Stay home, Nancy

Stay home, Nancy

They say it’s because she needs “a legacy”. If so, and if she decides to visit Taiwan, I fear her legacy may be traumatic, and possibly final. Don’t get me wrong. I love Taiwan and the ebullience and enthusiasm of the Taiwanese. After I had built a factory in Changhua County in the 1980s they made me an Honorary Citizen of Taiwan at a dinner whose glittering speeches, extravagant ceremony and fastidious detail have remained with me ever since. When I asked why they had conferred this honour on me they said they were not sure but it was probably because I had paid some local taxes – and most people didn’t do that in those days.

Taiwan is a flashpoint because China says so. Other countries have made territorial claims much further away from their capitals than Taipei is from Beijing. I’m not saying Taiwan shouldn’t be independent of Chinese rule. It seems to me that it is very much up to them. Nor am I saying that if invaded other countries might not come to the help of defending Taiwan. But to envisage a possibly catastrophic conflict because Nancy Pelosi wants a legacy? A step too far, I think.

Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. She has served her country well. She is a formidable lady, fully equipped for the rough and tumble of politics – even American politics. My mother was American, part of one of the pioneering families that emigrated from Europe and built, in their case, a small town called Little Falls, Minnesota. On the banks of the Mississippi, it remains a symbol of all that America stood for in those days – enterprise, risk, drive and cooperation. Nancy Pelosi knows these tenets of success, American style. Confrontation there was, of course. But cooperation was the cement that made the ‘Little Falls’ and the ‘Grand Rapids’ of the USA. They could do with some more of that right now.

Sometimes our greatest actions are inaction. To let the sleeping dog lie is not easy for driven, progressive politicians. In the case of a possible visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, not going would be an act of tremendous statesmanship. I dedicate the following, largely innocent, couplet to a lady I admire and respect, and who holds our futures very much in her hands today.

We know what you do and we know what you’ve done.

Stay home, please Nancy – become the Wise One.

Good morning

John Bittleston

Please encourage Nancy to stay home!