Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 47 Number 11, June 14, 2017 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

General Election 2017

Negotiating with the DUP - The Conservatives' Second Bad Move

The Conservative Party is negotiating with the the DUP which is a reactionary formation from the north of Ireland. This is an all-round bad move on the part of the Conservatives. The first bad move was to call the general election three years early with the expectation that they would receive 50 more seats. Instead they lost 34. Now, their second bad move is to negotiate with the DUP.

The DUP has ten seats the Conservatives covet. It is trying to wring concessions from the Conservatives about the arrangements to be implemented in the north of Ireland. However, these arrangements are already set in the Good Friday Agreement. Any deal with the DUP in effect puts them in the government. Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams already pointed out that this merely exposes the pretence that the British government is the "honest broker" between the "two traditions" in Ireland. It further underscores the fact that the British government is neither neutral nor impartial. Of great significance is that if there is no agreement between the DUP and Sinn Féin by June 29, the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly moves to direct rule from Britain. This is bad enough, let alone if the DUP is an integral part of the Conservative government.

Reports indicate that as of June 13 Arlene Foster of the DUP has not returned to Belfast as expected, and it seems evident there is going to be some kind of a "confidence and supply arrangement" announced soon. Foster indicated that the deal would include issues related to Brexit, "counter-terrorism" and "doing what's right" for the economy of the north of Ireland. It is known that the DUP is very keen not to have a "hard border" with the south, and wants more public spending in the north which only serves to bring to the public eye that the British government is neither impartial nor neutral, as Gerry Adams has said time and again. To be "neutral" and "impartial" is what the Good Friday Agreement demands of the British government. To destabilise Ireland after destabilising the entire British Isles would be nothing short of jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

The fact is that Theresa May is really only four seats short of a majority in the British Parliament because the seven Sinn Féin MPs will not take their seats. So under the corrupt cartel party system another option would be to buy off four or five MPs from other parties with inducements negotiated in secret while presenting it all as being for the greater good of providing stability going into the Brexit talks. This would give the Tories a majority. However, should they do that, it would be their third bad move!


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