Brian Monteith: Trump protests are height of hypocrisy

Protesters demonstrate against Donald Trump's travel ban at The Mound. Picture: Getty
Protesters demonstrate against Donald Trump's travel ban at The Mound. Picture: Getty
Have your say

IS every decision that Donald Trump makes going to result in a deluge of hypocritical ­outrage, self-indulgent protests and ­immature demands for action by the UK government? Can people please get a sense of proportion and establish the facts before triggering petitions to ban something they think they oppose?

Christians have been burnt alive in their churches, women and children of the ‘wrong’ religion raped and then set afire, homosexuals thrown from rooftops and female adulteresses stoned to death in the countries that have been given the temporary ban – but where are the protests from those same voices who assail Trump for seeking to protect his own people?

Leith's A-listed 'banana flats'. Picture: SWNS

Leith's A-listed 'banana flats'. Picture: SWNS

Let’s just look at what Donald Trump has really done. First, he has not banned Muslims from entering the United States. Indeed, ­Muslims from 40 countries are still able to apply for visas just like they could before Trump became US President.

Second, Trump has only acted in a similar manner to his ­predecessor President Obama, who first ­introduced a ban on immigrants from Iraq in 2011. The one difference was Obama’s ban was for six months; Trump’s is for only three. Where were the demonstrations, petitions and social media rants when Obama took that decision? There were none.

The list of seven countries affected by the temporary ban was originally drawn up by President Obama and a special screening of visa applications imposed. They didn’t work.

Terrorists were still able to get into the United States, as the example of Muhammad Younis Al-Jayab shows. He beat the screening process twice even though he was going back and forward to Syria to fight for ISIS.

A report published last year listed 40 refugees who had gained entry to the United States who have been ­convicted of, or implicated in, terrorist offences. The temporary Trump ban is to give time for the faulty screening process to be reassessed and, if ­possible, tightened.

Why is there all this holier-than-thou concern about the United States not taking Syrian refugees when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and other Arab states have refused to take one single Syrian refugee? Not one! Would it not make sense for Arab ­refugees to be distributed across wealthy Arab states where the ­religion, climate and customs are similar to the people that have been displaced?

Where has been the outrage, the accusations of Nazism, fascism and religious bigotry against the 16 ­countries that currently ban Israeli Jews from entering them, even on holiday? It was International Holocaust Remembrance Day last week but I didn’t see protests against the anti-Semitic countries that have these bans. Trying to ban President Trump from having a State Visit to the UK on the back of all this outrage would only harm our national interests. Withdrawing an invitation already given would be doubly insulting. The demand being made is simply an attempt to try and smear Theresa May with the undoubted unpopularity of Trump outside the United States – yet it is May who has already won Trump over and got him to say how Nato is necessary. Being an ally of influence is better than being just another ­complaining European.

Like any President, Donald Trump will get some things wrong and some things right – but looking to protect his country from the threat of terrorism is not something he deserves to be criticised for.

If only Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande had taken more care with the European refugee issue, then some of their citizens would not have ­suffered at the hands of such savage and bloodthirsty terrorists.

A-listed Banana Flats are a lemon

Leith’s ‘Banana Flats’ have been given A-listed status which now means they will be subject to special protection that makes it difficult to alter and improve them.

Apparently this special status has been granted because Cables Wynd House – which is of a curved concrete design – was groundbreaking when first built.

Well, the flats were not groundbreaking enough to be copied elsewhere; instead they have become a unique statement of the failure of brutalist architecture in the cold and damp Scottish climate.

Good modernist buildings need to be preserved as much as old classical or gothic buildings, but in all cases it should only be if they can continue to serve a purpose.

By giving so much protection to Cables Wynd House a new burden has been placed on the owner – our council – that it may not be able to live up to.

Will the flats now be preserved for all posterity? And at what cost?

May will move fast on Brexit

So, our members of parliament have voted by a huge majority for Article 50 to be triggered, the process by which the Brexit negotiations start in earnest.

Only the House of Lords can throw a spanner in the works now.

Their lordships would be mad to go against the will of the people and the Commons. Instead, watch just how quickly Theresa May can move.

Rather than waiting until the end of March, I understand she is hoping to formally begin the process at a forthcoming EU summit in Malta on March 9.

Thankfully that would mean we don’t leave the EU on April Fool’s Day 2019!

Brave sacrifice of 9/11 rescuers

Last week Brian Masterson, 61, became the 124th firefighter to die as a result of attending the Twin Towers immediately after 9/11.

He had contracted oesophageal cancer believed to have been caused by the toxic dust and air he inhaled at the scene. Only a few days before, Kevin Rooney, 38, had become the 123rd firefighter to die, again from cancer. They will not be the last and deserve to be remembered for their bravery and sacrifice.