AMANDA PLATELL: Donald Trump’s graceless departure revealed his true colours
Almost a hundred years ago, T. S. Eliot wrote in his poem The Hollow Men: ‘This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.’
And so it has ended for Donald Trump, scurrying out of the White House through the side door. He boarded his helicopter, and rode in The Beast with its cavalcade but with no crowds to cheer him, his tail between his legs.
Can there have been a more ignominious end to a presidency? Days after inciting that riot in the Capitol, he refused to honour the tradition of greeting the new incumbent and turning up for the inauguration ceremony.
Rude, self-indulgent, he denied President Joe Biden the respect Barack Obama had offered Trump himself when he handed over the keys to the White House through gritted teeth.
And so it has ended for Donald Trump, scurrying out of the White House through the side door. He boarded his helicopter, and rode in The Beast with its cavalcade but with no crowds to cheer him, his tail between his legs
Even Trump’s staunchest Republican supporters have deserted him, while businesses are refusing to have anything to do with him. He has fallen from leader of the free world to pariah, the architect of his own undoing.
Nothing says so much about a leader as the manner of their departure. For it is at moments like this that we get a glimpse of their true character.
Who can forget Margaret Thatcher weeping as she left Downing Street for the final time in November 1990? The Iron Lady no longer — at last we got a glimpse of the humanity close friends had talked of over the years.
Even her enemies felt sorry for her. The tears had started when she thanked her Downing Street staff in person — in stark contrast to Melania Trump who reportedly could not be bothered.
Who can forget Margaret Thatcher weeping as she left Downing Street for the final time in November 1990? The Iron Lady no longer — at last we got a glimpse of the humanity close friends had talked of over the years
And what about Samantha Cameron on the steps of No 10, shellshocked after the referendum defeat in 2016? The way SamCam welled up said everything about the disappointment of defeat, and made Dave’s stoical resignation speech all the more poignant.
Gordon Brown left office by walking down Downing Street holding hands with his two young sons alongside his wife Sarah. Again, we saw the man himself — so different from the scowling, brooding PM we never liked. A lump- in-the-throat moment.
As for Theresa May blubbing as she told us she was resigning having had the opportunity to ‘serve the country I love’, it seemed to confirm our opinion. A decent woman who tried her best, which sadly was not good enough.
All arrived in power with hope in their hearts. All were defeated. But they left with dignity and honour and grace.
Unlike the petulant Trump — no bang, just a pathetic whimper.
As for Theresa May blubbing as she told us she was resigning having had the opportunity to ‘serve the country I love’, it seemed to confirm our opinion. A decent woman who tried her best, which sadly was not good enough
Singer Rihanna posts pictures of herself taking out the trash during lockdown wearing pink satin stilettoes and an End Racism T-shirt over her own-range skimpy black lace knickers. What near-naked opportunism. She should take the knee in shame, although that might ladder her own-brand sheer tights.
Naga’s best bit branone
The BBC’s new Radio 5 Live star Naga Munchetty told listeners she went ‘nuts’ for six months trying to find her favourite seamless bra, which was perfect for television and would hide the lumps and bumps.
Perhaps she’s forgetting she is now mostly on radio. Although, to be fair, it was the most interesting item the £250,000 Beeb star has so far presented on her radio show.
A retired police officer reveals Prince William was once cornered by a snarling police dog who mistook him for an intruder one Christmas at Sandringham. Shaken, he stood still and waited for the dog’s handler to arrive. I understand his fear. Recently I was accosted in my local park by a ferocious Alsatian. His owner told me to hand over the jam doughnut in my hand.
Shaken and stirred by Regé-Jean
Good news at last, Bridgerton is returning with a second series and it will continue its proud ‘colour-conscious casting’. Hurrah! What would the first series of the Netflix hit have been without the magnificently muscled Duke of Hastings, Regé-Jean Page, and his beautiful torso?
Now tipped to be the next James Bond, his four million or so Instagram followers would give anything to see him emerging from the sea in blue budgie smugglers.
What would the first series of the Netflix hit have been without the magnificently muscled Duke of Hastings, Regé-Jean Page, and his beautiful torso
Once beauty queens would fatuously claim: ‘I want to save the world.’ Now the reigning Miss England, Dr Bhasha Mukherjee, 25, is busy serving on the NHS frontline.
She abandoned a glamour trip at the beginning of the pandemic and posts a picture of herself having the jab, a powerful message to all those in the BAME community fearful of the vaccine to do as she has done — and help save the world.
The satirical magazine Private Eye coined the phrase Ugandan discussions as a euphemism for having sex, after a London party where a female journalist disappeared upstairs with a former minister of Uganda.
I was reminded of it this week by the story of the semi-naked Chinese woman found hiding in the wardrobe of an airman on a Somerset Royal Navy base used by Special Forces. When she was escorted off the base by police amid claims she was a Chinese spy, the saucy airman insisted she was his lover.
Private Eye should update Ugandan discussions to Chinese whispers.
Hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza demands to be returned to Britain from a U.S. jail claiming that, having diabetes, he will succumb to Covid. Just like obese jihadi Adel Abdel Bary who was freed and is now in London. How obscene that being fat is a Get Out Of Jail card.
The one sentence we never expected Dancing On Ice celebrity and lingerie model Myleene Klass to utter after being twirled upside down last week by her partner: ‘I wish my knickers had been bigger.’ Can this be the same Myleene who was in that memorable white-bikini, I’m A Celeb shower scene?
The one sentence we never expected Dancing On Ice celebrity and lingerie model Myleene Klass to utter after being twirled upside down last week by her partner: ‘I wish my knickers had been bigger’
Can this be the same Myleene who was in that memorable white-bikini, I’m A Celeb shower scene?
Finding Alice? Don’t bother
High hopes for the ITV drama Finding Alice, featuring three of our finest actresses, Keeley Hawes, Joanna Lumley and Gemma Jones.
Alas, it’s EastEnders on speed — husband Harry dies in their dream home. Alice breaks down, then uses a digger to bury him illegally in the garden.
The hitherto unknown son of dead hubby arrives. Alice’s daughter insists she wants to get to know him, while mum bonds with her beautiful black bereavement counsellor.
And the characters? A plus-sized sister-in-law, a gay brother, a headmistress in a wheelchair and an Asian businesswoman with a wife and two children.
What impressive diversity! But I can’t help feeling it will mean we end up Finding Alice too worthy to get to the end of the series.
When a young Judi Dench auditioned for a movie role, a director said she was ‘too short and too plain’ for Hollywood.
Many hit movies later, she is a national treasure, though she hates the term. ‘It relegates me to being an 86-year-old, whereas in my mind’s eye I’m 6ft, willowy and 39.’ As you are in our eyes, Judi.
The power of Kate
Having caught coronavirus in March, TV presenter Kate Garraway’s husband and father to their two children Derek Draper is still recovering in hospital ‘ravaged by Covid’.
Her family’s trauma seems never-ending.
We were all overjoyed when she revealed last summer that Derek had opened his eyes for the first time in months after being struck down.
And yet, even today, he can hardly speak. I know Kate a little and can tell you that she will never give up fighting for her husband and their two youngsters.
Nothing could be more telling of her character than the title of the book she is writing, The Power Of Hope.
And if there’s one salutary lesson we should all take from her apart from her hope, it’s that Covid can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Staff in one Covid ward in Buckinghamshire have created an ‘inspiration wall’, upon which they scribble in felt pens their hopes and prayers. One wrote: ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’
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