I really question the conditional support of governments today. I guess political posturing goes with the trade of being a politician. While many argue that Trump’s win was down to hidden populism, the posturing of the British Speaker of the Commons, John Bercow to deny the US President a berth to address them smacks of a desperate appeal to virtue signalling. “Racist and sexist” is a personal opinion but then again many labeled 17mn “Leavers” on the Brexit vote similar taunts. I don’t deny Trump’s language sometimes leaves much to be desired but to make grand geopolitical gestures to your most loyal ally is appalling. Had Trump been guilty of mass-murder or heinous war crimes then I might understand but to ban him from speaking biased on his locker room antics is pathetic. The use of such a bullet is irresponsible of the speaker. Imagine if President Roosevelt had said to Winston Churchill in March 1941 that ‘Lend Lease’ was not on. “Sorry you are in a bit of a bind with Hitler. Sadly it is not our war and indeed it was you that declared war on Germany so I guess that might have been a mistake”
I reckon Her Majesty the Queen would have a strong opinion on this. After all she has served as Britain’s monarch from since 1952. She worked in a military vehicle factory during the war. As Queen since 1952 she has met more foreign heads of state than almost anyone on the planet. If she had to tally the best and worst of world leaders I doubt Trump would fall into the bottom quartile reserved for evil despots. On the contrary Her Majesty was in favour of Brexit but we did not see people up in arms over her views. Then again, her husband Prince Philip has been known for his less than savoury comments on people from other ethnic backgrounds yet do we hear the speaker make calls for him to be banned from representing his country?
If indeed the UK is becoming more worried about the antics of Vladimir Putin, in much the same way Thatcher was about Brezhnev wouldn’t you want to bond with Trump rather than spurn him. I get the virtue signaling of Bercow. However the reason for Trump and Brexit is that people are way beyond indentity politics. They want the economic malaise that is damaging their livelihoods to be fixed before worrying about hurting feelings. Besides if Bercow was paying attention to Trump’s election campaign he might have seen the things he is doing are enacting election promises.
Just like the Brits told Obama where to stick his “remain” recommendation, Americans will gladly tell Bercow to stick his nose out of why they voted for him despite of his antics. It is not up to British parliament or the rest of the world to point their democracy out to them.