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Why Boris Johnson Is Even More Dangerous Than Trump
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      Is the rise of Boris Johnson to be the next prime minister the product of a soft coup? Does Donald Trump’s racist demonisation of four non-white congress members prove him to be a “fascist” leader like Mussolini and Hitler? The two questions should be answered together because political developments in Britain tend to emulate those in the US, and vice versa, though the latter is less frequent. The Thatcher-Reagan years in the 1980s were an example of this cross-infection and it happened again in 2016, when the British electorate voted narrowly for Brexit and American voters (though not a majority of them) chose Trump as president.

      I used to be wary of alarmist talk of “soft coups” and analogies with the rise of demagogic populist nationalist leaders in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. But the parallels and similarities between then and now are becoming more menacing by the day. Observers who forecast that Trump and Johnson would face too many political obstacles to gain power got something very wrong.

      Democratic choice will have played only a limited role in the selection of Johnson as prime minister, if that goes through as predicted. He will have been chosen by 160,000 Conservative Party members – a highly unrepresentative group – of whom, as others have pointed out, more than half are aged over 55 and 38 per cent are over 66 years of age. Johnson will head a minority government elected under a different Conservative leader, Theresa May, and will depend on the votes of a Protestant party that is the product of the sectarian politics of Northern Ireland.

      Johnson’s supporters say that one should not take too seriously his overheated and mendacious campaign rhetoric, implying that he will adopt a more moderate approach in office. I would not count on it: many in Washington said the same about Trump, claiming that once in the White House he would come to his senses. Commentators forgot that leaders who believe that they have won power by demonising foreigners and minorities, and accusing their opponents of treachery, see no reason to abandon a winning formula.

      On the contrary, Trump has double-downed in his attacks on non-white American politicians as being non-Americans and haters of America who should leave the country. Pictures of Trump whipping up his followers into hate-filled chants at a rally in North Carolina by denouncing Ilhan Omar, one of the four Congresswomen he has targeted, shows that there are no limits to his exploitation of racial animosities.

      A few days after Trump spoke, Johnson was on a platform in Canning Town regaling his audience with a little story about excessive EU regulations strangling the business of a kipper smoker in the Isle of Man. This was the sort of invented, attention-grabbing tale by means of which Johnson launched his career as a journalist on The Daily Telegraph based in Brussels between 1989 and 1994. Then, as now, his stories portraying the EU as a bureaucratic monster sucking money out of Britain were exposed as false, but to little avail because they chimed in so neatly, as they were intended to do, with the prejudices of readers like the Conservative Party members who are choosing their new leader.

      Trump’s poisonous demagoguery in North Carolina may have rallied his true believers, but it also created a counter-reaction. By way of contrast, Johnson’s kipper story was treated derisively but tolerantly, a bit of joke, showing once again that “Boris is a bit of a card”, not to be taken too seriously.

      I wonder if Johnson’s approach is not more dangerous than Trump’s because it is more insidious.

      Voters in England have always been suckers for politicians who present themselves as bit of wag. Nigel Farage cultivates this sort of public persona with his pint of beer and jocular approach. Johnson and he are part of a tradition of political figures who specialise in Falstaffian bonhomie, persuading voters that – suffer though they may from some very human flaws – they are the salt of the earth. Successful examples of this tactic include George Brown, the notoriously drunken deputy leader of the Labour party, and the Liberal MP Cyril Smith whom, police confirmed after his death, had sexually and physically molested children as young as eight years old (there had been 144 complaints against him, but no prosecution).

      Johnson and Trump get away with it because people do not take them seriously enough until it is too late. But they press the same political and emotional buttons as the fascist leaders of the 1920s and 1930s. Like them, they lead nationalist populist movements fuelled by opposition to globalisation, which Hitler blamed on the Jews and the Eurosceptics blame on Brussels. “We want to build a wall, a protective wall,” said Goebbels.

      It is worth looking at a copy of The New York Times dated 31 January 1933 – the day after Hitler became head of government – which is a classic example of a decent but complaisant person miscalculating the risks ahead. The writer points to the domestic opposition the new German leader would face “if he sought to translate the wild and whirling words of his campaign speeches into political action”.

      The article looks forward to a “tamed” Hitler of whom it says many Germans are hopefully speaking. Overall, it plays down grim expectations, saying: “Always we may look for some such transformation when a radical demagogue fights his way into responsible office.” Judgement should be reserved until it is certain that the new man in power is “a flighty agitator” who would force the German people “to take a leap into the dark”.

      ORDER IT NOW

      Trump’s rhetoric is more belligerent and frightening than anything said by Johnson, but the latter could turn out to be the more dangerous man. The reason is that, for all his bombast, Trump has a streak of realism and caution and has yet to go to war with anybody. It is easy for him to claim to have “made America great again” because the US was already the most powerful state in the world, even if that power has begun to ebb.

      Johnson, if he becomes prime minister, has a far more difficult path because Britain’s power in the world has long been weaker than people in Britain – and Conservative Party members in particular – realise. Confronting the 27 states of the EU is going to make it that much weaker and the only alternative alliance is greater reliance on the US at a time when its policies are becoming more mercurial and egocentric. British collaboration with the US in confronting Iran, while at the same time trying not to be targeted as a US proxy, is an early sign of the dangerous path ahead.

      Trump is certainly dividing America, but then America has always been divided over race and the legacy of slavery. The divisions of the Civil War 160 years ago are the core political divisions of America today.

      In Britain, the political polarisation stemming from Brexit is much fresher, getting deeper, more uncertain, and – at the end of the day – involves a very risky leap in the dark.

      (Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
       
      • Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Boris Johnson, Britain 
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      1. Sean says:

        In the End Of History Francis Fukuyama actually named Trump as the an example of the puffed up bullfrog type that could be expected to take power from the “men without chests”. Gerd Gigerenzer said in his book Gut Feelings, written long before anyone dreamt that Trump would run, that the key to modern political campaigns was name recognition. Trump already had that and thanks to Have I got News For You Johnson got it.

        Thomas Piketty says near the end of his famoius book that historically the US lower 50% SES contained many first generation aspirational immigrants that had come from a poorer country and saw themselves on an upward trajectory so that kept American society stable despite great inequalities of labour income. He says now the immigration into Europe has been keeping European societies stable despite inequality rising rapidly, and so the US and Europe are becoming more alike. If class war from above leads to people turning to fascism, well whose fault is that?

        • Replies: @unit472
        , @Eric Novak
      2. anon[303] • Disclaimer says:

        Cockburn yearns only for Fake Americans and Fake Englishmen.

        • Replies: @Lot
        , @Amerimutt Golems
      3. Why is Trump dangerous?

        He’s started far fewer wars (that would be zero) than Barry the Kenyan and North Korea seems to be much less of a flashpoint.

        • Replies: @Digital Samizdat
        , @Verity
      4. Trump’s poisonous demagoguery in North Carolina may have rallied his true believers, but it also created a counter-reaction.

        Gay

      5. Virgile says:

        The UK is in a state of panic. It is traumatized by the Brexit disaster that has soured its relation with the EU, it may loose Scotland and North Ireland and it has nurtured a hatred of Russia.
        The USA is the only powerful friend that could lift the country up. Therefore the UK is going full blast Zionist. anti-Russia. anti-Iran and anti-EU with the hope of a “century trade deal” with the USA that would weaken the hated EU and possibly prevent Scotland and North Ireland’s secession.
        Therefore the UK only hope of surviving way is to become the USA lapdog and who is the politician who can make this happen, it is Boris Johnson.
        By choosing Johnson as their leaders. the British hope that they will get their glory again but they will may soon find out that compared to the US bullying, the EU was a lamb.

      6. Lot says:
        @anon

        Yep, but the anti-Israel crew is always up to ally with America hater jihadis.

      7. Does the movement towards populism lead to war, or does the movement towards war lead to populism?
        Logically it could be either, or a combination. Nations rise and gain power; once gained it has to be retained; when it is lost it has to be regained. Britain today is probably in this last phase; a little over half a century ago it was the most powerful empire on earth. Now it is but a husk of its former greatness. I think it is power not populism or nationalism that has brought us two world wars – and nearing a third – because power (manifested as interest) is always present: gaining it, retaining it, regaining it. A dying empire has one surviving strength, it can drag the most powerful of nations into conflagration. The warnings from history are there.
        https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

        • Agree: Digital Samizdat
        • Replies: @dfordoom
      8. peterike says:

        The divisions of the Civil War 160 years ago are the core political divisions of America today.

        That’s true. The wealthy Northeastern elites aligned against the interests of working class America, using other working class as cannon fodder, all in an effort to further increase their wealth and power. It had nothing whatsoever to do with either race divisions or slavery. And nothing has changed, other than the elites are now dominated by Jews and are even more hostile to legacy white America.

      9. unit472 says:
        @Sean

        The problem is, in world of 2% ‘growth’ with most of that going to ‘elite’ workers, there is no more “upward trajectory’ for low skill immigrants.

        • Replies: @Sean
      10. The Z Blog says: • Website

        If Trump was 10% of what his critics claimed, he would be 100% better than he has been thus far.

      11. Cockburn is a prime example of an alleged maverick being the faithful toady of the globalist elite.

      12. Anonymous[446] • Disclaimer says:

        “Trump whipping up his followers into hate-filled chants at a rally in North Carolina by denouncing Ilhan Omar, one of the four Congresswomen he has targeted, shows that there are no limits to his exploitation of racial animosities.”

        Trump never mentioned race a single time. The people who continue to make it about race are the same people claiming their race makes them immune from any criticism for their obvious hatred of the country they want to be in charge of.

        • Agree: mark green
      13. Sean says:
        @unit472

        It was not much to ask for wages to increase in line with close to the rise the cost of living. Not everyone is making money from skyrocketing property values.. In Britain the real wages of the indigenous workers were being kept from increasing by an endless flood of Poles ect and with no end in sight people voted in a referendum for Brexit, which was the only way to halt the influx of workers from EU countries armed with their freedom of movement. This was a very one way right that existed for British workers but was rather useless to them. Representing the economic interests of the working class is regarded as fascism by Mr Cockburn. So be it.

      14. Stogumber says:

        Strange, that Mr. Cockburn looks at the Brexit as the cause of polarisation in Britain. I would have thought that the polarisation has been the cause of the Brexit.

      15. Rich says:

        One of the reasons I rarely read Cockburn is because of the nonsensical things he parrots. What “racist” thing did Trump say? Is it illegal, or “racist” in Cockburn and his handler’s view to oppose any politician with dark skin or Hispanic heritage? “Rciast” means White, so anything Trump says is automatically “racist”. Thing that Cockburn doesn’t understand, probably because he doesn’t own a mirror, or dreads looking at one, is that his Pale skin makes him a “racist”, too, and his “pets” will turn on him when their day comes.

        • Replies: @animalogic
      16. @Rich

        This is a very – very disappointing article by
        Cockburn.
        We all know about the all too numerous faults of Trump & Johnson. We do not need the old, so very OLD, “so & so is like Hitler” argument. Good God, Cockburn what were you thinking??
        One teensy difference between Trump etc & Hitler is: racism for Hitler/nazism was a core, fundamental animating belief. Unlike Trump etc, it was not merely a tactic or strategy (although it could be used as such. ) Racism was an end in itself.
        Trump merely uses racism when it suits — as it does now. As pure political tactics, Trump’s attacks on “the four” & support for Pelosi is a good gamble. The more he can split Pelosi & the establishment Dem’s from the progressive Dem’s the better. He won’t alienate his own support, but he just may cause millions of progressive Dem’s to stay home on election day. Win.
        Of course the differences between Trump etc & Hitler could fill a couple volumes, which is neither support nor attack on anyone, but merely to state the obvious.

        • Replies: @Rich
        , @John Howard
      17. sarz says:

        Hitler and his Germany were anti-Jew for very good reasons. And they were brought down in what quondam Jew insider Benjamin Freedman aptly called the Judeo-Communist war against Germany. There was no Holocaust. If you’re going to be guided by history, it’s important to get the facts right.

        Trump, like his crypto-Jew father the head of the local KKK before him, is a crypto-Jew pretending to be a heritage American Deplorable. Having served the banksters and Likudniks two hundred percent and with the Wall nowhere in sight, now, again, for the election, he has to get back into Deplorable mode. I don’t know the author, but perhaps he will be consoled by the facts.

        http://www.twf.org/News/Y2019/0711-TrumpRothschild.html

        There is no British politician worth his or her weight in night soil. At least Boris is now sort of brushing his prematurely yellow hair.

      18. But the parallels and similarities between then and now are becoming more menacing by the day.

        The thought of Boris as menacing is amusing, to say the least. In fact, Trump has been as menacing as a Pooh-Bear missing half his stuffing. Cockburn’s Overton window seems to be flung far open to the left, and he has tossed his common sense overboard through it.

      19. @anon

        To put food on the table Paddy has to parrot ‘waycism’ like every SJW.

        Oddly his wages are paid for by Sultan Muhammad Abuljadayel who comes from a feudal country called Saudi Arabia.

      20. Trump is certainly dividing America, but then America has always been divided over race and the legacy of slavery.

        Putting deer and tigers in the same cage is always a bad idea.

        Enoch Powell and Hendrik Verwoerd have been vindicated by time.

      21. Gunga Din says:

        The author sounds like a real cuck. And, he just had to get that comparison in there of Trump and Hitler. Yawn.

      22. JET says:

        Boris Johnson is an ambitious charlatan who has almost certainly got the job he craves. No one knows what he will do – his mendacity and changes of tack are notorious. He could even find reasons for cancelling Brexit and few would be surprised.

        He was born in New York City – and seems to have a sentimental regard for Trump.

      23. (…) demonisation of four non-white congress members (…)

        ‘Demonizing Democrats’ sounds very much like ‘wetting water’.

      24. dvorak says:

        The self-delusion of men like Cockburn is hard to believe. His set (neoliberals and progressives) control every lever of power on the globe, partially excepting Moscow and Beijing. All 500 of the Fortune 500 have diversity policies and comply with the neolib power. You have to go way down the list of corporations to Chick-Fil-A to find a (minor) (partial) dissenter from neolib power.

      25. Rich says:
        @animalogic

        I can’t find anywhere where Trump has used”racism”, unless you believe that whenever a White person speaks, it’s “racism”. Saying that some of the Mexicans who illegally enter the US commit crimes isn’t “racism”, it’s a fact. And “Mexican” isn’t a race. You kids don’t know what “racism” is, calling out 4 anti-American congresswomen isn’t “racism”, it’s attacking morons. Has Trump ever made a statement anywhere calling people of any race “inferior”? Has he called for segregation? “Has he ever even uttered an ethnic slur? Racist” means White, nowadays, that’s all.

      26. On the contrary, Trump has double-downed in his attacks on non-white American politicians as being non-Americans and haters of America who should leave the country. Pictures of Trump whipping up his followers into hate-filled chants at a rally in North Carolina by denouncing Ilhan Omar, one of the four Congresswomen he has targeted, shows that there are no limits to his exploitation of racial animosities.

        This is the reflexive bark of “hate” and “racism” that pretty much defines the anti-white coalition of foreigners and socialists that dominate our politics. Omar and her clan are a bunch of race-baiting fraudsters who lied and cheated their way into our country so they could subvert it from within. If the cult of anti-racism requires that these people are untouchable, then the cult of anti-racism can officially f*ck off.

        In fact, nothing in Trump’s remarks was race-based. White SJW pundits and journalists — especially those from the UK — are equally welcome to “get out” of our politics and “go back” to f***ing up their own country, which they are doing quite nicely.

        Cockburn could also hopefully be more original than to keep flogging the dead-horse “Hitler” analogy. Yeah, Trump is exactly like Hitler — but only if Hitler was so powerless that he wasn’t allowed to ask how many Germans lived in Germany, and if he was being pilloried daily by a Jewish-run Berlin Times.

        If the whole Journalist Class is manifestly living in such a fantasy-world, why should we give credence to anything they say on any topic?

      27. @Virgile

        the British hope that they will get their glory again but they will may soon find out that compared to the US bullying, the EU was a lamb.

        At least the U.S. doesn’t give a crap about who you let work in your country, or the price of your local cheese, or whatever else the EU is bossing you about. I think you will find US hegemony to be very agreeable.

      28. Leftists are congenitally incapable of self reflection. If whites are beginning to see ourselves as a racial group with interests at stake, it is ONLY because nonwhites are continually and unrelentingly in our faces shrieking that we are a racial group whose interests they intend to destroy.

        As long as leftists like Cockburn continue to push for white erasure, for the total destruction of our countries and our peoples, fabricating entire histories out of whole cloth, founding and metastasizing countless academic “disciplines” dedicated to the project of “abolishing whiteness” — that is to say, genociding human beings indigenous to Europe — then we will defend ourselves.

        If Cockburn & other leftists don’t want whites defending ourselves, then back off trying to displace and replace us in our own countries. It is leftist racism against whites that is at the heart of all this, not vice versa. Anyone with the tiniest shred of intellectual honesty can see this.

      29. Anzus says:
        @Virgile

        The sad think about what you have written is that it could well be true.

      30. @Bill Jones

        Good points. Now let’s hope he can reign in Adelson and Bolton on Iran.

      31. @Virgile

        Therefore the UK only hope of surviving way is to become the USA lapdog and who is the politician who can make this happen, it is Boris Johnson.

        One major flaw in your argument: Britain already is a Washington colony and has been since at least 1956. Nothing’s going to change that until–at a minimum–Britain leaves NATO. But leaving the EU would still be helpful …

      32. Observers who forecast that Trump and Johnson would face too many political obstacles to gain power got something very wrong.

        Winning office and gaining actual power are two very different things, Mr. Cockburn.

        Johnson and Trump … press the same political and emotional buttons as the fascist leaders of the 1920s and 1930s.

        And what exactly would those “buttons” be, Mr. Cockburn? Reparations, depression and Jew-Bolshevism, perhaps? Some days, it actually does feel a lot like the 1930s.

        Trump has a streak of realism and caution and has yet to go to war with anybody.

        Whoa! Way down in paragraph 13 of this jumble of tired clichés, you finally notice that Trump hasn’t actually done anything since being sworn in. Congratulations! The New York Times will now gratefully accept your application for employment …

      33. dfordoom says: • Website
        @peter mcloughlin

        Britain today is probably in this last phase; a little over half a century ago it was the most powerful empire on earth. Now it is but a husk of its former greatness.

        Britain in the years between the world wars was already only a husk of its former greatness. The British were living in a fantasy world, with an empire they could not afford and a great power status they could not afford, completely broke and with most of the population living in misery and squalor.

        The British are still living in the same fantasy world, still dreaming of regaining some shadow of that great power status by acting as America’s stooge, and with most of the population still living in misery and squalor.

        And Great Britain was never all that great. The empire was mostly worthless or a financial drain. 19th century Britain was not a first-rate military power and by the end of the 19th century economic decline was already well advanced.

        It’s the fact that British greatness was largely based on fantasy that made Britain such a menace. Constantly meddling in other parts of the world in order to keep the fantasy of greatness alive.

      34. Lamb Chop says:

        The kernel of bullshit in this article is the notion that the VIP’s character determines a nation’s conduct. In the Western bloc, the sole determining factor is the relationship between intelligence agencies. MI6 is CIA’s butler. Britain’s loss of international standing due to chaotic Brexit and contempt for law re Chagos only reinforce CIA’s control. Gina’s got her hand up Boris’s shirt. She’s going to shake him around and work his lower jaw while drinking water. She’s going to make the little bell-end fight Iran and lose.

      35. Verity says:
        @Bill Jones

        It’s not wars that kill most Americans. It’s air and water pollution, absence of safety regulations, and, of course, a health care system that is inefficient and delivered unequally. Trump threatens everyone but his class with policies that degrade all of the above.
        I’ll give him credit though for not starting new conflicts and urge him to resolve the ones we’re in and ameliorate our relations with Russia and China as he promised in his campaign.

      36. Why is it racist to oppose four obnoxious socialists who happen to be brown? How is it “demonization” to point out their absurdities?

      37. @animalogic

        Those four being criticized by Trump have grouped themselves together under the title “The Squad”. That they are all brown is irrelevant. That they are all socialist morons is very relevant. They deserve to be called out for their stupidity and when they are, naturally, they will hide behind their color and claim to be victims of racism with morons like Cockburn promoting that obvious lie. All dishonest morons.

        • Replies: @bluedog
        , @animalogic
      38. bluedog says:
        @John Howard

        Then why worry about four people of color when your overlords are all white,those are the ones who have always sought the endless wars created the poverty for their own gain the destruction of the country so why do you waste your time on the “squad” when it would be better to be looking at the real ones causing the problems, not only here but in the rest of the world.!!!

      39. @John Howard

        Wow, are they what socialism looks like? Who knew? But, yes, very scary….

      40. Do you really want this to happen to you?

        As in Ireland, the best and the brightest are leaving to the US, Australia and New Zealand.

        Only tourists go to South Africa these days but that could also end quickly.

        Do really you want to be ruled by the masses, or more the clever guys who spout socialist mass appeal policies to gain control, and never leave using state power to quash all dissent.

        The US is not a democracy, neither is the UK!

        The US is a constitutional republic.
        The UK is a constitutional monarchy.

        Both of which have proven the most successful forms of government.

        Neither of which has killed hundreds of millions of its own people, conveniently ignored by those who advocate demagogues.

        Consider what’s happened to South Africa!
        Quickly going the same way as Zimbabwe.

        Soon food shortage will rear it’s head and guess who will be asked to donate funds to UN, EU and variously corporate charities?
        Yes! You!

        Dr Anthony Turtons current assessment which sadly is too true.

        “What shocks me is the rate of deindustrialization in SA.

        Remember that just 25 years ago:

        – We had specialist entities like USCO that made sophisticated steel used for example in gun barrels;

        – We were leaders in oil from coal;

        – We were the only producer of steel in Africa at Iscor;

        – We made copper cables at African Cables;

        – There was more energy concentration in a 100 Sq km area in Vereeniging than in any other African country’s entire energy usage per hour

        – Samancor produced specialist alloy feedstock and Stewart’s and Lloyd’s manufactured a range of sophisticated products of great precision like pumps

        – Dorbyl fabricated heavy engineering components;

        – On the military side we were nuclear capable and on the threshold of weaponizing nuclear warheads exactly like North Korea is doing today.

        All of this was possible – and I am not saying it was good or bad to be nuclear capable – only because we had sophisticated technical capacity.

        In two decades that world class capacity has been lost and raw sewage now floods the basements of buildings.

        The collapse has been total and rapid.

        The epicenter of the most concentrated form of primary production on the African continent has been wiped out with one sweep.

        The country that pioneered heart transplants now breeds new pathogens that are likely to create a health catastrophe of unprecedented proportions.

        This speaks to the inability of a liberation movement to govern.

        This is a shocking truth that few want to admit.

        The army that just 25 years ago produced the most sophisticated artillery, and which was at a stage considered the most advanced military force in the world after Israel and which saw the creation of an attack helicopter equal to the Apache, is now retreating from Emfuleni unable to execute the mission given to it last year.”

        Cry the beloved country.

        Soon SA will be just another African sh1th0le like Zimbabwe and Mozambique, where people hijack bread trucks to get food and where starving children hunt and eat rats.

        • Replies: @Dave Bowman
      41. @Denis Coghlan

        Well done.

        Now can you explain what the South African happy rainbow nation disaster has to do with UK political elections ?

      42. @Sean

        Your fault, for supporting the destruction of working-and-middle classes by endless millions of Third World tax dependents, affirmative action beneficiaries, and unassimilable hostiles. Why would the idiot you reference not consider the effects of mass immigration on the natives?

      43. Miro23 says:

        The UK is an important part of the Zio-Glob Empire – particularly the Conservative Party.

        The actions from Johnson are confusing, and maybe the only way to interpret them is through his desire for power. He’s fully for Brexit which the Zio-Glob hate. They have an arm lock on the EU and want the UK subservient to it (open frontiers, outsourcing etc.). But having said that, Johnson knows that Brexit is his only route to power.

        He’s supporting the US provocations towards Iran, calling Corbyn (Labour leader) the “Mullahs Friend” and sending more warships to the Gulf.

        Johnson’s two most important appointments are Dominic Raab (Foreign Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister) who’s father was Jewish (which may not be relevant) and Priti Patel (sacked from the May administration for making a supposedly private visit to Israel – while in fact holding secret unofficial meeting with Israeli ministers including Netanyahu. She visited the occupied Golan Heights and asked if her department could arrange UK aid for Israeli Army field hospitals.)

        Israel clearly wants to promote Patel and she’s co operating. Johnson knows this, and the odds are that he’ll do the same when the next election is out of the way, and his position as Prime Minister is safe.

        So the UK deepens its bonds with the US/Israel and continues its downward trajectory.

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