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The Petition of the Scandalmakers

All libertarians should really be opposed to State Visits, by definition. But do I sense that not libertarians but sanctimonious prigs are out in force here in the UK? Trump executive order: Million sign petition to stop UK visit. This is somehow newsworthy, but read the small print in the petition, not visible on the headnote:

Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales.

Wasn’t Prince Charles the chap who talked about wanting to be a tampon? But then again, cancelling the visit would save Prince Charles the horror of meeting a climate sceptic!

So it would be a scandal for this visit to go ahead. Did they say that about the GIs in 1942? Wouldn’t it be a scandal for the government to take notice of this petition?

Given that the Queen was railroaded into giving a knighthood and a State Visit to the Romanian Communist tyrant Ceausescu, President Trump seems to have a long way to go before he could possibly compare. How about making President Trump an honorary Knight of the Thistle instead?

Some things can come out from the petition process (and I don’t mean changes to government policy). The site provides a breakdown of voters’ location by Parliamentary constituency (or, at the least, where the voters purport to originate), so you can see where those affected by the apparently ceaseless urge to agitate and virtue-signal, like a bird in some bizarre mating and nesting ritual, are found. As I write, the data suggests (well I never!) clusters of Lefties in University cities and towns across the UK, and relative indifference in-between. This is where the Left are found, and there are still 58,000,000 or more who haven’t signed the petition. The Left are outnumbered and isolated, but signalling away to each other, they come to think that they rule the roost.

I suppose this data might help the North Koreans estimate where the socialists are most densely packed and so to target their nukes accordingly when they get round to liberating us.

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56 comments to The Petition of the Scandalmakers

  • bobby b

    “Leave” stands a better chance of prevailing if non-EU trade possibilities can be established ahead of time, thus quelling the sky-is-falling-we’ll-all-starve scenarios with which “Remainers” like to scare people.

    A special-relationship sort of trade relationship between the UK and the USA would go a long way towards reassuring people that there’s life after “Leave”.

    Here’s a great way to preemptively trash that special relationship – insult Trump, and thus the USA, to the point where a great portion of our country writes y’all off as lib a**holes.

    If this stands, “Remain” is much stronger.

  • Jay

    The Queen also hosted Bashar-Al-Assad and his wife although it wasn’t a State Visit but then don’t think the UK and Syria enjoy the “special relationship” of the UK and USA.

    We’d be descending into mob rule if HMG took any heed of the protestors.

  • RAB

    Yes, Her majesty has been forced to roll out the red carpet to all manner of dripping with blood despots and dictators that her governments of all political stripes has deemed it good for us to do business with.

    And Barry the Bong toker and the Clintons have banned and deported more people from the USA than you can shake a stick at…

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/760661/Donald-Trump-refugee-policy-Barack-Obama-Iraqi-migrant-ban

    Yet the American MSM failed to mention it at all at the time. What a suprise!

  • Laird

    I like the idea of granting Trump the Order of the Thistle, if only because it would infuriate so many of the “right” people. Unfortunately, Under our Constitution he couldn’t accept it. Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 reads (in part): “And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” (My emphasis.) Too bad.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . without the Consent of the Congress . . . ”

    I bet they’d vote for it.

  • William O. B'Livion

    > All libertarians should really be opposed to State Visits, by definition.

    Why?

    I mean, maybe I’m not a real Scotsman, but from my understanding Libertarian != Anarchist, so there are still “States” involved, and if there are States there must be communication between those States, no?

    As to the pomp and circumstance surrounding it, well, you humans are a odd lot and *do* like your little rituals and secret handshakes.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Trump couldn’t be any worse than his predecessor who was actually bombing some of the inhabitants of those countries the immigration ban has affected, and he still got an royal audience as well as an opportunity to use his foreign influence and “fake news” to try and skew our democratic vote in the upcoming referendum, “back of the queue” eh?

    Wait till the squeaky wheels calm down a bit and then see if any of the affected nations start being a bit more introspective and consider why they’re on Obama’s list in the first place.

  • Mr Ed

    Laird, the honorary part is what appears to allow the rebellious colonists to accept ‘gongs’ from the heirs of King George. Caspar Weinberger received an honorary knighthood as a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE) for his help during the Falklands War (he removed something like 42 layers of approval for British requests for materiel).

    He just wasn’t allowed to put the (imaginary) prefix ‘Sir’ before his first name.

    And a GBE is a grade higher than KBE (Knight Commander) given as an honorary award to such luminaries as NKVD Colonel-General Sergei Kruglov for organising the Yalta Conference (but not for his organising the deportation of Chechens en masse). Mind you, some would probably like to accuse Mr Trump of involvement in that too.

  • If this stands, “Remain” is much stronger.

    Nah, it means very little on that score. And to be honest I am ambivalent about whole special relationship thing… 1956 and all that. If such a political relationship is fragile enough that a few protestors can derail it, it clearly isn’t very special after all. Enduring political alliances are rooted in interests, not fleeting ‘feels’.

  • bobby b

    “Enduring political alliances are rooted in interests, not fleeting ‘feels’.”

    I’m not worried about the fleeting feelz that arise out of protests.

    I’m worried that Parliament is going to debate this petition, where lots of Remainers plus a few Leavers worried about attending the right parties could easily give it official weight.

    That takes it beyond the feelz, into the realm of official government position. The very fact that y’all are holding an official Parliament debate on the resolution “Trump is an evil misogynist hater” opens a gap between us that doesn’t help.

  • That takes it beyond the feelz, into the realm of official government position

    Parliament does not get to decide that so it means nothing.

    The very fact that y’all are holding an official Parliament debate on the resolution “Trump is an evil misogynist hater” opens a gap between us that doesn’t help.

    If y’all don’t get that in a somewhat free country like this one, shit like this happens because people have different opinions, then y’all actually do have a problem with feelz. And if that is all it takes under Trump to shift policy, (1) I’d rather know now rather than later (2) clearly the protestors are doing the smart thing if they want to shift policy, rather than just wasting their time posing for protest selfies to post on Twitter. I would like to think the latter.

  • Hedgehog

    @Laird: Wouldn’t that mean that the noted constitutional scholar who used to be president of these hallowed shores wouldn’t have been able to accept the Nobel Peace Prize?

  • Sam Duncan

    “How about making President Trump an honorary Knight of the Thistle instead?”

    Oh, that would be hilarious, on so many levels. (Not least for the look on Her Majesty the‘s First Minister’s face when she has to meet him.)

    But I knew, the minute the visit was announced, that the usual suspects would start clutching their pearls. The visa moratorium, as you suggest, Mr Ed, is simply a convenient excuse. The truth is that they just think he’s not our kind of person, my dear. Well, sod ’em. Let him come, and let them show their true, ugly, colours the way their American cousins have over the last couple of weeks.

    “clusters of Lefties in University cities and towns across the UK”

    Oh, yes. All the places that proved themselves to be completely out of touch with the rest of the country on Brexit, AV voting, and Scottish “independence”. Surely they’ll discover humility at some point, right?

    Mind you, I’m mousing over those dark red hotspots for the figures. One of them – Brighton – actually reaches a whopping 8% of constituents signing the thing. Crikey. That’ll show him, eh?

  • Mr Ed

    Hedgehog:

    The Nobel Foundation which funds and awards the Prize is a private charity, it just delegates the choice of the winner to a committee chosen by the Norwegian Parliament.

    The Prize is meant to be for:

    the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.

    Quite how the noted scholar achieved all that when he did is presumably an ongoing study.

  • bobby b

    “I would like to think the latter.”

    Me, too.

    My point is, this is either being led by, or is going to be eagerly grasped by, the Remainers. It’s going to have an effect on the strength of their efforts. I’m not saying that all of the UK can be easily led by the nose by publicly-sold indignation. I’m saying that the Remainers are going to use it as part of their complete breakfast of tactics.

    You seem to want to take offense at what I’m saying. I’m not trying to offend. I’m saying that this is being conducted on several levels, some of which seem to contradict the picture you’re painting.

  • bobby b

    “Parliament does not get to decide that so it means nothing.”

    A question from honest ignorance: What does Parliament get to decide out of this debate? Why are they debating it?

  • Mr Ed

    bobby b

    A petition gets ‘considered’ for debate in Parliament if it gets 100,000 ‘votes’. But, the government controls the agenda and can simply decide not to put a particular petition forward, sometimes if it is on a matter recently considered or sometimes I assume if it is ‘inconvenient’.

    The debates seems to take place late in the day with no actual outcome, i.e. nothing is put forward as a Bill to become an Act, it is just airing something. Only 46 petitions have been debated in around 16 months, with over 25,000 put up for voting.

    So the relevance of any petition to political discourse and policy is very limited. This one is clearly part of the agitprop.

  • As with the petition to rerun the Brexit referendum, it will soon emerge how many of the “signatures” come from beyond these shores. May and Boris are clear the visit will go ahead. Even the Times (which does not like Trump) admitted (sotto voce, half-way through its article) that Obama did the same in 2011. (And he continued to do so – mere tens from Syria each year through 2015, and marked discrimination against Christian refugees.) The usual suspects are screaming it but already not everyone here is buying it.

  • bobby b

    Thanks, M. Ed.

    So I shouldn’t consider a Parliamentary debate to be as meaningful as the US Congress debating a question? If the Parliamentary aspect of this is overblown, maybe my concerns are, also?

  • Mr Ecks

    If May was worth a bucket of snot she would not only give Trump some small Honour but would announce her response to the petition ie the immediate abolition of the office of London Mayor. And have Khan escorted out of the building without even time to clear his desk. Also minus compo or any pension entitlement.

  • David Graeme

    I am old enough to have found myself standing in the confused and indignant crowd milling about outside Victoria Station one day in the summer of 1977 when Ceaucescu arrived (by train) and was conveyed to Buckingham Palace (by open coach, if you please) to meet with the long-suffering QEII. There were grim-faced police, baffled squaddies, men covered in braid yelling from horseback, and angry crowds trying (resentfully but rightfully) to get to their trains, from which they were being blocked by large, surly, anonymous men in ill-fitting suits. What summed it all up was the comment of a street-sweeper, who on being asked by a passing citizen who it was that was causing all the fuss, replied, “Well, it’s the King of Romania, innit?” Got that in one, for sure.

  • the other rob

    My point is, this is either being led by, or is going to be eagerly grasped by, the Remainers.

    Trump: “You know, NAFTA could as easily stand for North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement.”
    Remainers: “Fuck!”

    Further, unless I’m very wrong, wages etc in the USA, UK and Canada are more or less on a par. So the new NAFTA could probably have free movement, too.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Look, Obama promised to heal the planet, and the oceans did not rise as fast as some climateers had predicted. Obviously, Obama must have done something to cause this! Therefore he got the Nobel for that, not just for not being George W Bush!

  • Patrick Crozier

    I once went through a list of Nobel Peace Prize winners. With few exceptions they were communists, communist sympathisers or wasters to a man.

  • Mr Ed

    bobby b:

    The debate is nowhere near as significant as the Congress debating something, the UK’s Parliament is de facto subordinate to the executive which controls the Parliamentary timetable and little time is allowed to MPs to actually do anything off their own back, such as introduce their own legislation. In some ways, it might be better if the House of Commons were more assertive, but in all likelihood it would push against liberty rather than for it, the Zeitgeist being to regulate and ban.

  • llamas

    David Graeme – You were? Really?

    Then we were not 100 paces apart, that day.

    But I am going to go out on a limb and say that it was not 1977, but 1978, based on what I was doing there that day. I was working part-time as a courier for a travel firm, collecting and delivering foreign students. It was a weekday, unusual for me to be working that job on that day. I took a day off from my regular job because the fee for that day’s work was so good. I remember it well, trying to herd 30 non-speaking foreigners into a coach with all that nonsense going on.

    Small world.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Dr Evil

    This here petition was being signed by many many bots and foreigners not to mention lots of Theresa Mays. Ridiculous and idiotic.

  • Kevin B

    Off topic except it concerns the dread Trump and the reaction to his policies from the British media.

    Myron Ebell, former head of Trump’s EPA transition team answers a particularly clueless question from a brit reporter on how the US will cope while going back to fossil fuels while the rest of the world advances to cheaper renewable energy.

  • Paul Marks

    To watch these vast numbers of Frankfurt School Marxists (and other such – see later in this comment, as this is a lot older than Marxism) pretending utter devotion to the Queen (claiming to want to save Her Majesty from the “vulgar” Donald Trump) is amusing.

    Marxism has always had an element of snobbery in it in this country (think the late Sir Antony Blunt, in charge of the Royal Collection of Paintings – and the rest of his Cambridge Upper Class Soviet NKVD chums).

    More serious is former head of the Foreign Office bureaucracy echoing the Marxist concerns – sadly the F.O. (and the British establishment generally) was never cleared of anti British fanatics – with their dreams (that actually go back long BEFORE Karl Marx) of rule by “enlightened experts” – from Plato’s Republic, to the “New Atlantis” of Sir Francis Bacon.

    Of course the European Union (and the various international bodies) are part of this desire for the crushing of society and the rule of the “Enlightened”, the “Great and the Good” as they call themselves.

    And there millions (yes millions) of brainwashed university types support the United Kingdom (indeed the world) under the rule of the “Enlightened” (very Plato) crushing “vulgar capitalism”.

    You see PAUL MARKS WAS CORRECT ALL THESE YEARS.

    The establishment (on a world level) is dominated by fanatical collectivists – and the education system (and “mainstream media” – especially the entertainment media) is dedicated to the task of producing support for the establishment (again more Plato and Sir Francis Bacon, and late Jeremy Bentham than Karl Marx)

    They (including rather important private companies – after all much of the media is privately owned, as are the banks and so on) support the crushing of “vulgar commercialism” and the rule of the world by an “enlightened elite” for “the good that only the wise can see”.

    It is unfortunate that the only person to be standing against the establishment in the West is Donald Trump (certainly NOT a hero), but there we go.

  • rxc

    I think that this all hate speech, and should be reported for investigation, just like that MP was investigated for suggesting that immigration rules should be reviewed.

  • Snorri Godhi

    There is also a petition to the effect that Trump should make a State Visit:
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/178844
    In one day, it has collected enough signatures to be debated in Parliament on February 20. The number of signatures is about to pass 128K as i am writing this.

  • theodore rud

    I sometimes think that the only true honour that mankind is capable of bestowing is the contempt of fools.

  • Mr Ed

    bobby b

    The Daily Mail has a sketch writer who has summarised the debate here. It sounds about right.

  • bobby b

    “It sounds about right.”

    That’s it? They’re just there to generate steam in between votes on other people’s legislation?

    I’ve spoken to a number of people who, like me, took this as being akin to our Congress debating a question and coming to some important resolution. Appears I have the wrong idea of Parliament.

  • Bod

    Woulda been nice if the petition linked to by Snorri had spelled “opposed” correctly though.

  • Mr Ed

    bobby b

    As i sometimes say to clients about the ‘law’: ‘If you’re not upset, you haven’t understood.’‘.

    One might say it’s a Talking Shop. Twitter by mouth without a character limit.

  • That’s it? They’re just there to generate steam in between votes on other people’s legislation?

    Pretty much.

    I’ve spoken to a number of people who, like me, took this as being akin to our Congress debating a question and coming to some important resolution. Appears I have the wrong idea of Parliament.

    Debate in Parliament is only important when it is important. It may sound like I am being facetious but I am quite serious.

  • bobby b

    “It may sound like I am being facetious but I am quite serious.”

    Then I have to say you were right.

    If our Congress were seriously debating the resolution “the British leader is a misogynistic racist hater and should not be allowed in the U.S.”, I can imagine the reaction we’d get from the UK. I can imagine it because it would mirror my reaction to your Parliament debating the same question.

    My mistake was conflating your Parliament with our Congress.

  • David Graeme

    llamas – I suspect you are right about the year (it’s the pills and the booze wot does it). So many dictators, so little time …

  • Mr Ed

    DG/llamas,

    The Romanian State Visit was June 1978 (HM was busy in ’77 with her Silver Jubilee). In the YT video (the link starts at the visit) in the OP, David Owen, our then Foreign Secretary, mentions 12th June as just before the visit, when the awfulness of it all dawned on him.

    The idea at the time was that Ceausescu was ‘indepedent’ of Moscow and the Labour govt. wanted to sell him some British aircraft, but it turned out that all he had to pay for them was turnips, carrots and old lead piping for a barter deal. Still, better than selling state of the art jet engines to Stalin as a previous Labour government had done only to find them used in the Korean War.

  • I can imagine it because it would mirror my reaction to your Parliament debating the same question.

    Yes and no, it would of course cause all manner of indignant harrumphing and pearl clutching, but also a great deal of snickering as the average Brit would assume it was the same transitory self-indulgent flatulence that emanates from Westminster, just with an American tinge to the aroma.

  • Paul Marks

    I suspect that debates in a “legislature” would be important if two practices were followed.

    The members should be unpaid – so they will only turn up if they think the matter is of importance, not because “it is my job”. And the “legislature” should only meet a few days a year, again so that members do not start to think of their membership as a job.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Paul, it has seemed to me for a long time now that the Marxists tend to suffer (or better, make the rest of us suffer) from snobbery. Marx himself sounds to me like quite the snob. (Not that I ever actually dated Karl.)

    [Line swiped from a Nichols & May routine, but per Elaine, she never actually dated Al. (That would be one A. Einstein.)]

  • Charlie Suet

    “Still, better than selling state of the art jet engines to Stalin as a previous Labour government had done only to find them used in the Korean War.”

    I don’t think Stafford Cripps and chums sold the jet engines to Stalin. I think they gave them to him, in exchange for worthless and unenforceable contracts.

  • llamas

    Mr Ed – Wow. There’s YouTube video. But of course there is 😀

    Talk about ‘takes you back’.

    When you see HMTQ and the dictator getting into the coach at the Buckingham Palace Road arcade, turn the camera around 180° and you’d see the trusty red Honda parked in the mews across the street – I forget its name. And just a few hundred feet away, your humble servant was trying to herd 30 Italian teenagers into a coach for Cambridge.

    Wow.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Snorri Godhi (January 31, 2017 at 4:26 pm): “There is also a petition to the effect that Trump should make a State Visit … The number of signatures is about to pass 128K”

    I suspect it may have 128k genuine signatures. Its rival has nominally more signatures, but I gather from more than one source that it has been “signed by many many bots and foreigners not to mention lots of Theresa Mays” (Dr Evil, January 31, 2017 at 1:19 pm).

    Perhaps not so unlike the popular vote in the US. 🙂

  • Mr Ed

    Perhaps we should put up a petition ‘To prevent fanatics from hijacking or distorting petitions‘ for the petitions to have a Captcha ‘bot-buster’ on them?

    See if the Lefties take the bait and complain.

  • bobby b

    “Debate in Parliament is only important when it is important.”

    Was the vote that just occurred important? Was that “the” vote?

  • Snorri Godhi

    The pro-Trump petition seems to be gaining ground, in spite of the faulty spelling pointed out by Bod (@9:26, january 31).

    Actually, there is also a problem with diction: it says that Trump “is the leader of a free world”, but does not specify which world.

    In reply to Niall: i have not figured out how to check how many Theresa Mays signed either petition, but it does seem that the support for the pro-Trump petition has a more even geographical spread, which is suggestive.

  • bobby b

    This vote was the 1st of 3 votes that the Bill needs to pass the House of Commoms, and it is usually a formality, the Bill has to go to a committee for scrutiny (even though it is bleedin’ obvious what it says and will do) and there are lots of wrecking amendments that the anti-independence faction wish to table, partly to cause embarrassment. The Bill must then pass the House of Lords but that may be easier than it might due to mutterings about the lack of democratic legitimacy that chamber has (only the remaining hereditary Lords are elected, but by the other hereditary peers).

    The whole process might take 5 weeks, and then at it will do is allow, not require the Prime Minister to give notice to leave the EU. It also does not exclude the application of any rule of law to preventing the Prime Minister. It should add ‘any notification etc. by the Prime Minister is not justiciable and may not be impeached in any place‘.

    And when the Bill is passed, and gains Royal Assent, we could copy what the Labour lot did when the hereditary Lords were mostly kicked out and make T-shirts with the Norman French words used to indicate Royal Assent, the final stage that makes a Bill an Act of Parliament ‘La Reine le veult‘.

    And you won’t hear the BBC mention that the pro-Trump petition is new, whilst the anti- is 2 months older.

  • bobby b

    Thanks, Mr. Ed.

    ” . . . what it will do is allow, not require the Prime Minister to give notice to leave the EU.”

    I assume this is much like when I used to allow, but not require my children to eat ice cream?

  • Mr Ed

    The debate on the petitions has been held by the House of Commons (in a committee room), it is here for those wishing to detract from, say, some root canal treatment.

  • bobby b

    Mr. Ed: Thanks for returning to post this. I’ve been watching it in small slices as time and attention allows, and it’s been educational.

    My previous experience watching your government function has consisted mostly of watching 200 videos of Mrs. Thatcher during QT. I’m not seeing any new Mrs. Thatchers in this long new video.

  • Mr Ed

    bobby b, I think that your efforts watching the debate might qualify you for this blog’s equivalent to the Victoria Cross as the citation would pretty much encompass:

    “… most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.”

    From what I have been able to watch of the debate, it is as if I were watching a group of Student Union hacks who have aged badly but are stuck in self-righteous teenage angst mode and have no self-awareness. I am pretty sure that in years gone by MPs were far more rounded people.