April 01, 2005
Those bloody people
I am not in favour of the monarchy in principle but am basically in favour of the monarchy in practice. And as for "those bloody people" (amazing BBC snapshot there, btw) I believe Prince Charles has said nothing but what many of us are thinking.
"I don't think this was an accident, I think that the Prince wanted to make a point. The Klosters photocall is an annual Royal event which the Royals undertake grudgingly but usually in good humour. But Charles was angry that paparazzi photographers yesterday took pictures of Kate Middleton, Prince William's current girlfriend. I think these comments came as a result of that anger," he said.
Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 1, 2005 08:31 AM
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The lot of them ought to retire if they do not like being in a public role. Sure rude is rude but who would care about them if they let the Constitution alone and just looked after their own gardens? I say of they want the treats, they put up with the hassles.
Posted by: Alan at April 1, 2005 09:20 AM
I'm with Nick -- I wouldn't create a state from scratch with a monarch at the head, but I'd like to keep the ones we have (though I'd be just as happy if the current Prince of Wales stepped aside).
Posted by: Ben at April 1, 2005 01:00 PM
I am coming to believe I am more old fashioned that I had thought I was. When I heard Charles was to re-marry I assumed it meant he had decided to step aside and that William would become king. His apparent decision not to strikes me as the greatest challenge to convention since the 1930s. I suppose none of this would have made much difference to Henry VIII but it would be nice to see some discussion rather then the peculiar quiet acquiescence of all parties to the issue including the press, the government and especially of the Queen herself. This is far more radical than anything Diana ever proposed to do and yet it is passing almost without comment.
Posted by: Ghost of a flea at April 1, 2005 01:21 PM
Alan: I would agree if I thought the royals were nothing more than a B-list of unearned celebs. Their "treats" include a critical role in our form of government and it seems to me that this role deserves more than the disrepect of the paparazzi. When that man asked his question he was not only be rude to Charles but to the position he occupies and by extension to the rest of us. This is to say nothing of my opinion of Charles, his personal life or the institution of the monarchy. I think there are good arguments to be made in favour of a Dutch-style cycling monarchy or doing away with the institution altogether. The behaviour of the British tabloid press is not among them.
Posted by: Ghost of a flea at April 1, 2005 01:27 PM
I know what you are saying, Master F, but the idea that a person is part of a constitution is one of any number of legal falsehoods. That role in government is literally the emperor's unseen clothes as there is no matter of their presence which cannot be dealt with a few papers constitutional upon the ordering by the law of their absence from position.
That being said, rude is rude and no one ought to be treated this way but no one ought to be part of a constitution either so, in reality, as long as they accept their privilege they must suffer their special obligations and special treatment. Otherwise they are then only B-listers on the public purse. [Bit of a circle there I appreciate but it is Friday.]
They can each as plain people step aside any day they like and walk away. I would have the greatest personal respect for their decision to do so, to move into the 1840s and beyond.
Posted by: Alan at April 1, 2005 04:30 PM
Hi Alan! I am not certain I am following your argument... is it that Charles, William and Harry could all pre-emptively abdicate? If so, I would be just as happy if the whole family refused the throne and it devolved to Earl Spencer. It would be nice to have an English king on the throne if only for a change. That said, would not the same situation arise of the press being rude to the monarch and would my point not then still stand? Unless and until New Labour turns into NeoLabour and the monarchy is done away with entirely the institution is probably deserving of more respect than the press currently accords it. The only defense of the media I can see is that the "Windsors" may have in part brought this on themselves with the '60s move to stand for a model family. And, of course, that the media has a market for this kind of story.
Posted by: Ghost of a flea at April 1, 2005 06:03 PM
You got it. The whole rang-dang-doo. Offer to pay out the 17 or 53 actual Royals, take their land interests, pay them a few tens of millions and assign it all to the first Marquis of St. Littlebitnotmuch if he will sign all the constutional privilege left all over to Parliament. They would not be missed in any legal sense and the 50% of England that would cheer by another 30% after ten years time that would not have an opinion.
My take is that the newspapers and other "bloody people" perhaps may not have much to their credit in the particular matter but on the bigger stage would you have a monarchy but no free press or a free press but no monarchy? Door #2, please.
[hmmm...I have not likely been any clearer! ;-) ]
Posted by: Alan at April 1, 2005 08:26 PM
Well, I am certainly with you on Door #2. I am also repulsed by the toadying that is the all too common alternative to the mandatory derision offered up by the journo in this particular instance.
Posted by: Ghost of a flea at April 1, 2005 08:57 PM
But I support both! We have a free press and a monarchy.
I support the press having the right to act like jerks, and the Prince of Wales' right to call them that. (And my right to say that I think Charles ought to take himself out of the succession -- he's been too outspoken on his own pet issues, for my liking.)
Posted by: Ben at April 2, 2005 06:20 PM
Funny! Because I am against both. Or rather, while I support the right of people to be rude I would much rather both the press and the Prince of Wales were not.
Posted by: Ghost of a flea at April 2, 2005 06:26 PM
In a perfect society, they would be ever so polite to each other.
But no human society has been like that. Even Queen Victoria had to deal with the tabloids. And a republican movement in the 1870s. So if they want to fight -- whatever. I'll spend my time reading about foreign policy that doesn't involve ski hills.
Posted by: Ben at April 2, 2005 07:37 PM