Arlene Foster denied anti-LGBT letter. Why trust there’s no hidden #DUP deal?

The government has announced it has reached agreement with the DUP amid grave concerns not only about the deal – which Welsh First Minister Carwen Jones said is nothing more than ‘a bung’ – but also about the nature of the party it has reached agreement with.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will receive £1 billion in additional public funds and participation in government policy-making in return for its ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement with the Tories.

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Tories and the DUP reaching their deal. Inset: the funeral of the Quinn boys, murdered in a loyalist firebomb attack

 

After more false starts and delays than a bad day on the notorious Southern Rail that have meant the deal has been announced weeks later than originally promised, there’s little doubt that the public deal represents only a small part of the concessions the Tories will have made in order to bring the famously hard-bargaining loyalist party over the line. However, even what’s been publicly agreed is bad enough, with a £1 billion ‘bribe’ in extra public funding to Ireland and the formation of a joint Conservative-DUP policy council to allow the unionists to influence UK-wide policy.

Funny how there’s always a ‘magic money tree’ for Tory spending.

But of greater concern to a majority of people on both sides of the Irish Sea will be the threat to the peace process, to a post-Brexit trade deal – already well documented on this site – and the hidden compromises the government will have made on our social and civil freedoms.

Both parties have said there are no agreements beyond the public deal, but the British public knows well enough by now that Theresa May and her party will say whatever they think will help them manage public perception, without concern for truth or for the consequences of the lie.

As for Arlene Foster, she’s already shown a readiness to mislead if she thinks it’s going to help achieve her ambitions.

Ms Foster was challenged about a letter she was alleged to have sent to Marco Biagi, the Scottish Minister for Local Government, asking Scotland not to marry gay Irish couples. She denied have done so – and (which should set alarm bells ringing anyway) any memory of having done so, telling the BBC:

I’m not quite sure what [Biagi] was referring to but it certainly wasn’t a letter from me and I have no recollection of a letter from me.

Well, it certainly was a letter from Ms Foster and that letter emerged into the public domain:

af gm 1

af gm 2

Two people with such a history make an agreement and tell you there were no nods, winks, handshakes or other hidden addenda to the agreement that’s been made public.

A huge financial bribe, an enormous threat to the UK’s ability to reach a trade agreement with the EU, a vast risk to the peace and lives of Northern Irish people and the input of a hard-right party with strong paramilitary links into policy that will affect all of us – that’s just the damage that we know the Tories are willing to embrace to cling to power for their own narrow, party interests.

Given the record of those making the agreement, it would be wise to be just as worried about the damage we don’t know about.

It’s more essential than ever that other parties stand together to defeat the Tories this week as May tries to get her Queen’s Speech through Parliament – if they do, then just a handful of Tory rebels will be enough to bring down what promises from the outset to be a useless, flailing and damaging government.

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4 responses to “Arlene Foster denied anti-LGBT letter. Why trust there’s no hidden #DUP deal?

  1. Reblogged this on The Night Owl and commented:
    The Tories mocked the Labour Party Manifesto, and said that there’s no ‘Magic Money Tree’ to finance it – and yet they’ve ‘found’ 1 Billion Pounds as a bribe to the DUP, so they can stay in power!
    Where has that money come from?
    Why wasn’t it given to the NHS to keep hospitals open, or to the Police, the Fire Brigade, Social Services, Schools, the Ill/ Disabled, or all the other places and people who have been starved of cash – all for the Tory’s Neoliberal Austerity ideals?
    It’s about time we got some answers – ones that aren’t a pack of lies 😦

    Like

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