Fintan O’Toole: DUP’s crush on Britain will end badly

Conservative party thinks of England as it clasps Democratic Unionists to its bosom

DUP politicians Jeffrey Donaldson, Nigel Dodds and Emma Pengelly emerge from 10 Downing Street on Thursday after after holding talks with Theresa May. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

DUP politicians Jeffrey Donaldson, Nigel Dodds and Emma Pengelly emerge from 10 Downing Street on Thursday after after holding talks with Theresa May. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Dante and Beatrice. Quasimodo and Esmeralda. Cyrano and Roxane. Don Quixote and Esmeralda. These unrequited loves have great poignancy. But they’ve nothing on the tenderest, most poignant tale of unrequited love in our times, the tragically one-sided crush the DUP has on Britain.

It is one thing to be infatuated with someone who just ignores you. The unfulfilled love retains its bittersweet purity, its dreamy half-life of pure possibility. But the true tragedy occurs when your love is apparently consummated at last and you find that the loved one really despises you. The DUP has long dreamed of being wrapped fully in the warm embrace of the Tory world with which it strives so hard to identify. And now, miraculously, its moment has come. But the loved one is thinking of England, sneaking glances at her watch and praying “Oh god! When will this be over?”

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