Mrs May has spent the week meeting naughty presidents. Today she was made to pay for it. Parliamentarians were queuing up to scold her for missing a great opportunity to bleat, pout, whine and nag on the world stage. She’s been to America where she failed to lecture Donald Trump on his meanness to Muslims and his impatience with climate change dogma. She was also supposed to bring up his waterboarding habit and his rapacity with women. Then she went to Turkey where her haranguing of President Erdogan was insufficiently shrill.
Labour MPs seem to want the PM to traverse the globe like an irascible fitness instructor, bull-horn in hand, barging into presidential suites and ordering programmes of moral correction. This kind of poison ivy diplomacy wouldn’t work. Not that Jeremy Corbyn will ever find that out because he has as much chance of representing Britain internationally as Shergar has of winning the Ashes. His question about Trump was short – and a little pathetic. ‘What happened?’ he said. He sounded like a frustrated priest asking a sex-addict to describe an orgy through the clammy portals of a confessional.
Mrs May boasted that Trump has pledged his 100 per cent support for NATO. The Labour leader then turned to the 1.8m citizens who have subscribed to a petition calling for Trump’s state visit to be cancelled. This means, in reality, that 1.8 million bored surfers have gone ‘click’ on a parliamentary web-page that offers free moral refreshment for the self-satisfied. ‘When is she going to listen to them?’ ranted Corbyn.
Next, a Labour loudmouth called Jonathan Reynolds took over. Denouncing Mrs May from a great height he sniffed that, ‘her responses today have been deeply unsatisfactory. Doesn’t this country deserve a leader who stands up for British values?’ He bawled through a checklist of Trump’s lapses from virtue: his racism, his iffy attitude to torture, his misogyny. In truth, Mr Reynolds did it pretty well. Highly watchable. He has a future in the Labour party, as one might have said in the days when ‘future’ and ‘Labour party’ could credibly appear in the same sentence.
The majority of Brits haven’t called for Trump’s invite to Buck House to be rescinded. And many are hoping that the President will seize his chance to berate Mrs May for condoning torture. That’s the only word to describe Mr Corbyn’s treatment of Labour’s centrist majority. Our sadistic and immoral PM could end the abuse tomorrow by calling a general election. David Winnick is keen for parliament to repossess Sir Philip Green’s knighthood. Great idea. Provided that the future Mr Green can buy his prefix back for occasional use, like a time-share, at £10 million a week. All titles should be available on this basis.
An awkward moment when Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, the unveiled SNP member, canvassed Mrs May’s support for World Hijab Day. The hijab is not the full sheath-with-a-slit, of course, (the niqab), but the confusion is easily made and some will assume Ms Ahmed-Sheikh is championing a woman’s right to perspire unseen all day beneath a hot sticky sheet. Mrs May side-stepped it by saying, ‘what a woman wears is a woman’s choice.’ Support for Ms Ahmed-Khan from the Sisterhood was entirely invisible.