Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Theresa May: The gift that keeps on giving

Theresa May is supposed to be conducting what are widely agreed to be some of the most difficult and important negotiations that the UK has faced in recent history and she can’t even negotiate a deal with the DUP to keep her own government in office. Mind you, it’s not like we should have had high expectations of success. After all, this is the Prime Minister who put David Davis in charge of getting a good Brexit deal, even though he thinks that BOGOF is the lead EU negotiator from Bulgaria.  According to recent reports the DUP are saying that they were surprised at the low level of negotiating experience in May’s government. That bodes well, doesn’t it? The DUP are reportedly angry at being taken for granted, a perception which wasn’t helped by Theresa May’s office prematurely announcing that a deal had been reached and then having to hurriedly withdraw. You’d have thought that the DUP would have approved of early withdrawal, seeing as how they oppose contraceptive rights, but apparently not in this instance.

The government of the UK, which is going to take on the entire might of the European Union in order to get Britain a good deal for Brexit, seems to have been outwitted by a bunch of creationists and climate change deniers whose idea of negotiating is to march with a big drum and some guys with orange sashes singing about killing Catholics. Although to be honest that’s an unfair characterisation, certain supporters of the DUP have many years of experience, having been involved in negotiations for decades. There’s the hostage negotiations, protection racket negotiations, and negotiating a truce with the paramilitary crime gang in the next estate.

The talks to arrange a deal, according to the DUP, have not been progressing as expected, by which they meant that they had expected the Conservatives to have some sort of a clue about what they wanted, how to achieve it, and how to put it into effect. In other words, one of those pesky things that the rest of us call a “plan”. The Tories don’t do plans, at least not in the sense that anyone else would recognise it. What Tories do is short term self interest, bluster, and bullying. When faced across the negotiating table with people who do have a plan, the Tories are left with nothing except confusion and Daily Mail headlines blaming the Germans. Instead of the smooth and easy progression that the DUP had expected, they discovered that the talks were progressing as trouble-free as an Orange March in Drumcree. We've just had the cut-price version of The Queen’s Speech and there’s no deal agreed with the DUP. The fate of the UK government is more uncertain and more chaotic than it was last week, and it was pretty messed up then.

 Theresa May can, and probably will, press ahead with a minority government even without the support of the DUP, but that’s making a weak position so much weaker. The British government descends into a confused disaster zone, just at the very time that the country is crying out for leadership, and they’ve created this mess all by themselves. It’s all so needless, and all a result of their greed for power and their determination to put short term party interest before all other considerations. What a shower. And none of it is in my name as I didn't vote for them. If you did, shame on you for putting us through all this.

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