President Trump - if we ignore the bombast and general demeanour of the man - is actually seeming to make some international progress. As ever, I find it hard to draw an absolute conclusion about this enigma; on the one hand we see an arrogant, vulgar and opinionated president with a talent for upsetting just about everyone whilst on the other we might just be seeing the fruits of this style of behaviour on the international stage. North Korea, for example, has recently announced a most unexpected climb-down on its nuclear development activities and made almost a declaration of unity and peace with its neighbours in the south. How can this be, we might wonder ? Is it the result of a very clever (albeit dangerous) strategy of threats and oblivion by the US which has stimulated this apparent pacification of the north or is it more to do with the biting sanctions crippling the majority of North Korea's population and the sure knowledge that in a nuclear face-off they'd unquestionably come off worst ? It's hard to say, isn't it ? If Trump's strategy is to bombard his enemies with threats, oblivion and nasty rhetoric in a gamble to induce the enemy to back-off then in this instance it appears to have worked. If the climb-down has nothing to do with Trump's threats but is more to do with knowing it [N. Korea] now already has the nuclear technology it needs to resurrect the threat in future times but discontinue any public displays of it right now then we have an equally compelling explanation.
Trump continues to aggravate Iran and Mexico with his brand of persuasion and in a slightly different form he also uses it on his notional allies in NATO. We need to see what outcomes those measures produce, but there will be sparks in the interim. Emmanuel Macron continues to court Mr Trump in the belief that France is his best friend in Europe and across the world. It's somewhat disagreeable to see Macron smarming his way around the president but if charm and flattery get him anywhere then he's pretty good at that. I'm not sure I like the notion of France prancing about the world stage like a prima-donna but it's not something that agitates my soul enough to worry about it. Britain has other, more pressing concerns to worry about right now. And lastly - in Trumpland - am I right in hearing that Nigel Farage has been involved with Trump in order to engineer some sort of 'associate membership' of the Commonwealth for the US ? This sounds extraordinary on the face of it unless the real basis for this is more to do with trade than constitution - or is it some hoax...? Whichever it might be, if it is real and it actually happens then that would not only be a remarkable agreement but it might also give both Britain and the US an unbeatable advantage over EU strategies to draw the US closer to Europe. What would Monsieur Macron think about that, eh ? "Quelle horreur !"
The Corbyn saga about anti-Semitism has reached new highs in absurdity. It's hard to fathom what game is being played here between an aggrieved Jewish community and the Labour Party but nobody seems to be making any real effort to defuse a situation that seems desperately important to some and completely innocuous to others. Why this topic is receiving so much air-time and filling media columns by the cart-load, frankly, escapes me. Is this just about recognition, or is there a practical reason why some factions are getting heated about this ? What goes on in the current Labour Party seems pretty irrelevant to anything these days - they have withdrawn from being a meaningful Opposition in the Commons, they campaign on a fringe platform of fringe issues, they excel at fielding inept spokespersons who don't know their business, they court the friendship and support of some very dubious allies and they have not revealed any policies or strategies that hold water should - Heaven forbid - they ever get an electoral majority. They might have numerical superiority in Party numbers but there are even question marks as to how legitimate even those are. To balance my disdain for Corbyn's Labour Party I would add that the Tories look little better. Regrettably for us all, we seem to be stuck with these two colourless, vapid and lame-duck political entities.
Elsewhere in our realm the disputes over Grenfell, Windrush and dubious net-migration figures, parliamentary debate on Brexit deals are all stirring various levels of agitation. None of these issues is being handled well and nothing is being explained in parliament about solid measures to rectify either an understanding of or remedial strategies themselves. We continue to display weak and fluid government in ways that make us, the electorate despair. Integrity, honesty, commitment and faith are admirable virtues - to me, our political behaviour displays almost none of these. Maybe we should invite Trump into the Commonwealth...!