Labour Demands that Parliament should be a Safe Place

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”.

Charles

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7 thoughts on “Labour Demands that Parliament should be a Safe Place

  1. Labour are a warning for US Democrats. They believed that they were entitled to power, abused it when they had it and then imploded when they were rebuked. They’re no longer a credible party. True, to an extent Scottish Labour’s travails are hurting the party at Westminster — but Scotland has its own political dynamics and the SNP are also rapidly facing their comeuppance. Anyway… Labour have been wiped out outside of their Northern English heartland and London. Northern England, with concerns and problems closer to the American Rust Belt is in electoral revolt and Labour can’t count on them indefinitely. If Labour come off as condescending to working class voters they will well and truly face an existential crisis.

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  2. There needs to be a clear distinction between meeting someone and approving of them. The issue is whether it is possible to meet Trump without appearing to approve of him.

    I think it would be entirely reasonable for politicians to meet Trump, given there is business to be done. but for the Queen to refuse to do so. I accept it is unfortunate that we have shown no moral standards before regarding visiting heads of state but perhaps we could begin with Trump.

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  3. Well Charles, what is the answer to this? Always I am on the side of, put up with it and grow up, reality (difficult) is far more important than principle (easy). But Donald Trump is such a bombastic person, so hostile to common sense, so dangerous to the peace of his own country and to that of the world, and so vain and touchy (and that matters enormously, think Caligula, Nero, Domitian, Commodus) that I am not so sure How far does your argument go? Do you say, that if the convention had been, in 1933, that the Chancellor Germany should welcomed to Parliament, we should have let that happen? Or the leader of the Soviet Party? I doubt he is in the same league as the 20th century monsters, but little that he is the same league as the first and second century monsters of Rome. Were America less powerful, we would of course say no thank you. But because it is so powerful, we will say yes. To our shame.

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    • Not, I think, to our shame.

      I think it would have been a very foolish Prime Minister who advised the King to invite Hitler to make a state visit (and it didn’t happen). But I suppose I must accept that, had Hitler made such a visit, the King would have had to treat him in the same way as any other head of state making an official visit. And the poor Queen (and Parliament) has had to put up with some awful rotters in her time.Ceausecu and Mugabe were not exactly the best thing since sliced bread. The President of China, who came in 2015, was not representing a country renowned for tolerance and decency. But we have to grit our teeth, hold our noses and do the best we can for our country.

      I should make it clear that, disagreeable though Mr Trump may be (and I do sneer at the gold taps), I certainly do not rank him with Hitler, Ceausecu and Mugabe.

      Charles

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    • It seems to me all you can find wrong with Trump is his personality. We suffered visits from Obama who was a far more repulsive creature than Trump has ever been. For one thing, he was virulently anti-British and never missed an opportunity to insult us. For another, he was pro-muslim and sucked up to their leaders while betraying his friends.

      It is so politically correct to despise Trump while at the same time ignoring the crimes of the Clinton Syndicate.

      I am very pro Trump. I can see beyond his outspokenness and appreciate a powerful anglophile. And he is the only significant Western leader who is treating the islamisation of the West seriously. I wish our own government would block all further muslim immigration.

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