There is a long and ignoble tradition in the UK for thowing lavish state occasions for all manner of dubious foreign leaders for all manner of dubious reasons. Since the only UK USP left seems to be "doing pageantry" Her Maj and the family are wheeled out to function as photo oppotunities and banquet hosts and the main drag to Buck House is decked out in whatever flags are appropriate to the guest in question.
But somehow this latest charade with the entire Trump clan getting in on the act seems the final humiliation. Consider for a moment the many ways in which this is wholly inappropriate in every conceivable way.
1. By general agreement it was folly for the current PM to rush to Washington the moment DJT moved into the White House and issue an invitation to a state visit. The fact that one has not taken place in the intervening years speaks volumes about how much just about everyone else on the this side of the pond didn't want it to happen. However she is only Tory leader for another few days, and thereafter PM in name only. We could have reasonably pled that a Presidential visit during a changing of the political guard would be wholly untenable. And then quietly forgotten about it on the grounds that a different PM was installed.
2. The Brexit camp in particular has been rabidly punting the necessity of keeping DJT sweet in the hope of a favourable trade deal. This hope is forlorn in just so many ways. For one, this President's deals have little more shelf life than his tweets. Witness the shredding of the Mexican deal just months after signing up to it. Witness the ramping up of trade wars with China.
But most pertinently of all, consider the odds against this America First demagogue giving any foreign "sucker" an even break. His ambassador gave the game way on the Marr show advising us that deals with health providers would be on the table. America - where health care is expensive and unavailable to whole swathes of the public - the health "care" companies have long wanted to get their mitts on our patients with contracts which would efffectively kill off the NHS.
Add in produce deals which would enable US agri business to sell us cheap food with wildly inferior welfare standards and you begin to understand how unattractive any such deal would be to both farmers and consumers. Not even to mention the steep tariffs which would kick in with WTO rates.
3. It is often intoned that, regardless of the incumbent, we must respect the office of the Presidency. After all, say critics of Trump protests, we have entertained many bad people in the past. True. But the worst of them have never thought it appropriate to spend their visit and their pre-visit badmouthing some of their hosts, pronouncing on internal politics, interfering with other people's party election processes, and generally being a wall to wall boor. If the American President can trash his office, why do we have to play nice? Why is it OK for him to tweet serial insults about the Mayor of the city in which he's a guest?
4. I doubt that the original invitation was intended to embrace his entire tawdry clan, but that wouldn't stop DJT taking maximum advantage. As he fancies himself a bit of a whizz at the social media game, pix of him and the ghastly weans cavorting at Palace banquets and lining up selfies with the Royals will be off into the ether before you can say "gold china". These will then be endlessly re-cycled during his bid to become the most ignorant president in history twice over.
5. For god's sake do the people who fix these things not have a shred of self respect left? It's bad enough that the rest of the world has already concluded the British islands have become a complete basket case unable to figure out whether it's half past three or Wednesday. It's grotesque enough that the "mother of parliaments" is about to install a new Prime Minister on the say so of a hundred odd thousand Tory party members. It's ludicrous enough that a baker's dozen of the mad, bad, dangerous and or anoymous have concluded that they have the wit and wisdom to step forward. But on top of this we are to be the subject of a global photo shoot draping the royals over the reprehensibles. It is simply, totally, unbelievably nauseating.
One day Scotland will have no guilt by association with shambles like these.