Michael Fallon, the accident-prone secretary of state for defence in the United Kingdom, has produced a decidedly odd explanation for the Conservative Party’s 1.5 billion pound purchase of parliamentary support from the ten MPs of the far right Democratic Unionist Party. Justifying the bribe, which has brought Arlene Foster’s fringe DUP into the mainstream of UK politics in a way that Marine Le Pen’s Front national in France could only dream of, the minister claimed on Britain’s Radio 5 Live that:
“The money is not going to Arlene Foster; it’s not going to the DUP. It’s an investment in the whole province of Northern Ireland,.
It’s right too, to concentrate more resources on Northern Ireland because the last thing anybody wants is a reversion to the Troubles we had for over 30 years.
Meaning what, exactly? Were the Democratic Unionists implying otherwise if their exorbitant demands were not met during the recent negotiations with the electorally wounded Tory government in London? And if hundreds of millions of pounds in extra funding was required to forestall another round of conflict in the UK’s legacy colony on the island of Ireland, why was it not invested sometime over the last two decades? Why wait until 2017 to add additional financial support for those things which should have been supported since 1998?