Yesterday’s tweet about Trump’s UK state visit drew some surprise from folk that the Scottish government would have a role at all. Today, though, here’s today’s Evening Standard (and to be fair, yesterday’s Daily Record which we’d missed) following up on the strong possibility that Scotland might well be used as a neat way of avoiding too many difficult protests on the streets of London. Here’s Angus MacNeil MP anticipating just this possibility back in November.
Alex Salmond is quite right, up to a point, to say we should respect the office but not the office-holder. Perhaps, though, we should respect the US just that bit less for now as that nation’s moral mandate takes a tumble via discriminatory travel bans, federal policy imperatives with strong racial undertones, a president whose business interests appear to inform his executive orders and much else besides.
Not that long ago, we spoke to a senior minister in a foreign government which occasionally shoots citizens extra-judicially and extra-territorially. “We get a lot of stick for that”, he said,”but we hardly ever do it. Whereas look at the US – they do it all the time”. Ah, but the US is a superpower protecting the democratic way, right? Under Trump?
Let’s stop calling the chump ‘the leader of the free world’, for God’s sake. He’s the leader of the reckless, the right-wing and many folk who feel abandoned by modernity. For now, the institutions of the US are being turned into instruments of regression, not progress, by a truly nasty bunch. They deserve a bit of dis-respect for once.
It would be a fine thing if the Scottish government gave minimum assistance and recognition to any putative state visit to Scotland by Trump. And although, as Alex Salmond says, there are logistical challenges to mounting protests in and around places like Balmoral, it’s nevertheless definitely possible. Suggestions please?