There are lessons about the potential outcome of the American presidential election in the UK Brexit vote back in June. Brexit will, over the long-term, undoubtedly damage the British economy; however, for all the histrionic outpourings of liberal commentators, British society will undoubtedly survive, albeit with fewer Polish plumbers and Romanian builders. A victory for Donald Trump, on the other hand, would have far wider repercussions. Judging by Trump's comments regarding Vladimir Putin, globally the United States would, it seems, let Russia do as it wishes — expect more killing in Syria and further territorial incursions into Ukraine. Trump might lean temperamentally toward a strand of "America first" isolationism, but that same thin-skinned temperament makes it easy to imagine Trump firing off a few rockets in a fit of pique. Meanwhile, Trumpian domestic policy poses a genuine threat to the free press as well as the Fifth Amendment right which says that no one may "be … [Read more...] about Britain may survive Brexit – but can American survive Donald Trump?
The author Robert Harris has had to stop reading about Brexit and Donald Trump on social media: “It jangles your head.” He waves a hand by his temple. “Interferes with work.” A master of the thriller genre stunned by the actual news? It’s almost laughable. “It’s horrible,” Harris says. “But it’s impossible to write contemporary fiction of the thriller type because you couldn’t improve on reality. Really. And how do you do satire?” Of course Harris isn’t only versed in thriller writing. As The Observer’s former political editor and once a close confidante of Tony Blair (and still of Peter Mandelson) he’s long familiar with Westminster intrigue. At 59 he’s working on his 17th book (bestsellers include Fatherland, Enigma and Archangel) but he’s still a sage in political circles and many — myself included — make the pilgrimage to his doorstep for insight. The house he shares … [Read more...] about Author Robert Harris on Donald Trump, Theresa May and the new super-elite
“He’s a Kremlin puppet!” has been a clarion call for those rallying to stop U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump. But his public pro-Putin positions, and a few unfounded Kremlin links thrown in by his detractors, haven’t hurt Trump in the polls. And he’s not alone. Similar charges have been thrown at the successful campaign to leave the European Union and at right-wing movements gaining traction in Europe. So is accusing your opponent of being Putin’s pal a good strategy? What if accusing someone of colluding with the Kremlin actually helps their cause? Imagine, for a moment, you are the leader of an “anti-establishment” political movement. You thrill your followers by sticking it to the “liberal elites” and the “global order.” There’s nothing more “anti-establishment” than showing two fingers to such elite, aloof projects as NATO or the EU, and giving props to the man who wants to undermine … [Read more...] about How Putin became the Che Guevara of the Right