The independent London newspaper

America is our ally and we should welcome its president

03 May, 2019

President Donald Trump

• MARTIN Plaut writes a curious letter about the state visit in early June by the President of the United States of America, (Show your opposition to the visit by the US president, April 25).

He rightly says that Americans are welcome here yet then goes on to contradict himself by saying, well, not all Americans.

I certainly don’t like what I see of Donald Trump as a bloke and I don’t like many of his policies, but he is the democratically elected president of our principal ally.

Furthermore if David Lammy said that President Trump is no friend of Britain then he is wrong for, whereas that might be said of many a leader in our troubled world, incumbents of the White House have, indeed, been our friends for many decades.

A state visit is so-called because it is about the state, not the office-holder who represents that state. Mr Plaut encourages residents to show their “disgust and contempt” for President Trump, a man he says is “not fit to walk in the shoes of… Barack Obama”.

Yet Mr Plaut is rather selective, for he fails to acknowledge that nearly 63 million Americans voted Republican, the election result giving Donald Trump 77 more votes in the US electoral college than his nearest rival (304 of the 538, compared with 227 for Hillary Clinton).

The UK must work with its allies in this dangerous and polarised world and I certainly want us to co-operate with our most important ally, working to ensure the safety and security of our islands and our interests worldwide, including trade with the US. Its president should be welcomed to London.

Protest is all very well but a lot more would be achieved for both countries were the state visit to take place without undue obstruction.

Far better to let the world see that Londoners can take this state visit in their stride, as they have nearly always done, whether the state or the individual representing that state is “liked” or not.

Our country will be on show to the world, and particularly to Americans worldwide, and we’d do well to put on the best show we can before the president bids farewell and crosses the Channel for the D-Day 75 anniversaries on June 6.

The centre of the capital is brought to a halt by protesters often enough, causing untold disruption to Londoners and visitors as they try to go about their lawful business, so much better were more folk to get on with stuff that actually helps Britain compete in the world.

Indeed more important, as a local issue, is the future of the Kentish Town City Farm. Concern expressed in another letter on the same page and, rightly, your powerful lead story over three pages.

Those who have time to protest might consider instead spending time supporting this city farm; it could help keep it open and thus be a real benefit to local people.

Camden Town, NW1


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