Is Richard Warman ashamed of himself?
Yesterday I wrote about how the Canadian Human Rights Commission is in their own dreamworld, denying that there is anything at all wrong with the way they conduct themselves, hoping that if they just brazen it out a bit, all of this unwelcome scrutiny will somehow go away. I admire confidence, but they're not exhibiting confidence -- they're exhibiting denial mixed with delirium.
I actually don't think the CHRC is as confident as they pretend to be; the very fact that they and Canada's other HRCs have started a coordinated PR fight-back campaign shows they know that their political environment is changing quickly, and what they could get away with in the past, simply through lack of public scrutiny, is unlikely to work in the future. I think they rue the day they accepted Richard Warman's complaint against Marc Lemire -- not out of any sense of reflection or contrition, but simply because he is the starting point for so much of the criticism against the CHRC itself.
But what about Warman? He's busy over at the Department of National Defence, working hard as a "Director of Special Grievances". He's no longer at the CHRC, but has he adjusted his behaviour to account for the new political realities?
Hardly. In fact, if it's even possible, the man has become even more petty, thin-skinned and threatening. When this student newspaper dared to publish an article about freedom of speech, mentioning Warman in passing, Warman fired off a letter threatening a lawsuit, just last Thursday. Here's the thoughtful account of it, as published on the blog of the student reporter, Byron Tau. Like some of the commenters on his blog entry, I'm impressed by the kid's sangfroid in the face of such a nuisance. Other, far more powerful people, have cowered before Warman's demands for censorship before.
That's the first thing that struck me -- Warman is still conducting his campaign of "maximum disruption", in an even more petty and abusive manner than before. (Come on -- threatening a student? What a lame bully.)
But the second thing was what Warman considered to be defamatory about Tau's article. According to Warman's nasty note, he was defamed because, amongst other things:
ii) the article wrongly asserts that I filed a human rights complaint against David Icke;
iii) the article wrongly asserts that I am the complainant in almost 50% of all Canadian human rights cases;
Now slow down just a moment and think about that. The legal definition of defamation is something that lowers your reputation. Is Warman saying that filing a human rights complaint against David Icke is something that would lower his reputation? Or than filing 50% of all Canadian human rights complaints is disreputable?
To Tau's credit, he corrected his slight errors -- Warman has filed a lawsuit against Icke, not a human rights complaint against him (and he also counselled an assault against Icke, but that's another matter). And Warman has filed about 50% of all section 13 thought crime complaints, not 50% of all complaints under all categories. But those are minor trifles, and Tau has corrected them. The thrust of Tau's piece remains.
Is Warman conceding that being a serial complainant is disreputable? Is he admitting that filing a complaint against Icke would be disreputable? Is he ashamed of his conduct at the CHRC, such that if someone were to overstate it, he'd be embarrassed?
Of course not; Warman, like the rest of the CHRC, believes in his own righteousness so deeply that he excuses his own misconduct. He's not admitting that his lucrative hobby of filing complaints is disreputable -- he's still pursuing them with gusto (or, more accurately, the CHRC is, with our tax dollars). So if Warman lacks any hesitation or second thoughts, why is he threatening Tau, and listing those two items as "defamatory"?
Well, because that's what Warman does: he bullies people. Sometimes it works, like in the case of the Toronto Public Library. Sometimes it doesn't, such as when he tried to bully me. I've never met Byron Tau, but I'm so proud that he has refused to be bullied by Canada's most litigious man.