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By Jason Michael
THERE WAS A TIME when meeting the President of the United States was a photo-op not to be missed by the leaders and politicians of small European countries. Posing next to the “leader of the free world” has always been a sure-fire way of upping one’s political profile and increasing one’s credibility at home. This was certainly what Theresa May had in mind when she welcomed Donald Trump with a fanfare of redcoated toy soldiers at Blenheim Palace like an ancient client-king offering homage to his overlord. But no such snivelling obsequiousness will be happening when he comes to Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon will be ignoring the presence of Trump. She will be walking at the head of the Pride parade.
Alan Cochrane, writing for The Telegraph, was delighted to report that if he was given the opportunity to shake hands with the “diminutive head of the devolved Scottish government” Trump would turn it down. Like Cochrane and so many in the British mainstream press, Donald Trump hates Nicola Sturgeon – she’s a woman. But who the hell does Cochrane think he’s preaching at? It can’t be the independence supporting community in Scotland. The fact that our First Minister will be ignoring Trump for the duration of his visit to Scotland is one of the many reasons we love her.
It’s not that we hate Donald Trump. We’ve never met him. We clearly don’t want to meet him. But we hate everything he is about and everything he represents; authoritarian right-wing clientelist and populist politics, his appalling attitude towards minorities, refugees, migrants, and women. “The Donald” is everything the Scottish independence movement is not. Most Scots – including unionists – cringe to think he has roots in our country, and the message we want to send over the water with him is that he is most definitely not welcome in our country.
Cheering on Trump’s dislike of Scotland’s democratically elected head of government isn’t exactly an appeal to Scottish unionists and the people of England either. No one in London lined the streets to welcome him. Rather, hundreds of thousands all over the United Kingdom took to the streets to vent their frustration at him, his vomit inducing policies, and at the British government for allowing him into the country. Nicola Sturgeon, every other leader in the free world other than Theresa May and maybe Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, and the British public have realised that not fawning over this monster does them no harm whatsoever – quite the opposite in fact.
Ms Sturgeon, by not kneeling at the altar of Trumpism, is joining a long list of global leaders not prepared to give him the time of day. Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister, was comfortable enough to show his open contempt for Trump when, at a media gala last year, he amused members of the press with his mocking impersonation of the US President and spent the evening making jokes at his expense. Former Mexican President, Vincente Fox, has taken to YouTube to troll Trump; making a mock US election campaign video in which he addresses the US President with his middle finger extended as “Donald – Fucking – Trump.” Even Canada’s Justin Trudeau – Justin Trudeau – is on record saying Trump’s behaviour is “kind of insulting.” Anyone who understands the Canadian spirit will recognise this as a scathing rebuke.
Brian Mac 🏴🇭🇰 #FBPE 🇪🇺 #FBSI (@BrianMac168) July 14, 2018
Theresa May’s master and Alan Cochrane’s hero has done untold reputational damage to the United States. Provided he doesn’t decide to suspend democracy when his time in office comes to an end, whoever follows Trump will spend their entire time in office undoing the harm he has done to the US as a world power and to the office of the president. No one doubts this.
When “the most powerful man in the world” is routinely snubbed, laughed at, and dismissed by leaders of small nations the likes of Scotland, there can be no argument the US’ soft power – the only power the US can really use when dealing with friends and allies – has taken a serious hit. If Donald were a mafia don this treatment is il bacio della morte – the kiss of death, the sign by which a member of the family has been marked for assassinio. For the purposes of international relations, the man Donald Trump sleeps with the fishes and everyone knows it.
Bow to your imperial masters. https://t.co/ngpZpn3DKN—
Jason Michael (@Jeggit) July 13, 2018
We can only conclude, then, that the smug British media commentariat – so eager to point out everyone else’s echo chambers – is itself shouting in an echo chamber. By criticising Theresa May and the British government, saying the last thing we ought to be doing it rolling out the red carpet, Nicola Sturgeon has done herself no harm. In fact, she has only gone and gained support even from Tory voters whose leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, has said nothing. She has only added to this by getting on with the day job and showing her support for the LGBT community in Scotland – a community Trump has further marginalised in the United States.
Our First Minister – the First Minister of the whole of Scotland – has done Scotland proud. She has done all of Scotland proud, and a move like this will not be soon forgotten when the people of Scotland go back to the polls. We will have a choice between a grovelling Britishness that humiliated itself in front of the whole world for the sake of a trade deal with Trump and an authentic Scottishness that is true to the ideals Scottish people hold most dear. Theresa May and her underlings in Scotland have just gone and hoisted themselves on their own trump. See what I did there?
Theresa watches for Nicola