30 January, 2017 - 09:47 By Tony Quested

Payback time through people power

The US was an ultra-protectionist economy under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama so don’t let what you read in self-serving UK media try to persuade you that new President Donald Trump is going to be any different and do this country any favours after Brexit.

Talk of special relationships and ‘I’ll be your Ron if you’ll be my Maggie’ once Britain is out of Europe are misleading.

Trump wants the UK out of the EU. Full stop. Once that is a done deal, I predict he will let Theresa May and her acolytes stew in their own juice while the UK wonders where its next decent trade deal is coming from.

His promises to be our special ally once we are out of Europe pall on the palate. I don’t believe that, after the webs of lies spun by the same right wing UK media before the EU referendum, repeated with oak leaves and clusters during the US Presidential election and the sugar-coated coverage following May’s US visit last week, the nation will be conned again.

There was something unedifying about May’s flight of fancy to Washington, like some dizzy High School student chasing a latter-day George McFly to her first Prom.

One study last week appeared a whole sight more realistic; projecting that leaving the EU could lose Britain as much as 30 per cent of its current export trade while a new deal with the US might be worth just two per cent more than currently.

And what a price that extra two per cent could come at! Toning down food standards that stop the US exporting hormone-injected beef to the UK? Giving over-charging US drug companies rights to home in on the NHS? Relaxing environmental and labour laws to give the US an edge. Expect any or all of the above.

May’s US sortie smacked of desperation and Trump knows it: instead of playing hard-assed poker, May tried Happy Families.

If this is seen by gullible media as a revival of a once special relationship then watch out for Trump’s love-in with Vladimir Putin. The body language for that summit promises to be so hot that White House staff will be required to stand by with buckets of water to cool the anticipated ardour.

The truth is that Britain out of the EU will see May and her supporters squawking loudly but emptily as US, EU and other opportunistic global cuckoos wing off with the plumpest trade worms and take them back to the nests that were once the province of the UK.

Having carved us up on trade, Trump will then no doubt turn to defence and increase his efforts to obliterate NATO, to the delight of the Russians – regardless of the promise May believes she wrung from this plastic President.

May has been a huge disappointment as successor to David Cameron whose misjudgement driven by over-confidence led to the current mayhem but who had previously been a steady hand on the economic and trade tillers, with first mate George Osborne.

The Supreme Court ruling that she has to refer triggering Article 50 to Parliament is but a modest sleeping policeman in the highway to hell that Brexit threatens to become for this country. It applies a brake but not a road block.

I’m afraid only the people of the UK, the ones who have to pick up the pieces when our politicians mess up, can turn the tide on current events. Protest long and loud; march far and wide.

When the inevitable fall-out of Brexit sees funding for our universities and research organisations shrink; when ordinary Joes and Joans lose their jobs because companies are forced to cut costs; when there is less money to put food on the table for our children; when businesses shrink because they cannot find enough highly skilled labour – or move operations overseas – when the UK is rightly cast as pariah of the planet, a suck-up supporter of a declared supporter of torture and racism, remember the politicians at the heart of this needless, brainless debacle.

Use your two great voting powers; the one at the ballot box to oust the wielders of weasel words and the one that dictates when, where and how you spend your hard earned money. What newspapers you buy; what websites and retail outlets you choose to buy from. Don’t spend your hard-earned money with supporters of tyranny and disseminators of untruths or half-truths. It is time for proof not propaganda.

Protest marches around the world recently showed the awesome power of the people. So, on a smaller but equally significant scale, did the fantastic, selfless reaction of so many American lawyers and interpreters offering their services free to those detained in the latest outrageous indignty inflicted by Trump’s regime over the weekend.

We all have a duty to do everything in our power – legally and peacefully – to oppose injustice and hatred.

​Certainly, under Trump, America no longer speaks for or represents the civilised world. Theresa May would do well to remember that she is a fellow member of the human race with the people she allegedly represents.

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