Trump prefers strongmen. But democracy is not a weakness

In the lexicon of Donald Trump, the insult of choice is “weak”. He hurled it at Justin Trudeau last weekend, though not to his face: Trump waited till he was safely on Air Force One, having made an early exit from the G7 summit hosted by the Canadian prime minister, to tweet that Trudeau was “dishonest and weak” on the matter of trade. Thus Trudeau joined a long list – one that includes multiple Democratic politicians, former Republican rivals and Trump’s own attorney general – of those branded weak by the would-be strongman in the White House.

Published by: The Guardian

Trump is a useless negotiator, and Kim Jong-un will know that

Next week will see tested one of the enduring fictions of current politics: the myth of Donald Trump, master negotiator. That the myth lives on was demonstrated afresh on Thursday with the leaking of after-dinner remarks by Boris Johnson urging his audience to “imagine Trump doing Brexit”. The foreign secretary fantasised about the US president going in “bloody hard”. Perhaps growing flushed at the prospect, he mused: “Actually, you might get somewhere. It’s a very, very good thought.”

Published by: The Guardian

Labour’s fudge over Brexit may have worked once. But it can’t go on

It’s the May bank holiday weekend, and all is just as tradition demands. The sun is shining, the local election results are in, and Ken Livingstone is on the television talking about Hitler. To complete the spring picture, partisans and pundits are out in force, frantically spinning or interpreting the results of last night’s council contests in England, hoping to divine what the votes in 150 local authority areas portend for the nation’s future.

Published by: The Guardian