Sunday, 4 November 2018

Whistling dogs

Today's The World This Weekend appeared to have grounded its globetrotter-in-chief Mark Mardell.

Thankfully, BBC Radio 4 as-a-whole's globetrotter-in-chief-for-life James Naughtie was on hand, touring the mountains of West Virginia in advance of the US elections, and attending a Trump rally. 

He poured out his usual rich, creamy prose, and turned on his ever-so-impartial irony/sarcasm:
It was very interesting being in that crowd. He was talking about coalmines reopening in West Virginia - which is true to an extent, although a big one has just closed - but what they were waiting for from him was to get onto the really gutsy stuff, you know, immigration, Mexican rapists and murderers coming over, this Honduran caravan - still a thousand miles away incidentally, which, you know, necessitates troops being sent to the border to guard the very soul of America. Now, I mean, how many Honduran migrants are there in West Virginia? I would hazard a guess, you know, single figures, if at all. And yet they sound as if it's an alien invasion coming in a spacecraft from Mars. And he loves it. He whips it up.
 And Jim whips it up for the Radio 4 audience too.

1 comment:

  1. Contrast Naughtie's attempts - "to an extent" shall we say - to mislead listeners by calling into question the positive impact of Trump's economic policy with these facts from a USA Today article from April 2018:

    "West Virginia, for example, saw a more than 15% increase in coal employment last year. Those jobs help fuel the local economy since miners earn an average $84,000 a year, twice the average wage in many coal-producing states."

    A 15% rise in well paid employment sounds like an incredible achievement to me...whether it's the right policy, backing coal, is entirely another question but Trump has once again delivered handsomely on a promise.

    I've seen quite a few of Trump's stump speeches and I simply don't think people are baying for anti-migrant rhetoric as Naughtie suggests. In fact the thing that really gets them going are Trump's renewed promises to drain the swamp.

    And while there might not be many Hondurans in West Virginia, one of the largest settlements of Honduran immigrants in the USA is in neighbouring Virginia.

    Naughtie is a naughty fibmonger.