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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Should Trump be banned from the UK?

As a liberal my instincts are always to err on the side of freedom of speech and not banning anything unless demonstrable harm can be proved. Over 350,000 people believe that Donald Trump has met the latter test and that as a result he should be barred from ever setting foot on our shores ever again. That may prove difficult if he becomes US President.

Trump has been stripped of his role as a business ambassador to Scotland, where he has invested more than £1 billion of his fortune in golf courses, as well as having Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen taking back an honorary degree in business administration it awarded him in 2010.

The Times says that Downing Street has dismissed questions over whether the government would bar Mr Trump from entering Britain as “hypothetical”, though divisive figures have been excluded in the past:

In 2013 Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, the American bloggers who co-founded Stop Islamisation of America and a group that produced a pro-Israel “Defeat Jihad” poster campaign on the New York subway, were banned from entering Britain. At the time, a government spokesman said that people whose presence was “not conducive to the public good” could be excluded by the home secretary.

The Dutch politician Geert Wilders was banned in 2009 after calling the Koran “a fascist book”. Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, a French comedian, was also excluded last year. He had been previously convicted of inciting racial hatred.

In my view Trump is an obnoxious and irresponsible individual who does not care about the consequences if what he says provokes others into violence. If the Republican party nominate him as their candidate for President they will have lost the moral right to be taken seriously as a political party.

However, banning him from the UK just plays to his agenda as an anti-establishment candidate, standing up to a western liberal conspiracy. By all means condemn him, contradict him, demonstrate against him and oppose him in the best democratic traditions, but let's not play to his agenda by giving him the notoriety he craves.
In general I share the sentiments. But with Trump, this is one action that will hurt him personally. He bought Turnberry so he could boast holding a premier golf tournament on one of his courses. That should be denied him and I fully expect the golf tournament organisers to do so. But denying him the ability to visit his own courses and others in the home of golf is just delicious.
And a fair return to the damage he has done to the Menie families still harassed by his security goons.

#DumpTrump : https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/114003
Tempted as I might be to give the last Trump a taste of what being banned means, on reflection I would have thought that the best course of action is to leave him free to come here but for the British public (we might hope) to show him how much we like his style. It would for example not be a waste of eggs and tomatoes to do so.
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