Saturday 21 September 2019

Sirena Bergman: 'Between Melania and May, days of bacon butties on front page are over'

'What I want to know is, now that Melania appears to have infinite power over the entire US government, could she maybe use it to fire her husband?' AP photo
'What I want to know is, now that Melania appears to have infinite power over the entire US government, could she maybe use it to fire her husband?' AP photo

Sirena Bergman

I woke up to find that the entire British government is collapsing. There is not enough junk food in central London to get me through this one.

Even my long-suffering friends over the Atlantic can't seem to escape the madness. Poor John Kerry just wanted to quietly promote his book to Radio 4 listeners and got roped into giving a Brexit commentary. He managed to use a lot of words to say pretty much nothing, in case you were wondering.

Theresa May is not living the dream right now either. Imagine getting the ultimate promotion and then realising that everyone hates you and all your staff have sneaky contracts that allow them to resign at a moment's notice every time you do something they don't like? And it's all on TV for the world to point and laugh and make endless Twitter puns about you. Nightmare.

The one saving grace I suppose is that at least she hasn't upset her boss's wife. Poor Mira Ricardel has been less lucky. Don't know who she is? A "senior White House aide" apparently (nope, me neither) who reportedly had some sort of hoo-hah with Melania Trump about who sat where on a plane. To be fair, I can see even the tightest of friendships being put to the test when one of you has to spend two-and-a-half hours on a cramped Ryanair flight in between a screaming toddler and a stag do. Not sure what the Air Force One equivalent would be though. Maybe whether you get the suite with fold-out sofas and a private bathroom, or have to recline on the massive armchairs like a peasant. The private jet struggle is real.

Whatever the seating dispute was, it hasn't ended well for Ricardel, who has been unceremoniously "removed from her post" (which is, presumably, the more presidential version of "you're fired!"). Melania went out of her way to issue a statement saying Ricardel "no longer deserves the honour of serving in this White House".

The whole thing is baffling on a number of levels. Not only is it hard to see how even his wife could think working for Trump's chaotic, egomaniacal administration would be an honour, I also can't wrap my head around Trump giving his wife that kind of power. If there's one thing we've learned in the last 48 hours it's that there's no danger of politics getting boring again any time soon.

Remember when Ed Miliband ate a sandwich and it was front-page news? Those were the days. Now that BBC Parliament has basically turned into a 24-hour soap opera, a bacon butty wouldn't get a look-in.

Over in the States, amid democratic crises and horrifying natural disasters, they're all pontificating about the audacity of one woman to fire another. I give Fox a solid hour before they use the terms "bitchy", "catfight" or "emotional". They'll have a field day if she actually winds up getting rid of chief of staff John Kelly next.

What I want to know is, now that Melania appears to have infinite power over the entire US government, could she maybe use it to fire her husband? Not as a spouse, necessarily, that's her business and I could(n't) care less, but as president. She couldn't very well instate herself in his place given the fact that it was him who pushed the birther conspiracy racist nonsense that Obama wasn't born in the US, and her migration history is tenuous, but there's not exactly a shortage of other reality stars to take his place.

Maybe she can fire Theresa May too while she's at it and put us all out of our misery. Wishful thinking? Most definitely. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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