Steve Allen brings you the latest from the newspapers as you wake up.
14 November 2016, 13:27
David Mellor makes the case for Theresa May putting Nigel Farage in the House of Lords. Arise Lord Farage?
Theresa May has apparently rejected the idea of using Nigel Farage as a go-between with Donald Trump. Wrong, Theresa. In the immortal words of Talleyrand, “worse than a crime, a mistake”.
Farage has a special relationship with the Big Apple’s Big Orange. Why not make use of it? And, whatever he may say, Farage would welcome it.
To put Nigel in the Lords, as your special envoy to President Trump, would give Nige the get out he’s looking for. He’s bored sick with Ukip.
Who wouldn’t be? He knows the party will implode without him, and is already doing so. So he needs rescuing, and you need him to make sure Trump offers you a soft landing in Europe. So give the guy a call. You know it makes sense.
Already, Brussels has been rocked back on their heels by Trump’s anti-NATO stance. And in one sense he’s right; the Americans do bankroll NATO to the tune of 70% of its budget. And even though that isn’t done for altruistic reasons – it’s to protect their own interests - it is nevertheless, as perceived from the top of Trump Tower, a bit outrageous.
Shocking Juncker and his mates is the best thing any American President could do for us, and a welcome change from Obama consigning our special relationship to the back of the queue. If Donald is going to put us up front, well done him.
And if Nigel Farage can help achieve that, well done him too.
The danger of course of not embracing Nigel, is that Nigel will go native. Already there are threats of him pointing out to Trump that this Tory government speaks with a forked tongue about enthusiasm for his Presidency. Nigel is a better friend than an enemy, Theresa. Please, show a bit of imagination, and bring him in to your big tent. Just because a big tent was Blair’s idea, doesn’t make it a bad one.
Apart from a nice cuddle with Nigel in the beautifully downplayed foyer of Trump Tower, that looks a bit like Posh Beckham’s bathroom, it hasn’t been a great few days for The Donald.
Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities charted the self-destructive course of a Wall Street “Master of the Universe”. Now for the follow up; Bonfire of the Promises, where an orange, blingy billionaire lies his way to the White House on false pledges, and spends four years breaking them, thereby destroying himself.
Because already that’s where we’re at, and Trump hasn’t even been inaugurated yet.
The pledge to immediately abandon Obamacare has been chucked, and same-sex marriage is now okay with The Donald. Next to go, the Great Wall of Mexico, one suspects.
But if he’s got any sense it will be the 45% tariff on Chinese goods, which Beijing has already denounced as the thoughts of a “naïve fool”.
China talks about hitting the China/US trade relationship, but the biggest way they could harm Trump is to withdraw their support for the US deficit, which China shores up.
That deficit is already huge, and can only get bigger under Agent Orange, because of his reckless pledge to dramatically expand infrastructure spending, whilst at the same time reducing taxes.
Which brings me to an amusing irony. The man who clawed his way to power as an anti-establishment candidate, deploring the lying ways of professional politicians, may turn out to be the biggest liar of the lot, as campaign pledge after campaign pledge is unceremoniously dumped.
And, of course, in order to even create the semblance of an administration, Trump has to turn to some of the most discredited insiders even Washington has ever produced. Like Newt Gingrich, likely to be rewarded with a big job, despite having a back history that makes Bill Clinton look as pure as the Fairy on the Christmas Tree.
Is fact stranger than fiction? Read the Bonfire of the Vanities, and then look at Trump. I know what I think.