I was on Nolan this morning (well, actually it was nice Vinny) with Newton Emerson and Basil McCrea, talking about the impact here of Theresa May’s sudden call to arms. The point that was raised: Doesn’t Theresa May care about the success or failure of the talks here?
A no-brainer, I think: she doesn’t. And she doesn’t give a fiddler’s duck because there are no votes for her here. So why has she called the general election? To gain more seats for the Tories. Since there are no seats for Tories here, she’d be politically mad to be concerned about us. Providing, of course, violence doesn’t break out. Other than that, we matter less than the stuff on the sole of the shoe of a WC cleaner.
Yes, of course she presents herself as the champion of the UK. She does that with Scotland in mind. No good in annoying the lot north of the border – we might even win a couple of seats up there. And maybe Wales matters a little, although it’s a well-trained lapdog that comes to heel quite easily. As for us: we’re a vaguely awkward add-on, which she’d add-off without a backward glance if she could. And so would the population of England. It’d be fun to have a referendum on that one: do the English people want to keep NI in the UK or let it come to an accommodation with the south of Ireland?
The question of what-are-our-politicians-for? came up in the discussion. The answer is, to govern us, or at least partially govern us. Both the DUP and Sinn Féin want to have devolved government. There are some notable mountains to climb before that can happen, not least the not-an-inchery of the DUP; but both want it. Examination of Sinn Féin’s policy over the last decade or two makes it clear it wants as much power on this side of the Irish Sea as possible. And far from shirking being in government, so they look better to the southern electorate: what Sinn Féin would like in the medium term at least is a successful Assembly, where they could show-case their ability to exercise power and convince enough in the southern electorate to let them do likewise there.
Anyway, here’s the link. The good stuff (coughs modestly) starts around 13 minutes in…