royal family

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.

The Top 5 Prince Philip verbal Gaffs – more from the Prince of Cockups

My Top 5 Prince Philip verbal Gaffs – more from the Prince of Cockups

1.0 “If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.”

(at a 1986 World Wildlife Fund meeting)

2.0 “Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf.”

(in 1999, to young deaf people in Cardiff, referring to a school’s steel band)

3.0 “If you see a man opening a car door for a woman, it means one of two things: it’s either a new woman or a new car!”

4.0 Edinburgh: And what exotic part of the world do you come from? Lord Taylor: I’m from Birmingham.

(1999 An exchange with Lord Taylor of Warwick, who is black).

5.0 “It looks as if it was put in by an Indian.”

(in 1999, referring to an old-fashioned fuse box in a factory near Edinburgh)

Honourable Mentions

“If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed”.

During a state visit to China in 1986 to a group of British students

“How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?”

To a driving instructor in Oban, Scotland, he asked:

Still throwing spears?

(Question put to an Australian Aborigine during a visit in March 2002)

“British women can’t cook.” (1966)

“Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed.”

(during the 1981 recession)

“We didn’t have counselors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun, asking ‘Are you all right? Are you sure you don’t have a ghastly problem?’ You just got on with it.”

(commenting in 1995 on modern stress counseling for servicemen)

“If a cricketer, for instance, suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat, which he could do very easily, I mean, are you going to ban cricket bats?”

(in 1996, amid calls to ban firearms after the Dunblane shooting)

“Bloody silly fool!”

(in 1997, referring to a Cambridge University car park attendant who failed to recognise him)

“They must be out of their minds.”

(in 1982, in the Solomon Islands, after being told that the annual population growth was only 5%)

“You are a woman, aren’t you?”

(in 1984, in Kenya, to a native woman who had presented him with a small gift)

“Your country is one of the most notorious centres of trading in endangered species in the world.”

(in 1991, in Thailand, after accepting a conservation award)

“Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease.”

(in 1992 in Australia, when asked to stroke a Koala bear)

“You can’t have been here that long – you haven’t got a pot belly.”

(in 1993, to a Briton in Budapest, Hungary)

“Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?”

(in 1994, to an islander in the Cayman Islands)

“You managed not to get eaten, then?”

(in 1998, to a student who had been trekking in Papua New Guinea)

“You look like you’re ready for bed! “

Said to the President of Nigeria, who was dressed in traditional robes.

“Where did you get that hat? “

(1953 To her Madge the Queen, immediately after her coronation)

“The only active sport I will follow is polo – and most of the work is done by the pony.”

“The bastards murdered half my family.”

(1967 When asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union)

“I’m one of those stupid bums who never went to university, and a fat lot of harm it’s done me.”

What do you gargle with – pebbles?”

(1968 said to Tom Jones after the The Royal Variety Performance

“Oh! You are the people ruining the rivers and the environment.”

(1999 Said when he met three young employees of a Scottish fish farm)

“Oh, it’s you that owns that ghastly car – we often see it when driving to Windsor Castle.”

(2001 Talking to Elton John after he told Prince Philip that he had sold his gold Aston Martin

“You were playing your instruments, weren’t you? Or do you have tape recorders under your seats?”

(2002 Said to a children’s band in Australia)

“If you travel as much as we do you appreciate how much more comfortable aircraft have become. Unless you travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.”

“French cooking’s all very well, but they can’t do a decent English breakfast.”

(2002 Aboard the floating restaurant ‘Il Punto’ on the river Orwell in Ipswich, after thoroughly enjoying an excellent full English breakfast (Il Punto is owned by Frenchman Regis Crepy)

“It doesn’t look like much work goes on at this University.”

(2005 Overheard at Bristol University’s BLADE (Bristol Laboratory for Advanced Dynamic Engineering) facility, which had been closed in order that he and the Queen could officially open it

“Never pass up a chance to go to the loo or to take a poo.”

When asked his secret for dealing with public appearances.

“Do we need ear plugs? “

At the Royal Premiere of the James Bond film Die Another Day on being told that Madonna sung the theme song.

Priceless – its almost worth keeping them for this alone