Campaigners have hailed it as a 'huge victory for our movement' - after polling for Left Foot Forward showed one in ten would be likely to protest Trump's visit.
They’d never suggest it, but Donald Trump’s visit being cancelled is a victory for progressives.
While the official story is that Trump doesn’t want to open a new, relocated Embassy in Vauxhall (‘bad deal’), many are viewing it as a reaction to the growing likelihood of mass protests.
In classic Trump style, the stated reason for cancelling the visit was, even on the face of it a lie. He wrote: “I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts”. Yet the decision to move to Vauxhall happened under…George Bush.
A BMG poll for Left Foot Forward just last month showed that one in ten adults would be ‘likely to protest’ if Trump visited – while a further thirty per cent of respondents said the visit by the President would make them angry.
One in ten adults would amount to over four million people – that’s not to mention all the young people who would turn out.
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband called Trump out over the real reason for the cancellation:
Nope it’s because nobody wanted you to come. And you got the message. https://t.co/9xV7bFZQgL
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) January 12, 2018
Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Jo Swinson said the news “will be welcomed by all of us who reject his abhorrent views.” But she added:
“It’s a disappointing sign of how weak May’s leadership is that she wasn’t brave enough to call the visit off herself. The Prime Minister should be ashamed that she was so keen to roll out the red carpet to a man who spreads hate and division at every turn, and goes out of his way to undermine British values.”
The Stop Trump Coalition called it a ‘huge victory for our movement’, while campaigner and journalist Owen Jones said it showed the power of protest:
Translation: “I’m terrified of being met by the biggest protests in British history.” Protesting works. And if he ever changes his mind, we’ll give this racist buffoon the welcome he deserves. @UKStopTrump ✊ https://t.co/zBpegZgx31
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) January 12, 2018
Women’s March London hailed the news:
In the UK we will always #standtogether for equality and for justice. And we’ll show you that whenever you come here, Mr Trump
— Women’s March London (@womensmarchlon) January 12, 2018
Labour’s Chuka Umuna called the US President a ‘racist and misogynist’ on Radio 4 this morning, in a spar with Nigel Farage:
I got the chance to take on Nigel Farage on @BBCr4today this morning over his support for Trump – a racist and misogynist who should never have been invited for a state visit to the UK in the first place. pic.twitter.com/y337BaXhZ5
— Chuka Umunna (@ChukaUmunna) January 12, 2018
Who’s the snowflake now?
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.
There is a rally – presumably now a celebration rally – about the Trump visit on the 21st January. More information here.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.