The Trump train arrived in the United Kingdom to the sight of someone having cut the grass in their field, underneath Air Force One’s flightpath, to tell The Donald that ‘Climate change is real.’ He also curated a massive topiary todger just to reinforce the point.
There’s plenty going on in the UK at the moment. There are parallels between Farage’s brand of populist politics and Trump’s courting of the rust-belt vote, bitter divisions over Brexit ripping the country apart and a lame duck PM who’s two days from early retirement.
Yet, despite this, it is extremely pleasing to know that we still retain our sense of humour.
Team Trump arrived on Monday to much fanfare, but interestingly there was no actual red carpet at the base of Air Force One. Knowing the gaudiness of our esteemed guest, it seems like this might have been something of an oversight (or a subtle dig).
First stop, The Royal Family.
By all accounts, things actually went rather well on the whole. By which I mean Trump didn’t accidentally insult the Queen, Melania managed to avoid Prince Phillip asking her how much she cost, and Prince Harry didn’t punch the President for calling his wife ‘nasty.’
Although Trump did, during an after-dinner speech at the YUGE banquet laid on for him, put his hand behind the Queen, which is strictly against protocol. At least he didn’t ping her bra.
Good God, do you think the Queen wears a bra? I’d never even thought about it before. I suppose she must do, even royal tits need support (except for Prince Andrew).
Badaboomtish. Sorry Queenie.
The joint speech went well, no-one was insulted, and it really did seem as though some of the recent rifts in the “Special Relationship” were water under the bridge. Although…
Khan U Not?
Before he even landed, Trump insulted Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, with whom he has previous. He called him a ‘Stone cold loser’ on Twitter, before basically saying “Anyway lol just landing, brb.”
This didn’t sit well with many across the country, especially Labour supporters, and Khan even got support from Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of NYC and a current Democratic candidate for the 2020 Presidential election. The two have already bonded over a mutual dislike of Trump, with Khan even visiting de Blasio during the Presidential campaign in 2016.
It’s probably not quite what Trump had in mind when he thinks of the ‘Special Relationship,’ but at least London and NYC seem to be getting on well.
Yesterday was a far more political affair. Trump held meetings with various politicians, including the outgoing PM. Jeremy Corbyn had another weird day at the office, giving a speech at an anti-Trump rally before backtracking and trying to meet with him.
Trump denied him one. A future PM in the making, ladies and gentlemen.
Trump did, however, also hold a joint press conference with Theresa May.
- He said that he knew Boris Johnson (absent to prepare for Tory leadership hustings) and Jeremy Hunt, but didn’t know Michael Gove, despite having a picture with him on his last trip. Savage.
- He then asked Hunt if Gove would make a good PM. Depending on which report you read, Hunt either laughed or said ‘Of course.’ I’d guess a little of column A and a little of column B.
- He claimed that a new trade deal with the US post-Brexit could be a game-changer for both economies (which many economists have already disputed).
- He also said that the NHS could well form a part of these trade negotiations.
National Wealth Service
This was a dangerous thing to say, because a privatised NHS is something that could dismantle it and change it from the incredible organisation it is today. (It is worth noting, at this point, that Trump-ally Nigel Farage has previously said that this is something that he would want to look at.)
Now, this situation is complicated, so let’s break it down simply.
US companies getting contracts to supply drugs to the NHS could dramatically alter the cost and delivery of life-saving medicines. In order to be able to afford the supplies, the NHS might have to privatise more universally. The US’s health system is so dramatically privatised and dominated by Big Pharma companies that many of the poorest are still struggling to afford treatment, despite the best efforts of Obamacare.
The NHS, despite currently creaking to the point of snapping, still manages to treat people without them having to pay a penny for it. It’s a truly remarkable achievement in a furiously capitalist Western society, and absolutely should be protected at all costs.
It is definitely worth noting that every single Conservative leadership candidate has definitively said that the NHS is “Not for sale,” and Trump backtracked, too.
However, Alex Azar, Trump’s Health secretary, did declare last year that “socialised” health systems would have to pay more for US goods and services, so the threat is very, very real.
Today, all that is put behind us, as Trump and May go to Portsmouth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.
And What Of The Tories?
Johnson, Sajid David, Andrea Leadsom and Rory Stewart held their first leadership hustings in front of the more moderate group of One Nation Conservative MPs. The other candidates will do the same over the coming days, but two names, James Cleverly and Kit Malthouse both dropped out of the running.
The Tory party have changed rules so that, when it comes to the first round of votes, each candidate must have 8 MPs backing them instead of the usual two, which will also likely cut the field down considerably.
Additionally, we now have some dates. While we knew that Theresa May will step down this Friday, the 7th of June, we now know when we will have a new Prime Minister:
The 23rd of July.
…And the next one by Christmas?
Who knows. Maybe we’ll even have a Labour leadership contest at some point to get rid of the mardy Marxist.
Everything you need to know on the Tory leadership contest can be found at the BTL CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE EXTRAVAGANZA.
6 MPs left the group to become independent MPs yesterday, leaving Anna Soubry in charge.
A noble cause, carried out with all the competence of a guide dog with ADHD. RIP Change UK.
Please help to support Between the Lines by:
- Liking, commenting on or sharing articles;
- Following or recommending us on Facebook;
- Following us on Twitter;
- Donating on Patreon;
- Or following Between the Lines via Email.