The Royal Wedding snub of the two former Labour Prime Ministers tends to support the view that David Cameron suffers from a vindictive streak.
It would be ridiculous to suggest that Downing Street had no input to the guest list for this year’s most high profile public event in the whole world.
It would be equally ridiculous to suggest that the Queen would enter such treacherous diplomatic territory of offending the Labour Party, without having come under considerable external pressure.
Previously, Mr Cameron has effectively vetoed the election of Mr Blair to the role of European President, and in more recent times he has spoken of his determination to oppose the appointment of Mr Brown to the head of the IMF, regardless of his supreme qualifications, and long-standing ambition to affect reform in global finance.
On each of the previous vetoes, Mr Cameron could be excused for fearing a predecessor’s shadow. The protocol at European events could be uncomfortable, since Brussels is a higher legislative body than Westminster, and because, as David Miliband pointed out, Mr Blair tends to “stop traffic” due to his high world status.
The veto against Mr Brown could also be explained by the fact that Mr Cameron is pursuing a different economic policy to that advocated by Mr Brown. He might fear that Brown would use his position at the IMF to embarrass the British government.
However, the sheer pettiness of a veto to the royal wedding is eyebrow-raising to say the least.
The excuses given are absurd. A spokesman for St James’s Palace said Mr Blair and Mr Brown had not received invitations because neither were Knights of the Garter.
All surviving former prime ministers, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath and James Callaghan, attended the marriage of Charles and Diana at St Paul’s in 1981. In fact, Edward Heath also never accepted a peerage on his retirement.
200 politicians and diplomats have been invited, including John Cranfield and his wife who will represent St Helena, the British territory in the South Atlantic with a population of just 4,000, but the two recent Labour Prime Minister’s are not.
It’s difficult to imagine any reason for this snub other than pressure from Downing Street. It fits a pattern of vindictiveness and demonstrates the nasty streak in David Cameron’s character.