Trump and the sour­ing of a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship

The Guardian - Journal - - Letters -

The UK gov­ern­ment’s ap­proach to both this week’s Nato sum­mit (Re­port, 7 July), and the visit of Pres­i­dent Trump, is symp­to­matic of its coun­ter­pro­duc­tive stance on na­tional and in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity. Re­cent ef­forts by the Min­istry of De­fence to use the Nato sum­mit to se­cure fur­ther bud­get in­creases are mis­guided. In­stead of in­creas­ing our safety, heavy spend­ing on ag­gres­sive mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­i­ties and power pro­jec­tion is ex­ac­er­bat­ing global ten­sions. By the same to­ken, turn­ing a blind eye to Trump’s abu­sive and de­grad­ing rhetoric and ac­tions in the hope of shoring up a su­per­power al­liance deep­ens global in­se­cu­rity.

If the UK wants to make a gen­uine con­tri­bu­tion to se­cu­rity, the gov­ern­ment needs to in­vest far more in ad­dress­ing the un­der­ly­ing causes of global in­se­cu­rity, such as eco­nomic in­equal­ity, cli­mate change and poor gov­er­nance. It should be us­ing its diplo­matic clout to in­crease in­ter­na­tional fo­cus on these is­sues, as well as sup­port­ing lo­cal ac­tors in con­certed ef­forts to bring about durable po­lit­i­cal res­o­lu­tion of the con­flicts in Ye­men, Syria, Is­rael-Pales­tine and else­where. Con­flict preven­tion and peace­build­ing are not soft op­tions; fail­ure to make progress on these crit­i­cal chal­lenges of our time only re­sults in more in­se­cu­rity for ev­ery­one, both in the UK and over­seas.

We there­fore call for an ur­gent and com­pre­hen­sive re­think of the gov­ern­ment’s ap­proach to se­cu­rity and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, based on sys­tem­atic com­mit­ment to its de­clared val­ues of hu­man dignity, hu­man rights, free­dom, democ­racy and equal­ity. The UK’s se­cu­rity al­liances need to work for the com­mon good of all the world’s peo­ple. Celia McKeon

Co­or­di­na­tor, Re­think­ing Se­cu­rity

Mrs May is surely right that the ma­jor­ity of Bri­tish peo­ple un­der­stand the “im­por­tance of the UK-US al­liance” (Re­port, 7 July). How­ever, that is cer­tainly not an al­liance with the opin­ions and ac­tions of the cur­rent pres­i­dent and his ad­min­is­tra­tion. Thou­sands of Bri­tish peo­ple would want to be aligned with those in the United States who are protest­ing against the huge arse­nal of nu­clear weapons which the US not only main­tains but which is be­ing de­vel­oped; those fight­ing to pre­serve the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency and stand up against the de­struc­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment by the cli­mate change-deny­ing pres­i­dent; with those work­ing against the money and re­source be­ing put into de­vel­op­ing and pro­duc­ing more and more ad­vanced tech­no­log­i­cal weapons to line the pock­ets of the huge mil­i­tary man­u­fac­tur­ers. Our sym­pa­thies are with those women and men in the US who are pre­pared to take non-vi­o­lent direct ac­tion to stem the tide of racism, misog­yny, mil­i­tarism and cru­elty of their cur­rent lead­ers. Rae Street

Lit­tle­bor­ough, Greater Manch­ester

You re­port that Pres­i­dent Trump will be spend­ing only a cou­ple of days in Lon­don, meet­ing the Queen and prime min­is­ter, be­fore be­ing flown to Scot­land for a “pri­vate visit”, for the remainder of his trip. The For­eign Of­fice may be fol­low­ing prece­dent. Al­most ex­actly 47 years ago, on 12 July 1971, a close Bri­tish ally with a some­what un­savoury rep­u­ta­tion vis­ited the UK, and was given two days in Lon­don, in­clud­ing talks with the monarch and PM. He then flew to Scot­land for two days in­clud­ing some shop­ping, sea swim­ming and mil­i­tary cer­e­monies. His name? Pres­i­dent Idi Amin Dada of Uganda. Mark Leopold

Hove, East Sus­sex

Mr Trump has been in­vited to this coun­try by our gov­ern­ment. He should there­fore be treated with ci­vil­ity. He has, how­ever, shown him­self to be self-serv­ing, ig­no­rant, vul­gar and men­da­cious. He does not de­serve our at­ten­tion. The best re­sponse is to ig­nore him as much as pos­si­ble, with min­i­mal pub­lic­ity and ab­so­lutely no demon­stra­tions. He feeds off adu­la­tion and will en­joy the at­ten­tion which demon­stra­tions will pro­vide. Chris Os­man

Oxford

The best re­sponse is to ig­nore him as much as pos­si­ble, with min­i­mal pub­lic­ity and ab­so­lutely no demon­stra­tions Chris Os­man

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