Saturday, 24 July 2010

Why the palace shouldn't play politics

Monarchists have always argued that one of the biggest assets of the status quo is that we have a head of state who is apolitical and has no interest in the tribal battle at Westminster. If Prince Charles' forays into the discussion about GM crops, architecture and suchlike were not already clear and irrefutable evidence that this argument is null and void, then the farce this week with the BNP and its leader Nick Griffin should surely be enough to convince many that the palace and politics are like oil and water.

As an MEP, Griffin was invited to a garden party at the palace on Thursday and promptly turned up on television declaring that this was evidence of his party's 'legitimacy'. Now we all know this to be something of a spurious argument. Yes, they are legitimate in the sense that they exist (just about) legally and managed to acquire 1 million votes at the last Euro elections, seeing Griffin and Andrew Brons elected to the European parliament. However, they were invited just as members of every other represented party was as a matter of procedure. The invitation did not represent a ringing endorsement of the BNP from Her Maj, and Griffin was setting them a trap by insinuating that it did.

Unfortunately, the palace appears to have walked straight into this and given the BNP a far greater publicity coup than turning up and munching a few sausage rolls would ever have done. People like Griffin build their myth on the concept that they are 'the enemy of the political class' and with this elite group held in contempt by so many, some voters have been liable to conclude that 'my enemy's enemy is therefore my friend'. Look, nobody contributing to this board has any truck with the man's wacky and sometimes hilarious politics. But not only do I think it was bad form to refuse a democratically elected MEP entry to the event because of such politics, it was also giving the oxygen of publicity to a man who knows how to use it.

Remember at school, there was always a kid who said and did ridiculous things at the back of the class, becoming more and more extreme as others indulged him with the attention he craved? Of course, as you get older, you realise that ignoring them or just smiling and saying "yeah, whatever" tends to make them disappear. The political class have indulged Griffin for too long, and now the palace have assisted their self-sabotage. Maybe we should give ignoring him a go - after all it couldn't work out any worse?


Gregg said...

I think the argument was that Griffin asked BNP members, via their website, which questions he should put to the Queen thus abusing, or olitiising, his invitation.

As Andrew Brons kept his mouth shut, and attended the event, we can only blame Griffin for being an idiot rather than Buck House for any political action.

Gregg said...

Apologies that should be "politicising" rather than "olitiising".