@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."
Hitler was democratically elected so was Trump – Hitler won 43.9% of popular vote in March 1933. Trump won 45.9% in November 2016
Hitler favoured edicts and decrees – so apparently does Trump based on evidence since inauguration – even ones that have a law for them e.g. No torture congressional law
I make no other comparison
Another few weeks drift past and yet the same issues which seem to have been in the news all year, remain.
The US never-ending election still has over 3 weeks to run and just when you think the behaviour and approach of both camps can’t get any worse they manage to achieve it. If it’s not sexual abuse allegations it’s more leaked emails. I pity the American voter. I thought our choice this side of the Atlantic was pretty bad but the candidates there look appalling.
I watched the clip of Gary Johnson who is apparently also standing as a Libertarian Party candidate – I mean really? Over five years into a civil war in Syria and this man who wants to be President of the most powerful nation on earth does not know what Aleppo is?
At least Trump and Clinton have managed to answer some questions on the subject. It’s not unusual for foreign affairs (not the sexual kind) to play little part in a US election, but one might have expected that confrontations with Russia over Syria, Ukraine and Crimea, to have some impact. Likewise relations with China over the Spratley Islands rather than ridiculous notions of simplistic arguments over manufacturing jobs in the US should have some policy. It remains completely unreported what either candidate’s plans for North Korea are. Better not ask Trump but his rhetoric can’t be worse than the accusations from US Security services that NK was behind the Sony attack.
What still amazes many commentators is that Trump is still popular with large swathes of the US electorate despite all the gaffes. It demonstrates how unpopular Clinton is but more importantly how upset many American voters are with the established political class which Clinton embodies. Here we have some of the parallels with the UK EU debate despite the referendum.
Although there is an element of the moaning bad loser side in some of the pronouncements from what was the remain side, many did set out the risks to the economy an no-vote would bring. Several senior economists have stated that the currency changes that we have seen since end of June were a long overdue correction to Sterling’s position just exasperated by the vote for exit and on-going uncertainty of what that means. In the percentages shown everything is referred to the currency position post 23rd June, failing as usual to mention that Sterling’s value had risen significantly in the lead up to the vote.
Euro over 5 years from here shows a different story than the headlines might have you believe on 19th Oct 2011 the exchange rate was 1.14 and it closed on 14th Oct 2016 at 1.11. In particular, the rise of the pound in 2015 and the lead up to the vote is dramatic. US Dollar to Sterling is a significant fall over the same period 1.57 to 1.21 and the comments on reserve currencies should be concerning, but at the same time interest rates have been signaled upwards in the US and stay the same or lower in the UK which does not help Sterling investors. By the way Euro to US Dollar has gone down from 1.37 to 1.11 in the same time period.
I have picked an arbitrary period but some of us can remember much better and worse Pound to Dollar rates. It reached a low of 1.05 in February 1985 after the ERM fiasco and was as high as 2.11 in November 2007 as sub-prime crashed the dollar
What do we learn from that brief history- currencies fluctuate – sometimes a lot – thousands of traders around the world make money doing that.
Final discussion for today is on Credit Rating Agencies and their comments – yes the same folks that branded those sub-prime investment funds as AAA, are doing all their warnings on where the pound might go next. All the discussion is based on what the UK might do as if what might happen in the Euro (How is Greece by the way and Italy, Portugal, Spain?) will have no impact. Remember Euro zone and other EU exports to the UK, exceed UK Exports to the EU – we both have a lot to lose if we are stupid and put in unnecessary tariffs. World trade will be damaged if Trump introduced tariffs to protect American jobs and cancels NAFTA. Likewise what will be the impact on the dollar if Trump wins and implements that piece of rhetoric.
Guess what the pound might go up or down or sideways. Can we moan about currency traders instead?