Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Don’t Get DUPed

Not much attention is paid to the politics of Northern Ireland, mostly because it’s very confusing and has dark and troubled history, but also because it usually has little impact on the rest of the UK, a UK which is slowly waking up to the fact there’s an incredibly socially conservative right wing group, that isn’t the Conservatives, in power. The DUP make the Conservatives look like the far-left on social issues – there are no casinos, archaic licensing laws (which are impairing our local economy), Sunday trading hours are quite strict (although, form a worker’s perspective, I am quite okay with this), abortion is all but illegal, and it’s the only part of the UK were gays can’t get married (but can be civilly partnered).

Now that the DUP are flooding social media, people are suddenly becoming, not ‘woke’, but fearful – scared the DUP are going to somehow impinge upon their civil liberties, or roll back LGBT and women’s rights – calm down, they’re not. For all their bigotry and conservatism, they are not idiots. The DUP are well aware of how unpopular their social conservatism is at home, and they are all too aware their views would not for a second be countenanced on the mainland. More to the point, a social crusade is pointless, it wont play well at home, it wont work (because back benchers wont allow it), and it’ll ruin their chances of securing a better deal for the provence.

This is a time for the DUP to step in a real position of power, to try and extricate from the chaos the best possible deal (knock that one off your bingo sheet) for the people of Northern Ireland. They need to make sure subsidies for farmers are protected when we leave the EU, that there’s no hard border between the North and South (which is a boon to all, as it scuppers May’s Deal or No Deal attitude), help in attracting international business, and a fair share of government contracts – these are all of more concern than rolling back of rights on the mainland – something which wouldn’t happen, regardless of the perilious state of government. How can Theresa May expect to govern in a Confidence and Supply arrangement, while also trying to roll back women’s and LGBT rights? It’s a nonsense, it wont work because she’ll be voted down on all sides of the house.

The DUP are not on some sort of crusade to turn back the clock on LGBT & women’s rights in the UK because they know there’s no point, plus they don’t particularly care what happens there, they are only interested in the people they govern. The DUP may be Kingmakers, but their demands need to be fairly reasonable or else they will not receive the support of the Tory back bench. Back benchers are fully aware of how toxic the DUP are, they will not give in to any and all demands.

If you’re all suddenly so concerned about the lack of rights in Northern Ireland, then speak up and support those who campaign and protest against for change. Join the fight (and don’t try t take it over, you’ve all been pretty silent until it looks like things are going to start affecting you).

Don’t buy in the scaremongering, the DUP aren’t after your rights, they only want your lunch money.  

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Let's Get Political

The Tories are terrible gamblers, both in the colloquial sense of doing it a lot, and in the sense of doing it badly. Yeah, it’s true, Davy ‘the Pie’ Cameron, in an effort to appease the head bangers (or Eurosceptics) in the Con party, promised an EU referendum; but it wasn’t a serious promise. The British public may be a bit dim, but they’d never be so dim they’d leave the EU, not when there’d be a top team, campaigning against such a possibility. At least DC had the decency to abandon ship when he knew his position was untenable. The Maybot’s spine is probably a little more tangible than her predecessors, but she’s still wholly unwonderful, repetitive, and only marginally warmer than absolute zero. She is so uneasy and naturally evasive she even has difficulty answering pre-selected questions, but also so stubborn she’d happily remove the kitten heel from every left shoe, just to prove she wouldn’t wobble when she walked.

Many professional pundits across the length and breadth of this never-so-United Kingdom predicted the outcome of the election with the same accuracy as trying to measure the circumference of the moon using a shoelace and perspective. Despite poll ratings higher than the MSG content of a Chinese takeaway, chief strategist Lynton Crosby warned against calling the snap election May promised she wouldn’t call; obviously Mr Timothy and Ms Hill (the two advisors who have neither stood for, nor held, office) knew better. Crosby’s reasoning was that in times of political uncertainty, despite the poll ratings, a win couldn’t be guaranteed, – or, perhaps, he just realised how utterly fucking useless she’d be in a presidential styled election.

There’s no denying this was a vanity election, the approval ratings and the whispers from colleagues were enough to force May to break the promise she had no intention of keeping – who gives a fuck about a promise when a 100 seat majority is a sure thing? There’s pride before a fall, and this election campaign was nothing but one big exercise in hubristic prancing by the Brexit cliff edge. That’s not to say Theresa May’s achievements should be ignored, in just 6 short years she managed to miss every immigration target ever set, reduce the crime rate by redefining crime, and side-stepped questions like she’s a pro at Dance Dance Revolution.

As election night went on and her thumping majority thinned like Andrew Neil’s hair, it was clear that refusing to engage with the public, repeating the same lines ad infinitum ad nauseam, starving children and freezing pensioners were not great vote winners? Theresa May took Conservative support for granted, she assumed the core vote would always be there, and instead focused on trying to steal as many Labour votes as possible (only for the opposite to happen – every marginal constituency she visited, they lost).

The other problem, aside from a manifesto worth more as kindling, was the offer of nothing new. It was more of the same 25p cup of piss from the coffee machine. The Labour manifesto provided something different, it provided hope – and it was a campaign that stayed positive, even while the Conservatives went into over-drive with smears and lies. That good old fashioned sense of British fair-play started to kick in – and while it all may be have been too little too late, there were no winners of this election, only those who lost less than others.

Theresa May’s authority and credibility have vanished, she’s pissed away her lead faster than a tramp finding a fiver. Instead of considering her position, May has tried to save what little face was left, leaving her in government, but not in power.

The only arrangement to be had is then a confidence and supply government with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which is the BNP meets fundamental Christianity. They are a party of climate change deniers, dinosaur deniers, equality deniers, and, young-earth creationists. They believe gays can influence the weather, that breastfeeding is exhibitionism (said, without a hint of irony, by the MP snapped walking in the nude). One DUPer even tried to ban beer at an Oktoberfest event.

I am embarrassed and ashamed to be represented by these swamp-dwelling cretins, the image they present to the world is not a good one – but, if there is one silver cloud to this whole thing, they will finally receive a level of scrutiny long over due. The rest of the UK will wake-up to what we have been living with, a party founded in fire and brimstone, that while so socially conservative and derided by the population, still returned to power each year.

How can the UK government hope to remain impartial in Northern Ireland (as per the Good Friday Agreement), when they are reliant on the support of the DUP?

The DUP will bang tables and thump their chests, cooperating only until such a time that it no longer suits them, or until the knives are firmly in May’s back, whichever comes first. It is naive to believe May can continue, she has all the authority of a substitute teacher asleep at the table. The Tories don’t like losers, and while she may be rehabilitated further down the line, her days as leader are numbered.

As Gideon said, she’s a dead woman walking; the only question remaining, how long is the plank?

Don’t Get DUPed

Not much attention is paid to the politics of Northern Ireland, mostly because it’s very confusing and has dark and troubled history, but a...