28 January 2017
On the day of Trump’s inauguration I was in West Palm Beach in Florida and after watching his abrasive inaugural address on CNN, the channel which tells the truth and he loves to hate, I decided to go for a walk to clear my head. I strolled past a building called Trump Plaza and there in front of it were three guys dressed in black suits and wearing black ties. In front of them was a coffin. It was draped in the American flag. They held up posters which said “ The Death of Democracy”. The following morning there was a march nearby of thousands, predominantly women, all adorned in pink. This all sent a powerful message.
Contrast this with the actions of the newly elected President who seemed obsessed by the fact that there were fewer people at his inauguration than Barack Obama’s, and who had immediately had the colour of the curtains in the Oval Office changed to his favourite colour – gold. Then, to the collective derision of the worldwide media, he sends one of his key advisors, the now infamous Kellyanne Conway, to talk about Alternative Facts. He has also succeeded in jig time to turn his Press Secretary into a figure of ridicule. This is a serious matter because when the Press Secretary is dealing with a genuine crisis he will need the press corps to believe he is telling the truth.
Welcome to the age of Donald Trump, the Great Disruptor. Now there may be myriad jokes about the Donald flying around the internet, some of them far from polite, but people really do need to understand two things. He meant what he said on the campaign trail and by executive order he has very considerable power. Also, disturbingly, he has the ability by his damn tweets to move markets and more dangerously to precipitate an international crisis. How long before there are demonstrations on the streets of America with cries of “Lock Him Up “?
All of this makes for an anxious start to 2017. I genuinely feel that the Donald gets his kicks from rattling the bejaysus out of as many people as possible but make no mistake, we are caught in the crossfire. The potential threat to our pharmaceutical sector is very disturbing. This represents one of the pillars of our industrial strategy.
The Donald, or The Visionary as he likes to be known, has already moved the bust of Winston Churchill back into the White House. By cosying up to Theresa May and talking trade, he is giving the proverbial brush-off to Angela Merkel and sending tremors through Brussels. To him at the moment we are small fry