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28th April 2011
Previous posts on the Royal Wedding
- A right Royal spin around the missing Garter: Pt 2 “The Royals & Something Red”
- A right Royal snub for the People’s Prime Minister: Pt 1 “The People’s Princess”
- William’s Wedding, Poll: Should Blair & Brown have been invited?
GROTESQUE. SHOCKING. DISGRACEFUL.
A MONUMENTAL ERROR OF JUDGEMENT
The Daily Mail is finally on my wavelength. For the last few days The Mail has been increasingly outraged about the failure to invite Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to William and Catherine’s wedding while a number of questionable characters or ambassadors from despotic regimes have had the compliment of an invitation. If the Palace had not been stupid enough to fail to invite the two previous Prime Ministers there might have been little said or done about these questionables. But, despite squeals of “non-political” event the Palace and the Foreign Office and David Cameron have made it so by their combined naivety.
The Mail’s campaign seems to have been partially, but only partially successful. The Foreign Secretary has now uninvited the Syrian ambassador in light of current murderous rampages against citizens in Syria. So that’s one gone. The room for Blair & Brown is increasing. Can we lose the Bahraini, or the Zimbabwean, or the Iranian ambassador by the end of the day? All three and Cherie Blair and Sarah Brown could pop along too.
Aside: [See – Sharp rise in Iran executions]
Here are some of the characters The Mail has been watching:
THIS MAN WAS INVITED TO THE ROYAL WEDDING –
Who is the man in the picture above? He is the ambassador for Syria. Yes, THAT Syria. This man was called to the Foreign Office on Tuesday evening regarding his country’s vicious attacks on its citizens. And after the ticking off the wedding invitation still stood. Until today when William Hague saw the light. UNBELIEVABLE!
You might ask – “William Hague?” So why didn’t the Foreign Secretary, if he had this sort of say, suggest Blair & Brown as invitees at an earlier stage in planning? Indeed. You might well ask.
Now, since the whole event has been politicised by excluding Blair & Brown, what about UNINVITING the Bahraini ambassador, the Iranian ambassador, the North Korean ambassador, the Zimbabwean ambassador and envoys from other hard-line regimes including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Swaziland, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei and Abu Dhabi?
Also at The Mail: Labour MPs said the attendance of Dr Sami Khiyami – while former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have been excluded – ‘bordered on the grotesque’.
The Syrian government has been warned it faces war crimes prosecutions and last night ordered in more tanks to crush an uprising said to have cost the lives of 400 peaceful protesters.
The presence of its ambassador at Westminster Abbey tomorrow has further stoked the anger of Labour MPs, already at loggerheads with palace aides over their decision to exclude Mr Blair and Mr Brown.
There are protests that seven more royal ‘tyrants’ or their envoys from around the world are on the guest list despite records of repression and torture.
Read more – Syria’s despots invited, but not our former PMs
THIS MAN HAS BEEN INVITED TO THE ROYAL WEDDING –
Who is he? Only the bride’s Uncle Gary!
AND HE’S JUST AS CLASSY FROM THE BACK ….
More here on the black sheep of Catherine Middleton’s family who, nonetheless – he’s family y’know – deserved a place at her wedding far more than either of the country’s previous two prime ministers.
THIS MAN WAS INVITED TO THE ROYAL WEDDING
‘Tony Blair and Gordon Brown will not be among the 1,900 invited dignitaries filling the Westminster Abbey in London, but Gabriel Machinga will be at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
“It is not merely unclear but mind-boggling that Messrs Blair and Brown should have had to yield to men such as Gabriel Machinga, Zimbabwean Ambassador to London, a loyal servant of President Robert Mugabe’s murderous and kleptomaniac regime,” fumed Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover.
Glover said it was “highly regrettable” that Blair and Brown had been overlooked while “some pretty unsavoury foreign leaders, as well as some rackety private individuals” got invites.
Newspaper reports are highly critical of invitations extended to King Mswati III of Swaziland, Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohamed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz and Princess Fadwa bint Khalid. The Bahrain Crown Prince has, however, declined the invite to escape controversy while Libya’s ambassador had his invitation rescinded.
In a news report, The Independent newspaper said: “Despite Zimbabwe having withdrawn from the Commonwealth in 2003, and Robert Mugabe being subject to a travel ban and sanctions, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to London, Gabriel Machinga, remains on the guest list because the two countries retain ‘normal’ relations.”’
The Zimbabwe Vigil has written a letter of complaint about Mugabe’s ambassador’s invitation to the wedding
Just in case you forgot – THESE TWO MAN HAVE NOT BEEN INVITED.
And they scrub up quite well, and don’t exactly look like they’re likely to cause any trouble.
“What conceivable reason could there be for not inviting these former democratic leaders to a wedding which, though not an official state occasion, bears an awfully close relationship to one in its size as well as its splendour?”
Toby Young suggests that Prince William himself would have decided not to invite Blair. Brown’s lack of invitation was, presumably an obvious, unfortunate side-effect. If so, the Prince has lost my respect. Mr Young suggests too that the Prince may come to regret this decision.
So far nothing has persuaded me that the exclusion was other than Prince Charles’ doing, for this reason (as I wrote about here with video, the other day) –
Tony Blair delivers his ‘people’s princess’ speech (Photo: PA)
In my humble opinion, and who knows what they were discussing at this event just before Blair left office, the facial expressions here are telling.
Tony Blair and Gordon Brown royal wedding ‘snub’ row BBC News
Snubbed Cherie ‘will watch wedding on TV’ – although Guy will go (but who actually … The Daily Mail
Royals reject claims Blair and Brown snubbed by not making the guest list Irish Times
A butcher, barman and estate agent: But no room for Blair and Brown on the … The Daily Mail
Royal couple face rogue’s gallery of despots in Abbey’s front row The Independent
According to a poll here at The Spectator, Blair’s and Brown’s lack of invitation is supported. Different results from my poll, but it just goes to show how narrow is public perception and understanding of the complexities of this issue. And how far The Mail has to go in its campaign of understanding why Blair & Brown, love them or loathe them should have ben invited. It also show the success of the press campaign against both these former prime ministers. Way to go to undo the damage, The Mail. As to the question regarding the response if Mr Sami Khiyami name’s had been included, I imagine he would have received a positive view. The likely response? – “Who? OK, he’ll do.”
Last thoughts on the reason for not inviting Blair & Brown.
Someone has just suggested to me that their exclusion may be an appeasement towards Muslims, especially since the ‘Muslims Against Crusades’ group were going to demonstrate until they called it off the other day. If that is so it is very worrying. But then we are expecting the “Defender of All Faiths” to inherit the throne from his mother.
LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!
Meanwhile Mr Blair has said this morning that his lack of invitation it “not an issue”.
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.