Have the Tories been whipping the Democratic Unionist Party into shape before their annual party conference?
The DUP party conference took place on 25/11/17 in the La Mon hotel.
2016 v 2017
Arlene’s on Fire.
For those unfamiliar with the controversial events of last year’s DUP conference I’ll give you a quick insight. The 2016 conference also took place in the La Mon Hotel, in 1978 the same hotel was bombed by the Provisional IRA and 12 people lost their lives. This didn’t stop the DUP party conference breaking into song with, ‘Arlene’s on Fire.’ The party leader would go on to apologise.
Thankfully there was no inappropriate chanting this year – Also no dancing from Arlene which was a blessing.
The Flegs (For normal people, that’s Flags)
Every year at the DUP Party Conference the place could be mistaken for a UKIP rally or Britain First demonstration with enough Flegs to cover the full city hall. Usually the Flegs are on every seat as people arrive. This year though, the DUP waited until their guests had finished lunch before bringing out the Flegs. This likely to make people think they are a ‘normal’ political party and not just in it for the Flegs. (Strange, Flegs and the DUP are usually inseparable, perhaps they had a tiff.)
Boasting of a strong Executive
The DUP take any opportunity they have to boast and of course 2016 was no exception, they took full credit for the performance of the Executive, this time last year Arlene Foster told us, “Today, the Executive is functioning better than at any stage since the restoration of devolution in 1999.” – At this point the public didn’t know that £500 million of tax payer money was literally going up in smoke with the RHI Scandal. Perhaps Arlene’s on fire was a prophetic message? Anyway no boasting from the DUP about a strong executive this year, the executive has been practically defunct all year.
Money Money Money
In Northern Ireland and the Republic charging media to attend Party Conferences is unheard of and the DUP have never done this before. This year though they’re trying to claw back some of that £500 million that went up in smoke. Media were charged £150 and processed as observers if they submitted an application after 31st October. This process is more commonplace in Great Britain. The DUP declined to comment on why they had introduced the charges.
Come on Arlene
The party leader perhaps used the media fees towards her new hair stylist and make-up artist. The hair change is subtle, the make-up not so subtle, when you’re not only the most hated party in Northern Ireland but now in the U.K and getting bucket loads of attention you need to make sure you’re looking good. Still, you can’t sugar coat shite Arlene.
With the new look came a more refined personality, less awful jokes this year. I guess we can count that as a positive change? Arlene had us doubled over laughing with her humor last year, “Though I suppose we should be fair to the oppositions. They have managed two achievements, Colum has grown a beard and they’ve come up with the nickname ‘Marlene’ for the deputy First Minister and myself.” Ha Ha Arlene Ha Ha, almost as funny as all of those Cash for Ash memes we’ve come to love.
You may have noticed I was clutching at straws to find major changes in the DUP party conference but apart from toning down their patriotism ever so slightly and becoming more like the Tories, the DUP have not changed a bit. Still as bigoted, homophobic and sectarian as ever! We’re more likely to see May marching down Downing Street in a sash than seeing the DUP dinosaurs change..
To remind you of their past performances, here are some of my favourite DUP quotes.
I could not care less what people get up to in terms of their sexuality, that’s not a matter for me – when it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage – Arlene Foster
I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism. I think it is wrong. I think that those people harm themselves and – without caring about it – harm society. That doesn’t mean to say that I hate them – I mean, I hate what they do. – Ian Paisley Jnr
I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals trying to turn away from what they are engaged in. And I have met people who have turned around to become heterosexual.- Iris Robinson
The facts show that certainly you don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship … that a child is far more likely to be abused or neglected … in a non-stable marriage – Jim Wells