‘Trump’ was always meant to rhyme with ‘chump’. I know this because I am a poet of the old fashioned sort who enjoys rhymes. Equally, ‘Bankers’ instantly brings to mind the word ‘w......’ to someone of my ilk.
The irony is that its doormat-head who doesn’t get it.
Donald Trump’s selfish, spiteful tweets in response to the news that aid workers recovering from Ebola were to be taken home to the US for further treatment, have one benefit. They illustrate an important point. From the everyday Jo on the street to the golf-course crazy wombat with silly towers and expensive wives, fear and ignorance are bars to both common sense and humanity.
Mr Trumped-up has possibly fried his grey matter by spending too much time in la la land where the planet is just a smorgasbord of profit opportunities and an expensive place to play.
So here is a reality check.
Ebola may have similarities to the plague (it is incurable and has a high mortality rate) but this aint the mediaeval era. We cannot pretend that there is real separation between countries. Those far-off places that appear on exotic holiday websites have people living in them. Albeit that those people have brown skin, they actually matter. They have families and they love their children and they are not just a resource for the West, either for making money or taking leisure.
Diseases like Ebola and all sorts of things that we thought were safely ‘over there’ (TB, Malaria) as the world’s climate gets knackered will, in the not too distant future, be ‘over here’.
Until the realisation slipped through that, in its latest form and in our current circumstances, Ebola could leave Africa, the news reports were sanguine. It was after all just a few more Africans dying horribly. But as the numbers crept up and the spread seemed not to follow the usual pattern the tone changed. WHAT IF IT GETS US?
In our brave new world, there are going to be increasing phenomena that progress this way. We’ve already seen it with war. Those pesky foreigners engaged in killing each other (in some conflicts that have their roots in Western interference) were news footnotes just before the sport reports. Now it seems Western holidays may be in jeopardy as it becomes increasingly dangerous for domestic flights to fly over war-torn areas. Some favourite tourist destinations get bodies washed up on the beaches from overloaded boats shipping desperate refugees from famine, poverty and conflict.Get over it. It’s not just on the news. It is happening and the world is too small for it to be contained by boarders or treaties or the developing (struggling!) world’s respect for Westerners’ holiday arrangements.
In the 21st century, war and disease, if we don’t treat them with respect and act to prevent them by dealing with societal breakdown and chronic poverty, will spread. They will spread in the countries where they began and they will spread to the countries that sit by and they will spread while the rich and powerful stroll round their gold courses.
Bullets and viruses will no longer ‘do’ international barriers.
This week’s recommended blog from the archives
Blog 24 Cut Foreign Aid – what a spiffing idea