Theresa May and the numbers game

Two questions:

  • Would you buy a used car from Arthur Daley?
  • Would you trust Theresa May on the promised backstop for Ireland?


OK, the first one was the hard one: in the dear dead days of Minder, Arthur had a sentimental streak that could help in your dealings with him. As to the second – come on. It’s Monday morning as I write this and laughing could bring on another of those coughing spasms.


If you think non-trust of Theresa is just bitter twisted me, check the London Times today. There, the deputy editor Sam Coates cites some facts and figures. Such as the fact that 60% of the north of Ireland don’t trust her to keep her backstop word. An additional 26% said they “had their doubts” about her keeping her word; just 12% cent wild-eyed answerers said they thought she would stick by her word.


As for the DUP propping Theresa up at Westminster, 51% figure it could be very detrimental, another 19% think it’s OK now but could become detrimental.


But hey- it’s not all gloom. There are 35% of nationalists who think there’ll be a form of special status for the north, although only 15% of unionists think that way.


What does it all boil down to? That an awful lot of people here don’t think Theresa May can be trusted – including a largeish number of DUP people. That’s good. We’d be very simple-minded if we thought she could be. And you know what’s funny? Theresa is a more or less moderate Tory. That for me takes the breath away. A PM who insists that there must be no division of treatment when it comes to the UK is one of the good-guy Tories.


Here’s one you don’t need to do a poll to figure out: Theresa May and the Tories will only be brought to their senses when they realize that the EU and the south of Ireland (and the north) aren’t kidding when they say that backstop means backstop, and there’s such a thing as standing by your written (if not legal) commitments. In short, there’s no point in appealing to Theresa’s sense of integrity: the only way she’ll keep her commitment is if the thought of something patently awful coming down the tracks will bring her to her senses.

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