It is not all that often that something happens that seems to conveniently bring together so many of the different subjects I’ve been talking about recently.
In this case, concerning Theresa May and the DUP, this article manages to string together multiple subjects I’ve been posting about previously, including false-flag terrorism, MI5 and state collusion with terrorist activity, the ‘Secret Courts’ that Britain introduced in 2013 (which was alluded to in the Police State piece), and even the creeping rise of international fascist networks that I covered at great length in an article called ‘Seeds of Fascism‘.
The immediate fall-out from the June 8th election has actually brought all of these subjects into one extraordinary ‘tag cloud’ that I hadn’t anticipated – and which I will try to explain here.
Of the various ironies that have been thrown up in this snap election in the UK, one of the most notable is Theresa May’s government entering an alliance with the DUP in Northern Ireland in order to strengthen its weakened position in parliament.
What is extraordinary is the extent to which Jeremy Corbyn was being attacked for his past ‘links’ to or sympathy with the IRA – and the fact that Theresa May’s government is now likely to rely on a party with historical links to Loyalist paramilitary groups in order to sustain her own position. The propagandising against Corbyn and John MacDonald for their IRA sympathies has been played up by right-wing media for months and months – and in fact was still being used against the Labour leadership right up until the last few days before the June 8th vote.
This was played up relentlessly, to the extent that Corbyn was declared by multiple outlets as a threat to national security and as someone unfit to lead the country due to his ‘sympathy’ for terrorist groups. In the last few days before the election, even MI5 officials were getting in on it (that is particularly ironic in the context of MI5 links to terrorism – which we will touch on again shortly).
Theresa May and her government claim to be engaged in a struggle against ‘extremists’ and ‘terrorists’.
Now – having failed to achieve a one-party state for Brexit – they need the DUP: an ethno-nationalist party in which some of the most prominent figures are linked in substantial ways to the Ulster Resistance and related militant groups, including the paramilitary groups that were basically proxies of the British state during some of the worst violence in Northern Ireland.
The only remotely good thing to emerge from this quagmire is my being able to write ‘THERESA MAY Will Be Cheered By Racists and Terrorists!’
I am, of course, turning on its head an infamous Telegraph headline from a while ago, which said those words about Jeremy Corbyn – because my version is now far more applicable than the one that was applied to Jeremy Corbyn. Something tells me The Telegraph won’t now print any equivalent article or headline to that effect, however.
There are two particular angles here that we might look at. The first is the perception of the DUP as being an organisation linked to past terrorism. The second is the widespread perception of the DUP as a ‘fascist’ party.
On the first point (terrorism): we should first acknowledge the longstanding claims and evidence that MI5, British intelligence, security and military agencies were engaged with (and behind) some of the worst terrorism and murder in Northern Ireland.
And this historic precedent is one of the reasons I am baffled when some people occasionally act incredulous any time I suggest state-enabling or collusion in contemporary (Islamist/jihadist) terrorism in the UK and elsewhere. I was able to demonstrate this clearly in the case of the Manchester attack; in the case of the London Bridge attack, I raised the question (but wasn’t able to be as adamant about it).
Even Amnesty International had been calling for investigation into ‘numerous other credible allegations of widespread collusion between members of the UK security forces and paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland,’ and was ‘calling for an overarching mechanism for dealing with all alleged human rights abuses during the Northern Ireland Troubles.’
Amnesty’s Patrick Corrigan had said; ‘The breadth and depth of collusion being alleged here is truly disturbing. Killing people targeted by the state, using intelligence provided by the state and shooting them with guns provided by the state – if all this is proven, we’re not talking about a security policy we’re talking about a murder policy. There must now be a full, independent investigation into the scale of the policy where the police, army and MI5 worked with illegal paramilitary groups, resulting in the deaths of perhaps hundreds of people.’
A lot of this was explored in the BBC Panorama film ‘Britain’s Secret Terror’ deals from 2015 (watch it here).
A thorough 2012 An Sionnach Fionn article titled ‘ULSTER RESISTANCE – UNAPOLOGETIC BRITISH TERRORISM IN IRELAND’ also explores the now widely-reported story of violent Loyalist paramilitary organisations with ties to MI5 and secretive British Army Intelligence groups, ties to Apartheid intelligence operations in South Africa, and an Israeli/American arms smuggling operation. It is a thoroughly interesting read, which I recommend looking at.
In fact, some of the key, specific evidence to tie British government agencies to the loyalist death squads in Northern Ireland is probably part of what prompted the Tory government’s creation of the ‘Justice and Security’ legislation (the ‘Secret Courts’ I alluded to in the election-day post about Theresa May and the police state) – to ensure that incriminating evidence can’t be disclosed to the public or reported on by journalists.
This is certainly hinted at strongly in this piece in The Guardian from four years ago. As I said on June 8th, the Secret Court system was – by its own definition – designed to protect intelligence and security agencies from having their activities exposed.
This applies hugely to covert operations in Northern Ireland, British intelligence and army collusion with paramilitary terrorists (to which elements of the DUP are historically and substantially linked), but also – more presently – to what I have called ‘state-enabled’ terror attacks involving extremist Islamist/jihadists. There isn’t just a lot of evidence of MI5/MI6 and state collusion with modern jihadist-related terrorism like what happened recently in Manchester and London, but plenty of past precedents for this kind of false-flag terror campaign.
Therefore, to anyone who remains sceptical about this idea in terms of recent ‘ISIS’-inspired attacks in the UK, you really should look into the Northern Ireland troubles.
So that covers the terrorist and sectarian aspects of the DUP that Theresa May is hoping will prop her up in parliament.
In terms of the ideological outlook, the story seems to be almost as bad.
Channel 4’s Jon Snow said that May had essentially made an agreement with “one of the most extreme political entities in the British Isles”.
Republican site, An Sionnach Fionn’s, response (or warning) in the wake of the Tory/DUP pact is as follows;
‘With this deal the Tories have wilfully imperilled three decades of Irish-British peace, of good relations between Ireland and Britain, and risked plunging us back into a new era of conflict… Theresa May, the Conservative Party prime minster of the United Kingdom, has opened the backdoor of Number 10 to the British Taliban.’
It continues, ‘It is a party of the European far right, a grouping in the mode of Marine Le Pen’s Front national or Frauke Petry’s Alternative für Deutschland. However, unlike the political establishments of France and Germany, in Britain the ultra-nationalists are to be given access to the levers of power by the mainstream, albeit at one remove. The xenophobia, hibernophobia and homophobia of Democratic Unionism has now received a form of tacit endorsement from the Conservative Party, a wink-and-a-nod acknowledgement which will give 17th century Protestant fundamentalism a platform to preach its archaic world-view in the 21st century. From opposing civil rights to denying climate change, the creationist-believing Ulster Trumps have been offered a warm welcome in Downing Street.’
I have been worried for some time about a resurgence of fascism and the Far-Right across the West – and have posted a number of times here on that subject.
I’ve been concerned about an international network of far-right movements; and I expressed the very real danger of an orchestrated ‘return to fascism‘ involving concerted international movements, backed also by international Zionists. As highlighted before, there appears to be a connected international operation, manifestations of which include the Bannon/Trump operation in the US, the Front National and Geert Wilders, as well as groups elsewhere in Europe.
In the same article, I also referenced ‘Brexit’ in that context and hinted at how Brexit – though a valid business on the surface of it – could play into that broader equation of resurgent ultra-nationalism. I’m not suggesting that – in the UK – there is any overt movement towards fascism or ultra-nationalist politics (at least for now); rather that, as a knock-on effect of where the Tories’ Brexit gamble (‘gamble’ meaning both Cameron’s referendum and May’s snap election) has put us, problematic scenarios emerge that potentially flow in that direction.
As it presently stands, Brexit has forced a British Prime Minister into having to ally herself strongly – by necessity – to a questionable US administration. And it now potentially forces Theresa May to prop up and be propped up by a party – the DUP – that stands accused of being a party with fascist undertones and tendencies.
Highlighting this ideological quagmire, another article on An Sionnach Fionn also explores the links between loyalist British unionists in Ireland and various Neo-Nazi and Far-Right groups in Britain, Europe and elsewhere.
In the context of the British paramilitary associations in the foundations of the DUP, the modern DUP’s overtly anti-liberal positions, and the rise in unsavory attitudes and elements that accompanied much of the Leave campaign in the UK (not the main Tory Leave campaign; but some of the other organisations that drove much of the ‘Brexit’ push from outside of the Tory mainstream), it becomes all the more worrying to remember right-wing media pushes like the ‘Enemies of the People’ Daily Mail headline or the more recent ‘Crush the Saboteurs’ headline that the Daily Mail ran when Theresa May called for this election.
The government in Britain having to rely on an ultra-nationalist party in Northern Ireland to prop it up for the Brexit mandate hardly does much for the UK to stand against such movements and operations.
It also doesn’t give the British government much moral authority when it comes to negotiating with EU representatives. An EU that is partly struggling against rising far-right parties in European nations is hardly going to deal kindly with a British government being propped up by a party like the DUP.
If this is what Mrs May has to do to maintain her position, then, essentially, British parliament and Britain’s future is going to be dominated and held hostage by the right wing of the Tory party with the aid of the most extremely anti-progressive party in the UK – the whole situation having been brought about in the first place by Tory capitulation to UKIP.
But it’s even more shady and interesting than that.
The DUP, as exposed by openDemocracy early in the year, was significantly involved in funding of the Leave/Brexit campaign, involving money from a group called the Constitutional Research Council; a company run by a Scottish Conservative who also has founded a company with a former chief of Saudi intelligence who has also been implicated in weapons smuggling to terrorists elsewhere in the world.
It all just smells worse and worse the more you look at it.
Thoughtful and informed analysis as always.
May’s speedy alliance with the political dinosaurs of the DUP is obviously born out of total desperation, because there are no available alternatives for her. The enormous gulf in the stated positions over Brexit rules out any potential deals with the Lib Dems or even (if this was ever conceivable) with the SNP. Farron even said point blank that he would not enter into an arrangement with the Tories – sure he’s a politician, but given the dire state of his own party and what happened last time they entered a coalition, such a backroom bargain would be sealing their fate.
Meanwhile, I take a more optimistic long-term view – perhaps I’m wrong to do so. But given how this Con-DUP pact is a tremendous embarassment, and that it is surely doomed, so long as it lasts it becomes an albatross. And whilst May’s snap election evidently united the Labour Party and thereby formed a “strong and stable” opposition (unimaginable a mere two months ago), it is likewise opening up the old fractures in the Tory ranks. Her government is now becoming a laughing stock. So to paraphrase what I wrote in an earlier comment, I’m enjoying the comedy while it lasts. JC4PM – last time I appended it to a comment here it was such a distant dream… today that dream seems almost in reach.
Thanks WoC – yeah, you did say you were enjoying the comedy previously; so you must have the popcorn out by now, watching the Tory satire.
I think you’re right that this is all actually a positive outcome; some others have been saying the same thing to me. This result stops the one-party state and prevents the government from running away with its private agenda. However, as Trinkats points out here too, it might also be a reassertion of the two-party system.
Confess I was consuming something a little harder than popcorn as the results drifted in on Thursday night!
And yes, to answer your main point, I think it is and welcome the return of a straightforward left-right choice again. Given our daft electoral system I think it helps when presenting a genuinely progressive alternative if you’re not having to compete too hard against rivals trying to steal your ground.
Great Work indeed Burning Blogger.
A wealth of insight and Information.. Thank, You are one of the best Blogs out there.
Very good points Re the Libdems, as you say interesting times,
we in Scotland have not heard a peep from Dugdale since the election, Hiding in shame I assume, after asking Labour supporters to vote Tory in certain areas..To stop the SNP.. They spent £130 million getting rid of Alex, Salmond and Angus Robertson.. And as I say, help from Labour. Sickening.
And Ruth ( ” indyreff 2 ” ) Davidson, Actually running away from reporters question about the DUP
position on LGBT’s
Funnily enough Wabi-Sabi I’m also in Scotland and I too noticed Dugdales absence but put it down to her spinning out of control trying to find a position to take – she changes her mind so often it’s a wonder she can remember which party she is. As for tRuthless Davidson she is feeding the media frenzy over the social policies of the DUP – they will have no sway on that score in the rest of the UK. What they will do is bleed the tory government dry and we will see bucket loads of money flowing into N Ireland from the Treasury. Don’t think that will go down well with the English voters who already don’t like how much Scotland gets, which they think wrongly is a subsidy. Although if I remember correctly N Ireland already gets slightly more from the Barnet Formula than the Scots.
I am convinced that the tories will have to back out of the DUP agreement if they want to maintain the peace process. The ROI and Sinn Fein will call foul on this agreement. The UK government needs to remain an impartial broker and they cannot do that if they are beholden to the DUP to retain UK power. I doubt there will be any threats of a return to voilence but ROI and SF will use their influence on the EU side of the Brexit negotiations and could potentially get a referendum on reunification. Lord Hain was on Sky this morning saying that the tories since they came into government have basically forgotten about N Ireland and left them to it until the power sharing agreement collapsed earlier this year, which seemed to back up what an SF MLA was saying on Sunday – the May(bot) needs to sit down and read the Good Friday Agreement before concluding talks with the DUP.
I forgot to mention, the one thing both the tories and the DUP are truly together on is maintaining the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. As the Scottish IndyRef showed they will do anything to keep the UK together. With the EU Referendum reigniting talk of an NIRef on rejoining ROI the UK government would have been having kittens. So on this issue alone it makes perfect sense that May would run straight to the DUP. But the tories seem addicted to gambling at the moment and this gamble could result in the breakdown of the peace process which could have consequences more dire than their EURef and Snap Election gambles put together.
I can’t decide whether she is simply trying to hang on to power, no matter the cost or implications for real issues, or whether she is after all trying to throw in the towel and hand over a toxic brexit to someone else. The speed at which she jumped into bed with the DUP, ran off to the queen and then threw her advisors under the bus to appease a potential party rebellion baying for her blood, would indicate that she really doesn’t want to let go of power. On the other hand by cosying up to the toxic and dangerous DUP, which risks the NI peace process, the chances are there may yet be a tory backbench rebellion which results in a failure to get her queens speech voted through parliament. That would mean Labour get a chance or we have another election, either way Labour could win as her approach to the DUP will cost her votes.
I also find it extremely interesting that the LibDems, who have enough new MP’s to help out the tories, have been very quiet the past few days. Unlike the other parties politicians and commentators who have been all over the media since the election, they have almost gone into hiding. Are they busy doing a backroom deal with the PM to give her the necessary votes in exchange for a referendum on the brexit deal? Is the DUP media frenzy a smoke screen for the LibDems to come to the rescue? Let’s face it they haven’t got much to loose by dealing with the tories again, they are several elections away from returning to their pre 2010 levels of MP’s. It is also possible that they are dead in the water anyway – many are suggesting the election results indicate a return to the 2 party system with all other parties relegated to the fringes. I for one wouldn’t rule it out with the return of a couple of ex coalition libdem ministers to parliament.
Interesting days ahead for sure.
I tend not to think the Lib Dems have any interest at this point in being seen to help out May’s government. And I have a genuinely positive view of Tim Farron (my personal view – I realise not everyone shares it).
I think, as you suggest, a Tory backbench rebellion might be more likely. But I see your ‘interesting days ahead’ and raise you ‘months’ or even ‘years’ instead.