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.  

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