It’s tempting, looking at the American election, to wonder if events 3000 miles away have any bearing on our life here in Chester.
But there are consequences for us when the ripples of global events waft up the Dee.
When the financial markets fall, it matters. Currently, following the EU referendum, the value of the British Pound is very low. It means things we import become more expensive, hence the arguments over the cost of everyday items like fish fingers, Marmite or Walkers Crisps rising steeply in the supermarkets. The Bank of England may need to defend the Pound by increasing interest rates, so mortgages become more expensive, and businesses struggle to get loans from their banks.
It isn’t just the money markets. President-Elect Trump has said he admires Russia’s President Putin, who in turn welcomed Trump’s win. Regular readers of The Standard know I have a different view of Putin: a dangerous bully whom the West needs to stand up to. Now Trump is casting doubt on America’s commitment to NATO. Again, we need NATO and I don’t like the noises I am hearing from the USA.
Then there’s the cultural impact: the nastiness of Trump taints all our lives. He boasts of grabbing women between their legs, and they can’t complain because he was “a star”. In other words he used his celebrity to sexually assault people with impunity.
He is now rowing back on some of his more extreme election promises, which is welcome but also shows a disdain for the voters. Over here I say to Chester residents: “This is me, this is who I am and this is what I believe. Please trust me with you your vote.” And when the election comes I stand on my record as an MP for all of Chester. Lying isn’t an option (and that is true for most MPs.)
It only took until a few hours after the EU referendum ended for Nigel Farage to admit it was untrue that we give £350 million a week to the EU and that it would all go to the NHS. I don’t want our country going down the road of political dishonesty. I want to live in a world where knowledge and truth are things to cherish, not to disdain.
Yet Trump won, and we are leaving the EU. It shows that people everywhere are angry and unhappy. The current system isn’t working for ordinary people. I won’t take my eye off the ball that it’s the people of Chester I serve. I want a political and economic system that works for the people of Chester, not one where the people work for the system.