We’ve bent over backwards to give Trump the royal treatment, so why not bung him the NHS as well?

We must deal with the president of the US, we’re told. But you also have to deal with your energy supplier, and you don’t invite the board of EDF over for a sodding banquet

Mark Steel
Thursday 06 June 2019 19:22 BST
President Donald Trump inspects Guard of Honour at Buckingham Palace with Queen and Prince of Wales

That was a lost opportunity for our monarchy. The royal family would have become more popular than at any time since the defeat of the Spanish Armada if only the Queen had covered Donald Trump in milkshake.

At the very least, they could have insisted his car in the motorcade be driven by Prince Philip.

Maybe her advisors were against it, for the same reason he was invited on a state visit in the first place: that it doesn’t matter what we think of the president, he’s the leader of America so we have to deal with him.

This is a fair point, although you also have to deal with your energy supplier, and you don’t invite them to stay in a four-poster bed in your mum’s spare room and give the board of EDF a sodding banquet.

Still, it seemed to work because in return for this generosity, he behaved impeccably, taking the trouble to address the mayor of London as a “stone-cold loser”.

Even in medieval times, if a king acted like this, the royal court would hide him from the public for a few weeks while a doctor checked his stools for signs of madness.

But now we just expect it. He refused to meet the leader of the opposition because he’s a “negative force”, but met Nigel Farage instead. This is understandable, as none of us have ever heard Farage express negativity about anything, ever.

There were probably other incidents that were kept private, in which Trump tried to tweet “Can’t wait to meet Vera Lynn at D-day party! Must grab Hot centenarian ass!”, but lost his iPhone, and told the Queen she was a loser because her dining table was made of wood instead of gold. But even so, the visit has been regarded a triumph.

At least he didn’t interfere with any actual policies in this country, apart from boasting that any trade deal he arranges with Britain will include American companies buying chunks of our National Health Service, but that’s all.

Because this is how it will be here, now we’ve got our country back. Now we’ve taken back control, instead of our institutions being in thrall to foreigners we “have no say over”, they’ll be run by Trump.

It will also mean those Leave campaigners who insisted Brexit would give us an extra £350m a week to spend on the NHS would have a reasonable excuse for why they couldn’t carry out that promise, which is that because of Brexit, the NHS has been dismantled. Even so, waste not, want not, and the money can go to shareholders in American health care companies instead.

The government seems keen to assure us the NHS won’t really be part of a trade deal with Trump, and the president simply made a mistake. But two days prior to the visit, the US ambassador Woody Johnson made exactly the same mistake, saying “all things that are traded” (including the NHS) “will be on the table”.

They were exactly the same words, but we should relax and accept it was a coincidence. They both lost concentration and said the same random thing, by mistake. They might have said “The Dartmouth steam railway will be on the table” or “The East Grinstead llama farm will be on the table”, but out popped the words “National Health Service” by mistake.

It was an easy mistake for Trump to make, as he was probably stressed at the time, having had his offer to buy Kate Middleton rejected.

In any case, our healthcare will be more fun with Trump in charge. He’ll probably do the surgery himself, assuring patients: “I’m fantastic at operations, I’m great with scissors, I took out my own kidneys, they look great.”

Then he announced the tens of thousands of protestors against his visit were there to cheer him on, and finished his tour by standing in the prime spot for the D-Day commemoration. Because when you consider heroic selfless bravery for the greater good, “Donald Trump” is the first name to spring to mind.

It’s fitting he was there, because if Trump had been part of the D-Day landings, he wouldn’t have seen any Germans on the beaches, just thousands of people cheering him on.

Trump revealed his philosophy about war heroes, when he said of John McCain, his opponent in the Republican primaries, and who was captured in Vietnam: “He’s not a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

This displays a subtle appreciation of the difficulties of war. Trump’s original speech for the 75th anniversary of D-Day was probably “What a fantastic bunch of guys we have here today, who survived D-Day. You’re fantastic, not like the morons who got killed. What a bunch of losers.”

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But now, whatever Trump says, no matter how fanciful his accounts, it’s accepted as normal. He could announce that he invented the cactus and Mexican illegals stole the patent off him, and a reporter on the news would tell us it wasn’t a lie because all things are true if you believe they are.

And instead of a terrifying freak, a layer of the British establishment now sees Trump as a model. They probably practice lying in workshops, with a tutor asking: “Who can tell me what the Lake District is? – That’s right Nigel, it’s full of Muslims, well done. Maybe we can add that National Trust properties are no-go areas for the police now, because stately homes are all under the control of radical Islam. Well done everyone, get in early tomorrow as we’ve got a session on pussy-grabbing. You need to work on this Dominic, watch Boris, he’s picked it up really quickly.”

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