Monday 9 May 2016

Donald Trump and The Apprentice

I’ve just learned (by a circuitous route which I won’t bother you with) that Donald Trump invented the format so successfully used both in the US and over here in Britain for The Apprentice, and was its American host. I have always hated the British version with Alan Sugar, and never understood why it should be popular, as it seems to make a virtue out of treating subordinates rudely, crassly and ruthlessly. Do we really want our business leaders to behave like this? What came of the idea of bullying in the workplace and its negative connotations? 

Now that I know this about Trump his success as a Republican front runner for the presidential nomination makes much more sense. He is already known to a large number of the public through presenting this show. His ethical stance is familiar, and no doubt admired because it is forceful and confident (and many folk are like sheep, who wander aimlessly unless driven by a stronger personalitiy, whether it be shepherd or border collie; they feel safe in the hands of someone who has the confident authority to tell them what to do). But his values are all old-fashioned Red Neck ones. They may be appreciated by Republican hardliners, but I cannot believe that America as a whole will be taken in by them. I sincerely hope not, like most folk this side of the Atlantic. Trying to be in any kind of ‘special relationship’ with a leader like Trump would be next to impossible, as David Cameron is discovering. It would be Bush and Blair all over again, probably with similar disastrous results.

Of course, if our people are foolish enough to fall for Brexit rhetoric (which God forfend), we could actually need the special relationship, out in the cold bleak world as we then would be. I don’t hold with eurozone policies, and the European Union (particularly the Commission) has many faults, but I’d much rather have Merkel and Co than Trump. Still, maybe Hilary Clinton will get her just deserts, finally, and hold the presidential reins that as wife she relinquished twenty years ago. I don’t agree with everything she says or does, by any means, but she is at least an experienced, mature politician (and person) with a responsible party behind her. Perhaps Trump’s ascendancy will work for her, if they are the two selected representatives in the race for the White House, as the contrast will then be more obvious. I hope so. But of course so much depends on how strong anti-establishment feeling is at the moment.

Meanwhile, we have our own decisions to make, where anti-establishment feeling may also be playing its part. I would like to see the Better Together (wrong referendum, I know, but same idea) group being more positive. We don’t want to hear about how awful it would be if we weren’t in the EU. Let’s hear more positive reasons to stay. There are quite a few ….