Rock legend Mick Jagger has made a rare entry into the war that is modern politics by attacking US President Donald Trump for his rudeness, lies and for “tearing apart” environment controls in America.
The Rolling Stones singer said he was “absolutely behind” young climate change activists who had earlier occupied the red carpet at the Venice film festival, where he was starring in the psychological thriller, The Burnt Orange Heresy.
Jagger said he deplored how politics has descended into name-calling, “including in my own country this week” – a reference to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson comparing opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to a “big girl’s blouse” and a “chlorinated chicken”.
The icon, now 76, bewailed “the polarisation and incivility in public life”, although the one-time bad boy of 1960s rock admitted he was “not always for civility” himself.
“But when you see it now … in so many countries, including my own this last week, but particularly the US, it’s a sea change.
“It is not about manners,” Jagger insisted, saying he was fearful about “where all this polarisation and rudeness and lying is going to lead us.” But more worrying still, said the singer, was that what little environmental safeguards there were being swept away across the globe.
“We are in a very difficult situation at the moment, especially in the US, where all the environmental controls that were put in place – that were just about adequate – have been rolled back by the current administration so much that they are being wiped out,” he added.
Jagger, who rarely comments on politics, said “the US should be the world leader in environmental control but now it has decided to go the other way.
“I am so glad that people feel so strongly about that that they want to protest,” he said, referring to young activists from Greta Thunberg’s Friday for Future movement who sprayed “Listen to your children” and “Make the red carpet green” on the festival’s red carpet.
His co-star Donald Sutherland echoed his call to protest, and urged people to take to the streets and vote out Mr Trump, Mr Johnson and Brazil’s far-right leader Jair Balsonaro.
“Mick is right, the controls (in the US) under Obama were barely adequate – now they are being torn apart. It’s the same in Brazil and they will be torn apart in England after Brexit,” he warned.
“When you are 85 years old and you have children and grandchildren, we will leave them nothing if we do not vote those people out of office in Brazil and in London and in Washington.
“They are ensuring the ruination of the world, something that we have all contributed to.”
TRUMP’S LOST SUMMER
President Trump sent a furious tweet aimed at two Washington Post reporters who he said shouldn’t be allowed on White House grounds after the paper published a report detailing what they described as Trump’s “lost summer.”
The Post angered the White House with an article published this week called “Trump’s lost summer” which outlined what some aides described as a summer “defined by self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities.”
Trump took aim at White House reporters Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker, who were the authors of the article.
Rucker’s new nickname “Mr. Off the Record” appeared to be a reference to claims spread by members of Trump’s circle that he was responsible for repeating off-the-record comments about Trump’s family made by former White House aide Madeleine Westerhout. Westerhout resigned last week, reportedly after those comments got back to the White House.
The Post recently backed Rucker over that claim when it first emerged, telling Politico in a statement that Rucker “has always acted with the utmost honour and integrity and has never violated Washington Post standards or policies.” On Saturday, the Post’s Executive Editor Martin Baton said the president’s tweet was part of an effort to intimidate the press.
“The Washington Post is immensely proud to have these two superb journalists on staff. Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker have consistently demonstrated their integrity in covering the White House,” Baron said in a statement. “We stand fully behind them and their important work. The president’s statement fits into a pattern of seeking to denigrate and intimidate the press. It’s unwarranted and dangerous, and it represents a threat to a free press in this country.”
TRUMP WELCOMES PRISONER SWAP
President Trump welcomed the Russia-Ukraine prisoner exchange as a potential step toward peace.
“Russia and Ukraine just swapped large numbers of prisoners. Very good news, perhaps a first giant step to peace. Congratulations to both countries!” Trump tweeted.
Russia and Ukraine carried out a long-awaited prisoner swap in a step that could thaw a deep freeze in relations since Moscow’s annexation of the Crimea region in 2014.
It’sbelieved the exchange of 35 prisoners on each side could help rebuild confidence between Moscow and Kiev and allow them to start negotiating seriously on other issues.