POSTPONEMENT of the Queen’s Speech by up to a week might not seem of huge moment in the grand scheme of things, but it underlines Theresa May’s loss of authority.
She is unable to stitch up a government programme because her Commons majority depends on the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which has a shopping list.
Most worrying is the likely effect on Northern Ireland’s peace process of a Westminster government, supposedly neutral and even-handed, handling the current Stormont executive impasse while looking over its shoulder to see if the DUP plans to pull the rug from under its feet.
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson claims to have secured a commitment from May that equal marriage in Britain will not be threatened by any DUP deal, but there never was any tangible threat to this in Britain.
The DUP doesn’t really care what happens this side of the water. This self-styled unionist party concentrates its concerns on the six counties.
It will retain bigoted opposition to equal marriage and abortion rights, sharing its narrow-minded prejudices with the Catholic hierarchy.
For all May’s reference to “friends and allies” in the DUP, there is no historic love between the Tories and the party founded by Ian Paisley to replace their allies in the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), previously known as the Official Unionist Party.