This month, US President Donald Trump is to visit the UK on a State Visit. His itinerary sadly doesn’t include a visit to Scotland, where there appears to be plenty public appetite to have him here – even if just to protest his chauvinist, xenophobic rhetoric.
Thinking of his trip, I’m reminded of Irish ballad singer Christy Moore, who often told his audience that he’d say one thing about Thatcher – there were many great songs written during her reign.
The same, of course, could be said for the rich pickings surrounding The Donald. The arts rarely lets a chance go by to challenge the political environment of the day, and for better or worse – though most certainly for worse – Donald Trump gives artists plenty of material to work with.
During Trump’s last visit, a group of young people crowdfunded to have a giant helium blimp of Baby Trump which hovered over Parliament Square in London – a reminder of just how much of a petulant child this man is.
And at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, there was a list as long as your arm of Trump-related entertainment, from Trump The Musical to satirical stand up and everything in between. Based on the guide I’ve seen, 2019 will be no different, with Trump Lear amongst the most genius of show titles.
His politics is that of division; to separate people by their place of birth, gender, sexuality or creed. His hate-filled diatribes against Muslims and women have no place in society.
But the arts provides a space where nothing is off-limits. A space where we can both laugh at the caricature of the President’s quiffy hair, orange face and tiny hands, but also use these to chip away at the veneer to explore – and call out – some of the most horrendous parts of his politics.
Of course, where The Donald is, our very own foul-mouthed, no-nonsense talking comedian Janey Godley is never far. She is recognisable to most by her ‘novel’ placard at Trump Turnberry, where she protested his last flying visit to Scotland.
Janey has already promised to make her presence known during this visit, and if her voice-overs are anything to go by, we can expect to be pretty well entertained by the time Air Force One’s wheels hit the tarmac.
Originally published in The Scots Independent newspaper