Comment writer Zoe Olukoga considers where the voice of opposition comes from today, and how necessary it isWritten by Redbrick on 18th February 2017
Theresa May-be Doing the Right Thing
Sam Yearley defends Theresa May's diplomacy with Donald Trump
A lot of people have been expressing outrage towards our Prime Minister week due to her being the first leader to meet with Trump, and her seemingly totally passive attitude towards the controversial decisions he has been making. I would like to make her defence and argue that we should, if not be praising May for how she is handling the situation, at least not be condemning her so utterly.
Personally, I believe a Prime Minister, and any leader of any country, should place their role above all other priorities for the years they are in power. Their personal beliefs and opinions may influence their decisions, but ultimately they should be making all decisions for the good of the nation and not for personal gain. Theresa May being polite and courteous to Trump is the best example of this I have seen from a Prime Minister in quite a few years. Can you imagine the difficulty May is having in keeping quiet when discussing politics with that man? Simply as a person with a fair view of the world, but also as a woman, I am in no doubt that May is having a daily struggle to stay polite. She is also going above and beyond staying polite to him, as we can all see in the awkward photos of Trump and May holding hands, and every time she has an uncomfortable smile when Trump stands too close for a photograph. She is doing her best to appease Trump which, I think everyone can agree, is such an awful situation to be in.
“I am in no doubt that May is having a daily struggle to stay polite
And ultimately, what is to be gained from Trump enjoying this visit and feeling like Britain is a good partner to have for America? May is not lining her own pockets, she is not being groomed for a position in his cabinet. She is negotiating trade deals to ensure that the British economy can thrive, and avoid financial collapses like we have seen in the last two decades. It’s clear to everyone that May is 'sucking up' to the President to get something, but I am confused why the British people are so damning of her when she is putting herself in this humiliating position for your well-being, and the well-being of the nation.
Let’s also bear in mind what has put Britain in such a weak position for trade negotiations: Brexit. Leaving the European Union leaves us in a dangerous situation which needs resolving, and entering into a closer relationship with America is one way through this. And since May was actually in the Remain Party, this is another reason why it is so unfair to be condemning her actions. I’ve seen people compare May to Merkel, who has released a statement of her personal condemnation of Trump’s ban on people travelling to the US from certain countries, but obviously Merkel can make this statement because the future of Germany is relatively secure compared to the chaos of uncertainty that is the future of Britain. May has been forced into negotiations where she is in a weak position, through no fault of her own, and yet she is grinning and bearing it, and is not deserving of the media slating she is receiving.
May should probably be condemning Trump’s outright racism and misogyny more strongly, and there is a criticism there that she is being irresponsible. But I would argue that we, the British people, should be letting her know that if she wants to stand up and openly criticise the President of the US, that we will support her, and as a nation we will not let a selfish and bigoted man win us over with the promise of trade. However, come 2020 election time, people will be focusing hard on the state of the British economy, with every fault and problem of it being blamed on May. Those mocking her now for prioritising the economy will be the same ones accusing her of messing it all up, which is just unfair.