Socialist Worker

The DUP—racist, homophobic, anti-abortion bigots with a history of violence

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2558

Former DUP leader Peter Robinson with a gun

Former DUP leader Peter Robinson with a gun


The Tories may hang onto office with the support of the bigots of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland.

But who are the DUP?

Arch reactionary Ian Paisley set up the DUP in 1971 because the Official Ulster Unionist Party didn’t hate Catholics enough for him. It now has ten of Northern Ireland’s 18 MPs.

The Tories made a great deal of noise about Jeremy Corbyn’s supposed links to terrorists during the election campaign. Now they want to go into coalition with people with a rotten history of backing terrorism.

The terrorist group Ulster Resistance was founded by a collection of people who went on to be prominent DUP politicians.

Former First Minister Peter Robinson, who was DUP leader and Northern Ireland’s first minister until last year, was an active member of Ulster Resistance.

Paisley long toyed with Loyalist death squads to protect the “Union” with Britain.

In 1981 Paisley launched “Third Force”. He led a group of 500 men up a hillside in County Antrim at night, where they were photographed holding firearms certificates above their heads. They were showing that they could easily have been holding weapons.

Racist

When Enoch Powell was expelled from the Tory party for being too racist even for them, he moved to Northern Ireland.

There, his campaign manager was Jeffrey Donaldson. Donaldson said, “I worked alongside two of the greatest names in Unionism in the 20th century.

“Between 1982 and 1984 I worked as Enoch Powell’s constituency agent, successfully spearheading Mr. Powell’s election campaigns of 1983 and 1986.”

Donaldson is the longest serving of the DUP’s MPs.

The Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed in January after DUP leader and first minister Arlene Foster became embroiled in a scandal over a green energy initiative.

The scam cost hundreds of millions of pounds. Businesses could earn more money the more fuel they burned.

But the DUP isn’t just corrupt – it is nasty. The party has described climate change as a con.

It is against gay marriage and LGBT+ rights in general. It is the only political party in parliament that is determinedly anti-choice and pro-forced pregnancy.

Any support from the DUP will further slow attempts to get the 1967 Abortion Act to apply in Northern Ireland.


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