Gosh, such fuss about a bust of a foreign political leader! Or rather, why should the presence or otherwise of a bust of Churchill in the Oval Office really say so much about the future of United States/United Kingdom relations? Indeed, does it say anything other than the new President wanted to decorate it with things that mean more to him?
Yes, that's one of the things that is exercising right-wing commentators this week. Rather than address the fact that the United Kingdom has one of the worst death rates from Covid-19 in the world, or that we borrowed £31.6 billion in November to deal with a crisis made so much worse by the Government's dithering and desperate need to feel loved, they prefer to create a manufactured outrage about a foreigner's interior design choices.
It is, I'm afraid, all rather sad and pathetic. So much, it seems, for the idea of taking back control, being independent, standing tall in the world. No, apparently, we should feel slighted by the decision of the most powerful man in the free world to change the decor in his office. That really does send out a message to the world, albeit possibly not the one intended.
But then, they'd pinned so much on Donald Trump and the prospect of a beneficial trade agreement. Why that should be was anyone's guess, given his actions in withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Partnership, renegotiating NAFTA to benefit the United States rather more than it had previously done and using tariffs as a stick to beat anyone who didn't worship at his altar. It could not have been more naïve to believe that a Trump administration was going to come to the rescue of the Brexiteers.
Now that we have an administration that is more minded to support the framework of free trade agreements, it's hard to credit that their priority isn't going to be the Trans Pacific Partnership and the European Union - that's where the big money is. What, exactly, do we offer the Americans that they can't get elsewhere? And given that English is widely spoken across our continent, language isn't really a barrier in the way it was before.
But it acts as a reminder that, for all the talk of British influence and pride, so many on the political right turn "snowflake" about things that aren't actually of any great significance, get all moody when called on it, and would rather misdirect their readers rather than admit that there might be some negative impacts from their beloved project. Admittedly, those negative impacts almost certainly won't impact on them, and they almost certainly don't care about the people they're attempting to stir to anger, which is perhaps the point. They want you to believe that it's never their fault, and their judgement is without flaw.
And, the longer and harder they fight a culture war, the more likely it is that their victims will hopefully forget what it is they've had done to them, and look for someone to blame other than the people who got them into this mess in the first place. The bust of Churchill is merely another arrow in their quiver of outrage, an attempt to distract us from asking them why their friends are making such a mess of things.