— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) June 10, 2017
By allying herself with a party that has an MP that called homosexuals ‘poofs’ and ‘perverts’ Theresa May is once again putting herself ahead of the party and country, the Tory party has to stop her committing yet another huge mistake.
Though the DUP denied it, last night it was reported that the Tories and DUP had struck a supply and confidence deal, a poll from Survation, the most accurate pollster in terms of voting intention shares for the general election, found that 49% of voters oppose such a deal and only a third of voters support it, I’ll explain why those numbers will get worse for the Tories as well as being a bad idea in general.
As the above tweet shows there’s huge concerns within the Tory party about such a deal, and it is a great irony that the woman who warned about the Tories being perceived as the nasty party fifteen years ago is doing her best to restore that perception about the Tories and undo the decade long hard work of David Cameron of detoxifying the Tory brand.
As I noted above, one DUP MP, Sammy Wilson in the 1990s called homosexuals ‘poofs’ and ‘perverts’, whilst but two years ago the DUP leadership said they stood by a DUP minister at Stormont who said ‘The facts show that certainly you don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship … that child is far more likely to be abused or neglected … in a non-stable marriage.’ By political osmosis the Tories are going to be contaminated by the DUP, and I’ve not even started on some of the other interesting views the DUP have on things like creationism. For brevity, I’m not discussing the DUP’s economic outlook which can be characterised as economic socialism, which will endear the DUP even less to the Tory party.
By going into an alliance/coalition with the DUP there is a danger that the reality, or even the perception that the Tories might damage the Irish peace process so they can keep power. Suddenly the Tories might be accused of doing what they said of Corbyn, he’s a risk to the peace process and the security of the UK. Then add in this story, and imagine if this story was about Corbyn and the IRA, ‘DUP chief Arlene Foster met UDA boss days after loyalist murder in Bangor.’ It negates the attacks on Corbyn going forward.
In politics sometimes perceptions matter more than the facts, and with Article I of The Good Friday Agreement stating that the UK and Irish governments should act with “rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions” there will be a perception that the Tories are risking the peace in Northern Ireland for their own political gain, and recent history has shown, troubles in Northern Ireland seldom stay confined to the six counties, but end up wreaking havoc on the British mainland.
There’s another major reason why this deal with the DUP is a bad idea, as someone who campaigned for the Tories in 2015, I know how badly English voters took the possibility of English money being sent to Scotland to keep a Celtic nation party happy. Now wonder how those English coupled with Scottish, and Welsh voters will feel about their money being sent to Northern Ireland to keep the government going. This will have a negative impact on the Tories in the ballot box.
Getting too involved with the DUP could also set the Tories back in Scotland and undo the hard work of Ruth Davidson, whose efforts were the sole high point for the Tories on Thursday, indeed were it not for those twelve Scottish Tory gains it is likely Jeremy Corbyn would have become Prime Minister on Friday. For that alone the Tory party should make Ruth Davidson party leader and Prime Minister, but I digress.
Given the politically tone deaf speech Mrs May gave outside Downing Street on Friday, where Mrs May spoke like a woman who had won a majority of 100 plus instead of the woman who needlessly lost David Cameron’s majority, I don’t think she has the nous to deal with the DUP or the fallout from any deal.
Good people like Edward Timpson, Nicola Blackwood, Charlotte Leslie, and Neil Carmichael who lost their seats on Thursday have already been sacrificed because the of the failed Turing test Theresa May’s folly and incompetence, in calling a needless election and then running the worst election campaign in living memory if not history.
By allying herself with the DUP, Mrs May will ensure a lot more Tory MPs will lose their seats at the next general election. To quote the Prime Minister, no deal is better than a bad deal, it is better to run as a minority government than rely on the DUP.
Worst of all she is making it probable, not just possible Corbyn will be Prime Minister within the next five years. She is in danger of being spoken in the same breath as Neville Chamberlain if she doesn’t change her approach as Tory MPs will soon conclude, if they already haven’t, that no Theresa is better than a bad Theresa.
PS – As I was finishing writing this piece just after midnight, it appears Mrs May and her team really have jumped the gun in announcing the DUP supply and confidence deal. Does the country and the Tory party really want someone this inept as Prime Minister and running the Brexit negotiations? Last night it was also reported that Mrs May took the fateful decision to call the snap election having been urged to do so by EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.
BREAK: The DUP says talks with the Tories are continuing. The party has NOT yet agreed to back the Tories on a confidence and supply basis.
— David Blevins (@skydavidblevins) June 10, 2017
BREAK: DUP has NOT yet reached any agreement with the Tories. Sky sources: Downing Street issued the wrong statement in error.
— David Blevins (@skydavidblevins) June 10, 2017