THERE is every likelihood that US President Trump will face huge demonstrations when he visits Britain later this year.
Whether he comes in June or July to address a rally in Birmingham, Cardiff or London will make no difference to the turnouts, whether inside the conference hall or outside.
The Stand Up to Trump organising meeting last week reflected the breadth of opposition to the man and his views, itself mirroring the wide coalition of forces marching against him in towns and cities across the US.
Present in London last Friday were representatives and observers from the TUC, major trade unions, the Labour Party, the People’s Assembly, the Stop the War Coalition, the National Assembly of Women, the Morning Star, Stand Up to Racism, the Communist Party of Britain, Momentum and many other campaigning and community bodies.
They want to show that Trump’s sexist, racist, belligerent, anti-union and divisive views are not shared by decent people — the overwhelming majority — in any part of Britain.
Nor are they shared, for that matter, by the majority of decent people in the US. It should not be forgotten that fewer than 27 per cent of US citizens of voting age plumped for him last November, barely one in four of eligible adults.
But that he won with three million fewer votes than chief rival Hillary Clinton, thereby owing his elevation to the state electoral college system, is no ground for us in Britain to challenge his legitimacy. The vagaries of US electoral arangements are primarily a matter for the American people, grave though the implications may turn out to be for people in other parts of the world.
We might also note that had Clinton been elected, her warmongering policies towards Russia, China and Syria, together with support for subversion in Latin America and the oppression of the Palestinian people, would also have merited mass demonstrations when visiting Britain.
As it is, Trump’s total, uncritical support for Israeli violations of international and humanitarian law, his aggressive response to China’s military presence in the South China Sea and his support for the use of torture, would be sufficient to justify protests everywhere he goes in England, Wales or Scotland.
In addition, his hate-mongering speeches and actions aimed at Muslims, Mexicans, refugees and immigrants help to fuel the widespread anger about him receiving the privilege of a state visit to Britain.
In secretive discussions about the US president addressing a rally rather than the Westminster Parliament while here, it appears that some US or British officials believe he will receive a friendlier welcome in a region or country that voted for Brexit in last’s years referendum.
It is a fallacy, promoted assiduously by some pro-EU liberals and leftists as well as Ukip, that there is a strong affinity between the pro-Trump and anti-EU causes.
In reality, many people on the left in Britain — a slight majority according to the extensive Ashcroft polling — voted against EU membership. Like many people who voted to remain in the EU, they detest the same wide range of Trump’s views and policies.
We need united displays of that detestation when he comes here this summer. Those who seek to divide the anti-Trump movement in Britain on the basis of attitudes to EU membership will be doing that movement a disservice — and doing Trump and his right-wing anti-EU and pro-EU allies here a favour.
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