The DUP And Why You Should Care

The DUP And Why You Should Care

UK politics just got a whole lot messier.
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If you’re anything like most Americans you’re likely aware that our international ally the United Kingdom runs their country a bit differently from our own. They are a parliamentary democracy, a form of Western liberal democracy where the party that has gained an absolute majority of seats in parliament (legislature) forms the standing government and appoints its party leader as Prime minister. Once the Prime Minister is appointed he or she creates their cabinet by selecting active Members of Parliament, usually from their own party.

You are likely also aware (at least vaguely) of the fact that the United Kingdom just recently held a general election, the results of which have been both messy and impressive. Jeremy Corbyn’s leftist Labour Party made serious gains while the conservative Tories under Prime Minister Theresa May’s leadership lost quite a few seats in parliament. This shake up has not only caused the Tories to lose their standing majority, the entire basis of May’s ability to operate as the Prime Minister, but has caused what is known as a hung parliament. In a parliamentary democracy when the parliament is referred to as “hung” it lacks any one party with an absolute majority of the seats meaning that there is no party with the position and representation to form a government. Theresa May, unfortunately, has decided on a method to counteract this problem.

In order to create enough of a majority to form a fully functional governing body Theresa May and the Tories have made the decision to form a coalition with a right wing party out of Northern Ireland called the DUP. The DUP, or Democratic Unionist Party, holds just enough seats in parliament to help push the Tories back into a governing majority. So, the question must be asked, who are the DUP, and what do they stand for?


First and foremost the Democratic Unionist Party, currently headed by Arlene Foster, is a right wing group based in Northern Ireland and founded in 1971 on Protestant fundamentalist principles. Already this should be ringing alarm bells in the minds of those who recognize that, like in the United States, the governed citizens of the United Kingdom are a plurality of religious beliefs. Any government by one particular religious group is bound to discriminate against or at least ignore those that do not fall into their rigid system of ideals. Although they have loosened this influence slightly to try and bring socially conservative Catholics into the fold, this is still rather worrying. Thankfully the DUP are not the ones forming a government, they are simply a supplement to the waning Tories, but they get much worse than just playing religious favoritism.


These heavily conservative roots have led to a variety of problematic beliefs, actions, and statements over the years by the DUP and its members. One of the most commonly cited issues with the DUP is their historically bad record on women's reproductive rights. For example on the abortion issue they are so firmly against extending abortion rights to the women of Northern Ireland that even victims of sexual assault are not allowed an exemption. What makes this worse, however, is that they only begrudgingly allow abortion in cases where the woman's life is endangered and, when a UK High Court ruled that banning abortion for rape victims went against human rights the DUP elected to mostly ignore it.

Next come their unsurprisingly archaic views on the LGBT community. A quick Google search will present you with a variety of astoundingly absurd and offensive quotes ranging from calling gays "offensive and obnoxious" to saying "you certainly don't bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That child is far more likely to be abused or neglected." These statements are as bigoted as they are completely ignorant of fact, though the DUP's relationship to facts seems to be a bit rocky.

Their touch and go relationship with facts and information is on full display in the party's views on scientific matters. Although these things are not officially party policy climate change denial and Creationism have found a home amongst several of the party's governing members and, possibly, amongst their voting base. Just like with their rather nasty quotes on LGBT issues a Google search is well worth it for more in depth examples and breakdowns of these problematic views.

Now why exactly should you, as an American, care? It isn't our country's election, we have enough craziness going on in our own government right now as is, and the DUP are not the powerful party in this new coalition. So what exactly about this coalition is so wrong? Well, firstly by allowing the DUP representation in an empowered government coalition they are being given a stage to attempt to validate their views and policies. They are also working alongside the Tories, a party of dangerous conservatism that has allowed privateering in the National Health Service and that has worked to consistently undermine the middle and working classes. This is an unstable match, one of dangerous, mismatched ideals, and if it continues it will be the government moving to negotiate Brexit with the European Union. Without a strong, intelligent governing body that is sure of its demands and working for the benefit of the middle and working classes first and foremost the negotiations could become historically disastrous.

Cover Image Credit: getty images

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

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Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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That One Time I May Have Shot An Ex-Police Officer

Yeah, you heard me.

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In England, we don't really have guns, maybe hunting guns but I think it's pretty rare. Anyway, point is, barely any guns. I have never seen a gun, shot a gun, I don't even know anybody that owns a gun so as an exchange student in Oklahoma it's a novelty to visit a gun range.

I was pretty nervous about shooting but the instructor was super nice and told us how to hold the gun and load it before we went into the range. He also let us ask any questions we had about guns and explained the process of getting a gun in Oklahoma and he said he had visited Europe and was talking about England, and how he used to be a cop and opened his own gun shop. Basically a really really nice guy, which honestly makes harming him ten times worse.

We went into the range and we were shooting a 22 caliber and another guy at the range, I'm assuming a regular, asked if we wanted to fire his revolver so of course, we said yes.

This gun was definitely heavier and the trigger was super hard to pull but he kept his hand on the gun whilst I struggled with the trigger and then I fired it.

I heard a bang and I heard a yell.

I turned around and he was holding his thumb and there was blood dripping onto the floor. At this point, I thought I had shot him, so you can imagine the sheer level of panic that I was feeling.

The color drained from my face and I was frozen solid and all I could say was, "are you okay?" which was answered with a "Ma'am, put the gun down."

Basically, I'm freaking out and I look over at the lads for some form of reassurance, which was met with them looking equally as freaked out as me. So I asked,

"Do we need to call someone?"

"Yep. We are definitely gonna have to call someone"

So at this point, my nerves were shattered and I had no idea what was going on or what the procedure is for this sort of thing. I mean, the guy also took it like a champ and barely even winced and kept repeating "little lady, you're fine" – safe to say I did not feel fine nor did the situation, in my eyes, look at all fine.

Luckily the regulars knew what to do and took him to the ER so we were left in the store with another regular shooter.

Everyone else went back out to shoot but I didn't feel like assaulting/ shooting/ potentially murdering anyone else so I decided to sit this round out and talk to the woman that stayed with us and he called and said it wasn't me, something came off the bullet or gun and went into his hand- so no I didn't actually shoot him and he was going to be okay.

The point of this now very funny story is that whilst guns are cool they're also pretty dangerous.

I have no idea how someone can participate in these mass shootings because I didn't even shoot someone, only thought I did, and it was probably the most terrifying moment of my life.

So, if you are around guns, have fun, be safe and try not to send your instructor to the ER.

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