Deep Impact

An old contact of mine spent years in local and central government. His mantra was that any single policy you introduced, no matter how clever in itself, always had an unforeseen consequence.

Every action has a counter reaction somewhere down the line. In politics, the rise of the SNP has denuded Labour of support and the unexpected beneficiaries are the Tories. In Glasgow a council move to remunerate lolly pop men for ‘dirty work’ like picking up litter has led to a strike by janitors who don’t get any extra for the same duties.

I suppose that’s my current beef about No voters too. With Tory governments in power, they were voting to retain the same and hand back Scotland’s ability to resist their impact, although, in that case, it was hardly an unforeseen consequence. You really did have to look the other way not to realise how a No result could be exploited. My torrent of Unionist abuse hasn’t contained one explanation or justification for this, just Meh…

Similarly, I’m wondering if any of the 53 per cent of white female voters who went for Trump are reconsidering that decision in the light of events. Did sensible people really watch this man perform, take in his messages and still happily opt for him? Accepting it wasn’t an easy decision to back Hillary – indeed the Democrats made an historic mistake there – would you really have placed them side by side and voted for the nutjob? If you had lost a job in an economic wasteland, I get it. It’s a chance to kick out hard and feel good. But what about those professionals, the career jockeys with something to lose, all those smart American women? What were they thinking?

Now the consequences are rippling through global politics from Iran to Buckingham Palace, the people are on the streets and anger is palpable.

At this point we should remember that across the red Republican states of continental America, Trump folk are celebrating. This is what they wanted. They don’t much care which one of those muslim countries you come from. They may not have heard of some of them. But they know that’s where the bad guys in Homeland come from and there’s only one way to stop them.

But when you check, the evidence is patchy. Of the 15 most deadly attacks in USA history, only one – 9/11 – was directly associated with Islam and the Middle East or the Gulf and not one of the 19 terrorists was from a proscribed country.

In 2016 a Somali muslim student resident in the US did attack Ohio State University injuring passers-by.

In the same year the killer of customers in a Florida gay bar was of Afghan descent but was born the America.

A year earlier the man who shot 14 dead at a Christmas party was of Pakistani descent but was also born in America. His killer wife was born in Pakistan and raised in Saudi.

The Chattanooga navy recruitment shootings were carried out by a naturalised American citizen born in Kuwait.

And so it goes on…the more you look, the more the selection of countries look arbitrary. Some are questioning why countries where Trump does business are excluded – which takes us back to his business connections impacting on decision-making.

Yet the real threat to American lives comes not from outside the country at all but from within – often from the very heartland bases of Trump support. One estimate is that 30 per cent of all worldwide mass shootings occur in America with only five per cent of the population. Analysis identified 110 mass shootings in which at least four people were murdered with a firearm between January 2009 and July 2014 – at least 57% were related to domestic violence, not terrorism. On average, 93 Americans are killed by other Americans with firearms every day. Seven children or teenagers are shot dead every day.

If it’s safety and security Trump is after, he should be deporting Americans.

On which point, the boomerang effect of May’s desperate wooing of Trump is straight out of The Thick of It. No sooner does she promise him the full State Visit Hoo Hah than the Queen tells her to bugger off. At least that’s my interpretation of her former private secretary going public in the Times and on the BBC to say it should be stopped. Be in no doubt this is an intervention on behalf of the monarch who sees more clearly than her Prime Minister the pitfalls waiting to ambush her dignity.

Trump should be kept at arm’s length until his term in office settles down into something approaching normality. We need time to forget the horrors of his early days in power before something as triumphant as a State Visit is attempted. The Palace knows full well that the mass demonstrations that will accompany Trump will lasso her as well. (There is another issue here because the old gal is 90 and, republican that I am, I think she should be cocooned from controversy for her own wellbeing.)

The affair has also coincided with the meeting of the devolved administrations and the Prime Minister over their Brexit demands and unfortunately knocked it off top spot on the news. For us this is serious business although it seems for too many it hasn’t dawned yet. I think in her aloof way Theresa May is blundering from error to crisis having landed herself with a massive international and royal mess to clear up on the one hand and a rebellious celtic fringe on the other. Couldn’t she muster even a performance to demonstrate some warmth towards the other nations that make up three quarters of the United Kingdom? She must be inoculated against the impending consequences of her (in)actions if she think there will not be repercussions, unforeseen or otherwise.

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23 thoughts on “Deep Impact

  1. I wondered where you were going at the start, but your summing up is spot on. But I don’t feel sorry for her.

  2. The times they are a changing and some people do not like it and some people do lets not forget that most people here voted for br exit and in America most people under their system voted for Trump it is called democracy and we have to accept it not just the democracy that we want let America do what they want to do in their country and stop all this sniping at Trump at the end of the day it is none of our business what the American people do it is up to them to decide I mean we claim to want to run our own country Scotland so we should give the American people that same courtesy

    • The Problem being the good old USA Who just happen to have Military basis in almost every country on the Planet , and whose Military might and spending is there to project their power and influence everywhere , their CIA has interfered in every election on earth since its inception, so i beg to differ everything that happens in that loony country does and will affect us eventually , the whole developed World will try and exert some kind of restraint on the biggest kid in the playground or Chaos will ensue , having the Donald in charge has just made things a little worse , hence the Doomsday clock nudging closer to midnight , now that really does affect us . the USA need show the same courtesy to all the other countries you advocate for them .

    • Most people in Scotland did not vote Brexit! And Hillary won the popular vote by 3 million in the US.

    • Steve Asaneilean

      Blair – do you not believe that racism, bigotry, misogyny, support for torture, restriction of freedoms, etc. should be opposed no matter where it emanates from?

      History is littered with extremists who were democratically elected – should we just let them all get on with it?

      Personally, I am not sure that we should and certainly if any Scottish Government behaved like this I’d be on the streets of Edinburgh too.

    • That was a longer sentence than the Yorkshire Ripper got, Incidentally, most people did not vote for Trump. It was their electoral college system that got him over the line.

    • Sorry Blair. I can’t make sense of this run-on sentence. Would you mind posting it again with punctuation?

    • Has Trump abolished punctuation as well?

    • “Most people here voted for br exit”. 37% in the U.K Blair. Majority?

  3. I think it’s mostly because Trump behaved like an arrogant poltroon throughout the presidential campaign. Okay, he got elected but now he and his followers ask the rest of the world to view his actions as if he was a decent hombre and his behaviour during the campaign was just an election stunt. Way too late for that; Trump is now reaping what he sowed. No sympathy.

  4. “Trump should be kept at arm’s length until his term in office settles down into something approaching normality.”

    My feelings entirely.

  5. US Democracy? Don’t make me laugh as my mother used to say. US politicians are either billionaires or in the pocket of billionaires. Many minorities have been disenfranchised quite deliberately. Voter turnout is low. There is a revolving door between business, esp. financials, and government posts, such as chair of the Fed. etc.

    On killings, the real terrorists are the US government. Chomsky has much to say on this.

  6. I can’t see past the stupidity of May kowtowing to Trump in search of trade deals, if I was Trump and American “business” I’d be rubbing my hands in expensively perfumed glee, “The Brits have come grovelling and revealed just how desperate they are, we can take them for everything we can get, we’re all going to be even richer”

    The rest of the world is also looking on and thinking exactly the same.

    UK is now officially screwed, time to get as far away from it as possible.

    Anyone got a massive saw I can borrow ?

  7. Yes, MayHem is en route. The Palace is getting worried, fancy getting booed at beside Trump in the golden coach!
    If the Palace does not rescind the visit, then the institution of the monarchy might not survive after the passing of its present monarch.
    Trump looks like effecting an internal coup and ruling by diktat.
    What next? As protests continue to grow against the President barely in office, does the National Guard get called out?
    Trump sees critics as enemies.

  8. I never thought I would see the day when royal intermediary Witchell would appear on the Beeb telling the world that HRH wasn’t going to play patsy for her government’s disastrous decision to invite newly-elected Trump for the Full Royal Monty. And even more, that the super-early invite slot had been arranged in advance for whoever won, due to UKgov desperation to cosy up to the USA because of Brexit.

    What a reversal. Brexit was supposed to make the UK “proud and free” again, and instead is turning the country into a lonely and shameless old mendicant.

    High time for Scotland to escape this disaster, before it’s too late.

  9. Totally agree with article and comments above. USA democracy is even more of a sham than ours, although the Tories did quite well out of their go at slanderous dirty campaign. May is trying to look composed but just looks lost. Where’s the mooth n the dug now when Alex salmond was getting in the neck for being associated with trump even though he told him to feck off and it was pointed out Lord McConnell gave him his role. Trump is a total arse and I do worry about what comes next. I was speaking to my mate about Indy ref 2 and Europe and he said ” never happen now and we won’t leave EU, war will break out and everyone will say its the wrong time ” God I hope he’s wrong but kinda see why he said it

  10. If the State Visit goes ahead and Trump and the Queen and whoever else are parading through the streets of London in the stagecoach, at least the State Visitor will feel completely at home. The coach looks like a piece of Trump Tower tat designed by Liberace to look expensive and available for purchase at Pound-U-Like on South Bridge.

  11. Looking forward to the Trump state visit and the opportunity to throw rotten fruit and eggs at His Orangeness.

  12. Oh dear, the ‘Trump’ business connection conspiracy theory.

    The list of seven countries was originally put together in the Bush days after 9/11 and continued by Obama. Obama signed Executive Orders in 2015 curtailing visas from those same 7 ‘muslim’ countries. It is nothing to do with Trump’s business connections.

    As an aside, people should have a visit to The Intercept and Glenn Greenwalds article from a few days ago and, on a wider critique of the demonstrations of the last few days, consider reading Neil Clark’s piece on RT.

    The utterly bizarre thing is that Trump has enough baggage to be criticising without the whole ‘business’ connection tripe. The ban itself is horrendous, it doesn’t need ‘beefed up’ with speculation.

    Neil Clark:

    ‘Which is more morally reprehensible: (1) Introducing a ban on refugees and immigrants from a small number of countries for a temporary period or (2) Killing people and destroying their countries through illegal regime change wars?’

    (Note: 1 is Trump, 2 is Obama)


    ‘Making this worse still is the central role the U.S. government played in the horrors from which many of these now-banned people are fleeing. The suggestion that Trump protected the countries with which he does business is preposterous. The reality is that his highly selective list reflects longstanding U.S. policy: Indeed, Obama restricted visa rights for these same seven countries, and the regimes in Riyadh and Cairo have received special U.S. protection for decades, long before Trump.’

  13. Looking forward to the State visit when Jim Murphy will take an egg for team Trump.

  14. You’ll have clocked last night’s debate farce Derek?

    Just appalling treatment of the amendment and the devolved nations.

  15. Jonnny come lately

    I heard the Orange order in all its glory is going to be turning out to welcome trump. Apparently Theresa May will be leading this festive feast as lead majorette.

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