The DUP leader gets called out for hypocrisy, but it’s hardly the first time
While reports of the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) hypocrisy are common, it just got called out for taking hypocrisy to a whole new level.
Standard DUP hypocrisy
On 9 October, DUP leader Arlene Foster repeated her “red line” threats:
Arelene Foster: "There is only one red line… when we are treated differently from the rest of the United Kingdom"
DUP leader on Northern Ireland and #Brexit after meeting EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels https://t.co/ydnFK4QnbM pic.twitter.com/gaKxxdOVIO
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) October 9, 2018
The reaction online was swift:
Ah yes… exactly the same. Courtesy of the Blame Game pic.twitter.com/aM699NJH1k
— tom white (@meenaghman) October 9, 2018
Quite right, Arlene Foster! Northern Ireland cannot be treated differently from the rest of the UK! It’s a red line*!
*except for abortion rights, gay rights, employment law, electoral funding etc etc https://t.co/EzH99lLGVt
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) October 9, 2018
A new kind of DUP hypocrisy
But Foster’s demands highlighted a new kind of hypocrisy. And this time it’s the government’s backstop plan. This plan attempts to prevent a hard border between the north and south of Ireland after Brexit. So Foster demanded to see the legal text of the plan:
What we need to see is the legal text.
And this left social media users confused. Because they wondered why Foster suddenly wanted to read legal text. After all, she admitted to not reading legal regulations governing a renewable energy scheme in her department. As The Canary previously reported, this scheme could cost the taxpayer over £700m. And it’s currently before an inquiry.
Sinn Féin politicians took to social media to point out the blatantly obvious:
Arlene Foster is in Brussels demanding to read the text of any Brexit deal. When asked at the RHI Inquiry if she had read the text of the RHI regulations before asking MLAs to vote for them she said “No. No, I didn’t…..I didn’t read the regulations.” pic.twitter.com/acCRXHFBwg
— John O' Dowd (@JohnODowdSF) October 9, 2018
Arlene Foster in Brussels today demanding to see legal text of backstop – she must have recently taken up habit of reading legislation #RHI
— Chris Hazzard (@ChrisHazzardSF) October 9, 2018
Others pointed out the hypocrisy of Foster taking so long to decide:
I love the way Arlene Foster says she needs to see the text of the deal BEFORE deciding. Yet the rest of us had to decide 2 YEARS AGO, before any sign of a deal.
— Peter Young (@peternotyoung) October 9, 2018
DUP represents a minority
As the DUP is confined to Northern Ireland it represents a tiny minority of voters in the UK. Social media users reminded us it also represents a minority Brexit view in Northern Ireland.
The population of the UK is estimated at around 66 million people with just around 1.8 million people in Northern Ireland. And it’s important to remember that almost 56% of Northern Ireland voted to remain. More recently, as reported by The Canary, a survey showed an increase in support to remain in the EU.
But luckily people on social media responded quickly:
Who is Arlene Foster speaking on behalf of? Does Arlene Foster forget that she’s not the First Minister and The North voted to remain? Who is she representing? Certainly not The North.
— Gary (@GaryBelfast1888) October 9, 2018
Theresa May's boss, Arlene Foster is heading to the EU to negotiate 'blood red lines' for a Brexit deal. The DUP leader represents 13% of Northern Ireland and much less than 1% of the UK. This is deinifely NOT taking back control… #BrexitShambles #StopBrexit pic.twitter.com/rC6aT5eX4D
— StrongerStabler (@StrongerStabler) October 9, 2018
And they noted that Foster leads a party absent from government in Northern Ireland for almost two years.
Get them out
As the DUP supports Brexit and props up Theresa May’s government, it’s holding British people to ransom. In addition, its Brexit position is both hypocritical and in the minority. The British people deserve better leadership.
– Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.
– Demand marriage equality in Northern Ireland.
– Stop paying politicians in Northern Ireland while Stormont is suspended.
Featured image via Sebastian Fuss/Flickr & Northern Ireland Office/Flickr
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