Unity is the big buzzword of the moment. But where to find it and can we get it in time to glue together our fractured (dis)United Kingdom? Look yonder over the hill – is it a monster? Or is it a giant tube of orange coloured Evo-Stik?
First rule of international relations is don’t get involved in another country’s affairs. I’m not sure if Donald Trump ever got that memo, but if he had – probably would have flushed it down his golden toilet super smart quick.
What’s the consequence of ignoring the above rule? Well, in the most extreme cases it’s means invasion and subjugation. Less extreme is when an opinionated blowhard tries to stick in his tuppence worth – as in Trump pontificating on who should be the new British PM.
If he had any idea of basic psychology, he would know that a family can fight and argue within itself but when an outsider dares to get involved – that’s the time for closing ranks.
So thank you, Mr Trump for doing what our politicians can only dream of – uniting the four nations of the United Kingdom. From Stornoway to Southend, from Orkney to Oldham, from Lisburn to Llandudno – we stand together in resisting the orange menace through our right to protest. Childish, ineffectual, unstately? Well enough about Donald Trump…
There are other things that unify and typify the UK though. Britain is a wonderfully creative place and Brits have a great sense of humour which can sometimes seem a bit baffling to others. The giant, baby-Trump balloon floating above London – for example. Okay, it’s decidedly not subtle and could possibly reinforce the image of the smug liberal elites having a good old snigger/snicker at a (possibly) democratically elected politician. It’s a good laugh at the time but ultimately meaningless… perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, the great thing about British humour is we have plenty of different types to choose from. We’ve always done satire very well – from Alexander Pope and William Hogarth to Peter Cook and Chris Morris. And we can do subtle – which brings me to my own modest contribution to the anti-Trump creative industry.
As a Scottish woman, I was inspired to write a tale imagining how the decisions taken by another Scottish woman – over eighty years ago – could have such a seismic impact on our life today. Letter from America is a Twilight Zone type fantasy which has elements of Back to the Future, Terminator and Brigadoon. Hopefully people will find it humorous but also a little poignant. The whole idea of people having to leave a land they love for whatever reason – to make money, chase a dream or perhaps because their own land isn’t fit to live in anymore. So it is anti – Trump but it’s also a valentine to immigrants, the LGBT+ community, all those who stand up to bullies – in the past and in the future… and of course the beautiful Western Isles.
** In honour of Mr Trump’s 2019 visit to the UK – I will be offering a free download of Letter from America during the three days (3 – 5 June) he’ll be gracing(!) these shores**
Hear me read the opening pages. Apologies for the dodgy American accents!
And here’s my early Trump warning (courtesy of Lone Head Records):
And part two…