LONDON -- This is not Britain's finest hour. The expense-account scandal has exposed rot at the core of the Parliament, where greedy members abused their perks to use taxpayer largess to, among other things, clean out a moat, remodel a second home, build a swimming pool and furnish private homes with luxury furniture that constituents would never see. The distinguished members merely followed the example of Willie Sutton, the famous American bank robber. They robbed the public till because that's where the money was.
Queen Elizabeth II, who repaired and drove Army trucks when she was a young princess during World War II, was not invited to the 65th anniversary commemoration of D-Day on the Normandy beaches. Neither was Prince Phillip, who served in sea battles in the Mediterranean.
The queen was snubbed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who didn't want the commemoration to become "an Anglo-American occasion" and wanted to walk side-by-side with President Obama. Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, who in his remarks referred to Omaha Beach as "Obama Beach," had his dreams of being seen strolling with the popular American president. The heads of state -- none of whom has ever been near actual combat -- finally sent Prince Charles a last-minute invitation.
The queen was gracious, as usual, and her spokesman said she "never expressed any anger or frustration" over the snub. But everybody knew better. When the London newspapers reported she was "enraged," Buckingham Palace took pains not to deny it.
If our cousins are angry over the shabby treatment of the queen, they're absolutely ashamed of the pop-culture mavens who humiliated Susan Boyle, before and after her stunningly talented takes on the television show "Britain's Got Talent."
Like the queen, the diminished diva showed grace under pressure. "The best people won," she said of the dance troupe that edged her unexpectedly. "They're very entertaining. Lads, I wish you all the best." Then she went to a hospital for treatment of what sounded like a nervous breakdown.
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