This post is mostly for Americans. since today’s Hili dialogue showed me that we not only have a lot of British readers, but they know a lot about UK politics.
In yesterday’s British elections, the Tories failed to win a Parliamentary majority, having lost at least 12 seats. They now have 318 seats in the House of Commons: less than 49% of the 650 seats.
That presages stalemates, but Theresa May has a solution. She’s courting the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which won ten seats. Those, plus the 318 Tory seats, will give them 328 seats in total–just enough to have a majority.
But the DUP is a nasty piece of work. It was founded, for one thing, by the bigot Ian Paisley, and its goal is to keep Northern Ireland in the UK. It supported Brexit, and has a number of other odious stands, with many of its influential representatives promoting young-Earth creationism (see here, here, here, and here for documentation).
The first link documents DUP members’ opposition to gay rights and gay marriage and their opposition to abortion (a party plank). They appointed a climate change denialist as their environment minister. The DUP campaigned for Brexist. Arelene Foster. the DUP’s head, was implicated in a “cash for ash” scandal that secretly bilked the taxpayers in an energy scheme (read about it here).
Finally, there’s their views on evolution (the other links), which alone puts the party beyond the pale of rationality. (Even the Conservatives aren’t evolution denialists.) As the Independent notes:
Evolution and creationism
The party counts a number of creationists among its senior members.
DUP assembly member for West Tyrone, Thomas Buchanan, last year endorsed an event promoting creationism to be “taught in every school”.
The event included presenting “the biblical case for the sound teaching of children” that will “offer helpful practical advice on how to counter evolutionary teaching”.
DUP politician Edwin Poots has expressed his views that the planet is a “young earth” created just 4,000 years ago.
“You’re telling me that cosmic balls of dust gathered and there was an explosion. We’ve had lots of explosions in Northern Ireland and I’ve never seen anything come out of that that was good,” he told the Radio Times.
What a maroon! What we have, then, is a Conservative PM and, if DUP gets aboard, a conservative majority in Parliament, something resembling the horrible conjunction of conservative leadership we have in the U.S. I was happy when I heard that the Tories didn’t have an effective majority last night, but now it looks as if they might. And Brexit, despite its implicit rejection in the party’s loss of seats, can proceed as planned.