No sooner had I posted my first Paterson-watch piece yesterday, when the man himself has surfaced and fired a salvo for Atlanticist free-market fundamentalism, in the direction of none other than the prime minister.
Paterson will today say that the UK should give notice to the EU of our intention to leave in a couple of years time, unless those Brussels Eurocrats get off their damn gravy train and jolly well do as we say! OK I paraphrase, but that is the gist of the latest outputs from the OPatz policy generator. I assume this is one he has been gestating for a while, and not the work of his new policy generator at UKIP2020.
Paterson is reported saying this (in advance of actually saying it) in the Tory press this morning, in the Torygraph while his mates are supporting him elsewhere. Tim Montgomerie gives him a free ad on conservative home while brother in law (and the man who previously did his thinking for him) Viscount Matt “Northern Rock” Ridley, thunders in the Times (paywall). Expect to see more supporting pieces from Brooker, Delingpole and the other usual suspects.
Of course there are plenty to disclaimers littered about these pieces – Paterson has no interest in leading the Tory party etc etc. Don’t believe a word of it. Paterson may see himself leading a coalition of hard right Tories and UKIPpers, or UKIP or the Tory party sensu lato. The latter is impossible to conceive unless very strange things happen after the election. The other two are conceivable.