St Paul’s Cathedral looked well filled for Margaret Thatcher’s send-off yesterday. This was despite many of those invited declining the request. But there would inevitably be more from the ranks of the great and the good to take their places, wouldn’t there? Well, that depends on a very broad definition of the term, as some of those roped in have let slip their attendance.
For starters, there was the odious Henry Cole, tame gofer to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog. Yes, a jumped-up smear merchant who can’t find his way to the local railway station got an invite to the ceremony. Hopefully this came with a detailed map so he could find the place in the event of having to slum it on the Central Line with all those ghastly, er, ordinary people.
Streets kept clear of one wandering buffoon
It got worse: one person not needing the media profile of Master Cole to get his foot in the Cathedral door was CEO of the Young Britons’ Foundation (YBF) Donal Blaney, who Tweeted his appreciation at meeting up once again with serial philanderer Newt Gingrich, who in turn was probably more than happy to find someone who knew who he was, and would not avoid him if they did.
A fan of the Contract On America
You want more examples of the desperation to fill the pews? How about Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam, now permanently at The Commentator, that haven of malicious dishonesty? Ray didn’t actually say he was invited, but did not dissent when advised that he had been noted on photo features in both the Standard and the Mail. Barrel scraping at its finest!
'Sneak' just about sums him up
And, as the man said, there’s more. Alex Deane, for one. Who he? You may well ask. Deane is one of just two YBF supporters to get elected in the City of London Corporation elections recently that saw so many of his pals either get kicked out (like Mark Clarke) or fail to be elected (like Blaney and Andre Walker). Deane was no doubt representing those clever people who talk loudly in restaurants.
Pity yer head didn't follow suit
The presence, though, that alerted me to how widely the net was being cast in getting the Cathedral full was that of former ConHome stalwart Tim Montgomerie, very visible during the broadcast of the funeral service. But what Monty has done in the service of Mrs T to commend his presence, other than to say that her time in power was A Very Good Thing, is not known.
And an inhabitant of Happy Tory Valley to finish
None of these attendees has any significant record of public service (one hates to break the news that councillors or councilmen are not significant public servants). No, they were there because so many of those first invited were not. Like the coverage in right-leaning papers, this is yet another example of how the popularity of the Thatcher memory is not quite as claimed.
As such, they have done the wider public a great favour by informing them thus.