Belfast Telegraph

Lindy McDowell: Super Ted interrogates suspects as he forensically studies case for change after election results

Adrian Dunbar as Superintendent Ted Hastings in Line of Duty
Adrian Dunbar as Superintendent Ted Hastings in Line of Duty
Media savvy: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with baby Archie
The Game of Thrones coffee cup
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino

By Lindy McDowell

The week began with two important revelations. One, that going by the council election results, there now appears to be a mood for change in local politics. And two, that Superintendent Ted Hastings is not (so far anyway) the mysterious 'H' in the nation's most watched television crime series.

It occurs to me we could usefully bring these two landmark findings together.

Now that Superintendent Ted has taken temporary leave of his Line of Duty duties surely he could be co-opted to cast an analytical eye over those election findings...

In the room Superintendent Ted Hastings, DS Steve Arnott, DI Kate Fleming, Cllr Jim Rodgers, Naomi Long, Clare Bailey, Arlene Foster and Balaclava Man.

Ted: "We will begin with you, Jim Rodgers. Image 1 shows an election leaflet used by you in east Belfast purportedly linking your rivals Alliance to an organisation known to be involved in organised violent crime. Said leaflet is suspected of wiping out the vote for several UUP candidates in the Belfast area. Do you have anything to say to this, Cllr Rodgers?"

Jim: "Well, of course, I have something to say. I'm known for having things to say. I was only standing up for..."

Ted: "Standing up? You'll sit down right now fella or I'll handcuff you to that desk.

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"Turning to you, Naomi Long. Data shows that you were responsible for a surge in the polls.

"But was this surge actually as stunning as you've said? Forensic analysis of the election results show, in fact, that Alliance is still only the fifth largest party."

Naomi: "We are not resting on our laurels..."

Ted: "Indeed. Because we have with us Clare Bailey from the Greens who would take a dim view, I'd wager, of people trampling on potentially endangered vegetation.

"Image 2b shows a group of people shortly after the count in the City Hall. I put it to you Ms Bailey that in this image someone can clearly be seen recklessly punching the air."

Clare: "We were celebrating. We had increased our vote substantially. As you yourself might say, superintendent, we're now sucking diesel... well not diesel obviously, but an environmentally friendly alternative derived from renewable sources."

Ted: "Do you think we're all Green here, Ms Bailey, eh? Let me tell you I didn't come up the Lagan in a biodegradable bubble.

"And now you, Mrs Foster. The accusation against you is that you have caused people to turn in their graves.

"As I'm sure you will be aware, provoking people to spin unnecessarily in their burial plots is considered a very grave matter. This came about because you fielded a gay candidate. Yet your party remains opposed to gay marriage?

"So let me get this clear, it's okay for gay people to be married to your party. But it's not okay for them to be married to each other?"

Arlene. "We stand by the biblical interpretation of..."

Ted. "You're bringing religion into it? Mother of God!

"Okay, the lot of you. Get back out there before I throw the book at you. Followed by the bookcases. I find that the real criminal here is you, Balaclava Man. You and all the other Balaclava Men on both sides.

Balaclava Man: "I have a right to be questioned by an officer of my own rank or above."

Ted: "There's no Officer Commanding here, fella. You'll answer to me."

Balaclava Man: "I will not engage with a representative of the British Crown Forces."

Ted. "Yet you're happy to wear the camouflage uniform of British Crown Forces acquired from an army surplus stores? I'll tell you what you and all the Balaclava Men on both sides are. You're a pack of murdering scumbag gangsters, that's what. So-called 'protectors' of a community that actually needs protecting from you? Freedom fighters, eh? Undefeated army?

"God give me strength..."

A right royal carry-on as Harry and Meghan stage manage Archie's public debut

Woman gives birth to baby. Hold the front page! Hold all the front pages indeed, plus morning editions of American news shows.

Prior to this week Harry and Meghan had assured us that they wished to keep the birth of their baby extremely low-key. No posing outside the Lindo.

So why was sweet little Archie only presented to the world this week after a media build-up that would have done justice to the launch of the next iPhone?

Keeping the media on hold tends to ramp up interest - as the royal couple, both used to the ways of the media, would be well aware.

The saga of this birth did go on a bit. We were told Meghan was in labour when she'd already given birth. It was implied she'd had a home birth when actually it was in hospital. Then finally came the stage-managed showing off of the baby - reportedly to suit American TV schedules.

Meghan presents herself as the first royal woman with the strength to dispense with stuffy protocol. (As opposed to, say, Elizabeth I who led her army into battle in an era when royal women were expected to sit all day embroidering hankies).

She and Harry are royalebrity - a marriage of royalty and celebrity. But trying to impose upon the former the brand management methods of the latter just gets people's backs up. As in, demanding privacy whilst co-operating with a US TV "royal special".

The UK public do have an interest, in every sense, in the monarchy. Their taxes pay for it. And unlike little Archie, people weren't born yesterday.

Jumping on the GOT bandwagon

Famous Coffee Cup of the Week — the cardboard beaker that appeared in an episode of Game of Thrones. Initially it was reported that it came from a major coffee chain which then benefited from resultant social media advertising worth millions (which is why I won’t mention the name). Turns out it came from here in Belfast where somebody surely has a cache of these cups and could make a killing marketing them “as seen on GOT”. Seems wrong that the coffee house which didn’t star in the show gets the big bucks.

The beautiful bawling game

Football, they say, is a game of two halves. For me the best bit is when the halves are over and the camera focuses in on the emotion not the action.

The faces of the fans. Agony and ecstasy. Players on the pitch weeping in despair. A manager at the other end weeping with joy. The Spurs game this week was a stormer. Their manager Mauricio Pochettino (right) was a star crying, hugging, unable to speak.  I love it when the beautiful game is also the bawling game.

Belfast Telegraph


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