Almost invisible in the political landscape at the best of times, the report of a little local difficulty concerning Young Dave’s confidant Steve Hilton might have increased the profile of this mole like creature, but fortunately for Team Cameron, “Buff” Hoon decided to launch his putsch against Pa Broon, thus diverting the meeja and keeping the fallout manageable.
Hilton, who is not universally popular within the Tory Party, had been handed a fixed penalty of 80 notes after getting a little over assertive with the barrier staff at Birmingham’s New Street station back in 2008. But, so what? Over a year ago, and he didn’t get a criminal record. Not much of a story, it might be thought. Ah well.
In the aftermath of the revelation of his argument with the barrier staff, the discussion turned to the identity of another mole: the one who had shopped Dave’s pal. At one point, it was thought that a disgruntled member of the opposition front bench was behind it, but, as today’s Guardian has asserted, the view is now that the culprit is an old school Tory who doesn’t like Hilton’s level of access to Cameron – and that neither man listens much to those so-called “Bufton Tuftons”.
And there, perhaps, it might rest, save for the continuing attacks on Hilton: this one, in Standpoint magazine, shows a significant dislike for the man, but its author, in declining the opportunity to put a name to the piece, confirms that he or she is of less than perfect courage. And this means that Young Dave cannot be sure just how significant the move against his pal – and against his own judgment - really is.