London's "NO" to Trump
That President Donald Trump is not the most popular Head of State is not news. But, the fact there should be an overdrive to drive the point home is. After the NATO Summit, he is slated to come to Britain. But he is not at all welcome. Oh, the things he will be greeted with this week when he visits London: demonstrators, a giant 'Trump Baby' balloon and a uniquely British musical protest. For the past couple of weeks, a social media campaign has sought to make Green Day's classic 2004 jam "American Idiot" the No 1 tune in the UK by the time Trump arrives next Friday. The "Get American Idiot to No 1 for Trump's UK Visit" Facebook page has been advocating for some kind of musical protest during Trump's visit to Britain pretty much since the start of his presidency. After Trump's "working visit", as opposed to a formal state visit, was announced in April, the effort went into an overdrive. The campaign asks people to download "American Idiot" between Friday, July 6 and Friday, July 13, to push the 14-year-old single to the top of the Official UK Charts. So far, the effort appears to be working. It will take a particularly strong push though to get the song to the top of the chart by Friday. For Americans, all of this may seem, well, kind of weird. But, the Brits have been waging campaigns to get certain songs to top the chart for a decade. Since years, there have been numerous attempts to get tunes as varied as Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" to the themes from "Star Wars" and "Pokemon" to the top of British charts in time for Christmas. The politically-charged "American Idiot" was a Billboard Hot 100 hit for Green Day back in the fall of 2004 when George W Bush was President. Trump is not really popular in the UK right now and his unpopularity with the Brits is shaping his first official visit there. He will meet Queen Elizabeth and huddle with British Prime Minister Theresa May but, in a break from custom for a visit by a foreign leader, he will not visit Downing Street. He really will not spend too much time at all in London during the three-day visit, as the President's handlers seek to minimise the risk of awkward encounters with angry protesters on the streets. Or, in the air, for that matter. During a planned "Stop Trump" march in central London on Friday, a 19-foot-tall orange balloon, shaped to look like a baby version of Trump, will be flown as high as 98 feet in the air near the Parliament. The Brits seem hard put to script "history" very differently.