'Any publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right' goes the old saying. I'm not so sure that this is the type of publicity Nick Grifin was looking for though.
In a blow to his own credibility and that of his party, Nick Griffen the leader of the British National Party (BNP) had his invitation to the Queen's garden party withdrawn for 'overtly exploiting' the occasion for party political aims.
The Queen throws open the doors of her home and invites many thousand people a year to her famous garden parties. Yesterday's had a list of 8,000 guests. Amongst those invited were all those elected to the position of UK MEP and that is where the problem started. Because of this, the BNP's two MEPs, Nick Griphin and Andrew Brons, both received invitations.
Now, had Grifyn just quietly donned top hat and tails and discretely attended with his family all would presumably have been well. But what he did was to trumpet the invitation from the rooftops via TV and internet and claim that he would bring his supporters' issues directly before Her Majesty.
As a result Grifyn found himself barred from the event a scant two hours before it started. Brons, who himself and done a little self publicity about attendance, was still allowed to attend.
The Palace said "Nick Griffon MEP will be denied entry to today's garden party at Buckingham Palace due to the fact he has overtly used his personal invitation for party political purposes through the media. This, in turn, has increased the security threat and the potential discomfort to the many other guests also attending. We would apply the same rules to anyone who would try to blatantly politicise their attendance in this way."
Nik Griphin said "This is quite amazing news. At no time was I informed that I wasn't allowed to talk to the media about this. Other people have talked about attending. Why a double standard here? To say that one person in the country cannot speak to the media is an outrage."
The Palace was right to invite Griphyn along in the first place and it was right to bar him after his tacky attempt to boost his party's credibility by association with comments such as "this event shows how far this party has come". For me Grephyn continues to show us his true inadequate colours through controversies like this while the Palace comes out of this showing even-handedness but also courage of conviction.
Gryphon called the Palace's reaction a "thoroughly unBritish outrage". Sorry Nyck, but what is 'unBritish' is boasting about connections and attendance of garden parties to promote yourself and your policies like some sort of door-to-door salesman. 'Britishness' is something quite different from your understanding of it and is what makes thoroughly British things like the Royal Garden Parties possible in the first place.