by baldilocks

Among the alleged missteps that President Trump made — note the word alleged — during his trip to the United Kingdom, one of them brings up a memory I have about Trump’s predecessor.

Donald Trump sparks fury posing arrogantly in an armchair used by heroic wartime leader Winston Churchill.

Critics slammed Trump for a string of diplomatic blunders and said he wasn’t fit to sit there. (…)

Labour’s Stephen Doughty said: “An image of Donald Trump sitting in Churchill’s seat will stick in the throats of many Brits who would consider Trump not only to be one of the worst presidents in US history but also not even worthy of a comparison with our wartime leader who rescued our nation in its darkest hour.”

“Given Trump’s appalling actions and rhetoric, he doesn’t even deserve to look at a statue of Churchill let alone sit in his seat.”

The outrage is interesting, since I don’t recall any commentary from members of the UK Parliament when then President Barack Obama removed a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office.

There are many stories about how the bust what treated during President Obama’s terms. First, the story was that the bust was handed back to the Brits. Here, however, the former president says it was placed in the White House Residence — the Treaty Room. That’s more plausible for reasons I will give in a bit.

Back when there was quite a bit of outrage on this side of the pond from the right about Obama’s treatment of the bust, I postulated that he disliked Churchill because of the former prime minister’s role in putting down Kenya’s Mau-Mau Rebellion back when Kenya was a British colony called British East Africa.

The former president and I are both half-Kenyan Luo and since he is inclined to hold grudges especially of the racial variety, I figured out that this was why he hated Churchill. If you ask me, President Obama hates all the Brits. He wasn’t shy about showing his contempt for any of them, from the Queen on down.

But it was only 2009 and we were just beginning to get to know Barack Obama.

In the wake of the bust incident, few in the British press were talking about how the former president was endangering relations between the USA and the UK or about how gauche it was to treat a gift between nations in the manner specified.

Then, last year, it was reported that newly inaugurated President Trump returned the bust to the Oval Office.

So we see that, to the British press, it’s insulting for one president to sit in Winston Churchill’s chair but when another president gives a bust of Churchill an unceremonious heave-ho, it’s no big deal.

This hypocrisy on the part of the British press is certainly no surprise — we see it all the time with our press — but it needed to be pointed out. And what does it mean?

Nothing complicated. President Obama tried to destroy the USA; President Trump is trying to save it. One might also say the same things about both presidents with respect to the West in general.

The British press was and is merely signaling which side it’s on.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

Don’t ask me, Bill. These are your people.

by baldilocks

Shakespeare wept

And in other news regarding the downfall of the UK

Schools are removing analogue clocks from examination halls because teenagers are unable to tell the time, a head teachers’ union has said.

Teachers are now installing digital devices after pupils sitting their GCSE and A-level exams complained that they were struggling to read the correct time on an analogue clock.

Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said youngsters have become accustomed to using digital devices.

“They are used to seeing a digital representation of time on their phone, on their computer. Nearly everything they’ve got is digital so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere.”

Mr Trobe, a former headmaster, said that teachers want their students to feel as relaxed as possible during exams. Having a traditional clock in the room could be a cause of unnecessary stress, he added.

He said that schools are trying to make everything as “as easy and straightforward as possible” for pupils during their exams.

“You don’t want them to put their hand up to ask how much time is left,” he said.

“Schools will inevitably be doing their best to make young children feel as relaxed as the can be. There is actually a big advantage in using digital clocks in exam rooms because it is much less easy to mistake a time on a digital clock when you are working against time.”

Emphasis mine.

Additionally, British schoolchildren are having trouble holding writing implements, aka pens and pencils – a result of over dependence on iPads and whatnot.

In fairness, I can bet that many Americans younger than 40 are also unable to read a face clock. Both here and in the UK, there’s a singular reason for this: the previous generation of parents failed to teach this formerly mundane skill.

One envisions a dismal future headline if digital toilet paper is in the invention hopper.

Besides, the murder of Alfie Evans at hands of the UK government has already indicated what time it is. But it’s certain that many can’t determine that either, which is just how that government wants it.

Hunters like their prey to be relaxed. And the US is far from immune from this sport.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

It’s not easy to find a hardcore Trump supporter in London and Paris, but there is a grudging acknowledgement that the president isn’t as bad as many Americans think.

During a recent visit to the not-so-united United Kingdom and France, almost everywhere I went people noticed my accent and wanted to talk about Trump. I didn’t hide my support. What was amazing was that Brits and French actually listened to my point of view—something that rarely happens in the United States.

A former British diplomat and his wife, who worked as a journalist, can’t believe the importance given to the Michael Wolff book on the Trump administration. Such tales wouldn’t appear in much of the respectable press in Britain.

Moreover, they see the press failing apart with its constant attacks on Trump, losing any sense of credibility on many matters. The couple subscribes to The New York Times, but they find it appalling how politics have crept into the Gray Old Lady.

“I don’t care what the opinion writers say. They don’t have to be fair. But opinions are constantly creeping into the news pages,” the former diplomat said. His wife said she’s tired of the news organization looking at everything through the lens of Trump. Moreover, DaTimes has moved way left of center when it comes to social issues such as transgenderism.

Another friend, who also served in the British Foreign Service, noted that the Americans are lucky that they are unraveling Obamacare. In the United Kingdom, for example, the nationalized health service announced that all nonemergency surgeries were canceled this month because of a shortage of cash.

A longtime friend who’s an expert on the Middle East lauded Trump for cutting off aid to Pakistan because of its ties to terrorism. A retired French banker, who is Jewish, praised the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, while a longtime Arab friend disagreed.

A London cabbie said he understood why Americans turned against Hillary and voted for Donald. “The elites have ruined the States and England,” he said. “Now it’s time for others to try to put things right.”

What was most important was how I could actually have a conversation about Trump rather than a shouting match. It’s one of the first times in months that I felt comfortable about stating my views in public with such a cross-section of people. It’s odd to have to travel outside of the United States to have a civil discussion.