From enlightenment back to the dark ages
It’s early 2017 and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump are deciding how to spend their first summit meeting – playing snap, snakes & ladders or rock paper scissors: All the while trying to avoid locking hair and bringing a new sense of intimacy to the countries’ allegedly special relationship.
Frightening prospect isn’t it? But that could easily be the outcome if Leave wins the Brexit referendum and enough American rednecks and halfwits believe hurling gratuitous insults at every opponent beats coming up with coherent political strategy.
If there is a group of people Donald Trump has failed to insult then I am sure he would like to apologise for missing them out. Give him time. Race, creed, colour, looks. They are all fair game to a man who has already stooped so low he could become world limbo dancing champion and whose thought processes appear to change shape at a rate that would put an amoeba to shame.
Hillary Clinton may have all the charisma of a house-brick and enough baggage to collect record surcharges flying through JFK Airport but at least she manages the levels of diplomacy and decency one has a right to expect from a President of the United States.
As for Boris, propped up by a national newspaper showing as much balance as a tightrope walker with the DTs, his position as poster boy for Leave appears nothing more than opportunist – trying to make No.10 not so much by sneaking through the back door as by tunnelling up through the foundations in heavy disguise.
He may well find enough support from the alarmingly large racist element of Leave supporters who mistakenly believe that quitting the EU will end the influx of any migrants to the hallowed shores of Little England but his position lacks class and his arguments gravitas. Flip the coin and the price of failure for Boris could be the end of his political career as we know it.
At least Boris hasn’t sunk – indeed he would not be capable of doing so without a lobotomy – to the level of trash-talker Trump.
It has taken so long for the ‘civil’ to be put into civilisation – to create a world that was societally agnostic with no figurative frontiers; where gender, race and religion were neutralised; it would be heartbreaking to see Britain and America slide back towards political agendas that militate against sensible integration.
If humanitarian arguments don’t move you then consider this. Cambridge companies and their counterparts the length and breadth of Britain are crying out for fresh talent from around the world.
Much of that talent – skilled, intelligent and enterprising – is sitting in refugee camps on the other side of the Channel or Middle East war zones. A strategic approach to immigration with sensible checking and policing is required – not a scattergun ‘don’t let anyone in lest they’re a terrorist’ mantra bred from irrational fear and ignorance.
And for an America showing economic frailty on several fronts they need to remember the ethos on which the nation was built. From 1892 to 1954, over 12 million immigrants entered the United States through the portal of Ellis Island, a whole mass of them with no English!
Someone should tie Donald Trump down and read him this.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost (sic) to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
By alienating Mexicans, American Indians, women, the military, people too fat or too goofy – his words not ours – Donald Trump threatens to extinguish the light of liberty itself.