Tuesday, 15 November 2016

In which I get all political again

Yeah.  It's hard not to be political at the moment, isn't it?  It makes me miss my student days, when the world was comfortable enough that we could afford to be entirely apathetic.  What joy.

It's hard to talk about any of the recent stuff without swearing a lot, but I did my best to hold it in long enough to email my MP today.  I'm pasting the contents of said email below, for the sake of a record.  I don't think we can afford to be complacent, or to pretend that events on the other side of the Atlantic won't affect us.  And I'm not happy with the current assurances that we should just give him a chance and everything will be fine.  He had his chance, and he used it to appoint a full-on Nazi to his staff.  No more chances while that's still true.

Here's the email.  Feel free to crib the text if you think I've said anything useful:

Dear Mr Sturdy,

I am asking you as my elected representative to denounce the recent appointment of Stephen Bannon to Donald Trump's presidential staff, and to urge the whole of Parliament to do the same.  Mr Bannon holds a number of unpleasant views and should not be given such a powerful platform for his anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny and homophobia.  This goes beyond mere differences of political opinion and into views that society as a whole should reject as harmful.

This is a test.  Firstly, it is a test by Mr Trump to see what he will be allowed to get away with as President.  If we accept this appointment, we will enable him to cross further boundaries down the line, each of which will be normalised by our acceptance of the previous.

Secondly, it is a test from those who share Mr Bannon's views, to see if they are accepted by the rest of society.  If we do not reject this now, we send a message to these people that their views are acceptable.  By denouncing the appointment of Mr Bannon we make it clear that Britain will not allow these things to flourish.

Thirdly, it is a test of how we want to be considered in the future.  We have no control over who will tell our story, but we can have some measure of control over what they will say.  When historians look back at this time, do we want them to say that we stood aside and did nothing as hateful views were made acceptable?

Now is the time to take a stand.  If Mr Trump is serious about healing the divide in America, he will not achieve it by appointing a man who hates so many of its residents.  We are swift to condemn these things when they occur in smaller countries; we should not hesitate when they happen in a larger one.  And as much as I want our country to succeed in the wake of the Brexit referendum, I will not accept that success if it comes at the expense of women, gay people and people of colour.  We should refuse to make any deals with Mr Trump as long as he is working with Mr Bannon and others of his ilk.

I hope that you agree with me on this and that you will encourage the rest of Parliament to do the same.

1 comment:

  1. Tis a powerful, erudite and necessary statement. I hope that it is heeded.