Sky news has just interviewed Greg Dyke about his standing for mayor, following Iain Dale’s post following up on Andrew Neil’s assertion this lunchtime that Greg Dyke has been approached by the Tories to be a joint Tory/Lib Dem candidate for London mayor.
Which is kind of a bizarre story.
My gut feeling is that this can’t possibly have been a serious proposal, even from the Tory end of it (everything we have heard so far suggests that both the Lib Dems and Dyke himself were never terribly taken with the idea, which kind of undermines the Daily Wail’s blogger’s suggestions that we Lib Dems are such bendy old buggers who’d say anything etc, but anyhoo…)
So if there was never any realistic prospect of this, why on Earth did they suggest it? Some theories (not all particularly serious ones, I might add, so don’t sue me):
1. Dave Cameron and Francis Maude are so out of touch with both reality and the mental landscape inhabited by grassroots Tories that they genuinely did think this could happen. Pfft.
2. The Tories have just put this out there and will subsequently deny it. After all, with the right spin put on it in the Tory press, it could be more damaging to us than it is to them. We will see, though, since you couldn’t say the Tory press had been terribly obliging to that wing of the Tory party so far…
3. The story has become a bit confused, and at some point Dyke was considering standing as an Independent candidate, who the Lib Dems and the Tories could conceivably have given their backing to in light of both parties’ difficulties in finding candidates to stand under their own flag. Doesn’t really explain why Dave the chameleon would have had a meeting with Ming to discuss it, though…
4. The Tories knew it would never happen, but they simply have nothing better to do than waste our time.
5. The Tories are really really desperate.
I don’t know that I believe any of the above, so I’m stuck with the opinion for now that this is simply one of those absolutely bizarre stories that pop up every now and then, and we must await any sign of a rationale.