It is hardly surprising that the government is advising the Queen to invite President (as he will then be) Trump to make a state visit to Her Majesty. The USA is our closest ally and, whatever one thinks of Brexit, it is clearly in our national interest that we should do our utmost to negotiate the best possible transatlantic trade deal. Also, though I recognise that we are going through one of those regular periods of our history in which it is assumed that defence no longer matters, there are plainly good reasons for wishing to persuade the USA not to give up on NATO.
The convention is that heads of state making state visits to the Queen address both houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall. All sorts of appalling tyrants with dreadful human rights records have been made welcome in Westminster. But Dianne Abbott, speaking for Labour, thinks it would not be “appropriate” for the President of our closest ally to be permitted to address Parliament. Another Labour MP accepts that protocol may have to be observed, but says he certainly won’t attend. We haven’t yet heard from Mr Corbyn (there is also a convention that the leader of the opposition has a meeting with visiting heads of state), but my guess is that he, too, will be terrified of coming into contact with Trump. I suspect he will refuse to play his part, but will look forward with great pleasure to the next visit from the President of China.
How can one possibly take Labour seriously any more? They have become exactly like all those tiresome students who insist they should be protected from hearing anything with which they disagree. Parliament, they say, should be a “safe place”.