Opinion from Lord Digby Jones

When will they ever learn....

Published Tuesday 15 November, 2016

"When will they ever learn?" sang the latest Nobel Laureate, Robert Dylan Esq; yes indeed Bob, "when will they ever learn?"

So, it is to be President Trump! 

If you tell people who feel left behind and threatened that:-

- there is no problem with unskilled immigration,

- it's ok for the rich to get richer whilst tens of millions have not seen an increase in their take home pay for some nineteen years

- they must just suck it up because Nanny knows best

don't be surprised if, when you give them the opportunity to rise up and render the 21st Century equivalent of pitchfork and lynch mob revolution......voting, that the people say what you don't want to hear.......that they've had your liberal establishment elitism "up to here" and they want to change the system.

It might be Brexit, it might be Trump.........they are both evidence of the "left behind", the "disconnected" wanting big change.

I find it amazing, and certainly insulting to the "swivel-eyed bigots" as Brexiteers were called and "deplorables" as Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters (interestingly, Trump called them "the forgotten") that the Establishment Elite merely cry into their beer (or nettle squash laced with tofu or whatever passes for acceptable in the Socialist Elite Corbynland of Islington or Trendy NYC these days) and say how the unintelligent, misled (implication: thick) majority got it wrong. Yes Mr Dylan....when will they ever learn? 

So how did The Donald pull it off?

- Who he was up against.

I met an affluent New Yorker in California last February. He told me he would be voting for Trump. I asked what he did. He said he had retired from an investment bank. I asked which one. He said "mine"! I queried his decision to vote for a misogynistic racist. He said he had three reasons: Trump would get things done; Trump would shake up Washington; and.............Trump wasn't Hillary!

- There was something of the anti-hero about him.

He took on the Establishment Elite all on his own and funded his campaign himself. He exploited the media brilliantly. He understood that the American Electorate did not want more of the same and he gave them a chance to have their first non-political Reality President ........and by disgusting behaviour and disgraceful statements forced a frankly naive media to give him all the coverage he wanted, about what he wanted, when he wanted and on his terms. He cleverly turned the "but he's never been in politics, he is inexperienced of how our World works" complaint to a conquering advantage and compelling argument.

- People subliminally felt that nepotistic hereditary rule had let America down.

For a Country that was born out of getting rid of an Hereditary Monarchic Family, they had sleep-walked into watching the House of Bush and the House of Clinton "divvy up" power in the most powerful nation on earth for two generations. (Bill Clinton even publicly told his wife on the platform when she accepted the Democrat Nomination  that "it's your turn now"!!). All polls were showing that regardless of for whom they were going to vote, 76% of Americans believed that their Country was going in the wrong direction. The realisation that the Rule of Two Houses since 1988 (with eight years of Obama at its end) had produced everything that they no longer wanted resulted in another justification for ABH (Anyone But Hillary).  

- People ignored the Polls

Millions were missed by the polls. Those who didn't normally vote (and so were ignored by the pollsters) voted this time......and voted for Trump. Millions more were "shy Trumpeteers"; they told pollsters they hadn't made up their minds or would vote for Clinton but had every intention of voting for the man they did not want to admit publicly they supported.

So we on this side of the Pond look on with amazement, and not a little worry. Will he be good for the UK?

- He supports Brexit.

So he has a degree of vested interest in getting a US/UK trade deal done quickly. (No anti-British "get to the back of the queue" from this President). His Mum was Scottish and he is invested here.

- His general anti-free trade promises are very worrying.

We are the most open, free-trading Nation on earth. We benefit when protectionism fails. We do well in a low tariff, easy trading World economy. An American-led, beggar-thy-neighbour flight to putting up the barriers will give us challenges, not with the USA but with other countries who will happily (but so badly wrongly) adopt stances similar to Uncle Sam's.  

- Trump has not threatened to quit NATO per se.

He has threatened to consider quitting the biggest guarantor of European security (against who-know-who..ski!) if Europe doesn't start paying its fair share of the bill. America currently pays 70% of the cost of NATO. Germany is the fourth largest economy on the planet and pays tiddlysquat in comparison. Britain pays its fair share so Trump will see us as an ally in this one.....a position which we can exploit to advantage. But the EU had better get ready to put its reluctant hand in its pocket for guns and planes ...... and Junker and his mates are not going to like that one bit.

And so.......... 

Donald Trump will not be anywhere near as excessive in power as he was during the campaign. They never are. Moreover, the Founding Fathers knew what they were doing in putting several checks and balances in the way of would-be King Tyrants; they did not want an elected George 111!

I just say to those heart-broken members of the liberal Establishment Elite and also to those millions of good, decent ordinary people who are (like me) so dismayed that one of the World's great democracies could elect such an appallingly bad example of leadership, gracefulness, social inclusion and promotion of equality of gender, colour and creed .......SUMO.......Shut Up. Move On. 

In his graceful speech following his first meeting with President-Elect Trump, President Obama said it was his job to make sure that the transition and the next Presidency were as successful as possible for the good of America. How wise!  

We must now get on with it; we are where we are; let us all make a Trump Presidency work for our Country. 

And a word of advice to Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP for the Scottish National Party who is on the record as saying that even if Trump became President he should be banned from the UK; look down from your high horse of elitism and just understand that democracy sometimes doesn't do what you want it to; be big, get a large spoon and eat a big, big slice of humble pie.