Democratic Unionist Party
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The Democratic Unionist Party, founded in 1971 by Ian Paisley, are a far-right political party in Northern Ireland, which is the largest in that country, which is enough to make any sane human being shit their pants.
They are violent, sectarian, fundamentalist, creationist homophobes with a long history of crossing from terrorism to police to military to politics and back again, and they're just as responsible for supporting paramilitaries as Sinn Féin. Given their policies on LGBT rights, abortion, environmentalism and sectarianism, one may get the justified impression all they exist for is to purposefully try to fuck up life for everyone and society as a whole.
More people outside NI learned of them after the 2017 snap election, when Theresa May bungled her majority and was forced into a coalition with the DUP. The DUP was an anchor around the neck of the Tory government, but the Tories needed them on their side to guarantee a strong position in NI, and after the 2017 election to form a government at all. (After the 2019 election, Boris Johnson absolutely no longer gave a hoot about the DUP's concerns.)
That the DUP is full of creationists is the least bad thing about them.
The party has long been an advocate of homophobia; in 1977, when the Northern Ireland troubles were at their peak, Paisley launched the "Save Ulster from Sodomy" campaign to prevent decriminalization of male homosexuality in the country. However, in 1981, The European Court of Human Rights ruled the law to be unconstitutional in accordance with their code of conduct. So, Ian was God's most incompetent prophet, a bloody dead loss.
Since 2012, the party have ruled against marriage equality on five occasions. Their main rival, Sinn Fein are an advocate on this position. In November 2015, the majority of the Northern Ireland assembly voted in favor of same-sex marriage, however the Democratic Unionist Party filed a petition of concern to prevent the bill from having any effect.
The party is also infamous for their stance against abortion (which is hilarious as many members have been involved in Ulster Resistance). DUP MLA (and former Health Minister) Jim Wells stated he stood against abortion in cases of rape.
Although not all of them are outright Climate Change Denialists, their Minister for the Environment has blocked any local targets for greenhouse gas reduction on the grounds "I am content with the plans currently in place or being developed that will reduce our emissions further and, in these circumstances, I currently see no need to introduce a Northern Ireland Climate Change Bill."
The party have advocated for Britain's departure from the European Union. On the other hand, being Northern Irish, they do support free movement and travel (most of them not wanting to restart the Troubles).
Ulster Resistance was a paramilitary group founded in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Agreement that attempted to bring the terrorism to an end. It was launched at a 3000 strong invitation only meeting chaired by then-Press Officer Sammy Wilson, with DUP founder and leader until 2008 Ian Paisley and deputy leader Peter Robinson (who succeeded Paisley as leader from 2008 until 2015) present and giving speeches at the launch. Ulster Resistance worked with the UDA and UVF to illegally import arms to Northern Ireland, and funded themselves with a bank robbery and stolen weapons technology sold to apartheid-era South Africa. After gunrunning and stealing weapons technology the group faded into the background although as late as 2007 were claiming they had nine divisions. Because of course they do.
The DUP of course have ties to most of the loyalist paramilitary groups that they did not themselves set up, and these ties are still ongoing; in June 2017 DUP leader Arlene Foster was criticised for meeting with the UDA leader just days after one branch of the UDA apparently killed Colin Horner in front of his three year old son.
Famous members of the DUP
The DUP is notable for the quality of its membership. To save space only members of the DUP who either are or have been MPs, Members of the Northern Irish Assembly, or the leader or deputy leader have been listed; this is only scratching the surface and there is more. Even the conservative-leaning The Times has done a feature on some of their choice quotes.
- Ian Paisley, the founder and leader of the DUP from its founding in 1971 until he resigned in 2008, is
insanenotable enough to have his own RationalWiki page.
- Peter Robinson, the DUP leader from 2008 to 2015, was of course a speaker at the founding of Ulster Resistance. He personally led the Clontibret invasion, invading the village of Clontibret in the Republic of Ireland, vandalising it, and beating up a couple of cops until more arrived to run him off. He is, of course, a homophobe, and the husband of Iris Robinson, whose scandal is summarised below.
- Arlene Foster has been leader of the DUP since 2015. Most notable for having been the minister to set up the Cash for Ash scandal, in which her party was responsible for losing almost £500m (see below). She has also effectively vetoed any legalisation of gay marriage or abortion in Northern Ireland. Younger than most of her colleagues, she seems every bit as hardline but less tied to their past.
- Sammy Wilson was of course the chair of the rally that founded Ulster Resistance shortly before becoming Lord Mayor of Belfast. When, in January 1994, the UDA released a plan for ethnic cleansing of Catholics if the British Army left Wilson called some parts of the plan a "very valuable return to reality", and called Irish a "leprechaun language". He became Lord Mayor of Belfast again round the turn of the Millennium and for the duration a website was immortalising some of his most interesting quotes; it can still be found at the Wayback Machine and Wikipedia quotes "The GAA is the sporting wing of the IRA"; "I don't care if [gays] are ratepayers. As far as I am concerned they are perverts"; "Taigs don't pay rates"; and "They [Sinn Féin voters in the Oldpark area of Belfast] are sub-human animals". He's a global warming denialist, and blocked a green ad for this reason, which, of course, meant that the DUP considered him a suitable Minister of the Environment in 2008.
- Iris Robinson the wife of Peter Robinson, and an MLA member in her own right, the 60 year old Iris was revealed to have been involved in an affair with a 19-year-old boy. Iris Robinson had been noted for her homophobic comments prior to the scandal, referring to homosexuality as an "abomination". Funny considering it was said by Wendy from Breaking Bad.
- Edwin Poots and Jim Wells What job would you give to an openly homophobic Young Earth Creationist? And then replace him with another openly homophobic Young Earth Creationist, the second one of which opposes abortion even in cases of rape? Those of you who said Education Minister, good try but Sinn Féin has almost always supplied the Education minister, education seemingly being low priority for the DUP. Those of you who said Health Minister, spot on!
- Ian Paisley Jr; Ian Paisley's son is an MP and a chip off the old block who claims that "dissident Republicans should be shot on sight". He has also said that "I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism. ... those people harm themselves and, without caring about it, harm society."
- Maurice Mills, MBE. Normally picking on a councillor would be considered nutpicking, especially in the DUP - but this noted homophobe has an MBE. He blamed the AIDS virus on the "filthy and abominable practice of sodomy." In 2005, he gained more infamy as a zealous nutcase when he stated that Hurricane Katrina was Yahweh's punishment for homosexuality.
Cash for Ash scandal
The Cash for Ash scandal (more formally known as the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal) is in many ways far more trivial than most of this page; the DUP set up a scheme by which people would be reimbursed for using renewable energy on heating. Unfortunately the scheme offered to pay £1.60 for every £1 spent on heating, they put no cost controls in place, and there was nothing preventing previously unheated properties being heated under the scheme. This scheme, set up by Arlene Foster, and with DUP insiders benefiting was a large enough scandal that it ended up bringing down the Assembly in January 2017 in addition to costing the assembly almost £500 million.
- See the Wikipedia article on Same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom § Proposed legislation.
- See the Wikipedia article on Abortion in the United Kingdom § Political party positions.
- DUP to recommend leaving EU to voters 20 February 2016 BBC News.
- http://dev.mydup.com/images/uploads/publications/DUP_Wminster_Manifesto_2017_v5.pdf DUP Manifesto 2017
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1989/08/28/international-arms-merchants-stock-both-sides-in-n-ireland/6a8e61de-2eee-463e-b416-810936eba8dd/?utm_term=.ce479cf47ebc INTERNATIONAL ARMS MERCHANTS STOCK BOTH SIDES IN N. IRELAND - Washington Post, August 28, 1989
- https://web.archive.org/web/20071120232610/http://www.sundaylife.co.uk/news/article2640640.ece Belfast Telegraph, June 10, 2007
- Staff. "Theresa May’s new allies in the DUP on LGBT rights and peace in Northern Ireland". The Times. 12 June 2017. (Subscription required).
- Wood, Ian S. Crimes of Loyalty: A History of the UDA. Edinburgh University Press, 2006. Pages 184–185.
- "TUV sorry for 'leprechaun' slur". BBC News. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- See the Wikipedia article on Iris Robinson scandal.
- See the Wikipedia article on Peter Robinson (Northern Ireland politician).
- See the Wikipedia article on Abortion in the United Kingdom § Political party positions.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7571688.stm Paisley defends lethal force call, BBC News, 20 August 2008
- "Row over 'repulsive gays' comment". BBC News. 30 May 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- New Year Honours: DUP politician Maurice Mills who blamed Hurricane Katrina on gay people awarded MBE by Queen 02/01/2015 Belfast Telegraph.