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The DUP and Brexit January 18, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Funny we were taking about reasons why the Executive might have collapsed. I hadn’t seen this but Fintan O’Toole points to a weird advert in the London Metro taken out by the DUP in relation to Brexit. Given there are perishing few DUP voters in London one has to wonder why they would do such a thing and I cannot fault O’Toole’s logic when he writes:

What is absolutely clear, however, is that the DUP willingly allowed itself to be sucked in to the murkier side of the Brexit movement.
It wanted to express an ultra-British identity (which it is fully entitled to do) but it did so through opaque funding and fake claims. And, more importantly, it did so in a way that was breathtakingly irresponsible.

And here’s a few other oddities:

It was undoubtedly very expensive – newspapers, even freesheets, don’t like to hide themselves inside someone else’s ad so they charge a very heavy price for this kind of thing.
It is safe to assume that this was the most expensive single piece of propaganda ever issued by an Irish political party.
Yet we have no idea who paid for it: Northern Ireland, charmingly, is exempt from British laws on the disclosure of political donations.
At the time, the Democratic Unionist Party’s Mervyn Storey would say only that whatever the cost, it was a “price worth paying” to establish the DUP as a key player in the Brexit campaign, not in Northern Ireland but in the UK as a whole.

O’Toole, rightly points out that the DUP has an absolute right to do what it wants in relation to campaigning, and I’m not sure the ad itself is grounds, as he seems to think for the DUP to stand aside, though he may be on less shaky territory in regard to pointing to their seeming lack of regard taking account of the pro-Remain sentiment in the North or indeed what was best for Northern Ireland. But it does underscore the remarkable identification of the DUP with Brexit and the Tories.

Entertainingly he argues for the UU, SDLP and Alliance to make common cause – because they ‘agree on many things, and by far the most important of them is Brexit. They each opposed it’.

Hold on a sec, wasn’t there another party in the North also opposed to Brexit? No mention of them though.

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Comments»

1. Damon Matthew Wise Âû - January 18, 2017

GPNI?

Liked by 1 person

2. sonofstan - January 18, 2017

I missed that metro thing:, weird.
In my experience, english people only know one political party in the north by name, if they know any, and that’s sinn fein. Generally unfavourable shudder. If you then explain who the DUP are and mention paisley, similar and often more pronounced shudder.
General understanding is of mad irish people fighting about religion and long suffering, gallant england hold the ring and persuading them to stop shooting each other.
However…..if it all exploded again and there were moves towards reunification, resisted by the unionist population, then i can see the DUP etc being able to muster a fair bit of support here; after all, vwry few people knew where the Falklands were in 1980……

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WorldbyStorm - January 18, 2017

“However…..if it all exploded again and there were moves towards reunification, resisted by the unionist population, then i can see the DUP etc being able to muster a fair bit of support here; after all, vwry few people knew where the Falklands were in 1980……”

That sounds plausible. Particularly in a time of Brexit.

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3. sonofstan - January 18, 2017

“Entertainingly he argues for the UU, SDLP and Alliance to make common cause – because they ‘agree on many things, and by far the most important of them is Brexit. They each opposed it’”

He goes on to suggest that they could take politics in NI ‘beyond the sectarian headcount’. But they can’t, because the institutions are structured in a way that prevents that.
There will undoubtedly be an anti-brexit majority in the next assembly, just as in the current one, and it will be cross-community. But, unless the UUP beat the DUP in that side of the contest, they couldn’t form an executive under the rules.

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4. ivorthorne - January 18, 2017

When it comes to the DUP and Brexit, I feel a little bit of sympathy for Arlene and company. They’ve really managed to get themselves in a bit of a tizzy.

The officials must be telling them what a complete disaster Brexit will be for Northern Ireland. On the other hand, this is the party of Paisley. The DUP have spent years demonising the EU as some sort of papist plot while citing the book of Revelation. Was there ever a question that most DUP members would campaign against the EU? Taking a more nuanced approach would have equated to saying “We were wrong” and the membership would not have stood for that.

O’Toole seems to think that they should drop support for Brexit because most people in Norn Iron voted to remain. But it’s probably true that most unionists did not. Certainly, most DUP voters voted out. Fine Gael did not back down on water charges because most people oppose them.

Going beyond the sectarian headcount sounds great. The problem is that – and it’s not a problem unique to NI – but people vote tactically and as much against candidates as for them. If there’s a single seat up for grabs and two leading candidates are SF and DUP candidates, unionists who might consider voting for the Alliance Party or even the Green Party will vote to keep SF out. The structure of the institutions does not help but the make up of the parties is a more serious barrier to change.

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5. GW - January 18, 2017

A brief glance at today’s Belfast Telegraph suggests that Brexit and the border isn’t yet a big issue.

I don’t know whether that’s their bias or whether things might change.

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CL - January 18, 2017

‘Foreign affairs are of course the responsibility of the UK Government, and in dealing with them we act in the interests of all parts of the United Kingdom.’ (‘especially if I need some Unionist votes in parliament’-said May to herself)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/17/theresa-mays-brexit-speech-full/

Liked by 1 person

6. roddy - January 18, 2017

O,Tool and his ilk don’t get it that only for SF the north would have backed brexit..People were ambivalent about it ,thinking it an “English” issue until SF called on their voters (25- 27%) of the electorate to come out and vote stay.

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