate the fact that he gave up Canadian citizen to become a member of the British House of Lords. He’s also been framing himself as David, with the “left-wing press” and government as Goliath, take a look at a choice quote from a court filing:
since “Biblical times, and probably before, the wealthy have been envied and condemned.”
Fan clubs have also sprung up, such as the Adhoc Committee for Conrad Black which is organising caravans to Chicago to support Lord Black at court and is also taking “symbolic pledges.” In a crazy moment of pure spontaneity and unbridled enthusiasm, I joined the committee and pledged £1,000 of my very own fake money to the cause… I hope I don’t regret it in the morning. I had originally planned to use that money to feed the poor homeless Elves in the online game Everquest, but I thought Lord Black was a better fake cause (sorry Sean, uhh I mean Xanthorian the High Elf Wizard, we will save your people someday, I promise).
The whole Lord Black support club thing comes across as a bit disingenuous to me, as if these guys are a bunch of ass kissers and are betting on Black’s rise to power again so they can say, “I supported you when you were down! I even pledged £100,000 to your cause! Can we be friends?” I know that’s why I joined.
Good stuff Lord Conrad Black.