If it’s any consolation…

December 17, 2019

by Martin Odoni

Last Thursday/Friday was pretty traumatic for the British left, but it was not entirely without points of satisfaction. The entire band of ‘CUKs’ that broke away from Labour back in February were wiped out completely. This was an especially well-deserved comeuppance for Chuka Umunna, Angela Smith and Luciana Berger, albeit for different reasons, and sums up the ten-month havoc of their entire laughable enterprise.

The Liberal Democrats, after months of aggressively bad-mouthing Labour and, especially, Jeremy Corbyn, had to learn humility the hard way, with the loss-of-seat for leader Jo Swinson – her second such fall in under five years – provoking smirks from both left and right. Her ridiculous, almost fanatical, declarations that she could become Prime Minister seemed risible to begin with, and now sound like the ravings of – yes I know I have used this comparison before – a certain cartoon character from the 1980’s….

Megaswin will crush the Autobots once and for all

Megaswin, leader of the Liberal Deceptocrats.

A special mention for the eternally hideous ex-Tory-now-Brexit-Party has-been, Ann Widdecombe: It was particularly delicious, what with her bigoted anti-LGBTQ views, to see her soundly beaten in Plymouth by incumbent Luke Pollard – a Labour MP who is openly gay.

But perhaps the biggest and most deserved comeuppance of all was bestowed upon the Democratic Unionist Party. They made the same idiotic mistake the LibDems made in 2010, shaking hands with the Devil, and are now paying the diabolical price. After the 2017 Election resulted in a Hung Parliament, there was a real danger that the treacherous Tories would be unable to form a Government. In stepped the ineffable DUP, agreeing a confidence-and-supply alliance to prop up Theresa May’s feeble administration. They ended up serving as its life-support until soon after Boris Johnson took over.

The clear hope of the DUP’s leader, Arlene Foster, was to use the balance-of-power she held in the House of Commons to prevent Brexit taking a form that aligned Northern Ireland to the Irish Republic and away from Great Britain i.e. a hard border in the Irish Sea between Ireland and Britain.

I wrote early in 2018 that Foster and her party were clearly being played for dupes (appropriate given the party’s acronym). The Tories were transparently refusing to commit to any one position on a settlement for an Irish border because they knew whichever arrangement they plumped for would be met with furious opposition from one quarter or another. If Foster, Nigel Dodds or Sammy Wilson had used an iota of common sense between them, they would have dropped the deal with May before the summer that year and left the Government to collapse. But they would not do so. This was partly because, so long as there was no new General Election, a Hung Parliament with them holding the balance-of-power would continue. Partly also, it was because they felt vindictive towards Jeremy Corbyn, who had a history of negotiating with Sinn Fein (NOTE FOR RIGHT-WING MOUTH-FOAMERS: Not with the Irish Republican Army. If you are going to insist that Sinn Fein and the IRA are one-and-the-same, then I insist that the DUP and the Ulster Defence Association are one-and-the-same, and the Tories thus have a history of formal political alliances with terrorists), which the DUP resent due to their general resentment of anyone ever hearing the Republican side of the Northern Irish story. Therefore, the DUP were determined to stop Corbyn from ever getting a real chance of reaching Downing Street.

This near-sighted stubbornness hit its moral low point earlier this year when it became irretrievably clear that May could not continue as Prime Minister. She fell to the heaviest defeat ever to befall a sitting British Government, as her Bill proposing a departure deal from the European Union was resoundingly rejected by over two-thirds of MPs – including the DUP themselves. It should have been incontestable at that point that May had to go, and her Government with her. But when Corbyn tabled the inevitable Motion of No Confidence in the Government, the DUP reversed tracks within 24 hours, voting to support the Prime Minister and keep the Government standing.

The DUP’s help proved decisive; had they voted the other way, the Motion would have been passed by one vote, and in all likelihood, there would have been a new General Election called within the fortnight. Given the dismal Tory polling at that point, they would surely have been out. Instead, the Tories retained what control there was, long enough at least for May to be pressured out of office on her own, and for the Tories to get the benefit of a ‘honeymoon period’ for their new leader to win the General Election last week.

The DUP got what they deserved

The DUP kept putting their trust in the Conservative Party, when it was clear what it would lead to, out of stubborn hatred for Jeremy Corbyn. Now they are reaping what they sowed.

Now, the DUP are reaping the toxic harvest of their own lack of morals and intelligence. For Boris Johnson, with a fairly large majority, does not need the DUP’s support to stay in power, and can just ignore them. And he is doing precisely that. The deal he is trying to push through before Christmas effectively slams the very border the DUP did not want in the Irish Sea, and aligns North to South on the island of Ireland itself. And there is nothing they can do to stop it.

If only they had chosen good sense, rather than paranoia and spite, at the crucial moment when the need to side with Corbyn was so obvious. Oh well, DUP, I might have felt a twinge of pity for you in another life. As it is, I can only shrug and point out that I did warn you.