Ring-a-ring o' roses,
A pocket full of posies,
We all fall down.
There are many, many interpretations and definitions of the nursery rhyme Ring-a-ring o' Roses and the biggest urban legend being that it refers to the plague, specifically to the Great Plague of London. An interpretation dismissed by many folklorists.
But when we consider the political rats and their parasitic pilgrims that currently infest Downing Street perhaps folklorists should revise or amend their dismissive attitude.
Just like crocodiles and returning for more, Theresa May abruptly dispelled any notions of such behaviour from the DUP when she candidly informed them in her own particular direct and forked-tongue fashion that there was now every chance that Britain was heading for crashing out of the EU rather than a negotiated settlement.
Not waiting for the penny to sink in she went on to describe the likely implications of such a fractured departure will have on the Union. It certainly wasn’t going to be benign what with the Scots already stomping out of Westminster and it would most likely spell the end of the Good Friday Agreement. Basically, if there was to be a border poll that the DUP shouldn’t be under any illusions that they would win it. Hard, brutal and to the point, May was simply reminding the DUP that they needed to bite the bullet, put the bibles away and get Stormont back up and running again if they wanted to avoid such a scenario.
And so to overcome this doomsday scenario May encouraged her fleas to seek restitution with all those who they have previously viciously bitten and scarred with contempt and disdain in the hope that they can convince them that their future lies best within the UK and specifically with the DUP in charge locally.
And so, off they went on their charm offensive beginning with Robinson’s inaugural speech for his Honorary Professorship from Queens. A speech that clearly set out that Unionists and specifically that the DUP would need to give a lot, quite a lot, such as equal rights whilst at the same time receiving something minor in return if they wanted to restore Stormont.
A mention of agreeing a little minor insignificant issue of a generation border poll. The flesh on the bones of such being fattened with more variables than just a yes or no vote, unlike Brexit, which the DUP fully endorsed, and that it couldn’t simply be a +1 vote...a case of the DUP fearing May's words of doom may come true and stacking the cards in their favour!
A call that was fully approved by the DUP hierarchy as they sat in the front row and dutifully applauded their auld maestro's speech, carefully written by them for him! Now that it was out it was time to move on.
In the meantime while Arlene and the DUP were fermenting their upcoming about face, Fermanagh GAA had succeeded in reaching the Ulster Championship final. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, they were congratulated by Foster on their success and described by her as her fellow ‘county men’ but not all the time especially when her father would have held them at checkpoints going to and from such games! But those days are behind us now. A comment that caused many a GAA supporter throughout the 9 counties of Ulster to remark, ‘what the fuck!!!’
Nonetheless, a comment that after the initial shock had calmed was reciprocated with an invite to the final and she has hinted that if her diary is free she may very well attend......so far the DUP olive branch was being well received.
Having finished wooing the Fenians Foster left the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and away from the shops, headed back to Belfast to take up an invite from the Muslim community at their celebration of Eid marking the end of the Muslim Holy month, Ramadan.
Arlene, not wanting her loyalist brethren to feel left out agreed to a henna tattoo made up of 1690 and ‘no surrender’.....unlike she and her brethren, it will fade away over time.
Another community once scorned and now ticked off the DUP bucket list, she next has announced that she will later meet with the LGBT community at Stormont at an investor event. What she failed to announce is that she wasn’t invited by the Rainbow community but the investors....never mind, she’ll be there!
A sharp change in direction by the DUP that could see David Simpson, DUP MP, being re-instated in to the Orange Order and the Royal Black Institute having been initially ejected for his extra-marital affair with a close female (no rainbows over Portadown mate!!!!) friend of the family and while moralising to the general public on good ethics –and all founded on old school DUP policy too....policies now confined to the dustbin of history...well, for a while anyway.
So what is there to make of Arlene and the DUP's sudden about face? Couple all this with Theresa May's promise of £20b for the NHS, a dividend ridiculed by a senior Tory as ‘tosh’- Sarah Wollaston, the pro-EU Chairwoman of the Commons Health Committee and how this money will become available has yet to be properly explained by any member of May's cabinet, one gets the feeling that a British general election could be on the horizon!
Meanwhile elsewhere two other plagues were meeting, Trump and Kim Jung-un to discuss denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Apparently the meeting was a success and Kim has agreed to de-nuke while Trump has agreed to stop the war games at Kim's border. Trump applauded Kim for his willingness to negotiate and has apparently been nominated for Nobel Peace prize...Trump that is, not Kim.
Trump did remark that he wished to emulate Kim in his ability to have his people’s full attention when he spoke.....well, I suppose, the alternative option of being strapped to a filed mortar and fired into oblivion, can make most people sit up and pay attention!