That is what Donald Trump has become. Great for his ego. Great for the media whose sales are soaring. Great for you to increase your stress levels. Great for fake news site, Trump coin makers and, in a bizarre way, for American democracy.
You clicked this thinking it was another tirade about Trump but in many ways this is quite the opposite – it is going to be a tirade about what you are choosing to view and get angry about.
Your obsessive Brexit/Trump click behaviour is allowing the UK to drift down a road of unmitigated disaster even before the impacts of those two phenomena are even taken into account. And this pointless and dangerous distraction is being ably assisted by left wing commentators, politicians, organisations and demonstrators.
For example, Owen Jones and James O’Brien are extremely eloquent and persuasive about the wrongdoing of Mr Trump. They have spent many a column inch, radiowave, online debate or TV interview extolling the evildoing of the new POTUS and the wonders of the British demonstrators opposing the ghastly Muslim ban that came into force at the weekend.
But here’s the thing. It’s none of our business and, more importantly, we cannot do anything to change it. Sure, when Trump starts eradicating the progress on Climate Change or snuggles further up the arse of Putin or wages war against another state then it it sure as hell is our business. But in the meantime there are many an Islamic nation and they are big enough and grown up enough to deal with Trump. As are the American people who, if we remember, had Hillary 3 million to the good in their election. Of course we should condemn what is going on, earn about it and, when that awful man comes to the UK, then we should all be out there telling the fascist and his cronies to sod off again.
But in the meantime he won’t change anything because he loves confrontation and UK left wing pundits and demonstrators are music to his ears. So instead of clicking every story about the oaf or going out to carry semi-amusing placards or taking to social media, perhaps now is the time to look at just how fucked up the UK is even before Brexit begins. Each and every area of domestic policy is in tatters but has been overshadowed by Trump and Brexit. In normal times this would have people marching down the streets and opposition politicians gathering scalp after scalp of failing government Ministers and an early General Election, but instead there is silence.
To give an idea of what I am talking about just have a cheeky squizz as this non-exhaustive list of the things that are going tits up in the UK at the moment. From health to education, society to defence, Britain is in deep doo-doo.
- Social Care is on the verge of collapse as 10% of care homes have closed and the baby boomers start to demand more and more places in God’s waiting room
- Bed blocking is at the worst level ever and up 42% in a year leading to cancelled operations and bed occupancy rates that will significantly increase superbugs
- A&E cannot meet the 4 hour target to see people
- Ambulances cannot get anywhere near meeting the times the should meet to get to 999 patients
- Hospitals are now allowed to miss their targets to see patients with cancer or do operations within a certain time
- 4,000,000 are waiting for an operation in the UK. That is 1 in 12 people
- Patients who are obese or have made unhealthy lifestyle choices are being refused operations.
- Despite being paid bucketloads, the government cannot recruit anywhere near enough GPs leading to doctor deserts.
- The main plank of the British nuclear deterrant can’t fly in even close to the right direction. We only test the nukes once every four years as it costs £17m to do so – and it went the wrong way
- Britain has no aircraft carriers and when it does have them, Trump will have his airforce flying from them and not UK planes or pilots.
- Students entering university next year face coming out of uni with a degree and an eyewatering £54,000 debt
- The government is embarking on new grammar schools when there is not one single education expert or think tank who says it is a good idea
- Class sizes are soaring
- Teacher recruitment targets have been missed four years in a row leading to massive shortages in qualified and decent teaching staff
- Schools in some areas are so short of cash they are considering teaching a four-day-week
- In the last two years, unions have been on strike for 12 days leaving an impact on the quality of education children are getting.
- The Minister in charge of UK environmental policy doesn’t even know if climate change is real let alone whether it is manmade
- Subsidies for solar power have ended causing a collapse in this CO2 free energy whilst subsidies for fracking, oil and gas production have increased
- Two previous enemies of the UK – China and France – are building the costliest building ever made and will house a nuclear power station producing energy at subsidised prices eight times more expensive than other renewable energy
- Investigative newspapers are dying whilst fake news sites are thriving and Rupert Murdoch is about to take over yet another media outlet
- The number of antidepressants prescribed has doubled in a decade
- Depression in teenagers has increased by 70% in the last 25 years
- The suicide rate in prisons is now higher than it has ever been
- The worst riots happened in UK prisons since the 1990’s
- More bankers have been caught stealing billions from us and yet not one has gone to prison
- Rough sleeping is soared by 16% last year alone and is at the worst level in decades
- 115,000 people were homeless last year
- 16,000,000 people in the UK have savings of less than £100
- 15,000,000 are obese
- 16% of men and 9% of women drank alcohol on at least five of the preceding seven days basis basically meaning they are alcoholics
- 1 in 20 children have been sexually abused
- 1 in 4 people in prison are a former child who was taken into care.
- Despite there being an unelected Prime Minister, the cuts and the confusion, the Conservative Party is 14% ahead of Labour in the latest polls
- The most vocal coherent opposition comes from the SNP – a party that represents one nation and another party that has just nine MPs
- Despite winning the Brexit vote, UKIP is still polling the same, if not better, than before the referendum
- The grandson of Winston Churchill still thinks it is OK to woof at women in the House of Commons.
I could go on. My point is that whilst we are staring at Trump and Brexit with goggle eyes, tut tutting and clicking yet another story about the omnishambles they both are, there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop either of them. Trump has happened and it will be down to Americans, their senate and their courts to stop him or get rid of him. Brexit has happened and with an opposition refusing to vote against Article 50 in the Commons then the UK will leave. Even if there were a General Election tomorrow and even if Corbyn won, we would go down the same path towards isolation, increased relative poverty and irrelevance.
Instead we who give a damn should stop worrying about the things we can’t change and focus on things we can change. Most of the list above can be fixed and the Tories would spend political capital fixing them if there were enough noise about them. They are bereft of an ideology or a big-idea. They are sleeping walking in a daze trying to work out how to patch together a workable post EU strategy. So let’s give them an ideology to work on outside of that which starts to help the country stay above water. And it may be unsexy to say so, but we need to stop clicking on every Brexit and Trump story and look harder at the nitty gritty of life. That way we could do something to change stuff rather than something that ends in nothing but empty clickbait counts.