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The Catastrophe of Success

The catastrophe of success: Trump, Gove and Johnson never expected to win. What now?

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, revealed something in his congressional testimony yesterday which people have long suspected – that the property tycoon never really expected to win the 2016 presidential election.

Trump saw his presidential campaign as a huge promotional tour for his businesses. That is why he carried on discussions about a Trump Tower project in Moscow well into the summer of the election.

But Trump did win. And in the catastrophe of his success, all his shady dealings are under intense scrutiny.

The whole affair is like Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel in the Mel Brooks movie The Producers. Their illegal scheme to bilk their investors only worked if ‘Springtime for Hitler’ was a flop and nobody inspected the books. Once they had an unexpected hit on their hands they were going to prison.

The Leave campaigns have also been victims of the same catastrophe of success.

It seems likely that Boris Johnson wanted to damage David Cameron enough to replace him by spearheading the official Vote Leave campaign, and never really intended to leave Europe. The expression on the faces of Johnson and Michael Gove the morning after the Brexit vote was almost identical to Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel when the crowds gave ‘Springtime for Hitler’ a standing ovation.

None of them seem to have a Brexit plan to deliver.

In the US, people are already going to prison for the criminality around the election of Donald Trump. His campaign manager Paul Manafort languishes in federal prison. Michael Cohen has been sentenced to three years. A dozen indictments have been released, with many more suspected to be sealed.

Meanwhile in the UK, neither the Metropolitan Police nor the National Crime agency have any updates, or have made any arrests, over the nine or so investigations into Vote Leave and Leave.EU, which even Theresa May’s legal team agreed were rife with illegality.

America has a strong constitution, with checks and balances and the possibility of impeaching Donald Trump, or else removing him in 2020.

Brexit is, however, for ever. And unlike The Producers, it is no laughing matter.

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