The same anti establishment roar of anger that is taking Britain out of the EU has now landed us with President Trump.

The comparisons between the two seismic events are uncanny. Donald Trump in particular, and Nigel Farage to a lesser extent, broke the conventional rules and became “the bloke at the bar” to get past the elite and appeal to the “left behind”. The same tactics of flirting with racism and wild exaggeration were used by both men. Millions of Turks were due to settle in Britain according to Farage. Turkey is not even close to EU membership. Trump is pledged to deport two million illegal criminal immigrants. There are 178,000.

UKIP has indulged in endless infighting, Trump made lewd remarks about women. None of it mattered. Indeed the unseemly behaviour seems to add to the “authenticity” of Trump and Farage. The establishment right in the UK and America have been unable to handle the disruption. David Cameron was forced to concede a referendum which destroyed his career. Donald Trump, not a real Republican at all, managed to see off 15 rivals in the primaries.

And one more similarity, the polls. This is now the third time in 18 months they have got it wrong. Last year we were heading for a hung parliament, last June we were voting to Remain, last weekend Hillary Clinton was going to win the White House. The polls didn’t pick up shy Tories and enough pro Leavers. With Trump you had the classic candidate where people would hide their intention to vote for such a man.


Hillary Clinton is the latest victim of the collapse of the centre left in European and American politics. They have no answer to the problems of the world where a refugee crisis is fuelled by terrorism and globalisation has left millions behind. Extremists want to polarise us and they are succeeding in a frightening way. Watch out for the German and French elections next year.

Clinton would have made a good President but had accumulated too much political baggage over three decades in the public eye. She never fully won over the Bernie Sanders radicals. She was sabotaged by the FBI over her emails and she couldn’t defy history. Only once since the Second World War has the White House been won by the same party three times on the run.


Trump has made a large number of dangerous promises. Will he actually build that wall on the Mexican border? It will be compared to the Berlin Wall and America will be shamed. Will be try and ban all Moslems? That will delight ISIS and violate the constitution. Will he repudiate the NATO pledge that an attack on one is an attack on all? Conscription is back in Lithuania. And will he tear up all those foreign trade treaties?

You can see where we’re going. In the UK and the US we’re pulling up the drawbridges, turning in on ourselves, allowing racists to feel a sense of legitimacy.

One final thought, The Donald will have the nuclear weapons codes. Dark times indeed.

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Everybody thinks the E.U. referendum is going to be a close run thing. Why do they think that? Because the polls tell them so. These are the same polling organisations who got the General Election result wrong and arguably distorted the outcome as a consequence.

Apparently on line and phone polling is giving wildly different outcomes and it could be even more difficult to get accurate polling results on this E.U. Referendum than when you are asking people for their political party preference.

So on June 24th if the British people vote to withdraw by a decisive margin or (as I hope) decide to remain with a convincing majority, prepare for another round of hand ringing by pollsters as we find out that the British people had a clear view on their future destiny after all.

By the way, although I am convinced pro European I do think it is provocative for the government to send out anti Exit leaflets ahead of the official referendum campaign. It will just help supporters of Leave who are already preparing to cry foul if we vote to Remain.


I understand the importance of our trade relations with a nation that could overtake the United States and become the biggest economic power in the world. But it has never been without risks. The main ethical one is dealing with a country with a poor civil rights record but there are others including the issues that are arising over the future of the British steel industry.

With China now involved in financing major infrastructure projects in this country, it is not easy to aggressively oppose their steel dumping. A measure of the growing arrogance of the Chinese government was their decision to impose a 46% tariff on grain orientated electrical steel made in Wales at the very moment when the government was facing the hugely embarrassing possibility of seeing the Port Talbot plant close.

You can tell the members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party are not answerable to voters.

We need to save domestic steel making, and put a bit of distance from the Chinese. I also hope we will hear more at next week’s Downtown lunch in Liverpool about the progress of Chinese investment in Liverpool and Wirral following the latest MIPIM extravaganza. It is a long time since the city was at the Shanghai Expo and I don’t see many shovels in the ground.


Donald Trump continues his divisive campaign to win the Republican nomination for President of the United States. His Wisconsin set back this week means it is unlikely he will arrive at the Convention with a majority. But if the Republican establishment deny him the nomination by back room deals, there could be real trouble. I watched a Channel Four documentary recently which illustrated the ugly mood amongst his blue collar white working class supporters.

There has already been violence at Trump rallies. It could get worse.


I have been pro Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination but I was mightily impressed with her rival Bernie Sanders speech after winning in Wisconsin. His attack on the greed and corruption exposed by the Panama Papers leak shows the degree of anger by us P.A.Y.E. People at people who are salting away their wealth in tax havens.

Sanders has a lot in common with another insurgent politician, Jeremy Corbyn. Labour should watch the American socialist carefully.


Channel Four does not get the same audience for the big race that the BBC got. So to try and increase viewers they are putting it on at 5-15 on Saturday. It just doesn’t feel right to me. Most people are off on a Saturday, not getting home from work. You should be able to have a bit of lunch and enjoy the race in the middle of the afternoon.