AS A seven-year-old in South Korea, our daughter loved watching D. C. Follies on American Forces TV. The show took place in a bar not far from Congress and the White House. All the characters were glove puppets except the barman, Ted Danson. Our daughter’s favourite was Mr Nixon who with his chum, Henry Kissinger, would order drinks all round but somehow Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford always picked up the check.
I hope we’re going to have a new series.
There’s a place that may tell us who’s going to order the drinks and who’s going to pick up the check after midnight Eastern Standard Time.
Every election time the media circus loads up its vans and cars and charabancs and heads north-east from New York City, heading for the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There, among the wooded mountains, about thirty miles south of the Canadian border, they find Dixville Notch.
It is usually the first to declare the local result, shortly after midnight. The rest of the American continent knows who won in Dixville Notch many hours before the last polling booth closes in Hawaii.
They are able to achieve this because there are only five eligible voters and they vote one after another as soon as the polls open, and they often pick the winner.
Joe Biden may move into the White House – according to the Daily Express poll, he may not – but the presidency will be an unhappy liberal committee that includes Hillary and Obama.
Whoever becomes the next occupant of the White House must come to terms with an increasingly more unstable and sometimes openly hostile Europe since the reunification of Germany followed by sixteen years of Angela Merkel. No useful purpose is served by blaming British voters and Brexit – some of us saw this coming five decades ago. Yes, it’s bad news for all those unhappy liberals who make careers around Washington DC. They must face yet another unwelcome truth – the CIA’s dream of a tidy Europe run by Germany finally has come true, only it’s running Europe to feed its own greed. Merkel’s success exposes a gigantic American strategic blunder – consummated by a previous crew of unhappy liberals that included Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
Nor do we know whether this EU bloc necessarily will side with the Americans (and us) should disputes arise over freedom of navigation or trade, anywhere. Prudence demands that we allow for a future possibility that Germany’s EU bloc might take the side of Russia or China or both together against the oceanic democracies.
From the Atlantic to the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean, already we know the Five Eyes alliance, plus other Commonwealth countries, Japan, South Korea and several more Far Eastern countries already take the same side. We should renew and strengthen our old friendships through a new alliance. We won the Cold War through armed deterrence over fifty years.
Sometimes neither side can give way. We have to learn to manage confrontations. We have to talk to the other side. That requires strong armed forces and a sustained effort over decades if needs must. Yes, it is horrendously expensive, but far cheaper than war and infinitely better than nuclear or biological warfare until mutual extinction.
The last generation of politicians threw away that victory with their phoney peace dividend. They dropped our guard and recklessly disarmed.
At this moment the Chinese see a window of opportunity – wide open since they spread Corona virus by accident – but one they are exploiting to their utmost. Don’t tell me they hadn’t rehearsed what to do – unlike the democracies – after they spread bird flu the same way.Neglected by London for over fifty years are lots of small struggling islands on the doorstep of the USA or close to Australia. China lends money in exchange for political obedience and bases under the big neighbour’s nose.
This line of argument is capable of endless elongation. Look at Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. For the moment let us accept that such developments are happening daily all around the planet. Coronavirus has caused tremendous hardship. Debt levels are rising in Europe but the impact of the virus on debt is already far worse in Africa. Do we leave the poorer lands on our planet to the mercy of the Chinese emperor?
China doesn’t only steal technology and smaller countries’ scattered coral islands. China is stealing the springs of the mighty Mekong River from the neighbouring lands of Indo-China, stealing the liberty of the people of Hong Kong, threatening the Republic of China, invading their air space with over a thousand flights a year by trespassing jet fighters.
Boris Johnson should tell Rishi Sunak that he must prepare to grow our way out of the national debt. Rebuild the Royal Navy to the size it was the last time we were a free and independent nation. That’s about 1969, Rishi.
Whoever becomes President will sit up straight, Boris, whenever you come over the horizon.