Press Watch 1/11/19

By Janet Street

Coalition of the Willing: Trump, Johnson and Farage

The American President appears to have no self-awareness whatsoever. He is probably the most disliked politician for decades. Instead of breaking with his usual pattern of behaviour, he doubles down.

However, it is not his personal style or strange mannerisms which worries Scarlet Standard. We are more concerned about his policy orientation, which is hard right. Everywhere, he is attracted to dictators and his central preoccupation appears to the narrow promotion of “American interests”.

What used to be called the Washington “consensus” has now become an old fashioned Yankee Imperium.

Trump's intervention yesterday in British politics, attracts and repels. It repels the wider electorate but it holds a kind of fascinated attraction to every single right-wing newspaper this morning. The kind of attraction, that it is said, which human beings have when they stare into the eyes of a deadly serpent.

The Times among other papers points out the President’s intervention came in a radio interview on LBC with Nigel Farage’s.

The paper calls this interview a “coup” for the Brexit party leader especially as it comes the day before the Brexit Party launch at which he is expected to announce how many seats it will contest.

Significant figures in the British Establishment have been indicating for some time that Farage ought not to contest Conservative-held seats in a bid to unite the “Brexit vote”.

The Daily Telegraph has in recent days occasionally seemed to be a driver behind efforts to secure a peace pact between the Brexit Party and the Tories.

Trump yesterday added his radio voice to those urging the two to form a pact saying that together they would be an “unstoppable force”.

The president said that Johnson was “a fantastic man, and I think he’s the exact right guy for the times”. Speaking to Farage on his radio phone-in, Trump added: “I know that you and him will end up doing something that could be terrific if you and he get together as, you know, an unstoppable force.”

Trump and Brexit

In yesterday's radio interview with Farage, Trump criticised Johnson’s Brexit deal, claiming it hinders trade with the US. It’s clear he wants a no deal resolution. Something which the British PM and the ERG hardliners in the Tory party have openly flirted with.

The president told LBC he had discussed with the PM the new agreement he brokered with Brussels. “We want to do trade with UK and they want to do trade with us,” he said. “To be honest with you... This deal... under certain aspects of the deal... you can’t do it, you can’t do it, you can’t trade. We can’t make a trade deal with the UK because I think we can do many times the numbers that we’re doing right now and certainly much bigger numbers than you are doing under the EU.”

Trump dismissed Jeremy Corbyn’s warnings that the NHS will be up for grabs for the US after Brexit. “Not at all. We wouldn’t even be involved in that, no. It’s not for us to have anything to do with your health care system. No, we’re just talking about trade.”(our emphasis, see below)

Scarlet Standard says that there are a number of key points from Trump's intervention.

First, everyone can now see that Farage, Johnson and Trump form a right-wing axis.

Second, Trump’s comments on our health service are revealing. In two sentences his thoughts go straight from the NHS to trade. As Jeremy Corbyn warned yesterday, it’s the big American pharma corporations who are waiting in the wings, salivating at the prospects of feeding on £500 million per week of medical supplies to the NHS. Other trading opportunities are also available when health is opened up.

Finally, it is now clearer than ever before that Johnson (and Farage) wants to open the door to the further Americanisation of British capitalism. Such a course of action would further enrich the big US corporations but at the expense of the wider population.

This cannot happen. The general election will boil down - as Corbyn said yesterday in his opening speech of the campaign - to the old question. Which side are you on?

We have no doubt about the deep values of the British people about fairness, social justice, democracy and community. It is the task of every one of us to get out and win this. Trump yesterday will have removed any doubt in our minds as to what the choice now is.

©2019 by Scarlet Standard.