The End of Trump

Like most people over the last days, I have been anchored to CNN, awaiting the results of the US Presidential election. Pitted against the Pumpkin-headed incumbent, Donald Trump, was the Democratic challenger Joe Biden. The result, according to polls before the election, were indicating a whitewash in favour of Biden, and although the favourite has prevailed, it hasn’t actually played out that way.

Trump, if nothing else, is a fighter. He’ll do anything and say anything to win. He doesn’t see himself as a loser. That moniker is set aside for lesser mortals, not the Don. This time, however, the American public have sounded the final klaxon on Trump’s Presidency, the first time a sitting President hasn’t been re-elected since George H. W. Bush in 1992.

There could be many reasons why the voters kicked Trumpism into the bin. The response to the present Coronavirus pandemic may be chief among them. His playing down of the problem, inactions and flippancy have resulted in over 230,000 American deaths to date. His language when referring to the virus has sometimes bordered on the ridiculous, calling it the ‘kung flu’ on occasions. But as we all know, his language is ‘beautiful’, not!

Over the last years his claims have kept many fact-checkers in work. Biden’s ascendency to the Oval Office must surely put some of those people out of work, adding to the rising unemployment roll in the US because of his policies.

His torrent of posts on social media, such as Twitter, have kept news cycles turning day by day. Often stating inaccuracies, or vindictively abusing opponents. Who, I wonder, will miss those morning Presidential outpourings, beyond Fox News viewers?

Trumps well-known misogyny and racism had been on display well before his shock election win in 2016. You just have to Google Trump’s words and reports churn out unendingly. I remember full well the taped conversation with Billy Bush released just before the election in 2016. How a woman could have voted for him after that, I have no idea. But many did, and probably did this time too.

For a candidate in 2016 he had a long history of racism. Even that didn’t stop him being elected. For a non-American it’s baffling to understand how the man’s past statements didn’t make him unelectable.

And his refusal to admit that Putin’s Russia didn’t meddle in his election victory, despite the assurances of his own officials, still didn’t dent his popularity too much. The idea that an American President would act like that would have the likes of Reagan turning in their graves.

Alongside the things I’ve mentioned above, and I’m by no means an expert on US politics, it will be the shear relentlessness I won’t miss. The last four years have been a whirlwind of Trump, Trump, Trump. Dominating the news cycles day in and day out with his crazy claims of collusion, outlandish behaviour, lies and complete disregard for America, its allies or the rest of the world: it’s been exhausting to watch and hear. Contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t tell it like it is, he tells you what he wants you to believe; that he is beautiful, and that the world is better with him at the helm. 

Well, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief. I can tell you that the world will be shot of Trump in January next year. The time for Trumps nationalism and insularity is over. The divisions in the US caused by Trump and his rhetoric must be healed. Of course, his influence will take time to wain but hopefully a more co-operative world will rise from his defeat. One where countries will work together on trade, climate change, peace and in other areas.

Biden and Kamela Harris, his Vice-President Elect, have to rebuild the trust that both American people and the world have lost under Trump. It’s a tall order. Let’s hope they’re up to it.

Labour’s New Start

Jeremy Corbyn has vacated the building. The slate is now clean!

Politically, we can move forward. No more can the right-wing press and their predominantly foreign paymasters lambast the whole Labour Party as being anti-Semitic, terrorist friendly, or woolly-jumpered pie-in-the-sky fantasists. Corbyn, for good, bad or indifferent has been bludgeoned from every pillar and post from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

The picture of Corbyn as some sort of anti-Christ has forever been imprinted in the nations psyche and judgement on his stewardship of the Labour Party has already been set in stone. The way he has been portrayed will not allow for a renaissance of Corbynism. 

You will have your own view on Jeremy Corbyn, but the fact of the matter is that he became unelectable. And that’s it, he’s gone!

With the election of Sir Keir Starmer as the new leader, the Party has a clean slate. The divisions that have rankled over the last five years under Corbyn now have a chance to heal. The Party owes it to itself to come together behind its new leader. And let’s be in no doubt, Starmer’s election mandate is far too big to deny him control of future direction and policy. Factionalism within the Party has to sit this one out, because the sooner Starmer gets down to the real work the better.

His first job is to put a competent Shadow Cabinet together that will hold the Johnson Government to account. For far too long Boris Johnson has got away with bluff and bluster, megaphone politics. Detail is not his forte. His legacy is already written, a disastrous withdrawal from the EU and a catastrophically inept response to Coronavirus. Starmer has to put this man forensically on the spot and force him to explain his every decision. Something his predecessor could never do, no matter how many emails he read from the public.

For me, Starmer has to pin down Johnson on specifics. When are supplies of PPE going to arrive in hospitals and Care Homes? When is testing going to be effective and widespread? When can we see the light at the end of this terrible tunnel? Until these questions, and others, are answered satisfactorily, Starmer needs to keep his distance from the Johnson Government. There should be no pacts, no leg-ups, no help. Just flat-out scrutiny.

It’s Starmer’s job to skewer the myth of Johnson and the Tory’s and put Labour and this country back on the road to recovery.

Stalag Britain

The following is an extract from Stalag Britain, a short story by A. P. Grozdanovic, that is available on Amazon Kindle…

’On this historic day, the twenty-six of June 2016, the British electorate has spoken,’ the news anchorman declared, ‘and it’s a definitive rebuff to the Remainers. The UK has turned its back on the Prime Minister and the European project. By a margin of 51.9% to 48.1% Brexit is now a reality. For some analysis on what this means, we’ll go over to Darren Reynolds, our Chief Political Correspondent, in Downing Street. So,’ the anchor momentarily paused in thought, ‘what does this mean?’

The camera cut to the reporter in Downing Street.

‘Put quite simply, Michael, no one knows. We can take a wild guess: market turmoil, factory closures, years of renegotiating trade deals, university funding cuts due to the number of foreign students falling. The list of negatives seems endless. 

‘But, of course, some will see this as scare-mongering. They say that this is the beginning of a whole new chapter in the relationship we have with the entire world, not just Europe. One where the British people decide for themselves what they want. From trade to immigration, from law to subsidies. And there are champagne corks popping across the country in celebration at this new opportunity.’

‘And what about the Prime Minister?’

The reporter gave a definitive, ‘He’s toast! The Prime Minister staked his whole political career on a referendum that many new he couldn’t win. Polling shows that not only were the electorate voting to leave the EU, they were also voicing their dissatisfaction with the government and its austerity package. Quite simply, he put himself in a no-win situation.’

The camera cut back to the studio.

‘Do I smell the whiff of resignation?’

The camera returned to Downing Street.

‘It’s more a stench than a whiff, Michael. Some say the Prime Minister won’t last the day.’

The camera cut back to the studio.

‘So that’s it, folks. Once Britain triggers its formal intention to leave the EU the countdown begins. Historic times indeed. Goodbye from us.’

To read more of Stalag Britain visit: