To trump, among other things, means to break wind loudly from one’s bottom. So it seems an appropriate name for the billionaire property magnate and self-publicist currently running to win the Republican nomination for the American presidency in 2016. Every time Donald Trump opens his mouth there’s a bad smell.
He is sexist. “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?” he said live on air about Carly Fiorina, one of his female rivals for the Republican ticket. Of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who gave him a hard time during the first Republican debate, he said: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”
He is racist. Mexican immigrants are “rapists”. And other non-whites? “Laziness is a trait in the blacks . . . Black guys counting my money! I hate it!” Or Jews? “The only guys I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes.”
He is insulting even to American war heroes. He attacked US senator John McCain for being shot down while a navy pilot during the Vietnam War. “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured, I hate to tell you.”
And he’s vain, very vain. “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.” And “Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest and you all know it!”
He even exploited the atrocities in Paris with the sole intention of appealing to the pro-gun lobby on the Republican right. “Isn’t it interesting that that the tragedy in Paris took place in one of the toughest gun control countries in the world . . . nobody had guns but the bad guys.” The French ambassador called him out for this immediately: “This message is repugnant in its lack of human decency. Vulture.”
The trouble is that the more this buffoon opens his mouth and lets his belly rumble, the more popular he becomes. His ratings are rocketing. In the polls, he tops the list of Republican candidates. He’s rich and he spends his money like a lottery winner. Solid gold fixtures and hardware on his private jet (sinks, seat-belt clasps, door-hinges and screws). “I have glitzy casinos . . . glitz works in Atlantic City. And in my residences I sometimes use flash, which is a level below glitz.”
He is also very open about using his wealth to buy political influence. In fact he brags about it. “I give to everybody and they do whatever I say.”
Let’s imagine the worst, then, that he wins the Republican nomination and then beats Hillary Clinton to become president.
In America, the president is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces. So in a military crisis, what kind of decision-making can we expect from President Trump? Here’s his strategy for dealing with IS: “Isis is making a tremendous amount of money because they have certain oil camps. I would bomb the s*** out of them. I would blow up those pipes. There would be nothing left. And you know what, you’ll get Exxon to come in, you ever see how good they are, the great oil companies. They will rebuild that sucker, brand new . . . and the oil? I will take the oil. I. Will. Take. The. Oil.”
However entertaining Trump may seem on TV, there’s an emptiness in his soul that can only be satisfied by power. We create our own monsters, they rise among us thanks to our own inertia or stupidity. God help us if this one becomes leader of the western world.
The weather outside is frightful, but that’s just fine
It bugs me when people moan about the wind, the rain and the bone-chilling temperature. We live in Scotland. It’s November. What did you expect? Tables on the terrace, a balmy breeze and tropical sunshine?
I was talking to the Leith Academy first years about litter the other morning. At first I thought I heard a ripple of applause. Then it got louder. It was rain on the glass roof. It grew even louder as I talked until I had to literally shout to be heard.
I love it when the weather’s like this. I work from home so I don’t have to schlep back and forward to an office. If there are no meetings, I can slop about all day in a T-shirt and pyjama bottoms. There’s nothing cosier than a cup of tea indoors with the rain hammering on the roof and the winter wind rattling the windows. My mind turns to tomato soup and crusty bread, bubbling trays of macaroni cheese and apple crumble and custard for pudding. With half an inch of subcutaneous fat to keep me warm, I’m as happy as Larry.
Nighttime comes quickly. You look up from your laptop and suddenly it’s dark. Bedtime beckons. That means Netflix.Even if all the great stuff like Kevin Spacey in House of Cards and Better Call Saul is between seasons, you can always find a decent movie if you look hard enough.
We watched Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters last night, a violent, darkly funny thriller about an art dealer who steals a painting from the wrong guy and pays a heavy price. If you prefer animal blood, The Hunt is on BBC iPlayer. Classic Attenborough, pictured.
Making light of winter weather is something folk from northern Britain are pretty good at. Looking out my rain-lashed car window, stuck at the lights in Leith today, I saw a man in a short-sleeved cotton shirt, not even tucked-in, struggling to push a beast of a baby buggy across the road in the howling wind. The baby and its wee sister were happed up in puffa jackets, hats and scarves. I thought the dad would be feeling the cold but no. He recognised a mate smoking outside the pub on the corner and stopped for a blether. He was still there chatting when I drove back ten minutes later.
Make the most of it, folks. Only another six months of this before you’ll be complaining you’re too hot again.
Pass the cheese and haggis naans
VDeep finally gave in and put poppadums on its menu. Phew! And the naan bread came with a topping of haggis and melted Orkney cheddar.
Chef Spencer Barry claimed it was specially created for the over-refreshed Scotsman. VDeep knows its audience. Men and women who like craft beer and curry and don’t fancy dressing up just to eat dinner. This was a chance to taste the new menu and it didn’t disappoint.
Sticky ribs cooked in stout were the highlight for my table. I couldn’t get enough of the duck leg dal. Even with a restaurant as good as The Kitchin on our doorstep, we can’t afford to eat there more than once a year. With its tapas-size portions, VDeep is perfect for chilling out without pigging out or splashing out.