Rob Ford, the Mayor of Toronto, is so ridiculous that even London’s zip-wiring, pond-falling, wiff-waffing Mayor Boris Johnson looks like John Major in comparison.
The latest scandal to hit Ford is an alleged video of him smoking crack cocaine that’s been seen by three journalists who all identified the Mayor.
A Toronto drug dealer is asking for C$200,000 (£130,000) for the full tape and the US website Gawker is currently approaching $100,000 in its online attempt to raise the money to get its hands on it, which I think we can all agree is the kind of thing democracy and online fundraising sites were invented for.
Unsurprisingly, it’s not Ford’s first brush with trouble. Here then, are some of his greatest hits. (And Boris, it’s time to raise your game.)
In 2006, the then city councillor is forcibly removed from a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game after drunkenly insulting an out-of-town couple who asked him to be quiet. Ford responded to that request thus: “Who the f*** do you think you are? Are you a f******* teacher?” Then he asked of the man: “Do you want your little wife to go over to Iran and get raped and shot?” Later Ford apologised.
Not quite Boris or New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in this regard, during a 2007 debate he suggested that “Roads are built for buses, cars and trucks. Not for people on bikes. And my heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.”
On his city’s Asian population:
“Those Oriental people work like dogs… they’re slowly taking over.” Later he apologised for his use of the word, “Oriental”.
On the homeless:
In 2002, a council debate on homelessness, Ford reacted to the suggestion of city-wide homeless shelters (rather than just in the city centre): “This is an insult to my constituents to even think about having a homeless shelter in their ward. And you want me to have a public meeting to discuss this? Why don’t we have a public lynching?”
Last August, Ford, who insists on driving himself to work, was snapped by a Twitter user (allegedly while going 70mph) reading papers on the city’s Gardiner Expressway. When questioned about it by a reporter, an exasperated Ford replied: “Ridiculous questions sometimes, seriously.” He was also accused of giving the middle finger to a woman who told him not to use his phone while driving.
In November, Ford was criticised after a Toronto bus was emptied of passengers and rerouted to collect the school football team he coaches. Ford denied asking for the bus to be emptied.