Any deal between the DUP and the Conservatives will be a disaster for the Conservatives, the DUP and Northern Ireland – both sides should walk away from it. Here is why…
The idea of a deal is that both sides get something – and that is precisely the problem. The Conservatives get a majority government, but what do the DUP get?
If they get anything it will upset the balance of power in Northern Ireland. Even if they get nothing, it will still cause irreparable mutual suspicion with Sinn Fein. Imagine two local gangs in a ‘hood who, after years of fighting, have agree to let bygones be bygones and work together to keep the peace. Then imagine one of them does a huge favour to Don Corleone which enables him to rule over the other Mafia clans. How secure does the other gang feel now?
I suspect most people in Northern Ireland want peace and stability; will they thank the DUP for returning them to insecurity? The DUP should remember what happened to the last party which did a deal with the Tories – at least they got five years of power-sharing for their trouble. The DUP could face annihilation for no gain.
From the Conservative’s point of view, the DUP will be a stick for the opposition to hit the government with. Imagine a constant refrain: “Mrs May, do you support the DUP policies on LGBT and abortion? Mrs May, what are you doing to try and get your partner to stop discriminating against LGBT and women in Northern Ireland?” The Conservatives will have to try and put pressure on the DUP, at least in private. Nothing is certain in life, but how the party of Ian Paisley will react to being moralised is a pretty safe bet.
All this will cause resentment which will lead to the DUP to look for an excuse to vote against the government, and – more chaos!
Neither side should sup from this chalice. Theresa May has shown herself adept at clinging on to power in the short term, but vision and long-term strategy? Well, let us say these are not her strong points.