THeresa May fucked up the election. No doubt. Weakened she went to the DUP, who are well aware they are despised. They have views that make my hair curl, but enough people share those views in Northern Ireland that they are elected and Arlene Foster works within the democratic process. DUP and Sinn Fein have worked with each other for years and years and years. Compromise and tough negotiation is the Northern Ireland political brand.
A comedian called Richard Herring, who I think writes a column in the Metro and does some telly, thought it was disgraceful that money had been handed to people who hated humanity. And I had to stop and take a breathe when I saw that. In Richard’s world he is good, and like anyone constructing an identity for themselves as good, they need a foil and his world this common, rough, chavvyt woman, with her questionable views represents all that is wrong with the world. This DUP woman, who like many of her peers was part of aprocess where people put down differences that were generations and generations old, and for the sake of their country they moved past violence and established democracy. Northern Ireland’s no longer fragile peace was undermined by the relentlessness of the austerity burden they bore. Northern Ireland was invisible to our good and virtuous media left and so noone really minded that the austerity burden placed on that country exacerbated tensions and threatened fractures.
It went unnoticed by our good and virtuous dinner party set as they wrote their funny columns. This woman with her questionable views, was already part of a process of ending a war. The people in that peace process have all achieved more than any of us will in a lifetime. I dont like Arlene Foster, i dont like Martin McGuinness, I struggle with the sectarianism that I know blights communities and lives. Arlene Foster was cheered when she attended Martin McGuinness’s funeral. That cheer a symbol of something achieved beyond imagination.
Arlene Foster negotiated hard. She didn’t negotiate for nasty horrible issues, personal grievances, she negotiated a billion pounds. To be spent on pensions, healthcare, education, infastucture and a specific 100million for deprived communities. In a deal so cleverly structured that even though he won’t admit it, Gerry Adams is delighted. The door is open to power sharing resuming because of it. The austerity that impacted Northern Ireland so harshly because they are invisible to England, just saw some amelioration. A ‘bung’ to the poorest region in the country, by a politician representing the people who voted for her, and fighting hard to get them what they needed.
Twitter is outraged. The likes of Richard Herring would much prefer someone palatable like Jeremy Corbyn, who sided firmly with terrorists and offered unequivocal solidarity to them, who bribed posh students with a tuition fee pledge paid for by welfare cuts that were so barbaric, so inhumane that IDS resigned. A group of single mothers, with toddlers, took a Judicial Review to the High Court, and it was ruled that this cap caused misery for no reason. They didnt get any support from anyone really, and the Labour Party manifesto was clear they and their children were fuel to generate middle class votes. Richard Herring would much rather have a nice palatable socialist, who does that, than a party who were part of ending a war, fighting for the actual poorest people and region in this country.
Twitter is outraged that the poorest region in the country got a bung. Like tuition fees wasn’t a bung for students. One of the side effects of the very clever deal Arlene Foster struck, is that the major UK political party who still nominally believe in democracy are stable in government. The party trying to exploit tragedy for their own gain, who attribute causes to fires who are not out, who believe in democratic centralism and bribing posh kids with the food from poor childrens mouths, are upset by this. Tough.
Give me someone with views I disagree with who will fight that hard for their electorate, especially the poorest, over the bullshit of the left anyday. I wonder who has done most good in the world. The woman who was part of ending a war, and who just argued and won and got a billion quid for the poorest region in the country, or the man who writes amusing ditties in the Metro?
#askmayformoney. You dont need to. Social care is collapsing, our cash transfer system is collapsing, our child protection system has barely been functioning since before austerity. There was political consensus on it and the left abused anyone who discussed that consensus. In order to reestablish those systems there has to BE political consensus, because they have to last 70-80 years. So that wil require #askmayformoney, it will also require a Labour Party who can be part of that and involvement by other parties. In the next Tory manifesto I guarantee you that will be reflected. When Corbyn left welfare cuts so imhumane IDS wouldnt deliver them in their manifesto, he was admitting he cant see that system failure. Which is astonishing as his power base is trade unions who absolutely should be able to.
The ONLY political force unable to address this system failure is Corbyn. Not May. Come the next election what wil be on offer is middle class votes paid for with working class suffering, and reductive juvenile tribalism, and a party who will be seeking to build consensus to redefine those systems. But you know Corbyn ticks all the boxes for our media luvvies, and says the right things and is the right class so media guppies like Richard Herring can feel good about themselves and good about how terrible everyone else is.
I see more evidence of compassion, of willingness to fight for people, and more evidence of material benefit created by her existence for other people, from Arlene Foster than I ever see from the elite left.