There was much amusement at the expense of the Prime Minister when he went missing at the start of the Queen’s banquet in honour of President Sarkozy. Her Majesty thought he had got lost. He says he was misdirected. I think he found himself confronting some decisions and made his usual one – to scarper.
The Queen was picked up by a bugging device (they get everywhere under this Government, don’t they?) observing to M Le President that the Prime Minister was not in his place. I suspect she was rather pleased at the thought that she might be spared his glowering face across the table. He was found at last and led to his place. Afterwards, No 10 said that he had been misdirected by a Palace official, but we don’t take much notice of that – it is usual for Brown to blame someone else and, anyway, truthfulness is part of his moral compass which seems to gone astray.
I think he realised that he had some big decisions to make – still water or sparkling, white roll or brown, which bluidy knife and fork do I use for this poncy Southern starter, what’s wrong with a wee bowl of oats and a wooden spoon? – that sort of thing.
Brown isn’t known as Bottler Brown for nothing. When there are decisions to be made, Brown is usually to be found nowhere, and that is where he was when Her Maj sent the Beefeaters off to find him or whatever you do when the PM flunks it. He was probably on the phone to Ed Balls. “Wha’ should I tak’, the flat water or the one wit’ the wee bubbles?”