Of the Supervet, Trump, BoJo and the Brexiteers

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.

Sweet dreams.

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15 thoughts on “Of the Supervet, Trump, BoJo and the Brexiteers

  1. We were at a neighborhood picnic tonight and the woman sitting across from me said that “at least Trump tells the truth”. I was breathless for a minute and then explained to her how people have been fact-checking his claims (mostly about how great he is) and everything he says is a lie. I probably didn’t make a difference in how she believed but I couldn’t be quiet. I really don’t believe he will win because there are too many in power who are working to stop him. And in the general election, those who support him are actually a small part of the actual electorate.

    • I was distracted by the word picnic. We are nowhere near picnic temperatures yet. I can well marine your breathlessness. I am surprised you didn’t need an ambulance. I am glad you believe he won’t win. Are you referring to the Republican nomination or the Presidency? Even on this side of the pond I am feeling rather Trumped out. My thoughts are with you.

      • Thanks – After yesterday when he said the abortions should be illegal and thus women who obtain them should be punished (in the next hour he changed his position twice) there are questions about whether the tide will change for the Republican nomination. I was referring to the presidential race and my analysis is because his actual support base is relatively small. There are large groups of the general population who he has offended – like women. I have a really hard time listening to Trump because he is so uninformed and free associates and is so damned arrogant. I am enjoying the political analysis going on this year. I have the TV on frequently during the day listening to how very bright and informed people are making sense of it all. Unfortunately I am having trouble figuring out who to vote for – although it would never be Trump for Cruz. I am a liberal to moderate on the major issues. I am an independent thinker and thus an independent voter.

        • I do feel from this distance that your elections are like wars of attrition. Which ever candidates are still standing by the end of the very long lead up getting voted in by which ever of the electorate who are still awake.
          There was a Reublican woman reporter interviewed on the news tonight who claimed everyone who has ever met Trump loves him.
          It’s a scary old world we’re living in.

        • I heard that he is very charming at social events but that doesn’t make him a good president. It is becoming much more evident that his depth of understanding of issues is very shallow and of course he is a bully and an egomaniac and a compulsive liar. Cruz is as scary as a candidate.

  2. I agree with Pat – the people who loathe him far outnumber the devotees. But I have colleagues who fear – I truly mean fear – Hillary and are resigned to voting for him if he is the nominee of their party. Isobel, the party is just getting started over here. It will get much much worse. Some spectacular, and probably spectacularly awful, event is going to happen before this election finally comes to ground.

    Realizing that your political institutions don’t work the same way as mine, does BoJo have a broad enough constituency to bring him into party leadership? He is shockingly similar to Trump in style but, like it or not, he does actually have political skills while is Trump there are none evident.

    • Re Boris’ political skills, or lack of, you might find this instructive http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/26/boris-johnson-mendacious-eu-referendum-next-prime-minister. BoJo has achieved very little. Even the Boris Bikes were something that Ken made possible. It’s rather like London 2012 where the Tory government tried to get something of the shine, but had not been part of the winning and organisation of the games. In NI last year one of my in-laws who is by no means daft, opined that she would vote for BoJo as he’s a ‘character’. I think both Trump and BoJo have tapped into a growing antipathy towards glossy politicians and are exploiting that antipathy.

      I need someone to explain why Hillary is so frightening. By much worse, ominous words indeed, what do you mean?

      • Folks on the right have been fed a scenario about Hillary for years – that she is corrupt, has committed illegal acts and will bring socialist, big government domination. The last fixation is rather amusing to us who are way to her left.

        As for much worse, one ponders about just when someone is going to be shot at a Trump rally.

        • Yes, I have heard Trump saying things that have made me wonder if he might be arrested and charged with incitement to violence.

  3. frightening and depressing. Like the Brexit campaign, where we can see people lining up to talk about how leaving the EU will make Britain great again, when goodness knows the EU, whatever its faults (and I agree, they are legion) is the greatest single project in our lifetimes and has enabled countries that were deadly enemies for decades to become neighbours and countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and the Balkan countries to move towards democratic government.

    • Exactly. You’d think from the way they are talking that the country will be sprinkled with fairy dust and we’ll find ourselves living in permanent summers with overflowing cornucopia everywhere.

    • There’s a quote by Katharine Whitehorn regarding politicians I think you’ll like:
      It’s a pity, as my husband says, that more politicians are not bastards by birth instead of vocation. (Observer, 12th Jan. 1964)

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