It was impossible to not see Donald Trump making his second state visit to the UK. Trust me, I tried. But he was everywhere. His orange face was all over the place: newspapers I walked past, the 24/7 news channel that plays in the office, every social media platform, and I even had the pleasure of seeing him in balloon form flying over Parliament Square. My own phone was even against me, sending me constant news notifications following Trump’s every move. There was no avoiding the fact that Trump had landed on UK soil.
Protests were organised and Mayor Sadiq Khan publicly boycotted Trump’s presence in London. Khan stated that the president’s views and values completely contradicted that of London’s and to this, Trump responded by calling Khan a ‘stone cold loser’ – on Twitter, obviously.
Talking of Twitter, Trump documented his visit on his favourite online mouthpiece – ‘Just arrived in the United Kingdom. The only problem is that @CNN is the primary source of news available from the U.S. After watching it for a short while, I turned it off. All negative & so much Fake News, very bad for U.S. Big ratings drop. Why doesn’t owner @ATT do something?’ Now on this we can agree Donald. I do the same, when I’m watching, say I don’t know, a bigoted, egotistical president on the news. I also turn it off.
During his short three days in London, Trump accomplished a lot. He compared the Irish border to that of the US and Mexico, he firmly stated that the NHS ‘will be on the table’ during post-brexit trade talks, he then later (in a mere matter of hours) said that it would not be on the table, and of course, he claimed that ‘Fake News will be working hard’ to find protestors. He also told British press that Boris Johnson would make ‘an excellent prime minister’, which I fear he may have only said out of admiration for Boris’s choice of hairstyle…
Faced with criticism from the outset, Trump’s visit to the UK was never going to be a holiday. Although, someone may have forgotten to tell his daughter, Ivanka about it not being an all-expenses paid trip (by the American taxpayer) – as she flooded her Instagram with holiday-style, ‘just visited the Victoria and Albert museum!’ photos.
The whole Trump-experience was all-consuming, underwhelming and extremely tedious. We all knew what would happen, he’d make nice with the royals, he’d not understand political questions put to him at press conferences and he’d tweet some stupid stuff. Trump will be leaving feeling smug, accomplished and ‘amiable’ with the UK, which is probably how he arrived.
Simply sticking the American and British flag emoji’s side by side on your Twitter feed, doesn’t make for a strong alliance Mr. Trump. We need to be wooed more than that…
Words by Emma Greedy