royalty moans

It is time for a republic and the UK to grow up

As a result of the English Civil war all three episodes (1642-1651) we managed to lead the European world at that time by getting rid of the Monarchy and replace it with the rudiments of a republican democracy. Unfortunately a few years later in 1660 we let Charles the 2nd back from exile and started the Royal merry-go-round again which continues to this day with the clear threat of another Charles ascending to the throne probably in not so many years – but gives us the opportunity at least to finish the whole thing off with another right Charlie.

I was reading an article in a broadsheet newspaper the other week about some very minor achievement of the young royals in the military when a particular line struck me. That this current service (on some ship busting some druggies) was good preparation for when ‘he’ would be ‘head of the armed forces’.

This was alluding to the ‘fact’ that this limited young man would one day be unquestionably head of the country as King – and that this was going to be the case in some thirty of forty years. This was putting down without question, no critique, the notion that for all time in this little twopenny country we would still be lumbered with the Lords Ladies and assorted Princesses, Princes and Kings and other time wasters for at least a few hundred years more. Continuing the fine tradition of adding no value to our lives other than gracing the pages of some tacky celebrity magazine. The same sort of thing came up just after the last royal wedding with the balding pilot and the unemployable Sloan Ranger that the new Mrs Windsor would one day be apparently queen!

A sort of continuity was being posed in the article that left no room for doubt that in the established view this royal continuity was to take place without question. A similar thought occurred to me when considering the ‘citizen’ test being proposed here in the UK when new citizens will have to swear fealty to the Queen – what absurd nonsense. The institution of class and the stultifying class structure in this country has embedded a culture of deference an obedience into our people that has led to an unquestioning acceptance of all that is handed down from on high – at least in the older generations – and one of the key tools that the establishment uses is the perpetuation of a Royal family at the top of the structure offering (apparently) a unifying figure around which to rally.

What does however worry me is the lack of any critique from any quarter (or perhaps not well publicised or suppressed even). What is needed is a grown up discussion of what this country should look like – a few more republicans should come out of the closet and the rest of us stop worrying about getting a gong from HRM for services rendered (I know you have ed.) as our Brucie did the other day.

I did notice an uncanny resemblance between Charlie to a certain Col Gaddafy – I did not know they were related:

Royal Family granted new right of secrecy

Why to we put up with special treatment for this family living off the state – can’t we cap their housing benefit as well?

I read in the independent that it seems the Windsor Royal Family is to be granted absolute protection from public scrutiny in a legal reform designed to draw a veil of secrecy over the affairs of the Queen, Prince Charles the Halfwit and assorted other royals who provide no discernable form of public benefit. Letters, emails and documents relating to the monarch, her heir and the second in line to the throne will no longer be disclosed even if they are in the public interest. This is a retrograde step as the Royal’s in the UK performs some sort of formal function at the public’s expense and in these hard times of cut backs could have done with some greater scrutiny not less.

These changes to the Freedom of Information Act will reverse advances which had briefly shone a light on the royal finances – including an attempt by the Queen to use a state poverty fund to heat Buckingham Palace. And also threaten to force the disclosure of the Prince of Wales’s prolific correspondence with ministers to reverse democratic decisions for example.

The Coalition Government buried the plan for ‘added protection’ for the Royal Family in the small print of plans called ‘opening up public bodies to public scrutiny’ – which is a bit of an oxymoron in my view.
The Queen, Charles and other hangers on should be open to as much (or even more) review they are still unfortunately part of our constitutional settlement so deserve as much scrutiny as the rest. Only this week we had the unedifying spectacle of a former member of parliament jailed for fiddling expenses for what would be for some of the globetrotting royal’s small change. So come on Daily Telegraph let’s open up the Royal’s for some forensic scrutiny.

Royal Family granted new right of secrecy – Home News, UK – The Independent.

Prince Charles treats us to more nonsense

The Deathly GM Crops and The Half-Wit Prince (Book 8)

Most of the time I regard Prince Charles as an amiable affable buffoon who talks a peculiar brand of new age sentiment and claptrap and dresses in a quaint Scottish (kilt commando style) way so beloved by our American friends across the water or who swans down the racecourse in top hat waving to the assembled masses on the rails. This erstwhile Edwardian who I think at heart harks back to those times when obedient yokels tilled the fields from dawn to dusk and tipped a respectful forelock in his ‘ighness’ direction as he swept by in his carriage to the big house (god bless yer guv) and people knew their place and the beautiful class structure of the realm stood in all its glory whilst he sat at the top of the pile as king (eh not yet the Queen is still very much hanging on ed.) with his subjects arraigned about him.

Now on the subject of GM crops (and about time too!!) HH has actually managed to hit a few (very few) good points but what surprised me about this whole issue was that a national newspaper gave his non-scientific bar room opinions front page coverage. I was actually about to buy a copy of the Telegraph to peruse on the train when I saw he was the lead for the day – this forced me to buy the broadsheet version of the Socialist Tribune (the Guardian) as a substitute so dear readers you can guess this was a serious setback.

As always I am interested in the purpose of these things and not in the content per se for if I want to hear some claptrap I can always talk to my pocket memo for five minutes then play it back. The point it seemed to me was to position Charles as next ruler and restate the inevitability of a continuation of the stultifying class structure we have in this country with the Windsor’s at its head. Demonstrating that he has thoughtful and erudite opinions (ok that didn’t work ed.) and in an unquestioning way accept and parade his views before the public. Also the writer sprinkled the article with discourses of justification of why this was an important piece due to the role HH would play as future monarch etc etc – not questioning the reasoning behind this rationalisation at all.

Often it is refreshing for the basis behind some scientific advances to be critically reviewed as to their consequences and costs – the debate about cloning being an example where there is not much understanding so very little control. GM crops are a potential benefit to society as a whole at least in the third world where they don’t have the luxury of choosing ‘organic’ or otherwise as we do in comfortable wet UK – and drought resistant strains of wheat may indeed be a breakthrough for them – and of course there are always the agribusiness monopolies wanting to maximise their profits which should be monitored. So there is a basis for debate which is underway but these more thoughtful insights do not get airtime or the grounds of critical debate are undercut by poorly informed half understood issues expounded for purposes of publicity and positioning of a future king.


Snippet from the Web

Lord Robert Winston, Imperial’s famously moustachioed professor of fertility studies seems to have got himself in a trouble over his comments relating to critics of GM technology.
In a speech at Whittington Hospital (somewhere in North London, apparently) last week, the celebrity ICSM Prof spoke out against those who criticise any kind of genetic manipulation, saying that many protests were “ill-advised”. He was particularly forthright on Prince Charles, whom he called one of “the most genetically modified people around”.