Another day, another dollar. Still no signs of comprehension from the massed “intellect” of Tory blog-artists.
Overnight, the story gets more complex, thanks to Henry McDonald in the Irish edition of today’s Observer. For some inscrutable reason, it seems this dynamite had to be kept away from the rest of the UK readership.
What we know for certain is that the Tories, the UUP and the DUP inner circle met up at Hatfield House a week back. Already the story enters the realms of surreality: the modern progressive Tory Party doesn’t revert to Edwardian skullduggery in the country house of the Lords Salisbury (hereditary owners of the Tory Party) ? But it did.
Subsequently two totally opposing narratives have emerged:
One is that Owen Paterson, the Tory Shadow for Northern Ireland, was doing the decent thing, elbowing aside Secretary of State Woodward, and oiling the squealing wheels of Unionist Policing and Justice “policy”. Therein lies another preconception: that Peter Robinson and the DUP leadership want such movement. For reasons nobody has yet explained, all this ultra-altruism needed to be kept from public scrutiny.
The other is that the Hatfield House Cabal was in part or in whole a stitch-up of NI constituencies to benefit the London Tory machine. For very obvious reasons this had to kept away from the public, and indeed most of the UUP and DUP. When this was realised by the poor bloody infantry back in Northern Ireland, three would-be Tory candidates pulled the plug on their potential nominations. What adds spice to the pot is the three candidates were:
- Peter McCann, a BBC producer for Top Gear, who must on any grounds qualify as one of Cameron’s A-listers, but who happens also to be a West Belfast Roman Catholic;
- Sheila Davidson, a high-profile businesswoman, another “star” candidate, who happens also to be a Roman Catholic;
- Deirdre Nelson, a Ballymena councillor who defected from the DUP to the Tories last summer.
On the surface, three highly eligible and photogenic potential candidates. Yet, two RCs and two women: not qualities which command respect from your average DUP stalwart.
So we are left wondering: did they jump precipitately, or were they sensing that the wind had changed and they were no longer welcome?
All of which is part, but only one part of a far greater story:
Why are the Tories and their London megaphones ignoring the dark depths of this story?
As if we couldn’t guess.