The Reckless Charm Of Jim Watson

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Former mayor Jim Watson has been on a charm offensive for the past year or so.

His latest foray was a visit to Ottawa City Hall’s council chambers. He’s on a career resuscitation campaign after the disastrous (for him) light-rail inquiry.

Very few people are as charming as Watson.

Watson is very good at first impressions and that works for awhile. That said, he has trouble maintaining long-term relationships as we saw from his squabbles with the provincial government (that came back to bite him very badly with the LRT inquiry) and the National Capital Commission and, accordingly, the federal government. As well, he threw a number of councillors under the bus.


While Watson is an electoral savant, he is a gruesome administrator.

Nevertheless, Watson’s No. 1 asset is charm … oodles of it.

Here is what author Evelyn Waugh said of charm from his book Brideshead Revisited:

“(Charm) spots and kills anything it touches. It kills love; it kills art; I greatly fear, my dear Charles, it has killed you.”

Brideshead character Anthony Blanche to his friend Charles Ryder

Beware of charm.

Ken Gray

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