Tuesday 23 January 2018

Targeting tycoon paves way for real fascists to slip in under radar

Labour's Tulip Siddiq during a debate calling to ban US presidential hopeful Donald Trump from Britain, at Westminster. Photo: PA
Labour's Tulip Siddiq during a debate calling to ban US presidential hopeful Donald Trump from Britain, at Westminster. Photo: PA
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

It may have been a long overdue victory for common sense, but the fact that there was even a debate in the House of Commons this week about barring Donald Trump from Britain remains an indictment of an institution which likes to claim to be the oldest parliament in the world.

As you probably know, the leading Republican candidate for next November's presidential election is so prone to gaffes and demented outbursts that it often seems like he opens his mouth only to change feet. Whether it's building a wall across America's southern border to keep out illegal immigrants, insulting prisoners of war, or unveiling a thoroughly unworkable and morally objectionable plan to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering America, the former 'Apprentice' host is as adept at grabbing headlines as a politician as he ever was while a television personality.

But contrary to what organisers of the proposed travel ban claim, the fact that 570,000 people signed a petition calling on the UK Home Secretary to refuse Trump entry to Britain wasn't a sign that the vast majority of Brits don't want him to enter the country. It was merely a sign that, these days, you can easily mobilise hundreds of thousands of bored people to sign any old petition.

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