Why Donald Trump, Elon Musk and China are making me go ‘hmmm’ – Jim Duffy

From China’s actions in Hong Kong to the new SpaceX flight, the world has had ‘interesting’ week, writes Jim Duffy.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the manned Crew Dragon spacecraft takes off from Cape Canaveral, Florida (Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the manned Crew Dragon spacecraft takes off from Cape Canaveral, Florida (Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

What an interesting week it has been for the planet Earth. Makes me think about one of my old favourite songs performed by C+C Music Factory. Titled Things that Make You Go Hmmm..., it sums up how many of us may be feeling about life and what is happening around us. Whether you ponder, cogitate, think, reflect or muse, the world and the resulting headlines at the moment are like something out of a movie. It feels surreal, dangerous, laughable and sad all at the same time. I feel a little discombobulated, while definitely thinking about all those Things That Make Me Go Hmmm...

First up, I was awakened on Thursday morning by my LBC radio app and Mr Steve Allen. If you ever get the chance to listen to Steve Allen, he has quite a show. Nothing is off limits. He tears into the Beckhams, the Z-list Love Islanders, Prince Andrew and his hapless ex-wife Fergie and, to be honest, anything else that takes his fancy. It is satirical, funny, totally random and very polemical. But, he does feel the mood of a large section of people and he calls them his “Spikers”. This refers to his audience numbers, which he says spike at 4am when his show starts. I love it, but this week it was a thing that made me go hmmm...

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We all know about the Madeline McCann case and I have written about it here previously. Many of us hope for small miracle and that the wee girl will be found alive one day. But, the headlines seem to have a new suspect in their headlights, currently sitting in a jail in Germany. A known paedophile, no less.

But, rather than celebrate this, Steve Allen asked some harsh, but searching questions. Questions that do not sit comfortably with me. But, I have to be open to others’ perspectives. In short – and this was before German prosecutors said they believed Madeleine was dead – he discussed cynical suggestions that the news was somehow linked to an attempt to get the taxpayer to spend more than the reported £12 million on the investigation. I can’t reconcile this, but it does make me go hmmmm...

Next up, we have the “narcissist” President of the USA, Donald Trump. He should not be the story. George Floyd should be the story. But, while many Americans protest and nudge their mayors, governors and senators, America is tearing itself apart.

And Mr Trump is not helping the cause. Hell, even Richard Nixon left the White House to speak to the anti-Vietnam war protesters to get a feel for what was truly driving them. But Trump makes the show all about him as he stands with his bible for a photoshoot, almost literally after a shootout. But, that is not what irks me.

No, Mr Trump threatens to send in the most powerful military in the world against his own people. Some would say he is a total bampot. And they have. Retired top generals have come out fighting. And the current Secretary of Defence has also dampened Trump’s enthusiasm for this action. Even Barack Obama has been wheeled out to try to heal the pain being felt across America. But, if Mr Trump is willing to take such authoritarian and brutal steps, what else is he capable of? It truly makes me go hmmm...

And while one American looks foolish, another looks like a rock star. Enter Elon Musk, who with his SpaceX team and Nasa launched a successful rocket with two astronauts on board, up, up and away. Many of us will remember the old Space Shuttle days with fondness. So, this new era for America space flight, I feel, is exciting. But hold on a minute... Mars! Mr Musk and his team want to colonise Mars at some point. It’s ambitious, I’ll give him that. But, I would not want to pollute Mars with human beings and all the trouble we cause. This defo makes me go hmmm...

Covid-19 is far from a virus that has had its day. With all the science and politicking around it, we are all hoping for a good result and no second wave. But, as the world deals with it, the country from where it originated is flexing its muscles in a very undemocratic way. China is strong-arming Hong Kong and if this gets out of hand, it could lead to a serious war. The UK, USA, India and Japan will get sucked in as the region is a hotbed for tensions. And Hong Kong is the fulcrum upon which it all rests. Why China is not eating humble pie and apologising to the rest of the word is beyond me.

But, rather than show contrition, it goes on the offensive, while we cope with coronavirus. China makes me go hmmm... very loudly.

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Finally, I’m puzzled at stock markets as we are about to hit massive recession. Indices are rising across the globe, while companies like BA, Rolls Royce and Easyjet cut staff numbers. It may take until the spring of 2021 to get back to some form of normal. But, that is not stopping stock markets in the UK, Europe and USA from posting massive gains.

It seems a bit topsy-turvy to me. The economy is going down the pan, but the indices that “reflect” the economy are on an Elon Musk rocket to the moon.

Maybe they all know something we don’t.

So there you go folks and as I wrap it all up and think about the world we live in this week, I really don’t know what to think. It just makes me go hmmm...

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