Trump’s visit to the UK this week has all the makings of a hideous mess. Preceded by a delicate Nato summit in it is to be followed president’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. A Trump-Putin love in so soon after two British citizens were poisoned with novichok, makes a mockery of Theresa May’s hospitable welcome. Indeed, the visit was planned to keep the president well away from the British public and Friday’s mass protest in London (see below)
TRUMP: "I'm very popular in Britain."
The 250,000 people at the anti-Trump protest in London, right now:pic.twitter.com/mpmSGfjxZw
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) July 13, 2018
There was no carnage ride down the Mall with the Queen nor banquet at Buckingham Palace. Instead, the trip was designed so that Trump could be safely helicoptered between Blenheim Palace, Chequers and Windsor Castle, culminating in a visit to Scotland to play golf. Indeed:
Despite temperatures up to 29C, row upon row of protesters with the energy of Duracell bunnies marched along chanting: “”Hey ho, hey ho, Donald Trump has got to go.”
From Oompa Loompa-coloured rubber figurines of the president, to placards comparing Mr Trump’s hair to that of a troll or an ear or corn, the former property developer’s face snarled back at you everywhere you look.
“Sleep in a democracy, wake up in a dictatorship,” read one ominous sign.
London’s Mayor also approved a blimp designed to humiliate the president: a six-metre-long inflatable blimp depicting the president as a baby, wearing a nappy and clutching a phone in his tiny hand, above Parliament Square before the protest (see below)
— Marcel Dirsus (@marceldirsus) July 13, 2018
Right-wingers often portray the Left as humourless, easily triggered snowflakes who hate freedom of expression. But when the boot’s on the other foot, they don’t like it at all. Britain has a proud satirical tradition. Why on earth shouldn’t we be allowed to poke fun at this egomaniac who, after all, ridicules and demonises anyone who disagrees with him? Thanks to Trump’s policies, there are still as many as 3,000 immigrant children separated from their parents. A huge, peaceful rally will show that Britons do not grovel to this terrible man, or accept his brutal populism.