Farron: Put Trump state visit on hold until he stops banning people because of their faith

I have been musing for a while that Tim Farron should boycott the forthcoming state visit by Donald Trump. I was exceptionally proud when Vince Cable as acting leader boycotted the visit of the Saudi King back in 2007. 

The Saudi regime has always had an appalling human rights visit, but Trump is taking the US in a dangerous and deeply unpleasant direction and he needs to be told in no uncertain terms that this is not on. From support for torture to his nationalism and isolationism to his latest outrage in banning anyone who just happened to be born in certain places, he is trashing the values the US was founded on.

So I’m glad to see that Tim told Sky’s Sophy Ridge this morning that the state visit invitation should be put on hold while the ban stays in place:

Downing Street has finally distanced itself from President Trump’s appalling ban on Muslim people after Theresa May failed to do so. By then the damage to Britain’s reputation had been done.

The British people were waiting for a Love Actually moment, instead they saw our Prime Minister behaving like Trump’s poodle.

Any visit by President Trump to Britain should be on hold until his disgraceful ban comes to an end. Otherwise Theresa May would be placing the Queen in an impossible position of welcoming a man who is banning British citizens purely on grounds of their faith.

Still Boris Johnson’s Foreign Office is dithering and has provided no travel advice to British citizens who could be caught up in the ban.

When will Theresa May’s Conservative Brexit government stop costing up to unsavoury leaders and get a grip of this mounting crisis?

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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33 Comments

  • Good.

    I know it’s such an open goal that even Jeremy Corbyn’s scored, but this is exactly the right line.

  • There’s a Westminster petition for this now. Please all sign it: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/171928
    It only takes a few seconds. Even if you’re someone who doesn’t normally sign these things (like me), this one is worth it. Send it to your friends as well.

  • David Evershed 29th Jan '17 - 12:41pm

    The Trump executive order does not apply solely to Muslims and certainly does not apply to Muslims from many countries such as the UK for example.

    Also it is a restriction not a ban. People from the designated states will still be allowed entry to the USA after extra vetting.

    So I’m afraid that Tim Farron’s claim that it is a ban on people because of their faith is an ‘alternative truth’.

    It is a restriction on some people entering the USA who are citizens of certain states.

    We can disagree with the President’ executive order but we need to avoid distorting the truth when putting forward the arguments.

  • Philip Rolle 29th Jan '17 - 1:15pm

    I think it is fair to interpret the Executive Order as aimed at Muslims because of Trumps trenchant comments during his campaign. A visit by him to see The Queen seems inappropriate.

  • Eddie Sammon 29th Jan '17 - 1:20pm

    I’ll sign the petition later. I was against kowtowing to Xi Jinping and Trump deserves condemnation too.

  • It’s not far off 150k now.

  • Richard Whelan 29th Jan '17 - 1:25pm

    i have signed the petition regarding putting the state visit by Donald Trump on hold. When I signed it had over 152,000 signatures so will be debated in parliament. Tim did a great job on The Andrew Marr Show today.

  • signed the petition.

    Glad to see it has over 210’000 signatures already.

    I plead that only legitimate people sign this petition. We do not need another farce like the EU referendum Petition that attracted loads of fraudulent signatures.

    Enough people are genuinely outraged by trump, we don’t need fake people signing this petition and bringing the figures into disrepute

  • Sadie Smith 29th Jan '17 - 2:04pm

    This particular restriction is an effective ban. It has been imposed while people in transit and is incredibly ill thought out even to people who agree with the policy.
    I am dismayed that after one week of chaos, the President is invited both on a State Visit but apparently to address both Houses of Parliament. Ott.

  • In reality this won’t happen, neither do I believe that Tim or Jeremy would be campaigning for such a move if they were actually in government.
    What is more likely is that Britain and America will set a date for a visit that ‘just happens’ to be after the restriction on movement has ended, rather than Britain issuing any public statement from the government stating that the president is not welcome unless or until etc. What is said in private may be a different matter and hence we have the reality of power v opposition.

  • Denis Loretto 29th Jan '17 - 4:36pm

    The list of countries chosen for these restrictions is carefully selected to avoid inclusion of countries regarded as politically or economically important to the USA. For example Saudi Arabia, birthplace of the late Osama bin Laden and many others of his ilk.

  • Does everyone who opposed this ban appreciate that 6 of the 7 countries (Somalia being the exception) refuse entry to Israeli passport holders?

    Or is that OK?

  • To John in comment above, two wrongs do not make a right

  • Petition just gone past 800,000 🙂

  • Strange really, I don’t know if anyone has heard of him but there is an American left wing Comedian called Jimmy Dore, he has a YouTube show and one item asks some awkward questions for people who are outraged now.
    Go look at it:

  • To Peter Kemp – a shallow reply. Why not face up the the fact that double standards are now the norm? Sadly on this site as well.

  • @chris_sh

    What was the point in posting that inane non-sequitur?

    This is why there is justifiable anger at May’s behaviour:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38793071

  • Tsar Nicholas 30th Jan '17 - 9:04am

    Where were the protests against Obama when he killed Muslims via the attack on Libya and drone strikes on civilians?

  • If the ‘visit’ does go ahead may I suggest that HM ‘pulls a sickie’….Donald could then ride the ‘golden coach’ on his own; a banquet at Buck House with the DoE who, not noted for his tact, could remark, “I’m off to bed; see yourself out”…

  • The rate at which people are signing the petition has just increased dramatically to around 400-500 people per update – up from around 200 yesterday. I assume this is because of May’s dismissal of it. I can envisage some serious civil disorder in London if the State visit goes ahead.

  • John: I don’t see your point at all. Of course it’s wrong that those states are refusing entry to Israeli passport holders. But our government is not seeking a trade deal with them, nor proposing to invite their leaders here for a state visit.

  • Alex

    Thank you for replying. In addition to the seven countries included in the temporary US ban there are the not-insignificant Pakistan, Bangladesh and, of course, Saudi. I would imagine that the UK has considerable trade links wth each of these. The main article rightly applauds Vince Cable’s principled stand against the Saudi visit. However the disconnect between the appreciation expressed by many contributors for the number of petition signatures and the absence of condemnation of the long-standing and ongoing ban on Israeli citizens (which by definition must include in excess of one million, mostly Muslim, arabs) is at last worthy of reflection.

    That’s my view anyway. As I said thank you for replying and politely engaging with me.

  • …. at least!

  • Alex Macfie 30th Jan '17 - 1:09pm

    You would expect greater protest against a ban imposed in the last week (especially in such an arbitrary fashion) than a long-standing ban. Especially by a supposedly free and democratic country from which we might expect better than a Middle Eastern dictatorship guilty of much worse than just denying a certain country’s nationals right of entry. And it affects much more people, as Israeli passport holders (even Arabs) are much less likely to want to visit most of those countries than anyone would the US.
    And finally, because the US is supposedly a free and democratic country, protests are perhaps more likely to have a material effect on the country’s policy.

    None of this is to excuse anything that middle eastern countries do. But if we decide that you can’t protest about issue A unless you also protest about issue B, then no-one will be allowed to protest against anything. Rather than moaning about “double standards” it would be much better to be thankful that people are sufficiently politically agitated to protest about something, and maybe then make people aware of other similar wrongdoings.

  • Matt (Bristol) 30th Jan '17 - 1:39pm

    I am most heartened by Ruth Davidson’s comments.

    Tories (whatever their views on Europe) who aspire to a relatively moderate/liberal form of conservatism need to ask themselves how far they are prepared to allow their leader’s opportunism in courting the US leadership, to leak in and alter their own party’s ideological agenda.

    Because leakage there will be; advisers and think tanks will seek to migrate and share ideas. Someone (not Trump himself) will seek to turn the opportunism and random grab-bag of objectionable policies of the White House into a ‘programme’ other leaders can adopt.

    May is calculating on pivoting right and usurping UKIP to ensure her party’s survival in the new climate. But how far does her party want to enter into a bidding war with UKIP as the British sister-party of Trump’s ‘new’ Republicans alongside, for eg, the Front National?

    Tories: stand with your ideological fellow travellers John McCain and the Bushes (whom it seems we now have think of as ‘moderate’) against this nonsense.

  • As has happened here too often the response to making people aware of similar wrong-doings is a knee jerk “two wrongs don’t make a right”. So we will have to agree to differ, my opinion remains that some outrages are more likely to be taken up that others.

  • @John
    I think that is one of the points Jimmy Dore makes in the vid I linked to, i.e. “Every one was cool with bombing them, but banning them, oh no, that’s where I put my foot down …”

  • Lorenzo Cherin 30th Jan '17 - 2:04pm

    John

    You are very right to bring up the double standards but we cannot exoect much more of those countries, we can and should, of the US

    Peter

    You are right too, two wrongs don’t make a right

    Alex

    Yes, well explained, we must as said, expect more of an American ally

    Matt, Bristol

    You are so right on the Tories, Ruth Davidson the best of the younger ones, May expedient , at best, facing both directions, left and right wing votes in the country or party , yet both sides should see you cannot appeal to sir John Major’s ilk, at the same time as appeal is mainly to Nigel Farage !

  • @Lorenzo Cherin
    “You are very right to bring up the double standards but we cannot exoect much more of those countries, we can and should, of the US”
    With the greatest of respect, why was more not expected when the laws that enabled this (amongst other things) were enabled by the previous administration (please watch the vid I linked to).

  • @Alex Macfie
    “But our government is not seeking a trade deal with them, nor proposing to invite their leaders here for a state visit.”

    Not so long ago (2013) the government of which the Lib Dems were a part rolled out the red carpet (literally) for a state visit from the president of the UAE. Not only is the UAE one of the 16 countries on John’s list, but in many other ways it is vastly more horrible than anything Trump has come up with (yet) :-

    * There are severe restrictions on freedom of religion – apostasy is punishable by death, foreigners who insult the state religion are deported
    * Female rape victims are prosecuted for “extra marital sex”, and women require the permission of a male “guardian” to marry
    * Abortion is illegal – punishable by 100 lashes and five years in prison
    * Homosexuality is illegal and punishable by lengthy prison sentences
    * Foreigners suspected of being homosexual are “tested” and, if deemed to be gay, deported
    * Foreigners who swear on social media are deported
    * Transgender people are arrested
    * There are no democratic elections
    * According to Human Rights Watch, the government carries out forced disappearances and torture
    * Criticism of the government is not permitted
    * Immigrants are subjected to low pay, poor living conditions, and a lack of legal rights e.g. no access to citizenship

    John’s right, there is a strange double standard here – we seem to be more upset about a Tory MP fretting (wrongly) that he might not be able to visit his sons at Princeton, then we are about millions of Emiratis suffering the kinds of oppressions just listed.

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