Diplomatic Row Erupts Over Chiswick Trump Statue
Negotiations over President's forthcoming state visit thrown into confusion
A major diplomatic row between the United States and the UK has blown up over a statue on Chiswick High Road. A series of miscommunications between British and American diplomats appears to have given rise to a situation that could have grave international implications.
The bronze figure of William Hogarth outside Barclays Bank is accompanied by a representation of his dog who is called Trump. A famous self portrait dating from the mid-1730s, entitled The Painter And His Pug is currently on display at the Tate Gallery, which shows the artist with his faithful companion Trump by his side.
In a chain of events which at this point remain difficult to explain, the President of the United States, Donald Trump appears to have mistakenly gained the impression that a statue has been erected in his honour on Chiswick High Road. British diplomats deny telling him that this was the case but a formal request has now been made by the American State Department for a visit to the statue to form part of the President’s planned state visit. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are currently negotiating with the American counterparts who have given them a list of requests from Donald Trump about his itinerary during the visit which is now expected to be some time later this year.
Originally it was thought that any functions that took place in London would attract large protests against the controversial Commander-in-Chief but White House staff appear to have formed the mistaken impression that there was an enclave of support for Donald Trump in the W4 area. Sean Spicer, the Trump administration’s press secretary gave details of the outline plans to the White House press corps this week including a visit to the statue in Chiswick and the President playing a round of golf on the course at Balmoral with the Duke of Edinburgh. The President planned to visit his own course at Turnberry and then be hosted by the Queen in Scotland followed by a formal event in Birmingham. His entourage were then expecting to make a detour to Chiswick just before boarding Air Force One at Heathrow. The President has tweeted about the plan saying how much he was looking forward to visiting his statue with the Queen. Privately British diplomats say that the itinerary has been presented to them as a fait accompli and the Americans are unwilling to discuss any alterations.
The FCO now feel that given the sensitivity of diplomatic relations between the US and the UK and the moment it would be the wrong time to inform the President that the statue is actually of a dog. There is a high level of concern that the current administration’s commitment to NATO has reduced and the UK will be looking to the US for a trade deal once they have left the European Union. It is feared that an already highly protectionist President would not be very accommodating if he felt slighted over this issue.
When ChiswickW4.com contacted the President through Twitter he responded angrily branding the web site as ‘fake news’. This web site strongly refutes the idea that we would ever publish anything that is totally made up.
The UK Government’s position is that a statue of Donald Trump needs to be in place on Chiswick High Road by the time of the visit and has instructed Hounslow Council to make the necessary arrangements.
Local MP Ruth Cadbury has responded by offer to meet with local Trump supporters to ensure the President gets a warm welcome.
Trumpology consultant, Avril Amadan is advising the emergency committee that has been set up to deal with the issue.
She told us, “As is well-known, Donald Trump is a connoisseur of art and would not be deceived by a hurriedly cobbled together effort so we need to put in place a piece of genuine quality. With this in mind we did consider repurposing the statue of Michael Jackson that used to stand outside Craven Cottage but the owners have refused to make it available. It has been suggested that we simply put an orange wig on the existing statue but that idea was quickly rejected (see below). Luckily we have managed to secure the services of an internationally renowned sculptor who has received rave reviews after the recent unveiling of his statue of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. It seems inexplicable to us that he was available at short notice.”
Avril advises that it could be very much to Chiswick’s advantage if his visit to the area goes well. She says, “His greatest ambition is to have a Trump Tower in London and he is aware of a location near Chiswick Roundabout which would be ideal and feels that plans for a 32-storey tower failed because they lacked ambition. Gunnersbury Park is just next door and this has already been earmarked for an 18 hole golf course of championship standard so it could be that you get to host the Open. Donald would insist on the area being given the honour of being renamed so Chiswick would become Trumptown.”
1 April 2017