The large demonstrations against Trump all around the country last week certainly proved one thing - that Trump has at the very least, managed to unite a lot of people against both his person and his policies!
So when he appeared at Chequers alongside Theresa May, his preposterous behaviour had the effect of making Theresa May almost look good - and certainly much better than him. Even if she did hold hands with him, once again.
But of course, however much Trump comes across as a tongue-slipping buffoon, and however smart May might thus appear next to him, they are just two sides of the same political coin.
Whether at the Nato summit in Brussels, here at Chequers with Theresa May, or in Helsinki discussing with Vladimir Putin, Trump is merely serving - and attempting to further - the interests of US multinationals, no matter how much he pouts and postures and pretends to be doing something unique and personal. In that sense, he is not “changing” US policy at all. Behind the ill-judged self-promotion, this is all about promoting American capital, opening up new overseas markets and consolidating or expanding old ones.
And similarly, it is in the name of representing British business and its EU interests, that Theresa May has been putting forward “new” agreements which are not really new at all, but merely a way to clamp down on the Brexiteers in her government. This is why she has finally had to see off David Davis, Boris Johnson and Steve Baker, among others.
May Trumping her Brexiteers
Indeed, the so-called Chequers’ deal was a direct response to the threats of British bosses who had just announced that they were considering closing factories and cutting more jobs because of the threatened effects of Brexit. Even companies like BMW, which had from the outset been given special concessions, in advance, by May, now joined with Airbus, Nissan, Philips, Siemens and others, to call for new government guarantees.
So Chequers was May’s way of giving a clear signal to her own Cabinet and beyond them, to her Party, that the time for playing games was over. “Brexit” was now to mean protecting British bosses and preserving their European interests, full stop. “No more nonsense”, said the bosses, so, “no more nonsense”, echoed May.
Of course it is still posturing, nevertheless, because much of the deal is not even acceptable to the EU negotiators - and May knows that.
So too, with this week’s parliamentary shenanigans: crazy amendments, which are totally irrelevant to ordinary people and baffling, to boot. It’s just another instance of May and the Tory Party flipping - in a different way from before. So most Tory Brexiteers and Remainers lined up behind May to prevent her defeat by Labour, regardless of the content of the issue before them. And let everyone be clear: it is all about “trade”. Because that, after all, is and was the purpose of the EU - a trade block set up to give British and European business the muscle to collectively rival the US. Which is why Trump is so happily pro-Brexit, of course and suggested (or advised?) that May should “sue the EU”...
Anyway, now May is having to re-adjust herself to do a new balancing act, in order to save her own backside and that of her party.
The danger they represent
The problem is that all of this mad posturing by these politicians to bolster their own positions, does have consequences in the real world. And it also has a sinister purpose. Because, if they can line up sections of the population behind themselves against other sections of the population, and in effect get workers to forget their allegiance to their own international class, then they can “divide and rule”. This is the oldest political trick in the book.
But this mad and ever madder posturing is also a refection of a decrepit system in crisis: the more its politicians have to implement policies which hurt their populations, the more they need to lie, in order to get people to swallow these policies.
Nevertheless, Trump’s racism and his actions against migrants at the Mexican border, where children were put in prison-cages, disgusted public opinion. So too, with the Windrush scandal - one of the many results of Theresa May’s 6 years in the Home Office - which offended the British people.
With their increasingly nationalistic and isolationist postures, these politicians are playing with fire. They are incapable of knowing where their actions will lead: fire always burns.
The situation today represents a real danger for the working class. Unless it takes its fate into its own hands, it will pay heavily. But forewarned, is forearmed. Since we know what is coming, there is time to prepare the collective fight-back which is needed. The sooner, the better.