Tag Archives: donald trump

“A slightly erratic grip on the truth sometimes….” Who was Nick Clegg talking about

An interesting interview with Nick Clegg appears on the Huffington Post. Watch the video clips here to find out his views on Russia, the dynamics of President Trump and what he refers to as “Brexit by Daily Mail.”

He also outlines what he would have brought to the Remain campaign and is pretty caustic about George Osborne and David Cameron.

The answer to the question in the headline is Michael Gove, most recently pictured doing a very obsequious thumbs up next to Donald Trump. Listen to find out what else Nick thinks the two have in common.

And, of course, his well …

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Tim Farron on Gove’s interview with Trump

 

I expect that many of you will, like me, feel slightly sickened by Michael Gove’s interview of Donald Trump for The Times. Private Eye has a word for it…

Tim Farron has given a robust response:

Michael Gove has had a rare opportunity to put questions to the most divisive and reactionary President Elect in modern history and all we get is a puff piece from a clearly admiring fan.

In the same interview Trump told a German newspaper that NATO is obsolete, it will make for a more dangerous world if this view is strong enough for him to turn down his invite to this year’s summit.

This president warns that helping refugees, saving people escaping the horrors of war, is a bad idea and instead we should be lifting sanctions on Putin despite him backing Assad. This is a man lacking a moral compass who is about to be inaugurated as the President.

He has picked environmental protection and the desire to show compassion to the most needy as good reasons to leave Europe.”

I don’t know the shape of the Europe that Trump dreams of but I know it frightens me.

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Observations of an ex pat: And so it begins…

And so it begins. Or at least it will on Friday January 20th when Donald Trump stands, on the steps of the US Capitol building, places his hand on The Bible and swears to protect and uphold the constitution of the United States.

The US presidential inauguration is a celebration of American democracy and the peaceful transition from one administration to the next. There are parades, marching bands, waving flags, an inaugural ball and a bevvy of Hollywood stars.

Not this time. Oh yes, all the above will occur as usual. But in addition a million-plus protesters are expected to descend on Washington DC to political disown the elected President of the United States. “Not our President” they will shout.

And all the indications are that the forthcoming inaugural weekend  is a mere curtain raiser for the global thrills and spills to come. If you enjoy life on the edge, than you are living on the right planet at the right time. 

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Observations of an ex pat: Tough for Trump

Donald Trump is in a no-win situation as regards  Russian hacking vs. American intelligence agencies vs Donald Trump.

Putin, as we all know by now, has been accused by all the American intelligence agencies (and several foreign ones) of hacking into the computers of the Democratic National Committee and leaking the contents to help Trump win the US presidency.

The Russian President has denied this as he has denied many other misdeeds. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, he channel for the leaks, has backed him up. So has Donald Trump.

On the other side of the fence are, not surprisingly, a Democratic Party in search of a scapegoat to explain the inexplicable and America’s spy nerds.

Trump can’t really say that he agrees with the intelligence agencies. To do so would leave him branded as Putin’s poodle and undermine his mandate to govern. 

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There is nothing about 2016 that wasn’t inevitable

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is nothing about 2016 that wasn’t inevitable. Nothing that hadn’t been brewing for years.

Whether you’re looking at Brexit, Trump or ‘untimely’ celebrity deaths. 2016 is the year things caught up with us – it became a melting pot for events we had arguably been dodging

It may not be a fashionable opinion but as “Changes” by Bowie came on to my iPhone this morning and I remembered that night at New Slang in Kingston in January with friends where we belted out his lyrics thinking how tragic his early death was I began to think. 2016 was an annus horribilis for sure. But was it one that could have been avoided?

Like many, I was continually plagued by shock and disbelief as the year unravelled. However it was only with less than 24 hours to go that I realised this has been partly due to my circumstance and, frankly, living in leafy South West London.

Over Christmas, as we, like many, lamented the deaths of George Michael and Carrie Fisher, mum piped up – this isn’t a curse of 2016. These people took a lot of drugs. Drank a lot of alcohol. They did what we are told not to every day. This fed their artistic brilliance. But it also meant they were susceptible to human weakness. Of course their deaths were sad and tragic but could this be used as an education piece for young people? These lifestyles the media glamourises and encourages had real consequences. One lasting legacy of this year would be to make people think about these actions and how we all live.

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A good year for journalists

It has been a good year for journalists. I have never known better.

There has been an endless march of, upsets, twists, turns, worries, cheers, jeers, doom, gloom and unadulterated surprised joy.

Half the world is sunk into a slough of despond deeper than the Marianas Trench and the other half is waving their anti-globalist flags from the top of Everest.

The Western world is the most divided it has been since World War Two.  Divided within countries and divided between countries.

The authoritarian East is a different story. They are  watching the democratic West self-destruct  and going about their business and rattling their sabres to let the rest of the world know that they are prepared to move into the yawning  political vacuum.

Russia is well-placed to pick up the pieces from America’s failed Middle East policy. The victory in Aleppo has established the military supremacy of Vladimir Putin’s buddy Bashar Al-Assad—the dictator everyone loves to hate.  They hate him almost as much as they do Russia and Syria’s other regional ally—theocratic Iran. 

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Lessons (and warning) from Trump

The day after the US electoral college chose Donald Trump to be their new president, Huffington Post ran an article on his use of digital campaigning, where Brad Parscale, the digital director of the campaign explains:

We never fought for the popular vote. There was no economic reason, and there was no reason based off the system of our constitution to do so. We needed to win 270 , and to do so we needed to win in certain states, and we needed to target registered voters that had a low propensity to vote and a propensity to vote for Donald Trump if they come.

This was done by highly-targeted and personalised messages to key voters in key states.

Questionable behaviour by the FBI over Hilary Clinton’s emails, and whatever it is the Russians actually did may have contributed, but Parscale’s point is that very effective targeting gets results.

Part of me is wincing. The targeting is entirely legal, but also strains the definition of democracy — not least because Hilary Clinton had 2.8 million more votes than Trump (and roughly the same number of votes as Barack Obama had in 2012): the problem is that she had the votes in the wrong places. Most worryingly, this means that the voters-who-matter end up being a small number in a few places: marginalising the vast majority.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 21st Jan - 5:22pm
    Well, after hearing him I was hoping Jeremy Browne was no longer a member!
  • User AvatarSimon Horner 21st Jan - 5:17pm
    The writer of this article poses the crucial question for all of us living in Scotland. "Can we back an independent Scotland as a better...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 21st Jan - 4:47pm
    Moderator's note: We do not publish "part two" or "continued" comments. There is a length limit in order to keep the debates fresh and stop...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Jan - 4:38pm
    Fair enough, Fiona - though you hear all sorts of funny things in Dundee. I don't think independence is a done deal - I do...
  • User AvatarCaron 21st Jan - 4:18pm
    When the public announce menu is made, yes.
  • User AvatarFiona 21st Jan - 4:01pm
    @David, you obviously didn't spend much time in Dundee during the referendum. The idea that Scotland could go fully socialist if independent was one of...