Phew. That is all one can say, and to hope for better things here as across the pond the Democrats gain a toehold on power in the Senate. I don’t pretend to understand the ins and outs of US politics but it appears that a president is hamstrung without a majority of their party in the Senate – much like the leader of a minority government here. There were two Senate seats up for grabs in yesterday’s vote: one has been taken by a black pastor of the church where Martin Luther King once preached and the other is too close to call. If they win the other the casting vote will lie with Vice-President Kamala Harris, meaning that Biden can now count on getting most of his legislative programme through.
It comes to something when we celebrate with near-euphoria the victory of a man who is, despite what his opponents may say, nowhere near being a socialist. He’s basically a centrist and on the whole no threat to the establishment which in the US is basically big business plus religion. My feeling is that Trump has now thoroughly dished himself and may be dragging his entire party down with him by his refusal to accept the inevitable and his childish and ungracious twitter-tantrums insisting that he won all along. A phone call at the weekend of which a transcript is publicly available records him asking election officials to ‘find’ 11,700 votes. It’s pathetic. Had he been a little more restrained and accepted defeat graciously he might have paved the way for a comeback in 2024. But it’s my belief that after this, no-one will touch him with a barge pole and that his antics may have contributed to the historic turnout and the ‘flipping’ of the state of Georgia.
What does all this mean for us here? Hard to say. The tide is now turning against Johnson; with no Brexit to distract people his dismal record on the pandemic is now becoming clear. People are looking at other European countries and realising that he’s basically fluffed it. There will be a reckoning and when that happens the Tories will pretty smartly get rid of him. Who will replace him is anyone’s guess: Rishi Sunak is more personable but lacks experience and only the clinically insane would suggest Priti Patel. I have nothing whatever against an Asian Prime Minister, it’s just that Patel is the vilest person ever to disgrace the office of Home Secretary. But with no election due for another four years it’s hard to see how there could be a change of government any day soon.
Stay safe out there. Or in there.