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Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats

The DUP: out of the shadows and into the limelight

June 11, 2017 5:30 PM
Carrie Hynds, our Parliamentary Candidate for Hove, who grew up in Northern Ireland, gives her views on the DUP, who may be propping up the minority Tory goverment soon.
There's suddenly a lot of national interest in the DUP and Northern Irish politics. Rightly so.

On an emotional level, I associate the DUP with feelings of claustrophobia and oppression. They shamelessly conflate politics and religion (Rev Ian Paisley was simultaneously the political First Minister and leader of the Free Presbyterian church - which is like the Archbishop of Canterbury being Prime Minister and seeing no conflict of interest). They reinforce victim-shaming, emotional abuse and are interested in no-one's voice but their own.

On a political level, this is a pretty thorough summary of how the DUP operate: https://www.georgiagrainger.co.uk/politics/shame-game-dup/ and I agree it is time to shine a strong flashlight into their murky financial dealings and beyond.

What is interesting is that I've been trying to flag this for years but have been told by the media and mainstream political parties that Northern Irish politics is its own separate, special issue; nothing to do with how the rest of the UK operates. Niche. Not anyone's concern. And, of course, those of us feeling claustrophobic and oppressed moved away from it all as soon as we were physically able.

But now the DUP are Theresa May's kingmakers, a position that will reinforce their already-inflated sense of importance. They don't yet realise how much of what they do is irregular and will be considered by everyone else (including many Conservatives) as deeply unsound politics. What will happen when a party that has run unfettered for so long in the name of Queen and country and the United Kingdom is suddenly told that said kingdom is actually rather ashamed of them? Let's find out.