A “fool”, a “buffoon” and a “demogogue”. “Crazy”, “bonkers”, “ridiculous” and “insane”. “Poisonous” and “repugnant”.
Just some of the insults hurled by MPs at Donald Trump during a three-hour debate full of passion and colourful language.
Oh, and according to one MP, her constituents would call the US presidential contender a “wazzock”, which according to the Oxford English Dictionary means an “annoying or stupid person”.
It was claimed there were more MPs in the Grand Committee Room for this Westminster Hall debate on Mr Trump than there were in the main Commons chamber for the second reading of the Energy Bill.
More heat than light? There was certainly plenty of hot air in Westminster Hall.
Play video “MP Slams ‘Poisonous’ Trump Remarks”
It was indeed packed, too, as the veteran Labour MP Paul Flynn, who chairs Parliament’s Petitions Committee, revealed 570,000 people had signed a petition demanding a ban on Trump entering the UK.
The Tory benches, in particular, were full – mostly with right-wing libertarians like Sir Edward Leigh and Philip Davies – and it was soon clear that those MPs backing a ban would be in a small majority.
Mr Flynn, who at 80 is still pretty left-wing, made a surprisingly measured speech, praising the United States and warning about giving Mr Trump “an accolade of martyrdom”.
He was forced to concede, however, in reply to a Tory MP that if Mr Trump were to become President of the United States a ban would cause some difficulty.
The calls for a ban were led by Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for Glenda Jackson’s old Hampstead and Kilburn seat, the SNP’s Tamsin Ahmed-Sheikh and – perhaps surprisingly – Jack Dromey, husband of former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman and, as he pointed out, a former chairman of the National Council for Civil Liberties.
Prompting clashes with Tory MPs, a fired-up Mr Dromey shouted: “I don’t think Donald Trump should be allowed within 1,000 miles of our shore because he would embolden the EDL (English Defence League) on the one hand and fuel the flames of terrorism on the other hand.
“Donald Trump is free to be a fool but he is not free to be a dangerous fool in Britain.”
But a “wazzock”? That description came from Victoria Atkins, the barrister MP who succeeded the former Father of the House Sir Peter Tapsell in Louth and Horncastle at the General Election.
Can anyone imagine Sir Peter calling a US presidential hopeful a “wazzock”?
Also, if this had been the main Commons chamber, Speaker John Bercow would surely have leapt to his feet and ruled that “wazzock” was un-Parliamentary language!
“His comments regarding Muslims are wrong,” said Ms Atkins.
“His policy to close borders if he’s elected as President is bonkers and if he met one or two of my constituents in one of the many excellent pubs in my constituency then they may well tell him that he is a wazzock for dealing with this issue in this way.”
Several, but not all, SNP MPs backed a ban.
Corri Wilson, whose Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency includes Mr Trump’s Turnberry golf course and hotel, said it would be catastrophic for the area if he pulled out, as he has threatened to do.
For Tory right-winger Philip Davies, predictably, the whole row was about political correctness.
Mr Davies doesn’t like political correctness. In fact he’s probably its most fierce opponent in Parliament. “You couldn’t make it up!”, he snarled.
Another Tory, Kwasi Kwarteng, spoke for many MPs when he said a ban would be “the biggest boost” for the Trump campaign and a “spectacular own goal”.
But if the SNP were out-numbered and out-debated, there was also a pretty savage attack on Labour too, from Gavin Robinson of the DUP, who claimed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell were guilty of far worse than MrTrump.
“That’s the same leader of the Opposition and Shadow Chancellor within this Parliament today who gave succour to terrorists in our United Kingdom over the last 30 years, who supported the IRA murdering citizens in Northern Ireland and murdering our countrymen within this country,” said Mr Robinson. Ouch!
The debate ended, however, in a disappointing anti-climax.
After the passion and fury of earlier speeches, Sir Keir Starmer from the Labour front bench and James Brokenshire, the Home Office Minister, succeeded in making a highly controversial subject sound almost dull.
Was there any point to this debate? After all, there was no vote at the end.
Paul Flynn said it was right that a petition signed by half a million people should be debated. Fair enough.
But the big winner was probably Mr Trump, who will no doubt be delighted by the publicity, the notoriety. And even the insults.
Right now he’s probably asking a member of his campaign staff: “What’s a wazzock?”
Source: Sky News