The Conservative party’s new allies have, until now, rightly been consigned to relative irrelevance in Westminster. Now, the Democratic Unionist Party could gain huge concessions from Theresa May – with peace in Northern Ireland a potential casualty.
It started with the memes. Donald Trump’s support used the power of pepe to get him in the White House. The Conservatives, for all their swanky PR Experts and Crosby voodoo, neglected this most potent of electoral forces. Corbynites moved in quickly with a whole host of Jeremy content hitting the web. May mounted a late comeback with the stellar wheat field comment (now almost certain to outlive her political career), but it was too-little-too-late.
It isn’t that strange that in an age in which we are bombarded with choice we have seen the two traditional parties garner their largest vote share in decades. We spend our days receiving unique, personalised messaging, tailored to make us feel special. A combination of a longing for some form of in-group identity and choice fatigue also contributed to turning this into a stark choice for the electorate.
Whilst the result is surprising in some ways, we shouldn’t be too shocked. May did promise us that there was a chance of a coalition of chaos that contained terrorist sympathisers. She just didn’t mention it would be hers. It’s funny how the Tories were screaming that a Labour-SNP coalition would mean “rule from Holyrood”, yet now they seem to have no such qualms about Stormont. It’s also interesting to note that they made a song and dance about Corbyn and McDonell’s IRA sympathies, then got in to bed with a party that until recently led by a former paramilitary member and who have managed to be even more detrimental to the peace process than Sinn Fein.
Let’s not forget Ian Paisley, the former head of the DUP, who opposed every attempt to bring an end to the troubles through power sharing. At least Gerry Adams was able to see what he did was wrong – or at least lie about it and swallow his pride. The DUP are the worst of both worlds: violent, unapologetic and driven by religious dogma.
After all, Peter Robinson was known for his views and paramilitary experience. This is a man who once tried to lead an armed invasion of the Republic of Ireland, and was arrested and convicted for it; a man who has refused to condemn sectarian killings. Let’s also take time to look at their current leader, Arlene Foster – a woman who last year refused to call on her terrorist mate from the UDA to resign from a community organisation. They still fund the UDA through “rent”, and still meet UDA insurgents, even after the group had just murdered someone.
This is par for the course for the Tory party, who have managed to imbibe the worst elements of the Trump campaign without any of the energy. The Tory twitter account has spouted outright lies about Labour several times, as have their politicians. Fallon disparaging Johnson’s comments because he thought they were said by Corbyn, then performing a volte-face that would make Louis Smith proud when he realised who had actually said them, was indicative of the intellectual dishonesty that has been a hallmark of Tory campaigning policy since they started moronically shouting about “overspending causing the recession”.
Let’s not forget their constant insistence that they would be the party of strength and stability. Though this phrase was hounded to death by May, it was also a hallmark of their 2015 campaign. The campaign which led to Brexit, of course. And now, as is tradition, the Tories have become anything but strong or stable. Requiring the DUP for power is a pathetic strategy that jeopardises the peace process in Nothern Ireland, with the DUP’s pig-headedness and 18th century ideals making May look like a human rights campaigner. They are one of the most dangerous parties in UK politics, and the fact they have been given the time of the day by the Tories betrays May’s complete disdain for the country, as well as her overwhelming desire to get her grubby hands on power at any cost – surely to continue her record of perennial failure. They are not “our friends” as May described.
May has once again proven what a pathetic politician she is. Whilst it’s all good looking stern when you’re just the face of police cuts, when you actually have to show a direction it turns out that people want a bit more. The DUP are likely to push an incredibly weak May into doing what they want. The border issues that are sure to arise as a result of Brexit will be exacerbated. There is no doubt this is bad for the UK – but as always, Theresa is too busy thinking about the idea of power rather than wielding it for anything useful.