In the dead of night, I have been reliving the 2016 referendum. While the autumn rain beats against the windows, and as winter draws nearer, I have been plunged back into those hot, fevered days of two and a half years ago: Nigel Farage beaming beside his “Breaking Point” poster, with its snaking horde of dark-skinned migrants; the shock and sorrow of that same day, as we learned that the Labour MP Jo Cox had been murdered; the bitterness of the arguments that split friendships and broke families. It’s all come back to me.
Monthly Archives: November 2018
The talk in the US is of constitutional crisis. It’s been looming for a while, thanks to the Mueller investigation into suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin efforts to swing the 2016 election. At some point – perhaps when special counsel Robert Mueller issues a subpoena, demanding Donald Trump answers his questions – a clash was bound to come. But it may already be upon us.
A useful rule for the Trump era is, listen to what the man says – and then believe the opposite. On that logic his tweet of self-congratulation in the early hours, praising himself for his “tremendous success” in Tuesday’s midterm elections surely suggests abject failure. And there is plenty of evidence to support that conclusion.
Every US election, presidential or midterm, is always hailed as the most important of our lifetimes, at least by the candidates stumping for votes. But this time the hype may actually be justified. The vote that will take place on Tuesday – electing a new House of Representatives, one third of the Senate and a slew of governorships – could not be more significant. To Americans, most obviously, but to a watching world too. It is a referendum on the age of Donald Trump, delivering a verdict on whether the last two years has been a horror show to be repudiated or a model to be advanced and copied.