Following his ill-judged retweets of three Britain First tweets, Donald Trump is now turning his ire onto Theresa May. He tweeted yesterday: “@Theresa_May don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”. Further evidence if we needed it of the President’s warped narcissism. The basic trouble is, the man has so little respect for the office he holds. Theresa May was absolutely right to call him out on his tweets. As Piers Morgan told me, either he tweeted them because he didn’t know who Britain First was or he knew exactly who they were. If it was the former he is an idiot. If it’s the latter it is a clear sign that he is Islamophobic. I’d say in either case it demonstrates that America has a president who provides succour to racists, Islamophobes and white supremicists. Furthermore, one of the videos has been proved to be a fake, and the perpetrator of violence in one of the others was sentenced to death for his actions. Tweeting three videos like this is clearly designed to cause division between muslims and the rest of the community. It’s meant to persuade Americans that because one radical muslim cleric deliberately smashes a statue of the Virgin Mary, then all muslims would approve of that. It’s just despicable that a man who holds the office of President should do this. We don’t solve the problems we have with radical Islam by playing into the hands of those who would do us damage.
Theresa May was quite right to call Trump’s action wrong. She could have gone further and called it words like ‘despicable’ and ‘contemptible’ but diplomatic niceties mean that she didn’t. At least she is someone who respects the office in President, but I suspect like most of us, she has little respect for the man.
Sajid Javid, a muslim himself, went much further than the Prime Minister, and I suspect he didn’t get any permission for his tweet.
So POTUS has endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me. He is wrong and I refuse to let it go and say nothing
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) November 29, 2017
I think he was entirely justified to go that little bit further. Good on him.
On Monday evening I took part in a panel in Norwich which sought to answer the question: “What does it mean to be English?” Former Labour minister John Denham, who now leads the Centre for English Identity at the University of Winchester was one of my co-interlocutors and did a far better job of answering the question than I did. Indeed, we agreed on so much (like believing in creating an English Parliament, for example) we nearly formed our own political party there and then. The event took place at the Forum in the centre of Norwich and there were around 120 people there. It was a very engaged audience who asked some quite challenging questions. However, I’m still not sure I answered the question very well…
Over the last months arch-remainers have made the point that Britain must agree to pay the EU what it owes in a divorce payment. On Wednesday evening the Telegraph’s Peter Foster revealed that the UK government and the European Commission had reached an agreement on this issue, and the UK had indeed agreed to pay a fee of somewhere between £35 billion and £45 billion. And what do those same arch-remainers say now? That the government has been totally humiliated!!! Typical. I’d love to have paid the wretched organisation nothing at all, but in the end, all negotiations are pragmatic compromises. However, before we all rush away with the thought that the trade negotiations will now be easy, I suspect the very opposite is true. Remember, any trade deal will have to be ratified by the national parliaments of all 27 member states. I still reckon no-deal is a distinct possibility. In which case, it must be made clear that the EU won’t be getting any money at all. I see Barnier is trying to make out the two things aren’t linked. If the government gives way on that, we might as well give away on everything else now.
I’m half way through reading Tim Shipman’s new book, FALL OUT. It carries on from his first book, ALL OUT WAR and is just as good. The level of detail is astonishing. It’s the sort of book I’d like to have written myself but know I couldn’t. It details the Brexit negotiations and the election campaign and finishes in October. I saw Tim on Tuesday and told him he would have to write a third, taking the story up to Brexit Day on 29 March 2019. He visibly blanched. I’d say it was his public duty. He can console himself by knowing that he will have written The Shipman Trilogy – the British equivalent of Robert Caro’s series of biographies of Lyndon Johnson. And I can’t give his books any higher praise than that.
That famous political philosopher Noel Gallagher is someone you might think would be rather impressed by Jeremy Corbyn. Not a bit of it. He’s given an interview to the NME in which he rather endearingly talks about the Labour leader. He says: “Fuck Jeremy Corbyn. He’s a Communist”. I think that would make a rather good selling T-Shirt, don’t you? Maybe one for CCHQ…