Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Get real: The DUP won't bring down Theresa May because they've got her exactly where they want her

Some people are terrible at maths. If you add all the Labour, SNP, Lib-Dem, Plaid Cymru, and Green MPs together they're clearly outnumbered by the Tories plus the DUP, but some people still seem to imagine that Theresa May would lose a parliamentary confidence vote.

Yes Theresa May's cowardice is utterly despicable; Yes her decision to postpone the Brexit vote was an affront to parliamentary democracy and a national humiliation on the world stage to boot; Yes she's brazenly prioritising her own career over the best interests of the nation by selfishly clinging onto power for as long as possible; And yes her decision to shove a subordinate (David Liddington) into the parliamentary pit of fury at her despicable actions to go around Belgium and the Netherlands doing fake busywork further underlines the her absolute shamelessness.

But a vote of no confidence at this point would be a massively self-defeating waste of time and effort from everyone who is opposed to Tory rule, and everyone who is opposed to the Tory Brexit farce.

The reason is obvious.The DUP sectarians she bribed into propping up her government after her spectacularly failed hubris election have her exactly where they want her. Weak, desperate, unpopular, and absolutely dependent on their support.

They're essentially holding the Prime Minister hostage until she caves into their demands, so why on earth would they throw this advantageous position away by backing a vote of no confidence in her and toppling her government?

Why would they release the hostage without the payoff?

When Theresa May and the Tories decided to bribe the DUP bigots into propping them up last year they clearly had absolutely no idea what they were getting themselves into.

Presumably they imagined that it would be just like the Lib-Dem coalition all over again. A weak and pathetic minor party to use as lobby fodder to push through all kinds of vile and deeply illiberal legislation (austerity dogma, social security cuts, school privatisation, secret courts, the gagging law, NHS sell-off, Bedroom Tax, hostile environment, wage repression, tuition fees hike ...) then using them as willing human shields at the 2015 General Election to soak up the furious public backlash.

The DUP aren't a bunch of directionless power-hungry wets who would betray their supporters and reverse their principles just for a tiny taste of second hand Tory power. They're ruthless ideologically driven fanatics on the right-wing fringe of the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland.

Expecting them to cave in on their British unionist fanaticism like the Lib-Dems caved in on tuition fees and electoral modernisation is an absurd fantasy, and expecting them to just give up the unprecedented position of strategic advantage they've obtained is farcically naive.

Expecting any Tory MPs to put the national interest ahead of their own narrow party political interests is perhaps even more naive (especially given Anna Soubry's admission that she'd much rather inflict the economic ruination of Tory Brexit on the UK than give Labour a shot at political power).

The likes of Vince Cable, Chuka Umunna, Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas and the rest of the people calling for a futile confidence vote must be aware that surviving a confidence vote would actually give Theresa May a helping hand out of the Brexit shit pit she's dug for herself, and keep her appalling threat of a "no deal" meltdown on the table.

They're not idiots. They've shared the halls and chambers of power with the DUP bigots. they know what these ideological fanatics are like in person. And Nicola Sturgeon has witnessed the belligerent and unyielding face of hard-right British nationalism in person north of the border.

They should all know better.

None of them can possibly believe the DUP would give up the incredibly advantageous position they've worked themselves into. So what the hell are they playing at trying to help Theresa May win a confidence vote that would obviously be paraded around in the Tory press as a vindication of her appalling false dichotomy between her awful Brexit deal and her malicious threat to launch a "no deal" socio-economic catastrophe in retaliation if it's rejected?

Why are they playing the absurdly risky game of putting their faith in a bunch of ruthless hardline sectarian bigots, and a desperately futile appeal to Tories put the interests of the nation above the interests of their own political party?

It just doesn't make any sense.

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