If it’s summer in Britain, it must bring Donald Trump. That’s how it’s starting to feel. Last July, Mr Trump insisted on making a working visit to the UK. He worked on that visit, managing to do three painful things to the host country: he rebuked the head of government, prime minister Theresa May; seemingly unintentionally snubbed the head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, and displayed not an ounce of grace, civility or humour about the way he was perceived in Britain or anywhere elsewhere.
Throughout, Mr Trump was kept as far away as possible from contact with ordinary Londoners, who mostly rejoiced at the sight (and news) of an enormous orange “Trump baby” protest balloon flying in the skies above the British capital.
Today, Mr Trump is back – complete with his four adult children, a vulgarity that accords perfectly with the vain and self-obsessed nature of the man and his brand. He will take every adult Trump who can use the PR images as a sales pitch to visit the British royal family and the state banquet at Buckingham Palace.
He has pummelled the four adult Trump children (and presumably son-in-law Jared #Kushner) into a “next generation” chinwag with Princes William and Harry. “Next generation” of princelings is the subtext of that!
Separately, Mr Trump’s envoy to the UK started the process of riling up Britain well ahead of the principal’s arrival. US ambassador Woody Johnson suggested on Sunday (June 2) that Britain would need to allow US agricultural products, including chlorinated chicken if it wanted a post-Brexit trade deal with America. The NHS too – a loved British institution – would need to take in US private sector involvement!
Britons opposed to Mr Trump’s divisive brand of politics and narcissism will wish he weren’t here.
And it will be a terrible few days for Prime Minister Theresa May, who has to spend her last week in the job hosting the man who has undermined her on several previous occasions. Serve her right, though. In a transparent and charmless attempt to fawn over the newly elected President Trump, she rushed to the US and offered him a state visit.
That is a rare honour.
In Queen Elizabeth’s 67 years on the throne, this is only the third state visit from a US president!
Not everyone has to have them. Or deserves them.