Of Chimps and Britons

Oour jocular title is to introduce two news items that are utterly unrelated — except that both will generate a lot of nonsense from creationists.

The first item is announced by this headline: Chimps are not people, cannot be freed from custody: New York court which appears at the Reuters website. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Chimpanzees do not deserve the same rights as people, a New York state appeals court unanimously concluded on Thursday, as it refused to order the release of two of the animals to a primate sanctuary. The 5-0 decision by the Appellate Division in Manhattan is the latest defeat for the Nonhuman Rights Project and its lawyer Steven Wise in a long debate over whether caged chimpanzees are actually legal “persons” entitled like humans to bodily liberty.

Is that case still alive? It seems that we wrote about it almost three years ago — see Oook, Oook — Chimps Lose in Appellate Court. Oh — it’s not the same case, just the same advocate — the Nonhuman Rights Project — this time on behalf of different chimps.

The Discoveroids are likely to jump on this. They’ve done so in the past because the concept of rights for chimps violates their creationist sense of “human exceptionalism”– see Discoveroids Oppose Frivolous Lawsuits.

Okay, that’s the first item. Now, from the Daily Mirror, a Labour oriented British tabloid published in London, we read: 7 nasty or awkward DUP beliefs that show their deal with Theresa May could be a coalition of chaos. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

A comparatively little-covered party in Northern Ireland has agreed to prop up Theresa May after she spectacularly failed to win a mandate from the British people. The right-wing Democratic Unionist Party ( DUP ) confirmed they’re set to back a Conservative minority government to help Mrs May maintain a fragile grip on power. That means they’d vote in favour of a Tory Queen’s speech and budget. But what could they demand in return?

The astute reader of the Curmudgeon’s blog will remember that we’ve had occasion to write about the DUP before. In Bathroom Pervert David McConaghie Is Sentenced, we quoted a newspaper that said:

A disgraced former aide to a DUP MP [Democratic Unionist Party Member of Parliament] who secreted a camera in the constituency office toilets for sexual thrills was jailed for four months today.

You’re probably thinking that just because one high-ranking member of the DUP was a freakish pervert, there’s no reason to condemn them all. Keep thinking that, dear reader, as we quote a bit more from the Mirror:

Here are some of the more controversial aspects of the party Theresa May has got into bed with – or things that’ll just be really awkward for her.

They then discuss several DUP policy positions which we’ll list here without the tabloid’s commentary:

1. They oppose abortion, even for rape victims
2. They’re anti-gay marriage
3. Some uncomfortable past links [with groups like Ulster Resistance]
4. Climate change scepticism
5. Creationism

We’ll skip items 6 and 7, because we never heard of them before. Here’s what the tabloid has to say about the DUP and creationism:

Creationism is pretty rare in the United Kingdom, but not unheard of among the elected politicians of the DUP. Last year the party’s Assembly member for West Tyrone, Thomas Buchanan, praised an event promoting the rejection of evolution among children. He told the Irish News: “I’m someone who believes in creationism and that the world was spoken into existence in six days by His power.” And the Caleb Foundation – mentioned above – is described as one of the leading creationist pressure groups in Northern Ireland. It pushed for creationist theory to be displayed at the Giant’s Causeway – and its chairman met none other than Arlene Foster, then tourism minister and now DUP leader, to discuss the request.

So there you are, dear reader. Chimps have no legal rights in the US, and creationists may have risen to power in the UK. At the end of our posts about McConaghie, we always gave this advice:

Avoid using the bathrooms at any creationist organization — that includes creationist politicians, creationist “think tanks,” creation museums and theme parks, and the church buildings of creationist denominations.

Now we may have to give that warning for the entire United Kingdom.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Of Chimps and Britons

  1. Curmudgeon has covered before some of the creationism in N Ireland on Giant’s Causeway, a formation of hexagonal or octagonal basaltic columns.
    But I can only say that secreting a camera has to be an extremely uncomfortable experience. DUP is a perfect audience for the worlds Hambos.

  2. Ross Cameron

    I welcome these far right groups coming into the limelight of power, DUP, Trump, Turnbull in Oz. The more people see them for what they represent, the sooner the world will roll over them. Creationism or religion in general, anti-climate change, anti-humanity, your days are numbered.

  3. Why do they call themselves “dupes”? Is that truth in advertising?

  4. Yes, the DUP are indeed the worst sort of knuckle-dragging social conservative Creationists–but I marvel that our Curmudgeon hasn’t also picked up on another fact about them: their economic policies are relatively ‘liberal’ (at least, as American conservatives understand that term). That is, the DUP oppose the proposed austerity measures (reductions in pensions and welfare benefits) that were part of the mainstream Tory manifesto. So, once again, politics makes for some strange bedfellows.

    I sort of hate offering this observation up to our Curmudgeon, but also sort of owe it to him…

  5. Eric Lipps

    “Liberal” as present-day U.S. right-wingers (I refuse to call these troglodytes and wackos “conservatives”) understand the term is any point of view which wouldn’t have been seen as backward-looking in 1859, when you-know-who published you-know-what.

  6. Dave Luckett

    As I understand it, the important thing about the DUP is that they’re the Orange Order evolved into a political party. That is, they’re largely descended from the Scots borderers transplanted to Ulster in the seventeenth century to be a scourge to the Irish instead of their neighbours, and they retain the same sullen intransigence, combatitiveness, and tribalism they brought with them.

    They elect ten or a dozen members to the 650 member Westminster Parliament, and also a simple majority to the Ulster (Northern Ireland) Regional Assembly. Because their roots are in the Protestant supremacy in Ulster, what they’re really for is the Union with Great Britain, no surrender, narrow sectarian religion, and boggar the Pawp. All else is pretty much incidental. It’s difficult to characterise them as “right wing” since they lack the element of small government and laissez-faire capitalism. They’re against abortion and gay rights for the same reason that conservative Christians in the US are against them – religion – but they don’t mind a bit of socialism and welfare spending, and they’re all for anything that’ll privilege Ulster, or more specifically, them.

    They’ll probably support the Conservatives in the Commons on anything but their hobby-horses. They want to retain open borders with the Irish Republic, because of the enormous convenience of trade and easy travel between them – the Republic is N. Ireland’s largest foreign market, and somewhere between 25 and 30 thousand people travel between them every day. But they do want out of the EU – largely because the European Court of Human Rights might rule for gay marriage and insist on access to abortion throughout the EU. They can’t have both an exit from the EU and an open border with an EU member state, though, and this will have to be explained to them simply and clearly, in words of one syllable, with pictures. And they probably still won’t get it, because the Orangemen are world supreme all-time champions at Not Getting Stuff.

    But the worst effect of an informal working coalition with the DUP is that they represent one of the actual belligerents in the Irish Civil War, which for some reason is politely referred to as “the Troubles”. The Good Friday accords were like the Korean truce – the sides agreed to stop fighting, but there’s never been a settlement, and it could start all over again. The UK and Irish governments agreed to broker and co-operate for on-going negotiations and to consult with the warring factions to find mutually acceptable compromises, but this will go down the toilet if the UK government is, de facto, partly run by the DUP.

    The best outcome I can imagine is that even the Tory front bench figures that this can’t work, the government resigns and there’s another election that results in a majority government. But soon. Now, in fact. Meanwhile, the EU Commissioners are cackling into their cognac.

  7. @ Dave Luckett: Excellent synopsis of current state of play in UK politics, and background and positioning of the DUP!

    I was living in London from 1973 and even missed the IRA bomb on the Baltic Exchange by an hour (it was thoughtfully detonated in the evening, after offices–including my own in a neighbouring building–had closed). And, because of their bombing on the mainland UK, it’s the IRA that mostly comes to mind when one thinks back on ‘the Troubles’. But I think its the case that the Loyalist paramilitaries (UDF and UDA) actually killed more folks than the IRA–though, of course, both groups were despicable and neither remotely excusable. But it’s hard to overlook the association of the DUP with the UDA…

  8. Michael Fugate

    DUP must be even more afraid given who the Republic of Ireland elected as PM.

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