In the past few months, Donald Trump’s unprecedented campaign for presidency has been centralized around a disturbing theme: Denounce an ethnic/religious group, establish front page news the following morning.
In response to Trump’s ongoing comments of hate and exclusion of certain ethnic/religious groups, a petition, created by Scotland resident Suzanne Kelly, was submitted to the United Kingdom’s Government and Parliament petition site on November 28 to block Trump from UK entry on the grounds of hate speech. The petition states:
“The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK”.
That “everyone” is directed at the 121st richest individual in America (Forbes) and Republican front runner who on Monday added to his highlight reel of distasteful comments towards religious/ethnic groups and has once again caught the world’s ear.
Though many reports claim the UK petition was submitted in response to Trump’s recent discriminatory remarks towards Muslims, The Guardian has reported that Kelly submitted the petition beforehand. Her distaste for Trump’s philosophies, and the fact that he has become a formidable candidate for the presidency of the world’s most powerful country, were reason enough for Kelly to submit the petition, which has been open for signatures for UK residents on the UK’s petition site since Tuesday morning.
It was Trump’s comments concerning the ban of Muslims Monday night, however, that brought the petition center stage, encouraging over 370,000 signatures and counting as of Wednesday evening from citizens across the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom is no stranger to banning individuals from entry under their exclusion policy. According to the BBC, leaders of the Westboro Baptist Church, Islamist preachers, Ku Klux Klan, and two anti-Muslim bloggers have all been prohibited from entering the UK under the policy in recent years.
And though Kelly’s petition has exceeded more than the necessary amount of signatures from UK residents, many officials believe a ban of Trump is neither likely nor the proper route to take.
Officials in the United Kingdom (and domestically) have expressed how Trump’s comments support the notion that he is unfit to serve as president of the United States. UK Chancellor George Osborne stepped in for David Cameron during Prime Minister’s Questions early Wednesday and aligned with the public’s disapproval of Trump’s comments.
“Frankly, Donald Trump’s comments fly in the face of the founding principles of the United States and it’s one of the reasons why those founding principles have proved such an inspiration to so many people over the last couple of hundred years. I think the best way to defeat nonsense like this is to engage in robust democratic debate and make it clear his views are not welcome.”
Trump didn’t hesitate to fire back at the UK, making what one British reporter claimed as a “bizarre statement”, in which Trump criticized the relationship between the citizens of London and metropolitan police.
“We have places in London and other places that are so radicalized that the police are afraid for their own lives,” he stated Tuesday.
So how legitimate is the petition from denying Trump from being allowed into the United Kingdom, the world’s fifth largest economy and a globally influential center of finance and culture?
According to the UK’s parliament petition site, parliament will consider an issue for debate so long as the respected petition garners an excess of 100,000 signatures, which has happened in Kelly’s case. The site also provides a section that breaks down, in depth, how their petition process works.
And so, in another attempt to display his admiration for the land of the free and become leader of the home of the brave, Donald Trump engages himself in a familiar battle. This time against the citizens of the United Kingdom, with the outcome most likely being overshadowed by the next Trump trend.