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“Hail to the Chief”

Birmingham Airport

“Hail to the Chief” – so goes an American anthem in honour of their President. It’s not the national anthem but it’s usually played to mark the arrival of that country’s President. We saw overnight that the US has elected a new President and that President Elect, Donald Trump, will take office in January 2017. It was a mudslingingly awful election process – 18+ months of post truth statements and blood lettings, the likes of which put our own Brexit campaign in the shade. What I think this is beginning to tell, if we didn’t already know it, is that the liberal media outlets and polling intelligentsia have lost contact with the average voter. The polls and the media called it wrong, just as they did with the last UK election and with the Brexit referendum. People see their own truths and own versions of other people’s truths. “You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not all the people all of the time” – well, now is the moment of truth in the USA – Mr Trump has said a lot and now is the time for delivery not just rhetoric. His speech on winning was conciliatory, his management of his country will be judged in years’ time, but at present during the interregnum between Obama as outgoing Leader and Trump as President elect, America is politically weak. Militarily and economically strong perhaps, but leadership is the key here and that may be sadly lacking in the short term. We are going to have to see what transpires.

How will this impact on Greater Birmingham– who knows? The US economy is very important to the Midlands economy – it is one of our key export markets, although you wouldn’t know it to look at the paucity of US direct flights between here and there. This is unlikely to change just yet as there is a surfeit of capacity on the transatlantic which is depressing yields in a market where they can’t even fill aircraft out of Heathrow. We can only hope that during these uncertain economic times, the £ rallies somewhat to soften the blow of an expensive US $ for UK visitors going to the States, but also doesn’t appreciate too much so as to damage exports and reduce US-UK inbound tourism.

For those of you who were surprised or disappointed by the result, it were ever so. Being let down is part of life’s rich pattern. We must seek out opportunity, explore strange new worlds and boldly go where no-one has been before – that’s our future and no matter what, the future is an undiscovered country – there you have it, philosophy from me, Star Trek VI and Shakespeare’s Hamlet – what more could you want from a blog post – news, culture and philosophy in one go! Who knows what next week will bring let alone next year – “Carpe diem, O Caesar!”