What was Former Harper Brain & Man Boy Society Mail List Member Tom Flanagan Thinking? by Jamie Gilcig

Photo: Screen Cap
Photo: Screen Cap

CFN – What was Tom Flanagan thinking as he engaged a crowd?  Was it wit?  Was it arrogance?  Was there a cute boy in the crowd that titillated him?

This video has gone viral on You Tube and Mr. Flanagan has subsequently lost gigs as fast as we’re losing advertisers here in Cornwall Ontario!


Kiddie porn is wrong.   The line between art, crime, well….  Mr. Flanagan is entitled to his opinion, but a subject that perhaps would be better over a glass of wine in a quiet room amongst friends was probably not the best of subjects to tackle in a Q&A session in the day and age of smart phones.

Poor Tom has now lost a few plum gigs and I’m sure is being ostracized than myself at a Cornwall Chamber of Commerce event.   Is it right or wrong?   I think it has to do with human nature and the conformist culture we live in.

And that’s part of the price of being in certain positions in life.  If you want the cash and power that comes with lofty job titles you have to give up publicly speaking to certain things even if you believe in them as apparently Mr. Flanagan does.

I will disagree with you Tom.  Look at American TV & Movies.  The public has been exposed to more and more violence and the US is now a more violent country.    I don’t carry cable or satellite TV any longer.   While at a friends they had a crime show on where someone’s car was stuck in the mud and churned up a human face splattering the man trying to push the car out.

I was totally shocked while others in the room laughed.   Can you imagine?    So to your argument that “it’s just pictures”….well if you expose people to stimulus long enough the odds of some of them “crossing the line” is greater and the odds of some of them not getting that there is a line is greater too.

While Mr. Flanagan has done the politically correct mea culpa and apology he’s learned a lesson that many already learned and that while we live in a democracy opinions do count and can get you in an awful lot of trouble.  Maybe not the kind of trouble a city councilor gets for ripping up protest signs in the doorway of a council chamber, but still an awful lot of trouble.

What do you think Canada?  Do you think Mr. Flanagan should lose his gigs for his opinions?   You can post your comments below.



  1. “Do you think Mr. Flanagan should lose his gigs for his opinions?”

    No. I completely disagree with his expression. His words promote an unacceptable human activity in my personal opinion. I do not endorse his words but I do endorse his freedom of expression. Right or wrong, individuals ought to be free to express themselves as they choose for themselves. We are responsible for our ideas, expressions and actions. If our words offend, so be it.

    Our freedom of expression includes our liberty to express wonderful and offending ideas and opinions. If our words actually harm and victimize other individuals; victims have the freedom to initiate restitution. Who were the victims of his expressions?

    Was the Mayor of Cornwall victimized when his face was pictured inside a milk carton on a T-shirt? Should the Mayor seek restitution to censor the freedom of expression of those who voice offending expressions. Politically correct censorship is an infringement upon our basic self granted freedom of expression.

    Supporting political censorship is supporting tyranny.

  2. Darcy, whereas I understand where you are coming from regarding “Freedom of Expression” and “Political Censorship” and tend to agree, I completely disagree with your assertion, ” If our words actually harm and victimize other individuals; victims have the freedom to initiate restitution. Who were the victims of his expressions?”, especially when it comes to this subject.

    The almost always anonymous victims of child abuse have little chance of initiating restitution against the perpetrator of the sub-humans who commit the despicable crimes against them, let alone Tom Flanagan.

    In my opinion the freedom to express oneself is an inherent right providing it is not hateful, hurtful, or harmful to another person or persons. In the case of the absurd musings of Tom Flanagan, condoning the right to view child pornographer under any circumstance is tantamount to condoning the act of creating the child pornography and just as abhorrent and possibly as criminal.

    I have never agreed with Mr. Flanagan’s political views, but always respected his opinion on Power & Politics and have found him to be frequently insightful, intelligent, witty, amusing, and for the most part respectful. I will miss his input, however, although I believe his sincere apology I also believe he chose the wrong topic to hypothetically champion and publicly voice. I believe that in this matter the CBC and the University of Calgary have acted quickly and appropriately, perhaps the only restitution that many victims of this hideous crime may ever receive.

    Anyway, that’s my opinion.

  3. Freedom of expression grants a right to have an opinion, to express a tangible or intangible concept. If, however the resulting expression victimizes another individual or group than it does not serve the common good and thereby oversteps the boundaries and ultimately the intent of the right we enjoy and should protect at all costs.

    When an individual promotes victimization under the guise of Freedom of expression they may be entitled to their OPINION but they are not necessarily entitled to respect or acceptance.

    Personally I find Tom Flanagan’s stance repulsive. I do not believe he should be supported in any fashion. My opinion.

    While I do not find anything offensive regarding the T-SHIRT, if BOB had had the benefit of additional education and possessed a greater level of class he would have addressed the situation in council with regards to the T-SHIRT much differently. Bob Kilger could have more appropriately as a representative of our community simply pointed out that your choice of apparel was outside the bounds of good taste for the venue and therefore unacceptable to all present as per existing guidelines. Unfortunate for BOB that he chose to make the situation rather more personal in nature. Unprofessional to say the least.

    You effectively baited BOB and he swallowed hook line and sinker. Find a place to hang the T-SHIRT that showed BOB for what he is,
    get on with promoting Cornwall as a positive environment and wise choice to live and do business! Such action I am sure would have a beneficial impact on advertiser retention. Show some class!

  4. I agree with Darcy that Mr. Flanagan does have the right to express his opinion as a private individual. As individuals we have the right not to listen to him or attend the events he is expressing his individual opinion.

    However a public servant or employee of the public, say a Mayor or City Councilor or MPP or MP, when making a public statement or simply doing thier job do not have the right to superceed the public’s interest with their own. We pay their salary and if they want to pursue their own agenda they can do so on their own dime.

    If a politicain or civil servant puts his or her personal interests about the public’s then they should resign.

  5. Oops, my apologise. I did not intend to try and hide my identity. My computer is booting up very slowly this morning and I used another computer to post my comment. I forgot to change the default name.

    Reg Coffey

  6. “Do you think Mr. Flanagan should lose his gigs for his opinions?”

    For his opinions in this case, yes, absolutely.

    Freedom of expression is not a licence to speak your mind no matter what or where. It has to be tempered by judgment.

    You can’t just blurt out what you want, where you want, to whom you want. Well, yes, you can. But if everybody did that, we’d soon have chaos.

    In this case, Professor Flanagan was giving a public talk to an audience of students. That is, to a gathering of young, impressionable minds who could be expected to look up to him as a figure of wisdom and authority. (Three cheers for the University of Lethbridge students for calling M. Flanagan on his atrocious remarks.)

    Whatever he may think, in saying what he said, Mr. Flanagan exhibited appalling lack of judgment. And his attempt at an apology afterwards, saying his words were “badly chosen,” doesn’t cut it. Just like the typical excuse of the Harperite Conservatives he groomed for power…who, when they are caught out, are apt to say they “misspoke.”

    Come to think of it, Mr. Harper, like his mentor, also displays woeful judgment. Look at his Senate appointees; look at his appointment to the board of CSIS of Dr. Arthur Porter, who is now in the Bahamas wanted on charges of fraud; look at the clown we have as Minister of Defence; and so much more.

    All due respect, Darcy Neal, with the current government Canada is already lurching towards tyranny: tyranny through (PMO) censorship and all-round incompetence.

    Time for Canadians to follow the Lethbridge students’ example and call this government to account.

  7. Okay, was what Mr. Flanagan said repulsive, venal, and totally unacceptable? yes, of course, anyone with any sense could see that. I would like to see, as documented proof, the contention that Mr. Flanagan belonged to the society that advocates this evil, absolute proof. If he does , then where the hell are the background checkers in Government to look into these things?

    As for the rest of the Op-ed…I call Blargh….So, what you’re saying, going by your contention that seeing Violence on TV, Magazines, Youtube, whatever media you choose ( even the stalwart CFN???) that we are like Pavlov Killers just waiting to be set off when our bell gets rung? Geez…wonder what you have to say when just over 100 years ago, Public Executions were considered family events, where people went to see people getting strung up, beheaded, took the kiddies along, the crowds were full of carnival barkers selling their wares….. You go ahead and take a look at some of the archived newspapers, you’ll know what you find? That we haven’t changed much as a species. I watch shows like Boardwalk Empire, which aside from the fact it is brilliantly written, acted, produced, and faithful to the time period, takes place in an era when gangsters regularly mowed down enemies and ‘civilians’ alike. So, this ‘ Coarsening’ of societal values has been with us a long, long time. Why not include the 10 million who died in WW1, the 50 Million in WW2? One thing we humans have proved ourselves adept at is killing each other in many and varied ways. To imagine a ‘ Pollyanna’ time when the grass was greener, and everyone got along, and there was no crime of any kind… has never been, never will be. If you start drawing lines as to what connects us with our violent impulses…I’m reminded of some lyrics out of Bob Dylan song, ‘ John Birch Society Blues’…..

    “When I finally started thinkin straight
    When I run out of things to investigate
    Couldn’t imagine doing anything else
    Now I’m sitting at home investigating myself
    Hope I don’t find out anything….Uh Oh!’

  8. Author

    Boardwalk Empire rocks!

  9. Yes that clown of a defence minister is right indeed. His nose is long like pinochio and you know where he has been sticking it in. LOL LOL. Can you imagine the defence minister marrying an Iranian woman where tensions are mighty deep involved with Iran and she could be a hindrance having her married to that long nosed fish hook MacKay.

    Canada complains about terrorists and having that doctor wanted and is a senator – gee I no longer want to be called Canadian when we have so many terrorists and people wanted here that it makes me ashamed. Even Cornwall’s mayor is so mighty corrupt and it shows right in his face. These dirtbags think that they are above the law when they are all evil and corrupted to the core.

Leave a Reply