Theresa May briefly had my sympathy last week. She was in Portsmouth to celebrate the fact that Britain’s new £3bn floating table had made it all the way round from Scotland without sinking or chipping a bit off Kent or being towed away by the Russians. It was supposed to be a happy event – a lovely huge weapon of war. Of course we all hope it’ll never have to be used to kill people. It works out a lot cheaper if you just use it to threaten to kill them.
“What on earth am I going to say,” she must have asked herself and her aides, “about what Donald Trump said about the events in Charlottesville? People are going to insist I say something about that. We need to think long and hard to find a form of words that will keep me out of trouble without sounding like they’ve been thought long and hard about to keep me out of trouble.”
A tricky position, I’m sure you’ll agree. Actually, I’m not sure you’ll agree. You may believe politicians should just say what they think. Enough of the spin, enough of the evasion: out with it. In which case, you may be a fan of Donald Trump, because that’s what he does.
Apart from a brief interlude on Monday in which he glumly read something out about Nazis being bad, Trump’s response to the violence caused by an extreme rightwing rally has been to share the blame equally between the KKK-sympathising, neo-Nazi, antisemitic-slogan-chanting torch-wielders and those who protested against them. It’s broadly equivalent to making the…
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