Jayne Dawson: Hold on to your hats – the Trump show is starting

Have your say

Today (Jan 20), Donald Trump will take over as the 45th president of the United States in a grand ceremony in Washington DC.

It will be outdoors, despite the freezing temperature - unless he wimps out and takes it indoors as Ronald Reagan once did.

But probably he, and the 1,600 people on the platform with him, will don their thermals and grit their teeth.

There will have been quite a run on vests and long johns in the shops this week, but at least the protesters won’t need them - they will have their fury to keep them warm.

But I doubt we will see or hear them as Donald Trump takes his 35-word oath, or makes his inaugural address.

It’s all as highfalutin as can be. Past presidents attend, there is music and dancing to enhance the spectacle.

The music, as it happens, 
has proved tricky. Donald has 
been turned down by almost everyone in the business so the national anthem will be sung by 
the America’s Got Talent runner-up.

This humiliation might be a small comfort to some of those present to whom Donald has been quite nasty: Hillary Clinton (“crooked Hillary”) Bill Clinton (“the worst abuser of women in history”) and Barack Obama (“not even American”).

Then there will be a night of high society balls and general glitteryness.

What’s his presidency going to be like? Lord knows. Let’s just think of the words of that wisest of women - Bette Davies - in the film All About Eve when she said: “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” And she wasn’t talking about a plane journey, if you know what I mean.

The best everyone seems to be hoping for is that President Trump was lying through his teeth and won’t do any of that stuff he said, but it’s a funny business when you have to hope the “leader of the free world” is a liar.

You might have noticed - I’m making an exception for myself today. Mostly, when America is the topic, I like to have a bit of a chat about how annoying it is that we are so much in its pocket.

Why do American presidents stride across the globe like they’re the boss while we run after them shouting: “Wait for me, I’m your special friend.”

But the inauguration is interesting, because it highlights the huge difference in the way we do business.

British prime ministers are given the key to the No 10 door in a stilted little chat with the Queen.

Then they walk up Downing Street looking a bit embarrassed and give an awkward wave at the door before disappearing inside with their spouse, who has to go lie down for a bit to recover from all the unwanted attention. It’s counted a success if no-one trips over the doorstep.

Meanwhile, the previous prime minister is following the removal van down the back road, having just hurled inside all their possessions and as many of their children as they could gather. it’s all a long way from Washington’s bling.

Their ex-presidents are revered for life, our former prime ministers find themselves the subject of inquiries, or have to put up with people taking their photograph while they are sitting on a wall eating chips. It’s not exactly reverential.

As in political life, in normal life too. Put a camera in the face of an American and they will talk eloquently, do the same to one of us and we will fold in on ourselves with worry and fear.

It’s our British diffidence, plus our derision for politicians - good or bad - and our desire to knock everyone down to size. There is no fancy pants stuff for our political leaders.

I prefer our way of doing things, but I’ll be watching on Friday, after all it’s the greatest show on earth. But I hope Donald Trump remembers that, once the show is over, the rest is real life.


I suppose the question is how far do you want to go to live longer?

Or maybe I mean how far do you not want to go?

Researchers at the university of Sheffield have discovered that mealworms live longer if they don’t mate - wait, bear with me.

The reason is that their immune system remains stronger, and the researchers think that principle could be applied to humans too, since our immune system is lowered during ...cuddling.

There is indeed actual evidence to show that celibate people live longer - nuns, monks, priests.

And that might sound perfectly fine to some of you.

Because everyone knows that we women secretly prefer to lie down with some chocolate and a good book, rather than any alternative you care to mention.

And, just so you know, a really good night’s sleep is our fantasy, not a night with a Hollywood hunk.

There is a problem here though. Should we all give in to our urges - for sleep and chocolate and a good book - we could add years to our lives.

We could be fit as fleas in those decades where currently walking frames strike.

That would be great of course, 
but if none of us has bothered with 
the life-shortening trauma of creating the next generation ...I can see a problem.


You would think we’d be experts. After all, we’re known for it.

The British say ‘sorry” a lot.

I’m amazed it isn’t our children’s 
first word. “Sorry, sorry, sorry” we go.

“Sorry, but you’ve just reversed over my foot.”

“Sorry, but your dog has just eaten my cat.”

We are apologists extraordinaire.

But still, it appears we need lessons.

A new book by psychologist Harriet Lerner has hit the shelves instructing 
us in the art of apologising.

First lesson: don’t over apologise. 
If it’s a minor spill, don’t act like you 
have accidentally killed their child.

And also, keep it short. 
Explanations are for another conversation.

Don’t add “but”, don’t be needy 
and don’t just say it - show it with an action - if appropriate.

If you knew all that already, all I can say is - I’m very sorry for troubling you. Really. So sorry.