Shropshire Star

Mark Andrews: Trump gets something right, deepfake Biden, and Rishi stops the boats, TikTok style

Donald Trump is right. Not about a lot, I'll grant you. But when it comes to Europe's defence spending, he raises a very fair point.

The Government is to pay social media influencers £5,000 a time for videos to deter unlawful migrant crossings

While the former US president's ambivalence towards Nato is a great concern to us all, it is hard to disagree with him that many countries in Europe are failing to pull their weight.

Countries with leaders who are very smug about their lavish welfare spending, and consider themselves far more progressive than the red-necks across the pond. Yet when it comes to defending the values they supposedly hold so dear, they still expect Uncle Sam to pick up the tab.

The deal with Nato is that all members spend two per cent of their national income on defence. In practice, just 11 of the 31 Nato members meet their obligations. The Netherlands commits 1.7 per cent, Denmark 1.65, and Germany 1.57. Belgium, twice had to be rescued by its neighbours twice during the previous century, contributes a pitiful 1.13 per cent. So you can hardly blame the Americans, who cover more than half the cost of Nato, feeling a bit hard done by.

It's about time some of Europe's leaders stopped preening and woke up to the very real dangers around them. Because, I doubt if their enlightened, progressive values would stand up very well to Putin's tanks.

Donald Trump – right for once

We're told the other great threat to our civilisation is the ability of Artificial Intelligence to spread misinformation. To prove the point, somebody produced a 'deepfake' clip of Joe Biden apparently telling people not to bother voting in an election.

However, if that is anything to go by, we shouldn't panic just yet. It certainly would never have fooled me.

For a start, the recording had Biden speaking in coherent sentences. He didn't fall down any steps, and remembered the correct day of the election. If that's deepfake, there's a long way to go.

Joe Biden – targeted by 'deepfake'

With no end in sight to the Rwanda stand-off, Rishi Sunak has finally come up with a workable plan to fulfil his Stop The Boats pledge. TikTok videos.

The Home Office is offering £5,000 to 'influencers' who make short videos telling people not to come.

I'm up for a bit of that. Give me five grand from the taxpayer and I'll gladly film myself doing the Lambada with a border collie, or whatever it is they do in these videos. And I'll definitely slip in a line telling folk to stay in France.

This must be sending real shivers around the people-trafficking community. I can just see the Mr Bigs hastily convening meetings on Sangatte beach, wearily concluding they will have to throw in the towel.

After all, if a teenage dancer doesn't deter folk from boarding a rubber dinghy bound for the world's busiest shipping lane, what will? Gangnam style, bro. Gangnam style.

Rishi's big plan to Stop The Boats