By Adi Chowdhury
In the wake of last night’s snap election — which resulted in an elated Jeremy Corbyn and a rather miserable Theresa May — the Conservative party has lost a majority in the House of Common and now bestows a hung parliament upon the UK. However, in an unprecedented move, Conservative leader Theresa May has announced her intentions to work with the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) to establish a parliamentary majority.
Here’s why that’s a bad idea.
The DUP is a party of intolerance and naivety. Its actions have been fundamentally opposed to social progress and antithetical to a scientific view of the world. It is not a viable option for anyone prioritizing the advent of a better, brighter, more accepting UK.
The DUP on Global Warming
Heard of Sammy Wilson? Once selected as the Environmental Minister of the DUP? Who said it was a “con” to believe human can affect the climate? Who called climate science “propaganda”? Who banned pro-climate federal ads from his province?
From The Independent:
He also said in 2014: “We are already paying through the nose for electricity because we go down the route of the dearest electricity possible through renewable energy” and are “putting our agricultural industry in jeopardy because there is no greater producer of greenhouse gases than cows”.
The DUP on Creationism
DUP Assembly Member Thomas Buchanan espoused an event titled ‘Reaching Children in an Evolutionised World’, saying, “I commend those behind this event for bringing forward a programme of reaching out to children who have been corrupted by the teaching of evolution.”
From The Irish News:
The event, taking place at Bready Reformed Presbyterian Church in Co Tyrone on October 1, is hosted by Christian organisation Creation Outreach Ministries, and features speakers who believe in creationism – the claim that God literally created the world in seven days, as told in the Bible.
The event includes a talk presenting “the biblical case for the sound teaching of children” that will “offer helpful practical advice on how to counter evolutionary teaching”.
Here’s another doozy from The Independent: DUP politician Edwin Poots has expressed his views that the earth 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, very intelligently and knowledgeably indeed.
The DUP on LGBT Rights
The DUP’s stance on LGBT issues is especially appalling, repeatedly peddling offensive and derogatory myths concerning the community.
Ian Paisley Jr, son of the party’s founder Ian Paisley, branded homosexuality as “immoral, offensive and obnoxious.” He added that he was “repulsed” by gays and lesbians.
Here’s an article about the DUP’s “Save Ulster from Sodomy” campaign to oppose the legalization of homosexuality. An excerpt:
The ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy!’ campaign was started in the mid-1970s by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and headed by its political and religious leader, Ian Paisley. The DUP started its campaign in response to the formation of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association (NIGRA) in 1975, and also to its mistrust of the Northern Ireland Office and the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, who had the absolute power to make law in Northern Ireland by orders in council. The fear was that decriminalisation of male homosexual acts would be imposed by left-wing Labour Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland, under pressure from gay rights lobbying groups in Great Britain and in Northern Ireland.
It was a concerted and persistent campaign, which advertised itself in the newspapers, and demonstrations and pamphleteering on street corners; it promoted itself as a religious crusade, and lasted for many years, though the height of its activity and prominence was between the mid 1970s and 1982. In Paisley’s world-view, Ulster, the hallowed province, had to be made fit for the second coming of Christ, and therefore needed ‘saving’ from sodomy. In a society riven by male-dominated violence and religious conflict, LGBT people at the very least would be wary about exploring their sexuality, and certainly emotions of guilt shaped and directed their lives, freedom of action and sense of agency. A recent study by geographers demonstrates that sectarian endogamy, the norm in Northern Ireland, is replicated in lesbian and gay coupling in the province. For most Northern Irish LGBT people, the only way to lead ‘out’, normal lives, has long been to leave Northern Ireland.
According to The Telegraph, the DUP flaunts a vibrant history of opposing gay marriage, leading ex-PM Cameron to state that he “profoundly disagreed” with the DUP’s policy on gay rights and would “never validate” it.