Keep this racist out of our parliament: Trump is not welcome
PUBLISHED: 10:39 13 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:39 13 February 2017
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John Bercow was right.
In speaking out against Donald Trump in the Chamber of the House of Commons he showed Trump that we in Britain aren’t all that embracing of his racism, his misogyny, and his disregard for human rights.
He does not represent the ideals that his country was built on.
The Prime Minister might wish to kowtow to the sexist that now sits in the Oval Office, but no-one else does. It needs to be spelt out plainly: We do not want him to speak to us. He is not welcome.
Speaking to both Houses of Parliament is a rare honour, the highest honour we can offer.
In the past we have hosted speeches from world leaders in equality, justice and human rights from Mandela to Obama to Aung San Suu Kyi. Trump does not belong alongside these names.
When Mandela spoke in 1996 he talked of a future for South Africa of freedom, peace, prosperity and friendship. With Trump we get Muslim bans, unregulated banks, lies and discrimination.
In the few weeks Trump has held the Office of President we have heard what he has to say. His words are divisive, distasteful and increasingly divorced from reality. He spouts lines about fake news while attacking those who disagree with him. This man does not belong in the great debating chamber of the parliamentary. If we really wanted to listen to his input we could just keep our eyes on Twitter in the early hours of the morning.
Trump has done nothing to distance himself from his comments, he has shown no remorse, provided no apology. If we can do one thing over here in Westminster to show that we do not condone the actions of that man over there in Washington, it is to block him from making a speech. Perhaps, with his ego bruised, he may reconsider at least some of his more vitriolic and unethical positions.
The response of our other friends and allies across the World shows just how much of a blunder Theresa May has made. Trudeau responded to Trump’s Muslim Ban by calling him out and doubling down on his commitment, on his country’s commitment, for Canada to be a welcome home to those people escaping conflict and persecution across the world.
When they go low, we go high. These words have floated around Trump’s campaign and I have no doubt they will remain in the lexicon for the coming years. Instead May attaches herself, and our country, to backwards policies and ideals. Unfortunately, when they go low, Theresa May drags herself down to meet them.
We are America’s closest ally. While there are differing opinions on the strength and mutual feeling behind the special relationship it was never in doubt that we are hold a unique position from an American perspective.
Historically we offered an Anglophone gateway to Europe, diplomatically and economically, but with Brexit that future is increasingly hazy.
Instead May is leading the world in pandering. She knows that she is in a weak negotiating position. She is risking the endorsement of appalling policies that have no place in a modern liberal democracy. The Government’s obsession to get a Brexit trade deal, any deal, means we have ended up in this situation.
In Trump’s own words: “The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.” Trump can smell Theresa May’s desperation from 3,000 miles away.
I was there at the Trump protests in which thousands made their way to Downing Street at a moment’s notices to show their outrage to the offer of a State visit. It is not wrong for her to meet with him, that is the role of a Prime Minister, but we must not celebrate him, we must not go hand in hand with him as he pushes illiberal policies. I argued then as I argue now that we should not be rolling out the red carpet for this man. We must stand up for what we believe and, when they are under threat, stand together for our shared values.
Trump should be under no illusion. We are snubbing him.