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Anorak | Ban the DUP from Government and destroy Brexit

Ban the DUP from Government and destroy Brexit

by | 10th, June 2017

Much weeping and wailing over the Tory Party calling on the DUP to form a coalition government. One commentator described the DUP as the locals from The Dukes of Hazard. But ridicule is not enough. The censorious call is for a ban.

The shrill petition against the Tory-DUP deal has hit half a million signatures within 24 hour. What an intolerant, sneering, entitled mob we are. How great it is to be so into freedom, liberty and ‘being myself’ that you can ban other ideas and ‘bad’ people with abandon. The argument is settled! The science is settled! Thou shalt not dissent! No wonder Islamists feel so at home here. But you don’t need knives and bombs to destroy democracy. You just need a free online petition.

But this isn’t really about the red-neck DUP. This is about stopping Brexit. Back in 2015, the New Statesman told us the DUP were Labour’s allies in the General Election battle:

DUP could do a deal with Labour, says party’s Westminster leader – Nigel Dodds says he “can do business” with Ed Miliband and praises his responsible capitalism agenda.

George Eaton had encouraging news on how the DUP and Labour could unite to stop the Tories:

The Northern Irish party is traditionally viewed as a potential partner for the Conservatives, who considered a deal with them before the 2010 election. But when I interviewed the DUP’s Westminster leader, Nigel Dodds, he rejected this characterisation and signalled that he was open to an agreement with Labour.

“We can do business with either of the two leaders, either Ed Miliband or David Cameron, and we will obviously judge what’s in the best interests of the United Kingdom as a whole,” the North Belfast MP told me. “And obviously we’ll also be looking at it from the point of view of the constituencies that we represent in Northern Ireland as a whole. Unionism has worked in the past with Labour governments and we’ve worked in the past with Conservative governments back in the 70s. Indeed, the Ulster Unionist Party propped up the Callaghan administration. But it remains to be seen. We are certainly not in the pocket of either party and we’re certainly in a position where we’re able to negotiate with both of them.”

How ambitious were the DUP? Said Dodds: “We are not interested in a full-blown coalition government with ministerial positions and all of that.” The NS was delighted, calling the DUP’s openness “a boost for Labour”.

The Guardian said “senior Labour and Tory figures believe they will be able to work constructively with the DUP”. Labour saw the DUP as a “reliable partner”. The DUP had a “more natural affinity to Labour”. As for the DUP’s views on homosexuality – Ian Paisley, the party’s founder, once campaigned to “save Ulster from sodomy” – well, that wasn’t an issue:

Labour and the Tories are both troubled by the views of many DUP members on LGBT rights, highlighted by the resignation of the party’s health minister. But that would have no technical impact on negotiations over the formation of a UK government – LGBT matters are devolved to the Northern Ireland assembly.

Wind the clock forward and the DUP are no longer the party of Labour hope, who get on with Labour leaders “extremely well”.  They are regressive and anti-human. They are the “ultra-conservative DUP”, says the Guardian. “The DUP has vetoed the legalisation of same-sex marriage five times in Northern Ireland assembly votes. A majority of DUP members also oppose the legalisation of abortion, which is prohibited in Northern Ireland unless the mother’s life is at risk.”

The “DUP is undoubtedly bad news for the pro-choice movement in Northern Ireland”, says one New Statesman writer. The DUP’s rise to prominence will “embolden other anti-choice MPs”. Another writer tells New Statesmen readers: “Any government that includes the DUP is profoundly bad news for women.” All of them, including Arlene Foster, the DUP’s leader, because “women have the equal opportunity to be depressing misogynists too”. Or to put it another way: not all women agree with one another; they can hold their own views and exercise free will in decision making.

All abortion should be decriminalised. Birth control should be a private matter. But to call the DUP women haters is unhelpful, hyperbolic and deliberately polarising. It’s meant to be, of course. If the DUP are bad for women’s right then any Brexit contracts signed by a Tory-DUP alliance will be bad for women. Ditch the DUP and save womankind. But with no DUP there can be no easy Brexit. Better yet, there’ll be no Brexit at all.

So add your name to the online poll, and defeat the free and legal vote for Brexit, one backed by over 17m low-information, tabloid-duped people between 7am and 10pm on a June day last year. Do it for the many, not the few.

PS: This dicing up of the electorate into gender, race and age is hideous. We don’t vote with our skin, genitals or student ID. We vote with our heads, hearts and wallets. The narrative that says Labour is the party of youth overlooks the number of younger voters who voted Tory and the older voters who were unnerved by the so-called dementia tax and turned away from Theresa May. It also ignores how fluid voting has become. UKIP’s collapse was down to its voters turning to Labour and the Conservatives. Fudge Brexit and UKIP may yet rise again. A return to ‘safe and secure’ two-party politics is far from guaranteed.

 



Posted: 10th, June 2017 | In: Google News, Key Posts, Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink