HERE’S a vision of the future that’ll really brighten your day. President Donald Trump in the White House greeting his BFF Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his first official visit to the US.

Don’t think it couldn’t happen. The bear hugs, the bumbling apologies, the bad jokes. I can see them now on the White House lawn mussing up their famous hairdos in an act of bro bonhomie.

What a special relationship. A lying, incompetent scoundrel given to racist remarks – and that’s just Boris – coupled with the most belligerent and simple-minded President in modern US history. Guzzling McDonalds and swapping locker-room tales of their sexual conquests. Boris is used to more exotic fare, but I’m sure he’d be willing to join the POTUS in a junk food banquet just so he could tell the story to his Eton-educated chums.

It’s a sobering thought. But both of them are looking like winners. Indeed, watching the crowds expressing their justifiable contempt for President Trump yesterday, I couldn’t help thinking that the demonstrators are the real losers here. The Left has thrown everything it could at him – and there has been a lot to throw, from Muller to the Wall. Yet as things stand, Donald J Trump is very likely to be re-elected in the Presidential campaign that begins later this year.

This week’s state visit effectively marks the start of that campaign, with Her Majesty the Queen providing a useful piece of political theatre to stage it. His base in middle America may be indifferent to royalty, but these images of their guy being hosted by the top tier of the UK Establishment will reassure them that Trump is now taken seriously.

And he is. Britain is desperate to curry favour with Trump because we need his trade after we leave the European Union. This, even though he’s said that the “NHS must be on the table”, thus confirming the worst fears about the cost of doing a deal with the POTUS. It was Theresa May’s final mistake as PM to elicit this information from him.

Boris Johnson will be currying favour as if there’s no tomorrow, NHS or no. The Bullingdon Brexiter, who is loathed by the liberal left almost as much as Trump, seems to be heading for victory in the Tory leadership race – a dismal contest in which the number of candidates is in inverse proportion to the quality of the field.

Jeremy Corbyn’s appearance at the head of yesterday’s anti-Trump demonstrations, despite having asked for an audience, is the surest sign that the Labour leader does not expect to win a General Election any time soon. Why? Because if he did become Prime Minister, one of his first acts would be to meet and greet Britain’s biggest military and trading ally. Instinctively, Mr Corbyn realises that Boris, not he, will likely be entering Number 10. Indeed, Boris could be in there as early as next month, without even having to suffer the inconvenience of an election.

How does he do it? He’s a bumbling, Eton-educated scion of the British upper class, and wholly unsuited for office. Yet, for all the jeering on BBC comedy shows like Have I Got News For You, and the stories about his journalistic fibbery, his philandering, his lack of competence, Tory MPs seem to believe that Boris is the Tory candidate most likely to win the next General Election. And they’re probably right.

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Even more outrageous is the thought that Donald Trump, who has spend the last three years issuing semi-literate outbursts on social media, obstructing justice, launching trade wars, bullying Mexicans and other non-white peoples, is on course for a second term as President. The Democrats in the US, who should be coasting to victory, are in ideological disarray and lack a candidate of true charisma.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is too young to stand and the current front runners are elderly white men who should be relaxing on the golf course instead of vying to lead the greatest power on the planet. Maybe there’s some credible candidate, another Obama, just waiting to storm the Democrat Convention next year, but if so they’re leaving it hellish late.

So when did we start thinking that loud-mouthed egomaniacs like Trump would be Presidential material? Or Johnson. Something very odd has happened to the psychology of voters in Britain and America. Have we become so disillusioned and suspicious of the political class in general that we’ve started electing clowns and comedians to high office, the better to give the system a kicking?

I suppose it is partly down to Iraq, the banking crisis, the Westminster expenses scandal. Many voters now see elections as an opportunity to cock a snook at the pompous elites and their smug agendas. In Ukraine and Italy, they have literally been voting for comedians and actors.

Only in Scotland, it seems, do voters still elect boring, technocratic leaders like Nicola Sturgeon, who know stuff. But even here the tensions are showing. There is creeping discontent amongst the SNP membership at the lack of action. They don’t want lectures about closing the educational attainment gap – they want a bit of colour. A bit of confrontation.

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The decline of conventional media has left us with a political discourse mediated by social media like Twitter and Facebook. Politics has become both more confrontational and simple-minded as a result. Politicians are judged, not on their political vision, but what they might have said in an off-hand remark years ago.

However, I do not subscribe to the view that politics has taken on the image of social media. Quite the reverse. This linguistic and ideological conformity has generated its opposite: electorates who feel stifled by political correctness and elite moralism, and register their discontent by voting for figures who kick against the bien pensant climate of internet politics. In the anonymity of the polling booth, voters are able to say what they can’t online: FU!

And I suspect they will be saying it loudly in the Peterborough by-election tomorrow.