One of the stories in my Facebook feed yesterday was titled “Trump state visit: Corbyn boycotts Buckingham Palace banquet”. This concerns the recently announced visit of Trump to the UK, due to take place in June, which includes a “state banquet at Buckingham Palace in honour of Donald Trump”.
“The Labour leader argued it would be wrong to “roll out the red carpet” for the US president, whom he accused of using “racist and misogynist rhetoric“”. He is not the only high profile figure to turn down the invitation. These include Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable and House of Commons Speaker John Bercow. While all are prepared to meet the President, if only to do business and challenge him on his ways, it seems all declined due to a personal antipathy toward Trump. As often happens when people post stories like this, there were comments by readers, including those supporting the boycott. My comment was “depressed”, and a friend asked me why? What now follows is my answer to that question.
The big issue facing us right now in the UK is Brexit. All three are imo on the wrong end of the argument. It seems to me if the end game is, as I hope, walk away from membership of the EU, likely without a deal given the EU position, then building a relationship with the US President is an important part of where we go next, even if it means hard negotiating and standing our ground on matters like not privatizing the NHS. To snub the President, while not disastrous concerning such aspirations, definitely does not help. Ideologically, I am afraid our three have again got it arse about face, which is not surprising but depressing nonetheless given the positions they hold. Corbyn, for example, has a long record of meeting with dodgy types with bonhomie, such that the label hypocrite also applies.
The UK has had a long record of honouring, in similar fashion to that of Trump, world leaders of dubious character, so why make Trump an exception even if you dislike the guy and what is it that gives them a free pass and him none. In my view, Trump’s predecessor, Obama, is far worse type than he, yet Corbyn, Cable and Bercow had no problem when he was honoured in this way. While I recognise Trump has many faults, I also believe he has made huge contributions and should be honoured accordingly. If nothing else, it causes me to question their judgment and values. Maybe I shouldn’t be depressed as it only confirms to me the sort of people some our political elite are and why I am right to oppose them.