The Trump Blimp – did it do us proud?
Well what a week it has been. I have been basking in the sun of Marbella attending the wedding of a truly exceptional young couple who give you faith in the future. (More of Marbs and beach-wear blindness next week). But our escapism was occasionally punctured by news pictures from London, blimps, marches, shouting, helicopters and a rather rigid looking Theresa May at a joint press conference, looking sideways with that ‘don’t say another word, boy!’ look on her face. Why?
Donald Trump had come to town.
Now I am no Trumpeteer. Mr Trump has, in my opinion as a psychologist, a narcissistic personality. He is crass about women, he speaks before he thinks (and sometimes you assume he never stops to think back on what he has said); he changes with the wind and he puts Bloody Mary Tudor in the pale when it comes to dispatching people who do not chime with his evangelical belief in the Trump doctrine. The only difference is that he kills his version of heretics on twitter rather than at a stake and pyre. He is portrayed as stupid, when in fact, he is an extreme brinkman – pushing ahead and saying ‘yay’ when all the great and the good of politics say ‘nay’. He shouts uncomfortable truths and smashes diplomatic mores on the steps of The White House. Today his own party are up in arms and Republican Senator McCain has stated his meeting with Putin a ‘disgrace’. Mr Trump makes us very uneasy indeed.
We have a right to march, to state our beliefs, to raise out objections. Indeed, members of the Sassista Office tramped through London as I sipped my Margaritas. It is their democratic right. We have to uphold it.
However – and we cannot forget this – Donald Trump is a democratically elected Head of State of a country with whom we insist we have a special relationship. The country which saved our bacon in 1941 and whose defence spending as a percentage of GDP far outstrips all other members of NATO. So did we lose our dignity, our credibility as a tolerant nation, our reputation for parliamentary democracy and the right of free elections when we raised a 20 foot blimp of Baby Trump in a nappy? Or did we revert to a childish and crass image of our intolerance and prejudice towards someone many simply do not like? What would we do if a city leader sanctioned a blimp of Jeremy Corbyn in a mankini - or better an IRA balaclava?; if they put a blimped Obama in a baby-grow? Fellow Brits – we would be deeply offended. So, Mr Sadiq Khan, when you sanctioned the blimp, did you ever think that you were flying an effigy of hypocracy after stating ‘As Mayor, I have a zero tolerance approach to hate crime’? Did you even consider that other blimps were more appropriate targets of wrath? Such as leaders who kill, ethnically cleanse, maim and grow fat on profit. Maybe the following would have been more appropriate:
Vladimir Putin – who presides over a regime which has poisoned people on our land.
Aung San Suu Kyi – who presides, with a resigned shrug of her shoulder, over the rape of Rohingya Muslim women, the herding of their children to live like animals in mud camps and the house to house killing of their men.
Xi Ping as he legalises a lifetime hold over a country with a woeful record on human rights and population control.
Bashar al Assad as he blows and poisons his own people to bits.
Kim Jong-un – who starves his people in pursuit of nuclear Armageddon weapons.
Mbasogo – who tortures and, it is claimed, skins his enemies in Equatorial New Guinea. Though he has had himself declared a God.
Erdogan of Turkey terrorizing his people into a repressive dictatorship.
Al Bashir – overseeing ethnic cleansing and rape in Darfur. Estimated death toll – 300,000.
I could list and list. We could and should march against them all. However, they are at best ignored and at worst, tolerated because it is all too difficult or all too far away. But Mr Trump, being the man he is and unlikely to set his guns on us, is an easy target for hate and ridicule. Our leaders bent their back-bones in by sanctioning or failing to object.
Mr Kahn, you have not upheld the dignity of London or our pride in a long history of world diplomacy. You may be small of stature, but you should have been bigger of brain.