The big news story in the UK today, surrounds the comments of Republican Party frontrunner Donald Trump, who as well as saying that America should be closed to all Muslims, also suggested that parts of London were no-go areas for the Metropolitan police.
An online petition calling for the UK government to ban Mr. Trump from entering the UK has already gathered over 200 thousand signatures – over 100 thousand of those added just since 3pm.
Any petition which reaches 100 thousand signatures or more, on the official government petition website must be debated by Members of Parliament in the House of Commons – and, sure enough, Gideon Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, standing-in for David Cameron at this morning’s Prime Minister’s Questions, was asked about Trump’s comments.
His reply was to suggest that ignorant comments of this kind have no place in politics – but he stopped short of agreeing with the thousands of people up and down the UK, who have so far signed the petition, calling for Trump to be barred from entering the country.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said “As a city where more than 300 languages are spoken, London has a proud history of tolerance and diversity and to suggest there are areas where police officers cannot go because of radicalisation is simply ridiculous.”
A statement from The Metropolitan Police said: “We would not normally dignify such comments with a response, however on this occasion we think it’s important to state to Londoners that Mr Trump could not be more wrong.”
Zac Goldsmith, who is in the running to replace Johnson as mayor of London, said Mr Trump was “an appalling creature… one of the most malignant figures in politics”.
Meanwhile, in Washington, poll numbers show that Mr. Trump’s ratings have actually risen.
It is a sorry enough state of affairs, that the party of Jefferson and Lincoln, has found itself being overtaken by scientifically illiterate, racist, wilfully ignorant trash in recent years. But it is particularly worrying, that even among the other candidates, who variously believe the Egyptian Pyramids were used to store grain, that women should hand over control of their body to men, and that tackling climate change is a liberal conspiracy, Trump should be the one who garners the most attention.
A cynical person would be forgiven for concluding, that Trump is a convenient distraction from the bat-shit lunacy of Ben Carson, or the sheer stupidity of Ted Cruz – who, in an interview with NPR, actually said out-loud that climate change is about “liberal politicians who want government power over the economy, the energy sector and every aspect of our lives”, when his own campaign is financed by some of the biggest players in the global energy market.
Trump distracts the already short attention span of the US news media away from reporting more thoroughly on the blatant hypocrisy and lies of people like Ted Cruz. That is why Trump exists. It serves the agenda of those who are always in power, no matter who the electorate vote for, to have the alternate future version of Biff Tannen leading the polls, spewing the sort of ill-informed rhetoric which even the most gun-crazy bible bashers who form the Tea Party contingent of the Republican party might privately think, but dare not publicly say.
Trump creates the atmosphere in which other similarly twisted individuals feel free to speak. Even Fox News have begun to notice this. On Monday the 7th of December, a contributor to the Stuart Varney programme, Ralph Peters, was forced to apologise for calling President Obama “a pussy”, live on air, during a section which was supposed to be about a speech the President gave urging patriotic restraint in attitudes towards the majority of American Muslims, who have nothing at all to do with terrorism, and are as appalled by the events in Paris as everyone else.
In 2008, Sarah Palin was the punchline to a bad joke. In 2015, she is every candidate on the ticket. The sorry decline of the once proud Republican Party, is a genuinely disturbing thing to witness. We are actually at the point now, where even as gun violence in the United States threatens to knock road traffic collisions from the number one spot in biggest causes of death, a State of Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore and her entire family posed with guns on their family Christmas Card. This is the level of ignorance parts of America are not only comfortable with, but actually proud to announce to the world, as if stupidity and patriotism are one and the same thing.
Donald Trump, and all of his breed, are not welcome in the United Kingdom. So why are they tolerated in the United States?