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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Royal Wedding snub to Blair and Brown - ignoring democracy

The Royal wedding featured some masterful decision-making. Many touches from the day showed the Royal Household, and in particular the Royal couple, to be far more in tune with their public than any of us thought.

But the decision to not invite former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown was unfortunate at the least, but at the most, at an event showcasing all that is great about our constitutional democracy - was profoundly undemocratic.

Our constitutional democracy elected Tony Blair's Labour Party into government three times in a row. Twice by a landslide. They gained over 40% of the vote twice during that time, something that may not happen again as we enter a three-party system that could possibly be here to stay. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown served this country for 10 and 13 years respectively, and whatever you think of some of the decisions they made, the fact that David Cameron, on entering 10 Downing Street, noted that it is difficult to argue this country wasn't a better place than in 1997 shows the importance of what they achieved. This should have been recognised on its' own.

But Tony Blair in particular is owed a massive debt of gratitude from the Royal Family, and for his work in that first week of September 1997 when he expertly managed and massaged the relationship between the Royals and the public during those dark days following the death of Princess Diana. His counselling of the Queen during that period led to her finally doing what was needed, returning to London and speaking to the people. His pleas to the public for patience with someone so heavily enconced in traditionalist distance  from her people, particularly when it comes to emotions, helped salve the dangerous sense of mutiny that pervaded at the time. William may have been 15 at the time, but he will know about this. He will also know that it was Blair who labelled his mother the "People's Princess", and he will know that he has been allowed to integrate with the people because of this to become what he was yesterday, and what his father was most certainly not back in 1981 - the "People's Prince". William should have made sure Blair was there, and I really don't think anyone would have argued.

As for Gordon Brown, he may not have ever won a proper election, and he may have been unsuited to the role of Prime Minister, but his work as Chancellor of the Exchequer for 10 years should have been recognised, and he WAS still the Prime Minister for 3 years.

In fact the almost total absence of anyone connected with the Labour Party was avoidable and simple fuel to the fire of those "republicans" who are against the monarchy and thus are likely to hail from the left of the political spectrum. The Royal household are supposed to be politically neutral. Well if that is so they were extremely careless with their invite list, because it ignored the last 13 years from 2010 in its' entirety, and that was wrong.

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