I was tired and in the middle of my syndicated column when I posted that Blair email. Of course Blair is the head of government. Here’s an email that sets the record straight:
The e-mailer whose comments you just posted in the Corner is wrong on multiple points. First, while a British prime minister may not be head of state (that’s the monarch), he or she most certainly IS head of government. Second, the PM is not “first among equals in the House of Commons”–that would be the Speaker.
Finally, you’re right: there are plenty of better settings than this. It’s completely ridiculous to say that giving Blair a halfway-decent backdrop would upstage the Queen. I’ve been in 10 Downing Street, and it’s an immaculately maintained Georgian townhouse with all the accoutrements thereof, so this was virtually inexplicable for the vaunted New Labour PR machine.
Yours in Anglophilic pedantry,