JOHN McGURK FEBRUARY 7 2017
Theresa the Appeaser has a certain ring about it, don’t you think? Even the BBC referred to her in this derogatory term at the weekend so it’s catching on and will very likely stick. Sometime in the future it may even enter the Oxford English Dictionary.
Her sobriquet sums up pretty perfectly the anti-Brexit view that she went to Washington and gave away perhaps the biggest gift in her diplomatic bag — the offer to Trump, after just eight days as President, that he be honoured with a state visit to Britain and dinner with The Queen at Buckingham Palace this summer.
Diplomacy, surely, is a but like dating. Only someone who is desperate gives away the Crown Jewels at the first encounter, hoping that they’ll get a romantic phone call the following day. But it’s worse than that.
As if to emphasise Britain’s new commitment to buttering up dictators to win new trade deals outside of Europe, the Prime Minister left one madman to flirt with another. She flew directly to Turkey to meet up with the boss there, Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the kind of friend you want only if no-one else is prepared to speak to you.
It turns out that Erdogan keeps many friends on tap. Last summer, when we were cavorting around the Eastern Mediterranean, my Turkish journalist friend told me something which I thought was astonishing.
Erdogan’s government has the mobile phone numbers of every adult in the population, so when he sent in the tanks to quell the July revolution, he also sent out millions of texts urging the people to rise up and get out onto the streets and beat off the traitors.
More than 300 people were killed and some 1200 injured, a small price to pay to ensure that Erdogan retained the power to continue to torture his country and get rid of anyone who opposes his rule. Yet this is the kind of man that Britain now has to suck up to in order to make Brexit work.
Personally, I’m getting bored with it all. If I hear one more politician say that the people have spoken and that we must now respect democracy and get the best deal we can, then I may as well pay the money and join the SNP.
Alas, Nicola might be more convincing if she didn’t keep on changing her mind on how to react to Brexit. One day she’s all gung-ho but the following day she appears to be holding back. It does seem that she can’t make up her mind what to do in the sure and certain knowledge that if she makes the wrong call then it’s curtains.
Besides, the opinion polls —not that they seem to matter much any more — suggest that the clamour for Indyref2 is rather muted. With so much uncertainty, Scots seem anxious not to bring on any more and who can blame them.
There seems little point in entertaining the thought that Labour under the delusional Jeremy Corbyn can muster an effective opposition. Like Theresa, he claimed he was a Remainer but never fought against Brexit. Now he too thinks that the people have voted etc etc. But what did they vote for?
Given the lies and the dirty tricks which dominated both sides of the referendum campaign, and the close-run result, the democracy excuse has worn very thin indeed. The truth is that a vast number of people didn’t know what they were voting for.
Yesterday, new analysis concluded that Remainers were more likely to be well educated while Brexiteers were more likely to be older —and more likely to be anti-immigrant.
Surely no-one voted for an uncertain future where Britain has to rely on countries run by not very nice people. OK, the leaders of Europe are no angels but, on the scale of ruthless dictators, Erdogan must be near the top while Trump is showing every sign of becoming The Great Manipulator.
Thankfully, following his attempt to ban Muslims from entering America, the opposition to Trump appears to be getting stronger by the day on both sides of the Atlantic.
For once, the likes of Facebook, Apple and Google are on the right side of the argument while at Westminster The Speaker, John Bercow, is refusing to agree to Trump addressing Parliament.
Even Lady Gaga, launching the Superbowl at the weekend, made it pretty clear that she’s opposed to the President.
Currently, William Hill are offering 2/1 odds that Trump will be impeached before the end of his first term in office.
Maybe one day we’ll find out what Obama said to his wife the moment they got into that helicopter after being escorted out of The White House and off the premises by the Trumps.