By Arun Srivastava
LONDON: The US president Donald Trump has already polluted the political environment in UK as campaigning for December 12 general election gets under way. Ever since the Brexit controversy acquired a contentious character, Trump has often been expressing his personal opinion in one way or other. But his latest judgemental observation has really been deplorable.
A couple of days back Trump appearing on Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage’s LBC Radio show while praised his ‘friend’ and ‘fantastic guy’ Boris Johnson he did not mince words in blasting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and accusing ‘ he would be so bad for your country… he’d take you into such bad places’.
Trump even slammed Corbyn and praised Boris as a fantastic man. He did not hide his desire that the Farage and Boris should come together leftist forces; “ I know that you (Boris) and him (Farage) will end up doing something that could be terrible. You are unstoppable force”.
Trump’s utterance may appear to be a casual remark having no major implication, but an insight would reveal that it was rightist snide against Corbyn. It was a call to the forces opposed to the leftist and Marxist forces to fight Corbyn unitedly. Otherwise too it is a known secret that Trump is a good friend of Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister. It had also an overriding message: it is not just about Brexit.
Trump’s unconventional support might not benefit Johnson. Most Britons have a negative view of the U.S. president, according to polls. So being hugged by Trump during an election cycle will not necessarily result in extra votes.
The compulsion to decry Corbyn was so acute that he preferred to violate the international norms and rule, that of a state chief must not interfere into the internal affairs of other country. Again, maybe he received the impetus and inspiration from Narendra Modi who recently called upon the Indian citizens of USA to vote Trump at the next election.
Behind the facade of getting endorsement for Brexit while Boris is gearing to fight the leftist and liberal forces, on his part Corbyn is for putting emphasis firmly on economic and social issues. For him the December 12 election is once-in-a-generation chance to transform the country, especially its political economy.
Corbyn supporters believe that the only way to defeat right populism is with left populism. This election is witnessing emergence of three terms on political horizon; party leaders are fighting over ownership of terms “the elite”, “the establishment” and “the people”. Corbyn has launched an attack on “corrupt elite” which exploited workers, lied to the public and polluted the environment. Mr Corbyn sought to cast the contest as a battle between the “elites” allied with the leader of the “born to rule” and the people.
Corbyn responded to Trump’s comments with a tweet; “Trump is trying to interfere in UK election to get his friend Boris Johnson elected.” With Boris as the PM, Trumpmcan expect to do a nice business with UK. He also said Britain could do four to five times more trade with the United States, but might be prevented from doing a bilateral trade deal by the terms of the potential post-Brexit trade relationship which London and Brussels have set out.
In a new twist, the former Prime Minister Tony Blair has warned Jeremy Corbyn that Brexit will make it harder for Labour to deliver its promises if it wins power.The former prime minister said Mr Corbyn would be in “exactly the same position” as the Tories – distracted by Brexit and short of money. He also said “The UK would “face a very challenging situation if it was leaving the EU under a Corbyn government”.
But as the situation prevails, Brexit on Johnson’s terms would bring a “sell-out deal with Donald Trump”. Meanwhile the accusation that Boris’s office has been sitting on an explosive parliamentary report on the security threat posed by Russia to the UK, which examined allegations that Kremlin-sponsored activity distorted the result of the 2016 EU referendum, has put Boris in a precarious state.
It is understood that the dossier examines allegations that Russian money has flowed into British politics in general and the Conservative party in particular. It also features claims that Russia launched a major influence operation in 2016 in support of Brexit.
In his speech, the Labour leader styled himself as the enemy of an “establishment elite”, afraid of paying their taxes. “We know whose side we, the Labour party, are on,” he said, in an attempt to neutralise Johnson’s claim to support the “people” against parliament.