By Dave Stockton
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump flew in fresh from provoking his Nato Allies in Brussels to a Britain he said was “in somewhat turmoil” (sic) and promptly went on to make things even worse for his hapless host. Throwing himself into the Brexit controversy wracking the Conservative Party, he made clear whose side he was on in the pages of Rupert Murdoch’s Sun.
He first targeted May’s White Paper on Brexit, only published that day, threatening, “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the (“marvelous”) US trade deal.”
But he soon launched into his other central theme, the dangers of immigration:
“Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame. I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way…. I think you are losing your culture. Look around. You go through certain areas that didn’t exist ten or 15 years ago.”
Trump can hardly be unaware that Britain already has some of the most racist and exclusionary immigration laws in the world or that the “immigrants” involved in Brexit are electricians from Poland or nurses from Portugal, hardly likely to rob “us” of “our” culture. He doesn’t care; any racist filth will do.
He also repeated his lurid claims, made earlier this year, about London hospitals with their walls and floors running with blood and attacked the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, yet again for having “done a very bad job on terrorism”, “bad job on crime” and for “making him feel unwelcome.”
But, despite all this, Trump added “I believe that the people in the UK – Scotland, Ireland … they like me a lot.” Let us hope that the huge demonstrations across the country that greeted his arrival penetrate his thick skull.
To make Theresa May’s position even more humiliating, he gushed over her recently resigned Foreign Secretary. “Boris Johnson is a friend of mine, he’s been very, very nice to me, very supportive. And I maybe will speak to him when I get over there. I like Boris Johnson, I’ve always liked him.”
In the Sun interview he adds:
“I was very saddened to see he was leaving government and I hope he goes back in at some point. I think he is a great representative for your country,” adding, “I think he would be a great prime minister. I think he’s got what it takes.”
Johnson is Trump’s real soul mate, the only British politician, bar Nigel Farage, who tries to emulate Trump when it comes to ignorant and reactionary outbursts, the stock in trade of right wing populism. Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the European Research Group of pro-Brexit Tory MPs, tweeted a link to Trump’s Sun interview without comment.
But Trump’s intervention into the Brexit debate is nothing new. He is a long term supporter of Brexit and indeed anything which might help break up the European Union. He hates the NHS, which he claimed was “going broke and not working”. The “marvellous” trade deal which he promises is dependent on Britain crashing out of the EU without any agreement, a situation which would be a disaster for working people. American courts would replace the European Court of Justice in regulating the British economy. Part of this would be opening up the NHS to the great US private health industry which does such a great job that 20 per cent of US adults can’t afford the health care they need.
We must do all in our power to make sure that Brexit extremists and their transatlantic sponsor are defeated. We must also do all we can to help our American sisters and brothers to defeat Trump’s racist, sexist, and anti-working class offensive as soon as possible.