Being Michael Ignatieff - The Globe and Mail
My mother, father, and sister (Sue, Gordon, and Alison MacEwan) have . The ultimate goal of psychotherapy is to help clients address and change the problems ability to establish and maintain a therapeutic relationship with their clients. . ; Horvath, ; Kokotovic & Tracey, ; Meier, Barrowclough & Donmall. Uttom Chowdhury; Susan W. White; Laura Reynolds; Louisa Donald; Hilary . compared CBT and to counselling head-to-head (Barrowclough et al. . may not always agree on treatment goals (McLeod and Weisz ). If, for example, anxiety was raised in terms of relationships, then the relationship. Title: VCCS Annual Report, Author: Susan Hayden, Name: VCCS Annual ACHIEVE GOAL: ACCESS Increase the number of individuals who are .. and seek more and deeper relationships that deliver winning results for . Jayne Barnard Kevin Barrowclough Bruce Bartek Robert Belcher Randall.
He, too, contributed to Old Boys - it's the last public comment he has made about his brother. It's the first time he has ever been away. You have to understand you have to be good to him. Then we went to my Aunt Helen's house and again he was very sweet. My Aunt Helen [Ignatieff, the boys' in loco parentis in Canada]again impressed on him the importance of him looking out for me. Then we went to the school and he introduced me to all the masters in the prep.
Did you sleep well? When we're at Aunt Helen's house or Aunt Charity's house [Charity Grant, their mother's sister] you can say whatever you want to me. But if you ever see me on the school grounds, you're not to talk to me.
You're not to recognize that I'm your brother. You don't exist as far as I'm concerned. Do I make myself clear? For a article in Saturday Night magazine, he recounted to writer Sandra Martin his first memory of Ignatieff family life.
It is the early s. The family is holidaying on Long Island. Alison Ignatieff is off to one side, sunbathing and reading. George and Michael are building a sand castle with turrets, moats and dikes to try to hold back the incoming tide. Pudgy Andrew is plunked in the middle of the castle, trapped and wailing, his distress escalating with each wave that washes over the walls and douses him with sand and sea.
Michael, wiry as a strand of tin, is shoring up walls to the magisterial commands of his father, and both of them are completely oblivious to Andrew's unhappiness.
It would get worse. Ignatieff began working toward a degree in history at University of Toronto's Trinity College, at that time another bastion of Anglo-Canadian elitism and privilege. Margaret MacMillan, now the provost of Trinity and an internationally acclaimed historian, was in her fourth year at the college when he arrived.
Senior students were not inclined to notice first-year students, but she noticed Michael Ignatieff: A friend of George and Alison Ignatieff, Mr. Lewis recaptured the riding and went on to become national leader of the NDP.
The sixties, with their patina of student political radicalism, were a time of campus demonstrations, protests and the phenomenon of teach-ins - mass lectures and discussions on important and controversial issues of the day. Ignatieff took part in a sit-in to protest against recruiting at U of T's engineering faculty by Dow Chemical Co.
Ignatieff's philosopher uncle, George Grant. They produced a book from the teach-in, Religion and International Affairs.
His mother and diplomat father were friends of Alison and George Ignatieff, although the two sons had met only briefly as children. The future premier was a dervish in student politics, writing for the university newspaper, organizing protests against the Vietnam War, getting elected to student council, campaigning for student representation on the university's board of governors.
Late one Saturday morning, after breakfast in his residence dining hall, he was holding forth to an informal audience on his dim view of the campus teach-ins. A dyspeptic undergraduate with dark glasses listened with a look of visible irritation. Finally he asked Mr. Rae just who he thought he was. Rae's response was equally vehement. And, as he writes in his autobiography, From Protest to Power: Personal Reflections on a Life in Politics, "thus began a remarkable friendship.
They moved out of residence into an apartment above Salamander Schmidt's shoe store on Bloor Street West, just north of the campus. They partied together, wrote political articles for The Varsity, travelled together - along with Jeff Rose - to a house owned by the Ignatieffs in France. Claude Bissell, then U of T president, remembers Mr. Rae as having a glorious sense of humour, whereas Mr.
Ignatieff was "serious, reserved and removed. Ignatieff among themwas a student friend of both men, and recalls Mr. Rae as being "more nerdy and Michael more elegant and poised. Ignatieff worked as a reporter for The Globe and Mail, and I, too, remember him as being serious and reserved, but a wonderful person to have a conversation with.
The newspaper's library contains articles written with a skill and maturity astonishing for a year-old, including a first-person story from August,about trying to meet girls through a computerized dating service. He reports that the dating service rejected him and returned his money, with the explanation that "I had been too definite about my ideas, too broadminded about premarital sex, too willing to take out girls of another race or religion and too decided about my own characteristics.
Trudeau not only in the leadership campaign but in the summer election that followed. He also served briefly as national youth director, which he recalls as "a pretty transforming experience, one of the most exciting things I've ever done. Trudeau's principal secretary, suggested that he leave university and work for the party full-time. And then he says something that will apply to almost every turning point in his life: As the authorities prepared to retake control, the inmates - most of them black - asked for volunteer civilian observers to stay with them in their cellblocks as protection against violent retribution by the police and prison guards.
Michael Ignatieff, now 25 and working on his doctorate in history, not only volunteered himself but organized a group of fellow Harvard grad students to be locked up for two nights with the prisoners. He was no stranger to the place. For four years, he had spent almost every Tuesday night talking to black lifers at Walpole and its sister institution, Norfolk prison. It was his first encounter with people who had fallen through the gratings: After the riot, he took the toughest assignment: Michael is someone who immerses himself in a subject and then tries to figure out what he makes of it.
His first book, his dissertation, A Just Measure of Pain, published inencompassed what he had learned from the prisoners. He saw what American society looked like at the bottom.
It made an indelible impression. But why would a product of Anglo-Canadian elitism and privilege be interested in violence and social order? Because of the man he tried ceaselessly to please: Michael Ignatieff would later write exquisitely of George. There is also his success: He gave me safety. He was never safe. Not safe as a young refugee in England subjected to ethnic taunts. Not safe from always feeling like an outsider in Canada he was 15 when his family arrived here inof not feeling accepted by the elite, despite all his accomplishments as a diplomat and marrying the niece of Vincent Massey, Canada's first native-born governor-general and the closest thing to an Anglo aristocrat the country has likely known - and projecting these insecurities onto his son.
Sitting in his office off Parliament Hill three decades later, Mr. Ignatieff struggles to make sense of what Walpole meant to him: I think my whole life I've been fascinated by this sense that the world is divided into zones of safety and zones of danger and violence, and the distance between the two is very small.
You can't think of these zones of safety as being happy, consensual, liberal. They're maintained with this, with violence. In reality, he was feeling anything but cocky. The Walpole ordeal was a nightmarish experience for him, and back in the hallowed halls of Harvard, he was finding life brutal.
He had come from provincial University of Toronto where he had been at the top of his class and was now discovering that everyone he met at America's pre-eminent institution of higher learning was smarter than he was.
He wrote letters to friends in Toronto telling them to do their graduate work elsewhere. His chum Bob Rae was similarly unhappy. Rae had gone on from U of T to Oxford's Balliol College as a Rhodes scholar and was likewise intimidated by his encounter with the best and brightest from around the world. He wrote in his autobiography: Conversation was an effort; I couldn't read or write without feeling completely inadequate; my self-esteem was at zero. Ignatieff's apartment for a weekend, and stayed six months, U of T's two former golden boys consoling each other far from home.
Rae eventually travelled on - staying with his friend, he wrote, "only delayed solving the problem" - leaving Mr. Ignatieff alone to brood on Harvard as "the court of the Manchu emperors" with its cult of The Professor surrounded by fawning students. Years later, the anger still twisted inside him. Peretz recounts how efforts to have Mr. Ignatieff promoted to assistant professor were squelched by an influential member of the Harvard faculty who argued that, "given his advantages as a scion of the aristocracy, and an especially handsome one too, his accomplishments were less than they appeared.
Ignatieff now discounts this anecdote: As far as accomplishments, I was still finishing my PhD. I think Marty is embroidering. So I genuinely respect scholarship and genuinely think the academy is where new ideas come from. But you can get suffocated. It was to begin in the fall of He was 29, and decided to go to England for a summer holiday. Cupid's arrow whacked them both.
Two weeks later, he took her to the house in Provence, "knowing," he later wrote, "that this was the place which would reveal us to each other. She was wearing a white dress and a red Cretan sash.
She had a particular expertise on Quebec filmmaker Jean-Pierre Lefebvre. She infected the Vancouver film community with her energy and enthusiasm. Tougas, who remains one of her few Canadian friends. She was having a lot of fun. It was one of the best experiences of her life. Ignatieff applied for a six-year research fellowship in the history of classical political economy at King's College, Cambridge. He didn't like teaching Canadian history to young British Columbians.
Lawrence from Donald Creighton, and it ended at Lake Superior, so they didn't know what the hell you were talking about. They became part of an intellectual collective of bright young socialist academics, writers and trade unionists calling themselves the History Workshop and described by one of its members as "a permanent maelstrom of inquiry into the working-class industrial city. Its nerve centre was his house, an 18th-century weaver's cottage in Spitalfields in London's East End.
Its glue was the monthly journal members of the collective edited and their tight bonds of friendship. They shared interests in the intersections of history, philosophy and politics. They wrote for avant-garde publications such as New Society. They had common enthusiasms for music, theatre and film. They met in each other's apartments to talk and party. Ignatieff, they have since moved on in life. When I call and ask them to talk about him, they invite me to their homes in Islington, the north London enclave of the well-to-do intelligentsia.
Or we meet in their academic offices or some fashionable wine bar off Fleet Street. Ignatieff, for the most part, they still feel an unalloyed bond with their past. Samuel and the group affectionately embraced the Ignatieffs, a couple everyone marked as being passionately in love and engrossed in each other's lives. They liked Susan's quick mind, her warmth and vitality, and her independence from Michael - indeed, her intellectual competitiveness with him. They admired Michael's intelligence and knowledge, his supple political mind, his astonishing facility to write analytical prose and his rigorous discipline as an author.
He wrote two books in this period: Wealth and Virtue, on Scotland during the Enlightenment, and The Needs of Strangers, on the philosophical conflict between individualism and communitarianism. The women found him enormously charming, a sympathetic listener, a man who didn't talk down to them, who was self-deprecating, funny, always good for a giggle - two women friends used that same phrase to describe him - appealingly intense, and exotic with his Canadian accent.
He and another member of the collective, Hugh Brody, a talented filmmaker and anthropologist, found cerebral soulmates in each other. They critiqued each other's manuscripts, revelled in each other's ideas and decided to collaborate on a television series proposed by Mr. They got funding from the British Film Institute, persuaded actors Paul Scofield and Maria Schell to play the lead roles for a small fraction of their standard fees, and the result was Nineteen-Nineteen, directed by Mr.
Brody and completed in They made plans to collaborate again. Instead, they drifted apart - as Michael Ignatieff would drift away from all but a very few in the group. He had arrived at an "ending. He was about to reinvent himself, and friends would be hurt in the process. As his Cambridge fellowship drew to a close, everyone could see his increasing restlessness.
He was vocally unhappy. If he had found a Manchu court at Harvard, he found a medieval monastery at Cambridge - stultifying and suffocating.
He had had long talks with Sally Alexander, who had become a close friend, about finding a more satisfying definition of himself - about wanting to pursue a writing career and engage more publicly with the issues of the day. No one was surprised when he suddenly announced in that he was leaving the academy to become a freelance journalist - "going over the monastery wall," as he put it.
He began it by withdrawing from a successful academic life at Cambridge for the uncertain world of a writer. A film script about Sigmund Freud, called Nineteen-Nineteen, has been turned into reality, with Paul Scofield in the main role.
He has written a book of remarkable insight into human nature, The Needs of Strangers, which is having considerable success. His journalism is sprouting almost everywhere you look. And, most significantly, he and his wife Susan have had their first child, a son.
Shadows invaded that "good" year. Margaret Thatcher had come to power in Britain with a mandate to reverse the country's economic decline and reduce the role of the state in the economy.
She let unemployment rise from one million to three million and, by some estimates, five million. She slashed public services. She was determined to curtail the power of the trade unions.
In March,British miners went on strike against her plan to rationalize coal production by closing 20 mines and shedding 20, jobs. In response, she branded the strikers "the enemy within" whose values were not those of the British people, and vowed to destroy their union and its militant leader, Arthur Scargill. Within months, the miners and their families were destitute, starving, reduced to scavenging on the mines' slag heaps for bits of fuel to stay warm.
Ignatieff went to a miners' benefit organized in a north London house by one of his friends. Some miners' wives had been invited. There were buckets on the floor to drop donations into. He found it one of the most uncomfortable gatherings he had ever attended. It was a pivotal moment in his life.
But there are conflicting versions of precisely what flowed from that evening.
Being Michael Ignatieff
Ignatieff's account, he saw the manifest British class system in the house: Scargill was leading them over a cliff. He says he became acutely aware of how much he hated the British class system. He saw how wrong he had been to think that, as an expatriate Canadian, he had been handed a sort of free pass to stand apart from what he saw as class games being played by his left-wing friends.
He realized that, despite the years he had spent with the History Workshop, he was not a socialist; he was a liberal - "left of centre, but always a liberal. And so, while Mr. Ignatieff wrote an article for the December,issue of New Statesman stating that the coal miners were indeed acting against the national interest. He also regretted the absence of a rational political culture in Britain, so the issue could be discussed without fomenting class warfare.
But what his article fomented was a furor around its author. He was accused of betraying the cause. People severed friendships with him. Raphael Samuel, guiding light of the History Workshop, was furious. Ignatieff withdrew from the collective and dropped a wall between himself and all but a few of his former chums.
These people had been my extended family for a long time, and they're people for whom I still have enormous affection. But I just felt I didn't belong to that kind of pious political correctness. I just felt it wasn't intellectually honest.
Ignatieff since those days. In an interview in the kitchen of her Islington home, she recalls that "at the time of the miners strike, the purist left could not stand for any argument which said the miners might pragmatically be seen to be taking an ideologically self-immolatory position, that their leader wasn't close to God, that Thatcher [wasn't]a devil and so on. I think this hurt Michael deeply, since these people had been his friends.
Friendship and politics colliding is tough. But being a Canadian he didn't have the same kind of tribal loyalty.
Ignatieff's behaviour comes from several of the friends he and Susan lost. As they saw it, with the birth of his first child, he wanted to become an idealized, famous father like his own had been. He wanted to distance himself from polarized British politics so he could achieve the profile and earnings of an establishment media figure.
In their account, he decided that his left-wing friends no longer were useful to him and exaggerated differences with them over the strike in order to stage an opportunistic withdrawal from the collective. They say that, as his media career blossomed, they sensed a new Michael Ignatieff whenever they encountered him, one who was "patrician," "apostolic" and "arrogant. He was one of the best people to take shape with at that period of one's life.
But later he gave the impression that he was the only one of us who understood the complexities of the world.
I thought he didn't take me as seriously as I took him. And, of course, he had moved into a more exotic, grander, more prestigious circle than I inhabited. He wound the window down and we talked briefly. I think maybe he had collected one of his children from rather a posh school, not the local school, and I thought, 'Uh-uh, he's moved away from the rest of us without letting on.
He just seemed distant and he didn't seem to want my company. In retrospect, I felt like he was saying goodbye.
Soon after her birth, it became apparent that Michael's relationship with Susan was running into trouble. About that time, he wrote that "I'm yet another of these ghastly London males of around 40 who walk around believing they invented fatherhood, children, happy marriages, domesticity. Ignatieff that he did not know how to handle it. It is interesting - given Mr.
Ignatieff's social-class meditations on the miners' strike - that when discussing Susan, who refused to be interviewed for this story, the first observation Britons usually make is that she is working-class. Canadians who know her never mention it. She came from a blue-collar background. Her mother walked out on the family when Susan was As the oldest of five children, she was expected to care for the younger ones. There were dark and troubled moments in her childhood. She was the only member of her school graduating class to go on to university.
She acquired elegance, an education, culture, membership in the chattering classes - and she acquired Michael, whom she adored. When she became pregnant with Theo inshe quit her job with the British Film Institute to be a stay-at-home mum, and thereafter tried hard - desperately hard, said several friends - to keep pace with her husband as his life dramatically changed. As a close acquaintance of the two says: Then suddenly it wasn't there any more.
VCCS Annual Report by Susan Hayden - Issuu
Others picked up on occasional comments from Michael that Susan increasingly resented the time he spent on work. A woman friend was astonished to see Susan at a cocktail party two weeks after Sophie's birth. Asked why, she replied that she was determined to stay active in Michael's life. Another friend says Susan was angry with a lyrical newspaper article Mr. Ignatieff had written about watching her sleep - because the article was really about Michael, and she appeared only as an object.
Still another friend, commenting on the growing distance between the couple, observes with a breath of class commentary: The leap over the monastery wall had taken Mr. Ignatieff into a patch of thorns. It has produced some of his most incomparably beautiful writing, caused some of the greatest pain to those close to him and is the most difficult thing about him to understand.
His academic and journalistic inquiries into human rights, violence, ethnic nationalism and the moral obligations of liberal democracies have brought him international acclaim as a public intellectual. Now that he is a politician, they say, it's hard to see True Patriot Love as anything other than a grotesquely over-blown campaign leaflet.
Ignatieff, who has the aloof manner and the half-closed, upwardly-tilting eyes of a pedigree cat, looks at me more in sorrow than in anger when I bring this up. It is so very Yes, I did want to say, since I am under constant attack for various things: You don't know who you are dealing with.
But the overwhelming motive was just to figure out how the story held together over three generations. In the s, Ignatieff reported from the Balkan wars, and he has written several books about the dangers of nationalism. Isn't it odd, now, to be praising as a virtue what he once suggested could so easily become a dangerous vice?
But there's also another nationalism, which we call patriotism, which is a love of country and is perfectly inclusive, and I don't think you can run a country unless you can appeal to it. You gotta reach down into something: You don't want to overdo it. You don't want to get sentimental about it. But [if it isn't there] you've got nothing to go on. Patriotism is the secret resource of a successful society.
Since when did irony and politics go? But Ignatieff used to be a writer. Listening to him now, it's as if he's been sedated, or body-snatched, or something. He's like a jazz man who's lost his sense of rhythm.
Today, Ignatieff really is just visiting. We meet in a grand room in Canada House, on Trafalgar Square, to the sound of squawking from the Gormley plinth outside. He is in London only briefly. This morning, he had meetings at the foreign office and with David Cameron. This afternoon, it is the turn of Lord Mandelson. In between, he hopes to meet up with a few old friends, "occasionally sneaking out for a little ramble through the old haunts".
His London schedule, like his meeting earlier this year with Barack Obama, is, I guess, a sign of how seriously politicians outside Canada now take him — and he returns the favour.
I ask how he found Cameron. He's got real answers to real questions. He knows what he believes, and he is intensely political in the best sense of the word. I thought he was personally charming. But Ignatieff used to be a writer, a man who could say whatever he liked, and now he is a politician, and is able to say precisely nothing unless it comes straight from the script.
How can that be fun? The Ignatieff brow — portcullis to his great big brain — wrinkles in the approved manner. Your question implies that I've suddenly had to tie myself in knots.
No, I don't have to tie myself in knots, and I don't have to cease being who I am. But I have to watch what I say because the public has no other way to judge me than by what they read. I can't walk around saying: I don't know how he contains himself. I see this as the most exciting thing I've ever had to do. The most difficult, but when it's going well, the most rewarding.
But the bonus in politics is that, in theory, the politician gets to make people's lives better. The best part of what I've been doing in the past four years has been listening intently to Canadians in big rooms and small rooms, in wharves and bars and airport lounges, just trying to pick up the music here, so that what's really on their minds gets into the policies. Admittedly, everything I know about Canada has been gleaned from the stories of Alice Munro, and the novels of Carol Shields [Ignatieff nods approvingly at this: But in [just] the same way that you really should not tell a falsehood in your private life.
I'm not sure I see this huge gulf between the moral world I've entered and the moral world I've left. I know Ignatieff is not exactly a plumber… but still: I don't want to give the wrong impression.
Going to meet the president of the United States is a big deal. You do get, erm, a little apprehensive. But he is a master political animal. Grips you by the elbow, tells you that he's read your books, sits you down, makes you feel like you're the only guy in the world.
Thirty-five minutes later, you think: But you don't feel surreal. You feel you're sitting down with an extremely intelligent, good listener who's locked right in. A month into his presidency, and he conveyed the impression that he's always been president. That was genuinely astounding. He was at ease in some amazing way.
But you stitch it together. Everyone thinks I lived in an ivory tower, but I lived as a freelance, I lived by my wits, for 15 years, and it wasn't always easy. If you lived in literary London and had as many bad reviews as I did, you kind of toughen up anyway. And painful as it is to say, I've learned more from bad reviews than good reviews. Politics is like getting a really bad review: After he was elected leader of the Liberals, a Canadian newspaper sent a reporter to interview his former classmates.
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One described how the young Michael would walk around with a copy of Paris Match underneath his arm, telling people that his goal was to be prime minister. Another recalled Ignatieff lecturing him on the meaning of the destruction of the Russian navy in the Russo-Japanese war.
But inshortly after his 30th birthday, he left the country of his birth to seek his fortune elsewhere. He went first to Cambridge, to continue the academic career he had begun in Canada, and then, tiring of his ivory tower, to London, to live as a freelance writer. As freelances go, he was more successful than most.