Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Her Majesty's garden party storm

Just after midnight I appeared on Radio 5 to discuss the recent furore following the news that the leader of Britain's far right British National Party had been invited to the Queen's Garden party. He is now a serving Member of the European Parliament as I was until 1999.

Right at the end of my five year mandate I was delighted and surprised to get an invitation for myself and my wife to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace and have tea with Her Majesty the Queen.

I was one of several thousand guests and was impressed by the diverse and wonderful cross section of British society. All in all it was truly great day and most people present clearly saw it as an honour celebrating their contribution to the community. I worked on the basis that it was a private invitation and a private occasion. In fact this is the first time I have ever spoken of it publicly.

The BNP however believe they have a "right" to attend and on their website last night were even claiming that Her Majesty had sympathy with their politics, although I notice this morning that that particular comment has been removed. This will be a tremendous slight to the other guests who will be there representative of our communities, many from the very ethnic minorities that the BNP are so keen to exclude.

Anyway, if you wish to listen to the broadcast (I gather this is not possible in North America, please let me know if it is by posting a comment)  sometime over the next week click here and slide the timer marker to 1hour 49 minutes.


Anonymous said...

"Our queen is not allowed to express a political opinion - but my guess is that she feels the hurt felt by her subjects and has much sympathy for the BNP - the party of the people.

This comment is still there.

David said...

So it is. I note that the other rants suggest tear gassing any demonstrators and that Prince Philip is also a closet BNP sympathiser. This really was an ill conceived invitation and the Palace should withdraw it.