Defending the indefensible: Tories insist Trump state visit will go ahead

Anti-Trump protesters gathered outside Parliament as the debate took place [Image: AFP/Getty].

As protests against Donald Trump’s planned state visit to the UK raged outside Parliament and across the UK, Tory MPs refused to accept the will of the people.

And that’s odd, considering they are insisting that they are doing precisely the will of the people regarding – for example – Brexit.

During a debate in which the government was asked to choose between supporting a petition that opposed a Trump state visit – with 1.85 million signatures – and one supporting it – with a mere 311,000 – the government chose to support the few.

And the speeches in support of Mr Trump simply beggared belief.

Tory Nigel Evans told the US president’s critics to “get over it” before going on to claim – I’m not making this up – that those who “stand up and condemn him for being racist” are “attacking the American people” who voted for him.

What arrogant codswallop! Criticism of Herr Drumpf’s actions – post-election – cannot have anything to do with the opinions of those who supported him prior to that event. They didn’t know that he was going to do that damned stupid thing in such a damned stupid way.

Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh said a recording from 2005, in which Mr Trump apparently said he would grab women “by the pussy”, was “horrible and ridiculous” but that many politicians would have made “some ridiculous sexual comment” in private.

Or, indeed, some have made ridiculous sexual passes in the Strangers’ Bar.

Labour’s Paula Sheriff countered by pointing out: “To use the expression ‘Grab them by the pussy’ describes a sexual assault, and therefore suggests he should not be afforded a visit to our Queen.”

David Lammy expanded on this, asking how to explain to his children that someone who talks of grabbing pussy gets a state visit. He pointed out that Herr Drumpf had the support of the Ku Klux Klan, which certainly blew Mr Evans’ claims about racism into the ether.

Of course, Crispin Blunt (Tory) turned claims of embarrassment to the Queen around and claimed she would be embarrassed if the invitation to Herr Drumpf was withdrawn.

At least he was honest enough to admit he thought Theresa May had used the offer of a state visit, unprecedentedly early in a US presidency, to enable her to become the first foreign leader to visit him. It was an entirely opportunist political move.

Sir Edward Leigh (Tory) said he didn’t think Mr Trump’s travel ban was racist because it did not include Indonesia, the country with the biggest Muslim population in the world.

Really, the UK government needs to listen to its own population, though. That’s what Tulip Siddiq was saying when she responded that MPs have to listen to their constituents who are saying Mr Trump is not entitled to the honour of a state visit.

Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan – the one some Israelis wanted to remove from government because they think he’s an “idiot” – responded to the debate for the government, saying: “We believe it is absolutely right that we should use all the tools at our disposal to build common ground with President Trump. The visit should happen. The visit will happen. And when it does, I trust the United Kingdom will extend a polite and generous welcome to President Donald Trump.”

There isn’t a cat’s chance in Hell of that happening. He should have looked out the window.

Anti-Trump protesters on Parliament Square [Image: Andy Rain/EPA].

At the end of this debate Andrew Turner, the chair, put the motion that the House had considered the two Trump petitions to a vote by acclamation. Some MPs shouted aye, but many more shouted no – effectively registering a symbolic protest about Trump’s visit. But there was not a proper division, and their voting down the motion by acclamation does not carry any weight.

Was it a waste of time?
Source: Donald Trump: MPs clash over UK state visit – BBC News

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2 thoughts on “Defending the indefensible: Tories insist Trump state visit will go ahead

  1. Barry Davies

    Brexit balanced , sort of given the project fear remain campaign and the government breaking the regulations on spending for remain, people sending in petition one sided, and not everyone had a chance to sign or sign against it.

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