Sixty-nine-year-old Peter Goldring sports a shaggy beard and enjoys playing Scrabble at 2:00 am. He’s an extraordinary dreamboat—the sort that makes Justin Trudeau look like Stephen Harper—but he’s more than just a pretty face. Wednesday, Mr. Goldring proved his intellectual merit by weighing in on the recent Parliamentary sexual harassment scandal. His comments were worth reporting.
In a press release, Goldring cautioned other MPs about the dangers of spending time together. He claimed that an innocent chill session could be misconstrued as something much more sinister: “It will not be good enough to simply say that your intentions were honourable and you were just inviting a colleague to your apartment at two in the morning to play a game of Scrabble at the end of a day of playing sports and drinking.” It was immediately clear that Mr. Goldring is at least as old as his age suggests, but is nowhere near as romantically savvy. Innocently inviting someone over to your apartment to play Scrabble at 2:00 am after a day of playing sports and drinking? Where I’m from that screams “I WANT YOU BAD!” Perhaps Mr. Goldring is unaware of romantic inference—maybe his childhood predates the Medieval tradition of courting. Either way, his life would make a hilarious movie.
Moving on, Goldring offered further proof of his naïveté when he advised that, “MPs must learn, as I have from encounters with authority figures in the past, that all do not tell the truth.” Did he really need an encounter with an authority figure to know that many MPs are liars? It seems like he could have saved himself the trouble of having to talk to anyone by watching a cabinet minister speak in two successive Question Periods.
Forgetting his questionable understanding of romance and government, Goldring offers a superb solution to the harassment problem: wear cameras at all times. That’s actually what Goldring does, so that no one can frame him for doing something he didn’t do. Spitting on the prior conclusion that he is romantically inept, he displays a knack for innuendo by labeling his body cameras “protection.” He’s quite funny! Not intentionally. It’s mostly because he seems a bit weird.
Goldring’s comments are the latest in the bizarre and continually unfolding scandal that currently has everyone on Parliament Hill saying either “I didn’t do anything” or “I can’t do anything.” Still, love or hate what Goldring says (if you can make sense of it), he has managed to do something that few Harper-era Conservative MPs could ever accomplish. As the CBC has reported, the PMO said, “Mr. Goldring’s comments reflect his own personal position.” Give him a round of applause! He’s a backbench MP and he isn’t clapping for sardines. The content of his speech may be worthless, but the fact that he’s turning his own thoughts into words at all is impressive.