The Wicked Witch to visit Mr Toad
It has been announced that Mrs May (aka The Wicked Witch of Westminster) is to hop on her broomstick (or perhaps some aircraft or other) on Friday and pay a call on Donald Trump (aka “Mr Toad”).
It is, to say the least, somewhat ironic that the first European leader to visit the newly installed President of the USA will be the Prime Minister who has only just revealed her plans to take the UK (the 2nd biggest economy in the EU) out of the EU, and very likely thereby doing immense damage to both the UK and to the EU.
Before Trump took took the Oath of Office, the Financial Times had already taken a look at the President-elect’s trade policies: “Fate of free trade depends on the whims of Donald Trump – The US president-elect has bought into the idea that the global economy is a zero-sum game“. It reported: “But if there is one person who threatens to endanger this relative peace, it is Donald Trump. While many US presidential candidates have talked tough protectionist language on the campaign trail, Mr Trump’s rhetoric is different. The president-elect’s plans to impose huge tariffs on imports from China and Mexico and to rip up trade deals unless they are fundamentally renegotiated would be the biggest shock to world trade for decades.”
Likewise, this US analysis of the Trump Foreign Policy agenda is worth reading: “George Friedman – Donald Trump Has a Coherent, Radical Foreign Policy Doctrine“.
“It is therefore not clear that NATO as currently constituted is of value to the United States. The United States is liable for the defense of Europe. Europe is not liable for defending American interests, which today lie outside of Europe. Trump believes this relationship must be mutually renegotiated. If the Europeans are unwilling to renegotiate, the United States should exit NATO and develop bilateral relations with countries that are capable and are prepared to work with the United States in areas of its national interest in return for guarantees from Washington.”
“The same view holds true for Trump’s policy on foreign trade. It is not clear that the current international trade regime has benefited the United States. International trade is not an end in itself; it must serve the interests of each party. At this point in history, the primary economic need in the United States is to create trade relations that build jobs in the United States.”
“The terrorist threat cannot be defeated without overwhelming power being brought to bear on the Middle East. Living with terrorism indefinitely is not an option. Therefore, the United States and its allies must bring overwhelming force to bear. The United States is ready to work with any ally prepared to dedicate resources to this goal and to share risks. This includes Russia, which has an internal problem with Islamic terrorists and has significant capabilities it could deploy. Trump sees U.S. and Russian interests as coinciding.”
“For Trump, the key is to recognize that the Post-World War II period of multilateralism is over, and that continuing to act otherwise is harming the United States’ interests in multiple ways“.
Der Spiegel on line has this: “Donald Trump and the New World Order – The inauguration of Donald Trump heralds the arrival of a new world order. The West is weaker than ever before and rising American nationalism poses a threat both to Germany’s economy and the European Union“. It is an article well worth reading.
The Telegraph has this piece by Edward Lucas: “Trump and Putin: inside the world’s most dangerous special relationship“. The writer describes Trump’s approach to foreign policy as “thuggish, self-obsessed and ignorant to the point of caricature“. All in all, that seems to be a pretty fair assessment.
The Financial Times has this: “May set for ‘frank’ discussions with Trump on European unity – PM the first foreign leader to meet new US president“.
What will come out of Friday’s meeting between the Wicked Witch of Westminster and Mr Toad remains to be seen. The one good thing coming from the press this weekend was the inimitable cartoon by Martin Rowson in the Guardian:-
There are mutterings about a State Visit by Mr Toad.
Well, Her Majesty has been obliged to offer hospitality to some pretty obnoxious people since her accession in 1952. President Nicolae Ceaușescu and Madame Ceausescu of Romania in June 1978 were probably the nastiest – up to now.