Queens speech delayed whilst negotiations continue…

The BBC’s Norman Smith...

…the decision to delay it revealed an “ambiguity” about what would go in it – with several manifesto pledges expected to be watered down or dropped – but also the need for the Tories to “nail down” DUP support.

A defeat for its Queen’s Speech would be tantamount to a vote of no confidence in the new minority government

That may explain Mrs May’s haste to get the coalition announced. It was due to take place next Monday.

  • Brian Kann

    So it’s a “coalition” now? And people wonder why this is seen as a UK government taking sides under the GFA, particularly at the moment when it is supposed to be a neutral chair in getting Storming back together.

    Three other things:

    1) The irony of the Queen missing engagements at Ascot because of difficulties in getting agreement with…the DUP.
    2) That the Queen’s speech takes time as it needs to be written on goat’s skin or some parchment substitute.
    3) May can barely get agreement with a slavishly pro-Union at all costs DUP. And yet the press and her government have spent months telling us how she will walk rings around 27 different European countries.

  • babyface finlayson

    According to the Beeb the delay is also partly because the speech has to be written on goat’s skin.
    Presumably they mean on the side of a Lambeg Drum.

  • Jag

    “Mrs May’s haste to get the coalition announced.” I note the Tory clarification, to say there was no deal yet with the DUP, was issued just after midnight on Saturday night, because, presumably the DUP wasn’t going to be doing any negotiation on the Sabbath.

    But, before we all laugh at the religosity of the DUP, let’s take a moment to laugh at the archaic circus that they run in Westminster: the BBC is claiming it takes three days for the Queen’s Speech to be physically printed because it takes that long for the ink to dry on the “goatskin paper parchment”.

    All of a sudden, a tie-up between the DUP and the Tories sounds plausible.

  • Jag

    The Queen is just going to love this. There’s already friction between Buckingham Palace and Downing Street, for example, over the protocol failure about consulting the Queen before announcing Trump’s state visit. Now, the Queen doesn’t know when she’ll be required to read out whatever bastardised programme the Tories put together with the DUP. And all because of the Orange Order-infused DUP, an organisation the Queen regards as “ghastly”. Her Majesty won’t be amused. Won’t be amused at all.

  • runnymede

    I’m sure HMQ is quite unperturbed, having seen as many back and forths as she has.

  • William Kinmont

    could it not be written on the side of a lambeg

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I expect so. I’ve heard a lot of stories from some of those close to her about her exasperation at some of the airs the leaders of political parties give themselves in these situations, and, as you say, she has seen it all before. I doubt that Ted Heath’s weepy attempt to con her into supporting his desperate plan for a minority administration was much different to May’s.

    I could almost begin to feel some positive draw to the poor long-suffering woman, were I not such a strict Royalist myself, and all too aware of just how far she is in blood from the Genuine Royal line as represented by our current liege, King Francis II. So, no matter what occurs, the administration she authorises is as lacking in legitimacy as every other administration since December 1688.

  • MichaelH

    The DUP is the future of Ireland. 4 nations together again, outside the EU.

  • hgreen

    Strong and stable, strong and stable, strong ….

  • hgreen

    Just like barristers in funny wigs all of “tradition” at Westminster and around the queens speech is designed to create barriers between the elite and the huddled masses. Anachronistic nonsense.

  • lizmcneill

    Wibbly wobbly timey wimey.

  • Eoin Fogarty

    The tories are a complete mess. What can the dup realistically gain from doing this?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    That is the real question! Because it’s not going to last long anyway, I would have thought.

  • Zorin001

    I’m interested to see the details once we have them, it will have to be a very attractive financial package no doubt and I would expect reinforcement of the DUP’s view on legacy issues.

  • Korhomme

    And who is getting the job of going to Buck house to say:

    ‘Sorry, Ma’am, Ascot is off this year.’

  • ted hagan

    Plenty. The Tories are playing for time until they get a new leader, then the whole thing could stretch out with no election in sight.
    SNP is weak, Libdems are weak, so it will be difficult to see them wanting an election any time soon.

  • Eoin Fogarty

    They are weak but not weak enough to vote with the tories

  • Korhomme

    I thought the Stuarts and their descendants gave up their ‘claim’ to the throne a couple of hundred years ago. No?

    And I’m quite sure she knew all about Jeremy Thorpe, and Ted’s attempt to get him into bed (in a metaphorical sort of way, of course).

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I wouldn’t want to see legacy issues as part of this deal – it needs to be dealt with separately in a process that is fair to all victims and treats all wrongdoers on the same basis. I’m concerned if they just focus on closing down inquiries about security force excesses, it’s another excuse for SF to further delay the information provision, justice and victim compensation process that needs to start happening on their side.

  • Eoin Fogarty

    So for me this discounts financial aid. Its not something you get quickly.

    Corporate tax, this could get the scottish tories going and play badly in England.

    Legacy laws would stir up nationalism.

    Is a soft brexit the best hand to play?

  • murdockp

    If the BT headline regarding Drumcree turns out to be true, even if one person is hurt, the Tories have a lot to answer.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/orange-order-asks-dup-to-use-drumcree-march-in-talks-with-may-35815766.html

  • SeaanUiNeill

    While no-one from the legitimate line currently makes a strident claim to the throne, there are organisations in Britain which support their claim and are not re-buffed. I know of a descendant of a senior commander from the Great War who frequently travels to visit King Francis and bend the knee. Francis’s grandson was born in London, the first of the legitimate line to have been born there since King James III.

    Let us not even begin to go into Jeremy Thorpe, whose “shadow cabinet” contained the odious Cyril Smith and Sir Clement Freud. Freud went on to become shadow secretary for NI under David Steel, and was involved in a number of “Troops out” committees. With friends like that who needs enemies……

  • Neil

    The Orange Order stated after the deaths of the 3 children during Drumcree that it would be a hollow victory to walk as it’s not worth the life of a single child. I’d like to know why they changed their mind.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    They simply cannot resist even a few days of being let into the “celebrities enclosure”, any more than SF (or Paisley) could turn down the St Patrick’s Day at the White House publicity. Same motivation, its as simple as that.

  • Casper

    They didn’t change their minds, That statement was made by one Orangeman and was quickly retracted in favour of a reply that blamed it all on terrorism…

  • Casper

    What ya smoking there pilgrim?

  • Casper

    Sure wouldn’t it all make for a great big-budget Hollywood movie? I suspect more than a few would get their eyes opened for the first time.

  • runnymede

    Legacy issues will play well to everyone except Sinn Fein so no problems there I think.

  • runnymede

    Yes they did.

    And the real blood heirs are the male line descendants of Harold Godwinson, wherever they may be.

  • Old Mortality

    “ghastly”
    When did she tell you this?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Was that the Rev Bingham?

    It was disgraceful the way he was rounded on.

  • Casper
  • Zorin001

    Who represent around the 230k people who voted for them and might just be a bit unhappy should it look like the DUP is holding the whip hand over them.

  • Jag

    “Coalition”? Who would have thought that Direct Rule would have been restored so quickly. With the DUP directly ruling the entire UK from Fermanagh?

  • Marcus Orr

    My goodness Seaan – do you mean to say that you believe in the ancient theory of the Divine right of Kings to rule ?
    Thank goodness the heritage of England was based on a different idea, namely the idea that a King is under the law, not above it, and the moment that the legal King James 2 started to abuse his lawful power there were moves made to depose him, resulting in the glorious revolution, and the best constitution known to man, the English constitution of 1689, the basis for the US constitution of 100 years later.
    What a shame that you believe in the idea that the King is always right and the parliament must bow to him ! Blood lines are more important !!!! Say it ain’t so Seaan !

  • Ciara 007

    Calm heads need to prevail. As soon as the Queen speech is over, the Tories will effectively have the DUP by the throat. The DUP team In London will be powerless to stand in the way of whatever Mrs May chooses to do. The reality now is that if the conservatives fall, Corbyn steps in on foot of another election and the DUP cannot afford to either shoulder the blame or deal with the consequences. Arlene must be aware of this.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Soft Brexit the most important thing to go for off the Tories – weird though it sounds the DUP could end up unlikely heroes of the 48 per cent, if they succeed on it 😉

  • William Kinmont

    Goat skin thing made me laugh and like most people here my immediate thought was lambeg. However whatever the cause of the delay if those involved cannot come up with a more reasonable excuse or even try to pull the wool over our eyes more subtily what chance have we with them negotiating brexit.. All eyes are on whatever scraps of info emerge, if this red herring was meant to amuse does it not actually disenfranchise the young and the left more

  • Obelisk

    Further delay? MU if they pass amnesty we all may as well accept there will be no process. That’s it. Game over.

    Sinn Fein and the Republican movement will just clam up, disengage from any kind of proposed system and build their own story that within a few decades will be accepted by the majority of people on this island as fact.

    The victims on both sides will be ignored and people will just mark time till they all die off.

    I know some people will cheer if the Tories introduce this provision, and some Unionists will see it as a big win.

    But it will be nothing of the sort. Everyone will lose.

  • William Kinmont

    Actually very difficult to see which is the more dangerous choice for the DUP. Sign up to government and risk handing a lot of legitimacy to joint authority . Don’t sign up and get the blame for whatever Corbin does. Abstain and hope Tories still get queens speech through and riskTory backlash. All options carry the problem of their now very expectant core supporters who are expecting flegs and marches where they wish. No wonder Sf are sitting on their hands rather than being up in arms.

  • Obelisk

    They won’t. The Brexiteers are within spitting distance of their goal and the last thing they are going to tolerate are some jumped up Paddies with funny hats from the provinces thwarting them at the cusp of the promise land.

    They will break the government if needed I suspect. A chaotic Brexit will still be a hard Brexit after all.

  • ted hagan

    ” the Tories will effectively have the DUP by the throat.”
    What a poor reading of the situation. The DUP, after an election triumph; have the Tory party by the balls and are loving it.
    Meanwhile SF are trying to get off the floor after being hit by a sucker punch.

  • aquifer
  • William Kinmont

    Bull by the horns might be a better analogy. Does require either balls or stupidly to get into this position, what are you going to do next and how will you safely extricate yourself

  • JOHN TURLEY

    Nobody knows Sinn Fein or the D.U.P like Eamon O Maille does,his article about the D.U P ,in the
    Irish Times site, is worth reading.

  • Ciara 007

    Both the DUP and SF have got to get the show on the road here. Despite all the kerfuffle both parties quite clearly shoulder equal blame for our quagmire. But in London, you are correct, the DUP are in charge but only for a few days. After that they will have to make a choice every day they go to work – support the Tories or collapse the government and allow Corbyn Into number 10. The Tories are gambling again, they are gambling that the DUP would never risk allowing an “IRA Sympathiser” into power. And it is upon that hook the Tories will hang the DUP, nó sooner than the Queen gives her seal.

  • Zorin001

    I can confirm as one of them I certainly feel morally conflicted having to support the DUP in trying to soften Brexit.

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    Yes. Liked his reminder of “lying down with dogs and getting fleas” – but in the case of the present tory party and the DUP I’m not quite sure which one is the dog (although I suppose the DUP just edges it).

  • NotNowJohnny

    You do wonder how long it will retake the Tory Party to realise that dealing with the DUP is a very bad idea and that only no deal would be a good deal. Of course it is likely that the DUP, pumped up arrogance and ignorance, will attempt to overplay their hand causing the negotiations to draw to a swift close leaving them looking very foolish.

  • Zig70

    Maybe she meant strong and in a stable, what an ass!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Marcus, its a logical thing. If you accept that Monarchy should exist, the “rules” have pretty much always been primogeniture, except in a few places such as Japan. Otherwise, if you start having an “elected KIng”, which is effectively what both the Dutchman and those German relatives from a very long way down the line of succession, who were brought in when the actual King’s sister Anne died in 1714, actually are, then why not be consistent, go the whole hog and simply elect a president? It would be far more honest than having a hard of state who is clearly ( and dishonestly) “made up” simply to suit what was a tiny elite political interest in 1688, and to restore the Test Act, and end James II’s policy of general religious Toleration and equality of opportunity in the civil sphere. We are stuck with an embarrassing anachronism from that time, which is still about a hundred individuals away from ten direct line of succession. If you don’t believe that the monarch has the right to rule, why have one at all is the simple logic, not lets have some silly cosmetic pretence called a constitutional monarchy.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m an Irish monarchist, awaiting the inevitable welcome of King Francis to Dublin some day soon and the families long delayed restoration. But for now I find it absurd to be the subject of someone who is not even the rightful person by descent.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Not in Ireland or Scotland Runny! The Stuarts are the descendants of Fergus Mór mac Eirc, King of Dál Riata after whose “ancestor” Fergus I, the mythic first King of Scotland, our own wonderful Carrickfergus is named. Unless you are English (and even if you are) the Stuart line is recognisably the most direct bloodline of Royalty for the three kingdoms.

  • Granni Trixie

    A gift to cartoonists..?

  • Granni Trixie

    It’s certainly a test for the DUP as far as Ni is concerned.

  • Granni Trixie

    But do Sf actually want Stormont to work?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Actually, they could not renounce anything really. Its not a matter of claims as such, but of the simple fact that Francis II is the most direct descendant of the legitimate Royal line. Whether he claims his birthright or not is an irrelevance, it remains his birthright and that of his heirs until they die out and it passes to the next line. Its how primogeniture works.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    that’s politics eh … we have to work with people we profoundly disagree with. We should all buy into that though if we’re on board with the GFA – it requires even SF and the DUP to work together in the same government, so any other alliances are really a drop in the ocean compared to that.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Hard to know how the Brexiteers are going to play this. They are in a state of disarray just now but will dust themselves down soon and refocus. The reality is they don’t have the unanimity they need among Tory MPs to give hard Brexit a majority in the Commons so they simply can’t do it right now. They will spit feathers but what can they actually do? They will lose if they try and force the issue. If they go to push for another election to try and get a majority for their view, they are also unlikely to gain ground. I think they are pretty f***ed actually.

    Anyone in charge now – and it’s May until further notice – will have to go a path on Brexit that has a chance of getting approved by the Commons. That means some shift towards “soft” Brexit measures – enough to keep most of the Tories on board (former Tory Remainers plus pragmatist Leavers like Gove and Johnson) and something Labour will also back. I think there is such a deal possible.

    Who’s actually going to lead the Tories to delivering it is another question. They have already decided May won’t fight another election for them as PM. Does it make any sense for them to have her directing the Brexit negotiations in the meantime? And if not, they need to change fairly soon, otherwise we start with one leader then shift tack part way through. Looks more and more like we’ll lurch into a deal that is untidy, half-baked and rushed due to all these delays.

  • WindowLean

    Good analysis there MU. Nothing is clear cut here. Let’s say the any proposed arrangement with the DUP staggers through a full term. The next election will be fought on how Brexit has affected the UK economy. If I were an English Tory, the last person I’d want at the negotiating table would be May. At the moment you can only see her, Davis, Fox and the rest making a complete balls of it.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I quite agree – I think it’s wrong to go for that and it takes the pressure off where it should be, which is the glacially slow and possibly non-existent process of ending Republican and Loyalist omerta. They need to start giving police the information they have, assisting them in identifying the wrongdoers from within their organisations and paying out the compensation that is due, it’s already been way too long a delay already. There is a huge amount of work to be done and I am concerned that Republican politicians in particular – but Loyalists too – may be trying to avoid doing any of it. This would give them an excuse – still a bad excuse, but it would be exploited by them cynically, we know how they operate. Let’s not allow them that.

  • Ciara 007

    Do they indeed? We only have their word for it, similarly the DUPs. Both parties can be accused of not wanting the institutions to work on the basis that neither party seem willing to loosen their boots a bit. But in truth, all the evidence of the past ten years suggest that they do want the Assembly up.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It’s such an interesting and unexpected result and also weird – this election was the biggest Tory share of the vote since at least 1983, the famous Thatcher landslide, which was also 42.4 per cent. The Tory right must be dazed, wondering what’s happened, that their whole agenda looks utterly floored. But it really is. Not just on Brexit but on austerity too – perhaps even more so – the country has really turned. And worse, the economy is about to go through a real tough period, as has long been predicted. It is starting to happen. The Tory reputation for being a safer pair of hands on that than Labour is about to get a thorough trashing day in, day out in the news, at the very time the party are at 6s anf 7s over Europe. If an election happens any time soon, it looks even worse for them – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-party-jeremy-corbyn-lead-theresa-may-conservatives-tories-survation-poll-general-election-a7784171.html – it’s one poll but Survation now has Labour on 45 per cent and Tories on 39.

    All they can do is hang on – cling together. Actually the reality of the hole they are in may clip the wings of the hard Brexiteers and they may be actually willing to go along with softer forms of Brexit than they ever thought they would. There are signs of some moving a little already. The DUP deal is their potential saviour. If they can get form of Brexit through it the party can unite around and the DUP back, they may still be in government in 5 years’ time.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Unless having done that they’ve realised they don’t like the compromises of government and think their DNA is as a protest party – and now feel it works better for them. I just don’t think they genuinely value NI government – to them it is a means to another end and if that means isn’t working for them, they feel no obligation to work at it. After all, a N Ireland that isn’t working plays to their grand narrative, especially when they can claim it’s unionists’ fault, as of course they are doing. Direct rule plays to their political interests even more so, I’m sure they are seeking that result – while making sure they don’t get the blame from nationalist voters for it happening.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I can’t remember which comedian a few years ago said the problem with the nationalist dream in N Ireland is that it imagines Belfast is going to turn into Donegal. Ethnically contested N Ireland is always going to be a different kettle of fish, whatever container you put the place in.