IT’S MUELLER TIME
Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged Russian links is one of the hottest subjects of the moment. But will his findings ultimately leave liberals with egg on their face?
The highlight of 2018 will likely be Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in relation to the yarn about Russian agents hacking the 2016 US election to help Donald Trump. An exciting year ahead for Trump-watchers, then, tracking the exocet of truth as it spears towards the scoundrel squatting in the White House.
Or maybe not. Maybe Mueller will report that while many of the Trump gang were up to their oxters in dirty dealing, he’d unearthed no evidence of election-rigging, by Russians of anyone else.
Thus, 2018 could be the year the massed ranks of the mainstream commentariat are conclusively exposed as incapable of laying a finger on the block-headed bigot. Will they be dining at Xmas on double helpings of hubris?
Or perhaps Mueller will deliver a “guilty” verdict in time for November’s mid-term elections. Even die-hard Trump voters might balk at their president conspiring with a foreign country to do down American democracy.
But if that’s so, shouldn’t a smidgen of evidence have surfaced by now?
At the beginning of the year, a professor from the London School of Economics told BBC2’s Newsnight that election-meddling was an integral element in the Kremlin’s cyberwar against the West. Pressed for a practical example, she pointed to a pro-Trump rally in Idaho which investigations had allegedly shown had been organised from a Russian web address! We weren’t told the name of the town, or the size of the crowd, or how the district had eventually voted or, well, anything.
That remains the closest I’ve heard to an explanation of how the vote-fraud operation is supposed to have worked.
The cartoon fascist with the velcro-ed hair is a bully, a liar, a thief, a racist, and an abuser of women. He’d collude with Vladimir Putin, Vlad the Impaler or Beelzebub himself if he thought there was a vote or a dishonest dollar in it. But that doesn’t mean he swindled his way into the White House.
There is a swathe of political opinion which cannot bring itself to believe that the varnished gargoyle genuinely outpolled Hillary Clinton in enough states to win.
They believe in the corollary, too – that Trump voters, like Brexit voters nearer home, are slackjawed ignoramuses who are either driven by hatred or haven’t a clue and can be discounted.
Few of those now yearning for Hillary argued at the relevant time for a clear-cut alternative to bipartisan neo-liberalism at home and oldfashioned imperialism abroad. The only proven vote-rigging was perpetrated by the Democratic National Committee to stitch up Bernie Sanders and present the electorate with a war-mongering creature of Wall Street as their only alternative to Trump.
We will find out this year whether lessons have been learnt.
Arsenal will win the Premier League with a late run on the rails after City do a Devon Loch.
Many worry about the cost of weddings. But not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Their big May day will cost £30 million. His brother’s William’s wedding to your one siphoned £5 million from the public purse in police overtime alone.
Markle’s engagement ring set tax-payers back £100,000. It would have cost £200,000 for a sprinkler system at Grenfell Tower, less than a mile away from sumptuous, rent-free Kensington Palace.
Minutes after the wedding was announced, Downing Street revealed a freeze on working age benefits for four years. Not a mention of that in next day’s drooling papers. Markle is already proving her worth. Come May, every closet Royalist in the land will be slurping from a trough of mendacious sentimentality. Start stiffening your sinews now.
The most significant development in popular culture in 2018 will be the release of the Wood Burning Savages’ album.
If you don’t know already, TWBS are a frantic, passionate, proper rock and roll band, taut sound generating tumult that can scarcely be contained, shards of politics slung out to slice through the thickest bullshit, rebel songs which can’t be colour-coded Orange or Green.
If you haven’t done already, check out ‘Living Hell’ on YouTube, released late last year, which in all sorts of ways in these sorts of days could be the defining anthem of the age.
As a bonus, ‘Sisters Of Mercy’ could cure you of religion.
They are supporting Death From Above at the Olympia on March 14. Tickets on sale now. You won’t regret it. Promise.
Derry Girls will win everything when the awards season comes along.
We should all be sending vibe-waves of warmth across the Atlantic to encourage Chelsea Manning to follow through on her registration as a candidate for the Democratic nomination in this year’s Senate race in Maryland.
Chelsea, previously known as Bradley, is the former military intelligence officer sentenced in 2013 to 35 years for leaking a huge cache of documents detailing torture, murder and corruption by US forces in Iraq. Released by Obama shortly before he left office, she is a heroine to hundreds of millions, a hate figure to all who find torture, murder and rank corruption unproblematic when perpetrated by “our boys”.
Judging from her whip-smart Twitter feed, she would take no prisoners in battling spaced-out Trumpists, cop-out liberals, sell-out Democrats, transphobic creeps and such. She’s brilliantly cheeky.
A senior army officer tweets, “You should be shot for treason,” to which comes the instant response, “And instead I’m being shot for the cover of ‘Vogue.’”
I may be in love.
Robert Mueller: what will his investigation turn up?