To join in you can click on the links in the comments below to expand and add your thoughts. We’ll continue to highlight more comments worth reading as the day goes on.
As the fallout from the publication of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury continues, Guardian Australia columnist Jeff Sparrow writes that “Journalists should be more, not less, suspicious of claims about Trump that confirm their prejudices.” Readers have joined the debate.
‘A reading of Donald Trump which we could already perceive’
I have not read the book and don’t intend to. Not because I wouldn’t like it, or because there are too many half truths, but because the extracts I have seen and heard about do not really add anything more to our impression of Donald Trump. As you say, “Trump remains what he’s always been: a walking, talking embodiment of resentments and entitlements. He’s not a Russian agent, he’s a Fox News segment brought to life by decades of culture war.” Fire and Fury appears to be a set of stories (of which some proportion are false) that are in-line with a reading of Donald Trump which we could already perceive from the way he conducted his campaigning.
‘It’s real head-in-the-sand behaviour to pretend the situation is normal’
Just because some of the claims in the book seem outlandish doesn’t make them untrue. It seemed absurd to think that a man like Trump could get elected. He did.
The White House is clearly in chaos. People are continually sacked, policy is made on a whim and statements are contradicted almost as soon as they are made. There’s no master plan. He’s clearly incompetent, and if even casual observers can see that, then it must be even more obvious to people close to the carnage. Obviously, there’s going to be some apocryphal gossip in this book, but it’s real head-in-the-sand behaviour to pretend that the situation the US presidency is in is normal, acceptable or anything other than critically dangerous.
Readers have been reacting to this story about smoking by sharing some of their own experiences with habit or addiction, some starting from a young age.
‘It took me 30 years to to quit’
Having been brought up in a household where everyone smoked except the dog, it was extraordinarily difficult as child to view smoking as anything other than desirable, and of course they were readily available to be pinched. It took me 30 years to to quit, and seeing my father at 65 barely able to walk 100 yards and unable to eat a meal without a coughing fit was good motivation, among the very many other things that make smoking so ridiculous.
‘If I had my time again, I’d run a mile before taking that first Woodbine’
I started smoking aged 11, nicking my Dad’s cigarettes, and continued as a smoker for nearly 40 years, until a diagnosis of COPD.
The things are horribly addictive. I still miss them. Isn’t that insane? That first smoke of the day, with a cup of char. The umpteen smokes through the day when things go wrong, or after a meal, or when you sit down and switch on the bloody awful news. If I had my time over again, I’d run a mile before taking that first Woodbine.
The issue of rural homelessness has got you talking. Many readers have thoughts on the situation in the context of where they live, with some sharing their own experiences.
‘A huge part of the problem has to be holiday homes’
A huge part of the problem has to be holiday homes. In parts of Dorset, and Somerset where I used to live, there are villages where almost every house is now let out for holidays, local communities have virtually disappeared. This has always been a problem to some degree, I remember being turfed out of my rented accommodation every spring to make way for summer lets, and that was over 30 years ago.
I now live in Brighton, where the local council have tried to control concentrations of student housing. Maybe something similar that restricts numbers of holiday lets in the countryside is needed?
Comments have been edited for length. This article will be updated throughout the day with some of the most interesting ways readers have been participating across the site.
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