Even before Buckingham Palace had made the announcement yesterday, the usual suspects were up in arms.
The mere prospect of the democratically elected leader of our greatest ally setting foot on British soil had kickstarted mass hysteria masquerading as high-minded piety.
Westminster’s shoutiest rent-a-quote MP, Labour’s David Lammy, declared: ‘Donald Trump is no friend of Britain. He is not fit to hold public office, let alone worthy of a banquet with the Queen.’
The mere prospect of the democratically elected leader of our greatest ally setting foot on British soil had kickstarted mass hysteria masquerading as high-minded piety
Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry was quick to echo him, harrumphing: ‘This is a president who has systematically assaulted all the shared values that unite our countries. Unless Theresa May is finally going to stand up to him, she has no business wasting taxpayers’ money on all the pomp, ceremony and policing costs.’
So we can take it that’s a ‘No’ to Ms Thornberry’s state-banquet invitation, then.
On Twitter, there was the usual preachy chorus from the perpetually offended. It could be summed up thus: Donald Trump is not nice, so nice people like us cannot possibly tolerate his presence.
There was also talk of dusting off that ‘Baby Trump’ helium balloon produced for the last presidential visit and flying it — or a bigger one — over the capital during the state visit.
All these people have clearly missed the point. Mr Trump is not here for sightseeing and royal glad-handing. He is in Europe for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
There was also talk of dusting off that ‘Baby Trump’ helium balloon produced for the last presidential visit and flying it — or a bigger one — over the capital during the state visit
The vast naval and airborne armadas which left Britain in June 1944 would, unquestionably, change the world for the better. Had D-Day failed, Germany’s stranglehold on Europe would have continued indefinitely — perhaps until atomic weapons settled the matter once and for all.
Historians will debate the ‘what-ifs’ for years to come, but all agree the Normandy landings were a stunning feat of arms and strategy.
It is why the Mail is proud to support the campaign for the Normandy Memorial to the 22,442 British troops who fell there. This was a joint operation by Britain, the U.S. and the Commonwealth (notably Canada), all of whom are justly proud of the role they played in liberating France and, thereafter, the rest of Europe.
Certainly, France and other European countries remain indebted to their liberators. Anyone who has previously been in Normandy for the June 6 ceremonies and parades can vouch for that.
Rest assured that if anyone tries to embarrass Mr Trump on French soil, nice President Macron will ensure they are dealt with swiftly and firmly.
Westminster’s shoutiest rent-a-quote MP, Labour’s David Lammy, declared: ‘Donald Trump is no friend of Britain. He is not fit to hold public office, let alone worthy of a banquet with the Queen’
Donald Trump is coming to Britain and France as leader of our greatest partner in that heroic wartime alliance.
The American people, even those who would rather stick pins in their eyes than vote Trump, still expect their head of state to represent them at such events and to honour the thousands of Americans who never made it home.
He is not coming as the bombastic, wall-building, skirt-chasing, Brexit-loving New York billionaire whom his critics demonise.
He will be in Britain as a guest of the Queen, as a friend and ally, to salute shared endeavours and remind us that we are not quite the bunch of incompetent losers that some of us want to think we are.
At a time when we have never been in greater need of influential friends, how can anyone think it is remotely sensible to blow raspberries at the most influential one of all? It will not just play badly as the U.S. tunes in for the commemorations: it will look appalling.
The Government has asked the Queen to lay on the same welcome she has accorded more than 100 heads of state in 67 years. Many have been representatives of regimes which the bien pensant Left might — with good reason —regard as anathema.
He will be in Britain as a guest of the Queen, as a friend and ally, to salute shared endeavours and remind us that we are not quite the bunch of incompetent losers that some of us want to think we are
Some have been monsters, notably Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu (invited by Jim Callaghan’s Labour government in 1978) and Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko (invited by Ted Heath’s Tories in 1973). Both repelled the Queen.
She found Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, so disagreeable that, on spotting them in the Palace gardens, she hid behind a bush. Few have seen her angrier than on the day she learned that Mobutu’s wife, the aptly-named Marie-Antoinette, had smuggled a small dog into the Palace in her luggage.
The monarch was duty bound to endure these tyrants. Yet we heard not a bat-squeak of protest from the Left.
Over the years, there have been a few modest demonstrations against one or two state visitors, notably China’s Jiang Zemin in 1999 and George W. Bush in 2003. However, nothing has compared to the crowds who turned out to show how jolly cross they were about Mr Trump during his official visit to the UK last July.
The same crowds were nowhere to be seen, of course, when, say, sexist Saudi Arabia or forest-burning Indonesia were getting the full royal treatment. Yet they will again hit the streets to raise two fingers to the United States.
On Twitter, there was the usual preachy chorus from the perpetually offended. It could be summed up thus: Donald Trump is not nice, so nice people like us cannot possibly tolerate his presence. Pictured, Donald Trump with Prime Minister Theresa May in July 2018
It is their right, of course. But we should, at least, expect the grown-ups to behave — starting with the Commons Speaker. Most important state visits in recent years have included an invitation to address MPs and peers at Westminster.
Back in 2017, when this state visit was first mooted, John Bercow announced he was ‘strongly opposed’ to any such honour for Mr Trump.
He was grossly over-stepping the mark. Any such address is a joint matter for the Speakers of both the Commons and the Lords in consultation with the Queen’s representative, Black Rod. Between them, they are expected to reflect a consensus, not to parade their own virtues and prejudices.
Mr Bercow was forced to apologise for speaking out of turn. This time, he might also reflect that he is the Joint President of the British-American Parliamentary Group, an honour that goes with the office of Speaker.
If he does decide to ban the elected head of state of the USA, he will have to resign from that position immediately. I suspect he will be shrewd enough to let this one go, and find a pressing alternative engagement on the day.
He should study what happened in 1982 when several Labour MPs — led by Tony Benn — opposed an invitation for President Ronald Reagan to address both Houses. Mr Reagan was not even on a state visit, just an official one.
The Government has asked the Queen to lay on the same welcome she has accorded more than 100 heads of state in 67 years. Many have been representatives of regimes which the bien pensant Left might — with good reason —regard as anathema. Pictured, with the Queen in July 2018
There was a further quarrel when the PM, Margaret Thatcher, wanted Mr Reagan to speak in Westminster Hall (where President Obama spoke during his state visit). Labour leader Michael Foot was firmly opposed.
In the end, a deal was agreed whereby Mr Reagan would speak in the palatial (though less prestigious) Royal Gallery while Mr Benn and his cohort boycotted the event. Everyone went home happy.
Let us also hope London’s ineffectual Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and the Metropolitan Police can show a modicum of gravitas and common sense.
Those who want to protest against an elected president — but not a Middle Eastern autocrat — might be narrow-minded hypocrites but they must be allowed to exercise this important right.
However, they have to stage their halo-polishing contest within the law. That means proper, rigorous policing, not the sort of fluffy, anything-goes, skateboarding law enforcers we saw during last week’s eco-protests.
The fabled ‘special relationship’ may be greatly exaggerated, and nowhere near as ‘special’ as it once was. For all that, it has achieved great things, none more so than on that chilly dawn 75 years ago.
That should be uppermost in our minds this June, not the double standards of the Left.