Prompted by seeing some of my not happy with the decision friends’ comments on Facebook, I thought I would wade in with my opinion. According to BBC News: “The UK government has rejected a petition calling for Donald Trump’s state visit invitation to be withdrawn. It said it recognised the “strong views” expressed but looked forward to welcoming the US president once details have been arranged. More than 1.8 million people signed the petition, which said a state visit would cause the Queen “embarrassment”. A counter petition calling for the visit to go ahead attracted more than 309,000 signatures. Both petitions will be debated by the House of Commons on 20 February”. It does, incidentally, make me think whether all this petitioning, which has escalated in recent months, is a good thing, but on balance I feel it is a right step, albeit a small one, for we the people to give vent to our feelings.
While the media has shown its bias by giving publicity to the withdrawers case and not to the goer aheaders case (which started sometime after the earlier petition as a reaction), 1.8 million is still a big number of malcontents and cannot be easily dismissed, although I don’t recall much opposition when the Chinese President came in 2015, given some of the human rights abuses. I would be interested in finding out what Her Majesty truly thinks and if she were to feel awkward that would have been a stronger argument to withdraw the invitation. I can’t help feeling she has over the years had to play host to people far more obnoxious than Donald J Trump and the fact does so with such style is to her great credit. Myself, I have already said that on balance Trump is good for America (and the UK come to that, in the light of his predecessor’s back of the queue threats) and we need to give him a chance while criticizing when needed (which Theresa May did regarding his immigration policy). The UK – US relationship is a special and important one. I have no doubt it is in the interest of both nations for President Trump’s visit to go ahead, even if there are things we don’t like about each other.