The Trump Debate was a lively battle of brief comments, endless interventions and wildly conflicting views. I have the task of opening the debate and I prepared a 20 minute speech in case few turned up. There was no need to worry. It was heavily oversubscribed and I took all interventions demanded. This added to the brevity of the contributions and made for good viewing as it avoided the tedium of long speeches.
Many planned comments that I intended to make were ditched or used out of context including these:
Those who agree with the smaller petition supporting the state visit must make the case that by denying him the trappings of a state visit the President’s will be denied the privilege of free speech. His mouth will be bandaged.
Others may observe that Donald Trump has been wallowing in an incontinence of free speech since inauguration day.
Our duty today is to respond to the massive welling up of outrage and fear. The plea made by the petitioners is a narrow one. They do not object to a visit by the President, they are appalled at the prospect of STATE VISIT. Hansard report that State Visits by American Presidents are very rare –only two since 1952.
We must respond to the thunderous expression of public outrage. If we don’t we are deepening the gulf between political class and public opinion. That is the road that led Americans to put their trust in a non-politicians. Unless we respect and respond to public opinion we risk embarking on a path that could lead to deepening of distrust the path to British Trump.
Other manifestations in the spontaneous marches. At least partly instigated by his extraordinary behaviour in creating his own fantasy news report on the event which had the biggest crowd ever, biggest Electoral College since Reagan and rain did not fall on his parade. He has attacked the revered press organs as perpetrators of fake news. Instead of accepting his election victory and getting on with job he obsessed about press reports from Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN and even the BBC because they repeatedly assault his fantasies with the truth.
The lethal danger of mighty power wielded by the president with an intellect of protozoan ability.
NOW the 31st day on his presidency. So far –so bad. He has inflamed slumbering frozen conflicts in the China Sea, Ukraine, and The Israel-Palestine with a maladroit support for an impossibilist solutions. He rushes in where wise politicians refuse to tread.
Now we have the Political Dilettante, the amateur with his impulsive finger on the nuclear button. The likelihood of a nuclear war comes not from an act of malice but an accident t, a misunderstanding between nations, a human error a technical failure as happened when the UK test firing was launched in the direction of the United State. Trump believes in nuclear proliferation, is spreading ownership of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear states, thus multiplying the risk of nuclear war.
Do we chose to invite Trump here to bolster his standing in the US and in the World? Do wish to give him the imprimatur of our national approval. Should we offer our supreme hospitality to the president who is threat to the safety of the world?
President Obama waited 854 days before being invited for a State visit, President George W Bush 1032 days. President Woodrow Wilson waited 2,123 days before coming to the UK on a State Visit. It took Donald. J. Trump 7 days to receive an invite, with his arrival almost certainly coming within his first year in office.
Why did the Prime Minister single him out for an instant invitation to enjoy Royal Hospitality? Some state visits have been universally applauded including Nelson Mandela in 1996 and Lech Walesa of Poland in 1991, Obama. Others have been derided and caused considerable embarrassment to our reputation of the UK. No case for repeated the embarrassments of the past.
However, to lavish on President Trump the highest accolade that our nation can offer in his first week in office, is premature, foolish and undeserved.
The Prime Minister sought the reflected glory that friendship with new president in his honeymoon first week. She is suffering the reflected ridicule that trumps has attracted worldwide.
Although the Queen plays host to the visitors, invitations are initiated by Downing Street. The visits are nearly always politically inspired, designed to increase Britain’s diplomatic influence and business links. And in the case of Donald Trump, with Theresa May desperate for new trading partners as the UK prepares for a departure from the single-market,
There is little evidence that the legacy of state visits of oppressive leaders to the UK has improved long-term business or political relationships:
Nicolae Ceaușescu was given a state visit in 1978. The Government of the day, and Prime Minister Jim Callaghan, hoped it would encourage Romania to embrace pro-western reforms. At the time British Aerospace had been negotiating for months to sell Romania's Tarom airline a fleet of BAC 111 aircraft, some of which were to be assembled in Romania.
Police alone for policing the Notting Hill carnival was £7 million. Controversial state visits will inevitably be the most costly. The BBC reported in 2003 that the thousands of extra police officers for the state visit of George W Bush cost the taxpayer an estimated £5 million due to mass disapproval. Protests at a Donald Trump state visit may be more difficult for the police to handle. Distinguished journalist, Andrew Rawnsley has stated:
‘Some ministers mutter that the big mistake was to issue the invitation to make an early state visit to Britain, a notion conceived as a way of flattering his colossal vanities. At the very least, it would have been prudent to wait before rolling the royal red carpet. Pimping out the Queen for Donald Trump. This, apparently, is what they meant by getting our sovereignty back.’
Professor Michael Mann, whose work was key in demonstrating that global temperatures had risen dramatically because of human activity, said Mr Trump’s “assault on science” meant the US was “firmly back in the madhouse” of climate science denial. The new US President dismissed climate change as a Chinese hoax before the US election and since then has appointed a string of people with links to the fossil fuel industry and a track record of global warming scepticism to senior positions in his administration.
Trump is trying to construct an Orwellian world. Where Chaos is order, where war in Peace where Lies are the truth, where fantasies are fact. Wherever present Big Brother Trump is the only source of news.
The reason for the Prime Minister’s spluttering haste to get her invitation in first was party political. She is the destroyer of bridges between us and our European partners. She seeks salvation a bridge builder to Trump. Her offer to EURO’s ambassador to the US was ridiculed by the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite: "I don't think there is a necessity for a bridge. We communicate with the Americans on Twitter."