Thu 16 Mar, 2017

The UK government’s willingness to walk hand in hand with him, offering a state visit within days of his taking office, is sickening. Patrick Harvie MSP

Details of the Scottish Government’s preparations for a visit by US president Donald Trump were sought prior to First Minister’s Questions today after questioning by the Scottish Greens.

Patrick Harvie MSP, who was once cleared of “blasphemy” after a complaint by the American tycoon, quizzed government ministers about what discussions have been held with the UK government and for assurances that security arrangements will not suppress public protest. [1] [2]

The cabinet secretary for external affairs revealed that despite reports that the UK government may move the visit to Scotland, no discussions have taken place between the two governments on the expected visit and also said it was “regrettable” if the UK government was attempting to “gag” its own staff to prevent criticism of the policies and comments of the Trump administration on social media.

Glasgow MSP, Patrick Harvie said:

“Around the world, millions of people stand ready to oppose Trump and everything he represents. We will defend those he marginalised in his campaign, and whose rights and safety he threatens in office. We should recognise the shared values we have with many people in the US, particularly those being threatened and marginalised by Trump, but that is not the same as thinking that the Trump administration shares those values.

“The UK government’s willingness to walk hand in hand with him, offering a state visit within days of his taking office, is sickening. If they compound this by bringing their favourite demagogue to Scotland, I’m confident that he will be met by the biggest public protest seen in years and it’s essential that the police, who in Scotland and across the UK have a mixed record on protests, do nothing to limit or suppress this important expression of legitimate opposition.

“I welcome the cabinet secretary’s commitment not to follow suit with the UK government’s reported restrictions on employees posting negative comments about Trump on social media. We all have a duty to call out the racist and vile comments of the US president who speaks for himself, not the American people.”

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