Nasty Dave and the Wedding Snub


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.

13 Responses to Nasty Dave and the Wedding Snub

  1. Gracie says:

    I absolutely agree with this and I wish there was some way we could officially protest, but as usual there isn’t, is this the “new politics” Cameron and Clegg promised us? I found those excuses from St Jame’s palace to be ridiculous too, perhaps they have forgotten that the princes used to play with the Blair’s children at Balmoral and Chequers but I haven’t!
    If anyone deserves to attend this wedding on merit then it is Gordon Brown, who since losing the election has donated half a million pound to various charities and towards working for charity, rather than salt away earnings made on the back of his time in the Labour government unlike Tony Blair, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

    Why would the Queen allow herself to become embroiled in these unseemly politics? Surely she should have just told Cameron, the two former prime ministers are on the guest lies and that is that? I cannot believe that she would take political sides and neither can I believe this was the wish of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Prince William’s mother Princess Diana was known to be very fond of the Blairs, so that doesn’t make sense, none of this makes sense. Perhaps we should start making a fuss and put pressure on Downing Street to admit if they had a hand in this?

  2. Gracie says:

    I absolutely agree with this and I wish there was some way we could officially protest, but as usual there isn’t, is this the “new politics” Cameron and Clegg promised us? I found those excuses from St Jame’s palace to be ridiculous too, perhaps they have forgotten that the princes used to play with the Blair’s children at Balmoral and Chequers but I haven’t!
    If anyone deserves to attend this wedding on merit then it is Gordon Brown, who since losing the election has donated half a million pound to various charities and towards working for charity, rather than salt away earnings made on the back of his time in the Labour government unlike Tony Blair, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

    Why would the Queen allow herself to become embroiled in these unseemly politics? Surely she should have just told Cameron, the two former prime ministers are on the guest lies and that is that? I cannot believe that she would take political sides and neither can I believe this was the wish of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Prince William’s mother Princess Diana was known to be very fond of the Blairs, so that doesn’t make sense, none of this makes sense. Perhaps we should start making a fuss and put pressure on Downing Street to admit if they had a hand in this?

  3. Gracie says:

    Sorry “lies” should read *list* – Freudian slip perhaps?

  4. Gracie says:

    Sorry “lies” should read *list* – Freudian slip perhaps?

  5. Hazel Malcolm-walker says:

    I completely agree with the above comments. The fact is, the coalition, osbourne in particular have screwed up badly and they have no idea how to get out of the economic mess they have made for themselves, where only multimillionaires like the cabinet are not having to tighten their belts.
    The probability is that the Lib/Dems are going to get wiped out in the: Local, Scottish and Welsh elections and their referendum is going to result in a big NO vote. something Clegg is worried about (hense the right wing conspiracy theory floated in the Observer today by Clegg – because he can’t come up with a political arguement so he has to resort to abuse).
    Come July and August I think we will be campaigning in a General Election because the coalition will have collapsed as most Lib/Dems read the writing on the wall about their own seats and realise that if they are going to stay in Westminster they are going to have to ditch Clegg, and do a political Volte Face and break the coalition.
    Cameron is setting out his stall for the election, he will claim that the economic mess is because the mess that they found was far worse than they thought, Labour is completely to blame – nothing to do with them- and even more cuts are necessary to eliminate the defecite because the ones that they have brought in weren’t deep enough to do the business. Only somebody who is an uber Thatcherite who (like Thatcher) doesn’t really understand economics can follow this logic.
    This isn’t only vindictiveness, it is scape-goating of a most cynical kind prior to a snap General Election.
    It won’t work, Cameron will not get returned with an increased majority like Thatcher was for her second term.

  6. Hazel Malcolm-walker says:

    I completely agree with the above comments. The fact is, the coalition, osbourne in particular have screwed up badly and they have no idea how to get out of the economic mess they have made for themselves, where only multimillionaires like the cabinet are not having to tighten their belts.
    The probability is that the Lib/Dems are going to get wiped out in the: Local, Scottish and Welsh elections and their referendum is going to result in a big NO vote. something Clegg is worried about (hense the right wing conspiracy theory floated in the Observer today by Clegg – because he can’t come up with a political arguement so he has to resort to abuse).
    Come July and August I think we will be campaigning in a General Election because the coalition will have collapsed as most Lib/Dems read the writing on the wall about their own seats and realise that if they are going to stay in Westminster they are going to have to ditch Clegg, and do a political Volte Face and break the coalition.
    Cameron is setting out his stall for the election, he will claim that the economic mess is because the mess that they found was far worse than they thought, Labour is completely to blame – nothing to do with them- and even more cuts are necessary to eliminate the defecite because the ones that they have brought in weren’t deep enough to do the business. Only somebody who is an uber Thatcherite who (like Thatcher) doesn’t really understand economics can follow this logic.
    This isn’t only vindictiveness, it is scape-goating of a most cynical kind prior to a snap General Election.
    It won’t work, Cameron will not get returned with an increased majority like Thatcher was for her second term.

  7. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    Cameron’s an easy read when you realises he accuses people of one thing but it’s an admission of his own failure. Go through the list and it’s no sweat to tick them off. I read this petty and vindictive affair as him worrying about talk he should be blackballed. Cameron’s on the attack just to throw people off the scent. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book. Done it myself.

    Apart from that I agree with everything in Dan’s essay, and the comments left by Gracie and Hazel.

  8. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    Cameron’s an easy read when you realises he accuses people of one thing but it’s an admission of his own failure. Go through the list and it’s no sweat to tick them off. I read this petty and vindictive affair as him worrying about talk he should be blackballed. Cameron’s on the attack just to throw people off the scent. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book. Done it myself.

    Apart from that I agree with everything in Dan’s essay, and the comments left by Gracie and Hazel.

  9. jason_manc says:

    Hi Dan, we exchanged some tweets over this article.

    We already discussed the Lisbon Treaty/Blair as President of EU Council thing, I think it’s a bit tenuous given that the Treaty went through and Blair did not become President, there simply wasn’t enough support for him amongst European leaders. Cameron wanting to hold a referendum on this treaty really had nothing to do with it.

    Even though the rumours turned out to be untrue and Brown is now heading some sort of banking reform committee, I also feel Brown is unsuited to becoming head of the IMF given that he destroyed the British system of bank regulation that’d been in place for hundreds of years by introducing the failed Tripartite system, oversaw massive budget deficits from 2002 onwards, destroyed private pensions and doubled the length of tax regulation in the UK, as well as allowing the UK economy to become dangerously over reliant on the banking sector for its tax revenues. He also denied that the UK had a deficit problem before the 2010 General Election even though the IMF and other international financial institutions had been warning us about it, and they are now warning the US. The even bigger crime is that he made the election a referendum on Tory spending cuts even though Labour planned cuts of their own, of around 80% of the magnitude. Anyway… you will probably disagree with 100% of that.

    I think it would be outrageous if 10 Downing St were to interfere with the Royal family’s handling of this event, remember the furore when they apparently were trying to get a bigger role for Blair at the Queen Mother’s funeral? If Number 10 did interfere it is likely that it would eventually leak out and all hell would break lose. For this reason I doubt it happened.

    Nevertheless I am surprised Blair and Brown were not invited, given the precedent they probably should have been, and I don’t buy the Order of the Garter thing. I think it is more likely that the residents of Bucks Palace are not big fans of the two former PMs given the hunting ban, wars in Iraq/Afghanistan, furore over defence funding (remember William is a serving soldier).

    • dan says:

      The Tripartite system was brought in because the Bank of England was shown to be incompetent after the BCCI scandal and the Barings collapse. No regulators in the world foresaw the crisis and the Tories were advocating looser regulation. So that’s a load of rubbish.

      I’m surprise you call it a crime that a political party campaigns on their policies. The Labour policy was to be less aggressive in applying cuts for the risk of sending us back into recession. Taking into account that the last figures show that the economy is shrinking, this has proved to be correct. It is easier to pay down a deficit by sustaining growth than by making cuts. With a 15 year window till the redemption, we had plenty of time.

      Cameron wouldn’t have directly said what he wanted from the guest list; it would have been done more subtly than that. There won’t be anything that could be stuck on him, but it was him behind the pressure on the royals to make this decision. He’s the only one who’s nasty enough.

  10. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    Looks like this topic was a big hit. The last time I saw a spike like that was around the time Nick Robinson accused Cameron of being Thatcherite. The only difference this time is Cameron can’t hide it and is dangling in the open like a bogey at a white tie dinner.

    500 Taliban tunnel out of prison in time for hunting season. Sheesh. This Tory government has turned into a Road Runner movie.

    Beep, beep.

  11. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    Looks like this topic was a big hit. The last time I saw a spike like that was around the time Nick Robinson accused Cameron of being Thatcherite. The only difference this time is Cameron can’t hide it and is dangling in the open like a bogey at a white tie dinner.

    500 Taliban tunnel out of prison in time for hunting season. Sheesh. This Tory government has turned into a Road Runner movie.

    Beep, beep.

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