The heart sinks. President Trump is to visit the UK at the end of February, it is being reported. Wags are suggesting that the UK government – unpopular enough already and desperate to avoid being tarnished further by association with Trump – should pick February 29th 2018 (not a leap year) for the trip.
The other reason that the heart sinks is that every tin-pot agitator and fluent, gobshite, shouty speechifyer in Britain is beyond excited about the trip and the opportunity it provides for signalling their own virtue. The excitement is tangible. It’s the Piety Olympics and the Protest World Cup combined for bored far-leftists, right-on types and even some Liberal Democrats who miss being on the popular side of the argument. Let’s make this the biggest demo about anything ever, they say, which sounds like an over-reaction considering the demonstrations and activism which took place in the UK against slavery and in favour of giving people the vote.
Just as bad, Trump’s fans in Britain are excited too. They are small in number, but they love publicity. I give it 12 hours before one of the Farage gang is pledging to hold a pro-Trump rally, to which Trump will be invited to speak. Trump will accept too. With Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg as the support act.
My suggestion is that, to spare the rest of us who don’t like Trump but don’t much like virtue-signalling either, a large field should be hired. The English Civil War’s Marston Moor, perhaps, where both sides – pro-Trump and anti – can meet to fight it out during the Trump visit in the manner of a cage fight. The President is bound to turn up to that event too to provide analysis at half-time. Think of the ratings. He is a fan of celebrity wrestling. Vulgar wrestling and fake conflict provides the leitmotif of the Trump presidency. This would be such a great fight. So great.
Regrettably, my compromise solution seems unlikely to be adopted. There is too little time. Trump will be here, it seems, for many days. That being the case, what should sane people do when he is here to avoid the hysteria and hype? Here are some preliminary suggestions:
1) Take a holiday in New Zealand.
2) Take a holiday in Chile.
3) Explore space travel.
4) Delete all social media accounts and sell your television.
5) Decamp to anywhere outside London. Outside the self-obsessed capital most people will be paying almost no attention to the Trump visit. There is probably an exception to that rule in Edinburgh, where Scottish lefties and nationalists will not want to feel left out. They will probably organise their own anti-Trump demo, but it will be small (morally superior though, obviously, and better than the English demo in some indefinable way). It should be easy to avoid the Scottish demo if you stick to the Edinburgh New Town and stay away from the area around the Scottish Parliament where virtue-signalling will be at especially high levels throughout Trump’s visit.
6) Travel to either coast of America, where anti-Trump Americans will be so appalled by the spectacle of Trump on tour in London that they will offer visiting Britons free food, wine and accommodation.
7) Try to ignore it.