It’s the usual story: I should like to be in bed, but just as I started to make tracks, MasterB, who has been feather hunting most of the evening while I tried to watch The Supervet, Noel Fitzpatrick, without crying (fail), decided it was time for him to go outside. Then we stood on the pavement for an eternity until he could be persuaded into the safety of the garden. There I left him and came indoors.
After The Supervet, Channel 4 had a programme I could not bring myself to watch about what it might be like if Donald Trump were to win the US presidential elections. Truly I can believe that western civilisation is on the rocks and terminal decline when a man such as Trump can be a serious (sic) contender for this job. Ditto that for BoJo as UK Prime Minister. Politics trivialised.
I did see an excerpt where Trump, or ‘the floss-haired one’, as he was described in the Guardian TV guide, declared that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose votes. Can you still run for President of the US when standing trial for murder? Or would his argument – and I use the term as loosely as he does – be that he doesn’t know the bullet killed the person, maybe they were dead before he fired. He has defended his aide who has been charged with bruising a journalist who wanted to ask Trump a question – imagine going into journalism and finding yourself having to do that; no wonder they call it Grub Street – by saying he doesn’t know if the bruises were there before, and that surely if the journalist’s arm had been gripped so hard as to cause a bruise he’d have expected her to cry out.
When I broke my wrist I didn’t cry out. Did that mean it was a fracture I had overlooked, and been carelessly walking and riding around with, but only admitted to once I had done my brief Superwoman flight and crash landed on the road?
His rhetoric about freedom and being ‘so great’ is being echoed this side of the pond by the Brexiteers who are painting an equally fuzzy picture of the UK’s greatness once unharnessed from the EU. Both Trump and the Out gang talk in woolly terms about freedoms, yet the underlying themes of their words are about exclusion, insularity, suspicion and repression. The wonder is that sections of our societies are lapping these speeches up; too lazy, too depressed or too stupid to look beyond the adman’s salespitch. It’s as though they are desperate to believe there’s a real Laughing Cow somewhere happily supervising the production of Babybel; that Disneyland is a real country and there is a human sized mouse called Mickey; that a shampoo because we’re worth it will transform our lives.
OK, maybe there is a real Vache Qui Rit, though I’m sceptical; I have never been to Disneyland and the idea of coming face to face with a giant mouse is not going to encourage me; but I do know that L’Oréal tests its products on animals, and that seems to me to be a fairly appropriate analogy for the shiny new world promised by dubious politicians. It’s like chocolate money; fake.
For years now we have been electing politicians following campaigns that have promoted style over substance; soundbites over reasoned argument; the electorate has steadily been discouraged from thinking and encouraged to vote for those with better teeth/permanent tans/sincerer smiles.
Trump and BoJo don’t fit into those categories and somehow they have managed to create the idea that they are thus more genuine, more like us, whereas they have just subverted the genre and come up with something equally disingenuous.
Vote for Noel I say.