Opinion

Paul McNamee: What if, against all reason, a Donald Trump presidency works?

"What if Trump's plan is to greenlight massive infrastructure projects changes the dynamic of western economic policy?"

On the night of the judges’ Brexit ruling, I went to listen to a number of schoolkids. They were taking part in a public speaking contest. They were all really good. Really good.

Public speaking is hard. Yet there they were, from 12 to 18-years-old, up in front of a crowd making smart, engaging points. I liked them all.

Some of them mentioned Donald Trump. None were supportive. Trump, it appears, dominates the thoughts of a good number of British schoolkids. NSPCC said Trump fears are leading to a rise in anxiety amongst children. From what I’ve heard Trump has led to a rise in quality playground gags.

Will we be laughing later this week when the vote is in?

Trump’s a self-aggrandising, deplorable, thin-skinned boor. He looks totally incapable and also trigger-happy. But what if he is elected and it, against reason and all things that make sense, works? What if his plan to greenlight massive infrastructure projects changes the dynamic of western economic policy?

What if his plan to greenlight massive infrastructure projects changes the dynamic of western economic policy?

We are living through strange and interesting times.

None of the young students making smart impassioned speeches mentioned a ruling elite sneering at us and doing all they can to trample on the will of the people. Which is odd, because if you looked in a certain direction that is ALL you’d see.

The idea of a shadowy elite is bogus. The debasement of the word elite is frustrating.

Rather than something to celebrate (who wouldn’t want an elite surgeon or footballer?) it’s an easy shorthand for a haughty, self-serving establishment, more intent on maintaining control than allowing the people to have their way.

The Brexit vote was a legitimate yell by a percentage of disillusioned people. They were right that the EU is an over-complex, labyrinthine organisation in need of reform. But the loud, leading voices came from people more keen on personal advancement than an ideological will to let the people speak.

Yes, I’m looking at you, Boris Johnson.

Brexit will happen. A majority of people voted for it. And in the system we live in, that’s as it should be.

But it doesn’t mean that parliament talking it over, and also telling us how this thing is going to look, will be a usurping of that decision.

We should continue to call on the MPs we’ve elected for more clarity. We have a right to ask for that. There should be cross-party debate. It’s far too big and important to allow single party decision-making.

We made our voice heard during the general election. We spoke again in the referendum. And we can continue to be heard by directing our thoughts to our elected members and requesting they answer our questions and deal with our concerns.

Griping and nasty baloney on social media goes nowhere.

When we call on those we elect to plot the best of futures for all of us, we can make change. Agitation, focus and knowledge will map our way ahead.

If you have any comments please email me at paul.mcnamee@bigissue.com, tweet @pauldmcnamee, or send a letter to The Big Issue, 43 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 1HW

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