We Don’t Need that Fascist Groove Thing, US election special
 ‘America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we lose our freedom it will be because we destroyed ourselves’ (1)
us election


‘Looking for a leader to bring our country home,
Reunite the red white and blue before it turns to stone.’


America, since WW2 has been the worlds’ policeman, the benchmark for democracy, the worlds’ leader. Today it is close to surrendering those titles, its democracy stands on the edge of crisis, and it is becoming a benchmark for what is wrong.

In Jan 2018, President Trump was branded a shocking and shameful racist after it was credibly reported he had described African nations, as well as Haiti and El Salvador as ‘shitholes’. Mr President, people in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones.

This column is experiencing two overwhelming thoughts, one is a sense of déjà vu. As in 2016 the opinion polls were wrong, the predicted blue wave didn’t happen, however it is becoming increasingly likely that a Democrat will be sitting in the White House.

Despite, Biden edging closer to victory, exit polls show that Trump outperformed his 2016 results with every race and gender, except white men.


its democracy stands on the edge of crisis, and it is becoming a benchmark for what is wrong


The second is taking no-pleasure in being right; this column has constantly warned that Trump would try to undermine the democratic process, refusing to accept the result, and seeking to overturn in court. He has already loaded the Supreme Court in his favour, call it an electoral insurance policy.

For the past 3-months he has been telling everyone the only way her could lose was if the election was rigged, today he has tried to have uncounted ballot papers disqualified, in a move that could be described as, ‘I have enough votes now, so let’s call it a day.’

Trump and his cohorts are deranged idiots; however, they are dangerous and appeal to the masses. If ever a quote summed up their madness it is this: Trump’s claims that the election was being stolen were supported by Nigel Farage who, when pressed to produce evidence, was unable to do so, saying the evidence was ‘so new it has not yet come to light’.  WTF does that mean. There isn’t any evidence, but we can create some?

Speaking of Farage, his appearance on ‘Good Morning Britain’, where he denied that Trump ever advocated the use of bleach as a ‘treatment’ for Covid. (2) Whilst, on one level it is pantomime, on another it is deeply worrying. Farage’s’ persona is straight out of the populist playbook, shout longer and louder and people will believe whatever rubbish you repeat.


the evidence was ‘so new it has not yet come to light’


Like Trump he has a pocket of deep lying support; don’t be surprised to see him become an electoral force if Johnson continues to falter. In voter’s minds Labour are still the ‘enemy’, the ‘establishment’, therefore their recovery is far from certain.

However, let us to return to US election night. At around 0700 London, 0200 EST, Trump, standing in front of a phalanx of Stars and Stripes with Hail to the Chief playing in the background, addressed a maskless crowd of progeny and devotees screaming ‘We love you!’ ‘Frankly, we did win this election,’ he said, the room erupting in a frenzy of cheers.

Only he probably hasn’t; this was precisely the disinformation he was seeking to sow, claiming victory, and then being denied it by ballot rigging.

At 11.30 pm EST he was winning, Biden’s pathways to the White House appeared to be narrowing with the unfolding loss of Florida and early results giving Trump the edge in states such as Georgia and North Carolina.

But then people’s attention turned, as it did 4-years ago, to Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. This was the so-called ‘blue firewall’ upon which Clinton had been relying and that Trump tore down.

This time voters had seen through the ‘red mirage’, Trumps promises had turned out hollow and they returned to the Democrats fold.


Trumps promises had turned out hollow and they returned to the Democrats fold


Before we consider the fall-out and ramifications of the election, we need to consider why he is so popular amongst the electorate. The issues that seemed to dominate were the pandemic, and BLM led by the death of George Floyd.

Sadly, the fact that >233,000 American citizens have died from Covid wasn’t enough. Trump’s negligent handling of the pandemic clearly helped Biden to do well, but many who were concerned by the virus were already Biden voters.

Politically, Trump’s masterstroke was contacting the virus, he bounced back like a sun-tanned Clark Kent, looking more heroic than ever in the eyes of his fawning audience, who assume they have his level of immunity, or whatever…..

Neither was the fact that black African Americans are still second-class citizens, who appear to provide target practice for the forces of law and order sufficient.

Yes, if Biden does win, the African American votes will have been crucial, but white Americans still makes up the majority of the electorate and they are for Trump. Any white voters in favour of BLM were always going to support Biden.

The reality is that those of us worried by those events, call us ‘woke’, antifa’, ‘the establishment’, maybe we are just ‘urban’, whatever; we are misunderstanding one very key point, white working-class voters.

In the US many of these people live is the so-called ‘rust belt’ and upper mid-west states. They delivered victory for Trump in 2016 and came close to doing so this time around.

They elected Trump because they felt ignored, their jobs and communities had gone, they thought others – including foreigners – were getting too good a deal, and they wanted someone to speak for them. Their complaints haven’t gone away, and they obviously don’t feel the Democrats address them.


‘Well, the last thing I remember before I stripped and kneeled
Was that trainload of fools bogged down in a magnetic field
A gypsy with a broken flag and a flashing ring Said,
 ‘Son, this ain’t a dream no more, it’s the real thing.’


This has an all too familiar feel about it, concerns about the economy driven by the enduring trauma of the 2008 financial crash and its inequalities.

These voters are no different to those in the UK who I describe as ‘Left feeling behind.’ The same voters who gave us Brexit and Johnson an 80-seat majority.

We can look at both countries ‘left behind’ in the same way, their situations are strongly correlated.

Taking the US first, in 2016 these people voted for Trump because, in their eyes, he offered them hope, an alternative to the political norm, he understood their frustrations. Four years on their situation hasn’t improved, yet many still follow him.

In the UK, the situation is identical; as we  saw in 2016’s Brexit referendum, and 2019’s general election the ‘left behind’ voiced their displeasures.

However, in the election rather than seeking a true alternative, Johnson, rather like a snake oil salesman, convinced them that whilst he was a Tory, he was a different sort of Tory.

In both instances the ‘left behind’ continued to vote for those that had led them to this place. The question is, why?


the ‘left behind’ continued to vote for those that had led them to this place. The question is, why?


The answer is, I believe, two-fold, firstly todays politicians are a motley crew, few, if any have any gravitas, or even look like  leaders.

Secondly, it lies in the uniqueness of populism itself. Their policies are nebulous; therefore, they can latch onto any passing opportunity without being accused of deviating from their agenda. This nimbleness enables them to consistently state they are expressing the will of the people, and to show themselves as a strong leader; the cult of the leader is especially important in populism.

Its Achilles heel is that once in-power the leaders are expected to deliver on there, often unattainable, promises. Populism’s answer is to create enemies who can then be blamed for any policies that aren’t implemented, or that fail.

Both countries are deeply divided, there are lots of ways to segment this, colour, race, geography, demographics, but the simple answer is that the division is between those that have and those that don’t.

Trump looks likely to lose because all his economic policies achieved was to juice-up asset prices. This actually added to the inequality, the haves now have even more and, the have nots have even less!

Having considered why the election turned out how it appears to have done, lets us turn to what the seemingly vanquished Trump might try.


the simple answer is that the division is between those that have and those that don’t


Legally, there is little he can do. Firstly, he can shout all he likes about electoral fraud, ballot rigging, votes being counted after the deadline, etc., but he has to prove it.

His threat to go to the supreme court is baseless, as Guy-Uriel Charles, a Duke Law School professor, said in a press call: ‘He certainly can’t just run to the US supreme court and file a suit there. That’s just not how our legal system operates.’

It is possible, but unlikely, one of the new legal challenges his campaign filed could end up in the supreme court. But that case would have to have a legal basis, be tried in a lower court, then appealed to the nation’s highest court, which would have to accept it. And for it to matter in the presidential race, it would have to meet the qualifications of affecting a large enough number of ballots in a decisive state.

Charles said: ‘But again, you can’t just walk into federal court and say, ‘I lost.’ You have to have a legal basis for saying a law has been violated.’

The real threat Trump carries is the people who voted for him, and how they react to the disinformation. In his false declaration of victory, he said that any suggestion that he had lost was ‘a fraud on the American public’.


‘I need to get born, I need to get dead,
I’m sick of the forms,
I’m sick of being misread,
 By men in dashikis and their lefist weeklies..’


Trump’s use of the media is especially dangerous, he communicates directly to his supporters through social media, avoiding the reputable news organizations that could factcheck him in real time.

Many of them will believe his unsubstantiated claims of victory, this serves only to undermine confidence in the ultimate legitimate results, sowing discord, and potentially violence.

Sites such as Facebook and Twitter did little to directly challenge the president. They did not call his statement a lie or take strong steps to counter it, although Twitter did say that the president’s message might be ‘misleading’.


to undermine confidence in the ultimate legitimate results, sowing discord, and potentially violence


This is now a moment for people to take a step-back, Republican members of Congress and the VP (Pence) need to distance themselves from Trumps’ hysterical outpourings, accept that all votes must be counted, and accept the democratic will expressed by the American people. Continuing support for Trump and his baseless claims risk sowing violence, confusion, and eroding people faith in the principles of American democracy.

Even if Biden does win and the results are accepted, the conclusions we can draw from it are grim. Trump, even in defeat, will likely poll C.70m votes, which represents around 47% of the votes cast. This proves that America has not turned its back on Trump’s denial of climate change, his racism, his isolationism, for loading the supreme court in his favour, his corruption, or the 233,000 that died from a virus he denied. A victory for Biden is a step in the right direction, but the journey will be long.

As for the UK, we have our own version in Johnson still at the helm. Brexit now looks even more of a gamble with a Biden administration favouring a united Europe just as we exit stage left!


‘You don’t say it’s alright be strong
‘Cos I can’t see it any other way
Now I know it’s wrong..’



  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/piers-morgan-nigel-farage-good-morning-britain-trump-row_uk_5fa25b12c5b63dc9a5c27204?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAABvUNroNmDdLgT5Kwe_97C9bSZXA8GPvnVEJnS4Ti4vZbrnKwWAEE3mN-7UolrWlEpasJCHKbzfkUfbGAf71_Y3dwpR1jD6b1REiH4vb1hLrAhPzyDGoigOVN-45uVTMxAsCquBHml_WS8ehtTKEhQgg9_y1J_LmqzifDIrjXZXp


A powerful piece from Philip as the result of the US election remains in the balance, although with Biden looking a firm favourite.

Clearly the pollsters had another shocker, but the phenomenon of ‘shy’ Trump supporters is being touted as a possible excuse; one tried to get around this by asking people who they thought their neighbour would vote for.

A big question for Philip is, in the light of a huge death toll as a result of the pandemic,  the BLM riots in response to the killing of George Floyd, and his apparent failure to deliver on the bulk of his 2016 election promises, just how Trump managed to poll almost 70m votes.

His conclusion is that Trump’s populism still delivered hope to those that feel disaffected and left behind; the self-same division between the haves and the have nots that arguably led the UK to vote Brexit and returned the ‘Temporary 55’.

As this column has its genesis in Brexit, the fact that Biden favours a united Europe can only make the future more uncertain as the UK prepares to plough its own furrow; a strong and disturbing piece.

Some strong lyrics as well, with a distinct whiff of protest; electronic entries only please, and add a read receipt if you have any concerns about vote rigging.

First off the rank  ‘a true rocker right down to his checked shirts’ 5 pts for Neil Young and 5 for ‘Lookin’ for a Leader’; next ‘a god amongst protest singers, and an epic protest song’ 1 pt for Bob Dylan and 5 pts for ‘Senor: Tales of Yankee Power’.

Thirdly ‘a band that proved US indie was just about grunge and hardcore’ 5 pts for Pavement and 5 for ‘Embassy Row’ – a hidden gem if ever there were one; last ‘a much-underrated band from Liverpool’, and an epic tale of three massive egos – 5 pts for Pete Wylie’s Wah! and 5 for ‘Hope’. There is a bonus 5 pts for naming either of the other artistes with whom Wylie formed ‘Crucial Three’*


*Ian McCulloch (Echo and the Bunnymen) and Julian Cope (Teardrop Explodes).


Philip Gilbert 2Philip Gilbert is a city-based corporate financier, and former investment banker.

Philip is a great believer in meritocracy, and in the belief that if you want something enough you can make it happen. These beliefs were formed in his formative years, of the late 1970s and 80s

Click on the link to see all Brexit Bulletins:

brexit fc

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