THE BLOG

This Is A Shambles Of A Government Propped Up By A DUP Far-Right Coup

10/06/2017 09:54
Dan Kitwood via Getty Images

A lot about Thursday night's result was strange. The unexpected exit poll was just the beginning of a series of dramas that stretched from Nick Clegg losing his seat through to the end of Conservative rule in Canterbury that appears to have existed since the dawn of electoral politics.

And what have we woken up to? Progressive forces are undoubtedly back and a new political settlement is emerging. What that settlement looks like only continues the surprised that started Thursday night at 10pm.

The Democratic Unionist Party, or more familiar DUP, have risen from obscurity to king-makers.

For many people across the country, this will be the first time that they've really even heard of the DUP. Try it out. Ask someone sat near you at work, or someone with you at the pub: what does DUP stand for? I don't just mean the initials. What do they stand for? Not sure? Well, don't be fooled by the chat you'll be hearing about their calls for a soft Brexit. The sad and frightening answer is that they're fringe, far-right fanatics.

I will just set this out plainly. They are anti-abortion. They oppose same sex marriage. They are climate change deniers. And they even have historic links to Loyalist terrorist groups. Will you hear about any of this in the gutter press of the right, who so loved to tar Corbyn with the same brush? Most likely not. Expect to hear quite a bit about their cosy sounding attitude towards their land border with the EU, because that softens their vibe a bit. But don't be fooled.

And don't feel guilty if you're not super familiar with them. It's not your fault. They don't command much popular support. On Thursday - thanks to our topsy turvy voting system - they managed to get ten seats from just 300,000 votes, while we got just one seat from over half a million crosses in a Green box. It's yet another reason why we need fair votes now. And more pressingly: this has now enabled another period of Tory rule, with an even more extreme wing calling the shots.

A lot about May's statement outside Number 10 was bizarre. It failed to acknowledge her devastating losses. But perhaps the weirdest thing of all was casually dropping the DUP into the mix as if they've always been a long standing arm of the Tory party. If it was a deliberate attempt to fold them into the majority she needs without scrutiny, it's up to all of us to call this out for what it is: another far-right coup in the UK. More than that: it's a complete shambles of a government. And to think this was supposed to be about securing strong and stable leadership.

Comments

CONVERSATIONS