When a week in politics is always a long time

What links eugenics, failed egos and Norway? The answer is Toby Young, Donald Trump and Nigel Farage. No prizes for guessing the right answer. Not spending enough time doing proper reading and writing because of news story distractions about useless prominent men has made me somewhat agitated – which is a good enough reason to put pen to paper.

Toby Young, a darling of the centre-right, is prone to exaggerated tweeting, a penchant for Eugenicist perspectives and somewhat of an inflated sense of his own abilities. He, and the other two failed men in this cauldron of cads, all share these horrible histories. But Young gets a special mention at the outset for being a prize twit. Living under the shadow of his famous intellectual giant of a father – Micheal Young – the quote of the week has to be, ‘Toby Young was at war with a phantom cloud of semen, long since turned to dust motes, bobbing on the west London thermals. But, because I am kind and good, I take no pleasure in the slow-motion farce of his downfall’. I do. University College London has a long history of Eugenics. Taught as a subject and of great interest to Francis Galton – a celebrated Eugenicist – the esteemed institution is presently implicated in a row over a conference that attracted speakers and attendees with neo-Nazi and white supremacist bents. A certain Toby Young attended – although he sat at the back and made no contribution… How unsurprising.

Donald Trump, while repeatedly making offence remarks about ‘Shithole countries’ in a White House meeting on immigration, asks ‘why can’t we have more people coming from Norway’? The words of others are apt here. Rupert Murdoch calls Trump a ‘fucking idiot’ while Rex Tillerson states that Trump is a ‘moron’. Sadly, all of this is a useful ruse for taking attention away from Trump trying to rip up the Iran deal by potentially reintroducing the sanctions that crippled the nation, with other problems of porn star payoffs incentivised to remain silent about an (alleged) 2006 orgy. Trump’s ‘shithole’ remarks do not reflect on how aspects of the USA are a ‘shithole’ for too many of its own people. The fact is that some of the countries in the Caribbean and in Africa are supposed ‘shitholes’ because they were decimated, dissected and ultimately destroyed by the very same interests that speak today in the name of liberty, fraternity and democracy. As fledgling democracies come to terms with their own internal developments, the garbled words of the world’s most powerful political figure do not help. But Trump is smart – don’t take my word for it. Take his: ‘Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,it’s not your fault’. I could go on…

On this side of the pond, Britain’s most successful post-war failed politician, Nigel Farage, wants a second referendum on Brexit to prevent a kibosh of a deal akin to the Norway-EU integration model. He sees the current capitulation on the part of the Leavers, allowing the Remainers to define the debate, as a betrayal. The only way to go forward is to go back. Could this be the opportunity to give our country back to the people of Britain to decide for themselves, fairly and squarely, and without Nigel’s Russian friends spreading more than their fair share of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) on the internet? With Sadiq Khan, Tony Blair, Nick Clegg, Michael Heseltine, Kenneth Clarke and a host of others prepared to run the gauntlet, could this spell the opening that is needed among the right-leaning press to salvage Britain from the precipice that awaits it upon leaving the EU? Farage saves Britain from itself after spearheading a racist, inflammatory and divisive campaign to get Britain out of the EU. Something deeply twisted about all of this…

Meanwhile, women are slowly but surely ripping up the old school rulebook. They are taking on the establishments that have systematically locked them in unequal positions, especially when objectified in the sphere of capital accumulation. Whether it is in Hollywood, theatreland, in the fashion industry, or in the workplace in terms of pay and status, and in the wider context of being female in the world today, 2018 is going to be the year of the woman. Even Norway has a much better gender equality profile than the average EU outcomes in relation to pay and labour market success. All roads lead to Norway – perhaps it does have the answers we all need. Even the question of Trump’s rather odd looking hair transplant!

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