Synthetic outrage over Trump’s temporary ban on entry to the US

by on January 31, 2017 in society

Trump has instituted 3 bans:

i. The US Syrian refugee resettlement programme is permanently suspended

ii. The overall US refugee resettlement programme is suspended for 120 days

iii. There is a 90 day entry ban on people from countries known to have a problem with terrorism (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) while the new administration works on tighter security procedures

The UK is (at least according to the Guardian) awash with protests. Apparently more than one million people have signed a petition calling for the state visit of the US President to the UK to be cancelled.

There is something odd about all this. The policies which Trump has instituted (which are widely mis-reported in the UK press as e.g. a “Muslim ban” and which mis-reports tend to fail to report the temporary nature of the controls) are matters of domestic US policy. They don’t affect UK citizens. Why are people demonstrating? Do they really think we live in one big country and domestic US policy impinges on us as it does on Americans? It seems so. Probably these people watch too much TV. Though at the same time this concern for US domestic policy perhaps does reflect a reality. We are a vassal state in the US Empire and as such people perhaps do legitimately feel “part of America”, as non-citizen provincials in, say, North Africa, might have felt part of Rome during the Roman Empire.

Meanwhile, in the House of Commons Yvette Cooper was, according to the Guardian “shaking with emotion” as she made a speech against Trump’s new orders which “target Muslims”. (No they don’t. She hasn’t read the orders; they bar entry based on nationality not religion). But Ms Cooper was quite cool when she “flipped” houses 3 times in order to have the public pay for her mortgages. Either you stand for morality and uprightness or you don’t. Claims to be morally outraged on a point of principle are undermined if you haven’t got any.

 

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