Donald Trump and Boris Johnson beware: If the Jack Daniel’s doesn’t get you, then Stormy surely will
The fate of the free world may hang on the activities of a sex worker. Which is fine, really, when you consider some of the other types on whom the fate of the free world might be hanging. In that illustrious company, Stormy Daniels becomes a figure of some nobility.
The fate of the free world’ — are we exaggerating in any way? Well, let us make the simplest of deductions, that if the Stormy Daniels case or any of the other cases against Donald Trump are somehow not enough to stop him becoming the next US president, we will be looking at an America clearly aligned with Russia.
At that point we will also be looking at a ‘free world’ more in line with Xi Jinping’s definition last week in Russia, when he declared China is “ready to stand guard over the world order” — one in which dictators such as himself and Vladimir Putin are free to do as they please.
For that vision to be realised, much depends on the fate of Comrade Trump — and therefore on the sex worker Stephanie Gregory Clifford, the artist known as ‘Stormy Daniels’.
The finest legal minds say the Stormy case may not be the strongest one Trump is facing, or the most grave, given there are also accusations of attempting to overturn elections, fraud, obstruction of justice, sedition, espionage, and rape.
But like Boris Johnson going down for his drinking, there would be some kind of poetic justice about Trump going down for the Stormy business.
Both men have done far worse in their time; their transgressions are grotesque and byzantine.
And yet Partygate and Stormygate have a kind of ancient resonance.
We have long maintained in this column that so many stories are ultimately stories of drink, and thus it is with Johnson.
They’ve been Getting Boris Done because his need for drink released the other toxins in his system — all that malignant narcissism.
Without even leaving the building in which he lived, he could break the rules that everyone else was expected to keep, which for him is not a contradiction but an aspiration.
Trump says he doesn’t drink. His appetites tend towards very bad sex according to Stormy, star of Good Will Humping and Operation Desert Stormy, who continues to madden Trump by calling him “Tiny”.
And like Johnson with the drink, for a while there Trump seemed to feel he was in a relatively harmless place, assuming his ‘base’ would regard the Stormy imbroglio as ‘Trump being Trump’.
It was even surmised that he quite enjoyed the story being out there, his ‘base’ being the sort of people who might be impressed by the lust for life of a man playing away at a celebrity golf tournament, while his wife and infant son were at home — and lying to the sex worker that he would get her on to The Apprentice, which must at the time have seemed like a really small lie, by his standards.
He never really expected it to get to the “Tiny” stage, a very ugly twist indeed. “Tiny” and (we have it on the most unimpeachable authority) mushroom-shaped.
To the layman there is also a very powerful factor in the Stormy matter, which is lacking in the other monstrosities. Someone has already gone to actual jail for delivering $130,000 in hush money to Daniels, in violation of campaign finance laws.
Whether these are good laws or bad laws, you will not get a more obvious example of the reluctance to apply any laws to high-net-worth individuals, than this case in which the messenger boy, Trump’s ‘fixer’ Michael Cohen, took the fall.
For this reason alone, it is arguable that Stormy should be first in line when the Trump indictments start coming. By all means let them nail down every last detail on the election overturning, the fraud, the obstruction of justice, the sedition, the espionage, and the rape. But there’s a reason why the world has long admired the way Al Capone was ultimately done for accountancy issues.
We know such individuals exist in an ecosystem of impunity with regards to all that big stuff, so we appreciate it all the more when they are undone by some everyday carelessness. Be that trolleys of booze being wheeled into Downing Street, or broken promises by a rich degenerate to a woman he now calls “Horseface”.
While we await a resolution to these matters we take heart from the fact that while justice may come slowly to these creatures, it does appear to be coming in some shape or form.
Johnson and Trump would be looking at Putin and Xi, thinking that’s the kind of world order they’d want for themselves — one in which you don’t have jobsworths asking you hard questions, one in which you answer to nobody. And certainly to nobody called Stormy Daniels.
But that’s the beauty of the “free world” for you — if Jack Daniel’s doesn’t get you, Stormy surely will.
Man United sale is where football tips into the abyss
Irish football writer Miguel Delaney is doing tremendous work these days for The Independent in the UK, covering the concentration of wealth at the top of the game, and the persistent efforts of Qatar to buy Manchester United.
These issues are also being reported by other journalists, but many of them are simply describing the process, accepting that this is just the way the world works. They don’t see it as their job to be figuring whether this is right or wrong, whether countries should be owning clubs — country clubs, as it were.
Apparently addicted to staying in their lane, they will not be using words like ‘existential’ to describe the problems which football is creating for itself.
But Miguel sees the country clubs as an ‘existential’ problem, with the Qatar bid for United potentially the decisive blow to the competitive structure of the Premier and Champions League. And he is right.
Unfortunately we could do with about 20 Miguels on this story, but that’s not happening.
He senses that the finances of football are so twisted in favour of the super-rich that we’re approaching a Big Short moment, the football equivalent of a Wall Street crash. Again, I think he is right.
It’s not that other journalists do not understand this, it’s just that many of them seem bound by some code of hackery to absent themselves from such esoteric musings.
They are as culpable as those who continue to cover American politics in the style of a horse-race, without constantly reminding us that one of the main contenders is no longer accepting the results.
These failures of the media in politics and sport have been hugely damaging, they are a story in themselves.
And while there may be some who look forward to the traditional rivalry between Abu Dhabi and Qatar being played out in the Manchester derby, I, for one, will no longer be throwing my TV subscription into that pot. I’m out, baby.
They may not be losing any sleep over that tonight in the gold-covered Doha Royal Palace — but my word, they should be.
‘The Dry’ is bound for Bafta comedy glory
We told you The Dry was a good ’un, and now the Bafta judges agree with us, nominating writer Nancy Harris for an award.
Here’s how good it is: shown on BBC3 originally, RTÉ postponed showing it last year, probably to find a better time slot, except sometimes when a show is postponed, it’s a measure of how bad it is.
Confused, you’d go looking on your Sky machine for this comedy/drama about a young woman and her family struggling with alcoholism, only to find a film called The Dry — an Australian mystery/drama/thriller.
To emerge from these confidence-draining events with a winner is worthy of an award in itself — “to accept the things you cannot change”.