Adam Lovejoy reports from outside the entrance to 10 Downing Street: So, after sixty glorious years of keeping herself out of British domestic politics Queen Elisabeth II has taken part in a spoof cabinet meeting, arranged for her by Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife SamCam. It was a jolly affair, with lots of smiles and lame jokes and silly policies mentioned, with the Queen – at the end – getting a collection of 60 table mats decorated with images of Buckingham Palace, bought with the money donated by cabinet members under duress.
The great occasion, the second time ever that a British monarch has actually attended a spoof peace time cabinet meeting since King George III, was interrupted by bursts of insincere laughter produced by cabinet members. It so happens that the current cabinet consists of people who are all terrified of losing their jobs. So they carefully watch the boss, responding to his every whim and stupid gimmick in a way that they think he’ll appreciate. Her Majesty was obviously delighted to find that her ministers were such a cheery lot. But she was visibly upset that her present did not include some shiny bits in it. Word has is the table mats would be used in the servants’ quarters for Christmas and then auctioned for charity.
One thing that did upset some of the cabinet ministers, especially the Liberal Democrat ones, was that the Queen had chosen the Margaret Thatcher look, arriving dressed in a blue coat and carrying a black handbag. Mrs Thatcher is not a popular politician in 10 Downing Street these days, as she is seen as not really supportive of causes championed by the new lot: increased overseas aid, federal Europe, feminism, multiculturalism, diversity, uncontrolled immigration and gay marriage. No wonder then that some cabinet ministers,, although pretending to be humbled and honoured, gritted their teeth at times and kept their buttocks firmly clenched.
When Stirring Trouble tried to find out whether the solid gold bust of Tony Blair was removed from the cabinet room before the Queen’s visit, a man calling himself ‘a spokesman for Number 10′ said that Blair’s bust was always kept in Prime Minister’s study so there was no point in moving it at all. Asked why it was that Deputy PM Nick Clegg was not present at the historic occasion, the ‘spokesman’ explained that he’d had a piss up the night before and couldn’t attend. Which seemed a reasonable pretext to show two fingers to the monarch.
At the end of the session Mr Cameron wished the Queen more years of non-involvement in British politics and she took the advice with gratitude and visible relief.
Experts on the constitution voiced their anxiety after the Queen’s visit to Number 10, saying that it blurred the line between the monarchy and government, not to mention that as her stance on gay marriage is not sympathetic she should not have been allowed into the cabinet room at all and could have sat on a chair outside listening through a mobile phone, even though she’s the head of state.