Don’t give our mutual friend Trump a hard time
By Niall Ferguson (Original source The Times)
‘”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”
Thus Charles Dickens begins A Tale of Two Cities. Would that the greatest of all novelists could return to us for a week! For it would take Dickens in his prime to do full justice to Donald Trump’s impending state visit to the UK.
At its best, a state visit to this country dazzles the foreign head of state. Not much dazzles Trump, apart from his own very stable genius, but being greeted by the Queen tomorrow should come close. She has, after all, reigned since Trump was five years old. She has been receiving US presidents since Dwight Eisenhower.
The best of state visits are also solemn. The president and the first lady will go to Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior. The Trumps will also attend events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, arguably the greatest of all Anglo-American undertakings. Trump is not noted for his solemnity, but even he should be moved by these sites of commemoration.”
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