If there’s one thing better than enjoying yourself, it’s watching people you don’t like having a bad time. This is always fun, but sometimes it is utter bliss: those wonderful moments when you can watch two people you loathe having a scrap.
You can sit joyously spectating from the sidelines, content in the knowledge that one of them at least will come a cropper. You can applaud every mean trick and nasty foul! Thrill to every
injury inflicted, every bruise sustained! For some it will be Liverpool v Manchester United; for others Progress v Prospect; for me last week it was Trumps v the
I took a front row seat, unmitigatedly jubilant, regretting only that they could not both lose painfully and at crippling personal expense. The law’s insistence on only one humiliation is a tad deficient in these cases. But it was a life-affirming spectacle: a match made in heaven. The most obnoxious rag in town versus the foulest mass of pestilence to emerge from America since Twinkies were first exported.
Basically, the Daily Mail called Melania Trump a prostitute. I was delighted. I mean, I couldn’t care less whether she was or not. It doesn’t seem to me something that should exclude you from being the First Lady any more than being insane should exclude you from the presidency. George W was seriously unhinged and it didn’t stop him becoming President; Nixon was a trickster and a liar; the Kennedys were serial adulterers. Why should their partners be any better?
As a match, the Mail-Trump scrap was disappointing. The Newspaper of the Year’s foul-mouthed editor, the evil Paul Dacre, is on record as saying that no one works harder than the Mail’s journalists. “I am constantly humbled at their selflessness, brilliance and passion for getting it right,” he said.
Well, not this time, my old mate! He had authorised a feature listing the lies about Lady Trump to be spread liberally over the middle pages. The Mail was nicely set up for a painful fall.
On the other hand, while it is charming to see this gutter publication exposed, it would have been nice to see Trump come unstuck as well. I revel in any dirt adhered to Don or any member of the clan, or Klan. I am grateful that there is so much of it.
It would have been nice to see at least one of them ruined but the Mail conceded after a few punches and after a few remarks, presumably satirical, on Mrs Trump’’s “personal integrity and dignity”, the paper handed over around £3 million, which is about Mr Dacre’s annual salary if you add the million pound in shares to his wages of £1.5 million.
Still it was satisfying to see Trumpy rolling in the mud with Dacre, a man who was, incidentally, a member of the Press Complaints Commission for nine years. Strangely, that body was never
Anyway, barely had that case been concluded than another pleasurable set-to broke out. This time it was between another couple of my nemeses, Messrs Johnson and Putin.
Putin, it seemed, was to be given a sound telling off from our distinguished Foreign Secretary. He was to be chastised for having friends like the mad Assad, and Boris was going to start serious sanctions against Russia, just so Vlad knew who he was messing with.
Off went our blond sage to a meeting of the G7’s foreign ministers to usher them into line. He would organise them into a united front behind British leadership and bring the Russian to his knees. Blond Etonian versus bare-chested Russian macho man? No holds barred! Ding ding! Seconds out!
Whoops. Boris on floor. Game over. France and Germany pointed out that his tactics were garbage, and Putin claimed the bout. Still, heartening to see one of them down.
And let’s not forget the charming pleasure of watching those nice UKIP folk knifing each other. There was that golden age between the Brexit vote and Trump’s election when one woke each morning to the sound of sparrows tweeting and the refreshing strains of UKIP leaders nutting each other. What a happy day it was when Nigel Farage started attacking the party’s only MP, Douglas Carswell. Called him a ‘Tory Party posh boy’. It was blissful. And shortly afterward we had that woman who was UKIP leader for about 10 minutes, Diane James, having a row with all the rest of the vermin.
“Come on, get stuck in!” I encouraged. I positively glowed when Farage said James’ resignation was “yet another act of irrational selfishness”. It quite made my toes curl. My only disappointment from this splendid interlude was when James said she could not “continue to bang her head against a brick wall”. I would have liked to watch that.