5 Days Remaining

Saturday 4th
posted by Paddy McGuffin in Features

We interrupt this column to bring you the latest shocking development from the White House.

It emerged last night that President Donald Trump has used an executive order to announce his plans to change the two-centuryold Latin inscription on the nation’s seal.

As of April this year the US seal will no longer bear the legend “E pluribus unum” (out of many, one) but rather Trump’s own family motto: “Carpe pudendum.”

The move, the latest in a series of sweepingly unilateral declarations by the new president, was met with outrage by women’s rights groups who saw it as further evidence of Trump’s rampant misogyny as well as irate classics scholars who bemoaned his abysmal grasp of grammar.

It was reported that Trump had originally wanted the new slogan to be: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” until it was pointed out that this had been the motto of the Ku Klux Klan for decades and they owned the copyright.

Now, none of the above is actually true. At least it wasn’t at time of writing. It is what Trump et al would bellow was fake news but I prefer to call satire. The disturbing thing is that, upon reading it back, it doesn’t really sound that implausible.

Why wouldn’t he arbitrarily decide to do just that? He’s already gleefully tearing up the constitution and the basic tenets of the founding fathers daily.

“Bring us your tired and huddled masses,” has been the proud refrain for centuries. I don’t recall the caveat “except if they’re Muslim or Mexican then they can go to hell!”

But that of course was practically the first thing Trump did when he got power, essentially tear up a centuries-old principle.

What we have is the descendant of immigrants who made a vast fortune from their rapacious exploitation of the US and its people, effectively trying to pull up the draw bridge to prevent anyone else having a similar opportunity.

He has been pretty candid about this — if nothing else — over the last year or so.

Or so it appeared. However, this week it emerged that as with everything else he has said and done things aren’t quite as straight forward as he would like to suggest.

You see Trump, when not cosying up to Theresa May during perhaps the most toe-curling, cringe-inducing state visit in recent memory, has been seeking to, literally, spread oil on troubled waters with those paragons of tolerance and moderation, the Saudi regime.

Because of course, if you’re serious about tackling Islamic extremism the obvious first step is to exempt the Riyadh royals from criticism.

After all they share similar views when it comes to women and both hold the democratic process in contempt. It also blows Trump’s specious claim that the ban on people from seven Muslim countries entering the US is for security reasons out of the water.

If there is one country whose citizens have brought terror to the US, other than the US itself of course, it is Saudi Arabia. The majority of the September 11 2001 attackers were Saudi as was one Osama bin Laden.

But that is all ancient history apparently.

But on to more cheerful matters and we move from the seemingly ubiquitous to the “Whatever happened to them?” category.

Yes, that’s right, it’s time to revisit the bold anti-EU warriors of Ukip who you may have noticed have been rather quiet of late.

Despite the boasts of new fuhrer-in-chief Paul Nuttall — a sort of Scouse Trump with the same levels of bullshit and hypocrisy only without the power and money — that they were resurgent and would reap the harvest in the wake of the Brexit vote, the rightwingers have all but vanished from the political radar.

This week it became clear why and it was a thing of beauty to behold.

You see it would appear that the Kippers are — yet again — in a spot of hot water after it emerged that Nuttall, former party leader and Trump’s new best mate Nigel Farage and six other MEPs are the subject of an European Parliament investigation into expenses fraud on an industrial scale.

Now it has long been known that the reason Ukip felt so confident in decrying the EU gravy train is because they were doing more than most to siphon off their share and then some.

But even by their larcenous standards the revelations are spectacular, including that Farage and a fellow MEP are to be forced to pay back around £84,000 paid to “their,” ahem, “joint assistant” Christopher Adams.

Now, according to the party’s own website, Adams is in actuality their national nominating officer and not an assistant to Farage or anyone else.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Farage’s wife is also being investigated because she too was paid out of the EU purse as an MEP’s assistant while actually being employed as her husband’s office manager in the party leader’s office, again in flagrant breaches of the rules.

Investigators are also examining payments to a number of other “MEPs’ assistants,” three of whom apparently worked in the office of one Paul Nuttall.

All of a sudden Ukip’s furious denunciation of bureaucratic red-tape from Brussels takes on a different complexion.

It’s no wonder Trump and Farage get on so well. They are both arrogant gobshites who will say anything to get a reaction and they’ve both made careers out of helping themselves to other people’s money.

The only difference is that one of them may yet find himself in jail.

We can but hope.

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