Talking Trump | Simon Hoare


Given the electoral events in the USA I hope you will forgive me if I provide, this week, a few thoughts and comments on them.

What a relief it is that Mr Trump has lost.

As I write he is still shouting the odds and seeming ever more erratic as a result. I was encouraged that 82% of UK Tory voters would have voted for President-Elect Biden if they could have. I would too.

Mr Trump was never suited to public office because he did not understand the key motivator to do so was public service.

It has always been about him and his clan – a political version of The Addams Family. So, the first thing
I would say is: it’s nice to have a grown up coming into the White House.

Mr Biden has public service and duty written through him like a stick of Blackpool Rock. His pragmatism teaches him that it is good to build alliances and coalitions of the willing. His Presidency will see a return to that abstract ‘thing’ of the President being the Father of the Nation and recognising that there is a quiet dignity in the Oval Office and Office of the President. Trump had no such understanding: his was a
perpetual campaign battle.

Mr Biden’s victory also delivers a hammer blow (fatal, hopefully) to the distasteful rise of populism (not to be confused with popularity). At this time, more than ever, America needs a Leader, not a baseline echo chamber. America has returned to Government by Grownups and her place, as Leader of the Free
World, and a country to be respected, has been restored through the quiet majesty of the electoral process.

What will a Biden Presidency mean for us in the UK? One of his earliest acts will be to revoke the
departure of the US from the Paris Climate Change work. In the UK we know how important this area of public policy is and the power and thought leadership that the US can bring will be immense. There is going to be a Green Revolution in America.

NATO, so often in the sights of Mr Trump can breathe easy. President Trump was right to criticise those NATO countries who too easily leant on US financial muscle and did not pay their own way (the UK was never among that number).

But he was wrong to question the underlying need for a strategic, geopolitical alliance. NATO needs reform but it also needs to exist and not have its status and efficacy undermined from within. I believe we will see a more robust White House when it comes to issues such as Russia, the Crimea and Ukraine just as I believe we will regarding Human Rights in China. We should expect to see the Iran Nuclear Deal dusted off and renewed. All of this I would welcome.

With my Chairman of the Northern Ireland Select Committee in the Commons hat on I know how close an interest Mr Biden takes in the affairs, both North and South, of the island of Ireland. He is, like me, a strong defender of the Good Friday Agreement. He understands that it is the bedrock and springboard
for peace, reconciliation and a brighter future for the people of both the North and the Republic.

The Biden White House will be a good friend to Britain, as was evidenced by the fact that our PM received the first European call from Mr Biden. The Special Relationship ebbs and flows but it always endures. We share too much for it to be otherwise.

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