Saturday 18 February 2017

Throw Me a Bone - by Patrick Brigham

Old Mother Hubbard

Went to the cupboard,

To give the poor dog a bone;

When she came there,

The cupboard was bare,

And so the poor dog had none.

This is not a fairy tale, but a realistic account of Donald Trumps ascent into power, and the frightening consequences which might affect us all, which are beginning to appear on the horizon. To believe that President Trump is a tough guy, is a matter for conjecture, but what is certainly true is that he is not taken very seriously by many powerful world leaders, and – at the present moment – is currently being tested on his acumen, resilience, wisdom and foresight.

Demonstrated by the launching of an intermediate missile by North Korea, during the visit of Shinz┼Ź Abe the Japanese Prime Minister to the White House, from the blatant provocation, and the intended humiliation, it was clear to see that this tough guy stance was not being taken very seriously.

The lukewarm visit of Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada did not help much – to bolster Trumps constant image building – and in fact Trudeau’s statement that Canada had no right to criticize or condone the present US immigration policy, did precisely the opposite. In a beautifully timed reply to a journalist – during question time at the press conference – Canada’s attitude to the American Presidents Islamophobia, was made very clear.

Not only that, but his misogynistic views, and ‘good old boy’ attitude towards women, has even inspired John Bercow – the commons Speaker in the UK Houses of Parliament – to put a ban on Trump addressing the commons.

So, is Donald Trump a maverick, Mystic Meg, or just a loud mouthed fool? How is it that almost everyone in his cabinet seems to have a skeleton or two in their respective cupboards, and how was it that – prior to official appointment – his new head of intelligence, did such an unintelligent thing, and chatted over an open line to the Russian ambassador to Washington?

America has its own culture, and political culture, which it attempts to export all over the world. Always with a huge money content, many US companies are rarely far behind any government foray into other peoples countries or any regime change they might seek to provoke.

What people like Trump will never understand, is that might is not always right, and what we see in Europe today, is the expensive and damaging result of the Bush/ Blair attempt at the manipulation of the Middle East. In other words, the US dropped the bombs, and now Europe is in chaos, trying to tidy up the results.

And of course, while we are at it, let us consider the 2008 financial crisis – that most of us were affected by in one way or another – wasn’t it the Wall Street bankers who flooded the world with worthless paper, and the black hole in which to tip it?

All in all, it seems to me that we have very little to thank the US for in ‘modern’ Europe, other than as being a marketplace for expensive motor cars, and luxury goods, because the modern day tradeoff does seem to be a little one sided in my view. Although, this might also go directly back to the matter of culture, but with a small ‘c.’.

Americans rarely understand other peoples cultures, and wrongly assume that everyone either wants to be like them, or actually live in America. I can think of a long list of things I like about the US, but living there is not one of them.

Many of us can still remember how much the US did in Europe during the Second World War, and afterwards with the Marshall Plan. But then is then, and now is now. Trumps problem is that he may understand America – or how else did he get elected – but tinkering with other world powers will be his downfall, because, to the likes of Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, Donald Trump is currently no more than a TV personality.

This wonderful dog

Was Dame Hubbard’s delight,

He could read, he could dance,

He could sing, he could write;

She gave him rich dainties

Whenever he fed,

And erected this monument

When he was dead.

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Something for A Quiet Time- by Patrick Brigham

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