Upon first reading about the petition to rescind the Government’s invitation to Donald Trump for a state visit, one might expect it to be based on opposition to his so-called ‘Muslim ban’, or another of his policies.
But the actual wording is quite different:
“Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.
“Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales. Therefore during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official State Visit.”
Such a marriage of left-wing gesture politics with a typically right-wing preoccupation with the dignity of the monarch is unusual, to say the least. Perhaps it’s an attempt to build broader support for a ban?
But it also provides a basis for trying to block the President’s visit that skirts the awkward fact that, as our editor noted this morning, we frequently host the leaders of much more villainous regimes without much protest at all. If we bar Trump whilst rolling out the red carpet for Xi Jinping, that sends some perverse signals.
Yet there are few world leaders, other than perhaps Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, who seem likely to fail the petitioners’ vulgarity test. Perhaps that’s why the virtue signallers are taking such a sudden interest in lèse-majesté.