Opinion – One-shot presidents

President, Donald Trump appointed more than 200 federal judges in his four-year tenure; that’s more than his predecessor Barack Obama appointed in his eight-year stay at the White House.

Trump also appointed three Supreme Court justices during his time in office; the most since Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and the highest number of any single-term president since Herbert Hoover in the 1920s.

With the benefit of hindsight, it appears that all these judges were appointed so that, even if he was impeached or found guilty of inciting the insurrection on 6 January 2021, he would not face the full force of the law. Sadly, at the same time, this skewed the US judiciary so far to the right that they make Hitler look like a big, soft liberal.

That is why women across the US now face the prospect of jail if they have an abortion; even if they require that abortion because they were the victim of a rape.
And that is why each new school shooting is greeted not with tighter gun control but with calls to arm teachers.

OK, here endeth the history lesson. So what has all that got to do with all things NFDC and CMA?

Well, Donald Trump’s campaign to cover his over-large backside by surrounding himself with like-minded individuals is torn straight from the NFDC officer play-book.

That is at least one reason why none of the eight companies that have admitted involvement in the bid rigging scandal uncovered by the CMA have been shoved out the Resurgam House exit. It is also why so many of the Federation’s senior officers pass seamlessly from one top industry job to another.

They are the president of the Federation one year; they are the president of the National Demolition Training Group a year after; and the majority seem to eventually pitch up as president of the Institute of Demolition Engineers too.

Now don’t get me wrong. Some of those that have taken on some or all of those senior roles did so with the very best intentions. Some had a vision for the industry and it took two or more senior roles for them to try to fulfil that vision.

Sadly, just as many have passed from one top job to another because they were allowed to do so by the team they had built around them.

Even more sadly, some took on multiple top jobs because the only thing they like more than chains of office is a free lunch and a free stay at a top London hotel at the expense of fee-paying members.

All of that backside-covering and behind-the-scenes political manoeuvring has rendered Joe Biden – on paper, the most powerful man in the world – largely unable to enact legislation of his own, or to block changes to anti-abortion laws that have pushed back US women’s rights by about 100 years.

That same arse-covering means that the those NFDC members that have admitted involvement in bid rigging cannot be expelled because – seemingly – they have friends in high places.

And there is just one final parallel I’d like to draw – for now at least.

Because of all that historic manoeuvring, there is a very real possibility that Donald Trump may yet run again for the presidency. The most divisive and regressive US president in living memory might get a second shot at the job, despite all his past transgressions.

And it currently appears just as likely that the NFDC will also elect a former president for a second shot at the top job, even though he too was divisive the first time around; and even though he remains regressive.