Today, Donald Trump arrived in the UK. Unlike his last visit to these shores, he’s now being given the honour of a full state visit – with all of the trappings that entails. The pomp and ceremony of a visit to Buckingham Palace, gun salutes and parades aplenty – the US President will get the biggest welcome that the British state can offer.
And yet, if this government had any backbone at all, they’d be standing up to Trump and his hateful ideology, not rolling out the red carpet for him.
This is a man who has ridden a wave of bigotry into the White House. Who has split his time in power between denigrating his opponents and oppressing the vulnerable. Migrant children separated from their parents. Women denied the right to make choices about their own bodies. A rising tide of racism and xenophobia. This is Donald Trump’s America – and he and his cronies have already begun to transport that hateful politics to our society too.
Boris Johnson. Nigel Farage.
Both try to pretend that they are friends of working people – yet given half a chance they would sell our NHS, our services and our country down the river to Trump and his friends. Their hatred of scrutiny, their opulent lifestyles and their repeated attacks on our diverse society mark them out as fellow travelers of Trump.
Our union will continue to fight them and their poisonous ideologies – as we continue to fight Trump and his influence in the UK and around the world. His values – their values – are the antithesis of our own. They are opposed to everything we stand for – and the feeling is more than mutual.
That’s why I’m proud that UNISON is supporting tomorrow’s demonstrations against Trump. If you’re able to attend and add your voice to the chorus telling him he’s not welcome, please do. And both while he’s here – and after he’s gone – we’ll continue to fight for a better world. One where the hatred he thrives off has no place.