So that’s it. Following its electoral humiliation earlier this month the Conservative Party government in the United Kingdom has given in to the demands of the far right, ultra-nationalist Democratic Unionist Party, securing the parliamentary votes of its ten MPs. The DUP leader Arlene Foster and her supporters can now expect a slew of concessions from the Tories as part of their backdoor coalition with prime minister Theresa May. The negative effects of the agreement on inter-communal relations in the UK-administered Six Counties, and between Ireland and Britain in general, is already evident with the recent appearance of British terrorist flags in “mixed” neighbourhoods across Belfast. By aligning itself with the most extreme representatives of the pro-UK separatist or unionist minority on this island, London has put itself in the company of the DUP-supporting terror gangs of the Ulster Defence Association, the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Red Hand Commando. It can no longer feign ignorance or disinterest – or responsibility – for the murderous actions of the gunmen of the UDA in the coming months. As it did during thirty years of the so-called Troubles.
The toxic deal between the Conservatives and Democratic Unionists threatens to undo two decades of relative peace in the north-east Ireland. And for anyone who thinks otherwise, just contemplate what lies ahead in the historically-charged period of July and August. Police officers may pray for rain during street protests but no amount of water is going to quench the dormant fires that Theresa May and the Tories in Britain are now stoking in pursuit of their own selfish interests. We can only hope that wiser counsels prevail and that we are not facing into a long hot summer.