Tuesday 21 November 2017

Conservative boss comes laden with possibilities

As Cameron's visit nears, John-Paul McCarthy looks at the historical relationship between Tory and Irish leaders

British Prime Minister David Cameron is due here next week. And though he studied constitutional history with Vernon Bogdanor at Oxford as a beginning boy, Cameron may not yet know what we expect from a Tory First Lord.

The Victorian historian of the Cromwellian land dispossessions, James Patrick Prendergast, explained that the name 'Tory' comes from the antique Irish term for banditry. Cameron's lot have often risen above their inauspicious baptism though.

Disraeli spoke for many Tory ghosts when he said that he hoped "the time may never come when the love of fame shall cease to be the sovereign passion of our public men". Fame here required a certain coup d'oeil, or a hunger to build for the ages.

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