The Belfast Telegraph claims to have insight into Lady Sylvia Hermon's disgruntlement with the Conservative and Ulster Unionist pact. It cites, as instances of insensitivity to Ulster issues, a senior Tory referring to ‘Irish MPs’ in a meeting with the North Down Member and David Cameron wearing a green tie to a unionist event!
Without accepting the paper’s interpretation as gospel truth, if the MP was influenced by such petty nonsense, she ought to be ashamed.
Lady Hermon should be delighted to identify herself as an Irish MP. She should be proud to be part of a continuous tradition of Irish representation in the House of Commons stretching back more than two centuries. She is privileged to represent the part of Ireland which did not secede from the Union. If an ‘understanding’ of Northern Ireland entails dancing around the Irish component of unionists’ identity, then it is refreshing to approach our politics with less ‘understanding’.
As for the green tie, which event was this at? Did anyone else notice? Are unionists really offended by the colour green? Should Sylvia give up politics and seek to replace either Trinny or Susannah? What tie would she have selected for David Cameron to wear, had he asked? One sporting a Union flag? An orange tie with a Rangers’ pin?
I sincerely hope that the BT was embroidering its article a little, in the absence of more meaty comment to discuss.