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While Prime Minister Theresa May fawned at his feet during her visit to the US, it seems Donald Trump isn’t likely to feel quite as welcome to the UK. For all the endless talk of the ‘special relationship’ (and May’s similar near-silence on Trump’s apparent liking for torture), not every Briton is as keen as she is.
An online petition was recently posted, calling for Trump to be denied a formal State Visit, something he and his followers would no doubt see as a mortal insult to both the US in general and the President himself. The petition has now gained over a million signatories.
This is likely to prove a distinct embarrassment, should it find its way to the White House, which it probably will if it hasn’t already. Under the website’s rules, the Government responds to any petition attracting over 10,000 signatures. Any petition attracting over 100,000 has to be considered for a Parliamentary debate. That doesn’t guarantee one nor, given that Trump is a Head of State, is he likely to be refused a State Visit.
That said, it would be interesting to see exactly the amount of fuss caused if the White House or the US media were to receive a copy. Especially a copy signed by over 1,000,000 British citizens telling him that he’s every bit as undesirable to them as women, foreigners, non-whites, minorities and refugees seemingly are to him.
Trump, of course, isn’t averse to insults provided they emanate from the Oval Office. His misogynistic ideas are both no secret and a great source of embarrassment to many Americans as well as huge numbers of foreigners. Given his past history also includes accusation of sexual harassment, he isn’t exactly popular with many women at home or abroad. Nor does he seem too fond of minorities. Nor of the Washington Post which has openly described Trump as a racist and a bigot.
Nor are his more recent antics doing him any favours. The recent, now-infamous car-crash press conference on ‘fake news.’ His recent Executive Order on visa restrictions barring entire nationalities from entering the US, an order now being fought legally and stayed by a Federal District Court probably doesn’t help Trump’s case.
He might want to be regarded as a President for all Americans, but he comes across as more as a ruler of all Americans. Nor does the fact that between 1975 and 2015, not a single American killed by terrorists was from one of the seven countries named in the order. Strangely, countries from which Islamic terrorists have murdered Americans don’t appear on the list, nor does any country where Trump has hotel interests.
Another of Trump’s grand designs has been for a wall barring the Mexican border which (he thinks) the Mexicans have an obligation to pay for. Well, the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain were abject failures, as was the Maginot Line. Hitler’s Atlantic Wall and Fortress Europe were rather leaky as well. It might play well to the Trump faithful but not, it seems, anywhere else.