Big on Society, Small on Principle (Image Wikipedia)
Conservative central office has never really cared for Conservatives who happen to reside in Northern Ireland. CCHQ has a history of being populated by people who think that people here only want to vote for sectarianism of one hue or another. Moreover, it has also employed its fair share of small-minded bigots.
This evening the Conservatives’ little-Ulster fossils have been trotted out to defend the policy of assuming the missionary position for the UUP. Laurence Robertson, who plays second fiddle to Owen Paterson, is probably closer to the DUP than he is to the UUP. But he’s certainly never been a friend of the Conservatives in Northern Ireland.
Barnoness Warsi, Tory Chairwoman, who favours a greater role for faith groups in the “Big Society” also appears to be fan of the Orange-soaked UUP. Big Society in Little Ulster. Great.
It has taken quite a while for the local Conservatives to see that Paterson, Robertson and CCHQ intended to systematically ignore them in seeking a deal with the rudderless and useless UUP. But, then again, the Conservative Party leadership is also in a coalition government with the rudderless and policy-devoid Lib Dems. So this is familiar territory.
The UUP seems to be in gloating mode that it has stolen a march on local Conservatives. But, frankly, who would want to be involved in a Conservative Party that is devoid of any perceptible Conservative values?
The politics of this once great United Kingdom seems to lack any political party with any vestige of any political principle. Instead we have the politics of local and national populism. Our Executive is incapable of agreeing a budget while, nationally, our Prime Minister, like the one before him, prefers to schmooze with celebrities, as an alternative to articulating any coherent policy positions.
Oh and today the Big Society turned out to be a requirement for us all to shovel grit.
In a world that seems increasingly like a confederacy of dunces Sammy Wilson is beginning to sound rational. Now that is a worry.