UP early this morning and composing a thought or two before walking with friends. The conversation often wanders along a political path, so it is likely that Donald Trump will join us. Hope it isn’t windy or the president elect’s strange hair will fly all over the place.
Now that we have had a few days to absorb the news, it doesn’t seem any more absorbable. But there it is: the world is stuck with the Donald.
There are signs that the Conservatives see Trump as an opportunity, with reports this morning that Theresa May’s government is trying out its chat-up lines – “Britain’s plan to tame Trump” is the Sunday Times’ take on this.
I suspect we will now see plenty of people saying that they don’t see what all the fuss was about, and that Trump isn’t all that bad.
The truth is we just don’t know. We have no idea what sort of a president he will be. We do know that he said many hateful things during his campaign. So, the campaigning Donald is still much the fore of our minds, and if the shit-stirring, shin-kicking, insult-spouting Donald emerges in the White House, then we will know we are in trouble.
Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary – and there’s a notion that is still a foreign country to me – says Europe’s leaders must end the ‘whinge-o-rama’ over Trump’s victory. Stop the “doom and gloom” he says, because Trump is a “deal-maker”. Yes, Boris – but what does that mean? And do we want to be on the wrong end of a dodgy Donald deal?
Yesterday in my part-time job, I was editing comment pieces and other stories for the Irish Independent newspaper – Ireland’s Sunday Times, if you like. Smaller in scope, but still big in Ireland
Most of the commentators, and that newspaper has many, take the line today that the mainstream media and the social media hordes misread Trump completely, and that he won’t be that bad anyway.
Part of the explanation for this surprising tolerance, at a guess, is that the Irish government has been strongly anti-Trump, and the commentators don’t much like their government.
Protesters have taken to the streets in US cities to proclaim against their new president, in displays that are angry but futile. One poster caught my eye: something along the lines of “Make America Hate Again”, and that does sum up all the newly dug divisions in America.
I went on an anti-Brexit march through York after the referendum result. It was a civilised and uplifting congregation of the like-minded. Someone followed us shouting: “You lost, you lost…” A knucklehead for sure, but the knucklehead was right. Those of us who wanted to remain did lose. Being on the ‘wrong side’ seems to be the way if you are any sort of a liberal nowadays. The Hillary-supporting Democrats are discovering this in the States – and maybe what they are feeling now is what the racists felt when Barack Obama was elected.
The world just seems to be swinging the wrong way. Perhaps it will swing back one day. But it may need a big push.
Nigel Farage has been seen entering Trump Towers, apparently aiming to be the first British politician to meet Trump. What a disturbing thought, but at least those two deserve each other.
Farage is a sort of mobile irritant, who only comes to life when he has someone to annoy. His self-appointed role at present is to go around annoying our government by buddying up to Trump before Theresa May has even had a look-in.
I have other thoughts skull lurking. But it is time to find my walking boots. Perhaps the Wolds winds will blow away the darkness.