Britain Probably Won't Ban Donald Trump From Seeing Big Ben Or The London Eye
It seemed Britain's Parliament was all talk and no action Monday, when a debate over banning Donald Trump from the United Kingdom ended with no vote taken and no legal action likely. Although the debate certainly resulted in a treasure trove of new Trump jokes, it appears to have been more a matter of fulfilling legal regulations and organizing a highly-publicized venting session than a legitimate government concern. And who would understand the need to rant about others in a public forum more than Trump?
Monday's debate followed an online petition orchestrated by Scottish journalist and satirist Suzanne Kelly, which called for the American business mogul to be no longer welcome in U.K. territory as a direct result of his inflammatory demand for a temporary "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the United States. The petition garnered 576,200 signatures online, landing it firmly on Parliament's agenda, as the governing body debates all petitions filed that acquire more than 100,000 signatures.
While most of the MPs were against the bill, arguing that it violated freedom of speech and would only serve to deliver the Republican presidential candidate more press, it was clear that Trump has few fans in the British governing body.
During the debate, Trump was called "crazy," "bonkers," "racist," "homophobic," "misogynistic," "obscene," "insensitive," "a fool," "an idiot," "a wazzock" (Brit speak for a stupid annoying person), "a buffoon," "not well-informed," "profoundly offensive and dangerous," "a poisonous and corrosive man," and "absolutely repugnant."
But that's not to say there wasn't anyone battling in Trump's corner. British Conservative Party politician Philip Davies applauded Trump for his lack of "political correctness":
In the race to become the next president, he's been gaining support with a political manner that can be described as blunt directness. He is definitely straight-talking, and as a Yorkshireman, I certainly applaud him for that, too. In fact, I think in this country we could do with rather less political correctness and much more straight-talking across the board, and I think many of our constituents would agree.
Trump has also argued that the petition and parliament's debate stems from the big PC. "The U.K. politicians should be thanking me instead of pandering to political correctness," he wrote in an op-ed published by Scottish newspaper Press and Journal. "I only said what needed to be said, and when I am elected no one will be tougher or smarter than me."
However, insults aside, the legal power to ban someone from the United Kingdom doesn't even reside with its Parliament. That falls to Home Secretary Theresa May -- who, despite having prohibited more than 200 people from entering the U.K. since 2010, has so far shown no interest in slapping Trump with a ban.
Perhaps the whole issue is best characterized by the comments of Conservative MP Alex Chalk, who said, "This is about buffoonery, and ultimately, buffoonery should be met not with the blunt instrument of a ban, but with the classic British response of ridicule."