I think that things are going to start to happen very fast now. Very, very fast.
Nothing much has been happening for the past 10 years. It’s been a period of stasis, with a mounting overburden of laws ensuring that the stasis would become ever more static. And now everything has started to change.
And that was just Monday. It’s Tuesday today, and there’ll probably be a new set of announcements later today. And more on Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday. And next week. And the week after.
I wonder what he’s got planned for the UN? And the WHO? And for countless other supranational organisations?
Because as far as I can see what Trump is doing is to re-assert the primacy of the nation state. Not just in the USA, but also everywhere else in the world. His vision of the world seems to be one in which nation states make trade deals directly with other nation states, cutting out the middlemen in the EU and UN and all the other bloated bureaucratic supranational organisations. Britain’s Theresa May is flying into Washington any day now to talk about a US-UK trade deal which could be agreed within 90 days, without reference to the EU. 90 days? The EU couldn’t even manage to rustle up a cup of coffee in 90 days, never mind conclude a trade deal.
The stasis of the past 10 years (perhaps more like the past 25 or 30 years) has been one in which huge governmental and non-governmental and supranational organisations have grown up, with ordinary people completely buried under them at the bottom. Here in the UK we’ve got local governments, regional governments, the original British government in Westminster, and the EU European government in Brussels, and we were looking set to even have a new Global government added on top, like a cherry on the top of the vast layer cake of government. Each layer of government produces its own downpour of stifling rules and regulations, like layers of ash, one atop the other. Living in Europe these days is like living in Pompeii after 79 AD: entombed. They’ll dig us all up one day. They’ll find an English pub, with the all the pub-goers inside, pints of beer in hand, and cigarettes on their lips, caught frozen in a moment of laughter as the ASH cloud swept over them, and sealed them forever, instantly mummified. Archaeologists may even be able to find out what was playing on the juke box, and who was winning the game of pool, on whose table the cue ball had just left the tip of the cueist’s carbonised cue as he stretched his overweight body across it, right leg cocked in the air.
Donald Trump seems to have started a revolution that looks set to become as big an event as the French Revolution or the Russian Revolution. And he’s doing it entirely democratically, not a shot fired. And he’s starting to tear up US bureaucracy. I was reading a couple of days ago about his plans to dismantle the EPA. And then it’ll be the UN and the EU.
If he does a trade deal with the UK, without any reference to the EU, then the EU becomes an irrelevance. And if the UK does its own trade deal with the USA, then every state in Europe will want a similar deal. And if they can do such deals with the USA, they can also do them with the UK, and with each other – without any reference to the EU. The EU will simply be lots and lots of bureaucrats and politicians who happen to live in Brussels, and who no longer have anything to do. All the nation states of Europe will re-emerge, re-vitalised. They’ll start tearing up EU laws, and have their own peoples make their own laws.
And Tobacco Control will be swept away in the process. Tobacco Control is really just another useless, restrictive supranational bureaucratic organisation, or global constellation of organisations. Tobacco Control and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are products of the World Health Organisation, which is part of the United Nations. If Donald Trump brings the UN to heel, then he’ll bring down the WHO, and with it Tobacco Control. There’ll be no more Moscow junkets for Margaret Chan and Deborah Arnott, because they will all have been de-funded, and become powerless and irrelevant.
And it may all happen very, very fast. Europe may well look like a different place in less than a year. And here and there, as the dead hand of bureaucracy is lifted, and the mantle of ASH dusted away, a few smoking bans may start being lifted, because the bureaucracies that enforced them have simply ceased to exist.