Suzanne Moore writes: If you had told me a few months back I would be encouraging people to sign a petition to prevent embarrassment being caused to the Queen, I would have laughed. Petitions are so overused these days that they can seem meaningless – and surely there are bigger issues at stake than the feelings of the monarch. But that was before Donald Trump and his decency-shredding goons were in power, before this shameful Muslim ban. These are not normal times – despite our government and much of our press pretending that they are. It is good to see that Trump is being fought on every level from huge marches, to spontaneous demonstrations to legal challenges. This petition is another small front. It is not an attempt to ban Trump, it simply asks that he does not make a state visit, that the red carpet is not rolled out for him. It says a state visit could cause the Queen “embarrassment”.
This is a smart move because Trump does care about pomp, ceremony and hierarchy. Symbolism matters more to him than reality. Never accepted socially in the upper echelons of American society, it matters hugely that he is now seen with those his supporters recognise as important. He kept the menu from his dinner with Theresa May remember, as a reminder that he’d “had lunch with the British prime minister”.
Embracing him with the royal flummery would signal to his base that this country held him in high regard, that he was head of a respected government. Both these things are untrue. May’s embarrassing renewal of the vows of the special relationship didn’t even amount to a one-night stand. As soon as she had got on the plane he was signing this vile executive order. The ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries is a domestic policy to play to his racist base. It has nothing to do with terrorism, but some of those who would support it would also enjoy seeing him all puffed up hanging out with the Queen. [Continue reading…]