One of the hardest lessons I've had to learn in the eight years that I've been writing this blog is that in Politics, whenever a major issue flares up, my initial instincts and gut feelings are wrong. This may sound like a terrible admission and it may convince you that I am a blithering idiot. In fact I think it is a great strength to recognise this. I have come to realise that I am not alone in this. it applies to us all. Our initial reaction to any shock is one purely dictated by emotions. Our brains are wired with a "fight or flight" reflex to shock. When I was a teenager, I found I didn't really understand peoples behaviour, so I took time to study psychology. With some understanding of why we react in certain ways to certain situations, and with cool headed analysis, we can generally make far better decisions than rash and rushed decisions, based on a need to do something.
Perhaps the best example of this is the reaction to the blatherings of Donald Trump that London has no go areas, where the police fear to tread due to rampant Jihadis. The British public have reacted with fury and a petition has been launched to call for him to banned. This has now become the most signed petition ever on the Parliamentary website. Hundreds of thousands have expressed their disgust. Of course this is a quite natural response. I was highly tempted to sign the petition myself.
I then did what I have learned to do in such situations. I made a quick checklist of questions I need to ask myself before I signed it.
1. Is Mr Trump correct?
2. Does it matter whether Mr Trump is correct?
3. If the petition was successful would it make Mr Trump correct his actions?
4. What would be the best way to make Mr Trump see the error of his ways?
The answer to the first question is obviously No. As to the second, it does matter. Trump may become the President of the USA. Think it through, it conceivably puts us at material risk if the man with his finger on the button of the worlds biggest nuclear arsenal thinks London is a Jihadist hotbed. As to the third question, if the petition was successful, Trump would be banned. This begs the question as to what happens if he's banned and he become President of the USA. We be forced into an embarrassing climbdown and being an obnoxious braggart, he'd use this as a weapon to shout even louder how marvellous he is. Which brings us to the final question. What is the best way to make mr Trump see the error of his ways. This is actually quite simple. We should simply invite Mr Trump to London. Let him come over and see just what a load of B@ll@cks he was spouting. If he really believes that Jihadis are running amok in London, let him see the truth. Let him visit a few Mosques, have a few curries in Brick Lane, visit a few culture centres and walk the streets. Whilst many Muslims will be inflamed by his comments, I believe that if he were to actually visit a few London Mosques and speak to the ordinary people who attend them, he'd find himself rather pleasantly surprised. One of my friends is the chairman of a Mosque. I discussed Donald Trump with him and his view was that Trump clearly is clueless and the best thing that could happen would be for Mr Trump to actually receive some education.
Mr Trump is a classic narcissist. I look at what he has achieved and how he lives his life and conducts himself and I see a man who needs an education. Mr Trump sees the answer to every question as "Look how much money I have in the bank". It reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend recently. My friend is my age and over the years he's keen to boast of the hundreds of women he's slept with. Recently he was telling me of the marvels of Tinder and how it has generated a seemingly endless supply of new notches on his bedpost. As he droned endlessly on, his lifestyle sounded more lonely and horrific by the minute. I found myself thinking of Trump his inflatable trophy blondes. Trump sees himself as the embodyment of the American dream, but in some ways he's more a classic example of an American nightmare. His bid to be President is clearly nothing more than a desperate attempt to seek approval. The wives/girlfriends are not selected on the basis that they will make him happy or that he will be able to sit on the veranda and sup tea with them, reminiscing about when the kids were little. They are there to say "Look how fabulous I am". The businesses and the money he makes are not generated to do anything other than say "Look how rich I am".
I sometimes despair at the way billionaires such as Trump see a business only as a way to fill the coffers. I may be unusual, but for me the greatest success of my business is that great artists such as Amy Winehouse and Kate Nash started their career and went on to spread the music around the world. For me, I put our artistic contribution to London above making pots of cash. I'd rather live in a modest semi and drive a six year old Ford Galaxy than live in a self constructed prison behind electric gates and railings. The sad truth is that Mr Trump and his billions could do great things.
What is preventing him? As far as I can see, he is missing compassion, vision and self awareness. If he wants to be president or even a better human being, he should start by trying to get an education in the more important things in life. That is why a visit to London, not staying in the Ritz in Mayfair would be a good start. Let him come over and stay with an ordinary family and visit a few mosques, meet a few real people. I am sure he'd soon see that he'd made a huge mistake. I personally can't believe that anyone would willingly want to be ignorant. Mr Trumps comments have actually given him an opportunity to improve himself.