By Jason Michael

NOTHING SHOWS HOW OUT OF STEP the British government is with the will of the people of Britain quite as much as this state visit from President Donald Trump does. No President of the United States, not even George Washington, has been as unpopular with the public of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland as is the present incumbent of the White House. Even before Air-force One touched down tens of thousands of ordinary people all over the United Kingdom came out to protest their displeasure at their government for allowing Mr Trump to set foot in their country. Demonstrations, estimated to be in the tens and hundreds of thousands, have been organised in cities the length and breadth of the UK, and still the red carpet.

What cannot be more obvious in this state visit is the glaringly different priorities of those who govern and those who are governed in the United Kingdom. Trump simply is not liked here. He is loathed by virtue of who he is; a misogynistic, racist man-child with an ego as bloated as his gut, and a demagogue who – out of sheer spite – banned Muslims from the US and separated immigrant children from their parents on the Mexican border. He is despised for what he represents; the worst of populist politics, corruption, and foreign (Russian) interference.

Donald Trump is the absolute epitome of what it means to be a bad politician and an outrageous world leader. He is the posterchild of what happens when democracy begins to decay, and – familiar with much of the same here – the vast majority of people in the UK simply do not want this man here, let alone be given the full state experience. Yet this is precisely what he is to be given, with the British government and the monarchy going full tilt sycophant to give him what the public will not allow – a real state visit. This is only a “working visit,” but it’s not – really. This is a state visit in all but name; the humiliating obeisance of the British state and political establishment to a thug in order to get what it so desperately needs, a face-saving trade deal.

Often when we speak of the death of Empire and the stink of imperialism that refuses to blow away, we talk of moments of eclipse – events that serve as markers on Britain’s road to the bargain basement of history. Our grandparents were convinced the big one was the Suez Crisis, our parents thought it the Falklands, but we’ve witnessed a few in our time too; the lapdog position of the UK to the US in the Middle East, the Brexit campaign and referendum result, and the implosion of the Westminster government in the face of a united European front. They just keep coming.

This ugly affair today surely takes the biscuit, the plate, and the spoon. We hope to hell they don’t come worse than this, but – then – we can’t be sure. Sensible commentators have come to see these signs as markers reading: ‘The end is nigh,’ ‘the end is nigher,’ ‘the end is so damn nigh…’

It’s impossible to think of the “Brexit cliff edge” tonight without at least contemplating that it is part and parcel of the Great British cliff edge, the precipice of Britishness’ final long plunge into the abyss. Have we ever seen something so cringe as a Prime Minister dressed in a parody redcoat, her husband festooned in a brand new – bought for the occasion – monkey suit, lined up with the great and the good of the English imperial establishment in front of Blenheim Palace – that monumental pile and symbol of the Grand Alliance’s victory under the Duke of Marlborough, the birth of Winston Churchill, and the sublime greatness of England – to welcome, well, Donald J. Trump?

Whatever quaint and sentimental attachment I had to Great Britain – the pomp, the colour, the spiffing head-wrecking arrogance – (and, trust me, there wasn’t much) just died. Inside, I felt a painful embarrassment for the unionists and British nationalists in my life. We know how much this guff means to them. This – for a devout Catholic – was like watching the Holy Father lift his hands in blessing only to rip a long whining fart. This was shame writ large.

Britain can’t die like this! For all we – Scottish independentistas – may dislike being “British,” with that identity stamped all over our passports – quite literally for the whole world to see, Britain has been, for the most part, a worthy adversary. Sure, if this is how it ends I’ll take it, but I think it deserves better. The romantic in me wants to defeat Britain in a final bloodless Bannockburn, where we get to see the last heroic charge of the redcoats mown down under the mighty artillery of Scotland’s democratic spirit. We know how much the Brits love their glorious failures.

Tomorrow then will be a day worth seeing. We should be with the people of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland tomorrow – for old times’ sake – as one United Kingdom to tell Mr Trump he’s not welcome. For the sake of giving Britain a decent requiem in the near future, he should be told to beat it in London, and for the sake of ourselves he should be told the same when – if – he comes to Scotland. It’s just the shame of it ending like this, with the people governing us with their noses so far up the crack of his arse. How can we accept this? Really? If we don’t make this united stand against him and this visit, then for as long as it takes us to get shot of British rule we will be forced to live with the miserable fact that our masters’ noses were browned in Trump’s rump.


Donald Trump in Britain: President lands as protests begin

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