Tag Archives: duke

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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Tory Britain: Homeless children are born on the street – while privileged pensioners have helicopter rides from hospital

In the shadows: the plight of homeless people is overlooked – unless highlighted by the media. Meanwhile others are given every luxury due to nothing more than an accident of birth.

This is the truth of Boris Johnson’s brave new Britain: the public purse can pay for the privileged to have helicopter rides home from hospital, while a homeless woman didn’t qualify for hospital treatment until after she had given birth on a cold Cambridge street.

The woman, aged around 30, gave birth to twins who were around 11 weeks premature on Sidney Street, outside Trinity College, Cambridge on Monday.

Is this the kind of medical care the fifth-largest economy in the world provides to its people?

How did this woman become homeless? Was she unable to pay the bills because Tory wage or benefit policies are so prejudiced against the poor (which means most of us)?

Homelessness has rocketed under Conservative rule – and this can only be because Conservative policies dictated that it should happen.

And a homeless person, living on the streets, dies every 19 hours.

One would expect that pregnant women who are homeless would be particularly vulnerable to an early death – especially those in desperate need of medical help because they were giving birth.

Death during childbirth used to be tragically common, after all.

No doubt this would make the Tories unbearably happy; it’s one less “useless eater”.

I read also, today, that the Duke of Edinburgh enjoyed a helicopter ride home after a four-day stay in hospital due to a “pre-existing condition”.

You see how it is?

The privileged people in our society get to have the very best – a place in hospital whenever they need or want it, and the extravagance of a trip home by helicopter – whenever they want it.

And all on state benefits. The Duke is on the Civil List, remember – and that is a state-funded benefit.

Why aren’t the rest of us afforded the same treatment – why wasn’t the homeless mother offered it, if the cash is available to pay for him to receive such treatment?

I’m not begrudging him the treatment; I’m questioning a government that is happy to fund such extravagance for him, while begrudging even a minimum of treatment for her.

It all could have been different, too. Labour would have provided a home and dignity to the woman, and she would have been able to enjoy appropriate hospital treatment.

But 14 million voted Tory. A child becomes homeless every eight minutes (including the two who were born homeless on Monday).

And the benefits we enjoy depend on the identity of our parents (or spouses) rather than being rights enjoyed by everyone.

That’s something to think about, over Christmas.

Source: Homeless woman gives birth to premature twins on a cold street outside Cambridge University college – Cambridgeshire Live

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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Benefit claimant Prince George takes £18,000 a year from the taxpayer – just for his education

Thomas’s Battersea is considered a feeder school for public schools like Eton, Westminster and Marlborough [Image: BBC].

Days after we learned that his parents are expecting their third child – one more than other benefit claimants are allowed – Prince George, son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has gone to school for the first time.

His education at Thomas’s Battersea will cost us – you and me – £18,000 a year.

That’s nearly 17 times the amount of child benefit available for an older child.

And, of course, nobody is allowed child benefit for a third child unless they can satisfy the so-called ‘rape clause’ in the benefit regulations. The Royals get out of this because they are provided a separate benefit by virtue of being on the Civil List.

This Writer is not a republican; I think the Royals are a valuable part of the UK’s character and good for the economy.

But it isn’t right that they are immune to the ravages of austerity. Why should they have access to apparently-unlimited supplies of money while the rest of us suffer?

What about the future? Thomas’s Battersea is a feeder school for places like Eton, which are more expensive.

And will Prince George have any university education paid for him by the rest of us? Of course he will.

Of course, the British public is having its say:

https://twitter.com/tiktaliksantino/status/905743084197163009

https://twitter.com/AidanKelly4/status/905741695974821889

https://twitter.com/DiligentTruth/status/905741247142354944

You get the idea.

In fairness, there are plenty of supportive comments as well.

But do the people making those comments have to struggle to pay the bills every week?

Prince George has started his first day at school.

The four-year-old is attending Thomas’s Battersea, an £18,000-a-year preparatory school in London.

Source: Prince George starts first day of school – BBC News


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Royal couple expecting third child. What if they were treated the same as others who rely on state benefits?

More on the way: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with children George and Charlotte. Do they really need any more, considering WE are paying for them?

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.

It is as described in today’s Independent article:

“The contrast lays bare the fundamentals of reproductive injustice: the fact that class, wealth and race control which groups are considered worthy of the privilege of reproduction. Underpinning this is the lie that the wealthy are self-sufficient, whereas the poor upon whose work they depend are parasites. We know this is not true.”

Perhaps the parasites who were the centre of media attention today should think carefully about contraception in the future.

Oh. By the way, I’m not a republican. I simply think the Royal Family have a duty to understand the harsh conditions under which most of us are living and behave in a responsible way – rather than rubbing our noses in the difference between their style of benefit conditionality and ours.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace has announced.

The Queen and both families are said to be “delighted with the news”.

Source: Royal baby: Duchess of Cambridge expecting third child


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The real reason for THAT announcement – revealed

Found on Facebook:

leaving-pregnant

You have to admit, the timing of the announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are about to have another baby came suspiciously soon after the poll revealing that more Scottish people are likely to vote ‘yes’ to independence, and also suspiciously soon after the Queen expressed her Royal displeasure at the thought of being the last Queen of Scotland (just remember it was your relative David Cameron who was responsible, Ma’am)!

The excuse for the early announcement – that the Duchess was having very strong morning sickness again and was having to miss official engagements – is very handy as all she had to do was not turn up anywhere. That’s not to say it isn’t true – merely that it is… convenient.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Place your bets on Osborne’s next excuse for economic failure

This is not a good time to run a retail business - the effect of the Coalition's benefit cuts will trickle up and bite our rich retailers and industrialists hard.

This is not a good time to run a retail business – the effect of the Coalition’s benefit cuts will trickle up and bite our rich retailers and industrialists hard.

According to the BBC website, business activity was hit hard by last month’s exceptionally cold weather, with the number of people visiting shops down by more than five per cent.

For one person, this will have been an extremely pleasant piece of news, because for once he won’t have to explain himself.

That person is, of course, Gideon George Osborne.

For one month, he hasn’t been in the unenviable position of having to root around in the political undergrowth for a reason the economy has tanked – that isn’t related to his own hopelessly inadequate economic policies.

For one month only!

He will not have an excuse when the figures come in for April, worse than for March, as sane economic forecasters should expect.

Instinct says he will tell us the funeral of Margaret Thatcher will have something to do with it. He used the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as a shield – what goes for ‘matches’ must surely apply also to ‘dispatches’.

The real reason will be the effect of the huge benefit cuts, that will take £19 billion out of the economy over the next year, if commentators are to be believed.

That’s just in money terms. Add in a conservative estimate of the fiscal multiplier (the effect on the economy) and we’re staring into the black pit of a £30.4 billion loss. That would be £500 for every person in the UK, if we were all affected.

But the richest among us won’t be. It is on the poorest and least able to defend themselves that this hammer blow has fallen. The government has been giving money back to the richest, as we all know.

In fact, this show of support for his cosseted buddies might protect them from the storm that’s coming, and may therefore prove to be a shrewd move – but we must all remember that Osborne is not an intelligent man and good fortune coming to anyone as a result of his policies is pure chance.

Because the rich will be affected by the benefit cuts. Poor people have no choice but to spend the money they receive. They have to buy things they need and pay the bills, so it goes on food, heat, light, water, the rent, repairs and other necessaries. With less money available to them, they will not be spending as much in the shops, and will be more careful about how much gas, electricity and water they use, as well.

Who owns and runs the shops? Who owns the shares in the utility companies (now that the bulk of shares have been bought up from the middle-class speculators who bought them in the 1980s)?

The rich.

After a few months of this, we’ll see what happens to their profit margins. My guess is that a £100,000 tax rebate won’t help very much.

The propaganda machine keeps spewing out nonsense, of course. Only last weekend we heard Francis Maude telling Jonathan Dimbleby and the Any Questions audience in Exeter: “The Coalition government, which is two parties which have come together from a different place, in the national interest, to do something quite big and difficult, which is to address the biggest budget deficit any country in the west had.”

It wasn’t the largest budget deficit of any western country – either by size or percentage of GDP. That was a flat-out lie and I wish Jimbles would pull him up on it.

The deficit in the United States is greater than ours in percentage terms; in money terms, it dwarfs the UK.

Across the whole world, Japan has the biggest deficit.

Strangely, you don’t hear the Japanese making a big fuss about it.