Quote note (#264)
David Henderson quoting Peter Brimelow:
One winter afternoon in late 1975, Joe Clark came to see me in the Toronto offices of the Financial Post. This was even before he became Joe Who. He was running for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party, but almost no one had noticed. Earlier that fall Clark had broken a previous appointment with me, pleading insufficient time to consult his economic advisors. Economics is a stigma you have to accept when you write for the Financial Post. Somewhat reluctantly, I began our rescheduled interview by asking him what he thought about the Economic Council of Canada’s just-published report Looking Outward, which had recommended continental free trade and had therefore been widely denounced as advocating Canada’s absorption into the U.S.A. […] Clark immediately fell apart. Frankly, he said, he didn’t know anything about economics — still — and his exhausting schedule wasn’t helping. You see, he added, “when I went into politics I had to choose between learning economics and learning French. And I chose French.”
There are socio-historical depths to that option lying beyond all facile comprehension.