News & Politics

May to Tories: 'I Got Us in This Mess, I'll Get Us Out of It'

(Photo by: KGC-247/STAR MAX/IPx)

Tory leader and British Prime Minister Theresa May has one simple message for her fellow conservatives in Britain:

I’m the person who got us into this mess and I’m the one who will get us out of it.

Her strategy to do so is to forge a coalition with (or actually: a minority government supported by) the DUP, a conservative party from Northern Ireland.

Theresa May will seek to strike an agreement today to allow her to stay in office when she meets the leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party at Downing Street.

Arlene Foster will discuss a deal with the prime minister to prop up her Tory minority administration after the government admitted that the Queen’s Speech, due next Monday, might have to be delayed.

The prime minister will be desperate to get agreement from the DUP to back her legislative programme in the Commons or risk her government falling.

As PJ Media’s own Michael Walsh explained last week, however, there are certain risks to joining forces with the DUP:

The prime minister’s decision to try to form a government with the Democratic Unionist Party of “Northern Ireland” and the Tories’ unexpected boost from the Scottish National Party (which saved them from utter defeat) will ultimately spell doom for the Great Britain the world has known since the Republic of Ireland declared its independence from the Crown in 1916 and won it by force of arms in 1921.

Lord Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from September 1995 until May 2005, has a different take, however:

There’s no connection between the Agreement and the European Union, and Brexit and all the rest of it, people are just trying to grab this and argue as a stick to beat the Government with and I think it’s really quite silly.

The Government has actually acted in good faith and I think again this is just being, trying, looking for something with which to attack the Government and what they should do is to concentrate on the realities of the situation.

Conservative columnist Tim Stanley adds that, to him, the criticism aimed at the DUP is nothing more than proof that religion has become toxic in Britain:

Among the big losers of the general election were religious conservatives. And even though a few of their number might actually save the Government, the price is ridicule. God retires to join the other fallen deities on early morning TV. I just hope He stands a better chance of scoring a comeback than Nick Clegg.

Yes, I’m writing in response to anger at the DUP coming to the rescue of Theresa May. As a Catholic, I should be flattered by the liberals’ righteous fury: the Protestant DUP are the stuff of sectarian nightmares. But I notice that far more has been written about the DUP’s views on sexuality than their views on the Pope. They have failed the modern religious test, which is to say they have the cheek to still believe in God in 2017.

The good news for Stanley is, of course, that this may all change if the DUP does end up supporting a stable Tory government. That would, at the very least, prove that religious parties can play an important role in Britain.

On the other hand, the distrust of the DUP is clear, obvious, and rooted in a long, long history of sectarian rivalry. You’d hope that such differences can be ignored in 2017, but as conservatives, we all know that this just isn’t going to happen — not at rapid speed, at least. And that’s precisely what is necessary in order for May’s new cabinet to function well.

In short, then, we not only have to fear for the Brexit negotiations (whether there will be a soft or a hard Brexit), but even for the future of Britain as a United Kingdom now. Theresa May called for these early elections but failed. Whatever happens now is on her… and on those voters who didn’t quite understand the historic importance of these elections.