Cancel Trump's State Visit and Invite Ariana Grande Instead

One of the real revelations of this unwanted election campaign has been Theresa May's poor judgement in picking her allies.

Determined to push through a hard Brexit, she has at every turn gone out of her way to snub her European partners, instead choosing to hold Donald Trump's hand and offer him a state visit to the UK.

When the US President announced he would withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement - a deal the UK was central to engineering - she shunned the opportunity to add her name to a letter by other EU leaders furious at the decision and only issued a mealy-mouthed response.

Now Trump has gone too far. Hours after the terrorist attack on London Bridge, he put out a tweet that took a phrase from the eloquent response by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and twisted it out of context in an attempt to criticise the West's only Muslim city leader.

Khan had said there was “no reason to be alarmed” by an increased and armed police presence in the city that day. Trump tweeted: "At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed’!" After Khan’s spokesman pointedly replied that the mayor was “too busy” to deal with an “ill informed tweet”, Trump dipped deeper into his well of poison to describe Khan's response as "pathetic".

May made a mistake by associating herself with Trump

Unsurprisingly, there is a groundswell of opinion that the UK must cancel Trump’s proposed visit, a move supported by former Tory party chairman Baroness Warsi. So far May has only issued a half-hearted response, stating it was "wrong" to say that Khan was not doing a good job. She needs to go further and cancel the state visit.

Instead, to smooth relations with the US, we could invite another American. Ariana Grande.

The US pop singer has shown herself to be what the Brits would call - in a phrase doubtless baffling to Americans - a good egg. After the horror of Manchester, few would have criticised her for staying clear of the UK for a few months. Instead,  just a week later she helped to organise the largest concert Britain has seen for some time. Rather than fly in by helicopter at the last minute, she chose to tour the city's hospitals speaking to her fans injured by the bomb and arranging for them to attend the event. She went out of her way to do the right thing at no gain to herself but to huge pleasure for others. It's what a good egg does.

Needless to say it is now clear that Trump is not just an intemperate and unpredictable politician but a very bad egg.

May made a mistake by associating herself with Trump just as she erred by proposing a “dementia tax”. She changed her mind over social care for the elderly, and should do the same over the 70 year-old inhabitant of the White House.

More about the author

About the author

Phil has run Clarity Economics, a London-based consultancy, since 2007 and, before that, was Economics Correspondent at The Independent.

Phil won feature writer of the year Work Foundation Work World media awards in 2009, and was commended by the Royal Statistical Society in 2007.

He is the author of Brilliant Economics and The Great Economists.

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