Re Royal Wedding, The Guardian, 3rd May 2011

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The Guardian (London) - Final Edition

May 3, 2011 Tuesday

Comment: Diary

BYLINE: Hugh Muir


Four days since the day of days, the Windsor nuptials are still a talking point. Who was there, who wasn't, and who grabbed the attention? Too little limelight accorded to Labour leader Ed Miliband, so voices from his side of the fence complain, but then the day was generally problematic. Ed and Justine, Labour's first couple, turned up a bit late and went through the wrong door. "A shame, too, because apparently they'd gone to a lot of effort to look nice," said one who shared their anguish. Still, that's life. Births and marriages; joy and pain.

Over at the Libertarian Alliance, they have fought hard not to be swept up in the patriotic tide. Generally, they have succeeded. "On behalf of those officers of the Libertarian Alliance who do not yet regard the monarchy with the contempt it richly deserves - which may or may not for the moment include me - I wish to congratulate William Mountbatten-Windsor and Catherine Middleton," wrote head honcho Sean Gabb in a pre-emptory posting. "Although thoughts of an 'elected' president incline me to projectile vomiting, my own regard for the monarchy has been sorely tested over the past three or four decades."

"It does not concern me if Her Present Majesty is not a woman of great intellectual distinction - after all, our last monarch who did not at least border on the subnormal was James I, and he was a Scotchman without potty training." But she has, says Dr Gabb, allowed the country to go to the dogs, intervening when she shouldn't have done, and sitting on her hands when she should have intervened, especially to stymie the EU and New Labour. "I have never seen evidence that she has lifted a finger to defend the rights of her English subjects. In my view, that abolishes my duty of allegiance to her or any of her likely successors." So that's it, Kate and Wills. You're on your own.

Still, let's be optimistic; it pays to be upbeat. "Syria has also started to drive forward the vision of creating a new regional understanding, which would have a major economic and political impact on all the parties involved, and would ultimately transform the Middle East and render it a leading player in the world's political and economic order." So says the Syrian ambassador to the court of St James's, Dr Sami Khiyami, writing in the latest edition of the magazine Diplomat. Diplomatic to a fault, you might think.

Finally, there's turmoil abroad, and turmoil at home for the "Blair style of sofa government seems to have been replaced by not so much cabinet government, but government in separate cupboards. That, however, is the price we pay for a coalition kept together only by fear of facing the electorate." And who says that? A staunch Labourite? It could have been, for it is true they hate the ConDems. But they don't hate Big Dave's big tent as much as Norman Tebbit does.