Posted on 19th May 2018

Slane Castle

Donald Trump’s behaviour is not exclusively bringing shame on the United States.  That honour is extended to other members of his family.  Ivanka Trump in particular has attracted the ire of certain sections of the U.S. media over her, frankly, nauseating opening of the new American Embassy in Jerusalem.  The New York Times described her as behaving like a “Zionist Marie Antoinette” and the event itself as “grotesque”.  The tabloid New York Daily News went further with a front page splash with the headline “ Daddy’s Little Ghoul”.  Justified ? I think so. It coincided with the Israelis shooting 58 unarmed civilians and wounding 2,700 in an action widely condemned throughout the world.  Our own government were quite right to summon the Israeli Ambassador for an explanation.

This is the problem with Trump – he thinks he can behave like a monarch despatching members of his family to do his bidding – in this case his daughter and son-in-law, who he has anointed his Senior Advisors.  Good God, Jared Kushner was stripped of his top secret security clearance and Ivanka operates on some sort of interim clearance while still pulling about 1.5 million dollars a year from the Trump organisation.  Then we know the President has a very high opinion of his daughter.  According to porn star, Stormy Daniels, he once compared her to his daughter before sex.

Trump’s America Alone policy may be about to run into another major difficulty.  It appears that “Little Rocketman” Kim Jong-un of North Korea may not be playing ball and far from teeing himself up for a Nobel Peace Prize he could end up with egg all over his face. Negotiating with the North Koreans is notoriously difficult.  Just because Trump has pulled off some good real estate deals does not mean he has the skills necessary for international diplomacy.  His withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal has alienated his allies and contributed towards the destabilisation of the Middle East.  The relocation of the Embassy has added to the tension.  Yet again because of his actions the world is not a safer place.

Readers of this column may remember that I have warned of the potential of Italy to be deeply disruptive to the EU.  Well get a load of this.  In a leak it transpires the incoming government propose cancelling 250 billion euros of Italian debt held by the European Central Bank and re-establishing monetary sovereignty.  They talk of “a shared and agreed exit path” for any country wanting to leave the euro.  Then for good measure they will introduce a flat tax of 15% on all incomes up to €80,000 and 20% thereafter.  A citizen’s income of €780 a month will turbo charge the retail sector.  No wonder one Italian Banker was quoted as saying “Austerity is over, we are going to see some rock n’ roll at last in this stale Eurozone”.  Imagine the consternation in Brussels.  Italy is one of the founding members of the EU and they are in the process of throwing the rule book out of the window.  Imagine Pascal Donohue’s face if his opposite number Michael McGrath stood up in the Dail and proposed similar measures.  It is going to be fascinating how the EU handles this, because the Italians are no pushover and it is a stark reminder to all that Brexit happened for a reason.

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