Jeremy Corbyn and Labour offered up a credible and competent alternative to the tired and failed politics of Conservatism and austerity.
They spoke for working people - facing the longest sustained squeeze in income in over 200 years, an erosion of their rights and faced to work in an environment where the "needs of the business" and the bottom line comes before the interests of the employee and their basic income.
They spoke for Doctors and nurses and stood up for or NHS, facing one of the worst squeezes in funding since its creation. Where Doctors and nurses are expected to work long hours with equipment shortages and pay freezes. Where waiting lists are growing and patients are languishing in trolleys.
They spoke for young people, facing mounting debts, insecure work, exorbitant house prices and now their futures further under threat by a Brexit they voted against.
They spoke for older people, now abandoned by the Tories who threatened to take their houses away.
Following this magnificent performance of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn in the General Election, Theresa May is now on political life support, dependent upon the DUP in a “ confidence and supply” pact. This zombie PM might not be there for much longer but this weak abomination of an administration might wobble on for some time.
“Confidence and supply” means that the DUP will keep the Tories in power by backing them on explicit confidence votes and on budgets and supply (government spending). In return, we imagine that the DUP will demand additional funding for NI –perhaps for the health service or aspects of infrastructure. It may also demand concessions on its own pet Orange issues around parading or legacy. The effects of the DUP on Brexit negotiations remains to be seen, but the DUP will not be representing the majority view in NI.
However, whatever few benefits the DUP may milk from the Tories, these will pale into insignificant comparison to the far greater benefits that a Labour government would bring to NI and the rest of the UK. And, if the DUP was not entering into this shoddy pact, then there would most probably have to be another GE which Labour would be favourites to win.
Substantial sections of the Conservative party are already uneasy with the prospects of the DUP tail wagging the Tory dog, given the DUP’s fundamentalist stance on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage equality. It may well be that this pact with a sectarian party will eventually collapse under the weight of its own contradictions. But we must do all that we can to hasten that day.
There is no doubt that developments at Westminster will play out badly in terms of attempts to revive the stalled institutions of devolved government at Stormont. The other parties will now rightly perceive the odds as being loaded heavily in the DUP’s favour and under direct rule NI will be governed by a Tory administration held over a barrel by the DUP.
Sinn Fein has condemned the DUP for going into this accord with the Tories, conveniently forgetting that they have been in government for years with the DUP, administering Tory austerity cuts and jointly campaigning for a reduction in Corporation Tax to a level below even that of Trump administration in the USA. Sinn Fein also stands with the DUP in opposing the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act into NI. Sinn Fein could help to bring down the Tories by taking their seats at Westminster. And when they blame the Tories and the DUP for making things worse in NI, they should reflect upon the fact that their actions have helped to create a Northern Ireland that is now more starkly polarised than ever.
LPNI wants Labour in power as soon as possible. We will monitor the anti-Labour policies of the DUP and we will fight them at every turn. We will do all in our power to bring down this Tory /DUP government; a government that is bad for the people of NI and the rest of the UK. We also look forward to there soon being Labour candidates in elections in NI, campaigning to deprive both the DUP and SF of votes.
Help us to achieve this and pledge what you can.