|Tory Poster from 2015|
|Ulster Wall art|
Theresa May called a totally unnecessary election, expecting to trounce the Labour party. It was perhaps the most calamatous decision by any Tory leader for at least, erm, a year and the Brexit referendum. Now she finds herself holed below the waterline. As she seems to be in a state of denial as to what she has done, and the penny hasn't dropped, she has in desperation turned to the DUP. Many in the mainland UK, not familiar with Northern Irish politics are unaware of what this party stands for.
The Party was the created in 1971 by Rev Ian Paisley. It is a hardline right wing party. Paisley was noted for his hatred of the Roman Catholic religion. He was ejected from the EU Parliament for calling Pope John Paul II "The Antichrist". The party has a record for blocking progressive measures. Due to the DUP, Northern Ireland is the one area of the UK which same sex marriage is banned in. Leading figures in the Party over the years have made all manner of inflammatory statements. The Party has historical links to paramilitary groups, as born out by the wall art around Ulster. The parry is also mired currently in financial scandals. This has lead to the suspension of the Norther Ireland assemly. It is true to say that in recent years, the party has played an important role in the peace process, but anyone who is familar with the Northern Irish assembly would not describe the party as "without issues".
Whilst the DUP has an important role to play in Northern Ireland, being the only Loyalist party able to deliver the hard line loyalists, I despair that the Tories should be talking to them about a role as partners in government. David Cameron spent a huge effort detoxifying the Tory brand and trying to make the party look modern and progressive. Equal marriage rights was perhaps one of the high points of his career. For short term electoral gain, Theresa May is prepared to throw this all away. I can only wonder how Catholics of Irish descent, who voted Tory are feeling right now. It is interesting that May never even tried talking to the Lib Dems. Whilst I would not want to see another coalition, it is disturbing that the Tories have not even tried. Theresa May has made no attempt at all to forge an alliance to deliver a Brexit that will serve all of the UK.
Anyone familar with the DUP will know they are tough, tough cookies. They will wipe the floor with May. I am more fearful for the future as an Anglo Roman Catholic than I have ever been. I don't want a group of ten hard line Uber right MPs from Northern Ireland dictating policy to the British government. Whilst this seems like a good idea to May right now, I suspect that we will see the mother of all cock ups if she persues this. You really couldn't make it up, could you?