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I see the former colonies have distinguished themselves this morning.

They’ve decided to piss on the electric fence and see what happens.

Slow clap. Good for you – it’s important to explore the outermost parameters of self-governance before returning to your colonial masters; we wish you a democratically inexpensive trip.

I for one am not optimistic that anything will be inexpensive for you, America. A great ignoramus has swept to power, riding the angry, the rich and the dispossessed. You now have as your leader a blunt instrument; a claw hammer with which you must weave lace.

Times of uncertainty, of great change and upheaval have always brought out the demagogues. Writing in 500BC, author of The Old Oligarch, Xenophon, lamented this:

‘I object to their choice…because this first choice entails a second – to prefer the interests of the mob to those of respectable people…’

As Trump knew, the mob were citizens with votes – and their vote just as valid as that of the most enlightened Democrats. And he rode that horse right to the White House.

The US has today made the Wild West out of the civilised world; we must all become prepared.

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