Trumped by a Royal Flush

February 21, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

AFP photo



Hazel Speed

The UK Parliament yesterday held a three hour debate as to whether President Trump’s state visit should be revoked following a petition signed by 1.8 million people to date.

Labour’s Paul Flynn, MP for Newport West, began this debate, and it is incredulous that it was even taking place at all. Though Flynn, came across as a man of sincere belief, he did not put forward an intellectual argument for some who later made their challenge. Instead, he really only just outlined what we already know about President Trump mostly through his own tweets, numerous statements, and social media condemnations.

There were a few interjections. It does not serve matters when women MPs mention repeatedly in specific crude words references to the female anatomy (which phrases were utilised by President Trump), as, if it was offensive for anyone to say it once, then surely if it keeps being repeated it is just that, a repetition of an offensive comment, regardless of who quotes it.

It is always refreshing to listen to intellectuals who rely on reason, not emotive sound-bites, regardless of their political allegiances. In that respect, I listened eagerly to the words of Jacob Rees-Mogg.

MPs were advised to keep their remarks brief and if possible within five minutes. Mr Rees-Mogg asked the obvious question, namely, where were all these objections when the Chinese leader was granted a State Visit after his rape of Nanjing?

I cannot recall that was responded to, but others continued with their own remarks.

In due course Nigel Evans made an excellent contribution culminating in the facts that the people in the UK voted for Brexit, the American people voted for Trump and he is now their President. Get over it! Another comment was stated – Where is the respect for the American people who voted for President Trump? Reference was made later on to President Obama putting the UK at the back of the queue.

As I have stated previously, nobody seems to understand (or if they do, they choose not to admit it), that at another time in political history Mrs May’s visit to the US in order to meet with newly elected President Trump, was an amazing achievement in itself and then to extend an invitation on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen to the President for him to attend the UK within a formal State Visit (which he duly accepted), would have been praised for decades.

Now, apparently, according to an exchange in this debate mention was made that the UK State Visit may have been no more than a carrot dangled before President Trump to secure Mrs May’s visit to the US in the first place. Only history or a political leak will confirm or refute that one.

However, in some ways it is academic in that we all know that politics is pragmatic at best and deceptive at worst, i.e. Watch this political hand while I am manipulating a political move with the other one, so to speak. It used to be said for instance that it was best to bury a piece of controversial news during a busy week then that way it may be overlooked or discarded.


As one would expect, Alex Salmond tried to be smart in making use of an earlier passing reference to The Speaker, Mr Bercow, and was swiftly rebuked by The Chair, but Mr Salmond, true to his nature had to have the last word on that exchange. Not an endearing quality.

Later, when claiming he could not hear Sir Alan Duncan and could he repeat his last remark, The Chair told Mr Salmond that was not in order to request and The Chair had to almost shout at Mr Salmond to ‘sit down’!  It was an obvious old ploy by Mr Salmond to challenge Sir Alan’s remarks.

Another contributor made the significant observation that it was because of America’s presence and association with NATO that there has not yet been a World War III. Therefore, is it not in the self interest of the UK to encourage the State Visit to proceed. If not, then Mr Putin will be more pleased than anyone.

One word regarding E-Petitions, how many people would be brave enough to sign an E-Petition disagreeing with the alternate one?

Sadly, for me, once again, the younger contributors seemed to lack customary form of presenting their thoughts on the subject under debate. They clamour for respect but use euphemisms which do not grant that to others. Their presentations, more often than not, reveal their emotion and anger on any issue rather than their intellect.

Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh raised further valid points that there had been two State Visits in the past, the country being run like a police state with no freedom of speech. Once again, no definitive answer was forthcoming from those who were quick to point the finger at President Trump.

Of the Visits, Nicolae Ceausescu, given a Knighthood only to be rescinded the day before he was executed by his own people, Robert Mugabe and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 2007, the ultimate misogynist State. The MP in question then thank God stated that Mrs May’s visit to US was an absolute triumph. Once again, no reaction because the younger MPs do not know because of their youth why it was so. They should research before condemning why indeed it was a triumph.

Leigh nearly came ‘a cropper’ however when he deplored statements made by President Trump regarding women/sex and said they were horrible and he would never use them himself. However, he was a little unguarded to add – ‘which one of us has never said something in private during our lives (albeit nothing like that, which he deplored)’ – then went on to add ‘Let him who is without sin cast the first stone’. Someone wished to challenge him immediately – a younger female MP. This again just proves the lack of life wisdom in divide between the older and the younger MPs. Ill-divided and one could not help but sympathise with that kind of uphill struggle in a political debate.

Tulip Siddiq, ambitious as ever regardless of her loyalty or disloyalty to Mr Corbyn during key votes on Brexit, just felt compelled to tie in Brexit and say the UK needed a time of healing, yet her spiked comments will, as always, never do that for some. To win hearts and minds of the electorate requires that words come from, and also address, the hearts ‘And Minds’ of one’s listeners.

Yet another reference had to be made to the crude term relating to the female anatomy. Please can usage of that expression be banned as unParliamentary language. This is why the new generation of MPs should really be edified about Courtesy to the House, not to mention that a live broadcast is going out before watershed time, i.e. from 4.30pm. Completely out of order.

Martin Vickers made the sensible comment that it is wise to roll out our red carpets when it is in our interest to do so. He went on to add that America has its own checks and balances and its own Court Structures as we have seen. He reminded all that President Trump is the Leader of our most important ally. As regards the State Visit, he added many Leaders have actually taken up arms against this Country and HM The Queen despite a State Visit.

Although the metaphor in the beginning of Conservative MP Anne Main‘s rhetoric got off to a rocky start her words were ‘spot on’ subsequently, in that she presumed our Prime Minister, with consent of Her Majesty, extended in diplomacy, an invitation of a State Visit to benefit the UK, then it should go ahead. She was most humble too in the way it was conceded such issues were above her pay grade (personally, I think this MP will soon be on the road to a higher pay grade).

Dangerous route to go down if we need America to come to our aid – was yet another remark thrown into the debate if we reject the proposed State Visit. Anne Main really was a good example of someone well trained in respect of getting her point across in a dignified way. This lady knows the meaning of courtesy and grasping the political point sufficient to enter into rhetoric which is both pragmatic on the one hand, and utilised through patriotism and reason.

To sum up, if the UK rebukes America, insults its people and we lose our biggest ally, we have chosen to leave Europe, and are trying to court the Commonwealth, after Mrs Thatcher’s abandonment of same – who have we left? It is like an inverted copy of that famous poem – they came for me, etc, but instead, to read that we turned this one away, then that one, until no one was left.


I was just going to finish my article here but Carol Monaghan – SNP  had to refer to the female anatomy again. Then yet another female SNP – this time to audible jibes as if ‘not again’.

Apparently, it has been inferred that E-Petitioners against the visit of President Trump, do not want people to be afraid to say if they disagree with them. That is the point, they are afraid – so these mass E-Petitions actually undermine democracy. Referendum such as the Brexit one, may be the only safe way for anyone to express whatever view they hold.

It may surprise the younger politicians to know, for instance, that generations of their Parents and Grandparents still say ‘in private’ that the thought remains with them – did Nelson Mandela (in his younger activist years for which he was primarily jailed) have blood on his hands? As young generations idolised Nelson Mandela, and still do, then this is why others have to convey their thoughts in private, such is their fear of reprisal. Do the young MPs suppressing views of all the population unless it agrees with their own, think that is democracy – that is the question?


As to the debate today, and the contributions I heard live, all I think many will say is .Oh dear….! This is not a debate, it is too emotional and petulant.

Sir Alan Duncan, Foreign Office Minister, outlined that our State Visits are a diplomatic tool. He then went on to clarify the relevancy of State Visits and that diplomacy matters. Sir Alan said more in a couple of paragraphs of statement than all that had been spoken in two and a half hours. Now this is how Parliamentary debate used to be and should be.

It takes years of learning ‘on the job’ and most of the young MPs would be wise to watch, listen and hone their craft accordingly if they ever wish to be considered a serious politician, at least as far as a debate in Parliament is concerned. Then, and only then, will they earn the respect of the silent majority which also includes many of their contemporary MPs of all Parties.

The Chair requested a verbal vote in favour of the State Visit and those against. The inevitable response was audibly provided by those against.










Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

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