Friday, June 13, 2008

Have DUP Paved Way for Nationalists Future?

Iain Dale, that'll be the Tory one rather than my Scottish colleague and friend, raised an interesting quandary over the Democratic Unionist Party's support of Labour in the lobbies on Wednesday night.

If the as yet unsubstantiated rumours that some deal has been done, no matter how surreptitiously, could it help the nationalists? No, not the SDLP or Sinn Fein but the Scottish variety.

Like the DUP the SNP lead a devolved executive within the UK. Like the DUP the Scottish Nats are seeking leverage over financial packages for their part of the union. So what happens if at some point in the future Gordon Brown needs more than the 9/10 Unionist votes to secure a crunch vote? What if Alex Salmond makes an approach to Gordon to shore up what he needs and names his price?

If Gordon has as he said yesterday not made a deal with the DUP he can stand up to Alex, however if it comes to light that some preferential treatment is heading the way of Northern Ireland how can he turn down some quid pro quo concession to Scotland.

Could it be after years of defending the Union and standing up to Nationalism that in one moment of seized opportunism the DUP have manged to aid the process that may unravel the Union that they hold so dear? We live in interesting times, and will look out for developments.

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