London’s mayor should spend more time getting his city’s murder rate below New York’s and less time encouraging puerile stunts like the orange Trump ‘baby’ balloon that woefully disrespects Britain’s greatest ally
When President Trump comes to Britain later this week, a giant 20ft balloon depicting him as an orange baby in diapers will be flown over the Houses of Parliament.
It will be the visual fulcrum for a large scale ‘Stop Trump’ protest being planned in London to welcome the divisive leader of the free world on his official state visit.
Campaigners crowd-funded their balloon stunt by raising $25,000 online to pay for it. Their intent is simply to humiliate President Trump in a way that will garner embarrassing images and headlines around the world.
When President Trump comes to Britain later this week, a giant 20ft balloon depicting him as an orange baby in diapers will be flown over the Houses of Parliament. Campaigners crowd-funded their balloon stunt by raising $25,000 online
Permission to fly the balloon was granted by London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has been a vitriolic Trump critic and didn’t want him to be given this state visit.
It was a decision that incensed Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York.
‘Sadiq Khan should be ashamed of himself,’ he raged. ‘Maybe he should just do his job instead of attacking a world leader? Many people who come to London are Americans. More than half of us in the US now support the President and even those who don’t support him, support his office. I would not like to go to a country where someone with the authority of a mayor was rallying people against them. It’s highly inappropriate.’
Giuliani, whose own ‘zero tolerance’ policies were widely applauded for substantially reducing violent crime in New York, added: ‘He’s so busy attacking President Trump’s visit and in the meantime, crime is spiralling in London. If crime is going up, he is obviously not paying attention to his job. This is one mayor who can tell him how to reduce crime – you have to pay attention to your job. From one mayor to another – do your job, Mr Khan.’
He makes a very good point.
I wonder how long it took Mayor Khan to approve this idea?
As long as it takes for the blade of a knife to pierce human flesh?
Or for a bullet to explode in someone’s heart?
Or for a thug on a moped to snatch a woman’s handbag?
I ask this because Giuliani’s absolutely right: violent crime in London has rocketed on Mayor Khan’s watch.
I wonder how long it took Mayor Khan to approve this idea? As long as it takes for the blade of a knife to pierce human flesh? Or for a bullet to explode in someone’s heart? Or for a thug on a moped to snatch a woman’s handbag? Violent crime in London has rocketed on his
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Knife attacks have soared by 21%, shooting incidents by 23%, street robberies by 33%, motorbike robberies by 50% and murders by 44%.
There have been over 80 murders so far in 2018, and in the months of February and March the city’s murder rate exceeded that of New York.
So many believe Mayor Khan has been an absolute disaster when it comes to keeping Londoners safe and he should be focusing on THAT rather than approving stupid balloon stunts designed to embarrass America’s president.
My own opinion about the balloon is that it’s a pathetically puerile stunt that makes Britain look woefully petty, small-minded and gratuitously offensive.
Of course, the protestors will argue that nobody is pettier, and more small-minded or gratuitously offensive than Trump himself.
But fighting childishness with worse childishness is usually a zero sum game – even for a child.
Whether you love or loathe Trump, for Britain to be greeting the leader of the United States of America, its greatest ally, in this way is appallingly disrespectful.
Americans are by far the largest group of tourist visitors to the UK, with more than 3.8 million travelling across the Atlantic last year, pumping billions into Britain’s economy.
The two countries also enjoy reciprocal trade worth several hundred billion dollars.
And of course, they have fought shoulder-to-shoulder in almost every modern military conflict.
So for a senior British politician to sanction such an openly insulting sneer at America’s president is beyond embarrassing.
It’s also rankly hypocritical.
If President Obama was still President, and there was a plan to fly a giant black baby balloon of him in diapers over parliament – how long do you think it would have taken Sadiq Khan to reject that idea as ‘racist’ and ‘offensive’
If President Obama was still President, and there was a plan to fly a giant black baby balloon of him in diapers over parliament – how long do you think it would have taken Sadiq Khan to reject that idea as ‘racist’ and ‘offensive’?
I could certainly construct a valid argument for Obama to have merited similar criticism to the far more unpopular Trump; after all, he deported over three million illegal immigrants, dropped an all-time record number of bombs in his last year as President, and allowed the illegal torture chamber Guantanamo Bay to remain open for his entire 8-year tenure despite making it a key campaign promise in 2008 to shut it down.
So yes, critics of ‘Saint’ Barack would have been absolutely within their rights to protest against him.
But with a mocking black baby balloon over Parliament? Forget it.
Mayor Khan would stamped ‘NO’ over that application so fast the ink wouldn’t have been dried by the time he hand-delivered it to Obama to suck up to his liberal hero.
There’s another hypocrisy too.
When the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, came to Britain recently, there was barely a murmur of discontent. I’ve seen bigger, angrier protests outside my local pub when someone accidentally puts the tennis on the TV during the current World Cup.
Yet this is a man who presides over a barbaric, medieval regime that still horribly oppresses women and gay people, and a man leading what many consider to be despicable war crimes in Yemen, funding Islamist extremism in Britain, and breaching human rights on a daily basis.
Similarly, last month, Turkey’s dictatorial leader President Erdogan also visited Britain to muted protests and no mocking giant balloon over Parliament.
Yet this is a guy who locks up journalists and political opponents, tortures his people, is butchering the Kurds in Syria, says ‘women are not equal to men’ and believes that empowering gay people is ‘against the values of our nation.’
Mayor Khan said almost nothing about the visits by these two leaders.
So we can only presume by his relentlessly hostile public attacks on President Trump, and now his approval of this balloon stunt, that he views America’s leader to be a worse human being who deserves far more severe and humiliating protests.
Such a ridiculous attitude may very well have serious consequences.
President Trump is a sensitive and thin-skinned man prone to taking public mockery rather personally. This balloon farce comes as Britain teeters on the brink of political meltdown
President Trump, as everyone knows, is a sensitive and thin-skinned man prone to taking public mockery rather personally.
This balloon farce comes as Britain teeters on the brink of political meltdown over its decision to leave the European Union.
Trump, an enthusiastic supporter of Brexit – in direct contrast to Obama, who said Britain would go to ‘the back of the queue’ for a trade deal with America if we voted to leave the EU – has repeatedly said he is keen to do a great new trade deal with the UK once it actually happens.
Britain desperately needs that deal to happen.
So ridiculing the man who can make that happen when he flies over to discuss such a deal seems a perverse act of self-harm.
Shame on you, Mayor Khan.
In words you would doubtless approve of: grow up, you big baby.
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