Ed Lines

Dateline: 12/10/2016

Location: Long Beach, California

Reporter: Danny ‘Whicker’ Lockwood

GOOD news and bad news from the USA, where the race for the Oval Office leaves Hollywood scriptwriters gasping in disbelief on a daily basis.

If they ever tried pitching a story like this, they’d be laughed all the way back to Bumwash, Alabama.

The good news is that Republican nominee Donald Trump’s poll ratings sink lower than a Kentucky coal mine every time he opens his mouth.

If as expected The Donald fails, he could do worse than turn jihadi and join ISIS.

If God had ever intended us to become suicide bombers he’d have created Trump, because every time he speaks in public, boom, there’s death and destruction all round.

And when the smoke clears, there’s The Donald, as unblemished as Superman with not a hair, literally out of place, and that grin all over his psychopathic mush.

Heck, he doesn’t even need a suicide belt. Just switch off brain and open mouth. Boom!

The bad news is that leaves not just America but the world with a lying, thieving, duplicitous, amoral and all-around discredited crone, as Madam President.

Hillary Clinton makes Richard Nixon look like Abraham Lincoln.

Probably because the BBC-dominated British media is so left-wing, I suspect we get quite a sanitised version of Hillary, while it’s all they can do to not photoshop a KKK hat on Trump.

I only got here on Monday night and – cross my heart and hope to die – I have not yet spoken with one person who considers Hillary Clinton anything but a lucky criminal.

He might be ‘the Don’, but she’s the female Don of the political mafia, who’s got the dirt on the Washington mob.

A good friend, a successful businesswoman in her own right, despises Hillary with venom, but she can’t bring herself to vote for a dangerous lunatic like Trump.

It breaks her heart that she can’t cast a meaningful vote and there are a great many like her.

I said good news and bad news, but actually there’s worse news too.

As we witnessed so gloriously in our own Brexit referendum, voter polls are as trustworthy as politicians’ promises. Everyone lies, folks. Lots of Republican figures have been abandoning Trump in the wake of the ‘disgusting’ revelations about his attitude to women (and given Bill Clinton’s abusive sexual history and Hillary’s role in covering it up, that wasn’t the coup it might have been).

But those Republican Donald-haters already were. They’re professional politicians resentful of this mouthy outsider stamping all over their patch.

And as with our Brexit, what no one here can quantify is the depth of the anti-establishment groundswell. Could Trump’s laddish awfulness actually work for him?

On Monday night I caught up with my old 1980s flatmate in the Acapulco Inn on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore and we touched on this.

“Locky, he said. “Do you remember what me and you got up to in our 20s, up and down this very street?”

I did. Remembered it very fondly indeed. Those were the days – and nights.

“Remember some of the stuff we’ve said and done on rugby trips?”

It was all I could do not to laugh with joyful recollection or cry for its passing.

“That’s only what Trump was doing,” he said.

“Ah, but we weren’t standing for President,’ I replied.

“Neither was he when he tried to be all blokey and impress someone. To most ordinary voters it just shows he’s human.”

Food for thought. I still disagreed but saw his wider point.

On Tuesday night, one of my more politically astute (and non-laddish) friends put it like this: “You’re hungry and you have two baskets of shopping to choose from. Neither’s to your exact tastes, so you pick the one with more stuff you like.

Donald has some rubbish in his basket, but Hillary’s has nothing you want in hers.”

There you go. He’ll reluctantly vote Trump.

All the smart money’s still on Hillary, but all the smart money in the USA was in sub-prime mortgages and Lehman Brothers, when a fresh-faced Senator Barack Obama was making his run for the White House – on the way to running up a $19 trillion national debt.

That could bankrupt the global economy and is what should really scare us more than which fraud is in the Oval Office.

‘CHUTZPAH’. A good word, derived from the Jewish term for insolence, effrontery or audacity.

I think it works in describing The Reporter group’s protracted explanation last week for putting its price up to 90 pence.

Where once the Reporter, Batley News and Spen Guardian were proud and pugnacious local papers – and I mean truly local – now they are emaciated shadows.

Not a single employee in north Kirklees. Pages full of stories from everywhere except the town it says on the front page.

They claimed last week the money was to invest in “quality journalism”. Really? They’ve sacked most of the staff – starting with the journalists and photographers.

Apparently the costs of producing a paper are “rising rapidly”. Again, really? Ours aren’t.

They claim to “campaign against unfairness” and “challenge those in authority”. Since when? Not round here they don’t and haven’t for a long time.

But I loved this line: “Without advertising this newspaper would cost you several pounds ... our advertisers subsidise this ... but in a digital age that subsidy has reduced.”

I nearly had a damping down moment, I laughed so hard at that.

Advertisers subsidise readers, do they? And in the digital age the money’s drying up?

The Reporter series has so few readers left it’s no wonder they can’t find advertisers willing to ‘subsidise’ them. That’s why the price has gone up.

As for this imaginary ‘digital age’ of journalism, which they bet the house on when they sacked everyone and closed all their offices – there was no evidence, anywhere in the world of newspapers, that it existed.

The Press is tootling along just fine as an old-fashioned paper, one where our tens of thousands of local readers and very many local advertisers are good for each other. No subsidies required. But what would we know ... ?

ON THE plus side, it’s nice to see that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is relaxing into his relationship with the media.

As you can see from this picture, he allowed the Daily Mail a sneak preview of his private ablutions as he prepared for his first meeting with Her Majesty the Queen. Jeremy Corbyn

On the down side, his bullshine about leading an inclusive Labour Party fit to challenge for government stunk the place out last week, judging by his shadow cabinet reshuffle.

How about the nepotism involved in giving his former bit of leg-over, Diane Abbott, the Home Secretary brief? Corbyn would have been getter giving Bud Abbott the job, and Costello the Foreign Office.

And the gesture politics just rolled on.

The unelected Shami Chakrabarti is to Corbyn what Sayeeda Warsi was to David Cameron – a populist, female, ethnic minority piece of tokenism, who’s a rank hypocrite to boot.

Like Abbott she’s a Grammar school-hating Trot. Like Abbott she sent her child into private education.

So much for the people’s party and equal opportunity. Always – except when it suits, and it’s their turn to get their snouts in the trough.

I was going to say Corbyn is mildly preferable to that pair because as thick as he is, he’s faithful to his commie beliefs.

But if he surrounds himself with people like that, doesn’t it make him a hypocrite too? Not so pure then, Jeremy.

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