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COMMENTARY · 16th April 2011
Kevin Annett

A reporter told me yesterday that John Milloy is feeling hurt that I called him a big, fat idiot.

Well shit, John, lay off the donuts and your fat-cat taxpayer-funded expense allowance and maybe I’ll change your appellation to just plain old Idiot. But until then, the name stands: especially while you keep defrauding the public as the imaginary researcher for the imaginary “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” (TRC).

But I will grant you this: you’re not alone in the lard ass department. I’m referring, of course, to the top token Indian on the TRC, Murray Sinclair: a guy who actually outstrips you in gross tonnage, which is quite an achievement. And he’s just as much an idiot as you are, John: maybe even more of one.

Take, for instance, Murray’s asinine comment to CBC’s Peter Mansbridge in a “candid” interview last year, where he expressed “surprise … that so many children had died in the residential schools”. One wonders where Fat Boy was during the Parliamentary “apology”, where mass graves were mentioned. Probably off eating somewhere.

Murray’s a judge, believe it or not, but unlike his predecessor at the TRC helm, Harry Laforme, Murray doesn’t have the sense to avoid being used to perpetrate a criminal fraud. Harry resigned. But Murray’s still lumbering his portly bulk around the country, doing his best to insult and patronize those few residential school survivors who actually make it to the lavish TRC events: people like Sylvester Green.

Sylvester took Murray at his word, silly sod, and showed up at the Vancouver TRC brouhaha on March 2, to speak about the children he buried at the United Church’s Edmonton Indian Residential School. No chance. Not only were the microphones turned off on him, but Sylvester was told by Murray that he had no time for “more whining and sobbing”.

Fat Boy did have the time, however, for photo ops on the same day with a few hand-picked survivors at a stage-managed “healing circle” that was televised and open to the media. Excuse me?

But the evening buffet was pretty good, I hear, which one could expect at a $500 a day shindig. The image of two jumbo jets like Sinclair and Milloy vying for space at The Trough reminds me of a seminary professor of mine, “The Reverend” Jim McCullum – another BFI – who easily weighed in at three hundred pounds, but whose agility at waddling to the front of the smorgasboard line during faculty and student luncheons was a marvel to behold.

Maybe Murray Sinclair’s rotundity is a bit more understandable than John Boy’s. It’s a stressful job, after all, selling out your own people, and doing it so well for so many years: right from his earliest residential school days in Manitoba, from what I hear. That kind of continual collusion with the enemy can drive anyone to compulsive gobbling – and idiocy. But it makes you wonder what Milloy’s excuse is.

One thing’s for sure, though: the sheer bulk of both of these bozzos doesn’t leave much room for anybody else at the TRC hog fests, as other survivors have testified.

“I’ve never seen such a prearranged bullshit session as this TRC forum” commented Peter Yellow Quill last June, after the Winnipeg TRC event.

“They wouldn’t pay the travel fare or accommodations for us survivors to come and speak, but they paid a rock band and professional caterers a million bucks!”

I guess I’m a bit smug these days about fatness, having shed thirty pounds recently. It’s made me appreciate life more, and feel free to run and jump and enjoy my body. Nowadays, I like what I see in the mirror: unlike Murray, and John.

But I do want to end on a positive note, and even an offer of healing of a sort to our hulking duo: something I call the “Ten and Three Slimming Plan.” That’s the strict diet, of course, that every Indian residential school survivor has had forced on them by Murray, John and their equally fat friends in government and church: the maximum $10,000 lump sum plus $3000 for every year survivors can “prove” attendance at a residential school.

Well boys, what’s sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander – or in your case, the porker – so why not go cold turkey from your bulky salaries and cut back to the “Ten and Three” lifestyle you expect everybody else to survive on?

Who knows? You may feel lighter, and better about yourselves, without all that weight of compromise and corruption to drag around.

You may even be able to look at yourselves in the mirror again.