British Theresa May’s homophobic Irish allies


This satiric video says about itself:

3 May 2016

Here at PinkNews, we decided to make a more accurate version of the Democratic Unionist Party‘s 2016 [Northern Ireland] Assembly [election] broadcast.

By Donal O’Cofaigh in Northern Ireland:

The DUP‘s long history of bigotry towards lesbians and gay people

Friday 7th July 2017

Prejudice towards the LGBT community, corruption and hypocrisy may define the DUP to many but earlier this year they received their highest ever share of the vote as hundreds of thousands of Protestants voted for them amid heightened community divisions, writes Donal O’Cofaigh

The Democratic Unionists (DUP) are propping up Theresa May’s minority government — but how many British readers are fully aware of their history in regard to the issue of LGBT rights?

This is a party with a long pedigree of prejudice towards the LGBT community, which has repeatedly voted down equal marriage — using the petition of concern, a mechanism meant to guarantee community rights on either side, to veto change after majorities in the Stormont Assembly have voted for equality.

So who are the DUP?

The DUP grew up as an opposition to the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), who ruled Northern Ireland as a one-party state for 50 years after its foundation. The UUP oversaw systemic discrimination against Catholics but also against working-class Protestants.

Northern Ireland — an intrinsic part of the UK — did not have one-person-one-vote until 1974 and that only after years of civil rights protests, the eruption of violence on the streets and the proroguing of the Ulster unionism’s seat of government, Stormont with the imposition of direct rule from Westminster.

While standing against “big house unionism,” the DUP was not motivated by class-based politics, instead it was founded on fundamentalist Protestantism — anti-Rome rhetoric was mixed with populist demands and attacks on anything verging on power-sharing.

The DUP was shaped by the largerthan-life personality of the Reverend Ian Paisley, who received his doctorate in divinity from the Bob Jones University in South Carolina. The DUP were the political wing of his church, the fundamentalist, evangelical Free Presbyterians.

Whether in the pulpit or on the streets his message was one of intolerance to Catholicism, ecumenism and homosexuality. The goal was to save the Ulster people from the “evils” of social liberalism, militant Irish republicanism and, worse still, the threat of godless communism.

Despite its strong unionism, the religious zealotry of the DUP has repeatedly led it to oppose the extension of progressive British legislation to Northern Ireland.

In 1977 the party launched its “Save Ulster from sodomy” campaign in response to attempts to extend the decriminalisation of homosexual acts under the Sexual Offences Act of 1967. As a result of this opposition, decriminalisation only took place in Northern Ireland in 1982 as a result of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

In the following years, the DUP’s opposition to LGBT rights has remained every bit as strident despite the fact that it has now totally obliterated its Ulster Unionist opposition and is led by an Anglican, Arlene Foster.

Ian Paisley’s son, a leading member of Parliament, recently referred to homosexuality as being “immoral, offensive and obnoxious” and that he was “repulsed” by LGBT people. Another MP, Jim Wells, claimed that children growing up in same-sex households were more likely to be subjected to abuse before being forced to apologise. He also claimed the LGBT lobby was “insatiable.”

Such comments abound in the party — filled as it is with creationists, climate change-deniers and anti-choice campaigners but their moral pronouncements are often deeply hypocritical. The DUP are quite possibly the most corrupt party in Stormont with a strong history of flirtation, if not outright and open support, for paramilitarism but they portray themselves as righteous defenders of “democracy” and “freedom.”

Perhaps the most emblematic case of this is hypocrisy was almost a decade ago when the partner of former DUP leader Peter Robinson, Iris, also a member of the Stormont Assembly, referred to homosexuality repeatedly as an “abomination” causing her to feel “nauseous” and claiming that when she encountered LGBT people she referred them to a psychiatrist (who was also a political adviser). The political fallout from this claimed her psychiatrist friend’s career but despite that she went on to claim that homosexuality was worse than child abuse.

By April 2009 both herself and her husband, the first minister of Northern Ireland, were involved in public furore as it was exposed that the pair were drawing more than £571,000 a year in expenses, not including a further £150,000 for family member advisers, earning them the nickname “The Swish Family Robinson.”

But worse was to come when at the end of 2009, details came out on how Ms Robinson was having an extended affair with a 19-year-old businessman for whom she had secured an undeclared £100,000 donation from two different property developers.

Castlereagh Borough Council, which the Robinsons were known to have run as a fiefdom, was forced to conduct an investigation into the award of a catering contract to the same young man, that she was said to have influenced.

Iris resigned from public life being admitted to acute psychiatric care at the same time as the police raided the offices of Castlereagh Borough Council. Notwithstanding this bad publicity, her husband continued on as first minister until the beginning of 2016.

Scandal, corruption and hypocrisy may define the DUP to many but earlier this year they received their highest ever vote share as hundreds of thousands of Protestants voted for them amid heightened community divisions.

Sinn Fein had almost caught the DUP in an Assembly election — the prospect of a border poll was raised against the context of Brexit. Protestants voted in huge numbers for a party that takes its own working-class base for granted — many against their better judgements.

In the absence of a cross-community progressive alternative in Northern Ireland, society here continues to polarise.

The DUP are now propping up the Tory government. They have secured a few crumbs from the table for an act of betrayal against the working class throughout these islands. This is an outcome that will only further divide communities; something that suits both sides of the power-divide.

Those of us who are trying to build a cross-community labour movement to overcome division find ourselves pushing a boulder up an even steeper gradient but perhaps, at least, the DUP’s feet of clay as well as their regressive social policies will be subject to much greater scrutiny than ever before.

Donal O’Cofaigh is a campaigns and communications officer for Unite in Northern Ireland. This article is written in a personal capacity.

British Conservative-Irish terrorist coalition, parody songs


This parody music video from Britain is called Theweezer May – “Ireland and The Sun“.

It is a parody of the Weezer song Island In The Sun.

It says about itself:

1 July 2017

The escapist first single from Theresa May‘s Weezer tribute band, including shout-outs to Northern Ireland and The Sun.

LYRICS:

DUP! DUP!
DUP! DUP!

Hello, I’m Theweezer May
I could use a holiday
Snap election didn’t go well
Now I’m tired and stressed as hell
(But I’ve got…)
Northern Ireland and The Sun
Propping up my government
And it makes me feel so fine
They’re like my bezzie mates

We’ll run the UK together
Confidence and supply forever
Labour‘s got no chance any more

DUP! DUP!
DUP! DUP!

This parody music video from Britain is called New Orange Order – “Blue Money Day”.

It is parody of the song Blue Monday by New Order.

It says about itself:

1 July 2017

How does it feel to get a billion quid to go into coalition with the Conservatives? That’s the lyrical question from the DUP on their first single as New Orange Order.

Irish women’s victory against wobbly Conservative-fundamentalist British government


This video from India says about itself:

Abortion row: I get my strength from Savita, says husband

26 November 2012

As the probe continues into the death of his wife Savita, who was denied an abortion in Ireland, Praveen Halappanavar tells NDTV that he has no faith and trust in the inquiry and that it is a cover-up. He also recounts memories of how Savita was looking forward to being a mother.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Queen’s Speech: Tories forced to allow free abortions for Northern Irish women

Friday 30th June 2017

Landmark decision forced by Labour attack

A LANDMARK decision was taken yesterday to allow women travelling from Northern Ireland to have free abortions as the government scrambled to deal with Labour challenges to the Queen’s Speech.

Labour MP Stella Creasy had previously tabled an amendment to let Northern Irish women have free abortions via the NHS in England, as they are barred in Northern Ireland except where the mother’s life or mental health is in danger.

And in the face of overwhelming pressure the government fudged a solution by “refusing” free NHS abortions — but paying for them using government equalities office funding instead.

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement offers a face-saving sop to the 10 MPs of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which the government relies on to maintain its majority.

The Northern Irish party, which has a hardline antiabortion stance, would have been placed in an awkward position during the final Commons vote on the government’s legislative programme if the amendment had stood.

Following Mr Hammond’s announcement Ms Creasy withdrew her proposal and tweeted: “Sisters in Northern Ireland we will hear your voices — have asked for speedy meeting with govt to make this a reality!

“Thank you to MPs on all sides who supported call for change to help Northern Irish women have equal access to abortion.”

A British Pregnancy Advisory Service spokeswoman said: “We are absolutely delighted that the government has committed to funding abortion care for women who travel from Northern Ireland to England.

“This is a landmark moment: for years the women of Northern Ireland, despite being UK citizens and taxpayers, have not been entitled to NHS-funded treatment.

“Clearly this is not the solution to the gross injustice whereby women in Northern Ireland are denied access to abortion care at home, and we look forward to seeing progress on that front.

“Nevertheless this is an important moment, and we commend all those who have worked so hard to make this happen.”

So desperate is May that the government was forced to make a last minute agreement to help Northern Irish women forced to pay privately in England for abortions. This was in order to stymie a proposed Labour amendment aimed at challenging Northern Ireland’s extremely restrictive abortion laws. If passed, it would have thrown the Tory agreement into danger as the DUP is anti-abortion: here.

ABORTION rights campaigners hit out at a “deeply disappointing” appeal court ruling yesterday that it is for the Northern Ireland Assembly to decide whether women should be allowed to have pregnancies terminated. … Alliance 4 Choice told the Star it was “a day of highs and lows for women in Northern Ireland seeking free safe legal access to abortion,” adding: “We will continue to campaign for free safe and legal access to abortion in Northern Ireland”: here.

‘Never mind LGBTQ people’, British Theresa May says


This video from Northern Ireland says about itself:

Pastor James McConnell – homophobia

9 August 2014

Much was said of Belfast ‘pastor’ James McConnell’s recent racist comments.

First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson was drawn into the row: Peter Robinson under fire for backing Pastor James McConnell’s [anti-]Islamic remarks.

Both Robinson and McConnell were forced to apologise.

Why has the media not commented on McConnell’s homophobic comments? Does Robinson condone these anti-gay sentiments as well?

From Metro daily in London, England:

Theresa May says not to worry about DUP views on ‘LGB…what’s the rest of it?’

Ashitha Nagesh

Monday 12 Jun 2017 7:11 pm

Theresa May reportedly told backbenchers that government policy wouldn’t be affected by the DUP’s views on ‘LGB… what’s the rest of it?’.

The Prime Minister was meeting the 1922 Committee of backbenchers today amid controversy over the government’s discussions with the Democratic Unionist Party of Ulster.

A Tory MP is said to have told HuffPo editor Paul Waugh that the PM had made the apparently flippant comment about LGBT concerns in the meeting today.

The DUP is now infamous across the UK for its extremely conservative, right-wing views.

Among other things, the party is against same-sex marriage, is anti-abortion, and believes creationism should be taught in schools. …

A ‘confidence and supply’ deal would involve agreeing for the DUP to vote in favour of government policy in Parliament. Such a deal would be necessary for May to pass any policies, as the Tories ended up eight seats short of an overall majority in last Thursday’s general election.

However, there are claims the Scottish Tories could form their own semi-independent group – with its own whip – meaning they wouldn’t be required to vote with May and the government. …

Who are the Democratic Unionist Party?

The Democratic Unionist Party is the biggest unionist party in Northern Ireland – that is, it is against Ulster becoming part of the Republic of Ireland. …

Here’s what you need to know about the Northern Irish party that is now within throwing distance of Westminster.

LINKS TO TERRORISM

Disturbingly, the party has strong historical links to Loyalist paramilitary groups – in particular the terrorist group Ulster Resistance, which was founded by people who ended up becoming prominent DUP politicians. The party’s former leader Peter Robinson, for example, was an active member of the terror group.

The group also collaborated with other terror groups, including the Ulster Volunteer Force, to smuggle deadly arms into the UK.

Although the party has since rescinded violence,

Maybe diminished it a bit, but not abolished it. Read for as recently as 2015 ‘Theresa May’s new partners linked with recent HORRIFIC hammer attack on father-of-three’.

this may seem a bit of a rich move from a party that attacked Jeremy Corbyn for his alleged links to former Northern Irish terrorists.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS – OR A LACK OF THEM

The DUP is notorious for being strongly opposed to reproductive choice – specifically a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. This makes them the biggest anti-abortion party in the country.

This is why women in Northern Ireland either face a costly and incredibly stressful journey to England and Scotland to have an abortion, or are forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.

SAME SEX MARRIAGE

The DUP are also known for strongly opposing same sex marriage. As a result, Northern Ireland still doesn’t have equal marriage – unlike all of its neighbours Scotland, England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

ACCUSATIONS OF RACISM

Last year, DUP MP Sammy Wilson was accused of racism after a member of the public said Northern Ireland should ‘get the ethnics out’ – to which he appeared to reply ‘you are absolutely right’.

CREATIONISM

The DUP is also infamous for pushing for creationism to be taught in schools on a par with proven scientific facts. Creationism is the evangelical belief that Darwin’s theory of evolution is incorrect, and that humans were created whole in God’s image.

Theresa May said she plans to work with the anti-gay and anti-abortion DUP, and America’s [pro-Trump] far-right trolls are thrilled: here.

Today: There is no agreement yet between the Conservatives and the DUP.

Most of the country [Britain] wants another general election this year: here.

New British government dangerous for women’s rights


This video from Britain says about itself:

Outrage as Tory MP reveals May could give DUP this shocking concession to secure coalition

10 June 2017

OWEN Paterson sparked outrage this morning when he suggested Theresa May could offer the DUP a reduced right to abortion to shore up their support.

Well, if Theresa May gets on well with the misogynistic Saudi royal family and with anti-women Donald Trump, one should not be surprised if she gets on well with Irish enemies of women’s rights.

The former Conservative minister sparked furious reactions following his admission that the DUP could get a debate on abortion rights in exchange for a coalition deal.

Owen Paterson was quizzed on what the minority Government under Theresa May would have to give up to secure the partnership.

This comes as the Prime Minister sent her Chief Whip to Northern Ireland to thrash out a formal deal as Mrs May tries to cling onto power after the shambolic election results.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Mr Paterson sought to ease fears that the involvement of the DUP in supporting Theresa May’s new government would lead to pressure to compromise.

But, while rejecting any chance of a reversal on LGBT issues such as gay marriage, the Tory MP opened up the prospect of a parliamentary debate on cutting abortion rights.

The former Northern Ireland secretary said: “I don’t see many major social issues coming up in the next parliament.

“You might get a debate I suppose on further reduction of abortion times as medical science advances.

“But the stuff you mention like gay rights and all that, which you’re probably referring to, that is all devolved.

“It’s not only a free vote issue, most of this, but it’s nearly all devolved and that’s down to the politicians in Northern Ireland to resolve.”

The DUP holds a controversial anti-abortion stance, with terminations illegal in Northern Ireland unless a woman’s life is in danger or there is a serious risk to her health.

Last year, its leader Arlene Foster said: “I would not want abortion to be as freely available here as it is in England.”

Labour MP Jo Stevens expressed her disgust online, tweeting: “This is just 1 reason why Theresa May doing a deal with DUP is chilling.”

Another person tweeted: “Owen Paterson & Theresa May you disgust me that you can even consider swapping women’s bodily autonomy in exchange for power.”

Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack said: “We may have seen a record number of women gain seats in the Parliament this week, but the 10 MPs of the anti-abortion, anti-equal marriage DUP look set to have a disproportionate influence which should concern us all.

The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign, which campaigns for legal abortion in Ireland and Northern Ireland, warned Mrs May about the agreement with the DUP.

The group said: “The DUP has consistently blocked any attempts to allow abortion even in limited circumstances.

“They are out of step with the Conservative Party and the people of Britain on many moral and social issues, having also blocked attempts to legalise gay marriage in Northern Ireland. We urge Theresa May to think carefully before aligning herself with a party intent on undermining the human rights of Northern Irish women.”

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Campaigners say: Don’t let DUP destroy human rights

Wednesday 14th June 2017

CAMPAIGNERS and union leaders wrote to Theresa May yesterday demanding a “categoric assurance” that women’s rights and access to abortion will not be weakened in any deal with the DUP.

A letter to the PM urges her not to “turn the clock back,” or to turn her back on the women of Northern Ireland.

Signatories to the letter include the Fawcett Society, TUC, Royal College of Midwives and British Pregnancy Advisory Service.

The letter says: “Women in Northern Ireland are forced to travel to another part of the UK in order to access the same abortion services as women in the rest of the UK.

“This affects hundreds of women each year. Only those who can afford to travel and pay for treatment — as, despite being UK taxpayers, women resident in Northern Ireland are currently not entitled to NHS-funded abortion care in England — can do so.”

Ms May met DUP leader Arlene Foster in Downing Street for ongoing discussions about an agreement to bolster the Tory minority government. Ms Foster did not say whether she would agree to a deal.

A failure for the PM to gain support from the Christian fundamentalist party would risk the Queen’s Speech being voted down next week.

Meeting her MPs in Westminster, Ms Foster declared: “The future’s bright,” prompting Ian Paisley Jnr to quip: “The future’s orange” — a reference to the bigoted Orange Order that seeks to ignite sectarian tensions with militaristic marches through Catholic areas.

John Major, Tory prime minister during negotiations for the Good Friday Agreement, said on the BBC’s World at One that he was “wary” of any alliance because it could undermine the peace process.

“The danger is that however much any government tries, they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal with one of the Northern Ireland parties,” he said.

“And you never know in what unpredictable way things will turn out.”

Tories could lose voters by the “bucketload” in another election if they promise cash for votes with the DUP, when the money could be “equally well received” by Wales, Scotland, and “just about managing” families anywhere, he added.

Ms May told her own MPs: “I’m the person who got us into this mess and I’m the one who will get us out of it.”

British Conservative-fundamentalist religious coalition government?


This 30 April video about northern Ireland says about itself:

[DUP leader] Peter Robinson on homosexuality: “I would hope that if it was illegal people would obey the law…”

Terrorist sympathisers? May’s new friend Arlene Foster took tea with a UDA leader just weeks ago. Did Theresa May even consider the DUP’s paramilitary links? Here.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Meet May‘s stone age allies in the DUP

Tuesday 13th June 2017

Theresa May warned of a coalition of chaos propped up by extremist terrorist sympathisers. She just didn’t say she’d be leading it, writes PETER FROST

WELL, Theresa May has done it, hopped into bed with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in order to prop up her minority government and try to save her job, at least for a day or so.

So who are these ultra-right-wing MPs from across the Irish Sea who come ready wrapped in the Union Jack and with a bunch of some of the most reactionary policies you could ever imagine?

The DUP opposes all abortions, even for rape victims; is rabidly homophobic, wanting a ban on same sex marriage; denies climate change; prefers the Bible to Darwin, claiming the Earth was made just 6,000 years ago.

Founder Ian Paisley once famously even declared that line-dancing was sinful.

Nice God-fearing Christians you might think, just right to prop up our vicar’s daughter’s weak and unstable efforts at making a government. You would be wrong.

Let’s take a quick look at a few of the scandals that have featured in its relatively short history since Paisley founded the party just 46 years ago.

Paisley invented his own political party: the DUP; his own church: the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster; as well as several of his own armed terrorist paramilitary groups, such as Ulster Resistance, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF). These groups murdered at least 400 people — mainly innocent Catholics during the Troubles.

Paisley brought the whole lot of his followers together under his banners with messages like: “The Pope is the Antichrist,” “Save Ulster from sodomy,” or more simply “No surrender.”

Today his son Ian Paisley Jr keeps his father’s memory and Christian fundamentalist politics very much alive. Sadly you don’t have to scratch far below the surface to discover a cesspit of hypocrisy.

Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church and the DUP often share officers and leaders. One was David McConaghie who worked as an aide to DUP MP David Simpson in Portadown, Co Armagh.

McConaghie was also an elder in the church, a high-ranking Orangeman and leader of some of the DUP’s groups promoting creationism and the Earth being just 6,000 years old.

He was also a pervert and a voyeur who planted a camera in his DUP office lavatory to film his colleagues using the toilet.

The judge ruled he had done it for sexual gratification and both jailed him and put him on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.

Another DUP scandal to hit the headlines concerned Iris Robinson, wife of party leader Peter Robinson and a Westminster MP in her own right. This 59-year-old born again evangelical Christian resigned after an adulterous extra-marital affair with a teenager who she paid with local government grants.

Her husband, DUP leader until recently, was a well-known and much photographed paramilitary leader of Ulster Resistance in earlier days. Ulster Resistance collaborated with other unionist terrorist organisations to smuggle arms, including rocket launchers.

DUP leader Arlene Foster is up to her knees in cash as a key player in another scandal. She oversaw a renewable energy scheme that is set to cost the public purse almost £500 million.

The scheme paid applicants to use renewable energy. The rate paid was more than the cost of heating, meaning favoured applicants were making huge profits.

The political scandal first came to light in November 2016, by which point Foster had become Northern Ireland’s First Minister.

She refused to resign or stand aside. Sinn Fein leader Martin McGuinness resigned in protest. In the power-sharing government, McGuinness’s resignation meant that Foster was removed from her role as First Minister, which in turn has caused a long-term political stalemate.

Now let’s have a look at the 10 DUP Westminster MPs who will be propping up May’s minority government in return for a massive cash injection to their local infrastructure and a shift to the right in May’s domestic policies.

Nigel Dodds is leader of the DUP at Westminster. The high-ranking member of the Orange Order has been kicked out of the Commons for using unparliamentary language to attack Tory former Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers.

Ian Paisley Jr is well known for his homophobic views. “I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism,” he said back in 2007. “I think it is wrong.”

Jim Shannon topped the entire Westminster expenses league. His claims were five times greater than the second-highest claiming MP and 37 times greater than the average MP’s claim.

Sammy Wilson is known for his racist comments, his denial of climate change and his opinion that female MPs who breastfeed in the chamber of the House of Commons are exhibitionists.

Gavin Robinson at 32 is the youngest DUP MP who will prop up the Tories.

Gregory Campbell has supported the reintroduction of the death penalty. He was barred from the Northern Ireland Assembly for mocking the Irish language.

Emma Little Pengelly is the only woman in the DUP Westminster line-up. Her father Noel Little was a member of the Ulster Resistance described by the Belfast Telegraph as a gunrunner.

David Simpson is member of the Orange Order and believes in creationism. Opposing the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, he told MPs: “This is not the jurisdiction of this House, this is not the jurisdiction of this government of any European government or any government in the world. This is an ordained constitution of God.” His was the office toilet with the camera.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson was previously in the more moderate Ulster Unionist Party. He was Enoch Powell’s agent when Powell’s racism finally got too much for English Tories and Powell defected to Ulster.

Donaldson eventually quit the UUP and switched to the more hard-line DUP.

Paul Girvan sparked controversy in 2015 when he claimed scrap metal dealers should be armed with guns to protect themselves from Gypsies. Before that, he hit the headlines for saying he had no problem with the Irish tricolour being burnt on loyalist bonfires.

These then are the nine men and one woman in Westminster who May hopes will keep her in power.

One of May’s leading Tories was quick to spell out her doubts about the DUP. Ruth Davidson is leader of the Scottish Conservatives and about 10 times as popular as May with the Tory Party rank and file both north and south of Hadrian’s Wall.

She announced: “As a Protestant unionist about to marry an Irish Catholic woman, I told Theresa May that there were a number of things that count to me more than the Tory Party. One of them is country, one of the others is LGBTI rights.”

Davidson is believed to be just one of 19 gay Tory MPs elected last week. None of them is going to be very happy about May’s new bedfellows, and they aren’t the only ones by a long way.

This video from the British parliament in London says about itself:

“We’re here in case the Tory coalition of chaos doesn’t work out”

13 June 2017

“Labour stands ready to offer strong and stable leadership in the national interest” Jeremy Corbyn said on his return to the House of Commons following Thursday’s General Election.

SUCH is the developing crisis facing the Tory Party that the Queen’s Speech has now been delayed: here.