The saga of housing provider WDH and practising Christian Colin Atkinson appears to have reached a conclusion. Last Wednesday, after a meeting with the company’s management, Atkinson agreed to a deal in which he attached his eight inch high palm leaf cross (the “personal item” causing all the fuss) to the front of the van’s glove compartment, rather than the dashboard.
Is this such a big deal? Well, it gets all concerned some breathing space, for starters. The hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre have clearly been poring over WDH’s head office sufficiently to know what kind of objects are displayed in employees’ cars, and have been inside that head office with a cameraman.
Having the tabloid press hanging around outside will not have been pleasant for anyone working at WDH. Colin Atkinson is less than a year from retirement, and yielding a little – but it is only a little – at least gets the Dacre tanks off the lawn. The agreement lets Atkinson have his cross travel with him, but for others to see it, they would have to know where to look.
Not that the Mail wants its readers to know that, of course, so it is left to the end of today’s otherwise triumphal story, where the prominently displayed talk is of “climbdown”. More emphasis is given to more of those refugees’ cats: stories that are not material to the case. And most of the items in that category are about WDH Environment Manager Denis Doody.
Doody, we are told, has “a fascination for Cuba”. He has visited the island more than 40 times. He has spoken and written in support of the Cuban Government. He was involved in the 1984-5 miners’ strike. He is a trade union official. He was once a bricklayer. He lives in a former council house. He has attended international union gatherings. His mother’s obituary was published in the Morning Star.
And, it has to be pointed out, none of that has anything whatever to do with his fitness to discharge his duties at WDH. There is no entry in the UK’s criminal code for “being of Socialist views with malice aforethought”, or “carrying a union card with intent”, any more than there is any sanction against someone walking on the cracks in the pavement.But there has to be a villain in this story, and Doody presses all the Dacre hate buttons, so that’s all right, then. He’ll never buy the Daily Mail anyway.