Trump’s return to the UK will prove a real test for our leaders

Donald trump pointing

Donald Trump will come to the UK on 24 June, the day after the EU referendum, to attend the relaunch of one of his golf resorts in Scotland.

The Republican presidential candidate owns two resorts in the country: Trump International Golf Links in Menie, the battle over which was the subject of the 2013 documentary You’ve Been Trumped, and the Trump Turnberry hotel and golf course. He bought the latter in 2014, which has been given a $200m refurbishment.

Aside from a resurfacing of bad feeling from the various rows surrounding Trump’s business conduct in Scotland, there has been speculation over whether UK leaders will meet with him after they uniformly criticised his racist comments about Muslims and Mexicans last year.

David Cameron has flip-flopped over whether or not he would be happy to meet with the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee after a campaign mired in controversy. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, has stripped Trump of his honorary title as a “GlobalScot” business ambassador last year, and is quoted by the Guardian as having said:

she found the businessman’s views on Muslims “really abhorrent”, and that she had her fingers crossed he would not win the presidential elections.

Whether or not leaders meet with Trump will be under close scrutiny, as will their conduct if they do so. For many it will be a litmus test of leadership itself. To what extent can a strong leader host another who has been widely touted as racist, divisive and dangerous – even by the Prime Minister himself – and entertain him as an important visitor to the UK without comment?

Trump’s business deals in Scotland have not only been a perfect illustration of his divisive conduct, but also of his flouting of regulation and disdain for environmental integrity. You’ve Been Trumped provided an exposé of the businessman, then only considering his run for the presidency as he fought to destroy an area of Scotland so rare and environmentally significant it was described by one scientist as “Scotland’s Amazon rainforest”. The delicate sand dune network that Trump sought to destroy to build Trump International Golf Links on was also home to a handful of people whom he tried to evict, launching smear campaigns against the individual homeowners and calling one of them “a pig” who lives in “a slum”.

Read on...

Then-leader of the SNP, Alex Salmond, at first welcomed Trump’s promises of 6,000 jobs and huge investment in Scotland, ignoring the environmental destruction that came as part of the deal – but their relationship soon turned sour when Trump tried to sabotage a wind farm development backed by the government.

The Trump International Golf Links employs fewer than 100 people, and the rare dune system lies in ruins while the resort sits on top, losing millions of pounds.

There are plenty of reasons to criticise Trump as a person, a businessman, and certainly as a politician – for what he has done in the UK and for what he might do to, and in the name of, the US. Whether or not the UK’s figureheads will “unite against him”, as Cameron cited as a reason to invite him to the UK back in December, remains to be seen. Now that the Prime Minister is back-peddling on that attitude, it may well be up to British citizens to voice a stance against Trump’s contempt, especially since he now stands on the edge of an even bigger platform for wielding it.

Get involved!

Write to your MP about how you’d like to see leadership respond to Trump’s visit.

Image via Gage Skidmore

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed