I write from the train, speeding towards London to begin another week traipsing the corridors of impotence. This week, as many, will be wall to wall Brexit as we debate the terms on which we should be leaving the EU, and try to protect Scotland’s position amid the chaos.
But something else is dominating the international agenda and consumes the imagination of every person who dares hope for a better world. Trump. What on earth has happened to America?
Last week ended with Theresa May holding hands with the new American president and doing everything she could to embellish his tattered international reputation. In doing so the Prime Minister embarrassed herself and shamed the office she holds.
The Tories claim it is a sign of Britain’s status that our PM could meet Trump within a week of his inauguration. Really? Might it not just be that most other leaders are in no hurry to endorse the redneck revolution which is making the world a more dangerous place by the hour?
As the Tory Prime Minister got on her plane Trump bathed in the adulation and took advantage of it to announce his most reactionary and racist measure so far. How crass do you have to be to mark World Holocaust Memorial Day by closing your borders to people fleeing persecution around the globe?
Trump’s ban on people entering the US from seven, mainly Muslim, states, is religious discrimination pure and simple. Today I’ve signed a motion being tabled in parliament condemning it.
It’s hard to believe that this can happen in any civilised country - never mind America which is a nation of immigrants. But happening it is. People said take Trump seriously but not literally. When he talked of Mexican walls and Muslim bans, he was only talking figuratively, they said. They were wrong.
Trump’s actions have rightly provoked mass protest in America and across the globe. We need to keep these going. Later today I’ll be joining people outside Downing Street to demand that there is no state visit from Trump whilst he discriminates against our own citizens.
It would be outrageous to roll out the red carpet to a man who demonstrates such contempt for our fellow human beings, and for the democratic values on which this country is based. So far, over four thousand people in Edinburgh East have signed to petition to demand the state visit be cancelled. I support them and I’m sure this number will increase.
I’ll be at the London demo later but it you’re in Edinburgh and want to register your protest then get down to the foot of the Mound at 6 this evening.
Four weeks ago I was worried about writing this column on the eve of the last major parliamentary debate on Brexit. Anything could have happened, rendering my speculation obsolete by the time you read it. I shouldn’t have fretted. Anything could have happened but nothing did.
Here I am again. Groundhog day. It’s Tuesday. There’s a big debate tomorrow.
Tuesday. Another day spent discussing Brexit. Another day of my life I’m not getting back.
We are no further forward. As the clock ticks down to exit it’s only fair to ask: What the hell is Theresa May playing at?
Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Labour Party