Tag Archives: prince charles

Willie Rennie, dare and Prince Charles in the same sentence. What could possibly go wrong?

You can’t really imagine it, Dave, Jez, Angus Robertson, Tim and all the Westminster leaders all lined up waiting to meet some VIP and suddenly one says to the others  “I bet you £100 you won’t say (something slightly unexpected) to said VIP. For a start, if Jez or Angus actually did it, the Daily Mail and the Sun would be screaming outrage and horror for at least a decade. There would probably be a constitutional crisis.

It’s not quite like that in Scotland. There’s a lot more genuine banter between the party leaders. Last year, they all made out on Twitter that they were going to watch Andy Murray play in some major match rather than bother with First Minsters’ Questions.  They also organised a shoe shopping trip for charity.  But last night it took a slightly different turn.

MSPs had just attended the “Kirking of the Parliament” with Prince Charles and were waiting to meet him in the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The party leaders were lined up first. Labour’s Kezia Dugdale dared Willie to ask the Heir to the Throne what he’d bought “yer maw” for her birthday.

Now, Willie has form for saying slightly unusual things to famous people. He has this habit of just treating them like everyone else. He suggested to the Dalai Lama that he watch Rikki Fulton’s comedy programme Scotch and Wry, which is one of the funniest things Scotland has ever produced. Anyway, Willie even sent him a DVD.

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Opinion: On black spiders, royalty and liberalism

The release last week of Prince Charles’ letters to Ministers – the so-called “black spider letters” – offers a once in a lifetime window (and one unlikely to be repeated, thanks to the 2011 amendments to the Freedom if Information Act exempting royal correspondence from FoI disclosure – inexplicably supported by our party in coalition) into the workings of the British ‘system’, and the influence of the royals in the process of our ‘democratic government’.

I hope that, as liberals, all Liberal Democrats would agree that political power derives from the exercise of the people’s democratic rights at the ballot box, and that no-one should be able to exercise political power, nor exert undue influence on the political process, simply by virtue of birth or connections. This is why we have argued for democratic reform of the House of Lords, for example.

Yet, in the black spider letters we see both the absolute expectation of Charles that his views are relevant, important and to be listened to, as well as the sycophantic grovelling of ‘commoner’ Ministers towards the royal point of view (that “I have the honour to be, Sir, Your Royal Highness’s most humble and obedient servant” sign-off of Charles Clarke must surely stick in the craw of every socialist).

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Why did Cameron’s and Clegg’s Palace business have to be conducted in secret?

I was pretty grumpy on Monday when I was watching the rolling news coverage. First of all, the BBC had live reporting from Westminster, the only place in the country you wouldn’t find any politicians following the dissolution of Parliament. Ok, so they did find Simon Hughes, but they could have headed a couple of miles down the road to go to him.

Then there were people reporting from Downing Street long after everyone had departed to ht the campaign trail.

But what made my blood boil was the aerial shots of Buckingham Palace broadcast as David Cameron and Nick Clegg made their visits there. We all know what it looks like. The BBC and Sky didn’t really need to spend money on a helicopter to give us pictures of one of the most familiar sites in the country if not the world.

Why on earth were  we not able to see what was going on inside? What’s with the mystery? It wasn’t very exciting, but we weren’t even given a photograph of the occasions. Cameron met first with the Queen, although that was pretty much a waste of time given that the dissolution of Parliament is an automatic process these days. Then Nick Clegg met with the Privy Council he chairs to carry out the necessary formality. When I say chairs, there actually aren’t any as the meetings are traditionally held with everyone standing to make them shorter. 

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Opinion: Prince Charles has gone too far this time

Prince CharlesIt was ironic to watch the news today. Two politicians who (I suspect) do not much care for Prince Charles’s views in general  were speaking in his defence, whereas one who might be expected to be more sympathetic was being more critical. It was the latter, Nigel Farage, who was right. He said of Prince Charles’s comments, likening Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler, that there are some things the Prince should leave to the professional politicians.

Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband, on the other hand, were arguing that the Prince had a right to have his views and express them, or words to that effect. Prince Charles does indeed have a right to have his own private opinions, and he is not the first to have compared the actions of today’s Russia with yesterday’s Nazi Germany.

BUT, Prince Charles does not have the right to drop a bomb into the middle of British-Russian relations like this. It’s not just indiscreet, it is downright dangerous. There is no knowing what sort

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Majority of Lib Dem members back monarchy – but 40% would prefer UK to become a Republic

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 600 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

44% want Charles as King, 9% prefer Wills: 40% want neither

Thinking about the future monarch, which of the following would you prefer?
Prince Charles - Some rights reserved by University Hospitals Birmingham

    44% – Prince Charles should succeed as King after Queen Elizabeth II

    9% – Prince William should succeed as King after Queen Elizabeth II instead of Prince Charles

    40% – Neither – there should be no monarch after Queen Elizabeth II

    6% – Don’t know

By 53% to 40%, our sample of Lib Dem members opt for monarchy over a republic. As ever, though, those headline figures include a span of opinion revealed in the comments.

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Lib Dems raised concerns about withholding Prince Charles’ letters

From the Sunday Times (£):

A CABINET rift over the Conservatives’ decision to block the release of letters from the Prince of Wales to government ministers has raised fresh questions about the government’s openness agenda.

Liberal Democrats have claimed that not allowing the letters to be released could breach the spirit of freedom of

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Racism is still stopping Britain’s ethnic minorities from entering the best-paid professions

So reports The Guardian:

Racism is still stopping Britain’s ethnic minorities from entering the best-paid professions despite them having a stronger work ethic and greater drive than white Britons, a report released tomorrow claims.

The report, funded by the government and compiled by charity Business in the Community, whose president is Prince Charles, says too many ethnic minority Britons feel prestige jobs in the law, banking, media and politics are closed to them.

It finds “blatant racism”, including taunts about being terrorists, is still closing doors and warns that the government and business must take tougher action.

For the study,

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Daily View 2×2: 5 January 2010

With the thought that there are only 353 days to Christmas and considerably fewer until the General Election, we launch into today’s Daily View.

On this day in 1918, the Free Committee for a German Workers Peace, which would become the Nazi party, was founded. In 1941, the aviator Amy Johnson, disappeared over the Thames Estuary and was never found. And 28 years ago today, Peter Sutcliffe, a 35-year-old lorry driver from Bradford appeared in court, charged with 13 murders of women in West Yorkshire.

Happy birthday to the second most famous son of Abbots Langley, footballer, actor and current Celebrity Big Brother ‘inmate’ Vinnie Jones, who is 45 today and to former US Vice President Walter F. Mondale, who is 82.

2 Interesting Stories

With the thought that some of you may have already noticed other parties’ pronouncements in the news yesterday, here are two more slants on the coming election.

 We’re being outgunned by slick Tory machine, says Labour’s Andrew Slaughter

The Labour MP for Hammersnith believes that his chances of re-election are being hampered by a lack of funding compared to his Conservative opponent. Slaughter said;

“People should be concerned that money is being poured into seats like this and the consequences of that for democracy,”

Funny how Labour never saw this as a problem when they were the ones bringing in large donations?

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Opinion: We should not be offended by keeping our noses out of other people’s business

Last weekend’s media was dominated by the earth shattering news that Prince Harry called a fellow soldier in the Pakistani army a “Paki”. The press have hounded him, people have accused him of racism, and the soldier’s father has spoken of his offence too.

As if this “race row” wasn’t enough to shock you to your very core, we learn that Prince Charles has been calling an Asian friend of his, Kuldip (Anglicised to Kolin in some reports) Dhillon, “Sooty” as a nickname for years without anyone taking offence at it.

As a society, we British are offended way …

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