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Friday, June 9, 2017

Anything for Power, or, How to Spell "Dupe", "DUP"

Theresa May and Donald Trump

Mrs May, the haplessly "strong and stable" UK prime minister, rousted the Queen this morning to declare she has done a Rocket Loans overnight refi and pledged her soul to the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland.

Only a few eyebrows were lifted. Mrs May has already called for worldwide governmental control of the internet, repeal of all civil rights laws she believes protect Muslims, the starvation of the national health service, and the closure of the UK's remaining public libraries.

The Tory leader, whose keen insights into the minds of her people turned a 17-seat parliamentary majority into an eight-seat minority, cut a deal overnight with the DUP, which holds ten seats in the new House of Commons.

It's really the only deal on the table for either side. May needs 326 members to hold a majority, though, in a nice irony- Sinn Fein, the other big Irish Party in the north of Ireland- won seven seats whose members will not take them, cutting her functional majority down to 322 or so.

The Labor Party, which picked up about thirty seats, would need every minority party vote to get a majority, which, given the antipathy of DUP members to Sinn Fein and all centuries after the 18th, is unlikely.

BBC news reports indicate no formal coalition will be settled. The DUP will hold Westminster hostage one issue, one vote at a time.

This sort of arrangement rarely works long, or well. In 1977, the Labor government of Prime Minister James Callaghan entered a formal coalition with the Liberals (now the Liberal Democrats) to keep a one-seat majority for a year.

When the Liberals withdrew from the deal and put a no-confidence motion over the top, the government fell, an election was held, and the Conservatives ruled for the next eighteen years.

The Liberals spent decades in the wilderness as well, before forgetting their lessons and entering into a coalition with the Tories in 2010. At the 2015 election, wrathful voters left Deputy Prime Minister and LD leader Nick Clegg virtually no party to lead, and last night his own constituents declared him redundant.

So now the Tories will go forth into Brexit battle, its policies at home and abroad dependent on the crotchets and whimsies of the most right-wing party in the UK. As The Guardian notes this morning, the DUP "could also press for a boost to public spending in Northern Ireland, as well as assurances that it would not be treated differently to the rest of the UK in any Brexit deal."

Founded in 1971 by the hatemongering Free Presbyterian raver Ian Paisley ("Line dancing is as sinful as any other type of dancing, with its sexual gestures and touching. It is an incitement to lust"), the party is a schizoid mess: one part ethnic nationalist; the other, more monarchist than Royal Family magazine. They are relentlessly retrograde, with social views to make the American Republican Party seem squishy.

The wife of the last party leader, Iris Robinson, said over and over for years that the work of government is to carry out God's law (HuffPo UK says their platform is basically The Bible, with trash pickups every fortnight), and that homosexuality is 'disgusting, loathsome, nauseating, wicked and vile.'"

More vile, she declared in the House of Commons in 2008 (where she was a member), even than child abusers.

It was an unfortunate coincidence that, two years later- at the age of sixty-  she was caught out toeing the line of being a child abuser herself. It didn't help that she was also a shameless grifter.

The Belfast Telegraph reported:
The former Strangford MP stood down in 2010 after it emerged she had asked two property developers for £50,000 to help her then lover, 19-year-old Kirk McCambley, set up a cafe, and had asked for a £5,000 cut of the cash for herself. 
Mrs Robinson did not register her dealings at Stormont or Westminster as required by law. 
She also failed to declare her interest when Mr McCambley was awarded the cafe lease by Castlereagh council, where she was a sitting councillor.)
In 2015, DUP Northern Ireland Health Minister Jim Wells had to a resign after saying that children brought up by same-sex parents are more likely to be abused or neglected. The party has repeatedly blocked marriage equality legislation and every form of LGBT civil rights law proposed.

They're death on abortion and most women's issues, too.

The old deal (above)

The Prince of Darkness confirmed, "I couldn't match the DUP terms sheet. 

"But no matter: post-Brexit, I need to diversify. I see North Carolina- in America- as virgin territory, so to speak. Between the torture churches and the supermajorities in the General Assembly, there are big profits to be made. I'll make Art Pope a deal he can't refuse."

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