Tuesday 4 June 2019
Trump visit: a national embarrassment
Time and again our government has done things and I think we have plumbed the ultimate depths - then they do something even worse.
The Sate Visit of President Trump is the latest humiliation.
it was humiliating enough to see Theresa May so eager to be one of the first leaders to meet Trump after he was first elected (on a minority vote.) But why did she offer him a Sate Visit? After all, it's not something that goes with the job. Only two previous US Presidents (Bush in 2003 and Obama in 2011) have had one. Not Wilson, not Roosevelt, not Eisenhower, not Kennedy, nor any of the others, though most have made official Presidential visits - not quite so posh.
So why this "rogue" world leader whose odious views, unacceptable actions and dangerous economic illiteracy make him unacceptable in civilised company and, if he continues in office, a threat to world prosperity.
From comments I've heard on the media, apparently the pomp and ceremony, the hob-knobbing with royalty, the trophy photographs, are going down well among his supporters in the US. So we are helping him to get re-elected. Democrats in the US must be as dismayed as we are by this inappropriate shenanigans.
Presumably the government is hoping to ingratiate itself with the US administration with a view to favours in the future, not least in trade deals.
In truth, rather than "taking back control" by leaving the EU, we are reduced to kowtowing to a foreign power over whose policies we have no say and which publicly declares its policy is to "put America first."
As part of "putting America first" the US has insisted that any future trade deals with the UK (after we have left the EU) must include health provision.
This morning I caught a snatch of of an interview on Radio 4 with a health spokesman (I think it was Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation. I have learned to be suspicious of spokespersons who use business-studies jargon, but three times in the 90 seconds or so I heard of the clip he used the phrase "going forward." - which usually means, "Never mind going over the mistakes we've made in the past - let's just blunder optimistically into the future).
So "Going forward" there's no danger of our NHS being subjected to [further] privatisation via the massively wealthy US providers.
In the present atmosphere of "never let the facts get in the way of your feeling" quite a lot of people will believe that.