Theresa May, weakened by a doubly-botched election (botched once in that she did not need to call it and botched twice because the campaign was a text-book disaster) felt compelled to call on the Democratic Unionist Party for support.
The DUP cleverly negotiated a bung of £1bn for their support (it should be stressed that this goes to the Northern Ireland Assembly, not to the DUP itself). It seems unlikely that the DUP would have voted against the Queen’s Speech anyway, or allied themselves in any way with a Labour party headed by Sinn Féin cheerleaders Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.
Like most things Theresa May does, this unthinking rush into the DUP’s embrace had consequences obvious to the rest of us. It opened her to up to cries about fairness – fairness as between regions for one, but also as between the ease with which May rustled up money to save her party and the austerity imposed on some much more deserving people.
The DUP (“the Bible with fortnightly bin collections” as someone put it), would not be most people’s choice of bed-fellow. Leaving their primitive social mores out it, however, the marriage gave rise to some decent jokes (and God knows, we need some decent ones at a time when the UK itself has become a joke).
Here are a few (credits as on the tweets):
Someone pointed out that this £1bn was peanuts compared with the money May is about to flush down the tubes on Brexit. Someone else observed that any payment was worth making which helped keep Corbyn and McDonnell away from the nations’s money jar.