In this post, I will discuss Trump’s ongoing state visit to the United Kingdom, as well as my visit to St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf. This combination seems rather fitting to include in the same post, as Trump has become commonly associated with the sport, spending numerous days at his courses around the world.
On Monday, I travelled to St. Andrews, a small coastal town about 30 miles from Edinburgh as the crow flies. St. Andrews was once the home of the nation’s largest church, St. Andrews Cathedral, a Catholic church built in the Middle Ages now in ruins as a result of the Scottish Reformation.
St. Andrews is also the birthplace of golf, and is home to the Old Course, the oldest golf course in the world, and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the most important golf club in the world. Until recently, the club’s rules of play served as the basis for the rules of golf around the world. Across the street from the golf club and the 18th hole of the Old Course is the British Golf Museum. In the small museum rests the Claret Jug, the trophy of The Open Championship, the oldest major golf championship in the world. Even more impressive was the document with the original 13 rules of golf, including the commonly cited 10th rule still followed to this day, “If a Ball be stopp’d by any Person, Horse, Dog or anything else, The Ball so stop’d must be play’d where it lyes.” The day trip to St. Andrews was well worth the trek, and 7 hours was a perfect amount of time to visit the city. Below are a few photos from my visit.
Trump’s Visit to the United Kingdom
Donald Trump and the First Family of the United States arrived in London on Monday for his first state visit to the United Kingdom as President (he visited once before on a working visit). As I am sure you have seen, he is being met with a polarized reception, with protests in several major cities across the United Kingdom as well as supporters welcoming him at the gates of Buckingham Palace upon arrival.
In Scotland, Trump’s visit has been met with an overwhelmingly negative reception. Many here associate Trump with the Brexit movement, which, as I mentioned earlier, is largely unpopular in Scotland. Trump continues to be vocal in his support of the movement, meeting with Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, yesterday. Trump sees this as an opportunity to renegotiate trade deals with the United Kingdom, tweeting that a trade deal can be reached once the country “get rid of the shackles” of the European Union.
Yesterday, I visited a protest of Trump’s visit in Edinburgh. Although Trump is not scheduled to visit Scotland on this trip, the people here are still making their voices heard. One speaker at the gathering said, “Trump is pouring petrol on our already divided country.” Another speaker remarked, “Trump is the worst president in America’s history, and our Prime Minister, similarly the worst ever, is rolling out the red carpet.” As mentioned previously, May is unpopular in Scotland for attempting to deliver Brexit. One comment, which I felt was rather telling, was one man saying, “The royals are fist bumping and enjoying a feast with Trump, all at the taxpayer’s, Scottish taxpayer’s, expense.” This signifies the feelings of some of the Scottish people towards the British crown and symbolize a sense of detachment from the Royal family in Britain which likely also plays into calls for independence. Many here do not feel a sense of ownership over the Crown, and view the royal family, in addition to the UK government, as leeches on Scotland’s purse. This visit seems to be exacerbating the issue and putting further strain on the relationship between the Scottish people and leaders, both royal and political, in London.
Tomorrow morning, I fly back to the United States to speak at an event in Silicon Valley at Facebook’s headquarters. Over the past couple months, I have been working with America’s Promise Alliance and a group of several other young people to organize “The State of Young People” conference which is expecting about 400 attendees. I will be busy while I am there, but I will share my experience on the blog in several days upon return to the United Kingdom on June 9.