Trump state visit makes UK look ‘desperate and craven’, says Carmichael

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael spoke out against US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK during a debate this week on the public petition against the visit.

Mr Carmichael said he believed that Prime Minister Theresa May, in the exercise of her judgment, had got it “catastrophically wrong”, not just in offering a state visit but in doing so seven days after Mr Trump’s inauguration.

He said: “That was not something that she just decided to do on the spur of the moment. We all know the Prime Minister well enough to know that it was not something she would have blurted out to fill an awkward pause in the conversation.

“So the question is: what was the motivation? My suspicion is that she was perhaps a little bit spooked by seeing the pictures of Nigel Farage at Trump Tower following the election in November, or it may be that she was pursuing questions of trade deals post Brexit.

“Whatever the motivation, however, it has left us looking desperate and craven and rushing to embrace a presidency when the rest of the world is rushing away from it.

“I have no issue with the Prime Minister seeking to influence the President of the United States, but she should do it in a way that engages the relationship that we have enjoyed in the past; she should be seeking to build on that.

“If, and only if, she is successful in that should an offer such as the one that she has made be extended. That presumes, of course, that President Trump will be influenced. I see little evidence to support that contention. Even those few benign influences that are around him do not seem able to do that.

“I start from the position of somebody who values the special relationship, but I understand that that special relationship is not between a government and an administration; it is between our two peoples. It is our shared history and our shared values that make it special and enduring, and that is what the Prime Minister risks doing severe damage to today.”

After the debate Mr Carmichael said over 1,500 people across the Northern Isles had signed the petition that initiated the parliamentary debate. Normally that figure would be a few hundred.

He added: “It shows the strength of feeling that there is in every corner of the country about the way our government is handling relations with the Trump administration.

“Having issued the invitation it would not be easy to rescind it but the danger now is that a state visit will create more problems than it would solve.”

• Last month dozens of people marched through Lerwick in opposition to the “the politics of fear” adopted by President Trump.


Add Your Comment
  • Robert Sandison

    • February 21st, 2017 22:03

    I was not aware off Mr Carmichael expressing any concern about recent state visits by the head of state of China or various gulf states whose human rights abuses are well documented . Yet he wants the democratically elected president off the USA our most important allie and the man who has said the UK will be first in line for a trade deal to be effectively banned from this country . Why ? in the article Mr Carmichael offers no specific reasons why President Trump should be bared from the UK .

    • Anne Barber

      • February 23rd, 2017 16:31

      OMG. You must take everything our President says with a huge grain of salt, or risk confusion and disappointment on a daily basis. Watch our late night satirists if you want the most accurate picture of what is going on in Washington.

    • John Inkster

      • February 23rd, 2017 18:59

      I agree with a lot of what you say Robert. Just when tricky negotiations are about to start with Brexit and Europe is going to try billing us for £50 billion, what better way to weaken our hand than to fall out with the President of the most wealthy control in the world who wants to put Britain first for a trade deal.

  • Bruce smith

    • February 22nd, 2017 14:06

    I have been on my boat in west Africa now for the last 4 weeks and every thing that Carmichael has said In that time I have disagreed with. And if I had the option I would rather speak to TRUMP than Carmichael. Time he was out!

    • John Bain

      • February 22nd, 2017 16:34

      Well said both Bruce and Robert, most politicians, from Phony Blair right through the ranks of educated idiots up to date which they undoubtedly mostly are, almost to a man ( or woman ), they’re out of touch with ordinary hard working peoples problems – they probably learned their history and economics at Uni., just a shame that they can’t convert their thoughts and knowledge therefrom into realism for the future.

      Incidentally, on a somewhat different cant but still highlighting the stupidity of our supposedly well informed leaders ……….. if the UK government can pay out a million pounds to a terrorist, ( UK news today ) what about giving the rest of us something for not being one, also another fallacy they love to keep pumping out is their rubbish about how the general population have to be subjected to austerity while all the rest – fund managers and the like just get richer, no wonder America voted for Trump, they – as we, are fed up with the idiotic, self centred antics of their leaders. Austerity – the history of a dangerous idea – but great to retain the status quo for the rich and famous !

      • Brian Smith

        • February 23rd, 2017 10:42

        Goodness, I hadn’t realised Trump is a pauper.

      • Bill Hall

        • February 23rd, 2017 11:31

        If you are worried about “fund managers and the rest getting richer”, there is a new book out that will shine a light on the way “fund managers and the rest” intend to do it.

        In CAPTURED, U.S. senator and former federal prosecutor Sheldon Whitehouse offers an eye-opening take on what corporate influence looks like today in the U.S. Government.

        Americans know something is wrong in their government. Senator Whitehouse combines history, legal scholarship, and personal experiences to provide the first comprehensive explanation of what’s gone wrong, exposing multiple avenues through which the U.S. government has been infiltrated and disabled by corporate powers. Captured reveals an original oversight by the Founders, and shows how and why corporate power has exploited that vulnerability: to strike fear in elected representatives who don’t “get right,” by threatening million-dollar “dark money” election attacks (a threat more effective and less expensive than the actual attack); to stack the judiciary—even the Supreme Court— in “business-friendly” ways; to “capture” the administrative agencies meant to regulate corporate behavior; to undermine the civil jury, the Constitution’s last bastion for ordinary citizens; and to create a corporate “alternate reality” on public health and safety issues like climate change.

  • David Spence

    • February 23rd, 2017 0:47

    ‘ while all the rest – fund managers and the like just get richer, no wonder America voted for Trump, they – as we, are fed up with the idiotic, self centred antics of their leaders. Austerity – the history of a dangerous idea – but great to retain the status quo for the rich and famous ! ‘

    Isn’t this the whole idea of Capitalism, John ?

    In the past it was Royalty (and still is, to a degree) and the Church which held the power, now, it is Banks, Large Corporate Companies and the Military (mainly from the USA) which holds the power. It is regrettable that such a power is mostly based on war and conflict and basically nothing else……….certainly in regards to the USA.

    We have killed more people in the last 120 years than we have in the last 2,000 years.

    All of this is driven by the ‘ Man-Made Concept of Money ‘.

  • Bruce smith

    • February 23rd, 2017 14:29

    Ok gone of track a bit Carmichael need not put his nose in to things unless the people of Shetland want him to .
    I never hear him speak up for job in the island
    Or ferry fares etc . We’re a small island and led to reach out to the big world

  • David Spence

    • February 23rd, 2017 23:55

    Regardless of whether Donald Trump come here (which I think is wrong) or not, you can guarantee the Tories will great him with open arms and and get down on their knee’s and kiss his feet.

    Trump’s visit is purely based on him and the Tories discussing how they can make the biggest profit in terms of shareholdings once the UK is out of the clutches of the EU, and the NHS, Education and other state run services is privatised and run, controlled by US companies.

    Did you not notice how quick Theresa May, was to get to the USA and congratulate Donald Trump. Reminds me of Spitting Image with Thatcher and Reagan. lol

    Brexit is the greenlight for this Government to do as they please, when they please and how they please……..and we will be worse off because of it, long term.

    In saying this though, if tens of thousands of people protest when Trump is here, it may remind him and the Tories, that people can have a voice and a voice which can, I hope, changed things for the better instead of the worse………….as the Tories would like it.

    • ian tinkler

      • February 25th, 2017 16:51

      Lets send Corbyn to the USA. They say opposites attract, Trump and Corbyn are made for each other.. A loser and a winner, extreme left meets extreme right. With a bit of luck they will fuse together and produce something a little less radical. I for one hate both of the extremes, just opposite sides of an unpleasant political coin.!!

  • Haydn Gear

    • February 24th, 2017 16:06

    If the proposed visit from that egomaniac takes place ( and I think it will ) those opposed to it should fight shy of making a fuss and simply Dump Trump by ignoring him. Clearly , he craves attention so don’t give it to him. Whatever happens he’ll get pumped up so just let him become a popped balloon. He’ll bring no credit to America and Britain will derive no credit from sucking up to him.

    • David Spence

      • February 25th, 2017 12:46

      but Haydn, doing nothing would be more rewarding for Trump and the Tories (mind you, the Tories only care about themselves and not the people of the country……..unless you are rich, privileged or royalty). If people do protest in large numbers, it may give Trump a signal he not god almighty supreme (although the Tories may think he is). As they saying is ‘ The taller you are, the harder you fall ‘.

      Many people may say ‘ He is going to do what he said he would do, and what people were thinking ‘ but I do not think ‘ the establishment will be that affected, despite his rhetoric prior to the election ‘. Trump, like all previous Presidents, will be kicked into place, and the status quo will resume.

      It would be interesting, on his international journeys to suck up who he has offended, if Trump visits a Muslim country and what reception he will get? lol

      Talking of sucking up, did you notice, as mentioned previously, how quick Theresa May, was in congratulating Trump? (Spitting Image the sequel lol). Mind you, Trump has probably got a harem (Muslim word) travelling everywhere he goes? lol


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