Tag Archives: Scottish Nationalist Party

Welcome to Britain in 2015. The Minister of the Environment denies that climate change is linked to human activity. The Minister for Health outlaws abortion. The Minister of Education decrees that creationism (that the world was made in seven days) is taught in all primary schools.

5 Jan

You might think that this is some sort of weird fantasy. But there is a possibility – after the May 2015 UK general election – that the Democratic Unionist Party (a Northern Ireland group of hard-line social conservatives) goes into coalition government with the Conservative Party.

There has been much commentary and speculation on the forthcoming UK General Election and the likelihood that either of the two main parties – Labour and the Conservatives – will be unable to form a majority. Much of the commentary has been on possible coalition partners and the deal they would extract in exchange for keeping a government in power. Commentators have mainly focused on two scenarios. In the first, the United Kingdom Independence Party – a Eurosceptic group of Britain-firsters – would form an alliance with the Conservatives. In return the Conservatives would hold a referendum on the UK’s exit from the EU. But since Prime Minister Cameron has already said he would hold such a referendum, he would have to give something more to appease UKIP – possibly just a straight exit.

The second scenario that has been mooted in the media has been the Scottish Nationalist Party holding the balance of power and extracting promises linked to their independent Scotland agenda. The SNP are on something of a roll, having marshalled an amazing 45 per cent of Scottish voters into voting to leave the UK in the September 2014 referendum. The SNP is widely expected to make serious gains in the Westminster election at the expense of a Labour Party that is seen as remote and London-orientated. So, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the SNP could hold the balance of power in the UK after the May 2015 general election.

But let me introduce a third scenario – one that is rarely discussed in the UK media: a Conservative-Democratic Unionist Party coalition. The DUP are Northern Ireland’s largest political party and currently have eight seats. They will probably gain a few more seats in the general election. If the election is as close as many commentators believe, then it could be that just a small number of additional seats are required to allow one of the main parties into power. The Conservatives are the natural bedfellows of the DUP: right wing, unionist, unsympathetic to the state as a provider of welfare, Eurosceptic …

So what would a Conservative-DUP coalition look like? Well, the Conservatives have been steadily shifting to the right over the past few years. In part, has been as part of an attempt to outflank UKIP. It is also a reflection of candidate selection of right-wingers – essentially Thatcher’s children who believe in rolling back the welfare state, killing off the National Health Service, and allowing their friends in the City of London to exploit a low-wage economy. So the Conservatives are a known quantity.

The DUP, however, deserve scrutiny. They are well known in Northern Ireland but with the peace process largely out of the headlines, many people in the UK know little about them. They were founded by the Reverend Ian Paisley, boycotted the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement, and now their leader – Peter Robinson – is the First Minister of Northern Ireland’s powersharing Assembly.

Rather than give a political history of the DUP it is probably best just to highlight a few beliefs of their representatives. Then leave it to your imagination to think through the possibilities if these people were in power in the UK:

– The DUP Mayor of Ballymena said that Hurricane Katrina in the American South was an act by God to prevent a gay parade that was due to take place in New Orleans two days after the hurricane struck. He also blamed AIDS on the ‘filthy practice of sodomy’.

– A senior DUP member, Sammy Wilson, regards climate change debates as ‘a con’ and ‘uninformed hysteria’. He is sceptical that humans are responsible for climate change. Mr Wilson is an MP in the Westminster Parliament and a Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

– Iris Robinson, the wife of the DUP leader and herself a former MP, believes that homosexuality is worse than child abuse. She was quoted as saying: ‘There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children.”

– First Minister Peter Robinson was forced to make a bizarre apology when he defended a Belfast Pastor who called Islam ‘heathen’ and ‘satanic’. As part of his apology, Mr Robinson said that he would trust Muslims to ‘go to the shops for him’.

Presumably the real concessions that the DUP would seek to extract would be related to their Northern Ireland agenda. The vast majority of citizens in the UK would not care about this so the DUP would be able to extract a hefty price in terms of their agenda over parades, policing and the administration of justice. But the real fun would start when a Conservative-DUP coalition was faced with issues of conscience, sexuality, morality and medical ethics. Many DUP members are firmly rooted in the seventeenth century in terms of their social outlook. Would the Conservatives be prepared to enter into such a bargain to get their hands on power? The answer, I suspect, would be yes.

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After a Yes vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum: A whimsy.

7 Apr

24 September 2014
The Electoral Commission announces that the Yes vote is carried by 50.1% in the Scottish referendum. The result is confirmed after the fifth recount. A legal bid by the Scottish Conservative Party to make the referendum result null and void was thrown out.
25 September 2014
Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party, demands the immediate establishment of a transitional commission to expedite secession by 1 October 2015.
Nearly 17% is wiped off share prices of the FTSE 100 in the London Stock Exchange. The Royal Bank of Scotland announces that it will ‘re-headquarter’ in London. Gazprom announces that it will move its European headquarters to Edinburgh.
26 September 2014
David Cameron, British Prime Minister, says ‘we have listened to the people’ and agrees that the Scottish situation ‘merits further consideration’. His spokesman says that any change in Scotland’s constitutional status must wait until the after the next British General Election.
7 October 2014
Alex Salmond leads a ‘monster rally’ in Glasgow to demand ‘immediate and practical’ steps for Scottish independence. Police Scotland estimate that 320,000 people attend.
14 October 2014
A pro-Union rally in Edinburgh attracts 65,000 people. It is preceded by a ‘Comedians for the Union’ gig in which Eddie Izzard, Lenny Henry and Ben Elton perform their song ‘England loves Scotland’. There are skirmishes as the rally disperses. Three people are taken to hospital and 23 are arrested. The comedians’ tour bus is stoned. It is thought to be unconnected to their political views.
16 October 2014
A 23 year-old man, injured in a skirmish after the pro-Union rally in Edinburgh, dies from his injuries. Alex Salmond appeals for calm and blames the violence on ‘uncertainty caused by Cameron’s foot-dragging’.
23 October 2014
David Cameron tells the British Houses of Parliament that ‘It would be imprudent recognize such a wafer thin majority’ and announces another ‘definitive referendum’ to be held in March 2017. The Scottish Nationalist Party withdraws its MPs Westminster and says it will boycott ‘Cameron’s sham poll’.
28 October 2014
Vladimir Putin says, in a BBC interview, that David Cameron is ‘unbelievably weak’ and is ‘a girly man’.
4 November 2014
A previously unknown group, the Union Defence League, admits responsibility for sending five parcel bombs to leading Scottish Nationalist politicians and supporters. Four are intercepted, but a fifth explodes and kills 32 year-old postal worker David McKeechie.
5 November 2014
Alex Salmond declares a ‘Scottish Spring’. In an early winter, temperatures plummet to -16 in the Highlands. Protesters occupy George Square in Glasgow and the chamber of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. A campaign of civil disobedience spreads.
6 November 2014
Alex Salmond is arrested and charged with riotous assembly. David Cameron appeals for calm as protests and counter protests break out across Scotland.
7 November 2014
David Cameron, with the backing of his Cabinet, announces ‘special public order measures’ to be introduced in Scotland including the banning of all public gatherings. Alex Salmond goes on hunger strike but calls it off at lunchtime.
8 November 2014
Just after midnight, police attempt to clear the George Square protest camp in Glasgow. Five people (four men, one woman) are killed when a police van careers into the crowd. David Cameron, on an official visit to accept a ‘Defender of Liberty’ award in Bahrain, calls it a ‘regrettable incident’.
9 November 2014
UN Secretary general (a man so anonymous that no one knows his name) appeals for calm and offers UN mediation assistance. Russia introduces a Security Council motion calling for an International Protection Force for Scotland. Britain and US veto the motion. France abstains. There are reports of mutiny and dissent within the Scottish police.
10 November 2014
Amid unprecedented scenes of disorder across many parts of Scotland, the police call for military reinforcements. English regiments, rather than the Royal Regiment of Scotland, are mobilized for ‘public order’ support. The Royal Regiment of Scotland is sent for extended training in the Falkland Islands.
12 November 2014
Alex Salmond, upon release from custody, unilaterally declares Scottish independence. It is recognised by Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, Cuba, Iran and Iceland. Seventeen out of twenty-three Scottish local authorities declare allegiance to the newly independent Scottish state. Crowds in Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen and other centres occupy public buildings.
13 November 2014
David Cameron declares martial law in Scotland and appoints an Emergency Interim Manager to govern Scotland and report directly to the Cabinet in London. Former Labour minister Peter Mandelson accepts the job.
17 November 2014
David Cameron is ousted as Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister following a Conservative Party coup. Disquiet had grown in the Party and he was known as ‘the man who lost Scotland’. New Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, calls for ‘Unity behind this great English … er … I mean British nation’.
18 November 2014
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, on a visit to London to hold emergency talks with Boris Johnson, is uninjured after being hit on the head by a haggis thrown by a protester. In a joint statement, Kerry and Johnson announce that US military ‘advisers’ will help protect the UK nuclear base at Faslane and North Sea Oil.
19 November 2014
In a campaign spurred by social media, Scottish independence supporters begin a campaign of ‘laughing in the face of authority’ and laugh at all security officials upholding the Union. A US military ‘adviser’ shoots dead one protester who was laughing at him. In a statement, the US Department of Defense said ‘We do not understand irony and so shot the terrorist fundamentalist Scot who was probably Muslim’.
20 November 2014
Three people, alleged to be MI5 officers, are captured in the grounds of Alex Salmond’s house allegedly attempting to plant evidence of child pornography on his home computer.
21 November 2014
In a major split in the Scottish Labour Party, thirty-seven Scottish MPs call for independence and are expelled by the Party in London.
22 November 2014
Alex Salmond announces that actor Sean Connery agrees to become ‘the head ‘un’ of an independent Scotland. Buckingham Palace announces that the Queen will not holiday at her Balmoral Estate in summer 2015.
23 November 2014
The campaign of laughing, public ridicule and absurdism has now paralysed London-control of Scotland. Tesco stops delivering north of the border. Aldi and Lidl capitalize by announcing 100 new stores each.
24 November 2014
Amid unprecedented pressure from the City of London and the CEOs of Amazon, Starbucks, Exxon Mobil, and Google, Boris Johnson agrees to hold face-to-face talks with Alex Salmond on ‘A road map for Scottish independence’. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair offers to chair the talks but no one answers his calls.
25 November 2014
Alex Salmond arrives in London for talks with Boris Johnson. The talks break up acrimoniously after only a few minutes. Mr Johnson will only speak in Latin. Mr Salmond will only speak in Scottish Gaelic.
29 November 2014
At reconvened talks in the border town of Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Mr Salmond and Mr Johnson agree to the appointment of a five person Transitional Independence Commission – Scotland. Simultaneous translation allows the two leaders to understand each other. No one understands the representative from the self-declared Peoples’ Republic of Glasgow who speaks a version of English.
15 December 2014
An independent Scotland is recognized by the rump United Kingdom, hereafter to be known as ‘Kingdom’. The World Bank and IMF send representatives to Scotland to help with ‘financial stabilization’. They are arrested at Edinburgh airport and charged with ‘international fraud and money laundering’.
16 December 2014
Prince Charles, in his 40th year of unemployment, asks for asylum in Scotland and the chance that he can be declared King. A Twitter poll declares him ‘King Bawbag I’. He declines the honour and continues, in his private jet, to Germany which he describes as ‘the true family homeland’.
And everybody lived happily ever after.