Dave Ward to Trump – ‘My grandson’s more intelligent than you’Union Matters June 4 2019
“My grandson’s only two days old but he’s already more intelligent than Donald Trump,” commented our general secretary Dave Ward in his message to tens of thousands of protesters who filled Whitehall today in protest at the visit of the controversial US president.
“The fight against the far-right does not start and end in the UK – it’s an increasingly global fight that our union is proud to be part of,” he continued, in a written statement read out to the crowd by CWU head of communications Chris Webb.
Describing Mr Trump’s attitudes as “the politics of hate and division,” our general secretary argued that, opposing this type of politics was “our task as a movement” and that we also needed to “offer an alternative.”
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party provides that potential alternative, Dave continued, saying that a Corbyn government would represent the victory of “hope over hate.”
Speaking later, Jeremy Corbyn said that, “in welcoming visitors from the US, I hope there can be a conversation,” but, in light of the speculation over a potential post-Brexit trade deal with the US, the Labour leader insisted that this “should not be a debate about how we go forward with no deal and at the same time offering up our precious, wonderful National Health Service to private American companies to come in and take it over.
“We will not stand for that,” he insisted, pledging that “we will fight with every last breath of our body to defend the principle of a healthcare system free at the point of need for everybody as a human right.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady had voiced similar sentiments earlier, telling the rally that she was “proud to represent unions, proud to represent six million workers and proud to be here with you.”
Other speakers included Labour MPs Laura Pidcock and Emily Thornberry, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and well-known Guardian journalist Owen Jones, each of them putting forward a similar message of vigorously opposing prejudice and stepping up the fight for tolerance and equality for all.
People had gathered at Trafalgar Square from earlier this morning, and the CWU’s very own Hopemobile and our giant union balloons made another appearance, along with the banners, flags and placards of other trade unions and various national and local organisations.
And there were also many home-made placards from individuals, who each in their own way wanted to send a message to the US president.
Mary Beth Swofford brought support and solidarity all the way from San Antonio in Texas, USA, saying that she was here “because I want you Brits to know that not all Americans are idiots.”
Young Jacob Bradley, who had travelled down from Derbyshire with his dad, let everyone know that he had interrupted his ‘Fortnite’ game playing to be here, while Briony Doyle had a suggestion for HM The Queen as to where Mr Trump could be put up for the night.
For some, the protest was also a trading opportunity, with James from “the west of Ireland” doing a steady trade in selling special toilet paper with the US president’s face on it.
“Take a d***, then wipe with Trump,” he suggested, as customers viewed his wares.
But amid the good humour, the serious message of the day was clear for all to see, the people of the UK – from all walks of life – standing together in determined opposition to prejudice, intolerance and inequality.
Both before and after the speakers, the many thousands of protesters chanted in unison: “Say it loud, say it clear, Donald Trump’s not welcome here.”
And so loud was the noise that our political leaders – and their visitor – certainly heard the voice of the people today.