Why does the DUP detest the Labour Party so much?
Well, for a start they have long memories. They remember the time Harold Wilson came on TV and asked who “these people” – unionists – think they are, how he dismissed them as spongers. That is a bit strong, but at the same time you can’t boast of a £10bn annual subvention and then insist that you’re not a sponger. The truth hurts.
They also remember Jeremy Corbyn, who was prepared to talk to Sinn Féin back in the day when the BBC and RTÉ weren’t allowed to talk to them, and how Corbyn saw the conflict as more than a dumb religious war, which was how a lot of other British politicians presented it.
And now that the DUP’s dream has come true and they are propping up a near-dead Tory government, there’s a prospect that their greatest fear, a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn, may come into power. With the border in the headlines virtually every day, who knows what terrible things Corbyn might do to them. (Yes, yes, I know, Virginia – there can be no change in the constitutional status of our tormented north-eastern corner until a majority of people want it; but that’s being rational. We’re talking here about the DUP.)
And as if all that wasn’t bad enough, yesterday we have the shadow secretary of state, Labour’s Stephen Pound, talk about how in the UK there is “a combination of ignorance and arrogance with an overlay of patronising” about the British border in Ireland, adding that “the DUP would love that, a rock-solid hard border.”
Guess who’ll not be on the invitation list for this year’s DUP Christmas party. Mind you, considering the energy radiating from the Labour party conference in recent days, it may well be a DUP Christmas party featuring much sackcloth and ashes to the background sound of gnashing teeth.
Truly, the truth hurts.