President Trump in the UK: A British View
In an article published on July 14, 2018 in the London Times Matthew Parris provided an interesting interpretation of the Trump visit to the UK.
In many ways, it is a comment as well on the Baby Trump ballon put up to protest the President’s visit to the UK.
What boils down too, is Parris highlights that whatever one thinks of President Trump he speaks some harsh truths to current realities in Europe.
Life is too short to deconstruct the mental processes of Donald Trump, so let me quote my former Times colleague Michael Gove. After interviewing the president in January 2017 for this newspaper, the (now) environment secretary remarked: “Intelligence comes in many forms.” Properly understood, the remark was neither sarcastic nor fawning, but puzzled and thoughtful.
Way back in the last century, Margaret Thatcher’s rather fastidious and left-of-centre colleague, the (then) Norman St John-Stevas remarked “the trouble with Margaret is that when she speaks without thinking she says what she thinks”.
Both men were, in their ways, describing the same phenomenon: the crude honesty than can come with brute strength.
Donald Trump doesn’t care to think too much before he speaks and has a habit of saying what he thinks. And the trouble with us, not him, is that what he thinks is what plenty of more genteel and considered folk do actually think, but don’t like to say.
Parris then highlights a number of harsh realities which Trump underscored which the author thinks are perhaps rude but nonetheless true.
Are Europe and NATO pulling their proper weight in defense spending?
Is China offering the world a level playing field in trade?
Is British politics in turmoil?
And he’s right, isn’t he (fellow-Remainers, you wince, but you know it’s true) that Theresa May’s white paper Brexit proposals will turn the United Kingdom into an economic satellite of the European Union?
And with regard to style, the author added this note:
“Every world-power emperor in every century has looked like this. Trump’s presidential predecessors were simply more polite.”