In the time following the vote on the Queen’s speech, we are beginning to see Theresa May’s “strong and stable” government in their true light.
During the election campaign, the Tories warned of the “coalition of chaos,” but what we are seeing now is much, much worse. The Tories have had to forge a deal with the DUP to prop up their minority government and pass through their Queen’s speech and other key legislation. This deal is effectively blackmailing the Tories for £1B of extra funding for Northern Ireland, which equates to roughly £540 per person living in Northern Ireland.
The Tories have effectively bought the votes of the DUP, this is not democracy and it shouldn’t be allowed. But where has this £1B come from? In the Tories’ words, there is no “magic money tree,” but however there is one for the DUP.
It might have looked better for the government if the DUP wasn’t anti-gay/ LGBTQ+ rights, anti-women’s rights, anti-abortion, but I’m sure our MP will be happy about this deal as he has expressed on many occasions his views on gay rights, including voting against gay marriage in parliament on several occasions.
When a political party fails to get a majority in Parliament, it is necessary to do deals with other smaller parties in order to form a government. This has always been the case. The alternative is to keep on holding fresh elections, one after another, until one party has overall control.
At the last election, the Conservative Party received 56 seats more than Labour. However, this alone was not quite enough to have an overall majority, so we struck a deal with the DUP. For all the angry words from Labour supporters, Gordon Brown tried to do exactly the same thing in 2010 and wrote a letter suggesting Labour recognised the fact that the historic problems in Northern Ireland have led to a greater need for finance to overcome the troubles. I hope all those complaining about the coalition will reject any moves towards proportional representation, which will make coalitions the norm rather than the exception.
I did vote against gay marriage because of a concern about the possible impact on the Church but I fully accept that decision. It was democratically made and it would be completely wrong to revisit this matter in any way.
David T C Davies MP