Gordon Brown has suffered another humiliating defeat today after his scandalous behaviour in regard to the coming D-Day commemorations spectacularly backfired. The Prime Minister, much to my annoyance, claimed the other day that the event was “intended for prime ministers and presidents, rather than royals”. What seemed to escape Mr Browns logic was the fact that both Sarkozy and Obama are Heads of their State. Brown however, as Her Majesty’s first minister, is not… and thank god for that! It seems Obama was equally appalled that the Queen was not invited and the White House press secretary confirmed yesterday that the President and the White House wanted her to attend and were putting pressure on the Elysee Palace to rectify the situation. The French have always vhermently denied that they snubbed the Queen and insisted that the British contingent was a matter for the British. Quite right too. The fact remains that our Prime Minister (well in theory our Prime Minister) deliberately snubbed our Queen for the sake of a photo-op with Obama and to be seen as a leader on the world stage. This blog has repeatedly slammed this government (and the Blair government) for their scandalous treatment of our armed forces over the past 11 years and this situation is a clear example as to why.
In a blatant snub to the forces, Brown himself wasn’t even going to attend the commemorations and only changed his mind in March when he learned Obama would be going. Once going however he seemed to make damn sure that he would not be upstaged by the Queen, our Head of State and the only serving Head of State in the world who actually can remember and indeed served in the war. Browns attendence at the event is not out of a desire to honor our fallen but a chance to ‘get a nice photo’ and polish his tarnished image. Peter Hodge, secretary of the Normandy Veterans’ Association, argued that the Queen is held in “complete adoration by the veterans” and her absence will undoubtedly disappoint and anger the Veterans. Today however the situation has been in some way rectified after it was announced that President Sarkozy had offered Prince Charles an invitation to the event personally and he has accepted. Humiliatingly it seems the Elysee Palace and Buckingham Palace officials completely by passed Downing Street and made the arrangements together rather than in consulation with the Prime Ministers office. However this situation proves one thing; this government holds our forces at best with indifference at worse in contempt. While Brown hangs on to his political life by a thread it seems he had to give the Veterans one last slap in the face before he and this government fall in to electoral oblivion.