The DUP at the No 10 door

There is no conclusion more compelling than the conclusion arrived at through personal experience. You can lecture all you like about the dangers of, say, drink-driving, but it’s only when you stare at a mangled mess of bodywork and human beings that you truly get the message.

The Westminster election was a bit like that. For days, weeks, months, the press in Britain had taken out their spikes and mallets, and nailed Jeremy Corbyn to the political wall. He was a joke, he was a throw-back to the 1970s, he was worse than Michael Foot. How could he be a leader when his own parliamentary colleagues couldn’t stomach him? The Labour Party was peering into the abyss.

Only then Corbyn started going around Britain talking to people, and the truth emerged: the people liked the cut of this man’s jib. His words made sense. And he had a manifesto that made a lot of sense. Next you know, massive crowds are cheering him wherever he goes. When the election results came in, they showed how out of touch with reality the mainstream media really are.

 

But don’t tear off your blouse and start dancing on the table just yet. Because look who’s rolled up at Westminster and is putting a gun (metaphorically, of course) to Theresa May’s head: none other than our very own darlin’ DUP.

For years nationalists and republicans here have known that the Democratic Unionist Party is stuffed with politicians holding stone-age views on things like climate change, Brexit, the Irish language. British politicians, for their part, have averted their eyes and moved on, murmuring sadly about how the paddies were incorrigible squabblers.

But now the DUP are making eyes at the Tories and the British populace are being forced to look at the nature of this strange political congregation called the Democratic Unionists. People who deny the existence of man-made climate change. People who insist that God created the world 60,000 years ago. People who believe homosexuality is upchuck-making and that gay marriage is against the Bible’s teaching.

All of which are views anyone can hold if they wish. But these particular day-dream believers are in London and want to get into political bed with Theresa and Co. No wonder a lot of MPs, including some Tories, feel embarrassed to be seen hunkering down with such Irish flat-earthers. Given the desperate straits they are in, however, the Conservative Party must swallow hard and ask the DUP what is their price. So what is it? Unclear, at the time of writing.

Maybe nice roads and new hospitals? If so, hooray. Maybe an increased subvention? If so hooray hooray. Maybe more control over taxation matters, similar to those wielded by Scotland? Then hip-pip-pip hooray.

However, one other possibility exists which may not be availed of but is worth making. In case you’ve forgotten (and who could blame you), our former First Minister Arlene Foster set up a Renewable Heating Initiative which is costing us £80,000 a day, and a review is being set up to find out who’s responsible for all the lost money. Until that matter’s resolved, Sinn Féin are not going back into the Executive with Arlene as First Minister. They’ve no objection to the DUP deciding who’s their leader, but they won’t agree to Arlene as First Minister.

So try this: what if Arlene were to be offered a place in the Tory Cabinet? Since she’s not currently an MP, the Tories would probably want to make her a member of the House of Lords. What fun for Arlene, booking a restaurant table: “Oh, you want my name? I’m Baroness Foster – that’s B-a-r-o-n-e-s-s.”

Besides giving intense pleasure to Arlene, the move would also open the way for some other DUP worthy to replace her as First Minister. Fret not: there are lots of DUP candidates just gagging for it.

All that, of course, is assuming that the Tory-DUP love affair is going to last. In respect of which, Gerry Adams’s warning is worth heeding: when British Torydom hooks up with Irish Unionism, it has a habit of ending in tears.

Who would ever have dreamed that the path to being king-maker would be bristling with so many explosive devices?

 

4 Responses to The DUP at the No 10 door

  1. Patrick McDermott June 17, 2017 at 10:34 am #

    Hi Jude, it appears to me that the DUP are by and large being given an easy enough time by the GB media. They are not being given the thorough and rigorous examination by the media that I thought would be forthcoming. There has been transient, cursory references to social issues but little or no mention of their associations over the decades with the unionist paramilitaries and the quasi military supremacist Orange order , their formation of illegal, military groupings such as the Third Force and the role they played in the troubles here…………….and that’s not to mention the financial scandals of Nama, Red Sky and the RHI debacle. And then I listened to Mark Carruthers the other night on The View,talking to Col Bob Stewart, Conserv MP for Beckenham, a torturer, by his own admission, whilst stationed here, singing the DUP’s praises and promoting them as their good friends and paragons of virtue and decency, ………….HYPOCRITICAL AND NAUSEATING.

  2. giordanobruno June 17, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    I can never quite understand why it is ok to ridicule the DUP for their religious beliefs when they are no more ridiculous than the beliefs of any other religious sect.

    A 6,000 year old earth? Laughable
    A soul? Laughable
    Biscuits becoming the body of Christ? Laughable
    Heaven and hell? Laughable

  3. moser June 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    We have just had God only knows how many people burned to death in a dodgy state housing complex. Was there completely free unbiased reporting from the media? Of course not!
    How can the DUP be king makers when there is no kingdom ? Stop weeping about the DUP. Nationalists should be more confident and prouder now than anytime in their history.
    We are the people !

  4. Cal June 17, 2017 at 4:05 pm #

    Those out of touch political commentators on main stream media are predicting a compromise that will see the restoration of power sharing.

    SF’s stance to date, endorsed by their strongest ever mandate north of the border, is that there can be no compromise on existing outstanding deals since these deals themselves represent compromise.

    I hope SF stick to this because they’d do an awful lot of damage to themselves if they jump back in with the DUP in the absence of a language act & legacy issues not being delivered. Instead getting some vague nonsense about a blueprint or new initiative.

    Nationalists are watching closely and won’t take kindly to being short changed. I expect SF to stand firm.

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