POLITICS: watching the Americans watching us watching them.

meglycinessnipThere may be a big Pond between us, but the political processes in play on either side are equally farcical. The Slog offers a plain British person’s guide to the US Presidential election system.


There’s a hilarious piece written by a young American at Buzzfeed pointed out to me by regular Slog comment threader Alexei.

It was penned a week ago, and is thus a little out of date (that’s a long time in politics, as a man with a pipe once said) but while it is brilliantly observed, it is unfortunately suffused with the usual bizarre opinion held by almost every American I know, that Britain was mad to have voted to leave the EU. But the contention that Britain’s political systems are deranged is an impossible opinion to counter.

The piece is, nevertheless, unintentionally ironic in the context of America’s own electoral system, which is also beyond silly.So I left an abbreviated version of the rejoinder below at the site. It is written in the same style and tone as the original.

‘For Brits who are hard of thinking, in the US they have this quaint thing called a Primary – a bit like primary school, in that strings are attached to your gloves in the hope that you don’t lose them: you can only vote if you already registered your decision qbout which way to vote. (OK, not always….but usually).

A guy called Trump ran rampant through his Primaries on an Elephant he’d chosen which didn’t like the bloke and kept trying to chuck him off. But Donald’s a game guy and won the elephant rodeo. So now he’s the GOP candidate, supported by 13 other wannabes who just two months ago said he was a spawn of the Devil and they’d rather eat a strychnine sandwich than put him in the White House.

Meanwhile, over at the other bunfight a lady called Clinton (whose husband’s penchant for interning cigars made him infamous but happy) faced a rabid radical called Bernie – keen on the People deciding who gets to win rather than Wall Street and Texas. He worried the media so much, they ignored him in favour of Clinton’s email habit , so much so that the FBI actually had to up and do something. So they had a thorough, fair and objective enquiry and then cleared her. Meanwhile, Bernie vowed to fight her tooth and nail at the Convention.

The Convention comes at the end of the Primaries. It’s called the Convention because its aim is to squash any sign whatsoever of unconvential belief on the part of the Candidate. So in keeping with US political form in such matters, Bernie repaid his many young admirers by endorsing Clinton as the Candidate.

It’s also important to explain for British observers the derivation of the term ‘Candidate’. They’re so-called because up until now they’ve always been men whose wives were arm candy who talked like they met the bloke at a dating site for sticklebacks. Donald Trump’s old lady more than fulfilled her role this year by recycling the speech of the current incumbent’s arm candy.

This is not an option open to Hillary Clinton’s mate, as he’s a bloke. So it could well be that the Democratic Convention will declare her to be the Party’s Cigargate…but she will still have to find a running mate as her own mate is a wandering reprobate.

Anyway, there you have it: there will now be a contest between a Republican who wants to run an Empire, and a Democrat supported by bankers, big business and the State Department. In Britain in 2020, we MayorMaynot have a choice between a Communist who wants our defence system to fire blanks, and a Nazi who wants to overturn the only democratic decision the British people have been allowed to take since 1975 – to leave a bankrupt, fascist and economically insane Union to its own devices.

That’s the thing with indirect democracy – it’s overrated, overturned, and over there just as much as it is over here – because It’s everywhere, it stinks, and it’s time to reset the entire mess.

Oh how we laughed.’

Have an enjoyable Saturday evening. On BBC2 at 8.00 pm there’s a documentary about Roald Dahl (who I always think sounds like an Indian veggie dish). Later at 9.45 on BBC1, it’s Mrs Brown’s Boys live, which promises seriously funny mayhem.

But it you don’t fancy either of those, there’ll be another Slogpost along later.