SOME days – not many – you wake up and think, “Perhaps the world is run on rational lines and, you know, everything is for the best..” Then you read: “Trump wants to buy Greenland.”

Now, I will be right forthright with you here and say I don’t really like having a go at Desmond Trump, the US President of the World. He’s too easy a target, and I find the people suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome almost as risible as he is.

But, some days, he just takes your breath away. Still, maybe that’s a good thing. Bit of a shake-up. Putting stuff out there. Throwing caution to the wind. But I have made the point frequently before: politics ought to be dull. It’s safer that way. You never saw Sir Harold Macmillan or Sir Anthony Eden do anything interesting – well, apart from Suez in the latter’s case, and that was a disaster.

Mr Trump’s interest in Greenland is doubtless motivated by the facts that it could be strategically important to the US, that it is rich in mineral resources, and that the evil Chinese empire has also been taking an interest in it of late.

However, the crinigerous President chose to frame his intentions in terms of “a really large real estate deal”, as if he were just buying a fancy hoose, and made out that he was doing Denmark a favour by taking the autonomous territory off its hands.

The Danes went nuts. The Greenlanders went nuts. Mr Trump went in a huff. A state visit was cancelled. Left-wing Danes called Desmond “a narcissistic fool”. He said they were “not nice”. No one died. Unless it was from laughter.

But what a farce. It was made worse when Trump did his trademark buttering up routine, saying: “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people.” No. No, it isn’t and, no, they aren’t. It’s just a normal country with normal people. If anything, like most countries, it’s a bit doolally.

Apart from anything else, from a diplomatic view, the President is obviously not acquainted with the well-known fact that Scandinavians don’t know how to handle praise. They find it insulting. They would also have been unamused when Desmond said: “[We] protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world.” There may be some truth in this, but it’s likely that the descendants of Vikings (militarist death cult nutters from the Dark Ages, much like Isis today) would not be happy at being portrayed as a bunch of jessies who needed the big fat hands of Uncle Sam to protect them.

But pity even more the poor Greenlanders, caught up in the middle of this peculiar imbroglio and treated as people who can be bought and sold for US gold. Who would want to be a people like that?

Actually, the Puerto Ricans, who live in an “unincorporated territory” of the US, said they wanted to do a swap with Greenland and become part of Denmark instead. Like so many good ideas, this one originated with Mr Trump, when he himself joked about making the trade.

Puerto Ricans leapt at the possibility, rebranding themselves “Caribbean Vikings”, publicising Danish language guides online, and saying it would be great to have a lovely queen like Margrethe II and a national football team that played in Europe.

Poor old Desmond. Always putting his foot in it. His difficulties begin when he says, as in this case: “The concept came up and I said, ‘Certainly I’d be [interested] … A lot of things can be done.” There’s your problem right there: doing things. He needs to take a leaf from the book of top Taoist Lao Tzu, who said that leaders should sit back and do nothing, letting the mystical force of the universe have its “Way”.

Lao also noted: “Ruling a great country is like cooking a small fish: too much poking will spoil it.” So much more so with the world, which is not a place into which you want to poke your proboscis. Alas, if only Mr Trump would remain seated on his big fat halibut, instead of trying to play cod and ending up floundering like a stupid basa.

++++ YOU sometimes hear ill-informed people saying that politics ought to be dull, but I would like to take issue with that.

Certainly, whatever you think of Boris Johnson (cue liberals collapsing from Boris Derangement Syndrome), you have to admit that he has made matters somewhat more interesting.

He himself would attribute this to the “oomph” that he has brought to negotiations over Brexit and to an ineradicable optimism that could see the whole country trapped on a zip wire, waving Union Flags and singing “Rule Britannia” while London burns. Well, maybe.

This week, the Prime Minister of All England and the Other Bits charmed the lederhosen off Frau Merkel and gave Emmanuel Macron a friendly squeeze in the baguettes as he toured Europe touting Brexit, deal or no deal.

You couldn’t help comparing it with the previous PM’s efforts. Theresa May always looked beaten before round one. She gave the impression of being shaped by events rather than shaping them.

You might even say that Boris is providing an object (or objectionable, if you prefer) lesson in leadership. It’s a shame there’s no left-wing leader with such oomph, humour and erudition. The last one was the late, great Tony Benn.


OH boy, the Cambridges have stuck it to the Sussexes! After Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of S, were widely panned for frequent flights on private jets, Wills and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of C, piously boarded a £73 budget flight from Norwich to Aberdeen.

As top people’s paper, The Daily Star, noted in a thundering leader: “And they even carried their own bags.”

I can’t think the Cambridges’ gesture was deliberate – the flights were booked well before the furore – but that hasn’t stopped fans of Harold and Meghan accusing them of a “smear campaign” and even fuelling “racism” against the latter. Holy schmoly.

The Sussexes had it coming, right enough, with their “woke” environmental virtue-signalling, made worse by popular pianist Sir Elton John saying the flights were his fault.

What a farce. Future generations will surely look back at this age of unprecedented public posturing and laugh in disbelief. We’ve arrived at a situation where rich celebs, royals and posh protesters are advocating radical policies, and in the process making the serious environmental message look ridiculous and faddy.

You couldn’t make it up, and that’s a real threat to the future of journalism in this country.


MORE political correctness horror. A beer company in Rwanda set out with the intention of cheering people up, by putting jokes on its cans of “Skol”, including the following: “Q: When can a woman make you a millionaire? A: When you are a billionaire.”

Cut Twitter outrage and calls to boycott the beer. Honestly! How innocent can a joke get? Are we never to make gentle jokes about each other any more? It’s just a wee, slightly clichéd quip. Any woman worth her salt could fire back a better one.

Back in Blighty, meanwhile, Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker got it in the neck for saying of the start to the Premier League: “Real hair-raising stuff at times – unless you’re Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy”, a reference to his two bald co-hosts, who laughed heartily at the remark.

But somebody complained about “discrimination” and, ridiculously, the BBC is now obliged to investigate, when it should be sending its much feared TV licence KGB round to confiscate the complainer’s television.

Even bald people – whose condition is caused by moral laxity and who usually can’t tell right from wrong – have come to Lineker’s defence. Perhaps there is hope, after all.

Read more: A silver lining in climate change?