And so it came to pass that the imperial progress of the Empress Theresa came up short of the win line, leaving the Tories with 318 seats, and very few other parties willing to give them the time of day, let alone come to any arrangement on forming a Government. Undeterred, Ms May went to the Palace, confirmed to Brenda that she would carry on as Prime Minister, and declared herself to be strong and stable after all.
There was, though, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, only one thing wrong with this idea - it was bollocks. Not all Tories are hardline Brexiteers. Not all were of favourable view on the election manifesto which caused the party so much grief on the doorstep. Many remain unhappy at the sheer negativity of the campaign, and the shameless sucking up to the press barons.
Some Tories will, additionally, be seriously unhappy at Ms May’s solution for getting The Blue Team over that win line: an arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Northern Irish politics has become totally polarised in this General Election: no seats for the Official Unionists or SDLP, but ten for the DUP and seven for Sinn Féin. A working arrangement with the DUP would see the Tories’ electoral strength increased to 328.
Given Sinn Féin are abstentionists, that gives a majority of 14. It’s vulnerable to a few by-election losses, and Zelo Street believes that some unexpected and unwelcome ones may be just over the horizon. It allows the Government to function and the Brexit negotiations to get going. But at what price? What kind of outfit is the DUP?
The answer is that, as an item in The Irish News titled “DUP has been criticised for loyalist links” tells, “The DUP party has been criticised in the past for sharing platforms with representatives of loyalist paramilitaries … In 1996, former MP Rev William McCrea stood at a Portadown rally alongside LVF leader Billy Wright … The ruthless paramilitary group, which split from the UVF in 1996, was responsible for high-profile murders including the killing of Catholic taxi driver Michael McGoldrick”. But one Tory is happy.
Dan, Dan The Oratory Man happily Tweeted “The @duponline are indeed our friends and allies. The IRA weren't. See the difference?” Rachael Ferguson, for one, was unimpressed: “The UDA killed my friend in front of me as a teenager. But I guess they are the 'right' kind of terrorists”. What was that about not talking to terrorists and their apologists? Where is the media outrage? And the DUP have other, er, baggage.
Anti-abortion, against same-sex marriage, climate change denial, homophobic, Islamophobic, not to forget that Irish News roll-call: “The father of the DUP's Emma Little Pengelly, who has just won the South Belfast seat, is Noel Little, a Co Armagh loyalist and founder of Ulster Resistance … Little was one of three men arrested in Paris in 1989 in connection with a plot to exchange a missile stolen from Shorts for South African guns”.
And Daniel Hannan thinks this crowd “are indeed our friends and allies”. With friends and allies like the DUP, the Tories are in need of no enemies. And now they are being propped up by a bunch of terror sympathisers. But for some reason, the press will probably look the other way. Daniel Hannan is a clown. But you probably knew that anyway.