If Joe Biden becomes the next US president, that will be good news for Labour in the UK, and spell trouble for the governmentTo contemplate the impact
If Joe Biden becomes the next US president, that will be good news for Labour in the UK, and spell trouble for the government
To contemplate the impact of Donald Trump losing next month, it helps to imagine him winning. The impact on the United States of a second Trump term would be transformative, of course, but I’m thinking of the effect on the wider world and, in particular, on the politics of Britain. So picture, for just a moment, what a second against-the-odds Trump win would mean for this country.
A Tory party that has made Brexit its defining mission – and insists it views a no-deal crash-out from the EU “with high hearts and complete confidence”, as Boris Johnson put it today – would be boosted by the message that populist nationalism was not a 2016 aberration but rather a global movement with enough juice to endure into the mid-2020s. The Illiberal International embodied by Viktor Orbán, Jair Bolsonaro and Vladimir Putin would draw strength from an unexpected victory for its most senior member; and, although Johnson does not like to put himself in that company, he and his Brexit government would be lifted by US confirmation that the spirit of the age is not international co-operation but a world of competing states, each dedicated to making itself great again.