Whisper It Murdo
As Payton Quinn noted on Twitter: “If you’re shocked that May’s gone quiet on the #MuslimBan you should remember less that 6 months ago she suggested lists of foreign workers.” We should be wary in our shock and outrage at Trumps rule, to think that this is somehow alien to the British right, or to British values or that this our unelected Prime Minister is bowing down in the face of fascism for purely pragmatic ceremonial reasons. The gilded carriage the Queen will carry Donald Trump in will be familiar to him. The state broadcaster will televise it live. Nicholas Witchell will be on hand. The Dimbleby’s will intone a hushed narrative, a mixture of disdain and reverence.
Trump apologists and appeasers are basically a British fifth column emerging to rationalise the unthinkable. Some like Piers Morgan will be familiar and prominent, others are less high profile but more insidious. The Telegraph yesterday published an apologia for Trump’s Muslim Ban, saying (“Donald Trump’s answer on immigration is questionable, but he’s right that there is a problem to solve”):
“… all nations have a right to control their borders. Indeed, the integrity of the border, the ability to decide who enters and who does not, is a sine qua non of an effective state. And states that give up that ability take a grave risk. “
The descriptions and claims for Theresa May’s American sojourn are pitiful.
Murdo Fraser stated: “Whisper it, but this @theresa_may visit to the US is turning out to be something of a triumph.”
Whisper it Murdo.
The Tory Party in Scotland should be careful, their much-heralded advances in the wake of Labour collapse may not stand as they sit silent or cheerlead the far-right. They may be comfortable in their skins with their support for chilling racism and authoritarianism but it will be noted.
As Zoe Williams writes:
“Theresa May changed her mind about Donald Trump’s border policy because “events overtook” her. She failed to lodge any meaningful objection to his religious discrimination because she was “tired”, because she’d been “incommunicado during her flight”. She held Trump’s hand because he’s afraid of heights and her father is a vicar. She had some big wins – she elicited from a man of no character the promise that, even though he believed in torture, he wouldn’t actually try it. The arguments put forward in defence of May’s minibreak with the autocrats have been so bizarre, so feeble, so morally vacuous, so far outside any reasonable account of successful diplomatic relations, that to respond to them one by one would be to miss the only thing that is important.”
And where does this go from here?
News that Steve Bannon has been offered a full seat on the “principals committee” of the National Security Council — while downgrading the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence” – suggests that what is happening is not just an unprecedented set of policies but a fundamental re-structuring of the systems of government.
— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) January 29, 2017
In “Trial Balloon for a Coup?” the writer Yonatan Zunger (@yonatanzunger) makes five startling observations:
First: “Priebus made two public statements today. One is that the ban on Muslims will no longer be applied to green card holders. Notably absent from his statement was anything about people with other types of visa (including long-term ones), or anything about the DHS’ power to unilaterally revoke green cards in bulk.”
Second: “the omission of Jews from the statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day was deliberate and is not regretted.” [A point of note here is that Priebus is the one making these statements, which is not normally the Chief of Staff’s job.]
Third: “Rudy Giuliani told Fox News that the intent of yesterday’s order was very much a ban on Muslims, described in those words, and he was among the people Trump asked how they could find a way to do this legally.”
Fourth: “the “mass resignations”of nearly all senior staff at the State Department on Thursday were not, in fact, resignations, but a purge ordered by the White House. As the diagram below (by Emily Roslin v Praze) shows, this leaves almost nobody in the entire senior staff of the State Department at this point.”
See diagram below.
Fifth: “On Wednesday, Reuters reported (in great detail) how 19.5% of Rosneft, Russia’s state oil company, has been sold to parties unknown.”
In the froth of outrage against the Muslim Ban we need to remember the continuity between the British and the American right and be witness to what’s happening here. In the face of Tory complicity and Labour incompetence, we shouldn’t be waiting for politicians. Resisting fascism is an act of articulating the kind of Scotland you want to live in.