Daily Mail fury over Blair and Brown palace ‘snub’
Paper surprises readers by supporting Labour PMs uninvited to royal wedding
Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, the two Cinderellas of British public life since neither received an invitation to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, have found an unlikely champion: the Daily Mail.
The entrenchedly right-wing paper is fuming today about
Friday's royal guest list. "So why are oiks like Kate's uncle invited
to the royal wedding while Brown and Blair aren't?" asks a headline.
The palace's explanation for inviting David Cameron, Sir John Major
and Baroness Thatcher and not inviting their Labour counterparts is
that, as the wedding is not a full state occasion, only PMs who are
Knights of the Garter have been included. (Thatcher will not attend,
due to ill health.)
This does not satisfy the Mail, however, which declares in a leader column that "the more St James's Palace blusters, the clearer it becomes that this was a straightforward, calculated snub".
It continues: "It was also a shabby, divisive and deeply unwise step for the Monarchy, whose bond with the people depends on treating elected leaders without fear or favour."
And star opinion writer Stephen Glover also weighs in, in a
piece titled "I'm no fan of Blair but this is an insult to democracy…"
Pointing out that there were five former PMs at the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, Glover adds:
"It is … 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.
"Even less defensible are the invitations sent to leaders who have
personally overseen repression. The Crown Prince of Bahrain, who has had more than a hand in the recent crackdown on his own people, has fortunately decided at the last minute not to come."
The Mail's mind is made up and its readers seem equally convinced – but, strangely, in the other direction. A poll on the newspaper's website shows that – as this article was posted – 67 per cent of readers agree that the two Labour PMs should not have been invited. ·
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