London Mayor Sadiq Khan just viciously trashed President Trump ahead of his big state visit. Khan wrote a blistering and obnoxious op-ed saying England would regret the visit.
He denounced Trump and demanded PM Theresa May “issue a powerful rejection – not of the US as a country or the office of the presidency, but of Trump and the far-right agenda he embodies.”
Thankfully, Queen Elizabeth snubbed Khan and did not invite him to the big state dinner among other events.
From CNN: Long-time Trump critic and London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called the US President “one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat,” in an explosive newspaper article published just hours before Trump’s first state visit to the UK.
Writing in the Observer newspaper on Sunday, Khan said it was “un-British” to be rolling out the red carpet for a President “whose divisive behavior flies in the face of the ideals America was founded upon — equality, liberty and religious freedom.”
“In years to come, I suspect this state visit will be one we look back on with profound regret and acknowledge that we were on the wrong side of history,” said the Mayor, who in the past has made no secret of his disapproval of the President.
Khan likened Trump to a number of far-right leaders — such as Marine Le Pen in France — who are “using the same divisive tropes of the fascists of the 20th century to garner support.”
The comments came a day before Trump was due to arrive in the capital for a three-day visit, stoking an ongoing feud between the London Mayor and the US President.
In January last year, when Trump said he had scrapped a planned visit to the British capital because he didn’t want to open London’s new US embassy, Khan suggested the real reason was because he wouldn’t be welcome in the city.
After being delayed several times, Trump’s official visit to the UK last year was eventually met with large protests in London and throughout the country.
Khan wrote: “Donald Trump is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat. The far right is on the rise around the world, threatening our hard-won rights and freedoms and the values that have defined our liberal, democratic societies for more than seventy years. Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Matteo Salvini in Italy, Marine Le Pen in France and Nigel Farage here in the UK are using the same divisive tropes of the fascists of the 20th century to garner support, but are using new sinister methods to deliver their message. And they are gaining ground and winning power and influence in places that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.
They are intentionally pitting their own citizens against one another, regardless of the horrific impact in our communities. They are picking on minority groups and the marginalised to manufacture an enemy – and encouraging others to do the same. And they are constructing lies to stoke up fear and to attack the fundamental pillars of a healthy democracy – equality under the law, the freedom of the press and an independent justice system. Trump is seen as a figurehead of this global far-right movement.
Through his words and actions, he has given comfort to far-right political leaders, and it’s no coincidence that his former campaign manager, Steve Bannon, has been touring the world, spreading hateful views and bolstering the far right wherever he goes.
That’s why it’s so un-British to be rolling out the red carpet this week for a formal state visit for a president whose divisive behaviour flies in the face of the ideals America was founded upon – equality, liberty and religious freedom.
There are some who argue that we should hold our noses and stomach the spectacle of honouring Trump in this fashion – including many Conservative politicians.
They say we need to be realists and stroke his ego to maintain our economic and military relationship with the US. But at what point should we stop appeasing – and implicitly condoning – his far-right policies and views? Where do we draw the line?
Rather than bestowing Trump with a grand platform of acceptability to the world, we should be speaking out and saying that this behaviour is unacceptable – and that it poses a grave threat to the values and principles we have fought hard to defend – often together – for decades.
In years to come, I suspect this state visit will be one we look back on with profound regret and acknowledge that we were on the wrong side of history.
It’s too late to stop the red-carpet treatment, but it’s not too late for the prime minister to do the right thing. Theresa May should issue a powerful rejection – not of the US as a country or the office of the presidency, but of Trump and the far-right agenda he embodies. She should say that the citizens of the UK and the US agree on many things, but that Trump’s views are incompatible with British values.
History teaches us of the danger of being afraid to speak truth to power and the risk of failing to defend our values from the rise of the far right. At this challenging time in global politics, it’s more important than ever that we remember that lesson.”