Joe Biden, democratic rigour and a special relationship across the pond

Finally, after so, so many hours of anticipation we have a result. The overgrown man-child has met his nemesis in Biden and the American presidential election has come to an end… except that it hasn’t. Demonstrating the same emotional immaturity that variously both entertained and terrified the world, the man who still, even now has America’s nuclear codes to play with is taking the mother of all tantrums. He’s dog-whistling his supporters out onto the streets, it’s unclear exactly what for, maybe just to be a rabble, howling like beaten dogs in the night.

Yes, there will be unrest, there will be spurious court cases and hopeless ranting from the orange baby but ultimately his days are numbered. He will be out of the Whitehouse, despite the defensive boundary wall he hastily had erected just a week ago. A new administration will take the reins. And the whole world can breathe a sigh of relief.

Joe Biden may not be perfect but at least he has a grasp of reality.

He may not be young and dynamic but he’s lived a life that would break many a lesser man and so he has empathy.

And he has the popular vote as well as the electoral colleges behind him.

What does Trump have?

Well… he has a track record of narcissistic deceit and racism. He has a history of blatant deception, of false allegations against competitors and perhaps most interestingly, a string of court cases and civil actions awaiting him once he leaves the Whitehouse.

It seems that the American people are determined to rid themselves of this anti-democratic and deeply flawed head if state. And they’re using one of the things Trump respects least to do it. They’re using democratic rigour.

Rest assured, Donald – all the legal votes will be counted, including the legally posted and received postal votes – and they count too. Not that it really matters – Biden has taken 73 states and that’s more than enough to declare himself President elect.

And with Biden comes a new democracy worldwide – not least here in UK.

Trump’s cynicism had left us in a dangerous position here post-Brexit. Expecting to clean up from a weakened British state Trump’s negotiators have egged Boris on and even turned a blind eye to his stitch up of the Irish people and the Good Friday agreement. But Biden is a very different kettle of fish indeed.

Biden doesn’t agree with the UK’s intention to break international law and has said so in public – leading to vociferous attacks from the tory party here in UK. Biden has been clear that there will be no trade deal with the UK if we put Irish people at least. And that means that we have to negotiate with the EU if we want a deal with anyone except Japan (who have screwed us, incidentally).

The new trading dynamics will be negotiated between the Americans and the EU and we’ll need to get alongside or be absolutely stuffed. That means talking to Europe agaqin – not is the churlish, bullish, intransigent way we’ve conducted ourselves so far but actually negotiate in good faith. That means we’ll need to get over ourselves and this fantasy of a no-deal Brexit with its unicorns grazing on perpetually sunny uplands while the rest of the world waits at our feet for discarded crumbs. The truth is what the facts are and these facts are simple.

We can’t have a deal with America if we screw Ireland over.

We can’t avoid screwing Ireland over unless we do a deal with Europe.

So – we have to do a deal with Europe.

And finally, after so long, we Remainers also get to heave a heavy, if cautious sigh of relief. Yes, Brexit is bad – Brexit was always a bad idea but at least now it won’t be so bad as the ‘no deal’ that the likes of Johnson, Gove, Rees-Mogg and the ERG were driving us into.

Thank everything you believe in for an election you had no part in delivering a verdict in another country that has so drastically improved the prospects of those of us who inhabit these little islands off the coast of mainland Europe.

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