Call to action: open letter on May and Trump


#1

So I’ve written this:

I want lots of minor party leaders to sign it. Please, @everyone, spread the word and let’s try to make it a success! All help much appreciated!


#2

Should we put out a press release thingy separately on the website? Putting out our view + including the letter?


#3

Yes, we should. I’ll do that in the morning, unless of course someone wants to get there before me :slight_smile:

Another way to help: find a party that looks receptive on https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VP7UVykOtluw5BIhZw30p1XnzrJ4f_-j0_PIAqPW_CU/edit, and send them the link to see if they want to sign.


#4

I penned this. Let me know if you think it should have a different focus.

Theresa May Has Abandoned Britons Affected by Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban

In June 1850, Lord Palmerston, then Foreign Secretary, took to the floor of the Commons in a debate on Britain’s foreign policy. In the final minutes of his speech, he declared: “as the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity, when he could say Civis Romanus sum [I am a Roman citizen]; so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England, will protect him against injustice and wrong.”

These past two days have seen President Trump’s executive order banning citizens of 7 different nations from entering the United States for the next 90 days. Citizens, dual nationals, and those born in Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Iran and Syria are no longer allowed into the United States.

This law, among others, bans Sir Mo Farah, the most successful British athlete in history, who was born in Mogadishu but lives and trains in the United States. He said “On 1 January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27 January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.” It also bans Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, who was born in Baghdad, and has two children attending university in the US. He said “For the first time in my life last night I felt discriminated against, it’s demeaning, it’s sad.”

In all, it is estimated that more than 250,000 Britons are now barred from entering the US. Theresa May, who initially refused to give her views on the ban, saying “The United States is responsible for the United States’ policy on refugees, the United Kingdom is responsible for the United Kingdom’s policy on refugees.” She later said that “We do not agree with this kind of approach and it is not one we will be taking.” She also said that she would appeal the ban if it affected British citizens, by which point it was overtly clear that it did.

At Something New, not only do we fundamentally disagree with the idea of banning entire nations’ citizens on spurious grounds, and suspending the whole of the US refugee programme for 120 days, we find our government’s abandonment of its own people in the face of the Trump administration appalling.

Our party leader, James Smith, has authored a letter condemning Trump’s actions, and has invited all leaders of minor political parties in the UK to join him. You can see the letter here, and contact James if you have any queries about the letter.


#5

Should this be “This law bans, among others, Sir Mo Farah”?

I think it’s good, though I’d perhaps edit to be clearer that our objection isn’t just about British citizens; the whole idea is wrongheaded no matter who is affected. Personally, I might also lose the Palmerston bit - a bit to much harking back to the days of empire :wink:


#6

Yeah, I was just thinking on the civis romanus sum principle and found a Palmerston quote. Let me have a little re-write of it and come back with another draft to change the focus on us opposing the whole thing, but also T May abandoning British citizens being particularly grating.


#7

@officers A few different officials from PPUK have now asked to sign in their own capacities, so I think we can broaden scope to anyone with an official position in a party. Who wants to join in?


#8

Won’t be able to until this evening. How/where do I sign?


#9

Just let me know you are happy to and I’ll add you.


#10

Yes please. Happy to support


#11

How’s this?

Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban and Our Response

We are deeply opposed to the executive order issued by President Trump, the thinking behind it, and the failure of our government to take leadership in condemning it.

The executive order, that, among other things, suspends the US refugee programme for 120 days, and bans citizens of 7 countries from entering the US for 90 days, affects Somalians, Sudanese, Iraqis, Iranians, Yemenis, Syrians and Libyans. This includes a ban on legal residents of the United States, and on dual nationals of one of those countries and another country that is not banned.

This ban is illogical, indiscriminate, and wrong, and, combined with the suspension of the refugee programme, is disastrous. We are opposed wholly to the idea that banning citizens of these countries will help the United States or the terrorist situation in any way. In fact, it is more likely to act as an incentive for Muslims in the region to adopt a more anti-Western stance, even to align themselves with forces such as Al Nusra, Al Qaeda or ISIS.

It is hugely counter-productive, and it reinforces the idea, expressed more than once, that Trump is ‘ISIS’s best recruiting sergeant’. Naturally, then, you would think that the British government would be one of the first to protest to protest the decision - the decision that would affect Sir Mo Farah, Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, and many others besides. But, alas, it was not.

Theresa May initially refused to condemn the ban when questioned repeatedly on it. She later said “We do not agree with this kind of approach and it is not one we will be taking.” She added that she would appeal to the United States if it became clear it affected British citizens, despite, at that point, it being apparent that it did. In fact, it has been estimated that more than 250,000 Britons are affected by the ban. Meanwhile, world leaders such as Canada’s Justin Trudeau, France’s Francois Hollande, and Germany’s Angela Merkel all took far stronger stances.

At Something New, not only do we fundamentally disagree with the idea of banning entire nations’ citizens on spurious grounds and suspending the whole of the US refugee programme for 120 days, we find our government’s abandonment of its own people in the face of the Trump administration appalling.

Our party leader, James Smith, has authored a letter condemning Trump’s actions and has invited all leaders of minor political parties in the UK to join him. You can see the letter here, and contact James if you have any queries about the letter using this email, [email protected], or on Twitter [at]Floppy.


#12

Great stuff - I’lll get it up on the site now, with the text of the letter as well.


#13

Thanks for writing that! :slight_smile:


#14

It should be online now at https://somethingnew.org.uk/news/2017/01/30/trumps-muslim-ban.html. I tweaked a bit of the order, and added a couple of lists of signatory parties, but otherwise it’s all the same :wink:


#15

That’s no problem. Great work pushing all of this out, by the way.


#16

As well as being right to put out a statement, it was very useful to see who would work with us, and who preferred to play politics. I learned a few things :slight_smile:


#17

Damn it, I really need to pay more attention when I’m away :frowning:

Huge kudos for this, @Floppy, it’s fantastic in itself but wrangling all those other parties in too is epic.

I’d love to have my name on that. I couldn’t agree more, especially having spent a week in Europe talking with my worried US colleagues.


#18

Thanks :slight_smile:

I’ll add you on!