Trump’s threats to shut down the Mexican border betray the real reason he’s so desperate to build the wall

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Saturday 29 December 2018 17:58 GMT
Republican congressman Ryan Costello calls Trump's an 'angry 8th grader' for 'close the border' tweet

Apparently Donald Trump has threatened to close the border with Mexico “entirely” unless congress gives him money to build the wall between the countries.

If Trump claims he has the power to do this, therefore blocking illegal immigration and ensuring US security (thus achieving his aims of building a wall in the first place), doesn’t that make constructing it incredibly futile?

Democrats agree to prioritise funding for greater security along the boundary, which should appease Trump’s supposed initial aims of building the wall, yet he is still determined to acquire the funds necessary to construct it. The fact is that Trump’s urge to implement a wall along the US-Mexico boundary through demarcation is simply an unnecessary attempt to showcase power and superiority.

Threats of closing the border “entirely” if he is not given consent to build the wall, however, fail to recognise the vital flows of goods between the two nations that also benefit his beloved USA. Ultimately, the infrastructure necessary for the border to function is already there; constructing an imperious wall along the boundary simply to make a statement would only increase hostility in an already tense surrounding borderland.

Lucy Gabriel

America is facing the great “shutdown”, but what we should be seeing is a “shut up”. Most people hold the role of president in the greatest esteem – with the possible exception of the incumbent.

Speeches inspire, tweets don’t. There should be well thought-out speeches and press statements that use the full vocabulary of the English language and not invented words.

Present the best and forget the rest.

Dennis Fitzgerald
Melbourne, Australia

The problem with a second referendum

Any Brexit referendum that takes place imminently would surely be incredibly divisive, making our present differences even worse.

If it was split into three choices, how big a margin would be required for any of the three to be carried? In effect, a three-choice referendum would almost certainly guarantee the Remain option would win, as the Leave option would be split two ways – that is, in favour of May’s deal or a no-deal exit. That could, perhaps justifiably, be accused of unfairness.

Any referendum that in effect was a two-choice “in or out” poll would probably be split in a similar way to the one we’ve already had, with a small percentage difference between the options. The outcome of either type of referendum could result in serious social unrest which can be imagined.

This may be hopelessly naive, but wouldn’t it be better to offer the country another referendum in, perhaps, three years’ time? We could then vote based on whether the horrible mess and hardship predicted by the Remainers had in fact come to pass, and we wanted to go back in, or the wonderful freedom and prosperity promised by the Leavers had come to pass, and we wanted to stay out.

Penny Little

Alison McGovern’s article on the benefits of free movement of people makes a lot of sense. What I would like to know is how many of those pushing for an end to free movement throughout Europe will be or already are eligible for European passports through marriage or ancestry? We need a list. As she rightly says, the EU is far from perfect. But, as someone might have said, it’s the worst of all options facing the UK – apart from all the others.

G Forward

Soon we will all be migrants

The illegal immigrant and refugee crisis, about which we hear so much from so many corners of the globe, is as nothing compared with what is coming. The barbarian response of so many governments and people bodes ill for the future.

Probably this century and definitely next century the desertification of the equatorial band of the planet, rising sea levels, decreasing crop yields, social breakdown, warfare and population pressure will drive scores of millions to flee to more temperate latitudes. On present evidence their reception will be unspeakably awful.

Vast areas of northern Russia, Scandinavia, Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Patagonia and, eventually, even Antarctica will become potentially habitable and technology may be able to moderate water shortages at the temperate boundaries but initial consideration and planning needs to start now.

Will our species finally develop civilised, inclusive, collaborative good sense or are we still to primitive to save ourselves?

Steve Ford
Haydon Bridge

Life doesn’t look that rocky for the elite from where I’m standing

James Moore speculates on why was it such a rocky year for CEOs, whereas I question whether it really was “rocky” (in the generally accepted sense) for those millionaires he quotes, and for all other CEOs who left their companies for one reason or another.

The size of “golden hellos and goodbyes” these titans are deemed to deserve, regardless of company performance, leaves only their egos possibly in need of caressing. Surely the generosity on the part of those who set these levels can’t have anything to do with their own expectations for the future?

Who, out of those quoted by Moore, has not slipped effortlessly into some equally exalted and highly remunerated position, with the double bonus of eye-watering “golden hellos and goodbyes”? And who out of that beleaguered group didn’t have other irons in the fire?

“Rocky”? I don’t think so.

Eddie Dougall

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