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Trump unconcerned and immune to scandals
Incumbents in the US and the UK have faced a challenging month. In America, the Trump Presidency continues to run into rocky ground with disaster relief, political dissent and the highly incendiary investigation into the president’s former life. In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May is looking weaker than ever with rebels multiplying within the Tory party ranks.

It would have been a difficult month for even a less mercurial president than Trump. The hurricanes which have battered the east coast culminated with Maria, have wiped out much of the infrastructure on the island of Puerto Rico. The struggle over the territory’s statehood has long been a fixture of US politics, now only to be amplified by Trump’s entry. He accused Puerto Rico of a ‘total lack of accountability,’ claiming that the current situation of the island is the result of long-term bad management.  Puerto Rico’s politicians’ criticism of his politics could well be a reason behind such allegations.

At the same time, he has increasingly come into conflict with his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, with rumours swirling that the former Exxon Mobil CEO had called the president a ‘moron’ and threatened to resign. This fragile relationship is getting worse with Trump undermining Tillerson through both direct jibes on Twitter and a  stream of bellicose threats aimed at North Korea and Iran, countries in which Tillerson and his department are seen to be investing substantial amounts of resources to win over. 

Another cause of concern amongst them is Trump’s threat to the Iran Deal, which was among President Barack Obama’s crowning achievements. While the rest of the West has been supportive of the Iran Deal, Trump’s refusal of certification has fuelled the tension. By not acting in good faith with the Iranian government, the likelihood of the deal falling through has accelerated. Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, could have a part in this. Given the possibility of her taking Rex Tillerson’s position, it seems unsurprising that she has taken a hawkish line more consistent with Trump.

At the same time, Robert Mueller’s grand jury continues to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s political prowess, even as he struggles against Obamacare.  Trump has proven that he is unconcerned and immune to scandals which would fell an ordinary politician.


Uncertain future of Europe

The rest of the West has suffered from equal turmoil, with Britain taking the brunt. Prime Minister May’s speech in Europe designed to offer a vision of what the EU-British future would look like, received a lukewarm welcome. If that was poor, her speech at the Conservative conference was in an outright shambles, marred by coughing fits and a prankster who handed her a P45 (a slip for employees leaving work). There is little doubt that senior members of her party have entirely lost faith in her. In fact, her saving grace is that there are no top figures left standing who are seen as trustworthy by the electorate. Both Michael Gove and apparent next-in-line Boris Johnson seem more interested in their own careers whilst also having the disadvantage of campaigning to leave the EU using mostly over-blown promises. Rising star, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has been propelled by his extremely conservative views, remains a backbencher. Theresa May at least offers the comfort of a known devil.

Europe has its fair share of troubles this month. In Austria, the conservative People’s Party looks likely to break through the polls with over 31per cent of the vote. While a fairly Eurosceptic, anti-immigrant party in and of itself, the greater worry for the EU is in the Freedom Party - a far-right political group, which looks likely to rule in tandem.  In France, the Front National passed to the second round of voting for the second time in its history. In Germany, while the Alternativ fur Deutschland has gained seats in the parliament, more mainstream conservatives under Angela Merkel have lost power. The future for the continent is uncertain, but a shift to increasingly xenophobic politics seems likely. 

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