To those complaining about Gary Lineker using words like “insane” and “bonkers” about what is happening across the pond, let’s not get too hung up on it. Yes, in general, we should choose our words carefully when it comes to matters of mental health but, if we are being honest, many of use that kind of language about certain issues and extreme matters. The election and subsequent actions of President Trump do, in my view, vindicate Lineker’s language. We have an unstable narcissist and demagogue in the White House and desperate times require stronger words.

As someone who is usually pumped full of anti-depressants to make life bearable and even happen at all, I confess that I am not particularly bothered if people say things like “He’s mad, he is”, “He’s off his trolley”, “he’s several sandwiches short of a picnic” and so on. As my loyal friend will know, I use these phrases and more myself, often about myself. I do not use this language to declare someone as bipolar or clinically depressed, but in a variety of circumstances, one might be the actions of a very dangerous man in the White house.

Are you seriously trying to tell me that Trump is not seriously unhinged? All right, to the best of my knowledge he does not have an existing mental health condition, but in terms of how we regard normality, which is a very broad church, I admit, I do not see him as normal, just like I didn’t see Hitler as normal, or President Amin or Saddam Hussein. Many other crazed dictators are, or were, available. And whilst I do see the world in black or white – I cannot see the point of opinions otherwise – I try to balance these things with what’s right and what’s wrong. I do not have an ambivalent view of paedophiles, people who organise dog fights or fanatics who engage in female genital mutation (FGM). I don’t half-think they might be right after all, but I do think there is something seriously wrong with the mind of someone who engages in such repugnant activities. Which brings me back to Donald Trump.

I do think what is happening in the USA is, as Lineker put it, “insane” and “bonkers”, that many of trump’s declarations and executive decisions have flown in face of common sense. The man is a liar, a hypocrite, a
misogynist, a racist, a bigot and, I fear, a loose cannon who now has access to weapons of mass destruction with which he could destroy the world. Is he a fascist and a madman? The jury is out, at least in part, but this is not a normal man in normal times, whatever they are.

With President Trump I feel it is acceptable to compare him to a lunatic running an asylum because it’s necessary to understand the man and the real danger he represents. There is absolutely nothing to suggest the man operates by rules that apply to anyone else.