The Witch and Mr Toad

Mrs May and Mr Trump

ww-westminsterIt is becoming increasingly clear that Mrs May (aka the Wicked Witch of Westminster) has made a major mistake by seeking new trade deals outside the EU with unsavoury characters such as Donald Trump (aka Mr Toad)  and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

 

Donald Trump as Mr Toad

mr-toadMost children in the English speaking world know about Mr Toad, either because the have read Kenneth Grahame’s novel – The Wind in the Willows, or because they have seen the Toad of Toad Hall play derived from the book by A.A. Milne , or because they have seen one of the Disney films or the various TV adaptations.

In 2008, the Independent had this story: “Is this the real Mr Toad? – Letters released by the Bank of England shed new light on the inspiration behind Kenneth Grahame’s bombastic anti-hero.

On 30th January 2016, the designer and film-maker Isaac Botkin published this on his web page: “The Incredible Mr Trump“.  He writes:-

Of course, there are some major differences between the much-lamented Toad and the lamentable Trump.

  • The first is that Toad’s blustery songs are actually extremely clever.
  • The second is that Toad has friends who take him in hand, and try to keep him from becoming a total laughingstock. “It’s no good, Toady,” says Rat, “you know well that your songs are all conceit and boasting and vanity; and your speeches are all self-praise and—and—well, and gross exaggeration and—” and so forth.
  •  The third difference is that Toad listens to reason. After pleading for “one more evening, to let myself go and hear the tumultuous applause that always seems to me—somehow—to bring out my best qualities,” he does turn over a new leaf. He even limits the singing of self-aggrandizing songs about crushing his enemies to his own private bathroom.  
  • The fourth difference is that Toad’s pride, immaturity, and selfishness lampooned Britain’s idle rich, and he has served as a cautionary tale for generations of young readers. Donald Trump’s similar faults are being touted (by Trump) as his greatest strengths, and they don’t seem to have had this “cautionary tale” effect on young Americans. At least, not yet.”.

Toad of Toad Hall

Hardly had the Wicked Witch of Westminster left the USA for Turkey than Mr Toad did something very silly and which is inimical to the interests of the EU, the UK and even to the USA by implementing a ban on Muslims travelling to the USA.

The Telegraph (aka The Torygraph“) has this: “Donald Trump’s ban on Muslim refugees: British passport holders blocked from entering US as judge grants emergency stay halting deportation of visa holders

British citizens travelling to America on UK passports will be blocked from entering if they have dual-citizenship with countries targeted in Donald Trump’s ban on refugees. The US State Department said that Britons with dual nationality with Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen will be stopped at the US border for the next 90 days….The revelation about Britons sent Downing Street scrambling for a response and has triggered uproar among MPs…Politicians said tens of thousands of Britons could be caught up in the border chaos as Mr Trump’s new immigration rules hit holidays and business trips….It was unclear last night whether Theresa May was aware that the rules change would affect Britons despite spending hours meeting Mr Trump and his top staff in the White House on Friday.

Tory MPs expressed their “heartbreak” at the development last night and called for Mr Trump to urgently overturn the policy….Nadhim Zahawi, the MP for Stratford-on-Avon who was born in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, said he feared he would be caught up in the ban.

Bloomberg Politics has this: “White House Defends Immigrant Ban After Travelers Stopped“.  

“President Donald Trump defended his order suspending refugee resettlements in the U.S. and barring entry to people from from Iraq, Syria and five other Middle East nations, as confusion broke out at airports around the world and government agencies and airlines tried to interpret the new rules. “It’s not a Muslim ban,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “We were totally prepared. It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over. It’s working out very nicely.”

Nobody in their right mind can agree with this latest Trump idiocy.  It is some comfort to see this op-ed by Roger Cohen in the New York Times: “The Closing of Trump’s America“.

The president does not like Muslims. That, too, is clear. It was obvious when he called during the campaign for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. It was obvious when he showed contempt for the parents of a fallen Muslim American soldier killed in Iraq. It is obvious now as he attempts to justify a planned suspension of visas for Syrians, Iranians, Iraqis and citizens of four other majority Muslim Middle Eastern and African countries, as well as a temporary ban on almost all refugees.

A rough translation of “America First” is Muslims last. “It’s not the Muslim ban,” Trump insisted to Muir. No. It’s just a ban on lots of Muslims.  This is policy fed by anger and prejudice, not reason. The wall announcement has already provoked a damaging clash with Mexico. The proposed visa and refugee measures are not about keeping America safe. They are conceived to nurture an atmosphere of nationalist xenophobia.

Muslims in Europe
eur-muslims

As will be seen from the Pew Research data on the left, very few EU countries have more than 10% of their populations who are Muslims.  The top two in percentage terms are in fact Cyprus and Bulgaria. 25% of the total population of Cyprus is Muslim (Turkish Cypriots) and Bulgaria where 13.7% of the population is Muslim. No other EU country has more than 10% of the population who are Muslims.

In France, 7.5% of the population are Muslims – mainly of North African origin. 5.8% of the population of Germany is Muslim and most of these are of Turkish or Middle Eastern origin. 4.5% of the UK population is Muslim and the majority of these are from the Indian sub-continent, notably Pakistan.

It is perfectly true that a very small minority of the total EU Muslim population has been radicalised but it is worth pointing out that the entities which are involved in such radicalisation are the successors of  the US  CIA inspired  proxy war in Afghanistan.

EU countries and the UK in particular work very hard to disrupt and discourage the radicalisation of our citizens.  We have paid a very high price for the failed US proxy war in Afghanistan and Teresa May who has previously been Home Secretary should know more about that than anyone else in the UK.

The Guardian has this: “Theresa May faces calls to cancel Trump visit over US travel ban – Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron say Queen should not host him while people from seven Muslim countries are barred from US“.   Also this: “Global fury as Donald Trump’s ban on migrants takes effect – Refugees and passengers from a number of countries detained at airports but Theresa May refuses to condemn move“.

This idiocy on the part of Mr Toad is going to have serious consequences for Mrs May.   It is now most unlikely that he can be invited to visit the United Kingdom and one would hope that this would also apply to all other EU member states.  Secondly, there is a “Tit for Tat” principle in relation to visas. Generally there should be reciprocity.  So perhaps the European Union should be looking at changes to the visa regime for US citizens.

People of my age remember some of the questions posed to us on entering the United States.  One question I recall was whether I intended to to overthrow the Government of the USA by force. I recollect that Gilbert Harding responded “sole purpose of visit”.

I would be perfectly happy if people coming to Europe from the United States of America were treated on exactly the same basis.

 

 

 

 

 

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