An occasional series on the new nationalists – dingoes and drongos like Trump, Farage, and Bernardi – and other Oz twerps.
A hit, a palpable hit!
It is hard to see the French election as anything but a hit for Marine Le Pen – and Mrs Theresa May. A two to one result does suggest real and lasting antipathy to this so called right wing nationalism in France. Does that hostility really go back to Vichy France and the collaboration with the Germans?
It’s certainly a bad result for Britain, because Europe will now have its tail up. The right is faltering in Germany, and Frau Merkel looks to be in charge there. And you cannot help wondering about the extent to which the frightful squalor of the Trump presidency and the fractured aimlessness of the English is putting people off flirting with the gutter.
Apart from giving a big check on nationalism, the result in France does two things. First, we have now seen a major election won by a literate candidate who correctly says that all that stuff about Left and Right has gone out with hessian drawers. It’s bullshit. Secondly, it shows that you can elect someone who is not aligned to either mainstream party, but who is not an idiot or a bully.
Speaking of an idiotic bully, here are four tweets that Trump issued after a former Acting Attorney-General gave sworn evidence that she warned the White House that its Director of Security was a security risk and susceptible to Russian blackmail.
“Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is ‘no evidence’ of collusion w/ Russia and Trump.”
“Sally Yates made the fake media extremely unhappy today — she said nothing but old news!”
“The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?”
“Biggest story today between Clapper & Yates is on surveillance. Why doesn’t the media report on this? #FakeNews!”
It is idle to suggest that such an idiot and bully might manage the corner store, much less be President of the United States.
People are collecting empirical evidence on the educational levels of people who follow nationalists. I suspect that similar trends will be found in the U S, France, Britain and Australia. But Trump supporters may be the worst off. Polling shows that 96% of his supporters think that he is doing a good job. Those figures are very worrying, and show problems above and beyond intellect. It’s under this masque that Trump can maintain his assault on liberal values and honesty.
Now I see that Trump has fired the FBI head who was investigating him in part on the advice of an Attorney General who had to stand down because of his ineptitude. This was a typical Trump job – misconceived, no judgment, and worse taste. The Trump letter was hideously self-serving, ungrammatical and full of lies. The war between the President and his law enforcers will get worse. The notion that this administration could fire someone for ‘miss-speaking’ is hilarious, but not as hilarious as the notion that Comey was fired because of what he did to Clinton. The real reason is probably that Trump was jealous of Comey’s air time on TV. Do people in America see how low their star has fallen?
Still, it looks like Trump is now a bored captive of generals and billionaires, and – like Kim Jon Ung – that he is only at peace when he is applauding himself in front of the adoring mob. Given that nationalism now appears to be in check in Europe also, and that Britain may have to wait years to find out the cost of her frumpy defenestration, we might suspend this column for a while.
The immediate successor will be a nine part introduction to opera that I have had much pleasure in preparing. The first part will be with you soon.