Monday, 3 July 2017

Blue and Orange

The DUP has been in government with Sinn Féin for many years.

But if, in spite of that fact, it really would never, under any circumstances, have allowed Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister, then Theresa May did not have to offer it anything at all.

At a fairly ultra-Catholic event on Saturday, the talk was that the deal between the Conservatives and the DUP meant that, "We're going to have more abortions from Ireland over here."

In fact, the Government's decision to fund abortions in England and Wales for women from Northern Ireland probably means that the answer to calls for abortion to be legalised in Northern Ireland is likely to be, "There's no need, because they can always go to England."

But be that as it may, the core of the Catholic community over here has only ever regarded the Conservative Party as the English branch office of the Orange Order.

It therefore sees nothing remarkable about the deal with the DUP, a deal which it also takes as a given must mean "more abortions from Ireland over here".

Certain Catholic newspapers that are currently infatuated with Theresa May and horrified at Jeremy Corbyn need to keep in mind just how out of touch with their own constituency that makes them.

The Labour vote among practising Catholics was probably even higher this year than it usually is. It was certainly no lower, and it will be overwhelming whenever the next General Election occurs.

There is nothing that either party could ever say or do to make most Catholics dream of voting Conservative, or to make the clear majority dream of voting anything other than Labour.

That was the case even before the Conservatives went into a kind of de facto coalition with the DUP, and even before they undertook to fund abortions in England and Wales for women from Northern Ireland.

It was not, however, unrelated to those developments. Or to the fact that neither of them has come as any surprise to anyone.

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