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"This way Mr. President"
"I know the way, I was Vice-President for eight years you know."
"Yes, Sir, Sorry Sir"
"Why are all these ramps here?"
"Disability access ramps, Sir"
"I know what they are why are they here?"
"Your predecessor stated you may need them given your advancing years and so on."
Spoken louder "YOUR PREDECESSOR.."
"Why are you shouting?"
"You mean Trump."
"We're not allowed to say his name Sir, we had instructions from Vice President, I mean former Vice President Pence, to not allow his name to be mentioned."
"Why were you shouting?"
"We were told you may be hard of hearing due to your ...."
"I'm not hard of hearing and I'm not in a wheelchair"
"But you are older than..."
"Enough!" They enter the famous room. "At last the Oval office."
"We decorated as you wished Sir, the busts and pictures have been changed - caused quite some commotion with your prede.."
Scowl from new President
"... I mean President Trump as he had some other busts he wanted to keep."
"Best we don't go into that."
"No Sir, his letter is on the desk."
"The one with the postmark from Moscow."
"Yes Sir, special delivery."
The President sits behind the desk and surveys the Oval Office. He scans the room with a small smile of satisfaction on his face, before his vision alights on a board on one wall.
"For you Sir to help."
"Isn't that a picture of my wife?"
"Yes Sir, in case you forget."
How dare you! I know who my wife is"
"At the moment Sir, this is in case it gets worse."
"What gets worse?"
"Your dementia, Sir"
"Have you forgotten already?"
"I do not have Dementia!"
"Damn my predecessor!" Takes deep breath. "Who's the Black Lady in the photo's"
"Your VP Sir."
"I have a black female VP?"
"Yes Sir, don't you remember you were elected with her."
"The one on the capital steps?"
"Yes Sir at the inauguration."
"Didn't recognise her without her mask. Where is she?"
"Managing the Senate and drawing up your first executive orders. They should be here later this morning. She sent instructions to make sure you have your afternoon nap and I have to disconnect the hot line."
"The Moscow hot line?"
"No, Sir the Deliveroo and MacDonald fast order hotline. We missed it during your prede… Mr Trumps departure. It's that one next to the pictures of all your staff."
The President attempts to change the TV Channel"What's wrong with this TV I can't change the channel from Fox?"
"All the other channels were disabled Sir."
"And get rid of this" He pulls a book from a drawer
"What is it?"
"The Dummies Guide to Tweeting…."
@realDonaldTrump Goodreads full comments
@realDonaldTrump Goodreads full comments
Some things that won’t be promised by the main parties in the election
- Reduction in MPs from 650 to 500 with attendant boundary changes
- MPs deselected that do not take up seats e.g. NI parties that don’t
- Proportional representation introduction outside NI – mentioned in Lib Dems last time but not by main parties
- Lords reform to voted for chamber (power away from House of Commons)
- Fixed term limits for Prime Minister or MPs e.g. See Costa Rica 4 years for President 8 years for MP equivalent
- Tax take must equal or be more than government spend and borrowing cost – no deficit increase
- Any hope that any manifesto might get implemented with thought for unintended consequences – see 6 for spending commitments
- Understanding by any MP of unintended consequences see 6 and 7
- Understanding by any political party that it takes years to train doctors, nurses, teachers therefore you cannot magic more in a couple of years unless imported from abroad thus denying other countries’ their health/teaching
- That Donald Trump has no vote in UK Election nor does any other foreign politician (including EU). Their opinions are irrelevant and should be ignored especially tweets
- If you don’t vote for who you want to represent you do not complain when someone else is elected – introduce compulsory voting
- Challenge those who are asking for your vote how they will vote on the issues. Sue them for breach of contract if they don’t!
The media (social and mainstream) would lead most people to believe that the world has never been so dangerous or that governments have never been so incompetent or evil. Whether its the latest news on Brexit, Trump’s Tweets, Putin’s evil intent or the chaos that is Syria and Yemen. There appears to be a tendency to ignore even recent history.
It seems apt that I take a personal perspective. This year marks the 40th year (in August) since I entered full time employment. I left school at 17 (Much to my parents annoyance) half way through my A Levels. It was unusual then to even take A Levels. University was for less that 20% of the population. I was in the vast majority. The UK was a very different place. A Labour Government was in charge under Jim Callaghan as Prime Minister and his infamous ‘Winter of Discontent’ was to follow that winter.
I had dreams of being a rock star (don’t laugh) instead I became an Electronics Technician earning (via a weekly brown envelope holding the cash) £29 per week equivalent to about £160 in today’s inflation affected money. The inflation rate was 7.8%. It would rise higher along with interest rates.
The UK was known as the sick man of Europe which was the trading block known as the EEC or Common Market as it was commonly known. The UK had joined the EEC with Denmark and Ireland in 1973 – there was no referendum. It did have a referendum to remain in 1975.
The troubles were 10 years old in Northern Ireland and that year 82 deaths were attributed to the conflict. The next year would be worse. The UK was still supporting the new Oman regime but elsewhere was not directly militarily involved, except of course the day to day cold war with the Soviet Union. To give some context to Middle East troubles including Oman this is a handy reference – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_modern_conflicts_in_the_Middle_East
Jimmy Carter was US President having beaten Gerald Ford in 1976. Ford of course had become President after Nixon resigned in August 1974. (pence for Trump?) The Iranian revolution would follow in 1979 with all the troubles that caused Carter. Brezhnev was the leader of the Soviet Union and would be until Nov 1982. He would be in charge when the Soviet Union entered Afghanistan in 1979 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet%E2%80%93Afghan_War.
It took the Soviet Union nearly 10 years to ‘get out’ of Afghanistan. The US supported the Mujahideen including Bin Laden with advisors and weapons. The US Ambassador to Afghanistan was murdered in 1979 initially blamed on a communist group. The US, UK and others still have troops there since the October 2001 invasion and in Iraq since March 2003. How long will it be until we completely leave both countries.
In 1978, Germany was split East and West with Berlin a split city in the East. Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, were still joined. Solidarity in Poland was still a couple of years off. The KGB was the security apparatus of the Soviet Union supporting the vassal states in the Warsaw Pact. A Bulgarian exile Georgi Markov was murdered on a London Street by a poisoned umbrella pellet in Sept 1978. Odd murders by security services are not new.
The World Wide Web would not be invented until 1989 and have little relevance until the late 1990s. There were 16 million users world wide in 1995 when I was a military officer on an Exchange post in the USA. Now there are over 4 Billion. The Internet of course existed in Military and scientific fields before that.
Writing this is has reminded me how much has changed personally and how little has changed world wide. Yes, names have changed and regimes have changed, but global politics is as messy as ever. We still have Middle East conflict. US Presidential politics and rows about Europe. We can add in the mix a rising China and risk of trade wars, climate changes and the risks from population growth. Despite the current issues it still feels a better world than watching uncollected rubbish pile on the streets whilst walking to work because of yet another strike.
"Welcome back Mr President."
"Good to be back, Air Force One's bed is too small."
"All my other beds and the hotels, even the UK Ambassador's residence was bigger."
"Do yo want me to get a bigger bed in Air Force One?"
"I've already told them to do it. The idiots claim they'll have to redesign the 747 or use that big Airbus thing they fly wings in"
"That would please the Europeans but haven't we imposed tariffs on them?"
"Yeah, still if they want me to have it they can pay for it like the wall."
"Sir, the Mexicans aren't paying for the wall. In fact no one is paying for the wall."
"We're getting if for free?"
"No Sir. We have claimed to have built the walls that were put up in 2006 and California has added a few miles to the fences they put up years ago..."
"Sir!" "Sorry I dozed off. Jet lag."
"Sir, what I wanted to ask is, what statement do you want me to put out about your meeting with Vlad."
"Did you check the thes, thees, tess, that dictionary thing?"
"The Thesaurus? Yes Sir.
"Sir, Would, Would Not, Could, Could not, Should and Should not all have different meanings."
"I have it here if you want to read it?"
"Not fake news?"
"What about wouldn't and would?"
"They are opposites Sir."
"Damn, what now?"
"You'll have to apologise Sir or say you made a mistake."
"Out of context?"
"It's recorded Sir."
"Damn.... Still I can re-tweet something else afterwards, get the press running around in circles again."
"Even Fox were concerned."
"Give them another interview like we did with that British paper, that went well."
"You mean directly contradict what you said on audio and video after the event."
"Just like with Vlad. Anything from him?"
"Only the note about the extra service in the Helsinki hotel."
"What extra services?"
"The same as the Moscow hotel, it's on your preference list for that chain. The Secret Service would not let them in."
"Who told them to do that. I needed some relaxation these summits are hard."
"Remember Sir it was not a summit just a meeting to improve relations."
"With whom Sir?"
"All my meetings were a success."
"NATO, the UK, Germany, the EU?"
"All went perfectly. They all agreed to do what I told them."
"I'm not sure they think that."
"They don't matter. I've won the war in Syria, kicked out those Irises..."
"ISIS, Sir, Irises are flowers."
"You sure? Anyway, wall is going up, got the tax cuts done my poll ratings are up..."
"Actually they are not up."
"...Economy is great I did it all."
"Of course you did Sir."
"Who says different?"
"No one would dare Sir."
"You been watching that fake news again."
"No Sir. I read the Intelligence service brief and the report from the Federal Reserve. Mr Mueller is still investigating."
"Fake News, Fake News, Fake News. Vlad and Xi are happy."
"Actually Xi is not happy about the new sanctions."
"Why not." "He wants a bigger cut. So does Kim."
"Nice fella', A bit short. No dice, it's my deal take it or leave it. I got NATO to increase spending by buying American weapons."
"I don't think they actually agreed to that."
"I did. I tweeted that so it must be true."
"Yes Sir. There's another problem with one of your former er... acquaintances."
"Karen McDougal, she was a Playboy Model."
"Sir? Cohen had a tape of you and he discussing a payment to her?"
"Yes Sir and the FBI have it now."
"Check that Thesaurus thing again on would and wouldn't."
"Yes Sir, anything else? I have to go and testify to the Grand Jury again."
"Yeah, more important things, can't Boeing build a bigger bed?" "Sir????"
"Vlad?" "Don! How are you? Sacked any more Directors yet?" "Give me time." "I've told you time is of the essence don't give them time to think, change continuously." "I know, I know... Is that why you sent me the guide?" "Yes I've updated from last year Kim Sung made some amendments." "I admire him for one so young." "He had good training, like Assad, you really should meet up." "I can't with Assad I just bombed his base." "I know still nothing damaged and you did warn us first so I could tell him." "Shhhh the FBI may be listening?" "So what you have dealt with them now." "No, not quite the temporary one is being nasty about me in congress implying I was wrong." "Then fire him too, or really terminate - its what the rest of us do." "That reminds me, on page two of the guide it says I should assassinate some journalists after I have removed the heads of police." "Yes you need to adapt for your own terminology but get rid of a few journo's and the rest come into line." "I noticed and Erdogan recommended the same." "He's following the same programme, we'll soon have it all sorted." "Shame about Marie." "Yes and after the Dutch fiasco." "The hack was too late." "I've had the head of the team shot for the timing." "If only I had your control." "Back to the FBI, send them in armed and have accidental shooting with terrorism connections always works. Schools, cinemas, underground stations, all works and adds up." "I know you are right. What's next on the agenda." "Germany." "Is she the short fat one?" "Yes, but don't worry about her we still have the Stasi files." "What did she do?" "Nothing you have to worry about Don. Not as bad as the hotel..." "You said you would not mention those again." "Ha Ha just winding you up old friend. Xi says Hi by the way." "I owe him a call need to coordinate message when Kim does his next test." "Will it fail?" "We have not agreed yet. Now South Korea is coming on line maybe we should postpone." "No don't do that we need to keep the tension up. I wish Kim had agreed to that limited strike idea." "He needs to learn from Assad too. Got to keep some world opinion on side." "You are too soft Don, I'll get Ivanka to give you a rub down." "Will she?" "Anything for you Don you know that but ease off on Twitter it makes you look silly." "OK Vlad and thanks for the guide."
"Morning Mr. President" "Morning Sean" "Here's the list Rex sent" "What list?" "The one you asked for with the countries you haven't insulted or accused yet." "But there's only one sheet of paper and there's only two countries listed that's if Burkina Faso is a country?" "I'm told it is Sir." "Who by?" "The State Department." "And you believed them, you sure their not making it up?" "I checked with Andrew Napolitano at Fox, he say's he's heard of it. South America he thinks." "We didn't campaign there." "No Mr. President, South America the continent not south of the USA even though it is, south of the USA I mean." "Are you trying to hoodwink me?" "No Sir, I do need to check because I thought it was in Africa." "You mean we don't know where the country is, what sort of state did Obama let this country get into. Find it out immediately we can't just lose the location of a country!" "I don't think it's moved at all." "Why not? It can move if I want it too. I'm President, Vlad moves bits of countries all the time." "He does not move them Sir he just annexes bits of territory. In Georgia and the Ukraine." "He can't have Georgia we have the Masters there." "The nation Sir not the US State." "There's a difference?" "Sir?" "Never mind, so what do we do with this Faso?" "We can accuse them of harbouring a GCHQ listening post that was used to bug Trump Tower, maybe expel some diplomats." "Sounds good, get to it." "I can't I mean we can't Sir." "Why not?" "We promised the Brits we would not mention GCHQ again or accuse them of spying on you, you told Theresa May you would not nor the NSA." "Remind me, is Theresa the one I met this week the short dumpy one who spoke a foreign language?" "No Sir, that was Angela Merkel the German Chancellor, she wanted to hold your hand like Theresa did." "But she was foreign and somehow she got in the country despite my Immigration order." "Germany is not on the order Sir." "But she is foreign?" "Most people are Sir." "Not Americans." "We best not get into that." "Now Sir I have your daily security briefing, do you want the one from the NSA or your usual one from Fox News." "Can't believe the NSA one its all fake news and tell them I'm upset by them failing to confirm Andrew's story." "I have Sir." "Good, I'll look at it after Sesame Street, who is left on the list? What's the USSR?" "Oh that's just Vlad, he suggested he bring back the old name, a traditional branding opportunity his marketing folk have said." "Clever, I like it so we don't have to insult the USSR." "No Sir, we do not Russia but the USSR that justifies us increasing defence spending." "BUt if the USSR doesn't exist we're insulting no one?" "Exactly Sir." "How are we gonna pay for it all, I mean we don't get enough in tax." "No Sir some people have not paid tax in decades." "It's the American way Sean, I'm not stupid." "No Sir, very clever. I may have a way out." "What?" "Well according to the State Department Briefing Burkina Faso get some US Aid, we can withdraw it." "Great and we have an excuse as they have been spying on us, we can call it unnamed agencies used the place to coordinate spying activity. That won't upset the Angela." "That's Theresa and very good Sir." "What can we spend the money on instead." "A missile." "How many?" "Just one Sir a Hellfire I think. we only gave them a couple of million last year." "Too much, I paid more than that in tax." "No you didn't Sir." "That's because I'm clever." "Yes you are Sir."
"Mr. President great news." "What's happened?" "A judge ruled in our favour." "About time, so the new Exec order is OK then." "Not quite, there's one problem." "What now?" "It's the same judge." "The same one?" "Yeah the one you called an idiot and anti-democratic." "Did I say that?" "You did." "Was I on oath?" "Nope" "Shame I could deny it then, the AG did." "We're working on the statement now." "Try - we're always supportive of the legal process." "But that's not true." "And your point is?"
"Sean" "Mr President." "Good press conference" "I thought so to." "Why no questions though?" "That would have been difficult." ""Why?" "Well Sir I followed your instructions about fake news." "Good so you banned all the organisations that have written a story that was not true." "Yes Sir." "And..." "There's no one left." "No one?" "No one?" "So how are the American people going to hear about all the great things I've been doing?" "I've lined up some replacements they'll be here in the morning if we can get them an exemption." "Oh good, what exemption?" "They're due in school so we need permission to take them out of class and bring them in." "Understandable which college, Yale, Standford?" "No Mr President we have representatives from Washington Kindergarten Grade 1." "Will they be positive?" "As long as they have a choice of colours with the crayons they have asked us to supply."