If you think that Brexit has put UK politicians into panic mode then you’ve seen none of the hysteria that broke out in London after Trump’s victory.
The thing is, that long before anyone started taking Trump seriously, British politicians were making all sorts of nasty remarks about the president-elect. Truth be told, even the the most tasteless in society might hesitate to repeat some of these remarks in public.
On the eve of the US presidential election, British politicians continued with humiliating remarks about Trump, while the Sunday Telegraph spotted at least 23 instances of UK leaders dubbing Trump as one of the most malignant figures in modern politics.
The Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson also decided to deride Trump for his remarks regarding sections of London so violent that police officers fear for their lives there. He has gone as far as claiming that Trump doesn’t belong in the White House because of his alleged unparalleled ignorance.
The UK Foreign Secretary has also penned a number of critical comments about Barack Obama’s plan to urge voters to remain in the European Union as a ‘piece of outrageous and exorbitant hypocrisy’, only to prove that he’s a hypocrite himself when he deleted his insulting remarks about Trump on various social platforms once the latter was elected. Out of the blue, one of the most controversial Foreign Minister in the British history has begun seeing a number of advantages in Trump’s presidency, or at least he claims so.
However, UK citizens have gone much further than just insulting Trump, they’ve started devising plans for his assassination. For instance, a notorious documentary director Sir David Attenborough would state in his interview:
Well, we lived through that with earlier presidents – they’ve been equally guilty… But what alternative do we have? We could shoot him…
And even though this remark was made in a humorous manner, one may argue that British citizens have been way out of line in treating its principal ally. The Huffington Post would report that locals in the town of Edenbridge have burned an 11-metre-high sculpture of Donald Trump without any interference from local police.
Under these circumstances, it’s only natural that Donald Trump decided to hold a meeting with a prominent opposition figure and the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage, who was among the first UK politicians who recognized the urgent need to establish ties with the US president-elect.
Therefore, it doesn’t look surprising that the Telegraph would note that Britain is facing a diplomatic crisis with the US, noting that in a significant foreign policy split Britain will have some “very difficult” conversations with Trump in the coming months.
But then the Sunday Times would release details about a secret UK plan to tame Trump, that was mentioned in a letter by the UK Ambassador to Washington Kim Darroch, who claims that he knows perfectly well how London should deal with him.
However Trump is nothing like your average Obama since he seems unlikely to be coerced or tricked. He seems instead to be straight forward thinking and he’s not afraid of telling the truth, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable it may sound. But what’s even more important, he’s disgusted by flattery and Boris Johnson’s ‘exorbitant hypocrisy’.
Therefore, it’s quite feasible that the 45th US president will make realistic assessments of British politicians rather than defer to their post-election flattery, as well as confound their plan to “tame” the new president-elect.
Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”