23 December 2010

Of Death Eaters and Horcruxes

From deep inside the Conservative bunker this past couple of weeks have come one consistent set of stories.

Someone doesn’t want to have a leadership contest.  Whether it is the pressures of time on the party or fear of opening up internal divisions that just won’t heal, Conservative back-room boys have been trying to engineer a coronation.

Until Wednesday, those were just stories.

Then events started to unfold.

A couple of weeks ago, Darin King said he would take the time over Christmas to discuss his political future with family and friends.  Christmas must have come early. 

"My children are not that old — my son's in grade 11, my daughter's in grade 7 — my wife is a full time professional and I'm sure people would appreciate, its very taxing on the family, just time alone that you're away from home," said King.

"To consider taking on another challenge such as this at this point and time for me, it was our conclusion, that it's not in the best interest for us collectively as a family." [via CBC]

Reporters heard about King’s media scrum from a strange source:  Jerome Kennedy.  After announcing he was bowing out of the race because he had two teenage children, Kennedy told reporters that King would be along later with an announcement of his won.

And to confirm that the fix was in, both endorsed Kathy Dunderdale as the leader of the province’s Conservatives.  By default, she gets to remain as Premier.

Now a young family or other unspecified family pressures are usually a genuine explanation of why someone leaves cabinet or even leaves politics altogether. But these aren’t young families.  Both men have teenage children and they got into politics when their children were much younger – that’s the time when a young and needy family would be the reason for someone to stay out of politics.

Wednesday’s announcement by Kennedy and King sounds like  someone who quits a job to spend more time with the kids and then goes after another job that would have him spend less time with the family.  As a story, it just doesn’t hang together.

The stories about a back-room deal only grew stronger as time went by.  If the latest whisperings are true, the back-room manoeuvres involved none other than Danny Williams Hisself.  Williams was the only one who could contain the ambitions of so many for so long.  And as it seems now Williams may have been the one who could convince the ambitious to bide their time a while longer.

There’s no question, though, that someone is working behind the scenes to manoeuvre everyone into a certain position. There might be a few more minor shoes to drop – maybe some staff changes in Kathy’s suite -  but Darin King and Jerome Kennedy made it clear on Wednesday that the fix is in:  it will be Premier Dunderdale leading the Conservatives into the election, whenever it comes.

How long the fix lasts, though, is another question.


Just coincidentally, you might have noticed some changes to the government online phone directory lately.  Right at the end of the listings for the Premier’s Office is an interesting entry:


Danny Williams is still listed in the office.  He holds the position of “Premier Dunderdale”.

Makes you wonder.

- srbp -
Update:  Corrected time references.