Thursday 21 September 2017

Seduced by hysteria

Donald Trump's crazy energy seems to be contagious. But Enda and Leo and all of us just need to stay calm

FLAG WAVING: British PM Theresa May and US President Donald Trump last week
FLAG WAVING: British PM Theresa May and US President Donald Trump last week
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

There is a kind of madness in the air among the political classes worldwide. It's as if Donald Trump's unpredictable energy is contagious. Trump, seemingly adrift without an administration around him, conducted a neighbourhood spat with the president of Mexico on Twitter, while the former president of Mexico has been trolling Trump on Twitter about not paying for "that f**king wall".

Meanwhile, Theresa May goes to America and unexpectedly signals a massive shift in UK foreign policy by dumping all over the UK liberal nation-building project. It was, in its own way, the equivalent of Trump getting up on inauguration day and dumping all over the Washington elite who preceded him. May even echoed some of Trump's language about not imposing Britain's way of life on people but letting it shine as an example.

Enda Kenny, not to be outdone, mischievously suggests that it might be time for Fine Gael or Fianna Fail to go into government with Sinn Fein now that they are clean as a whistle. While Leo Varadkar, who is increasingly acting like some kind of alternative leader of Fine Gael, half rules it out initially saying that he would not be seeking that mandate (presumably in the election that he told party members could occur this year) but that the people will decide. And then everyone starts clamouring to backpedal, some of Fine Gael decides to turn on Kenny again, while the other half seems to have turned on Leo.

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