The Tories Form A Backdoor-Coalition With The DUP – And UDA, UVF And RHC

As I’m sure most readers are aware, Theresa May’s Conservative Party has formed a backdoor-coalition with Arlene Foster’s Democratic Unionist Party following this morning’s humiliating results from the general election in the United Kingdom. Despite expectations, and the best efforts of the right-wing press in the UK, the Tories saw a loss of seats for the parliament in Westminster, requiring them to seek DUP support to form a minority administration. But what has been the price of the dirty deal reached earlier today? In the words of the respected British journalist Jon Snow, May has made an agreement with “One of the most extreme political entities in the British Isles” and few would disagree with that.

The DUP is UKIP or the BNP taken to the nth degree. It is a party of the European far right, a grouping in the mode of Marine Le Pen’s Front national or Frauke Petry’s Alternative für Deutschland. However, unlike the political establishments of France and Germany, in Britain the ultra-nationalists are to be given access to the levers of power by the mainstream, albeit at one remove. The xenophobia, hibernophobia and homophobia of Democratic Unionism has now received a form of tacit endorsement from the Conservative Party, a wink-and-a-nod acknowledgement which will give 17th century Protestant fundamentalism a platform to preach its archaic world-view in the 21st century. From opposing civil rights to denying climate change, the creationist-believing Ulster Trumps have been offered a warm welcome in Downing Street.

With this deal the Tories have wilfully imperilled three decades of Irish-British peace, of good relations between Ireland and Britain, and risked plunging us back into a new era of conflict. The Europhobes of the DUP, with their determination to build a Brexit Border around the UK-administered Six Counties, will seek every advantage over their near-equals in the northern nationalist community. They will seek, like the Tory extreme, to tear up the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, and its human rights’ provisions, while stripping nationalists of their Irish and European Union citizenships. They will bring the politics of Britain’s legacy colony in the north-east of Ireland closer to a fatal breaking point than they have been at any point in the last twenty years.

Meanwhile the terror bosses of the Ulster Defence Association, the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Red Hand Commando will be rubbing their hands in glee. For it was the combined rhetoric and actions of the British terrorist factions in the disputed Six Counties which brought increased electoral support to the Democratic Unionist Party in key constituencies like South and North Belfast. And just as the Tories will now need to seek the approval of the DUP, so the DUP will need to seek the approval of the UDA, UVF and RHC. Theresa May, the Conservative Party prime minster of the United Kingdom, has opened the backdoor of Number 10 to the British Taliban. And the people of Ireland will not forget – or forgive – this anytime soon…

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30 comments

  1. It seems to me that the Tories are thinking that they can rely on DUP support on a vote by vote basis, without giving much of anything in return. That may have worked in the past to some extent, but that kind of thinking is delusional in this day and age. Talking about lying down with dogs.

    1. At the moment there is some confusion over deal/no deal. The awful Grenfell Tower fire is serving as a useful media “distraction” while the DUP and Tories thrash out a deal that is proving harder than expected to be reached. Money seems to be the main sticking point and worries about how things will play among the UK electorate.

    1. You were coming on like a dissident republican disgusted by Sinn Fein’s compromises recently, but your latest riposte sounds suspiciously Blairite or Neocon to me.
      A few facts: Theresa May’s government (then led by David Cameron) sponsored an Islamic Jihadist revolution in Libya and is sponsoring one in Syria. She also voted for the Iraq war no less than five times – which turned Iraq into a playground for all kinds of Islamist nutters. The British state sells billions worth of arms to the Saudis, who are commonly acknowledged to be the main sponsors of Isis and Al Qaeda. If that weren’t enough, that dirty old man soft porn sheet, the Daily Mail has reported thast Israeli medics treat wounded Isis fighters before sending them back to the frontline in Syria – something the British or American governments don’tseem remotely concerned by. And some of those alleged to have been responsible for the recent terrorist events in London and Manchester were dispatched to Libya by the British state to fight against Ghaddafi.

      And by the way, the Clintons, Obama and Blair are every bit as much to blame for all of this as those on the right of the political spectrum – left and right being largely meaningless labels designed to corral us into tribal ideological factions.

      1. ‘the DM isn’t a credible source is it? ‘Israeli medics treat wounded Isis fighters before sending them back to Syria’

        1. The Daily Mail is certainly not a credible source in many areas but the article was written by a supporter of Israel (a Jewish supporter at that) and I haven’t heard of any Israeli official sources denying it. Indeed senior Israeli officials have explicitly stated their preference for Isis over the secular Assad regime. And Isis have apologised to Israel for accidentally hitting Israeli positions.

          And lest anyone accuse me of anti-semitism, it’s not just Israel – western regimes have clearly been aiding and abetting Jihadists in Libya and Syria. Both Hillary C and Joe Biden have stated that their western “ally” Saudi Arabia is the number one sponsor of Islamic terror in the world, Yet Britain and the U.S sell it huge quantities of arms. So effectively the British government has been arming Isis and Al Qaeda, whilst shedding crocodile tears about Islamic radicalism, and condemning Corbyn for merely meeting Hamas and Hezbollah representatives, who are far less radical on religious matters than the Saudi sponsored terror groups.

    2. By the way – who exactly do you mean by Corbyn’s “Jihadist friends”? It’s a phrase straight from that Masonic Unionist rag the Daily Mail – or one of Murdoch’s equally scummy titles. For someone implying that you hold to purist republicanism, you seem to share a lot of the views of the sworn enemies of Irish nationalism.

        1. Now now, just because your real Unionist Neocon agenda has been exposed, and you’re unable to even attempt a rebuttal of any of the facts I present, there’s no need to resort to infantile expletives.

        2. “the Phoenix”
          ….and still waiting to hear your role in destroying the Orange terror statelet.

  2. Too many “phobia” make up words. Europhobia is a dangerous one especially. Its how Sinn Fein would easily have been described a while back. Are you going to call anyone who doesnt want to give up full sovereignty to the EU which pretty much we already have, Europhobic? United Ireland cant just be a state in Europe which only has a government to balance the books. And adding phobic to everything will come back and hit you eventually when others use that rhetoric.

    Aside from that, yes May going to the DUP to prop her government up is dangerous because they will ask a heavy price from her in order to do so. And whatever it is will not be in our interest. Its a match made in hell for the conservative party. though They deserve it for the way May has reacted recently anyway. Go after internet service providers? That’s the real problem? She is out of touch.

    1. Well one can be EU-sceptical without being Europhobe. I have a touch of the former and none of the latter. The DUP very much display both. They want very little to do with any kind of trans-European body, even a free market one. Yes, that is a mad position to take for representatives of a majority agricultural region, and yes, not all in the party hold it, but enough do to influence things. I rarely hear Dupes reference even EFTA as a poor EU substitute. They just want out of “Europe”.

      Now, the Commonwealth? That they mention a LOT.

  3. You are of course referring to the Loyalist Communities Council endorsing the DUP. This group was launched by Labour’s Jonathan Powell alongside PUP (UVF) and UDA representatives.

    1. Sure, but that does not negate how it is perceived and essentially how it works. It would be unfair to describe it as a mouthpiece for armed loyalism but it certainly speaks with some confidence on their behalf.

  4. It’s amusing seeing the DUP being referred to as “the Irish DUP” in the British and international media. I bet they’re loving that!

    More seriously though, if the DUP can influence/govern via direct rule, what then is the incentive for them to work towards re-establishing the devolved institutions at Stormont and involve others who won’t be as congenial to their wishes as their new Tory partners in Westminster?

    Also, surely the DUP’s presence in government is incompatible with the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement. The British government isn’t a neutral player when it comes to northern affairs anyway, but they have at least *claimed* to be a neutral “broker” or “mediator” in recent decades. Now that the DUP will have a role in the next UK government, however, it will make a total mockery of any such notions or pretences of governmental neutrality. What safeguards might be put in place to protect the rights and interests of the nationalist community? What if Jeffrey Donaldson was to become secretary of state for the north, for example?

    Interestingly, the DUP allege that they didn’t actually agree to an Irish language act at St. Andrew’s (so they say there’s no duty on them to facilitate it) and claim that it was actually the British government that promised it. The St. Andrew’s Agreement stated:

    “The Government will introduce an Irish Language Act reflecting on the experience of Wales and Ireland and work with the incoming Executive to enhance and protect the development of the Irish language.”

    If the DUP are now going to form the next British government, however, won’t they be obliged to deliver on that promise? Maybe they’re unwittingly putting themselves in a bit of a bind on that front…

    The DUP also repeatedly claim to want a “frictionless border” in Ireland, but they were recklessly pro-Brexit and also reject the prospect of special status for the north. One of their demands to the Tories – in return for offering the support of their ten MPs – is that the north will not be granted any special status that differentiates its status from Britain’s post-EU status. If you want the border to be “frictionless”, some form of special status would be a prerequisite, however, so their stated wishes don’t quite add up.

    1. No one ever asks the DUP why they are so against a “hard border”. If they feel as British as they say they do, surely they would want a rock hard border, or even an Israeli style wall between the two territories?

      As for Brexit I reckon the DUP jumped on that bandwagon because almost all their political and journalistic supporters in Britain – especially among Neoconservatives – were anti-EU. Modern British Brexitism is a million miles from the principled opposition to the EU of activists like the late Raymond Crotty – or even Tony Benn. Far from opposing the corporatist tendencies of the EU, most modern British Brexiteers object to Brussels for not being corporatist enough – and want more deregulation of the big banks, more freedom for GMO corporations, freedom for fracking etc. Princess Anne Windsor has stated that as soon as Brexit is a reality she will start growing GM foods.

      1. Perhaps it has dawned upon the DUP that if they treat border communities with contempt, they’ll further stoke already-roused sentiment in favour of a unity referendum. The harder the border, the greater the nationalist/republican urgency or demand for a unity referendum will be. Surely the DUP are not blind to that and would be keen to tame such sentiment, although sometimes you just wouldn’t know with the DUP, for whom cutting off the nose to spite the face is a well-established tradition!

        1. It may also be the case that the DUP don’t want a hard border to thwart the illegal migrant trafficking operation their buddies in the loyalist terror groups have been engaging in for years – shipping such migrants to the north and then trafficking them across the border to the 26 counties.

    2. Very good points, Daniel. I keep hearing that the DUP want a “soft Brexit” I have yet to see anyone produce firm evidence to back up that claim. There are DUP people, and voters, who would be quite happy for a Trump-style wall around the Six Counties.

      1. https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsI’m not sure if you’d have encountered this post by ‘Consigliere’ that was written on Slugger O’Toole the other day in response to criticism of the prospective Tory-DUP deal: https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/06/12/alastair-campbell-and-jonathan-powell-are-wrong-the-dup-poses-no-threat-to-peace

        The author wrote the following:

        “The DUP-Tory deal can be called many things. But please, less of this deafening hysteria about threats to peace, threats to the process, threats to the Good Friday Agreement, the end of the world as we know it?

        Yes, London and Dublin have somewhat vaguely defined ‘honest broker’ roles, particularly during negotiation processes. So, the case for an independent talks chairman might be strengthened. Knock yourselves out.

        But:

        Are Sinn Fein going to permanently rule themselves out of entering an Irish government? Could an Irish government with Gerry and Co in it ever be impartial on the north?

        And if the Tories aren’t ever allowed to say nice things about the union, must the Dublin Government stay equally shtum on Irish unity? Might make a border poll campaign a bit flat.”

        It appeared to me that, based on the questions posed, the author had either misread or misunderstood the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, perhaps wilfully so. I wrote the following comment in response: https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/06/12/alastair-campbell-and-jonathan-powell-are-wrong-the-dup-poses-no-threat-to-peace/#comment-3364521981

        That comment just outlines my personal interpretation of what is stated in the Agreement – “the power of the sovereign government with jurisdiction [over the north of Ireland] shall be exercised with rigorous impartiality” – relative to the author’s questions, but I was wondering if you were aware of any other republican commentators who might have expressed a view on the former alleged dilemma ‘Consigliere’ has posed? If the Agreement disallows the DUP from propping up the Tories to form a British government because it would create an obvious conflict of interest for that government when they’d be obliged to remain rigorously impartial in their dealings with the north of Ireland, could it also then disallow Sinn Féin from propping up a government in Dublin in a future post-unity setting?

    3. Re. Brexit + Frictionless Border. The solution is simple, the Republic leaves the EU along with the UK. Better still Ireland is reunited … as part of the UK. Clearly that is the DUP’s delusional endgame?

  5. In the real world, in which people deal with the truth, Theresa May is the political face of the Neo-liberal British Establishment. After a disastrous General Election, Mrs May is under instructions from her masters to retain power at all costs. Enter the DUP, an extremist organisation with close links to the UDA, a notorious terror group with a history of murder, robbery, racketing, drugs and gun running.
    The association between the Conservative and Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party has history, but never before has the DUP been so useful to the Unionists on the mainland as it appears now to be the case.
    Nevertheless, it is all but impossible to see this having a happy ending.

  6. From a British perspective, I really don’t think TM has a clue what she’s gotten herself into.

    England has it’s religious divides, e.g. traditional Tories tend to be High Church C. of E. (all bells ‘n’ smells, fancy dress and hierarchy, but no Pope thank-you-very-much), whereas Labour is more associated with the various nonconformist ‘chapels’. But these days all of this is mostly a matter of style rather than politics, all rather terribly ‘English’.

    May has gone for “any port in a storm”, the only option she has to save her bacon. We await the butcher’s bill …

    1. Unfortunately true. The DUP have May by the short and curlies and they know it. They are looking for state investment for the Six Counties in the tens of millions and unionist-favouring constituencies will be the main beneficiaries of all that lovely dosh. Think of certain favoured areas of Afghanistan or Iraq smothered in Pentagon and State Dept dollars during the early 2000s. Except that the British Exchequer will be picking up the tab for all this graft in the overseas colony.

  7. Hi Séamas,

    I’m aware that I haven’t commented in a while but I felt obliged to drop in with one matter. I’ve been reading your great coverage of the British government’s Hibernophobic lurch, what with this DUP business. I don’t know if what I’m about to say is off-topic but I wasn’t sure where the best place would be to put it: here in America, the Trump government is taking a similarly anti-Irish direction. A leader of the Irish community in Boston was arrested yesterday for overstaying a visa from way back in 2003 (this was after he made an appearance on television to discuss the situation of undocumented Irish people in the city). From what I have read, the Irish people in Boston are extremely scared. Are we going to be seeing a post on this situation soon?

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