Reading through Boris Johnson’s extraordinary statement – more a scream of rage – resigning from Parliament, you can’t help noticing the parallels with Donald Trump and his statement after the 2020 election.
Which, against all the evidence, he still insists that he won…
Phrases in the Johnson statement seem Trumpian in their detachment from reality. ‘Regardless of the facts, ‘kangaroo court’, ‘anti-democratic’, ‘witch hunt’ and ‘egregious bias’.
Actually, I can’t imagine Trump using a word like ‘egregious’, but you can see what I mean…
It is true that Boris Johnson has never been accused of deliberately inspiring a coup – as Trump has been.
But he has been joined by two supporters who are also resigning their seats – Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire) and Nigel Adams (Selby and Ansty). That holds out the prospect of a mini general election – just when Rishi Sunak could well have avoided it.
Meanwhile, Trump has used what you might describe as the ‘Trump card’. He has promised, ‘when’ he wins in 2024, he will launch a presidential commission to investigate the role of ‘Big Pharma’ in why so many people in the USA have chronic health problems.
This is – if you are as cynical as one American website said – an attempt to draw the anti-vaxxers in. And of course that is true.
But as I keep saying in this corner of the internet, there is a broader group of people who are fed up with the mainstream pharmaceutical and medical worlds – which unnecessarily complicate matters because most disease is caused by poor diet.
That has clear implications for the way we organise healthcare – which are for another time.
Trump isn’t taking a risk with support for the health alternatives because the pharmaceutical companies swung to the Democrats at the 2020 election, because he had seemed so determined to lower the prices in the USA of commonly used drugs.
It was also that Trump knows that health is going to be a major issue at the Democratic convention – because Biden is being challenged for the nomination by Robert F. Kennedy Jnr, and he hopes this might tempt Biden into some unwise or technocratic statements which he can ridicule him for during next year’s election.
Still, Trump is taking a risk with the anti-vax people, who are a kind of radical fringe of the US holistic health movement.
This is because, despite his constant criticism of the pharma companies, he made it very clear that he speeded up the regulatory acceptance of the Pfizer and Moderna – this is the main complaint of the saner end of the anti-vaxxers: that their new mRNA vaccines were not properly regulated.
The danger is that his opponents will assume this is all dangerous nonsense simply because it is Trump who is starting this bandwagon. This would be extremely shortsighted, because the alternative health movement may not be obvious outside their online enclaves, but it is growing rapidly and it is potentially massive.
The only party that has recognised this that I know about was the Five Star movement in Italy. When they launched the party, they targeted anyone on social media with any interest at all in complementary health – and by doing so – they created a party capable of taking over their government.
It look as though this might well become clear only with a new Trump presidency. I just hope I am wrong.