SIMON LINCOLN READER: Veiled anger is what got Trump elected in the first place
The march against Donald Trump starts at 5pm on Friday. Angry protestors will congregate at Portland Place before moving onto Trafalgar Square, where they will presumably sniff the air for racists (apparently too much prior exposure to cat urine is not good for identifying Islamaphobes) — but almost certainly not express their curiosity as to the exact location of teats on almonds.
Accompanying the protest will be a blimp depicting Trump as a baby: "He hates to be ridiculed," said one of the blimp organisers, who owns some choice property in Hammersmith valued at £1.8m.
Another of the organisers is the grandson of a former Labour MP. Nice!
South Africans are also angry, but I fear this anger is more reactive to the chain of editorial policies intentionally defiled to portray Trump as appallingly as possible. I’m also aware that some South Africans have assumed liberties with the Stop-Trump-MeToo-TimesUp-Black-Lives-Matter-Bollocks-To-Brexit axis for reasons outside of protest.
South Africans are also angry, but I fear this anger is more reactive to the chain of editorial policies intentionally defiled to portray Trump as appallingly as possible.
Trump remains the democratically elected president of that country. He did not position himself; in fact, there was another kind of anger that did, and some of this anger’s foundations are worth examining because Trump does not feature.
In September, a decade will have passed since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The moments that preceded threatened the world order as it was known: suddenly the phrase "too big to fail" was coined, something that today sounds similar to Robert Mugabe’s "land reform" of 1999.
Ordinary Americans were forced into a series of hugely complicated investment bank bail-outs; many of the same Americans were simultaneously dispossessed. Throughout Trump’s ascent, the anger was thinly disguised; many voters didn’t necessarily support Trump because of his family separation or immigration bluster — they voted because the alternative presented by the Democratic National Committee in 2016 was clearly allied to some of the conditions associated with their misery eight years previously.
The British were subjected to the same thing. Like Americans, they stared in disbelief at the reluctance to prosecute those financial institutions party to the chaos, which ultimately amounted to the tepid removal of a knighthood from Fred Goodwin, CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland. When then prime minister David Cameron announced in 2015 that a referendum would be cast the following year, one of the first groups to publicly support the position of remain were the same financial institutions. This did not go unnoticed.
The protesters have somewhat mellowed their contempt for Trump supporters by replacing "deplorable" with "low information" — the theory that if you are working class, enjoy darts, smoke and are partial to page 3 tabloid women, you’re a jackass, and content farms located around the Balkans can quite easily manipulate you into nationalism, or populism, or even conspiracy.
However, it still remains an example of what is known as Trump Derangement Syndrome; obsession beyond reason and the dismantling of memory, that which prevents those protesting against him from realising that they may actually have more in common with the anger they oppose than they think. And whilst Trump remains democratically elected, others across the channel in Brussels do not.
Guy Verhofstadt and Donald Tusk are two high-profile members of the EU elite who frequently demonstrate power minus accountability, who appear to be confirming that the age of elected representation is slipping away.
I don’t know of any protests against them.
• Reader works for an energy investment and political advisory firm.