Trump’s NATO Article 5 problem | Brookings Institution

Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization...

Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Español: Bandera de la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte (OTAN). Polski: Flaga Paktu Północnoatlantyckiego (NATO). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

International think-tank, Brookings Institution, reports that the Brussels mini-summit is supposed to affirm the relevance of the alliance in the Trump era but there is a risk that it could severely undermine it. It highlights that President Trump is the only American president since NATO’s founding who has not explicitly endorsed Article 5.

Source: Trump’s NATO Article 5 problem | Brookings Institution

So far, Trump’s trip to the Middle East has gone surprisingly well and the US stock market has rallied accordingly.

But if Trump’s fails to affirm NATO Article 5, he’ll have an international crisis that will dwarf his domestic crisis over links with Russia.

I’m not a Trump supporter but his speeches in Saudi Arabia and Israel were statesman-like even if he avoided a number of important areas that will anger liberals.


Opinion – Kent landlord Fergus Wilson defends rental ban on ‘battered wives, single parents and zero-hours workers’ | London Evening Standard

English: Evening Standard Van Mercedes-Benz Sp...

English: Evening Standard Van Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at Kilburn London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: 8

English: 8″ barrel Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum Model 686 Silhouette revolver and 6″ revolver (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The London Evening Standard, reports that a  controversial buy-to-let tycoon has defended his decision to ban zero-hours workers, single parents and “battered wives” from renting his properties. It explains that Fergus Wilson has also banned low-income workers, single adults and housing benefit recipients in his latest letting criteria.

Kent landlord Fergus Wilson defends rental ban on ‘battered wives, single parents and zero-hours workers’ | London Evening Standard

This is an important story with profound implications for modern Britain. On the one hand, the landlord is regarded as bigoted but he claims that he’s acting in his own economic interests.

It’s not my position to defend Fergus Wilson but his situation should be viewed in a wider context. Firstly, Wilson has published his rental criteria which are objective and open. But let’s consider applying for a loan, a credit card or a new job. Often in the latter case, there’s a rejection letter that is cold and impersonal, with no hint at what’s needed to be improved. In the case of banks and financial institutions, the judgement often hinges on a credit-scoring formula, rather than any sort of reflective view of the individual. It’s the same with jobs, with people being screened in or out by arbitrary criteria, like where he/she went to school, often arguing that with the right private education there’s a better social fit.

There’s a lot wrong in Theresa May‘s Britain, both economically and socially. If May wins the election, downside risks will prevail, crystallizing economic and social hardship. Landlords are being stigmatized by left-leaning media but they are offering a valuable service, when banks sits on their hands fine-tuning their credit scores, paying out fat bonuses to senior employees. And as for employment opportunities, have you ever tried to get a straight answer out of an HR professional? Indeed many so-called ‘HR professionals’ excel in the ‘black arts‘ and are by nature two-faced.

Private landlords in the UK have a bad name but legislation and pressure groups have improved matters for tenants in recent decades. The situation is much better than many foreign countries. For example, I once met a major private landlord, who boasted that he used to collect his rents in the Bronx, New York, accompanied  by a bouncer, the landlord wearing a fully-licensed Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum Revolver strapped to his leg, on-show to his tenants.

The Conservative Party Manifesto 2017 is lacking detailed policy, cohesive strategy, costings and risk analysis. But most importantly, it does not give us a clue as to how May’s next government will address a collapsed economy and the resulting social and public order pressures.