Sucking Up to Mr Toad

Trump’s War on the World

Yesterday, Donald Trump took the Oath of Office and became the 45th President of the United States of America. The front pages of this morning’s UK papers all cover the event with, of course, the exception of the Sun – see the BBC’s The Papers page which also has links to the papers covered.

Edward Luce writes in the Financial Times: “President Trump’s speech puts the world on notice – Combative address will go down as a turning point in America’s postwar role” and he opines that this address goes down as “perhaps the most Xenophobic in US History“.

FarageTrumpThe Torygraph gives space to the dreadful  Nigel Farage: “Donald Trump’s inauguration proves our revolution is in full flow – I can’t wait to see where it goes next“.  The Torygraph also reports: “Nigel Farage will be made ‘unofficial adviser’ to Donald Trump, close ally says at glittering party overlooking White House” and the Guardian reports: “Nigel Farage to become commentator on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News – Former Ukip leader’s love affair with Donald Trump’s America grows as he lands political analyst role on US news channel“.   The Torygraph also has this story: “Revealed: Theresa May set to fly out next week to meet Donald Trump“.

So, the Wicked Witch of Westminster is to fly across the Atlantic to meet Mr Toad.  The Financial Times has this: “Theresa May to emphasise value of EU and Nato to Trump – Prime minister will urge new president not to undermine European unity“.   People may think this some kind of Orwellian newspeak:  the Brexit Prime Minister who wants to take the UK out of the EU urging the US president who is close to UKIP “not to undermine European unity“.

Paul Goodman, the former Conservative MP who is now the Executive Editor of the Coservative Home Website, has posted a  interesting view of the purpose of this visit:. “May’s tremendous task – to tame Trump” which includes the following:-

Donald Trump is like a man trying to reach a destination while using a faulty satnav.  He wants growth, but won’t get it sustainably if taxes are cut but borrowing is not.  He wants jobs, but these can only be guaranteed by competitive businesses, not tariff barriers.  He wants to combat Islamist terror, but won’t do so effectively if he conflates ideology with religion, as he did yesterday when he referred to “Islamic terrorism”.  He wants to “reinforce old alliances”, hopefully including NATO, but will weaken and potentially collapse them if his “new alliances” include Putin’s Russia……So much for his inauguration address yesterday.  In flavour, [it] was a UKIP speech, not a Conservative one – which is not surprising, because Trump is not really a Republican at all: that’s to say, a member of the cousin party to our own….May’s great task is to work with America’s mainstream Republicans in weaning Trump off protectionism and isolationism, and keeping the western alliance together…Maybe the idea of May taming Trump overstates our own place in the world….None the less, May must strive to get the best out of Trump”.

Mr Goodman has long been a Brexit supporter, so it is worth considering a few of the reader comments on this article:-

Mrs May needs to shun Trump and his economic and military nationalism.  If we all put our country first, buying and hiring only locally made items, international trade will collapse, as will living standards in all our nations.  This is the lesson of the 1930’s.  CH’s love affair with this populist nativism, whether wearing UKIP, Trump or Le Pen team colours, has gone on long enough. Its seductive, yet irresponsible to promote an ideology that pits us against one another and carries the double threats of greater inequality and poverty. There will be the lucky few at the top, reinforcing their distance from the rest of us, but by virtue of access, cronyism, tax law, and rent-seeking, rather than making the best products and services. And it will be the poor that pay for it: in the US case by losing their healthcare insurance, and coming next, cuts to food stamps and Medicaid to pay for tax cuts to the rich. Populism in practice will stick it to the poor, and exact a cruel punishment on their ignorance of economic theory

The “special relationship” is a figment of the right-wing imagination in the UK, it’s harking back to the war again, its rarely if ever mentioned by Americans. We have an affinity because of language as we do with Canada, Australia etc but that’s about it.
Listening to Trump “America First, America First” rhetoric I have to say I can’t remember a time when America didn’t put its own interests first.  Nothing wrong with that we all do to a greater or lesser extent but fools like Fox, Gove and Farage who are falling at his feet hoping we are going to get some fabulous free trade deal are delusional. Any deal we do get will be massively in America’s favour because they rarely sign deals that aren’t and in this case Trump knows the Brexiters are desperate for something.  I honestly dread to think what they will sign up to just so they can wave their bit of paper on the tarmac in front of the cameras.

Surely it’s the height of presumption and delusional to think its our job to “tame Trump!” Mrs May’s sole job in relation to the US is to look after our own interests and to stand up to the protectionist thinking which will in the end only make us all poorer. Quite ironically we actually will find that in terms of outlook on these issues we have far more in common with our EU friends than ever we will have with Donald J Trump.

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