After this week’s election, Theresa May’s leadership is under threat, her party has lost its overall majority, their political mandate has been disastrously diminished, and she’s in a shotgun coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) who were, let it be known, endorsed in this election by the three main Protestant paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland.
From the frying pan into fire, then. Her botched election campaign was certainly one of the biggest political face palms that Britain has ever seen. Now the DUP - with only 0.91% of the national vote - temporarily call the shots for all the UK.
How bad is Theresa May? Well she's accidentally restarting the troubles.— Left Outside (@leftoutside) June 9, 2017
The truth is DUP leader Arlene Foster comes with rather more intimate proximity to terrorism baggage that Corbyn ever will. In recent weeks she has defended her meeting with a UDA chief within just 48 hours of the murder by the group of Colin Horner, who was shot dead in front of his three-year-old son in Bangor.
Talk about palling around. Critics have asked the DUP to reject the endorsement of the three main Protestant paramilitary groups but they have refused.
To be fair Theresa May warned of coalition of chaos propped up by extremist terrorist sympathisers. She just didn't say she'd be leading it.— Liam Young (@liamyoung) June 9, 2017
On Friday the DUP were keen to assert that they would not enter into a formal coalition with the Tories but would back them on a “confidence and supply arrangement.”
What will they demand in return for their conditional support critics wonder? And if that support is as full throated as May insists it is then why is she embarrassed to be photographed alongside them?
The truth is that a DUP coalition with the Tories cannot work. It would privilege one side (the DUP) over the other (Sinn Fein) and imperil the peace process in Northern Ireland with potentially explosive results. It’s a violation of the Good Friday Agreement in both spirit and letter.
WATCH: Jonathan Powell, former chief British negotiator on Northern Ireland, explains how a Tory/DUP coalition cannot work. pic.twitter.com/qrXL0yTQWs— EL4C (@EL4JC) June 9, 2017
Moreover the DUP are a far right, extremist party. They oppose LGBT rights and marriage equality in particular. They oppose abortion in almost all cases, including rape. Almost unique in Europe they consider climate change to be a con and many of their ardently evangelical members are creationists who believe that the world is only 6000 years old and evolution is an ungodly myth.
Placating this dinosaur party whilst attempting to govern the U.K. without a majority for the next five years suggests that the life of this shaky shotgun coalition will last only months instead of years. The damage it could do to the peace process during those months is too terrible to consider.
Another warning shot over DUP deal from tory MP https://t.co/KlCba9gd9s— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) June 9, 2017