Winnipeg - A contender for the Victoria Beach Yacht Club Commodoreship has unequivocally withdrawn from the race and swung his full support behind Alexander James Tooley. A spokesman for Chames Thomas held a brief press conference on the grounds of the Legislature yesterday afternoon. The spokesman declined to speak specifically on Mr. Thomas’ reasons for quitting the race but speculation persists that he is considering accepting an ivory tower position at the London School of Economics.
Others insist that such a position would never be accepted by Mr. Thomas on the grounds that it fundamentally compromises his political persona. Mr. Thomas’ parents, a lowly civil servant and an architectural historian have long been invoked as his connecting point to the working class who are his political base. The family’s rickety cottage tilts precariously amongst the grime and despair of Victoria Beach’s notorious Fifth Avenue. Others point out that a private school education, time spent studying at the posh University of Toronto, and grandparents who attended Harvard University undermine this image. Indeed, critics doubt whether or not Mr. Thomas would be seen to be a darling of the working poor, had his rival not been the son of Sir Mark Tooley, an influential member of Sunset Avenue’s landed class and former editor of the powerful weekly newspaper.
A spokesman for Mr. Tooley expressed his thanks for Mr. Thomas’ support. It has not been a terrific week for the Tooley camp as a scandal at his former high school - the elite St. John’s-Ravenscourt - has re-opened questions about the closed and secretive world of privilege from which Mr. Tooley comes. Moreover, tension has run high amongst the Tooley clan as there have been delays on the family’s massive renovation of their palatial estate. The family’s contractor is scrambling to find an appropriately large diamond from which the kitchen sink will be carved.
In addition, speculation persists that Mr. Tooley is wooing political strategist and powerful social convener Ryan van Berkel to help with his campaign. Mr. van Berkel recently played an instrumental role in helping elect Dr. Richard Ratball to the VBYC Board of Governors. He has also frequently been retained by Victoria Beach’s Peterson family to help with public relations. For his part Mr. van Berkel has had his own embarassing scandal to worry about. This past winter the famous "What does she like" text message was leaked to the world. On Tuesday evening was photographed in meetings with Tooley aides at an upscale hamburger shop.
- Herald Staff Reporter