At risk of angering the taste police, I repeat what I wrote about this when the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy was announced:
“Nobody ever mentions it but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, like the rest of the Royal Family, are effectively benefit claimants.
“They live on money provided by taxpayers for their upkeep – just like, for example, people claiming Child Benefit.
“I mention this because there is a two-child limit on Child Benefit. Nobody who has more than two children can claim any extra money for them – except under certain circumstances.
“Bearing in mind what one of those circumstances is, can you imagine the scandal if any government employee asked the relevant question before handing over the Cambridges’ share of our money?
“The only difference between these people and Child Benefit claimants is an accident of birth – the Duke of Cambridge was born into a family that, as Tony Benn once described it, stole lots of land, claimed fancy titles and surrounded themselves with weak-minded followers.
“Yet because of that, his wife can hold her hand out for as much of (our) cash as she wants – while other young mums have to suffer the indignity of being asked to satisfy the demands of the rape clause.”
I would amend the last sentence now, to “other young mums have to suffer the indignity of being forced to satisfy the demands of the rape clause”.
This is a pressing issue at the moment, after Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey tried to tell the Scottish Parliament the rape clause is “potentially double support” for victims because it gives them the “opportunity to talk”.
Her words sparked outrage among everybody with a sense of decency in the UK; she was saying poor people who have been raped should be forced to relive that trauma before receiving benefit for a child that resulted from the attack – and that they should feel grateful for it.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, will not be asked to prove any such thing before receiving money for her third child. It would be inappropriate to suggest it in any case – but that raises the question: Why should she receive state funding for the baby when others have to face such a humiliating inquisition or be denied it?
The answer is as I defined it in my article on Ms McVey’s ill-advised outburst:
“Tories… naturally assume that people who aren’t born with a title, or money, are property; they don’t understand why you should have any rights and expect you to do as you are told by your so-called ‘betters’.”
The Duchess of Cambridge, of course, has a title and therefore is considered by Tories to be one of our “betters”. Therefore, Tories think she is entitled to as much of your money as she wants – whenever she wants it.
The Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labour with her third child.
Catherine and the Duke of Cambridge travelled to the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, in central London on Monday morning.
Catherine has been on maternity leave since making a last royal visit to a charity lunch in London on 22 March.
The baby will be fifth in line to the throne and the Queen’s sixth great-grandchild.
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