We are told in this Brexit blockage period that we must seek to understand the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) more, have more insight into their insecurities and deal with them differently than any other political party.
This is a party that has paralyzed British politics by refusing to compromise on a softer version of Brexit which would have been hugely beneficial to the people and the state they claim to represent.
The “remain” vote in Northern Ireland was 56 percent, the “leave” vote just 44 percent. Yet the DUP’s position is completely contrary to what the people in the North voted for.
This is also a party awash in corruption over a complicated Cash for Ash scandal, a political controversy in Northern Ireland that centered on a failed renewable energy incentive scheme that cost the Exchequer almost $8 million.
That plan was overseen by Arlene Foster, now head of the Democratic Unionist Party. She was then Minister for Enterprise who failed to introduce proper cost controls, allowing the plan to spin out of control.
After she became First Minister, Foster refused to stand aside during a major inquiry. Her Deputy Minister, Martin McGuinness, resigned as a result and the Executive collapsed.
Then came the fateful 2017 election called in error by British Prime Minister Theresa May who thought she would command a huge majority. Like everything else she has turned her hand to, the election turned out to be a disaster. Calamity Jane has nothing on Terrible Theresa.
She didn’t get a larger majority and she found herself wooing the DUP and their ten seats to stay in power. It was legalized bribery on this occasion, with a $1.3 billion package set aside for DUP pet projects in Northern Ireland.
Then came Brexit and another chance for the DUP to benefit hugely.
As economist David McWilliams wrote on his Twitter feed last week, “The DUP was offered an economic package that most countries in the world would bite your hand off for. An opportunity to make NI an international free trading hub between EU and UK, starting today. Massive investment opportunity for their people. And what did they do? Reject it.”
The DUP was offered an economic package that most countries in the world would bite your hand off for. An opportunity to make NI an international free trading hub between EU and UK, starting today. Massive investment opportunity for their people. And what did they do? Reject it.— David McWilliams (@davidmcw) March 29, 2019
As for understanding the DUP, Irish commentator Joe Brolly wrote, “One must understand their homophobia, denial of climate change, fierce resistance to LGBT equality, denial of evolution (God built the earth in 7 days, 6 if you count his day’s rest), trenchant institutional sectarianism & hatred of all things Irish (incl the language).”
If the DUP operated in America, Alabama's finest Judge Roy Moore would likely be one of their advocates. They would march proudly with the religious right and encompass the worst aspects of that set of beliefs.
How do we know? Let ’s not forget that DUP founder Ian Paisley was a frequent speaker at Bob Jones University, one of the most anti-Catholic venues on earth. He even got an honorary doctorate from there.
Here’s a brief flavor of Bobby Jones’ views like when Pope Paul died: “Pope Paul VI, archpriest of Satan, a deceiver and an anti-Christ, has, like Judas, gone to his own place.”
No prizes for guessing where that is.
So all in all the DUP are a pretty disreputable bunch, even by Northern Irish political standards. It is passing strange that such misfits hold sway over the EU and Britain’s future.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section, below.