TRUMP DYNASTY OR QUICK EXIT ?

 

IMPEACH AT YOUR PERIL.

After the latest act in the extraordinary pantomime that is the Trump presidency, some are concluding that The Donald’s impeachment is just around the corner. I think they are wrong and if by any chance there were right, moves to remove the President, America could face widespread social unrest.

“It’s the economy, stupid”, was the quote hung on the Clinton campaign HQ in 1992 to keep everyone focused on what mattered. It is the same today. It is easy to get distracted by the comings and goings from the White House, but the American economy is doing well under Trump. The Dow Jones Index is at record levels, more jobs are being created, business confidence is high and growth for the year is predicted to be 6%.

Trump’s supporters in middle America either don’t care about the Russia scandal or see it as the liberal elite trying to get their hero. They voted in anger for Trump last autumn and would likely take to the streets if impeachment proceedings were started. That eventuality is unlikely anyway because both Houses of Congress are controlled by the Republicans. They are going to take some persuading to turn on their President despite his past strained relations with the party’s establishment.

So where does the Trump dynasty come from? I merely want us to think more widely about what might happen in America. It remains possible that the multiple investigations into the Russia business turn up some smoking guns that finish Trump or that his erratic behaviour becomes intolerable. It is also possible that the new Chief of Staff, John Kelly, will get a handle on the dysfunctional White House, Trump will quieten down and if the economy remains in decent shape, he could win a second term. After all there is no obvious Democratic Party challenger. Three women are being spoken of; Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama (my choice) and Oprah Winfrey. Trump versus Winfrey would be a colourful race!

If The Donald successfully serves two terms, watch out for his daughter Ivanka who has far more political skill than her father. There, I’ve given you a scenario where Trumps could be in the White House till 2033. What a nightmare, no its goin’ to be great, goin’ to be great!

LABOUR CHALLENGE ON EUROPE.

The excellent people at the British Election Study based at Manchester University have just published their analysis of June’s General Election. One of the most striking findings was that Labour picked up substantial support from Remain voters. This despite the fact that the party’s position on Europe was, and still is, opaque and the leader Jeremy Corbyn has always resented the EU rules that prevent state intervention to protect failing industries unfairly. Despite also the clear offer from the Lib Dems of a second referendum

The vagueness is skilful politics to try to keep on board northern Labour voters worried about immigration and southern ones who want either a soft Brexit or none. On the latter point, a recent survey funded by the Economic and Social Research Council called the Party Members Project showed a majority of Labour members now want a vote on the final EU package. Jeremy Corbyn should be pressed to move to this position. If he refuses he will be exposed for the anti-EU politician he has always been.

Follow me @JimHancockUK.

 

 

 

 

BUSINESS IS READY FOR TRUMP ROLLERCOASTER

JUST JIM 233.

BUSINESS READY FOR TRUMP ROLLERCOASTER.

When the Trump presidency starts next Friday, the business community won’t be alone in wondering what happens next.

During the transition from President Obama to President Trump, economic indicators have generally been up on both sides of the Atlantic. Here the FTSE 100 has had its longest run of successive all-time peaks since it was set up in 1984. One of the reasons is Donald Trump’s commitment to increase infrastructure spending across the United States. Any business traveller will know The Donald is on to something here. Most of America’s airports are tired compared to their gleaming counterparts in Asia and the Middle East. It is the same with US roads and rail. It is the penalty Americans are paying for being first to embrace the car revolution in the post war years.

SME confidence is also strong in the UK. It rose from 2.9 to 8.5 in the last quarter according to the Federation of Small Business. Is this a spill over effect from Trump’s plans when he comes into office? Some economists believe that for every percentage point the US economy grows, advanced economies like the UK grow by 0.8%. The incoming President is planning tax cuts and increased defence spending as well as major infrastructure schemes that we have already discussed.

But business needs to be cautious. Trump is a loose cannon. We have already seen shares in pharmaceuticals crash as a result of the incoming President’s determination to repatriate manufacturing to the US. Bringing jobs home was a key election platform and has already led to Ford deciding to locate a car plant in Michigan instead of Mexico. Defence shares have also been hit by tweets sent out from Trump Tower.

Business will also be aware that the new President will be taking office with controversy swirling around his coiffured blonde hair. Has he done enough to distance himself from his global private interests? Is the team he has selected to run the great offices of state up to the job? Will he get the support of the Republican controlled Senate and House that the raw numbers suggest? Many don’t regard him as a real Republican. Then there is the personal stuff. Is he in thrall to the Russians over his peccadillos, and will he realise that he cannot run the United States by angry tweet.

Business on both sides of the pond have craved more business experience at the top of politics. Well the USA has got one and it will be fascinating to see if Trump can manage a political machine as well as he ran his boardroom. They are very different beasts.

 

Follow me at www.jimhancock.co.uk

 

BREXIT PLUS PLUS PLUS.

 

ADVANCE OF THE RIGHT.

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.

RETREAT OF THE LEFT.

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.

WHAT NOW ?

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.

Follow me at www.jimhancock.co.uk

THE DEMEANING OF AMERICA

 

 

 

Some parents won’t let their children watch coverage of the American Presidential election. I’m not surprised. On a personal level the revelations concerning Republican candidate Donald Trump’s encounters with a host of women make him unfit to hold the high office to which he aspires. On an international level the thought of this erratic man getting anywhere near the nuclear trigger doesn’t bear thinking about.

Trump is the least suitable Republican candidate since Barry Goldwater in 1964. He was trounced by Lyndon Johnson after declaring “extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice.” That sort of sentiment has run through much of Trump’s rhetoric. Talk of Mexicans being rapists, of building a wall to keep them out and banning Muslims from entering America are the modern day expressions of the ugly Goldwater campaign all those years ago.

So where is the landslide for the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton? It may come, but with a few days to go to the election some people are still talking about a Trump victory. Why isn’t America set to embrace its first woman President with the same enthusiasm that accompanied the election of its first black President in 2008?

After all, the choice is stark if one is judging the candidates on qualification for office. Hillary Clinton is a former First Lady, senator and Secretary of State. Trump has never held political office.

The answer is that with thirty years in public service, Clinton has attracted “baggage”. She is regarded as arrogant and did herself no favours by describing Trump supporters as “deplorables”. For many in the Democratic Party she is not radical enough. That is why Vermont senator Bernie Sanders put up such a strong showing against her. The biggest problem though has concerned her use of a private server for classified emails. What she did was not criminal and there is no evidence of a security breach. However it has allowed Trump to call her a crook. She had appeared to have put the problem behind her until the issue was reopened last week.

There are so many issues that this campaign should have been about; the American economy, gun control, climate change, foreign policy, policing of the African American community and health care. Instead most of the time has been taken up with Trump’s sleazy behaviour and Clinton’s emails. You can imagine dictators and theocratic tyrants around the world being reinforced in their contempt for democracy. That is why America has been demeaned by this contest.

Clinton will probably win, Trump is behind in too many of the swing states like Colorado and Ohio. Florida is in the balance and The Donald is ahead in Iowa and Ohio. However perhaps this year of surprises has one last twist. How many people have concealed their support for such a disreputable candidate as Trump?

A Clinton victory will be good for the world. A stable presence in the White House is essential. Her winning will encourage other women and girls to break the glass ceiling and she will attempt to implement a programme of social justice and international resolve

The question next Wednesday will be whether Trump accepts defeat. And how the millions of Americans bewildered by the modern economy and displaced from their jobs in coal and steel who the Trump campaign has tapped into, will react.