'Of course, if the Queen has any sense of humour at all, she will make sure that every other guest is black. Millions of them. Every black person in Britain, ready to welcome Nick Griffin at the Palace gates.'It is a common problem with any social occasion. We feel obliged to invite a certain acquaintance or colleague, but their partner is a nightmare. Nothing we can do. Guests must be allowed to bring whomever they like. You can't start being rude to someone's partner. But, oh God, he has to choose that one? Fine. You keep them amused, darling. I'm not making conversation with them. Now, do we have enough napkins?
This, presumably, is what went through the Queen's head when she heard that Richard Barnbrook from the London Assembly wants to bring Nick Griffin to her garden party. And Prince Philip was certainly horrified. "That pinko?"
I, personally, am charmed that two members of the BNP are eager to do something so tremendously gay. Putting on their best suits to stroll around the Queen's garden party together, sipping Pimm's. Will they adjust each other's ties nervously before leaving? Will they whisper: "Not the mauve, sweetheart, it does nothing for you"? Will one of them spot the other being monopolised by a fellow guest and storm off through the choisya in a huff?
I believe that Nick Griffin has denied an episode of man-love in the past and Richard Barnbrook gets very cross if anybody suggests that he made a homosexual porn film in his student days, but whatever the truth of those tales, the latter choosing the former as his date for a royal garden party is certainly the gayest thing that either of them has ever done. It's all a terrifically good sign. I just want them to be happy.
Some people are saying that it's bad of Barnbrook to invite this particular guest. Maybe they should have thought of that before electing him to the London Assembly. It must be exasperating for the voters who plumped for a BNP candidate: they want to see him at his desk, concentrating on the important business of making life hell for the local Asian GP, yet the man wants to go skipping around garden parties, eating cucumber sandwiches and fraternising with the Duke of Kent. As for his party chairman, get on with your work, Griffin! There are Holocausts out there to be denied!
But look at it from Barnbrook's point of view. Even if he were not, himself, an enormous moron, what's he going to do? If you were invited to the Queen's garden party and Nick Griffin was a friend of yours, you'd have to take him. It would just be mean not to. Like getting tickets to the premiere of Wall-E and not taking your child. Like being invited to an orgy at the Playboy mansion and not taking Russell Brand. I would guess that the level of whine in Griffin's voice as he begged to attend, the weight of hand pulling on sleeve, was the same as mine the day my father was invited to Uri Geller's wedding.
It would be the happiest day of Nick Griffin's life. Buckingham Palace! Flags! Royals! Unctuous footmen! Of course, if the Queen has any sense of humour at all, she will make sure that every other guest is black. Millions of them. Every black person in Britain, ready to welcome Nick Griffin at the Palace gates. Don't tell me he doesn't have that recurrent nightmare anyway. Her Majesty has a wonderful opportunity to bring it to life and drive him screaming to an asylum.
But that will not happen. And we need not fear any trouble. Griffin and Barnbrook will be far too happy to misbehave.
The Queen will ask: "Have you come far?"
They will reply: "We have come further than anyone else, but we hold true to our core principles."
And then the Queen will wander off to greet a charity worker, leaving Griffin and Barnbrook to mop the other's trembling brow and have an excited little hug.
We must enjoy the image while it lasts, because Griffin won't really be allowed to go. Barnbrook probably won't either. It isn't fair on the other guests. If you were an invited dignitary, maybe a milkman with a CBE, and found yourself standing next to Nick Griffin in the Queen's urinals, it would be absolutely mandatory to wee down his leg. And one mustn't put guests in the position where they would have no choice other than to wee down people's legs. That is not a polite thing for a hostess to do.
I am assuming that a Buckingham Palace garden party is not like the garden parties I have been to. I am guessing that the assembled councillors, care workers, mayors and gentry do not neck bottles of vodka, vomit in the fish pond, smoke dope, get out acoustic guitars and slump unconscious in a flowerbed halfway through Tears In Heaven. They are nice, hard-working, well-behaved, generous folk. They can't be forced to mix with people they want to wee on.
It is a shame for the Queen, though. It is terribly useful to have someone vile at a party. It adds a bit of buzz. The host feels extremely popular in comparison. And everyone has horrified anecdotes to tell afterwards.
It is also a shame for Nick Griffin and Richard Barnbrook. I say let them go. Look at it this way. If someone is horrible to you, if a friend is cruel, if a relative is cutting, if an employer is insulting, if a passer-by is rude, the only mollification is to remember that they are probably unhappy. People are only nasty when they are unhappy. By that logic, Barnbrook and Griffin must be the most miserable people in Britain.
Let them have their dream day out at the Palace. They'd be so pleased. We should invite them to all our parties, bake them cakes, post them sweets, stroke their hair, give them kittens, bombard them with treats and love. Who knows; they may turn back into quite reasonable people.