Category Archives: Royal Family

Bread and circuses: why should we be uplifted if £100 million of our cash is spent on a new royal yacht?

Typical Tories: faced with a choice between helping people who need it and spaffing a fortune on a boat for a super-rich toff’s jollies, they will always make the wrong decision.

This is the third time a Tory has tried to foist a new Royal Yacht on us; the twist this time is a proposal to split funding three ways between businesses, the public and the National Lottery (so the public pays twice).

This time the idea is being suggested by Lord Jones of Birmingham, formerly Digby Jones, who ran the Confederation of British Industry for six years between 2000 and 2006. He also served as a minister in Gordon Brown’s Labour government, which tends to ruin any left-wing credentials New Labour might have claimed.

The cost – this time – is £100 million. That’s the same as it was in 2016 and £40 million more than in 2012, when Michael Gove was the one putting it forward.

In 2012, This Site treated the idea as comedy. We were in the grip of the Tories’ pointless austerity drive that caused a huge amount of harm – we may never know how many UK citizens died as a result of the cuts inflicted on them by David Cameron and his cutthroat cronies, because they simply didn’t bother to keep a record of the fatalities.

I wrote: “Would he [Michael Gove] spend his own money on such lavishments? Perhaps he’s trying to tell us that his Department for Education and Science is bucking the national trend by making money hand over fist. This would be strange behaviour for an organisation that is supposed to spend money in the most cost-effective way possible.”

In 2016, I concentrated on other uses for the cash: “We learn that Conservative MPs want to give the Queen another yacht – at a cost of £100 million that could be better-used elsewhere, perhaps on benefit payments for a further £16,666 sick people for a year.

“Ah, but the last Royal Yacht secured trade deals worth billions between 1991 and 1995, they argue.

“Sure – but times have changed hugely since then. With no guarantees, this is the equivalent of burning £50 notes in the faces of the poor.

“Perhaps Conservative MPs should be searched for matches and cigarette lighters before being allowed into the Treasury.”

The point about trade deals is interesting at a time when the Tory government is desperately trying to re-establish the UK as a trading nation after severing ties with the European Union.

But who benefits from such deals?

Rich businesspeople, perhaps – but would they pay their taxes or send the cash to tax havens?

If the latter, then why should the public pay for something that will not help us in the slightest?

And why should we ever be expected to be happy about it?

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Harry and Meghan step down as senior Royals – because of bad press?

Bye bye: Prince Harry and his wife Meghan wave farewell to the corporate mass media hacks who they have accused of “misreporting” and spreading “false impressions”.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex – that’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (still) to most of us – have announced their intention to step back as senior members of the UK Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while still fully supporting the Queen.

It seems they are unhappy with certain aspects of the job – one of which appears to be the way their activities are reported in the press.

In that respect, This Writer thinks they’re right up with the rest of us.

Complaints and criticism of the way the general election has been reported are rife. And it seems these Royals are equally unhappy with the way they have been treated by the Fourth Estate.

In a statement on the Sussex Instagram page, they ripped into the Royal correspondents working for the UK’s mass media organisations [boldings mine]:

“Britain’s Royal Correspondents are regarded internationally as credible sources of both the work of members of the Royal Family as well as of their private lives. This misconception propels coverage that is often carried by other outlets around the world, amplifying frequent misreporting.

“Regrettably, stories that may have been filed accurately by Royal Correspondents are, also, often edited or rewritten by media editorial teams to present false impressions.”

The statement also announced a new publicity plan that takes them off the Royal Rota system, in which only a limited number of mainstream media organisations are allowed to attend Royal engagements – so they are obliged to share material that they gather there.

Instead, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they will be adopting a revised media approach to ensure diverse and open access to their work:

“This updated approach aims to:

“Engage with grassroots media organisations and young, up-and-coming journalists;

“Invite specialist media to specific events/engagements to give greater access to their cause-driven activities, widening the spectrum of news coverage;

“Provide access to credible media outlets focused on objective news reporting to cover key moments and events.”

They will continue to share information directly to the wider public via their official communication channels.

This could really shake up the way Royal events are covered in the news.

Being somewhat long-in-the-tooth, This Writer doesn’t expect to benefit from the engagement with young, up-and-coming journalists – but I look forward to find out who these may be, and what grassroots organisations they Sussexes choose to carry their stories.

The idea of “widening the spectrum” of those who cover Royal news could really shake up a stagnant system, and if it jolts some of our more complacent reporters and corporations out of their smug security, I’m all for it.

Of course, it is entirely possible that the Sussexes want to go to the grassroots because they think less-established media organisations may be easier to manipulate.

I’ll be watching for that, too.

But at a time when the so-called media Establishment may have thought they had news coverage sewn up as propaganda for their chosen (right-wing, let’s face it) causes, this should come as a body blow.

Members of the UK’s fundamental institution don’t trust the Tory media – and they’re telling us not to trust them either.

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Still think the Queen had no choice but to prorogue Parliament? Think again!

The Queen: It seems she has failed to do her duty in the most unacceptable way.

Craig Murray’s aim is not the same as mine in this – he’s after Scottish Independence and I think the countries of the UK are still better together – but he makes excellent points in his article (link below).

He says the Queen was wrong to appoint Boris Johnson as prime minister because her duty is to appoint whoever can demonstrated that they have the support of the Commons – and he has not done so.

Now, in proroguing Parliament for him, she is offering him the chance to delay the moment when we find out he can’t muster up that support.

This is because his flagship policy is “no deal” Brexit – and Parliament has rejected this policy, time and time again.

The course of the Queen’s actions suggests a specific plan – one which puts her in an extremely questionable position.

The Queen has appointed a Prime Minister who does not have the support of the House of Commons and then has conspired to prevent the House of Commons from obstructing her Prime Minister. That is not the action of a politically neutral monarchy.

Whatever happens in the future, this should end the role of the monarchy as it is currently described.

Source: The Queen’s Active Role in the Right Wing Coup – Craig Murray

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#AbolishTheMonarchy – backlash against Queen for meekly rubber-stamping Johnson’s Parliamentary shutdown

The Queen: By backing Dictator Johnson against the people, she may have signed up for the abolition of the monarchy.

The Queen is back-pedalling hard over her agreement to prorogue Parliament for Boris Johnson.

According to the BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell, she has never refused to accept the advice of her ministers and always acted on precedent.

So when Jacob Rees-Mogg, for Dictator Johnson, demanded that she prorogue Parliament during a Privy Council meeting yesterday, he said she would have felt “boxed in”.

He added: “She and her advisors, I have little doubt, will be frankly resentful of the way this has been done and will be concerned at the headlines which say ‘Queen suspends Parliament.”

Rightly so – because, as current slang has it, the optics are terrible.

People are saying democracy has been denied by an unelected monarch acting on the wish of an unelected prime minister.

And they know she could have stopped him:

And it has focused the anger of the people on the monarchy:

That’s the nub of the matter, isn’t it?

And when this crisis is all over, with Dictator Johnson and his cronies banished to the waste-bin of history, it seems likely the people will want to seek assurances that this can never happen again.

We will need checks and balances to ensure that no unelected head of state can ever again deny us our right to representation.

It seems that, with a few penstrokes, the Queen may have put an end to the British Royalty.

Source: Queen and her advisers ‘resentful’ over how Boris Johnson handled prorogation – Mirror Online

What he thinks they want to hear: Farage attacks Royals in speech to far-right Aussies

What a drip: He might be a big hit with foreign Conservatives, but this is how British people see Nigel Farage.

This is typical populist behaviour. Nigel Farage told Australian Conservatives what he thought they wanted to hear.

So he praised up the Queen, but then attacked other Royals for social justice and environmental campaigns because he knew that this would be popular with his audience.

Did he mean what he said? Who cares?

The only thing that matters to Mr Farage will be the effect his words had on his audience – that they leave their conference believing what he has told them about the UK, and that he is their ally.

He’s drumming up support from rich foreigners.

Nigel Farage has derided the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for their “irrelevant” social justice and environmental campaigns while abusing Prince Charles and describing the late Queen Mother as an “overweight, chain-smoking gin drinker”, in an incendiary speech to an Australian rightwing political conference.

Farage’s speech to Sydney’s Conservative Political Action Conference – from which media were barred – ranged across his views on Brexit, media bias and the United Nations, but he reserved his fiercest condemnation for members of the royal family, including princes Charles and Harry, and the Queen Mother.

Source: Nigel Farage attacks Harry and Meghan, jokes about ‘overweight’ Queen Mother | Politics | The Guardian

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Prince Andrew implicated in Jeffrey Epstein case just as accused financier is found dead. Conspiracy theories fly…

There are shades of the old ‘Jack the Ripper’ conspiracy theories about this.

Back in the day, one of the theories about Jack was that the Whitechapel murderer was cleaning up the mess left by an errant member of the Royal Family who had enjoyed the company of ladies of the night, to the point where he managed to get one of them with child (as the saying goes). So a member of the Establishment (or several) was sent out to eliminate this person in a way that would not obviously implicate the royals.

It’s a good story. Who knows?

Today, we learn that financier Jeffrey Epstein, imprisoned on suspicion of supplying under-age girls to perform sex acts on visitors to his Manhattan and Florida mansions, has been found dead in his cell.

By a curious coincidence, today we also learned that Prince Andrew was accused of being a participant in one of these occasions.

Here’s how the BBC described it:

The accusation is contained in documents from a 2015 defamation case.

The court papers were released on Friday, a day before wealthy US financier Epstein was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Contained in the defamation case papers is an allegation by a woman called Johanna Sjoberg that Prince Andrew touched her breast while they sat on a couch in Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.

Buckingham Palace has said that any suggestion of impropriety between Prince Andrew and “underage minors” is “categorically untrue”.

But the demise of Epstein just one day after details of the allegation were released to the public has been like a red rag to certain social media bulls.

“Jeffrey Epstein suicide?” This from Sonia Poulton on Facebook.

“Bit convenient for a man with paedophile links to the rich and famous – from celebrity to royalty – to die in custody.

“The case will die with him because no one else was charged. And that’s the way it goes. That’s how the rich and powerful continue to get away with raping children. No time for polite words.

“I don’t believe this news. He was on suicide watch FFS. Paedophiles & their accomplices lie.”

Political Provocateur (who created the image above) suggested this: “The establishment will do their most to keep the truth behind this well and truly hidden. Was it suicide? I doubt it. If he is dead, you can be sure his body will be cremated quickly without an autopsy to determine the cause of death. There is also a possibility that his death could be staged. People like him with power and money can buy anything – including their freedom.”

“Epstein could have brought down government and monarchy. That’s some big s**t. Despite being on suicide watch he’s dead.”

“BREAKING: Buckingham Palace denies accusations Duke of York once had 10,000 men. More soon …”

“And poor Fergie was left sucking toes..”

“I wonder who his death is down to – the royals or the establishment? I sure as hell don’t believe it was suicide!”

“All files will now be conveniently ‘LOST”!”

It goes on and on.

And I think, like ‘Jack the Ripper’, this case will never be solved to anybody’s satisfaction.

With Epstein’s death, the case against him will be closed. In any case, he’s undoubtedly the only one who knew exactly what happened and who was involved.

Nobody will know the facts. But everybody will have a theory.

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Celebrity claimant goes into labour with third child. Will she receive benefits for it?

The Duchess of Cambridge: She will not experience the trauma other people are forced to undergo when they have a third child.

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.

Source: Duchess of Cambridge goes into labour


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Did Prince Harry just cross the line into political criticism of the PM?

On a visit to Roundwood Youth Centre, Prince Harry appeared to question a lack of leadership by Theresa May [Composite: Getty].

Are you convinced by this? It seems very odd that Prince Harry would openly criticise the Conservative Government, contradicting long-standing tradition and endangering the UK’s constitution.

The Royal Family is expected not to interfere in politics – and certainly not to indicate support or opposition to any political party or government.

If they were to do so openly, it could trigger a constitutional crisis.

That being said, it is entirely possible that this has been blown out of proportion.

We only have the charity founder’s word that Prince Harry uttered the words mentioned below. Even if he did, it seems likely they were not intended to be broadcast to the public.

Whether it was a lack of judgement for him to have spoken them at all is therefore difficult to decide; we don’t know that he did.

But it raises this perennial question:

Prince Harry flirted with political controversy yesterday when he criticised a lack of national leadership over the closure of youth clubs and sport centres to help keep children off the streets.

The fifth in line to the throne highlighted a national shortage of places where youngsters can go during half term.

Nary Wijeratne, founder of the charity Sport at the Heart, said: “He said: ‘There’s a lack of strong leadership in this country.'”

Kensington Palace insisted that his remarks were not political but Ms Wijeratne added: “He said that we don’t have a strong Government.”

Harry’s remarks came during a visit to Roundwood Youth Centre in Harlesden, in the the borough of Brent, north west London, to see the work of the Fit and Fed campaign, which aims to keep children active during half term and gives them a free lunch.

Source: Royal news: Prince Harry attack on May? Royal hints at ‘lack of strong leadership’ from PM | Royal | News | Express.co.uk


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Windsor homelessness spat shows Theresa May is a follower, not a leader

Stuart, 39, has been living on the streets in Windsor for four months [Image: David Levene/the Guardian].

Please don’t tell me people will see this as a sign of strength.

Theresa May has reluctantly spoken up to oppose a call by Windsor and Maidenhead Council leader Simon Dudley for police to clear homeless people off the streets in time for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May.

It’s a bit late, isn’t it?

If she was a real leader, the first we would have heard about this issue would have been Mrs May issuing a veto on the whole idea, and demanding that Councillor Dudley’s local authority enact the multi-agency approach to attack the causes of homelessness advocated by Thames Valley Police.

As it is, she just comes across as some ‘Janey-come-lately’.

Theresa May has publicly challenged a call by the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for police to take action against rough sleepers in the town ahead of the royal wedding later this year.

The prime minister, who is the MP for Maidenhead, said she disagreed with comments made by Simon Dudley on Twitter and in a letter to the Thames Valley police and crime commissioner.

Asked about the remarks during a visit to a hospital in Camberley, [Mrs] May said: “… I think it is important that councils work hard to ensure that they are providing accommodation for those people who are homeless, and where there are issues of people who are aggressively begging on the streets then it’s important that councils work with the police to deal with that aggressive begging.”

Thames Valley police have made it clear that they do not view legal action against rough sleepers and people begging on the streets to be effective, and have called for a multi-agency approach to find solutions to the causes of homelessness and destitution.

Source: Theresa May opposes Windsor council leader over homeless people | Society | The Guardian


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Tories have made thousands homeless – but don’t want them to be visible during Royal Wedding

Stuart, aged 39, has been living on the streets in Windsor for the past four months [Image: David Levene for the Guardian].

This is typical of the Conservative Party and its representatives at all levels of government.

They are perfectly happy to use their privileged positions to engineer harm to anybody less well-positioned than themselves. We have seen recently that Conservatives simply could not care less about the thousands more people who have been forced to sleep on the streets since their party took office in 2010.

But they cannot bear to see the results of their cruel work.

So Simon Dudley, Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, wants the police to clear homeless people off the streets, presumably in order to give an entirely false impression of his area to the rich and powerful people attending the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Clearly he wants these people to think Windsor and Maidenhead are glittering examples of perfect societies, where nobody could possibly be in such dire poverty that they are forced to live in the gutter, their belongings carried around in a few plastic bags.

He wants them to believe a fantasy.

If it were within This Writer’s power, I would encourage as many homeless people as possible to make their way to Mr Dudley’s council area by May 19 and put in an appearance on the big day – just to ensure that he doesn’t get away with his big con.

The leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, home to Windsor Castle, Eton College and Ascot racecourse, has demanded police use legal powers to clear the area of homeless people before the royal wedding in May.

Simon Dudley, the council’s Conservative leader, wrote to Thames Valley police this week seeking action against “aggressive begging and intimidation” and “bags and detritus” accumulating on the streets.

The letter, seen by the Guardian, follows a series of tweets sent by Dudley while on a skiing holiday in Wyoming over Christmas, in which he referred to “an epidemic of rough sleeping and vagrancy in Windsor” and said “residents have had enough of this exploitation of residents and 6 million tourists pa [per annum]”.

He tweeted that he would write to Thames Valley police “asking them to focus on dealing with this before the #RoyalWedding”.

Tens of thousands of wellwishers and tourists are expected to descend on the picturesque town on the banks of the River Thames for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on 19 May in St George’s chapel at Windsor Castle.

(Source: Windsor council leader calls for removal of homeless before royal wedding | Society | The Guardian)

Simon Dudley (left) [Composite: Evolve Politics].

News website Evolve Politics has elaborated on Mr Dudley’s position, which seems, in fact, to be delusional:

In a separate tweet posted whilst he was on a skiing holiday in Wyoming, the heartless Tory Council Chairman also claimed that some of those on the streets of Windsor have made a ‘life choice‘ to be homeless.

Dudley went on to claim that homeless people in the area were “marching tourists to cash points to withdraw cash, hanging out near car park ticket machines to get discounts and ask tourists for money”.

However, replying on Twitter, Thames Valley Police quashed the Tory Council leader’s claims, saying:

“We deal with reports of begging proportionately but we have not had reports of anyone being marched to cashpoints to take out money.”

Dudley responded by saying the issue was ‘voluntary homelessness’, and the leader of Windsor Council then went on to shirk any responsibility for the crisis, telling Thames Valley Police that ‘It is time for you to deal with this issue.’

The Labour Party has rightly demanded that minority prime minister Theresa May should condemn the comments by Mr Dudley. As the MP for Maidenhead, he is the leader of Mrs May’s own local authority:

Labour’s Andrew Gwynne has slammed the government’s record on homelessness as a ‘national scandal’ which ‘can’t be swept under the carpet.

The shadow local government minister said: “While many families spent this Christmas without a home to call their own, the leader of Theresa May’s Council was pleading for these people to be treated like criminals.

“The Prime Minister needs to immediately condemn these comments.”

But it seems the appeal is likely to fall on deaf ears.

After all, Mrs May recently denied the existence of the NHS winter crisis. She’ll have no problem applying her blinkers and earmuffs to this.

It is as I suggested at the top of this article:

Tories love to cause harm but hate to see the results of their mischief.


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