By Dominic Dixey
The contrast could not have been starker. After weeks of hazy sunshine spent basking in the glory of our national football team, when Donald Trump visited our green and pleasant land its sense of national pride was instantly crippled by our political and media elite.
Theresa May has a remarkable ability to attract loathing and sympathy in equal measure. She is utterly incapable of delivering the Brexit anyone had imagined, and yet when squeezed into a corner by her own failings; everyone’s criticism withers pathetically into pity, and we get nowhere.
The media’s coverage of her nightmare week was absolutely appalling. It’s almost as if they feel the need to make up for May’s inability to stand up to Trump by doing it themselves- and what a pathetic hash they made of it. Any semblance of independence is shattered by their quite evident loathing of the man.
Theresa May has a remarkable ability to attract loathing and sympathy in equal measure.
Trump’s simple statement of fact that the Chequers proposal would likely kill a trade deal is treated as a threat by all major broadcasters, most of whom treated Obama’s “back of the queue” statement as a simple reality. Even though everyone knew at the time, and it has since been confirmed by Ben Rhodes, that it was a threat to the British people fed to the President directly from Number 10.
When Trump and May sat down for their opening remarks, the BBC opted instead to air the views of a few American expat children’s motivations for attending the protests. Their American mother looked on proudly as these 8-year-olds keenly rattled off like parrots all the reasons why they believed him to be racist and sexist. Hear! Hear!
Rather than simply report the actual news (two of the most powerful people on the planet meeting for talks) and let the ill-mannered orange toad speak for himself – we are constantly subjected to the weaselly ramblings of a completely irrelevant minority.
In Durham there was an utterly pointless protest at the Miners’ club led by Ian Lavery MP – himself another thoroughly unpleasant individual (an ex-football hooligan and someone who has drained money from the benevolent fund of the National Union of Miners for his mortgage). Donald Trump has probably never heard of Durham.
Further south and dominating newsrooms were the sandal wearing, blue-haired, vegan weirdos of Islington who define themselves by their opposition to hatred. Hear! Hear!
Reducing the debate to these oh-so-principled luvvies on one side, and the blinkered, greasy, keyboard warriors of the Trump Brigade on the other at the expense of the actual geopolitical issues serves no one.
The former are infantile and will never recognize anything good he does, or anything he says that is correct, and the latter stupidly believe all protest is invalid and hypocritical. Clearly it is perfectly reasonable to hold the President of the United States to a higher standard than the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, but he still talks sense on occasion.
Donald Trump is not a pleasant man. He is ruthless, amoral and almost completely self-serving. However, this does not make him stupid and it does not always make him wrong. It may not even make him a bad President.
Upon its release, Theresa May’s Chequers proposal was almost universally loathed. Brexiteers rightfully condemned it as a complete betrayal of the 17.4 million Leave voters. Remainers rightfully condemned it as a fudge. The Europhiles have now changed their mind as they see it as an opportunity to stay in the Single Market and Customs Union once Olly Robbins gets down to negotiating. They are probably right.
She is too weak to negotiate on behalf of our country and too weak to stand up to the likes of Trump as he tramples all over her, and in turn our nation.
Why is it, then, that when Trump points out exactly this in his interview with the Sun, he is greeted with widespread outrage?
Yes, it was rude. It was the height of bad manners and extremely undiplomatic to give such lavish praise to Boris Johnson right on the eve of the red-carpet welcome at Blenheim Palace. But we would do much better to take heed of his hard truths than simply sweep them under the carpet and continue this cringeworthy suck-up parade.
We pretend he’s talking nonsense but that we need still to be his best pal. Neither is true.
The fact of the matter is Trump does not need to be respected and he does not need to be seduced. The special relationship has always been a cultural one and, in the political sense, a bit of a mirage.
They want access to our markets for their food products and I have absolutely no confidence in Theresa May to negotiate (that is if her proposal allowed for this – it does not) anything beneficial for us in return. She is too weak to negotiate on behalf of our country and too weak to stand up to the likes of Trump as he tramples all over her, and in turn our nation. She really ought to go.
Photograph: Donald Trump and Theresa May via Creative Commons