Article originally published 21/07/2016: due to a technical issue this article may have resurfaced for some readers, and the original publish date may not have been visible.
British politics has changed almost beyond recognition in less than a month.
The vote to ‘Brexit’ the European Union had a domino effect that saw the fall of Prime Minister David Cameron and the rise of Theresa May in his stead, Michael Gove knifing Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom’s moment in the sun, and the protracted Labour Party coup to bring down leader Jeremy Corbyn.
And Sir Bob Geldof signalled Nigel Farage was a wanker on a Thames River flotilla face-off.
With a relative calm setting in as MPs break for the summer recess, it’s time for the torch to be passed across the Atlantic and the start of the US Presidential election.
The Republican National Convention, which has seen Donald Trump officially crowned the party’s candidate, has thrown up a rash of WTF moments to rival the post-’Brexit’ madness. Here are eight of the best.
1. ‘Lock Her Up!’
One-time presidential candidate Chris Christie created a mob-like atmosphere in the Cleveland convention centre with a mock show-trial of Hillary Clinton, criticising her policies and judgment. You don’t get chants of “lock her up” at Lib Dem conference.
It was pointed out his comments were perhaps a bit rich.
Ex-mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, gave a fired-up speech and made a dubious point about President Obama dividing the nation over police shootings. He then did this.
3. Trump’s Entrance #1
Day one and Trump made a dramatic entrance to the conference hall with all the razzamatazz you would expect from the showman politician.
Of course this was grist to the mill on Twitter.
Some remarked how it was a tribute to Trump’s previous support of - and participation in - WWF/WWE wrestling.
Others that it was taken from the Beyonce playbook.
4. Trump’s Entrance #2
He’s famous for The Apprentice but this second headline appearance had more in common with Big Brother. Via satellite from Trump Tower, this is full overlord mode.
5. Melania Trump’s Familiar Speech
Party conferences wherever you are in the world seldom stick in the memory.
Who knows if the address by Trump’s third wife, Melania, will cut through in years to come but it made waves globally this week.
Unless you’ve being stranded on a desert island, you’ll know there are a few parallels between her remarks and those by Michelle Obama eight years ago.
The guilty speech-writer quit and headlines stretched to Day Three, but does anyone care beyond excitable journalists?
6. The Revenge Of Ted Cruz
High political drama on the penultimate night of the convention saw the last-man standing against Trump in the Republican primary race, Ted Cruz, refuse to endorse The Donald’s candidacy and urge fellow Republicans to “vote your conscience”.
Trump had insulted the Texan senator’s wife (her looks) and father (linking him to the JFK assassination). You probably can’t blame him for not wanting to be a “servile puppy”.
7. Hillary Clinton Accused Of Links To The Devil
Ben Carson is another former presidential candidate who had something to say.
He reckoned one of Clinton’s heroes was liberal radical Saul Alinsky, a writer whose 1971 book ‘Rules for Radicals’ acknowledged Lucifer on its dedication page.
So that reflects on Clinton, of course.
“So are we willing to elect somebody for president who has, as their role model, somebody who acknowledges Lucifer?” Carson asked the crowd, incredibly.
Oh, and Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham appeared to give a Nazi salute.