I am not surprised by Anne-Marie Trevelyan’s response to the concerns expressed by many people to the proposed state visit of President Trump (Northumberland Gazette, February 9).
I am not surprised, but disheartened and angry at her and her Government’s actions and thinking.
As an internationalist, I believe we must engage with all nations, but we do not need to run at the earliest opportunity to hold the hand of, and thereby validate, a president who gives the appearance of becoming a danger to world stability.
It would be far better to wait a while to see how the new president settles, then sup with him using a very long spoon.
I opposed similar visits from illiberal leaders in the past.
The reason given for this approach to the new president is trade – the need to secure the best post-Brexit trade deal with the USA.
If President Trump puts “America first”, I believe it is likely that the UK will come last in any such deal.
Trade is also the argument used to justify selling arms to Saudi Arabia.
The Prime Minister, her Government and party repeat the idea that trade brings wealth to British business and this wealth trickles down to the population. While wealth does come to business and banks, there is little evidence of it going anywhere near the population.
In fact, it seems to be quite the reverse. The population pays for this laissez faire approach to trade and its demand for lower business taxes by reduced and failing public services, a broken housing market and low wages, etc.
Similarly, I am appalled and angered by the Home Secretary’s decision to stop accepting child refugees.
This country has done precious little to welcome refugees fleeing from war and persecution. Local councils have said they are willing to accept, house and care for refugee children, but they need the unforthcoming central government funding to do so.
Yes, we have rightly given aid to the region, but there are millions of people, including lone children, on the move across the world who are in very vulnerable and dangerous situations.
Instead of the UK saying “suffer the (3,000) children to come”, they are left to suffer alone, sacrificed on the altar of immigration control – the only policy that now trumps trade.