This tweet from Mark Devenport shines a light on an important reality: ie that the leading contenders for the Conservative leadership in Northern Ireland today have not come to engage with local conservatives, but rather with the only party that matters to them just now: ie the DUP.
— Mark Devenport (@markdevenport) July 2, 2019
Of course neither has any detail on how they will get a deal through where May failed. That’s because the problem is in Westminster and essentially it’s a numbers issue. If you repair the bridge with the DUP you get the numbers to become PM and Brexit out of your inbox.
Nothing (and no one) else matters right now. Certainly not the tiny activist base of Northern Ireland Conservatives who polled 0.2% of the vote in local elections, then dropping to 0.1% in the Europeans in an electorate of over half a million people.
Since no other political party takes seats at Westminster and in the continuing absence of Stormont, Northern Ireland has no counterweight to the DUP’s minority influence over our shared future. Tragic you may says, but this is the cumulative total of all the past choices we’ve made.
This means that right now and for the foreseeable future, Northern Ireland is on no one‘s urgent list. And, as predicted, no one’s splashing any extra political cash (on Northern Ireland’s failing primary health system, roads, schools, etc) either…
Boris Johnson's answer on restoring Stormont made Karen Bradley look like John Hume.
— Patrick Maguire (@patrickkmaguire) July 2, 2019
Now tell me again how those seven Sinn Féin seats could not be put to some better use by making a bit of useful mischief for those who don’t actually believe in Brexit rainbows and unicorns?
This debate was recorded shortly after Nolan radio prog on Tues, by which point I had hit my limit for clueless right wingers (especially Ann Widdecombe). PS Hermann & his ‘Irexit’ party, which is how he proposes to ‘solve’ the border, got 0.67% of the vote in Dublin last month pic.twitter.com/1dk3Ho57nH
— Claire Hanna (@ClaireHanna) June 27, 2019
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty