Allies, friends and trade partners

A country needs good allies, some friendly countries and many trade partners. Theresa May is doing a good job renewing our networks, and showing she has influence with allies.

A country cannot run its allies or control their governments. It can try to influence them, and work to common standards. I think the USA is a strong enough democracy to sort out the concerns about the temporary travel ban. It has already been modified following court and political action. The Vice President himself called the original version unconstitutional. The UK has established it does not apply to UK nationals flying from the UK.

It is   not feasible for a country to provide a permanent running commentary on all the decisions and views of all its allies and certainly not of all its trading partners. There are many features of undemocratic regimes we do not like, yet we carry on trading with them. Some of us  did not like the USA’s use of Guantanamo Bay for detention without charge or trial, but we kept our stance as an ally of Mr Obama’s USA. A UK company has recently signed a contract to supply arms to Turkey, a NATO ally. Are we happy with all Turkey’s policies?  The EU has been helping Turkey build frontier walls . Are we content with that? That after all is being done our money and in our name as an EU member.

Today many say we have to take a further view on Mr Trump’s policies. What do you think the UK should say and do?

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    The UK should largely leave it to the US courts, democratic institutions and authorities to sort out. Clearly the plan has not been implemented very sensibly.

    Meanwhile I see that under the IHT tax ratter Osborne and his office of tax simplification (set up in 2010) the tax code has nearly doubled yet again. Soon almost everyone will be forced to do quarterly reporting too.

    Clearly the government think that no one should have any time to run their businesses at all and should just spend all their time reading the tax laws, talking to and paying lawyers and accountants and filing tax returns. It should be just great for Hammond’s alleged productivity agenda.

  2. DaveM
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    I think the U.K. and all other western countries’ politicians should have a look at themselves and realize they are partly to blame. Like it or not, Trump is doing what he said he was going to do. Unfortunately people have got so used to politicians NOT doing what they promised that no one actually expected him to follow through with his policies.

    • Dunedin
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      The media still don’t get it. They are rather surprised that Mr Trump is putting his campaign policies into action – the people voted against establishment politicians who forget about campaign promised once they are elected.

      Large sections of the media are hostile to the Trump presidency. Mrs May needs to make it clear that she will not be manipulated into making comments on every new policy.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    It is reported that parliament will hold an inquiry into “fake news”. Perhaps they should start with the absurd BBC and particularly its bonkers climate catastrophe/alarmism agenda. It has been hugely damaging and makes the BBC look absurd and unscientific.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Good to hear that Trump’s climate chap seems determined to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord so should Theresa May (and the absurd climate change act). The idea that wind, PV and lagoon subsidies make any engineering, environmental or economic sense is certainly fake news (nor are they “renewable” either technically).

  4. Brigham
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Trump is just doing what he said he would. If we want to stay close to the USA in trade we should avoid criticising him for his honesty, and, to use a new term (to me) The snowflakes should stop winging.

  5. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    We should get involved only to the extent of supporting UK citizens otherwise stay out. For example we didn’t complain about Obama’s similar ban on Iraqi citizens in 2011. I have travelled extensively and seen all sorts of immigration and visa requirements I would not support in UK – the ban on Israelis travelling almost anywhere in the Arab world for example, but I don’t feel inclined to take to the streets in protest. Ultimately no-one except USA citizens has the right to enter the USA, everyone else is there by invitation and it can be withdrawn (or are there illegally).

    • old salt
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Re- ban on Israelis travelling to many Arab countries, it also used to apply decades ago to those with an Israeli stamp in their passport.

      • DaveM
        Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Still does pretty much. Not a ban as such, but (where I work) people have two passports if they go to arab countries and Israel because the red tape is stifling.

      • oldtimer
        Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        True. It was customary to have two passports to cater for such situations.

  6. zorro
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Let JC and TF virtue signal to their heart’s content…. Probably there only real skill and studiously ignore them.


    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      That and trying to buy votes by promising them other people’s money.

  7. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Dear John–His comment that a nation without borders is not a nation is about as true as it gets for me. If he had not acted immediately and instead set a date there would have been a big rush to beat that date not to mention protests leading up to it–bit like where we are at following the non immediate trigger. He is doing what he promised and was elected to do.

    • Chris
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Well said, LS.

  8. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Trump is doing no more than reactivate a law passed by Carter in 1979 which allows the president to sign an executive order to temporarily ban certain groups for entering the USA.
    This was used to expel about 700 Iranian students I believe.
    Once again the great and good think left wing idea good, right wing same idea bad.
    Trump is doing what he campained on and he is much more in touch with the voters than Clinton ever was.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      The US actually has a long history of deliberately discriminating against specified groups for immigration purposes, notably:

      “The Chinese Exclusion Act was a United States federal law signed by President Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers. The act followed the Angell Treaty of 1880, a set of revisions to the US–China Burlingame Treaty of 1868 that allowed the US to suspend Chinese immigration. The act was initially intended to last for 10 years, but was renewed in 1892 with the Geary Act and made permanent in 1902. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first law implemented to prevent a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States. It was repealed by the Magnuson Act on December 17, 1943.”

      But even that “only allowed a national quota of 105 Chinese immigrants per year, and did not repeal the restrictions on immigration from the other Asian countries. Large scale Chinese immigration did not occur until the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.”

  9. alan jutson
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Your posting is very sensible.

    We should react with a sensible word in the ear, ask for further clarification, then use the usual diplomatic channels to make any further contact until resolved, or an until a real conflict situation/problem is reached.

    Afraid Mr Trump has bought this upon himself by trying to short circuit the more usual communication system, and issuing broad stroke instructions in his haste to move policies forward.
    Sometimes fast action can lead to chaos if all people involved are not briefed fully or properly, particularly those who have to implement policy.

    Not for me to tell the new President how to act or behave, but he should be made aware of possible areas of conflict by his own Governments advisors.

  10. Julien Tabulazero
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir,

    Seen from abroad, it looks like Theresa May will accept any meeting with anyone who will have her. I do remember however, the last time the UK decided to unquestionably and irrevocably align itself with a divisive US President. It did not end well.

    Best regards

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Yet if she’d been 10th or 100th in line to see Mr Trump Europhiles would have gloated.

      Being members of the EU didn’t prevent us aligning with divisive US Presidents previously.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Seen from home yours sounds like sour grapes.

  11. Iain Gill
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    We should congratulate trump for actually doing something about immigration instead of empty promises. He maybe making mistakes but so were the liberal elite who have had it their way so long.
    Still all my friends in the USA are 100% trump supporters, which you wouldn’t believe given the news coverage. I conclude the news is completely out of touch.

    • Chris
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      I believe you are absolutely right. Our media needs a complete overhaul, starting with the BBC.

  12. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    So Trump does not attempt to protect women?

    The text of the Executive Order says:

    “In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation”.

  13. Andy Marlot
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    America is not a democracy. It’s a plutocracy that mistakenly allowed a narcissistic idiot to get himself elected, possibly as the fall guy for coming disasters. Washington may want a trade deal but watch out, it’ll probably be like the last ones offered that effectively allowed US corporations to take over governments. Why does Britain want to be in NATO or allied with a country that uses torture, mass imprisonment and wars for profit? What does that say about us? Time that our pathetic leaders grew a pair and refused to be involved with war crimes and criminality on a global scale.

    • matthu
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      This is a message that I feel might resonate far more among thinking people than messages based solely on misogyny and virtue signalling.

    • NickC
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Britain is no longer the world’s policeman. This is not the time of the British Empire, and we can no longer send a gunboat to sort out those pesky colonialists or upstart natives.

      You will have to learn to live with regimes you don’t like. You will have to learn to be tolerant rather than bossy. There are many regimes seriously more unpleasant than Trump’s USA, even if you are desperate to virtue signal. And we still do business with them all.

      Of course we should welcome the new POTUS on a state visit to our newly independent nation. Anything else would be posturing absurdity.

  14. rainyday
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Get those who don’t already realize that their opinions are, and always have been, manipulated.

  15. Bert Young
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Turning a blind eye to things that occur elsewhere is no stranger in diplomatic affairs . When we become a sovereign nation again we will be able to decide for ourselves ; at the moment – whether we agree or not with the goings on in the USA , at least we can envy their independence .

    Our borders are very leaky and when individuals arrive here and fail to subscribe to our way of life , our rules and regulations , we still cannot get rid of them due to controls from outside . When we try to instigate some controls , we are often ridiculed and made to look isolationist . The NHS is open to all sorts of abuse from foreigners with many cases being exposed in the media ; the sooner we can institute proper controls again the better .

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Obviously the UK government should join in with the worldwide chorus of condemnation of everything Trump says and does, otherwise it will not be signalling its own virtue.


    • Handbags
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      There isn’t a ‘worldwide chorus of condemnation’ it’s simply a biased media refusing to report anything that’s favourable to Donald.

      We can all see this – the electorate can seen through the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky’s news manipulation.

      The media’s been rumbled – and they don’t like it.

      It’s absolutely wonderful to behold.

  17. Iain Moore
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    The Trump Executive Order only mentions one country for a ban, Syria, a lot of people in Syria facing discrimination are Christians. So it is not a Muslim ban. The other six countries that the likes of the BBC are saying Trump is banning, aren’t, it is a pause, they aren’t even mentioned for I gather these countries come from Obama legislation. I don’t remember people getting worked up at banning Obama coming here for putting travel restrictions on Muslim countries in 2011.

    If we decide to do anything we should decide it on some facts, not the false news coming from the BBC.

  18. JimS
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I think we should act in the interest of the UK and NOT that of the BBC and their disaster-a-day agenda.

    They need to create a news feed to keep themselves in a job and either can’t, don’t want to, or actually delight in seeing that they are cutting off the bough that we are all sitting on, including themselves.

  19. Dennis Perrin
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    “The UK” need do nothing special. Individual politicians will make their comments in the usual way. “Wait and See” often works. There are no high marks for heaping judgment on others. “The UK” already speaks with (too) many conflicting voices. The media can’t resist trying to make policy. Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC is a good example of the negative interview. “The UK” should resist media pressures and be true to its principles.

    • turboterrier
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      @Dennis Perrin

      Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC is a good example of the negative interview.

      And some. Totally out of touch with the real world.

    • Know-dice
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      I would go along with that… Laura Kuenssberg – what juvenile questions posed to May & Trump in Washington and also to May in London.

      The BBC is trying hard to “make the news” rather than report it…

  20. Beecee
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    The new British pastime is to find things to be offended about, even to being offended on behalf of others who may not in fact be offended at all.

    Such is the case with Mr Trump who, whether we like it or not, is implementing what he said he would do during his campaign.

    I did not notice people marching in protest then, nor demands he be banned from visiting the UK!

    Meat and drink for the media of course, especially the BBC

  21. June Romans
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I don’t like Trump, but isn’t he doing what he said he would? He was voted in by people who want more control over their own borders. The chaos that ensued was predictable, and it was awful seeing that family of Syrian Christians being deported, which was presumably not part of the game plan.
    Since it appears that the issues concerning our own citizens have been resolved, maybe the rest of it is none of our business. There are plenty of people here who would like to see a more robust attitude towards whom we allow into the UK, including those 38 year old migrant ‘children’ we ‘welcomed’ recently, and returning jihadists who seem to face few problems getting in.

  22. beryl jackson
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    It’s an issue of civilised versus uncivilsed isn’t it? Human beings, especially when under stress, tend to express reactionary, self protecting behaviour. This is retrogressive and leads to conflict and lack of progress. The job of government is to constantly create and nurture a more humane and expansive environment. This enables cooperation and tolerance and I would argue ‘progression’. The leader of the most powerful country in the world should be an exemplar of this. Countries all over the world look to the US – as the apparent goal of progress- for direction in terms of values and behaviours that lead to this ‘success’. It should be seen as a huge responsibility and privilege to thus influence the world. Our PM must calmly clarify why Trump’s policy is anti civilisation and what effects it will or could have on world progress.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      All my life I’ve been hearing how we should set an example to the world and others will follow. But I can’t say that this strategy has had many successes.

  23. Horatio McSherry
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink


    What we should do is not allow the hysterical left and professional protesters to keep setting the media agenda as they have done over the past few days. The key is not rising to their bait as it’s legitimising the spurious/hypocritical complaints, because as we’ve seen, a few days later when the facts are known they’re hoisted by their own petard. As we saw from the first minute of the President’s executive order, just the fact that Trump had done something was enough to set them off – baying for blood – and by the end of last night they were tying themselves in knots trying to split hairs over why their man Obama was right to do something similar in 2011 but Trump now isn’t. They’ve quickly piped down and moved on to organising a protest for when he arrives.

    This week it’ll be the same, just over something else.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      The media is not setting the agenda – Trump is. As soon as they get into full upset mode, he will produce another rabbit from his hat. The poor dears must be getting exhausted!

  24. wab
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The UK should defend the interests of its own citizens (which allegedly it has done, if you can believe anything that Bojo says). Trump is like a petulant two year old, and there is no good way to deal with him. It is unfortunate that Mrs. May (heading towards becoming the second worst prime minister of all time but evidently striving to be the first) felt the need to suck up to Trump (on her visit to the US and over his forthcoming state visit to the UK).

  25. formula57
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Now, after unconscionable delay that produced extreme anxiety, we learn that what would have been the greatest tragedy in our lifetimes has been averted and Sir Mo Farah after all will be able to travel to his home in the USA (presumably as he runs long distance he needs a bigger country than the UK in which to train), I think we need take no further view on Mr Trump’s immigration and travel bans until they are lifted or revised in the ninety day timeframe he has given himself.

    President Trump’s actions are, I expect, more to do with meeting expectations locally than with managing immigration and travel. Clumsy and heavy-handed though the measures might be and largely effective only in inconveniencing many seeking to enter the USA, they hardly warrant being treated as some sort of great regression to the Dark Ages.

    His pusillanimous retreat on NATO’s obsolesence is of more concern as that increases the risk of the UK being drawn into unsought conflicts.

  26. oldtimer
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Re the travel ban the UK should look after the interests of its citizens who hold dual passports including those of the banned countries. As you point out, this has been achieved.

    Beyond that the government should use its formal and informal contacts with the new US administration to make such points it deems right to protect and promote UK interests.

    That has not stopped many others making lots of noise about cancelling Mr Trump’s state visit later this year. This is absurd. Paul Goodman points out today that the Queen welcomed Xi Jingping, the leader of a country with whose policies we have far greater disagreements than with the USA.

    US immigration policy is a matter for the USA not for the UK even though its implementation apparently was not thought through and has, in consequence, been ham fisted.

    • rose
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      “even though its implementation apparently was not thought through and has, in consequence, been ham fisted.”

      The list of countries deemed suitable for exclusion was drawn up by Obama. Presumably the intelligence was convincing as it passed through Congress.

      If he had given the countries advance notice, then you might be able to say things weren’t thought through. But he didn’t.

      The appearance of a shambles has been created by the hostile media and the no borders mobs.

      I suppose people will be saying our policy wiith the US hasn’t been thought through as Mrs May is being booed. On that, when did it become acceptable for the media to tell a PM what to say? As they did Liz Truss over the High Court ruling on Brexit. I would say it was on the death of the Princess of Wales when they tried to tell the Queen what to say. We must not fall for it.

      • oldtimer
        Posted January 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Where did I suggest that he should have given notice to the other countries affected? Nowhere. The confusion appears to been in the communications within the US administration.

        In passing I note that intended reforms of the US visa system are causing great upset in the US technology sector. They depend on highly skilled immigrants. It seems to me that the UK might well be a beneficiary of these changes if the Apples and Googles of this world decide to relocate the work they do to the UK.

  27. Mitchel
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    What should we say or do?


    We weep for the Kurds,yet arm Turkey.We are spending vast sums on aid for those caught up by the fighting in Syria and Yemen yet give material and diplomatic support to those who have exacerbated if not caused those conflicts.We prattle on about the importance of NATO for our defence yet NATO’s offensive operations and expansion have compromised our safety.Etc.

    Enough with the hypocrisy and double standards!

  28. bigneil
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    “A country cannot run its allies or control their governments”

    But that is exactly what the EU is. That’s just for starters.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink


    • Mactheknife
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      That was going to be my point. We have become used to being told what we can and cant do by the EU so we somehow see the US actions as something out of the ordinary.

      But lets be honest, even the BBC website reported that only just over 100 had actually been detained and 300,000 plus let in. They further acknowledge that this is a short term measure until a new policy is introduced. But its a stick to beat Trump with by the left wing progressives and the left wing media.

      I have long advocated that too many countries wish to involve themselves in others politics and policies and it is not our right to do so. We should speak out about violence and repression of the public in certain regimes but as Mrs May has already said we are interventionist no more.

  29. turboterrier
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    In answer to your question John.

    Nothing and keep well out of it. We have nothing to gain by getting involved.

    Sadly the luvvies are going to go on the march but they are to be ignored and if they keep it going, advise them to go and live where and what they protesting for.

  30. Ed Mahony
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    More than what we can say or do to Trump, important as that may be, is to say that as Conservatives we don’t share his vision of Conservatism.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t describe you as a Conservative, Mr Mahony. No offence intended.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted January 30, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        I live in the home counties. Most people i know are Conservative voters and say pretty much the same thing about Trump as i do (in fact, most Republicans i know in the States say the same as well). Not only am I a Conservative but I’m probably slightly right of the average Conservative voter in this country. Therefore i have no idea about kind of Conservatism you’re talking about.

      • hefner
        Posted January 30, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        So what is a Conservative? Within the party, there is diversity, from JR, to Ken Clarke? and the same for actual members.
        Also not all Conservatives do not follow JR’s blog.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted January 31, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

          Well said. I’m a centre right Conservative and my favourite Tory overall is the hard right-winger Edward Leigh. I also like Mr Redwood (for business and transport). And Ken Clarke for the economy, smoking cigars and listening to jazz.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted January 30, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Also, i think you’re forgetting there are two basic types of Conservatives: hard right and centre right. I’m a centre right Conservative on economics / politics in general (and hard right on social issues). Most Conservative voters are easily centre right. Without the centre right voters, the Conservative Party wouldn’t have a hope of ever getting into power.

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 31, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          Would you support Mrs Thatcher these days ?

          Otherwise I accept what you’re saying about conforming with modern conservatism.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted January 31, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

            I think Thatcher was brilliant and flawed.
            Brilliant that she turned the tide of socialism crippling this country.
            But there were some flaws to her vision of Conservatism (as there is to EVERYONE’S vision of Conservatism as we’re all mortal – we’re not God – and Mrs Thatcher would have agreed with me on this as she was a devout Christian – I’m a follower of Christ, like her, although i’m not a very good one).
            May the great lady rest in peace and may God bless the UK.

  31. Kenneth
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    In my opinion this is a matter for the U.S.

    The BBC Fake News is getting out of hand.

    It is becoming hard to find real news amongst it own political campaigning.

  32. fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    We should stay out of this debacle. Our citizens are protected. The USA and its laws are nothing to do with us. Same as many other countries. The list of countries where we don’t agree with all of their laws is endless. We don’t expect other countries to tell us what to do (although the EU makes a good job of it) so why do we expect to be able to dictate to others?? I am frankly sick to death of the BBC always trying to find ways to undermine anything they don’t personally believe in and brainwashing the population. They should be held to account for their crap reporting and bias. I think if I hear Sturgeon DEMAND something once more I may need a large bucket.

  33. Ed Mahony
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Apologies for ranting about Trump, but i think his particular radical approach is dangerous for the world and the UK (not just security but trade as well).

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink


      Don’t you think that Merkel, by letting in thousands of unchecked people into Europe is also dangerous. I know which I prefer.

    • zorro
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:49 pm | Permalink



    • Anonymous
      Posted January 31, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      In voting Trump people have sought stability and security. Previous incumbants to office have caused huge upheavels whilst purporting to be sensible and conservative (small c.)

      Trump is only radical in contrast with them. The vote for him (and perhaps Brexit too) is an oversteer because of the refusal by all parties to supply even moderate and simple conservatism. Trump would not have stood out as anything dangerous 40 or 50 years ago – that his how far the pendulum has swung leftwards.

      • hefner
        Posted January 31, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        … How far the pendulum has swung leftwards ???
        Mrs Thatcher said one of her successes was Blair. Most “left”-wing governments have adopted most of the neoliberal discourse and economic policies over the last twenty years. If you know anything about the Overton window, most socio- politologists appear to agree that the pendulum has swung rightward. I would not want it to go further right.
        The ridiculous daily contributor who calls the present PM a socialist does not know a thing. He should have tried to visit the GDR, Cuba, or the USSR, when they were still around.

  34. eeyore
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Hard cases notoriously make bad law, but President Trump has devised a way for bad law to make hard cases. The rationale to his action, we are told (DT Jan 28), is that the countries on his hit-list are full of Isis rascals. To keep them out he adopts the remarkable expedient of keeping everyone out.

    “Laws till now have been passed for the purpose of explaining doubts, but this is a law made to create them.” (Burke, 1772).

    Perhaps Mr Trump’s real motive is to get a rash election pledge out of the way good and early. Bis dat qui cito dat – he pays twice who pays promptly. Never mind that the coin is bad.

  35. David Bunn
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I assume you didn’t sign it, but you’re on the list John (currently 14th row from bottom):

    ‘Get petition data (json format)’

    Same re Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Bill Cash and many others…

    Reply No I did not sign it.

  36. J.White
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    We should stay out, Trump is doing what he said he would do and they still elected him. We wouldn’t and don’t like it if other countries tell us what to do. Which is why I can’t wait to get out of the EU. I agree with stronger immigration checks and hope we can do that too.

  37. Christopher Hudson
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    The Left leaning US media obviously has gone into overdrive and blown it out of all proportion, together with their social media acolytes, if Barack Obama had ordered it would there have been the same reaction. I could imagine the news organisation lining up to say gravely, that “oh it’s justified, it’s a necessary precaution”, they’ll jump on anything that Trump does unfortunately. They’d sacrifice their own country to bring him down such is their visceral hatred for anybody that doesn’t agree with them. It’ll all have blown over within a few days. With any luck. I imagine Paul Ryan and the other republicans will take him aside for a quiet word.

  38. majorfrustration
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The last President of the US tried to tell us what to do and we all know what happened. Perhaps we should leave the US to govern and act as it sees fit. Too much time is taken by unqualified politicians trying to change other countries rather than deal with the real issues of their own country.

  39. lojolondon
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    USA immigration policies are no business of ours, and it is not required or desirable for our politicians to comment on them. A democratically elected president is delivering on his electoral promises as fast as he can – should be praised! Also, it is time to shut down the Biased BBC – every news broadcast on every local and national station is devoting their day to criticising our ally, not British issues or local issues. Time to privatise the lot.

  40. David Price
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I think the UK, in the form of government representatives and employees, should be reserved in their commentary on the decisions by other sovereign states. At most the concern should be limited to addressing impact on individuals with multiple passports. That said, I suggest embarrassment can be avoided by requiring anyone who seeks to be an MP, minister or public employee to have a single citizenship only.

    As for the gobby media, I think it is time for the BBC to precede all programmes, questions and statements with the phrase “the BBC does not represent the views or position of the UK government or people”

  41. The Prangwizard
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    This is another opportunity for the broadcast media and others to work themselves into a frenzy over their hate figure, President Trump. They usually enjoy insulting him too by omitting his title.

    They are not examining the issues, they concentrate almost wholly on following and often encouraging and sympathising with ‘the mob’, for in the main these are politicised protests backed by some subversive forces I would suggest.

    It is a matter for the President and the people of the USA and none of our business except to speak up for our own people where required.

    Mrs May made a mistake in appeasing the hounding press by saying she didn’t like what President Trump had done. She and we as a nation may pay for that. If she wishes to make an enemy of a friend that is the way to go about it.

  42. Tony Sharp
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    This whole ‘storm’ is of course in a ‘teacup’. Any nation can impose on any other a method of scrutinising entry to it – except of course the lunatic arrangements of the EU. This ‘Trump-etting’ of complaints is part and parcel of the Liberal Establishment bleating over their apple cart being spilt as they could not with the UK Referendum or the US Elections and are incapable of understanding why the majority does not share their surreal opinions and views. We are allie din NATO with Turkey – it has a more authoritarian than we may like – but this development dea;l with BAES actually helps UK designers keep ahead in complex aeronauthics without having to relay on the trreasuries bizarre ‘order and Cancel’ decisions.

  43. NickW
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    The “Ban Trump” .gov petition is now running at 1,200,000 plus signatures. (30/01/17).

    This is NOT evidence of a “spontaneous groundswell of public opinion”, it is evidence of a very well co-ordinated campaign to discredit and demonise President Trump. It takes a great deal of organisation and promotion to get that many signatures on a petition that quickly. It stinks.

    The question for the Government is “Who is behind it and what is their agenda?”

    How has it been done? Is the petition site secure; has it been hacked, or are there bots marrying up the petition site with name and address databases? Are UK political parties using their databases to garner signatures, or are we supposed to believe that 2.56% of constituents in Ross, Skye, and Lochaber all spontaneously decided to sign an anti Trump petition by coincidence?

    Who is pulling the signatory’s strings?

    At the very least, there needs to be a facility on the Government petition site to OPPOSE a petition.

    What is under attack is Democracy itself; no one should have any doubts that the principles of universal suffrage and free and fair elections are under determined attack.

    Is it a coincidence that 2017 is a year of pivotal elections in the EU?

    • rose
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      The broadcasters are advertising the petition on every bulletin.

    • hefner
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      NickW, if you want to oppose it, you just have to submit your text ( with your real name and real e-mail). It is rather easy. I would be happy to see how many signatures you will get.

    • M Davis
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Soros? Just a thought!

    • rose
      Posted January 31, 2017 at 12:10 am | Permalink

      There is a counter petition : “Donald Trump should make a State Visit to the United Kingdom.” which you can sign if you wish. Don’t Google it as they are censoring it but you can get it through Bing without any difficulty. It is over 49,000 now. Still in its infancy compared to the other and not being advertised every half hour by the MSM, but gathering speed.

      • James Matthews
        Posted January 31, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Link here:

        As it is on the Parliament UK site I hope Mr Redwood will allow it.

        • Barry
          Posted February 1, 2017 at 2:54 am | Permalink

          I have signed the petition in favour of Trump visit…

          Mr Redmond your blog is very informative…Have just located it and very impressed.

          • Barry
            Posted February 1, 2017 at 2:59 am | Permalink

            Very sorry I mean Mr Redwood

  44. rose
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    The UK should get its own house in order.

    It often feels as if the whole world owns the USA and the UK, to use and abuse at will. Now a US president has come into power who was elected to reverse this process.

    Chaos ensues if mobs and media mobilise at every government announcement, and I don’t know what democratic governements can do to mitigate that. It is deplorable.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 31, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      That’s because the UK and USA have handed over governance to unelected transnational institutions which influence if not decide who gets to be our nominal rulers and what their policies are.A process to be rolled out by absorbing more and more countries into structures like the EU and NATO.Unfortunately for them(but fortunately for us)that momentum has been stalled by the actions of defiantly sovereign nations like Russia and China.As Russia is the ringleader,the proponents of world government have instituted a policy of Carthago delenda est.

      As our “democratic governments” are full of fellow travellers,we must hope that Carthage wins this time.

  45. British Spy
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Sir Malcolm Leslie Rifkind KCMG QC is as I write on BBC. Oh dear, Parliament and HM Government is more than absolutely up to its the neck and drowning in its own foolhardy error!

  46. norman
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    The world’s reaction to Trump ( or the vociferous minority + the MSN) is symptomatic of Europe’s decline into secular liberal-left indoctrination – as much a religion as Communism was last century – an ‘antimatter’ of denial and falsehood. So now its ‘Get Real Time’ – a necessary wake-up call, if we are not to perish like Lemmings.

  47. John B
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    And the UK suspended the 1 000 year old principle of habeas corpus, did away with double jeopardy, has made thinking a crime, snoops on its citizens, and more – a long list of of the removal of traditional, hard won freedom whilst Parliament whose primary role is to protect the citizen against the State, became a State collaborator to empower the State against those whom it is supposed to protect… beams and motes.

  48. Tom William
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    State visits have been given to tyrants like Ceausescu, Mugabe, Mobutu and from other countries equally undesirable and with nothing, absolutely nothing, in common with the UK. Who raised petitions against them?

  49. Stuart Saint
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Not worried about Trump. Saudi is another problem entirely.

  50. a-tracy
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I would just like Theresa May to make a statement this evening to the press of the facts of this matter. Some media is reporting thousands of people were affected others a hundred or so.

    Who is banned?
    How long for?
    Any appeal process?

    Is a Somalian/UK athlete that has been granted permission to live for six years in the USA is banned or not? Why did he think he was? Was he held in an airport in the USA?

    Theresa May was right not to comment until she knew more of the facts of the matter, off the cuff comments often bite you back, but now the dust is settling people want to know the truth from our Prime Minister.

  51. David Ruddock
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I agree with most of what has already been said. We should defend robustly the interests of our own citizens, whilst avoiding interference in the USA’s affairs, and not doing anything which may damage the relationship with the President that the PM has forged. In considering the issue of relationships with world leaders with whose policies we may not agree, I reflect that the Second World War was won with the assistance of Joseph Stalin, possibly the greatest 20th century villain of them all.

    • rose
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      The Second World War was also started with the assistance of Joseph Stalin – in the Nazi-Soviet Pact. But I take your point.

      • Mitchel
        Posted January 31, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Here’s not the place but if Poland had not vetoed the idea of a British-French-Polish-Soviet pact,there would have been no Nazi-Soviet pact.

  52. Ed Mahony
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I’d argue that things have now swung against the Brexit position again. Yes, we’ll have to leave the EU but all sorts of things could happen now where we might be forced to rejoin the EU again after the markets get spooked with considerable damage to our economy’s prospects – where Brexit will simply be unaffordable, with the country reflecting their concerns in a second, emergency referendum (and with the EU perhaps agreeing to reform in particular over free movements of people, with many EU countries wanting reform on this anyway).
    And you can blame Trump for this, because until Trump came to power, Brexit (including leaving the single market) was looking like the winner.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      I think Mrs Clinton would have been disasterous for Brexit.

    • librtarian
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Ed M

      Ha ha ha …fantasist.

    • zorro
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      Hahah…..dream on, how you clutch at straws! Is that why markets have been rising? You do make me giggle, if you are a Conservative as you say, I am Leon Trotsky!!


  53. getting bored
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Seeing as you ask.
    The Conservatives need to monitor all sides of the alternative media including the comments. However the monitor needs to have a good brain and be free thinking.

  54. M Davis
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    We should say and do nothing and let Mr Trump get on with his Country’s business and we should welcome him, whenever he arrives here, on behalf of our Country and our Queen. Keep the poor little darling snowflake protesters as far away as possible. Somebody should tell the MSM, including the BBC, to SHUT UP until they can report something other than what the negative trouble makers are saying and doing. They are a disgrace to this Country!

  55. Chris
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    For some time I have been receiving emails from Rasmussen Reports, detailing results from US polling on current issues. Very interesting and significant that “57% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a temporary ban on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen until the federal government approves its ability to screen out potential terrorists form coming here. Thirty-three percent (33%) are opposed, while 10% are undecided. ….. “Similarly, 56% favor a temporary block on visas prohibiting residents of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States until the government approves its ability to screen for likely terrorists. Thirty-two percent (32%) oppose this temporary ban, and 11% are undecided.

    Apparently these findings have ‘changed little from August when 59% of voters agreed with Trump’s call for a temporary ban on immigration into the United States from “the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism” until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists’.

  56. Barbara Stevens
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood.. I’m glad Mr Trump will still come to this country..and we should make him I know we will. But for the marches in the USA to me are just Democrats finding a way to continue their protests under the banner of this new order..But, if they have terrorist activity..what will be their response?
    .We have seen what is happening in Sweden, they are suffering terrible riots in Germany too.. The USA demonstrators are blindly following these people has do the Labour party do here…but if they so suffer from a terrorist attack has Canada as just done.. it will be interesting to see their response. I think Mrs May as done well so far.. and i hope article 50 will be invoked as soon as possible..It is right to concentrate on British policy and our interests.. And i thank you for your intervention in the house..

  57. Lord
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    US Travel Ban Statement: BBC Parliament

    Arguably the greatest display of ignorance, stupidity, virtue signalling, grandstanding and intellectual dwarfism of any assembly since the feast at Stonehenge in 2016BC
    And no buffet.

  58. Margaret
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Comments from the labour bench were that we have responsibility all over the world to stop negative bias and bigotry ; she must be joking. We need to get our own house in order first before we tackle the worlds wrong doings. She was elected an MP for BRITISH people and British people only. She should keep top her role.

  59. Mark B
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Yet again another one of my posts does not make it. Not too long. No links and no names or accusations. Therefore no reason to not put it up. But this is your site and you put up, or not, whatever you wish. Just please do not talk about freedom of speech etc.

    Reply I am rejecting long ones and multiple postings

  60. Alan Joyce
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I listened to the foreign secretary make his Commons statement on the Trump travel ban.

    Mr. Johnson said it is up to members of parliament if they want to “exhaust the wells of outrage in the denunciation of this policy” as he battled to reconstruct his answers in a myriad different ways to questions posed from members opposite as they engaged in their virtue-signalling contest.

    Perhaps the UK Parliament should look at itself and decide whether 5 days is far too long a period to discuss the triggering of Article 50 if the debate descends into the same repetitive line of questioning as members take their turn to huff and puff about the merits or otherwise of the single market.

    It is certainly not feasible for a country to provide a permanent running commentary on all the decisions and views of all its allies but the HofC seems determined to do it in this instance.

    Breaking News! Emergency debate request on the United States Immigration Policy has been granted so members will be able to talk about it all over again. Groan!!

  61. Margaret
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Everyone has a right to protest, but not to say who GB can invite for a state visit. If any on of these protestors would be come unemployed because of failure to secure a trade deal with the USA they may change their minds.

  62. Susanta Dutta
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    I think Donald Trump is implementing what he said he was going to do. As one of the readers has pointed out we are used to politicians NOT doing what they said they would. However the implementation has left many people unhappy and frustrated.Stopping Donald Trump’s impending State Visit is not the answer- identifying Root Causes in the 7 countries and perhaps others not included in his first list is what the focus should be on. Not long ago Somali pirates used to hijack ships and take the crew as hostages and keep them in the most appalling conditions for years at a time. I remember our cruise ship had to be escorted by an Australian Navy frigate off the Arabian coast back in 2012 for several hours! Anyway, 90 days is short compared to 5 years!!

  63. turboterrier
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Well the Beeb has done it again with the reporting of the 6 o clock news a
    making sure that Empress Nick gets her four penneth about how she will not stop the POTUSA coming to her country but will condescend to meet him. What a joke totally pathetic one would hope that the President totally ignores her. As for her and the Welsh minister after today’s meeting with our PM one has to ask the question: Who do they think they are? I hope Mrs May tells them that the choice is theirs. Call a referendum and if that is what your people want then so be it, stand on your own, try and join the EU and thank you but a lot of jobs are going to be created building and managing their borders. When are they going to start living in the real world?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 31, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink


      By all means call a independence referendum but if the people vote again to stay in the UK then tell Sturgeon that no permission will be granted for another for at least another 30 years. We are all sick to death of her and her demands.

  64. NickW
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    The orchestrated and multiple demonstrations along with a highly dubious petition are remarkably similar to those we saw after the Brexit vote.

    There are those in the EU Government who need to crush populism before some EU Member States go to the polls, and who have a very strong commercial interest in discouraging any close links between the UK and the USA.

    The European people are our friends, but the European Government clearly isn’t, and Parliament needs to be very careful that it does not inadvertently play into the hands of our geopolitical rivals. (I hesitate to use the word enemies, but I am beginning to think that may actually be more appropriate).

    These events are not occurring by accident; Parliament please take note.

  65. Kev
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    What a better way to run a government than pissing off democratic allies and trade partners like Germany and France and cozying up to Saudy and Turkish governments. Brexit has truly given us the right incentive to stay quite against the malign policies of our future potential partners.

  66. One off
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    The Prime Minister and her Government have handled this very difficult error of judgement possibly/probably caused by an inexperienced White House advisory team by :on the one hand vigorously defending the position of British Subjects caught up in this whilst avoiding direct interference or critising the right of a friendly Nation to enact their laws. The end result would seem to suggest does it not that the US Administration corrected the interpretation of their law so that it does not include British Subjects born in any of the named Countries. Traditional, well thought through, quiet British diplomacy respected once upon a time throughout the world and hitherto lost by a succession of self-serving, obnoxious, attention seeking failures and incompetants flattered by the spin of their own spin masters. Let’s get back to what we were good at in days gone by.

  67. Peter D Gardner
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    The issue of Trump’s immigration policies and decisions are central to the Brexit. The alternative to Brexit is cooperation between independent sovereign states. The success of such cooperation would, rely on recognition of both national and mutual interests and respect for national differences. The question is to what extent can and should cooperating states influence or even coerce each other on moral grounds.

    It is important for the success of Brexit that sovereignty demonstrates its advantages over supra-national government. Mrs May has done so on this issue by gaining an exception for the British on immigration, re-aligning Trump to support NATO and agreement to cooperate in other areas but this success is being drowned out by noise. She must stand by that success and proclaim it.

    She must not only stand by her new found ally but also stand up for the principle of sovereign co-operation since that is the essence of Brexit. If she does not, she will lose both the USA and the cause of Brexit and she will show that mere noise will succeed.

    Trump’s visit MUST go ahead. I am sure UK could suggest to Trump rather more tactful and less inflammatory ways of restricting immigration without presuming to interfere with his policies. The Mrs May could claim another quiet success for sovereignty and Brexit.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted January 31, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      ‘Trump’s visit MUST go ahead’

      – I agree.
      One of the arguments in these comments was, though, about adopting Mr Trump’s vision of Conservatism which i profoundly disagree with – as do most Conservatives i know.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 31, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        You and yours would probably have been considered liberal 30 years ago.

        • James Matthews
          Posted January 31, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          So would I and I am well to the right of Mr Mahony.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted February 1, 2017 at 12:29 am | Permalink

          Why do we have to label people who or what they are?
          I’m centre right on economics and politics and hard right on things such as abortion, gay marriage and promoting family values.
          In fact, I’d argue that Conservatism is ultimately about protecting and furthering the institution of the FAMILY: MUM, DAD + CHILDREN.
          Because strong families create stability, the rule of law, work ethic, as well as things such as patrias (meaning duty to fatherland which is connected to obedience to parents) in the country as a whole.
          And so everything in our country is there to serve and protect the institution of the family. That to my mind is what Conservatism is really about.

  68. alastair harris
    Posted January 31, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Surely the speaker should stop the posturing and virtue signalling in the commons. It is turning this country into a laughing stock.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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