As the Metropolitan Police dispatch over 10,000 police officers to provide extra security during President Trump's three-day state visit to the UK capital - which officially started early Monday when Air Force One touched down in London - the editors of the UK's most left-wing newspaper have published a scathing editorial warning that Trump "was not welcome", and bashing outgoing PM Theresa May's government for inviting him.
In the editorial - published just a day after London Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote an op-ed in the paper arguing that the UK would be on the "wrong side of history" for hosting Trump - the editors of the Guardian warned that inviting Trump to the UK was a "crass error" and an act of "gross irresponsibility."
Though the paper acknowledged that the visit was "largely symbolic", it added that there was "more at stake here than pomp and circumstance:" Trump is a "demagogue who represents a threat to peace, democracy and the climate of our planet." As the leader of the UK's closest ally, the paper acknowledged that Trump "can't be ignored." But to make him, his wife and four adult children "honored guests of the Queen" risked "legitimizing his destructive policies, his cronyism and his leanings toward autocracy."
Trump's position as the leader of the free world "makes his personality a legitimate source of fascination," the paper's editors argued. But the real danger of hosting Trump to celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day - something that should be, according to the etiquette of statecraft, a non-partisan occasion, though this was apparently lost on the Guardian's editors - isn't that it would "boost his ego," but that "his presence and public statements will boost anti-democratic and rightwing populist elements here."
This criticism, it must be noted, glosses over the fact that Trump was democratically elected, that he his 'autocratic leanings' aren't rooted in action or fact, and that intensifying speculation that Trump might refuse to leave the White House should he leave in 2020 (a prospect that's looking increasingly unlikely) is just another example of groundless left-wing hysteria.
The paper blasted Trump over his 'meddling' in the UK's affairs - the president memorably suggested over the weekend that the new Tory government dispatch Nigel Farage to negotiate a new Brexit deal with Brussels - and accused him of violating 'diplomatic norms.'
For a nation "in the throes of a full-blown constitutional crisis," inviting Trump on an official state visit, and, worse still, making him just the third US president after George W Bush and Barack Obama to receive such an honor, is tantamount to an act of "national self-harm."
The Guardian's editors concluded with an exhortation to action for the outgoing prime minister: "It is incumbent upon Mrs May and others to challenge him directly – or risk appearing to give the assault on women’s rights, and bullying of neighbouring states, a seal of approval."
If the Guardians' editors were incensed by Trump's mere presence in the country, imagine how they will feel about this: Around the time his plane touched down in London, Trump fired off a series of tweets comparing London Mayor Sadiq Khan to a "very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job - only half his height." He also blasted the mayor, who authorized a giant balloon portraying Trump as a 'crybaby' (an extremely mature decision, in our estimation), as a "loser" who should "focus on crime" in his city."
.@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly “nasty” to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2019
....Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job - only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2019
If our instincts our correct, this editorial will be merely the first in a daily assault on Trump from a paper that has published patently false stories about Trump's administration, including claims that former Trump campaign executive Paul Manafort met with Julian Assange in furtherance of the 'Russia hoax', and still had the gall to accuse Trump of being a purveyor of 'Fake News'.