Jeffrey and the good-cop/bad-cop routine

Usually, good-cop/bad-cop roles are played by two different people. One cop asks if you’d like a cup of tea, the other kicks the cup out of your hand. Spotting the difference between the two isn’t hard.

Jeffrey Donaldson, in contrast, appears to be intent on playing both good cop and bad cop, sometimes in the same interview. When he realised the DUP votes were not so much leaking as cascading through the Orange wall between the DUP and the TUV,  Jeffrey did what he could to ditch his mild manner and inform anyone listening that the Protocol would have to go, no ifs, buts or it-could-bes.  In recent days, he’s maintained the mild manner but none the less is intent on rebuilding the Orange wall to his right.

This morning’s interview with him in the Irish Times is as good an example as any. He tells the interviewer, rather oddly, that he is a Mourne-man and an Irishman. (No, Virginia, never heard the terms Mourne-man before). But he’s also a Northern Ireland man and British.

The last of these comes in his take on the ProtocolL “The protocol harms east-west relationships, it creates barriers  between Northern Ireland, that in our opinion represents a change to our constitutional status.”

For a devout Christian, Jeffrey doesn’t mind telling the odd white lie, or even a plain black one. While the economic barrier between GB and NEI is a fact, it doesn’t change the constitutional status of NEI. That cannot happen – constitutional change – except a border poll is called and a majority here vote Yes to a united Ireland. Jeffrey knows that, you know that, my cat knows that. So please stop trying to out-TUV Jim Allister, Jeffrey. For one, you’re unconvincing, and two, you’re whipping up unrest in certain parts of unionism.

And you’re painting yourself into a corner. Here you are, trying to get out of that corner: “We’re not withdrawing from the Assembly, we would withdraw from the Executive. I don’t see it as a threat. I see it as focussing mind on what needs to happen”.

Unconvincing, Jeffrey. Focussing mind? Right, the way a gun held to my temple demanding all my money would focus my mind.  And if you pull the Executive trigger you know what comes next? Right. An election. With the DUP showing at 13%. As opposed to Sinn Féin’s 25%.

Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat – Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.  No matter what kind of cop they try to hide behind.

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