Belfast Telegraph

If President Trump's most trusted advisor, his daughter Ivanka, cannot rein him in then it really is time to abandon all hope

By Lindy McDowell

A couple of weeks ago we were down in Dublin for a few days. We got talking, as you do, to other out-of-town visitors, many from America.

The thing that struck me - and, to be honest, amused me - was that as soon as they "confessed" to being American almost every single one hastily followed this up with an immediate disclaimer...

"I didn't vote Trump though."

Americans are famous for their patriotism. All that misty-eyed, chest-clutching at football games as Beyonce belts out The Star Spangled Banner.

So it does say something that at least some Americans abroad now feel so ashamed (and there is no other word for it) of their president that they feel the pressing need to immediately articulate this to strangers.

I did meet one exception. As we were checking out, a couple swept into reception where other guests were being attended to.

"Have a seat," said the receptionist pleasantly. Then, indicating the display on a nearby table he added: "Help yourself to a paper."

"Huh!" snorted the woman derisively. "We do not do fake news, sir. We are from Florida."

Okay. I wouldn't go so far as to claim that my own anecdotal experience is a comprehensive reflection of American voter sentiment.

But from reports it's pretty obvious that many, many US citizens do now believe that, on the global stage, Trump is not just letting down America. He is letting down democracy. He is letting down decency.

A president who cannot unequivocally condemn a murderous madman driving a car into a crowd is beyond shameful.

One of the fascinating things about Donald Trump, I always think, is that he is teetotal.

Not that you could tell from his tweeting. Or from his press conference outbursts.

This so-called Leader of the Free World exhibits a hair-trigger lack of self-control usually associated with a skinful of something a whole lot more destabilising than Coke Zero.

Bad enough what he's now doing to America's reputation. More worrying is what he might also do to world peace if we don't get somebody to sit on him soon.

But who can put the brakes on Trump?

Obviously not his 'close' aides who are currently vacating the Oval Office swifter than Deliveroo operatives out the pizza parlour door.

Not Melania either. Melania gives the impression of a spouse who in the privacy of Trump Tower is unlikely to dissect Donald's leadership shortcomings.

The money then, would seem to be on Ivanka, Trump's stylish, clever daughter.

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Ivanka Trump

Jewish herself, she was said to be horrified by his remarks bolstering white supremacist groups with their vile racist, anti-Semitic bilge.

Buy one Trump, get one free? It wouldn't be a first. With Bill they got Hill. Americans bought one Bush and got a whole half a dozen free.

But the First Daughter as she's being called, is a first in one respect.

Given the recent Oval Office exodus, Ivanka may now also be First SPAD. Trump's daughter is said to be his most trusted adviser. The relationship between a father and daughter can be a powerful and positive one. With mutual respect, two generations influence each other - and everybody benefits.

But Ivanka will have her work cut out if she thinks she can ever reverse the damage that's already been done.

Not just by departing members of the Trump team like Steve 'Bannon the Barbarian', who is known to resent her role.

The real problem is Trump.

In his time in office, he has acquired no self-restraint, no self-awareness.

His arrogance still knows no bounds.

And if his daughter or anyone else in his immediate circle could indeed get through to him, presumably they'd have done it by now.

Ivanka then, is not the solution to Trump.

There is no solution.

Time for airlines to ban peanuts on planes

In one of the most poignant moments on national television in recent times, a former producer of This Morning and her parents took part to highlight the life-threatening dangers of nut allergy.

Amy May Stead was left badly brain damaged after just one bite of a meal she'd been assured was nut free.

Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes are now campaigning to have nuts banned from all flights. And it's such an obvious thing. Nobody will die from lack of peanuts on a plane. But people could die from exposure to them.

If airlines can ban cigarettes, they can ban nuts.

Child Genius' parent was right to be proud

The depressing thing about Child Genius on Channel 4 was that, not only was I unable to spell some of the words, I didn't even know what they meant.

Do I pity the small children being put through this "ordeal"? Actually, no.

It's a competition. And as such not a whole lot different from child dancing contests or sports competitions.

Yes, some parents are a wee bit pushy.

But while I think winner Rahul's dad who seized the trophy to wave it aloft, might have shown a bit more sensitivity, I don't think he's a bad parent.

A bad parent is a parent who couldn't care less.

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