Comment at end
3rd January, 2010
Updates, 5th Jan – Just HAD to add this picture of our Great Heir/Reaper to the Throne. Don’t ask me! Ask them! And according to The Express, the story is “nonsense” anyway. So don’t bother to read any of the below, because…
‘Paddy Harverson, Prince Charles’s communications secretary denied claims that Charles had waged a campaign against the 2003 invasion. “The story is nonsense,” he said. “How can it be true when it is based on hearsay?”’
What? But Tony Blair is GUILTY, isn’t he? All based on hearsay. Ask the press, the great keeper of the ‘troof’.
Back to where we were –
Coincidental? Or trouble at ‘ mill?
PRINCE Charles was so convinced Tony Blair was WRONG to take Britain to war in Iraq he broke Royal tradition and actively campaigned against the invasion, the News of the World can reveal.
Behind closed doors, the heir to the throne voiced his fears to senior politicians and mounted a staunch anti-war crusade.
Prince Charles, it seems, and this doesn’t surprise me, did NOT agree with Tony Blair on the Iraq invasion. In fact he tried to stop the war!
What? An interfering heir to the throne? Just as well HE’S not yet constitutionally Head of the Armed Forces. Hopefully, he never will be.
NOT ‘DEFENDER OF THE FAITH’, LIKE THE QUEEN, BUT SOON TO BE “DEFENDER OF FAITH“
What utter codswallop!
This ‘Defender of Faith’, his new, hoped-for title, if and when he becomes king (LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!) means that such as me will NOT be under his ‘defence’. I do not subscribe to a religious faith, but only to my country’s Christian liberal secularism. The Queen DOES speak for me. She continues to uphold hard-fought traditions of liberal British democracy, even though nominally “defending” the Church of England. She does NOT feel the need to stretch out to “defend” incomers’ faiths, changing our unwritten constitution in the process, although she has been monarch since the early 1950s when immigration began seriously.
Thus, another reason I have faith in OUR form of democracy. An elected political leader and government – OF the people, FOR the people, BY the people – and removable democratically BY the people, will always be those in whom I invest my trust.
I did not, as it happens, vote for the present government. That is not an issue for me. Their election was democratically mandated in the way it has always been in Britain. But I most certainly did NOT vote for the monarchy. None of us did. The monarchy still has its place, and the Queen has been the perfect example of its place. It is not Prince Charles’s place to try to overturn the elected government’s position on war or, to be frank, on any other issue, lobby as he might.
Peaceniks may cheer at Charles’s position. They would not cheer so loudly if it had been the opposite position and he was a monarch with many decades to reign and this kind of political interference as a legacy.
I find Charles’s ‘defender’ re-writing utterly objectionable, even treacherous. I also find his interference over a political decision, even failing as it ultimately did, equally offensive.
So, Your Highness, please go practise your form of ‘defence’ elsewhere and do take your little tools for the wreckage of the British constitution with you, kind Sir. I am suddenly cooling substantially in my support for the monarchy.
I can just hear Charles now in the parlour with Ma & Pa:
‘Great-great-great-grandpapa had the answer, Mother! “Off with his head”, he’d have said, faced with such a bally decision from an upstart of a “glorious leader” like that Blair man. I tell you, it’s a disgrace, Papa! Who does he think he is? An elected representative of the people or something?’
A MONARCH BEHEADED MY FAMILY NAMESAKE
Perhaps I am being over-sensitive. I have some personal, perhaps familial sympathy with this Scottish politician, Archibald, 9th Earl of Argyll who was executed in 1685 by a displeased monarch. The monarch who beheaded Campbell AND his father the Marquess of Argyll was James II/VII (England/Scotland.)
James is best known for his belief in absolute monarchy and his attempts to create religious liberty for his subjects. Both of these went against the wishes of the English Parliament and of most of his subjects. Parliament, opposed to the growth of absolutism that was occurring in other European countries, as well as to the loss of legal supremacy for the Church of England, saw their opposition as a way to preserve what they regarded as traditional English liberties. This tension made James’s four-year reign a struggle for supremacy between the English Parliament and the Crown, resulting in his deposition, the passage of the English Bill of Rights, and the Hanoverian succession.
Prince Charles’s name when/if he takes the throne is still hotly debated. Kings Charles have NOT had a happy history in this country. I have heard the suggestion that Prince Charles may take the name of “James”. Hmmm… will he refer to the Bible – the King James (1st) version – as his moral compass?
The convention that the monarch “asks” a politician to become Prime Minister following an election might stretch the meaning of the word “ask”. In a hung parliament situation would Charles prefer a Liberal Democrat PM, for political reasons, rather than one from one of the other main parties? These concerns need to be addressed prior to his becoming king. (See Monarchy)
A LOOMING CONSTITUTIONAL CIRISIS AND A POLITICALLY ACTIVE KING?
Prince Charles, although admired for his environmental concerns is treading on dangerous ground.
Since the reign of James’ successor, William of Orange, there has been detachment of political influence from government. We recognise no “divine right of kings” to impart their wisdom to the elected politicians, expecting a positive response (See Independent and The Guardian.)
‘When he becomes King, Prince Charles could well cause a constitutional crisis. For he is likely to find irksome the convention that the sovereign must act on the advice of ministers alone. This doctrine is at the heart of Britain’s uncodified constitution.
What gives rise to these doubts is the regular bombardment of memos and letters to which the Prince subjects government ministers. These cover issues close to his heart such as the built environment, architecture, housing, agriculture and the protection of the environment.’
WILLIAM – MONARCH BUT ONE?
Meanwhile, at The Telegraph, Charles’s son, Prince William (and with a bit of luck the next reigning monarch) says he is NOT about to become “shadow king”.
The spokesman for St James’s Palace told The Sunday Telegraph: “Prince William will not be a ‘shadow king’ – the possibility is not even being considered. Over the next few years, Prince William will be concentrating primarily on a military career while also slightly increasing his [charity] patronages and the other interests that he pursues.”
Who am I to suggest that the Royal family may be split on the justification, need or success of the Iraq campaign? William and his brother have been involved recently in the Middle East arena, William, for obvious reasons remaining at home, disappointed by all reports, while his younger brother Harry tasted real action. See – ‘The Regal has landed: Harry’s home from Afghanistan’
Who am I indeed?