Category Archives: Queen

Did the Archbishop of Canterbury troll Liz Truss during the Queen’s funeral?

This is extraordinary. Take a look:

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Monarchist talk show host insults caller who calls him ‘subservient’

This being a bank holiday weekend, This Writer is either otherwise occupied or almost totally incapacitated, so I’m putting up material that has interested me – and I hope it interests you. Make of it what you will:

Actually I do have something to say about this. Yesterday (Sunday), I met a friend who showed me the injuries he had suffered at the hands of a member of the armed forces who had taken offence when he had voiced anti-Monarchist sentiments in a pub.

My friend had not been threatening in his behaviour but this serviceman had taken it upon himself to attack and injure him – for a reason that would not stand up in court.

This is not acceptable behaviour in a country whose leaders still claim to uphold the principle of free speech.

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Why are food banks closing to mark the Queen’s Funeral? Praise to those staying open!

This being a bank holiday weekend, This Writer is either otherwise occupied or almost totally incapacitated, so I’m putting up material that has interested me – and I hope it interests you. Make of it what you will:

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Why are Irish broadcasters complaining about news coverage of the Queen’s funeral?

This being a bank holiday weekend, This Writer is either otherwise occupied or almost totally incapacitated, so I’m putting up material that has interested me – and I hope it interests you. Make of it what you will:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Mind-reading Tory columnist reckoned he knew what the Queen was thinking

Wow. Tory columnist Tony Parsons reckoned Queen Elizabeth II went to Balmoral to die – but also to save the union between the countries of the United Kingdom.

Alternatively: did she just go there because it’s an escape from the rigours of day-to-day life, and she ended up passing away there because it’s where she happened to be?

Here’s a video clip:

(Incidentally, I love the sideswipe in which Robespierre namechecks someone for sitting through the Piers Morgan show in order to get the clip.)

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Tories like Iain Duncan Smith are wrong to want to exclude nations from Queen’s funeral

Uh-oh: once again, public opinion should be against the man whose policies caused the deaths of untold thousands of benefit claimants.

After his persecution of people who are sick, disabled and unemployed at the Department for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith simply has no right to criticise other nations for causing deaths.

He has criticised the decision to invite the Chinese government to the Queen’s funeral, saying it was “extraordinary” that the “architects” of genocide against the Uyghur minority had been invited.

But there is a strong diplomatic reason to do so. Here’s Professor Tim Wilson:

Prof Wilson thinks Vladimir Putin should be invited as well, and it’s a good idea; get him here and we can quietly suggest face-saving ways to end the war in Ukraine, for example.

Now Boris Johnson is no longer in charge and is unable to derail peace proposals, we might actually make some progress.

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The accession racket? King Charles won’t pay inheritance tax from the Queen

King Charles III: is he laughing all the way to the bank?

Don’t you find it odd that, the more money you have, the fewer taxes you pay?

Look at the new King, Charles III. He’s not paying any inheritance tax on the Crown Estate’s £15.2 billion in assets, which include the royal archives and the royal collection of paintings, which cannot be sold by the King and are surrendered to the government in return for a grant.

In all, 25 per cent of profits from the Crown Estate are given to the royal family as the Sovereign Grant.

The rest of us would pay 40 per cent of any assets valued at more than £325,000. But we can’t complain, can we? The King is already paying 75 per cent of his assets to the government, from the look of it.

But wait – there’s more:

Separately, Charles also inherits from the Queen the Duchy of Lancaster, a private estate that includes portfolio of lands, properties and assets held in trust for the sovereign.

He is exempt from inheritance tax on these assets, among others, in order to preserve “a degree of financial independence from the government of the day”.

But if he’s already getting profits from more than £6 billion in assets in the Crown Estate, why does he need this? It made around £22 million in revenue in 2021.

It is allowed because, under an agreement with the John Major Tory government in 1993, assets passed from a former to a current sovereign are exempt from taxation.

But the then-Queen agreed to pay income tax voluntarily around that time, and Charles III has agreed to do the same.

Assets passed from the former Queen to anybody else are liable for Inheritance Tax.

It isn’t a perfect system, is it?

That being said, This Writer would like to see documentary evidence showing what the state would receive if there were no agreements with the government, compared with what it receives as it is.

Who benefits the most?

Source: King Charles will not pay tax on inheritance from the Queen | King Charles III | The Guardian

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Why are NHS trusts being told to cancel treatment on the day of the Queen’s funeral?

Party girl: this is how Therese Coffey commemorated the removal of £1,040 per year from Universal Credit payments. As Health Secretary, is she partying in similar manner while appointments are cancelled because they are scheduled for the same day as the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II?

Vital hospital appointments and treatments are being cancelled by NHS trusts because they were due to take place on the day now scheduled for the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

This is hugely dangerous for the patients involved. Waiting lists are at record lengths. How long will it take for the appointments to be rescheduled?

(To give you a clue – and I know this is slightly different: Mrs Mike badly needed to have a tooth filled and the dentists offered her an appointment the following week, which required rescheduling of other events… or in December. Who knows how badly her tooth would have deteriorated by then?)

Here’s Maximilien Robespierre with a video clip:

And here‘s the Open Democracy article to which it refers. I’ve excerpted the following:

Some NHS trusts have said that all non-urgent procedures and clinic appointments will be postponed, including hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, maternity checks and some cancer treatments.

Many patients had been waiting months for surgery – only to have it cancelled a week beforehand. In a letter to one patient, the NHS blamed “unforeseen circumstances”.

Doctors at one central London hospital trust were told: “The day of the State Funeral will be treated as a bank holiday so please go ahead and start rescheduling patients.”

It follows the announcement that the UK will have a bank holiday on September 19 to mark the Queen’s funeral. But government guidelines says: “There is no statutory entitlement to time off,” adding that this is “a matter for discussion between individuals and their employer”.

So it is clear that the decision has been made unilaterally by the NHS trusts involved and there is no reason at all for the treatments to have been cancelled and rescheduled.

This Writer looks forward to hearing the rationale from party-girl Health Secretary Therese Coffey. Is she still having the time of her life?

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The Queen has died. The UK will now enter 12 days of national mourning

If you don’t know that Queen Elizabeth II has passed away peacefully at Balmoral, aged 96, the longest-serving UK monarch – and has been succeeded by her eldest son, who becomes King Charles III… well, you do now.

Not being particularly a monarchist, but not being much of a republican either (I can see advantages in having a functioning royal family, in terms of tourism, at the very least), I don’t really know how I feel about it.

Both of their paths crossed mine at various points in my reporting career. I didn’t mind her. I don’t mind the new King, either – although I think he may have more to say than she ever did. He says he won’t “meddle”; well, we’ll see.

I can’t say I met them as such, but I was able to get a feel for their personalities.

The first time I saw Elizabeth II in person was at a service for charities at St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol. I was with the press (obviously) in the south entrance and she entered with Prince Philip (the late Duke of Edinburgh) via the north door. They looked like the number “10”.

She caught sight of me. I had a filthy big grin on my face (as usual) so I was probably easy to pick out. I got a radiant royal smile in return. And yes, I felt privileged.

The second – and last – time was in 2002, during the Golden Jubilee celebrations. She visited the Mid Wales village of Dolau by train. I was running a different news website at the time so I popped up to get some pictures (I was hoping to put one of them up alongside this article but wasn’t able to find it).

The crowd was enormous, so it seemed to me that she was well-loved.

The first time I covered anything done by the new King was at a business park in Hartcliffe (Bristol again), where he chatted with a carpenter.

“How do you manage to do all that and keep all your fingers?” the then-prince asked the woodworking gentleman – who promptly lifted up both his hands, revealing the remnants and stumps of numerous fingers, and said: “I haven’t!”

Next time was 1997 (I think) when the Second Severn Crossing was opened. He was walking along the bridge when the military types started firing a 21-gun salute over the side – behind him.

The instant the first volley was set off – and without missing a step – he went straight up into the air.

(I’m sure there was another occasion between this and the next one, but I can’t remember it at the moment.)

Finally, he and his wife – now the Queen Consort – visited the smallest town in England and Wales – Llanwrtyd Wells – some time around 2010 and I covered the event as a freelancer.

He pulled a few pints in a local pub, had a meeting with local businesspeople (behind closed doors), and then visited a local butcher’s shop. I was just casually standing next to the queue outside, chatting and trying to avoid the gaze of the black-suited bodyguards all around.

He stopped and, rather charmingly, asked if he should join the end of the queue (which would have put him next to me). I waved him along, and everyone else did the same.

That’s the limit of my recollections. Have you ever met either the former or the new monarch? Was your experience more revealing about them than mine? If so, feel free to get in touch via the “comment” box.

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Will Priti Patel’s new immigration Bill put her in conflict with the Queen?

The Queen: she has given the RNLI a Royal Charter to rescue anybody at all whose life is in danger on the sea near the UK. If Priti Patel wants to criminalise this activity, it seems likely that she will come to grief.

It’s a thought that would make a normal UK minister pause – but Priti Patel is not normal, and I mean that in the most unkind way possible, so This Writer is keen to see how events unfold.

Patel’s draft Nationality and Borders Bill, clause 38, potentially criminalises rescuers of asylum seekers if they are deemed to be “facilitating” their arrival in the UK.

Clause 38 amends the 1971 Immigration Act offence of assisting an asylum seeker, increasing the maximum sentence to life imprisonment, from 14 years, and removing the words “for gain”, which previously limited prosecutions to paid people smugglers.

This is potentially very bad news for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which has vowed to continue rescuing anybody its crews find to be in danger at sea off the UK’s coast – no matter what their legal status may be.

This is in line with International Maritime Law and with the United Nations’ Safety Of Life At Sea (Solas) convention.

Crews could face imprisonment for life, according to the legislation.

The Home Office has said the Bill is intended to target “ruthless people smugglers” and organisations like the RNLI – and individuals – would be allowed to continue humanitarian rescue work.

But if that is the case, why amend the law to criminalise all rescues rather than merely those carried out “for gain”?

So, as George Peretz QC states, “Mere assertion doesn’t cut it.”

Here’s where it gets really interesting, though: The RNLI is mandated to carry out its rescues by a Royal Charter issued by its patron – The Queen.

That’s why it has the word “Royal” in its title.

The charter means the RNLI is permitted to rescue anybody whose life is in danger on the sea off the UK’s coast – by order of the Queen.

Does legislation by the Commons have authority to override that?

I don’t know. I think Patel needs to re-write her bad law to avoid finding out.

I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes if she tried to force the issue.

Source: RNLI vows to continue sea rescues despite prison fears for picking up migrants | Financial Times

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