.@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017
Britain First has spent the past 24 hours celebrating Trump’s endorsement of their hard-right propaganda. Fransen posted a video addressed to the president describing “how delighted I am that, as the leader of the free world you took the time out to retweet three of my videos on Twitter today.”It certainly raised a conversation in the British House of Commons:
The group had previously struggled to garner mainstream-media coverage of their video stunts, which include mosque “invasions” and “Christian patrols” during which uniformed thugs carrying white crosses attempt to intimidate minority citizens.
On Wednesday, Trump catapulted Fransen and the group’s leader Paul Golding, who is also a convicted criminal, into the global conversation.
The speaker of the House of Commons granted an urgent question in the chamber following Trump’s Twitterstorm, which included an attack on the British prime minister, who had described his promotion of Islamophobia videos as “wrong.”Don't they understand he's only sharing it with his "base"? How else is he going to "elevate the conversation" if he doesn't share information with his base via Twitter? And all American punditry agrees Trump's base are the most important people in the world!
Stephen Doughty, a Labour MP, called for Trump’s invitation for a state visit to Britain to be rescinded.
“This is the president of the United States sharing, with millions, inflammatory and divisive content, deliberately posted to sow hatred and division by… a convicted criminal who is facing further charges, who represents a vile fascist organization seeking to spread hatred and violence in person and online. By sharing it, he is either a racist, incompetent, or unthinking—or all three.”
Well, at least there's agreement across the pond and in the White House that the President doesn't read what he re-tweets:
Lord Hain, a Labour politician, said in the House of Lords that he assumed Trump “only tweets messages he has thought carefully about and agrees with.”
This elicited laughter in the chamber, but he continued by saying Trump was therefore endorsing a “Nazi group with a vicious record of attacks, racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism.”
“Surely there can be no question of a state visit until at least he has expressed some remorse about this,” he said.
“One of the advantages of having such a special relationship with the United States is when a friend tells you you’ve done something dreadfully wrong, you tend to listen,” said Peter Bone. “And wouldn’t the world be a better place if the prime minister could persuade the president of the United States to delete his Twitter account?”
Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who was representing the government during the debate, signaled her agreement. “It’s interesting to note [the] advice regarding Twitter accounts—I’m sure many of us might share his view.”
Another Conservative MP suggested that the deletion of the account should not be left to the whim of the president.
Tim Loughton said if Twitter was “genuine in its commitment to fight hate crime online,” it should “have no hesitance in taking down the Twitter account of the First Citizen of the U.S. as it would any other citizen of the world who peddles such hate crime.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said May “should be using any influence she and her government claim to have with the president” to ask that he “delete these tweets and to apologize to the British people.”
Despite Trump’s attack on the prime minister overnight, Rudd repeated the line from Downing Street saying that the U.K. had been “very clear” that Trump was “wrong” to retweet the videos. “We will continue to speak freely and frankly when it takes place,” she said.
Diane Abbott, one of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies, said Trump had offended the entire nation.
What part of "elevating the conversation" do these Brits not understand?
“On the question of the online activities of the 45th president, does the home secretary accept that the fact [he] chose to retweet material from Britain First is not just offensive to British people of Muslim heritage, it’s not just offensive to British people of black and minority ethnic heritage, it is offensive to all decent British people? It is also an attack on the values of this country.”
Her Labour colleague Yvette Cooper said Britain should rethink the state-visit invitation as the government must not “simply roll out a red carpet and give a platform for the president of the United States” to “sow discord in our communities.”
“We know that he... will keep doing this and keep spreading extremism.”
Is "extremism" Brit-speak for....oh, I can't do it anymore.....