Monday, 18 January 2016
Sticks and Stones Fly in British Parliament Debate on Trump

Not that he gives a fig. WaPo:

Debate began Monday in the British Parliament over whether to ban U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump from visiting the United Kingdom.

The debate, which was started by an online petition that described Trump’s comments about Muslims as “hate speech,” will not produce any binding decisions. Authority to ban someone from the country rests with the home secretary, not with Parliament. But the debate will give British lawmakers an unusual chance to weigh in directly on U.S. politics.

Here are the latest updates from the debate at the Palace of Westminster. All times are Eastern:

2:31 p.m. — The chair does a cursory call for “ayes” and “no’s.” But there’s no actual vote. The debate is over. Watch this space for a recap.

2:30 p.m. — Paul Flynn, the Labour member who began the debate three hours ago, is back on his feet. People watching — including those in the United States — “have seen Parliament at its very best. They’ve seen a diverse debate from a diverse Parliament,” he said.

2:24 p.m. — James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, is being challenged on Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement Monday that immigrants who are in the United Kingdom on a spousal visa can be ordered to leave the country if they don’t make sufficient progress in learning English. Brokenshire says the proposal is not aimed at Muslims. And he steers the conversation back to Trump: “The best way to defeat nonsense like this is to engage in robust democratic debate.” That suggests the government isn’t planning a ban.

2:18 p.m. — We’re well into the evening now, and the debate is winding up. Brokenshire is summarizing for the governing Conservatives. There’s no contradiction between being Muslim and being British, he says. Britain would never consider the kind of ban that Trump has proposed.

2:14 p.m. — Keir Starmer, a Labour leader and former chief prosecutor, invites Trump to his constituency, which he says is diverse and where people live in relative harmony. But he notes that his invitation is just one at the end of a long list. If Trump comes to Britain, he’ll be very, very busy.

2:05 p.m. Starmer says Trump’s most extreme comments came after a recent mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. He was “not the first, and won’t be the last, to make comments about a community in the wake of an atrocity.” That points to the need to blame individuals, not communities, following a mass killing. Starmer says it’s important to show the Muslim community how much it’s valued. And he says Trump’s views are “repugnant.” But he calls a ban on Trump “far too simplistic.”

1:58 p.m . — Lots of amateur analysis of American politics going on in Parliament right now. Scottish National Party member Anne McLaughlin was just interrupted by a member who wanted to talk about GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz. “Where is the Republican Party going, putting one [candidate] up who’s as bad as the other?” she asked.

1:45 p.m. — Through a thick brogue, McLaughlin notes that Trump is “the son of a Scottish immigrant. And I apologize for that.” She accuses Trump of “hypocrisy” in his views on immigrants, and urges him to “look to Lady Liberty for some advice.” She says the strongest argument for banning him is “equality.” Others have been banned for similarly hateful remarks, she notes.

1:31 p.m. — Kwazi Kwarteng, one of a relatively small number of black members of Parliament, notes that the debate has been “sanitized” because it has ignored the long tradition of nativism and xenophobia in U.S. history. Nativism, says the historian and Conservative member, is very much within the American political tradition. And Trump is part of that history. He may want to ban Muslims, but “the answer to his ban is not to ban him.” Doing so would only give him more publicity, generating “headlines around the world.” And besides, Trump could win. “And then we would be in the absurd situation of having banned the president of the United States.”

1:24 p.m. — British members of Parliament are exhausting a thesaurus using words to condemn Trump. They’ve called him “a buffoon,” “a demagogue,” “a joke.” One member called him “an idiot” about five times in three minutes.

1:19 p.m. — Philip Davies, a Conservative, accuses those who want to stamp out intolerance of being intolerant themselves. He says that it’s easy to be for “motherhood and apple pie,” but that it takes “real guts” to say things that are controversial. He’s not defending Trump. But he is defending Trump’s right to speak. Davies is interrupted by another Conservative, Adam Holloway, who says the debate is “embarrassing” for Britain. “We should apologize to the people of the United States,” he says. “It’s for them to decide, not us.”

1:11 p.m. — Before the debate, Trump had threatened to withdraw his planned investment in his Scottish golf courses if Britain went through with a ban. That threat may have had an impact. Corri Wilson, a Scottish National Party member who represents the area that is home to Turnberry, one of the billionaire businessman’s golf resorts, read off statistics about the number of jobs created in her area by Trump. She opposes the ban.

1:01 p.m. — Monday’s debate comes as Britain is grappling with extremism — both Islamist and Islamophobic. Jack Dromey, Labour’s spokesman on home affairs, says allowing Trump to come to the United Kingdom at such a time would be “damaging, it would be dangerous, it would be deeply divisive.” He imagines Trump bringing his rhetoric to Birmingham, a city with a substantial Muslim population, and wonders how that would affect young people there, saying, “the consequences of that would be very serious indeed.” He says Trump and Muslim extremists feed off one another, adding, “ISIS needs Donald Trump and Donald Trump needs ISIS.” Dromey closes with a call for a ban: “Donald Trump is free to be a fool. But he’s not free to be a dangerous fool in Britain.”

12:54 p.m. — If the United Kingdom ban’s Trump, where would it stop? So asks a member who seems to be with the majority of the speakers in opposing a ban. Lots of people have extremist views, he says. If you start banning people for saying things that are offensive, “how long would the list be?” He says Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban would be on it.

12:46 p.m. — Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, a Scottish National Party member, is interrupted by a questioner who describes Trump’s comments as “buffoonery,” which should be met “not with a ban, but with the great British response of ridicule.” There are a few cheers for this idea.

12:42 p.m. — Ahmed-Sheikh says that by condemning Muslims, Trump has condemned Britain’s Olympic athletes, its newscasters and its members of Parliament. And he’s playing into the Islamic State’s narrative, by portraying a clash of civilizations between the West and the Muslim worlds. Others have been banned for anti-gay rhetoric or for Islamist extremism. The government needs to be consistent, and ban Trump for his hateful rhetoric against Muslims. “His remarks are condemning an entire religion,” she says.

12:38 p.m. — Everyone is condemning Trump today — even the ones who oppose a ban. The opponents say the proponents are inadvertently helping him by “fueling the man’s publicity machine.” Or so says Victoria Atkins, a Conservative MP, who says New York was named after a hamlet in her district.

12:37 p.m. — Trump has weighed in. Or at least, one of his executives has. Sarah Malone, executive vice president of Trump International Golf Links, said in a statement: “It is absurd that valuable parliamentary time is being wasted debating a matter raised as part of the American Presidential election. For the UK to consider banning someone who made a statement in America, about American boarders [sic] during a US election campaign is ridiculous.”


Posted on 01/18/2016 2:09 PM by Rebecca Bynum
18 Jan 2016
Send an emailJack Gordon
Do the nincompoops pushing this realize the Americans really don't care very much what Englishmen like or dislike? Do they realize that for most American voters the notion that someone "over there" disapproves of a candidate for president is something very much in that candidate's favor? That not one in ten Americans can name the UK's PM? That even fewer even care to know his or her name?

18 Jan 2016
Christina McIntosh
Most illuminating. I wonder what proportion of the total number of sitting MPs took part in the debate? I would advise British members of the Resistance to get out Hansard and read through the transcripts very carefully. Because it should be possible - going by what the various MPs had to say - to use this debate (farcical as it was) as a convenient litmus test by which one might sort out the "potentially educable" (on the subject of Free Speech, and on the subject of Islam) from the hopelessly Dhimmified Islamophiles. *All* those identified as potentially educable should be targeted: write them letters, give them the Barnabas Fund booklet "What is Sharia?", try to find ways of giving them a little push. Depending on what exactly they said, intimate to them that there are not a few *Britons* who think a ban on all further mohammedan entry into BRITAIN - and not just a temporary ban but a permanent ban - would be a damn good idea, a vast saving on Homeland Security-related trouble and expense. And point out, point blank, that if NO mass migration of Mohammedans into the UK had been permitted, thousands of vulnerable girls would not have been subjected to seven different kinds of Hell by Muslim rape gangs - Muslim rape gangs filled with a misogyny and a sense of entitlement that plainly correlate with the content of the ideology of Islam. Point out that there would not have any bus or train bombings, and that Lee Rigby and many others would still be alive. Those lucky enough to be constituents for Philip Davies, MP, and Adam Holloway, MP, would be advised to contact them and express support for their defence of commonsense and freedom of speech. I will add that Philip Davies has 'form' as regards a greater willingness to say NO to the Ummah, than many others in Britain.

18 Jan 2016

19 Jan 2016
Christina, only a small number of MPs took part, and many of the debaters supported Trump, or at least said they certainly didn't think he should be banned. This debate took place after a stunt when a petition went round on social media and it was shunted into a side room. The debate was awful, and was basically an exercise for lunatic left MPs and Muslim MPs to display their histrionics. It had no bearing on reality, it was a worthless waste of time. I can assure that even though the mass of British people may not agree with Trump on everything, they are in sympathy increasingly with his suspicions of Islam.

19 Jan 2016
From the land of the Magna Carta come this Shiite, What has happen to the once Great Britain? This is pathetic appeasement at its greatest.

20 Jan 2016
Christina McIntosh
bobby - thanks for the info re the small number of actual participants in this 'debate'.

20 Jan 2016
Jack Dromey says Trump and Muslim extremists feed off one another, adding, “ISIS needs Donald Trump and Donald Trump needs ISIS.” Dromey is putting on equal level a rational infidel (Trump) and the Jihadists. This means to confuse the defense with aggression, thus giving the moral right to expansionism to the Muslims and taking the right to defend his way of life to the rational infidel (Trump). The reason for this kind of reaction is following. Starmer says it’s important to show the Muslim community how much it’s valued. Doing so, he assumes his moral superiority toward Muslims. His behaviour could be compared to a mother, pampering his sick baby, which would be the Muslim community suffering of a temporary illness of jihadism. This reversal of reality is widespread these days. It lasts until the subject hits against the wall of everyday facts so strongly that the pain brings him out of his illusion in which he was living. There is a beautiful example of this kind of disillusionment of a social worker in a german refugee center who was at first excited to apply for the job and motivated by the will to help the newcomers. When she found out the hard reality she could not take it anymore: As two minus give usually a plus, reversing the reverse should lead to the truth. Let's see. Brokenshire is summarizing for the governing Conservatives: "There’s no contradiction between being Muslim and being British", he says. Yes, there is a complete contradiction between being a Muslim and being British. Dromey considers Trump's rhetoric "damaging", "dangerous", "deeply divisive" and "with serious consequences". Yes, that would be the exact description of the European asyl politics. Ask the Christian refugees who escape Muslim countries to find themselves oppressed by Muslims in refugee camps. A member opposing the ban: "Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban should be on the list of banned people for his extremist views". Yes, Orban is a rare moral example of today, almost a hero for his rational grasp of reality. As time passes, lots of European countries unwillingly start to wake up from their denial and follow the steps of Hungary on migrant crisis. Another member describes Trump’s comments as “buffoonery,” which should be met “not with a ban, but with the great British response of ridicule.” Yes, this member is a ridiculous buffoon. Ahmed-Sheikh means that Trump should not condemn Muslims and portray a clash of civilizations between the West and the Muslim worlds because it is "hateful", "condemning an entire religion", and "playing into the Islamic State’s narrative". Yes, exactly that should Trump continue to do, condemn Muslims, reveal the clash of the West and Islam and show the agenda of the Islamic State to submit the world to Islam. Victoria Atkins says condemning Trump is to help him by “fueling the man’s publicity machine.” Yes, discussing the ban alone spreads a negative publicity of the British MPs, not speaking of putting the ban in action. If Trump wins, the Parliament could "be in the absurd situation of having banned the president of the United States," as Kwazi Kwarteng noticed. He also accuses Trump of nativism and xenophobia, but it is in fact the British MPs who favour the views of the native inhabitants and fear and hate the opinions of the strangers, thus giving a free hand to the conquering muslim invaders. The last, "a demagogue", "a joke", "an idiot" and "a dangerous fool" are adjectives that describe perfectly the state of the mind of the MPs who pronounced these words.

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