Sorry, work subs. I won’t break copyright, so here is a flavour:
Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party was set up to utter just one word: “No”.
Now this one-time protest movement founded by a bombastic Presbyterian preacher from Northern Ireland is about to say “yes” to supporting a minority Conservative government.
After the most dramatic UK election result in decades, a political movement that was marginal to the wider trends across the country, locked into its mission to keep Northern Ireland in the UK, has been handed the casting vote as Theresa May seeks to form a workable Conservative government out of a hung parliament.
It is a role DUP leaders dreamt of for years as they tried to make their version of Ulster unionism, with its outsized sense of British patriotism and rightwing populism, more respectable for a British audience. “This is perfect territory for the DUP,” Jeffrey Donaldson, one of its leading figures, told the BBC.
The party is likely to have a lengthy wish list of demands in return for its support for a Conservative government, including the outright rejection of any “special status” for Northern Ireland in the EU after Brexit.
Yet now that it holds the balance of power at Westminster, the DUP may come under more scrutiny in Britain than it has received in Northern Ireland.
The DUP is a political movement steeped in religious and ethnic exceptionalism. “The DUP is a party for a community who believe they are a people apart,” said Jonathan Tonge, professor of politics at the University of Liverpool who has written extensively about unionism.
It was founded in 1971 by the Rev Ian Paisley, the dominant unionist leader of the Troubles, the political and sectarian violence that scarred Northern Ireland for 30 years up to the 1990s.
That is the polite bit. This link was in the comments:
I’ve no idea how reliable newsletter.co.uk is as a source, but they don’t pull their punches.