Here we go again. Donald Trump, two years into his presidency, is due another (state) visit to the UK. Sickening, right? At one point, due to The Donald facing threat after threat to his position from inauguration to now, some said Angela Merkel had become, in effect, LotFW, but she ain’t the boss of me - God bless Brexit, eh? - and neither is Trump, thankfully. Oh, do monarchs have a claim to that? Anyway…
No one thought Trump would make it into the White House. Well, no one except me (listen in from 6m45s). But he made it in, and he’s lasting, to an extent. So what does this tell us about this planet? Well, assuming the majority of people reading this reside in the UK, imagine Alan “Lord” Sugar - to most media commentators a far more palatable human being than Trump - becoming UK Prime Minister. More palatable or not, Sugar is still an odious f*cking toad, so the idea remains entirely abhorrent, but the main parallelling point endures: Alan Sugar - like Trump, a businessman, a straight-talker, an a*sehole - sits in the faux-boardroom hotseat of The Apprentice, the BBC’s UK version of the show that propelled Trump to power.
This is the element - aside from humans being f*cking d*cks, ruining the worthy intentions of democracy - that is most startling and speaks volumes about how we view the world. It’s the clapping seals act that we, the public, embrace as a millionaire-slash-billionaire points his entitled finger at some glutton for punishment and barks “You’re fired!” Whoop and cheer! The concept, in a wider sense, concerns someone being told, by someone with much more money and power, that their services are no longer required, and they will have to find alternative means to put a roof over their head, and food on the table of their family.
We look up to these monsters, which is particularly dangerous when they tweet, if you’ll allow another nod to Trump, fake news like the notion that a 70% tax rate for top earners will result in someone on £100k only taking home £30k, with the intention of rallying their followers against socialism. Just like Tim Martin risibly arguing that Wetherspoons does pay all staff the living wage (because the vile Tories rebranded the minimum wage as the National Living Wage to cynically and callously undermine the Real Living Wage campaign), we don’t know if these ridiculous claims by the powerful are a terrifying sign of their dimness - what hope when they have such influence - or pure, unadulterated disingenuousness. The latter would be off-the-scale Machiavellianism and a new low for capitalism.
How did we get here? What happened to compassion? So we put business leaders on pedestals, celebrate their rejection of subordinates as an entertainment medium, and now we elect them to office, to attempt to remove healthcare from the poor. Trump is a full house - if you’ll forgive the mixed card game metaphors - and we’ll rightly protest against his visit for a plethora of reasons, but politicians closer to home have similar traits. Emmanuel Macron, the much-maligned centrist President of France, is regarded as a banker, assuming that’s not a typo, and we have a similar predicament in Britain, where our cartoon villain Prime Minister, Theresa May, who even grimaces while eating chips - I mean, chips! - is married to a guy with a suspiciously vague job title to do with investments.
One of the most most disgusting things I’ve seen in recent years was an interview conducted by either Sally Bundock or Victoria Fritz - forgive me for not being able to tell them apart - for our beloved BBC. Ostensibly playing devil’s advocate, Bunditz questioned a representative from the French economy over the jarring push that Paris is making for City workers currently based in London in the shadow of Brexit - please, take them all - making a point of focussing on the French constraints on “hire and fire” as if this were a bad thing.
Why is this public service broadcasting? The BBC should provide a public service by sending the message that erosion of workers’ rights, for the promotion of Big Business, is to be avoided. Instead, it promotes capitalism with the running theme seemingly being the deeply-flawed and simplistic notion - endorsed by the likes of Trump and Sugar - of direct correlation, or even causation, between hard work and accruement of wealth. We are told to look up to Sugar, and the rich in other forms, such as the monarchy, and we should protest against Trump, when we have plenty of our own c*nts in this country we could protest against too. If you insist on an American to rail against, how about Meghan Markle every time she lands her private jet on these shores?
But we don’t protest against the rich here. We’re encouraged, by the likes of the BBC, to aspire to the heights capitalism can deliver. But not so we stop looking up at Sugar and his ilk, and the monarchy, but so we can also look down once we strive to reach the middle, which is now being defended by even left-leaning liberal newspapers. When this is a reality beamed to millions of internet users and Licence Fee payers in Britain, have we really not stooped as low as the USA? Alan Sugar becoming Prime Minister wouldn’t be such a leap.
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