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The Commander in Chief hate-monger.

Byline: Torcuil Crichton THE HEART OF POLITICS follow @torcuil

WHEN the hate group Britain First stood in the 2014 Rochester and Strood by-election, the salty Medway constituency reckoned to have the most UKIP friendly postcodes in the UK, Jayda Fransen scraped just 56 votes.

This is probably a fair measure of the shallow puddle of support across the UK for the violent hatred of Muslims that burns in the messed-up heart of Fransen and her ilk.

On Wednesday, the President of the United States gave her abhorrent views a platform to engage with his 43million Twitter followers across the world.

Fransen already has a conviction for religiously aggravated harassment and is due to stand trial again on similar charges in the New Year, facing a possible two-year jail sentence.

Hate spawns hate and that is what Britain First are about and, unwittingly (though probably not), what Donald Trump is about.

The Commander in Tweet did it, defended it and then attacked the UK Prime Minister when her spokesman declared he was wrong. Trump, the man-child, cannot admit a mistake and proved it by firing an angry tweet directly at May.

We await the hours of darkness to see what his next move will be.

With relations with the White House worse than they have been at any time since 1814, when we burned it down, May would rather this all went away.

She, like many of us, is simply adrift in the crazy, disrupted world that a molatov cocktail of loathing and anger soaked in rag of social media has unleashed.

(We can add alcohol to the mix but Trump is notoriously tee-total, making his behaviour all the worse.) May and her advisers come from a heritage of diplomatic cables sent from overseas outposts each morning to Whitehall. Under old rules, Britain ran an empire seven times the size of the Rome's from here.

But the diplomatic and martial power that conquered 171 countries is swept away by 140 characters in the middle of the night. Liberals stand bewildered at the audacity of hate online but Trump understands power in this Age of Chaos.

As White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed, the truth of online content doesn't matter, the echo of its emotional message does.

And when emotion triumphs economics, as in Brexit Britain, and connects to fear and rage, the centre of politics is engulfed in flames.

Few politicians can buck the ride, though many are tempted ride the tiger's tail of raw politics.

It is why Jeremy Corbyn appears to go off at a weird tangent during Prime Minister's Questions.

He's just using the dispatch box as a backdrop for that one minute online clip to core followers who don't care about much else except him.

It is a dangerous game, this medium that bestows fake news the same status as the New Testament, Russia Today the same credibility as the BBC.

This "special relationship" Twitter spat shows perfectly how ill-prepared old-fashioned democratic politicians are to face the chaos of megaphone tweets which leave conventional diplomacy redundant.

May gained nothing from rushing to Washington last January, gained no real leverage while holding Trump's hand.

The afternoon she left from her fawning White House visit, the President attempted to institute a travel ban on people from predominantly Muslim countries entering the US.

Which reminds me it is not all bad news. For sewing the seeds of British-born hatred which fell on barren ground here, Trump is subject to a travel ban all of his own.

The Queen won't be seeing this hate-monger anytime soon.

TOMORROW DON'T MISS DES CLARKE

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SPECIAL RELATIONS But Thesesa May's trip to Washington gained little. Picture: PA
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 1, 2017
Words:614
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