The implications for the UK of a King Lear in the USA

The fact that mental health professionals are now querying the mental health of the ‘most powerful nation’ on Earth should give even Boris Johnson pause for thought

I’ve been thinking about the relationship between the UK for some time but my thoughts have been jolted to a conclusion when I read this in today’s Independent.

“A group of mental health professionals have warned Congress it must act urgently to demand Donald Trump undergo an evaluation to determine his continued fitness for office after nearly a week of heightened tensions with Iran.

The World Mental Health Coalition made the statement a month after warning Congress that the stress of impeachment could cause Mr Trump’s mental state to deteriorate to a dangerous level.

“We have been seriously warning about this for some time. The US Congress must act immediately and forcefully without further delay,” the group said in a statement obtained by The Independent shortly after the president struggled to pronounce words and sniffed repeatedly while delivering a scripted statement on the Iran crisis at the White House”.

The relationship with the USA is an important one for the UK and for Liverpool. I only have to go to the Londis on Penny Lane and most days I will hear a transatlantic accent especially when the cruise liners are in as a huge proportion of their passengers come from the US.

Of course, the USA is not our biggest trading partner, that’s the EU but it is important to us not only for trade but for the defence and other problems which it can and is causing for us.

I strongly suspect that Trump’s action on Iran will be the British equivalent of Suez. At that time the UK Government run largely by people who had played a major part in the Raj and the rest of the Empire could not believe the evidence of their own eyes. The Empire had gone but the Colonel Blimps of Westminster and Whitehall still thought that they could intervene in the countries led by ‘Johnny Foreigner’ with impunity. They were wrong just as Trump is wrong now.

Trump believed that he could sit in Washington and dictate actions many thousands of miles away. He expected his allies to fall in behind him. He was wrong on both counts. Not one ally supported the USA with even Israel standing aloof from the actions. Within hours Trump and his worm-like spokesperson were rowing back, “of course we won’t bomb cultural areas; we must work with our allies to get a none proliferation agreement for nuclear weapons with Iran”.

The immediate tragic consequence of this appears to be the death of 160+ people in a Ukraine aeroplane. The likely scenario is that jittery Iraqis shot down a plane by mistake. They may have pulled the trigger but it was Trump who set up the circumstances.

The relationship with a delusional Trump matters because of the beliefs from a delusional Johnson that we have a special relationship with the USA which will be sealed by a great trade agreement when we leave the accursed EU. All the signs are that this will not happen. Deluded Mr Trump might be but even he recognises what Mr Johnson cannot that keeping the EU with its 600 million plus people in a strong relationship is more important than a relationship with the 60 million people in the UK.

The idea that we could ditch our biggest and nearest trading partner and replace it with a strong relationship with the World’s biggest economy was always far-fetched. Now as we see the power and influence of the USA receding almost on a daily basis it appears totally naïve. We could well be the rats that go down with the sinking ship!

We want to have a good relationship with the USA. I personally have many friends over there who are as appalled as we are about their President. We have many things in common with the USA and many cultural and economic links. Our car industry, pharmaceutical industry and banking industries are very interconnected with USA counterparts and there a large two-way traffic in tourists. These relationships are important to both Countries. So, we need to find a way to work with the best elements of the USA without tying ourselves to their own King Lear.

The behaviour of Trump which was always erratic can now be seen to be totally dangerous. This is a man who has lied, cheated and deceived. He is racist and sexist; he is operating well beyond his mental capacity and has surrounded himself with god-botherers and toadies. Yet he is the person we now rely on for our future economic prosperity!

To use an American expression Prime Minister Johnson needs to, “wake up and smell the coffee”. He needs to ensure that we do not leave the EU without a trade agreement. No deal with no potential partner such as the USA would be economic suicide for the Country. Perhaps the good side effect of Trump’s stupidity is that Johnson will come to his senses and approach the UK/EU relationship with a more realistic assessment that the EU is where we need to have the strongest possible affiliation.

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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