Miriam Lord: How Mike Pence shat on the new carpet in Ireland’s spare room

Stoical smiles as US vice-president delivers strong endorsement of Johnson and Brexit

The hospitable hosts buttered up their important guest and made a big fuss of his family and hoped he would say nice things about them to the important people he would meet after his visit to Ireland.

And he told them they were wonderful and that he loved them. He even said a special prayer for everyone and then, just before he left, he turned around and kicked them where it hurts.

It came as a shock.

Like pulling out all the stops for a much-anticipated visitor to your home and thinking it has been a great success until somebody discovers he shat on the new carpet in the spare room, the one you bought specially for him.

US vice-president Mike Pence met President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Tuesday during an official visit. His Irish hosts, up to their oxters for the last three years in Brexit worry, hoped to impress upon him Ireland’s fears about the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for the country.

He could, maybe, stick in a supportive word for us in his talks with Boris Johnson in London – his next port of call.

Pence, after all, is Irish American and wastes no opportunity to go misty-eyed about his love for the “Old Country” as he lards on his Mother Machree schtick on both sides of the Atlantic. He couldn’t praise Ireland enough on Tuesday – “deeply humbled” and “honoured” to be going to the hometown of his mother’s grandmother and so on.

Strong endorsement

But, after he said all these nice things about the “Emerald Isle” and how much his boss Donald Trump – he sent his best wishes, by the way – appreciates us and all we do to help American security in Shannon, he delivered a very strong endorsement of Boris Johnson and Brexit.

No room left for doubt. As Pence read from the autocue and Irish eyes definitely stopped smiling, it was clear he was channeling His Master’s Voice. Trump is a fan of Brexit and of Boris. Continue reading

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Terry Gilliam says he disagrees with John Cleese’s worldview

Director says Brexit makes him ‘terminally depressed’ while fellow Python Cleese backs it

Terry Gilliam has said he disagrees with the way his friend and fellow Monty Python member John Cleese sees the world, following comments from the latter endorsing Brexit and criticising the makeup of London.

The Python animator and Hollywood director despairs of Donald Trump and Brexit, both of which make him “terminally depressed”. Cleese has previously faced a backlash for voicing support for the UK leaving the EU, and for saying London was no longer an English city.

Gilliam told Radio Times that the only public figure he could trust in the current political climate was Sir David Attenborough. He also criticised the political correctness of contemporary comedy, but stopped short of supporting his friend’s view of the world.

He said: “I’m the instinctive, monosyllabic American and he’s the tall, very suave one. I love John enormously but I just disagree with the way he perceives the world.” Continue reading

Why Trump’s Support of Boris Johnson Should Remind Congress to Impeach

Be wary of a president who celebrates abuses of power abroad and who, at home, imagines that the Constitution “allows me to do whatever I want.”

Lost amid the flurry of tweets from President Trump this week was a single message he sent cheering on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s shocking decision to suspend the British Parliament. Johnson’s move to “prorogue” the parliamentary session before elected representatives return next week from summer recess dramatically narrows Parliament’s options over if and how Britain will leave the European Union. The result has been a massive outcry in the United Kingdom, where more than 1.5 million people have signed “Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved” petitions.

But Johnson was being cheered on from one precinct: the Oval Office. After the main British opposition party’s leader spoke of trying to block Johnson’s power grab, Trump tweeted:

Would be very hard for Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, to seek a no-confidence vote against New Prime Minister Boris Johnson, especially in light of the fact that Boris is exactly what the U.K. has been looking for, & will prove to be “a great one!” Love U.K.

Trump is wrong. Continue reading