We’re Not Dead Yet

by craig on July 15, 2013 11:08 am in Uncategorized

Many thanks for all the very kind messages.  I appear to be back on full  fighting form again and will resume blogging shortly.

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344 Comments

  1. Habby raises an interesting point.

    Should we choose our head of state by birth, as Habby prefers, or by vote?

    Anyway, whilst you’re all dwelling on that, let’s not forget that the issue Habby wants to divert attention from is actually Charlie boy’s very interesting tax arrangements.

    http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/dan-jones-time-to-overhaul-prince-charless-feudal-tax-affairs-8710671.html

  2. Flaming June

    16 Jul, 2013 - 3:39 pm

    Gross hypocrisy there about ‘cheapening this blog’ @ 2.39pm. Pots and kettles
    spring to mind.

    ~~~

    Here pots of money spring to mind. While many of the British citizenry are in dire straits and even penury, Goldman Sachs made profits of £1.86nbn in just three months and they are not alone.

    Goldman Sachs doubles profits to $1.86 billion – beating Wall Street estimates
    Goldman’s net income rose from $927 million to $1.86 billion, year-on-year

    ‘Goldman’s results echoed similar trends in the investment banking units of JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc, whose fixed-income trading businesses also benefited from increased client activity early in the quarter.’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/goldman-sachs-doubles-profits-to-186-billion–beating-wall-street-estimates-8711189.html

  3. Flaming June

    16 Jul, 2013 - 3:42 pm

    That was 1.86 billion dollar bills not 1.86 billion £1 coins. Can you picture the stacks?

  4. The PoW owns Cornwall in the same sense as HM owns most of the rest, Kempe.

    …the whole of Cornwall is a territorial possession not of the Queen in right of her Crown, [the government of the UK], but of the Duke in right of his Duchy [the desperately denied and hidden de jure instrument of Cornish governance]. The legal process is called bona vacantia [vacant goods] and it ensures that land reverts back to its presumptive, ultimate and absolute sovereign owner. The legal mechanisms are enshrined in the Administration of Estates Act 1925 [as amended] and the Companies Act 1985 [as amended]. Two Acts of Parliament that, we are told, are operated by the UK Government through its Treasury Solicitors legal department. However, regards bona vacantia, UK Treasury Solicitors has no jurisdiction in Cornwall.

    http://www.duchyofcornwall.eu/latest/?page_id=130

    (commentary)

    Both the Duchy of Cornwall and the Duchy of Lancaster—since 1399 held by the monarch in a personal capacity—have special legal rights not available to other landed estates: for example, the rules on bona vacantia, the right to ownerless property, operate in favour of the holders of the duchies rather than the Crown, such that the property of anyone who dies in the county of Cornwall without a will or identifiable heirs, and assets belonging to dissolved companies whose registered office was in Cornwall, pass to the duchy.[14][15] In 2007, £130,000 was realised from the right of bona vacantia. The duke owns freehold about three-fifths of the Cornish foreshore and the ‘fundus’, or bed, of navigable rivers and has right of wreck on all ships wrecked on Cornish shores, including those afloat offshore, and also to “Royal fish”, i.e. whales, porpoises, and sturgeon.[16] The Duchy of Cornwall is the Harbour Authority for St Mary’s Harbour.
    {Wiki}

    I’m not arguing for the Free Kernow lot. I’m arguing for constitutional consistency. And the argument goes well beyond Cornwall.

    Writing in the Guardian, lawyer David Gollancz commented that: “The duchy exercises a unique range of legal powers, which elsewhere are reserved for the crown…. It seems anomalous, and worrying, that such a huge estate, created and conferred by law and exercising significant legal powers, should be able to escape public scrutiny by calling itself a private estate.”[21] The requirement for the Prince of Wales to give consent to draft bills that could affect the interests of the Duchy of Cornwall is not a new power granted to Prince Charles, but a centuries-old parliamentary practice that involved the same requirement for consent being conferred on previous Dukes of Cornwall
    (Wiki)

    That’s not just parts of Cornwall, please note. Half of the Duchy’s 209 sq. miles of investment land is in Devon, and there’s more elsewhere. He pays bugger-all corporation tax on it, while paying personal tax, admittedly at the highest rate, on whatever he chooses to declare, in the strictest possible secrecy, to a trustworthy ear at HMRC. Bear in mind that his living expenses are tax-deductible against his job, which is being the Prince of Wales. For instance.

    He was in Bude for three hours yesterday. Hope you didn’t forget the Union Jack.

  5. Glad you’re feeling better, Craig. Here’s Chumbawanba to join me in welcoming you back:

    “We’ll be singing
    When we’re winning
    We’ll be singing

    I get knocked down
    But I get up again
    You’re never going to keep me down

    Pissing the night away
    Pissing the night away

    He drinks a whiskey drink
    He drinks a vodka drink
    He drinks a lager drink
    He drinks a cider drink”

  6. Anyway, whilst Habby exeunts backwards, bowing and scraping for gaudy trinkets, it’s probably worth revisiting Heathcote Williams’ celebration of our most glorious Faerie Queen:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIukrdRhnpw

  7. Herbie 16 Jul, 2013 – 3:38 pm

    “Should we choose our head of state by birth, as Habby prefers, or by vote?”

    Neither. By lottery. Seriously.

  8. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 3:55 pm

    “direct universal suffrage” (USA) – not quite accurate on reflection because there is the Electoral College. But a good enough example of a system other than election by a Parliament (Congress for the USA)

  9. Flaming June

    16 Jul, 2013 - 3:58 pm

    Hague and cohort fielding questions from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

    On now http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=13628

    Developments in UK foreign policy
    Witnesses
    i. Rt Hon William Hague MP, First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Sir Simon Fraser KCMG, Permanent Under-Secretary, and David Quarrey, Director, Middle East and North Africa, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

  10. Monarchy generally- I’ll bite, for a change. It’s a valid question and relevant. No objection, provided it’s constitutionally ringwalled from having any influence whatever on
    a democratic government (we need one of those too). Provided also that it doesn’t need vast estates and money beyond anyone else’s wildest dreams to perform its perfectly useful function. Provided it isn’t Tony Blair, and provided it isn’t the topic of incessant front page coverage when one of its relatives is in pup….it can be hereditary if it likes, and good luck to it. Otherwise make it a Lottery prize or choose it annually from the Mail Online’s sidebar of lovely ladies.

  11. Flaming June

    16 Jul, 2013 - 4:01 pm

    Not many members of the committee there. Have they already jetted off for the hols?

    Membership Foreign Affairs Committee

    Richard Ottaway MP (Chair) Conservative
    Mr John Baron MP Conservative
    Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell QC MP Liberal Democrats
    Rt Hon Ann Clwyd MP Labour
    Mike Gapes MP Labour
    Mark Hendrick MP Labour
    Sandra Osborne Labour
    Andrew Rosindell MP Conservative
    Mr Frank Roy MP Labour
    Rt Hon Sir John Stanley MP Conservative
    Rory Stewart MP Conservative

  12. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 4:02 pm

    @ Herbie

    So what would your preference be?

    Or perhaps you could envisage yet another method (eg A_Node’s lottery idea)?

    I ask because I’m sure you’ve carried your thought a little further than the simple “get rid of the Monarchy”. Haven’t you?

    ________________

  13. A.Node got in before me. Yes.

  14. Flaming June

    16 Jul, 2013 - 4:05 pm

    Stop P Charles’ meddling for a start.

    Prince Charles’s letters to ministers to remain private, court rules
    Judges reject Guardian attempt to force publication of ‘black spider memos’ that would reveal efforts to influence government
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk-news/2013/jul/09/prince-charles-letters-mps-private-court

    Last week, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt had an audience of P Charles. What was that about? Not a social chat.

  15. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 4:07 pm

    @ Herbie

    “Anyway, whilst Habby exeunts backwards,….”

    ___________

    I think you’ll find that “exeunt” is a third person plural, whereas “Habbabkuk” is third person singular.

    But please don’t let me “distract” you from giving us your thoughts on how a President of the UK should be elected. Off you go!

  16. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 4:24 pm

    @ Flaming June

    I’ve noticed that you frequently post about the Royal Family (a couple of times just today, for example) and usually in a not too friendly way, so I assume that you would be for a republic to replace the monarchy.

    Would you therefore not wish to contribute to the debate and to the question “how should a President be elected or chosen”?

    It would seem to be a reasoable and relevant question for a republican to think about, would it not?

  17. You’re plural, Habby.

    Anyway.

    Best to have system closer to that of the US, with funding for political parties and no private lobbying, bribing nor any of the rest of the nonsense currently in vogue.

    I’d aim too for the head of state to be chosen from outside the ranks of the political parties.

  18. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 4:32 pm

    @ Flaming June:

    “Gross hypocrisy there about ‘cheapening this blog’ @ 2.39pm. Pots and kettles spring to mind”
    ___________

    Must call you out on that, I’m afraid – right of reply and all that.

    YOU have frequently posted on tittle-tattle like people’s husbands or wives. An egregious recent example was your comment about what Voctoria Beckham was wearing at Wimbledon (“some sort of lingerie” or something similar was your insight, if I remember correctly).

    I challenge YOU to find ONE single post from ME containing similar irrelevant tittle-tattle.

    If you can find one, you can talk about pots and kettles.

  19. Komodo, you’re quoting from exactly the kind of nationalist website I was talking about.

    Cornwall is not a feudal state, it’s an English county with the same sort of local democracy as any other English county and which is represented by six MPs at Westminster.

    Incidentally Cornish nationalist contested all six seats at the last election and all six lost their deposits. Three came last, that is pulled fewer votes than the Monster Raving Loony Party and all the other joke candidates. There is little real support for Cornish independence because most people there realise that unlike Scotland Cornwall simply doesn’t have any resources to support it.

  20. Oh by the way, I do agree that the Duchy should be paying it’s fair share of taxes.

  21. Flaming June

    16 Jul, 2013 - 4:40 pm

    Too trivial to reply to @ 4.32pm and anyway I am off out to a thé dansant once I have changed into my frock and put on my dancing pumps. It’s all one big merry round.

  22. Habby

    It’s difficult to argue that comment on slebs is irrelevant to political debate in this country, since they and their doings are so central to much of public discourse.

    They are very much the public face of wealth, and whilst often they act as distractions from more politically attuned wealth, they’re certainly a manifestation of what our culture and system has become.

  23. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 4:48 pm

    @ Herbie :

    “Best to have system closer to that of the US, with funding for political parties and no private lobbying, bribing nor any of the rest of the nonsense currently in vogue.

    I’d aim too for the head of state to be chosen from outside the ranks of the political parties.
    __________

    Thank you for that.

    I’m sure it’s entirely my fault, but I’m having a little difficulty following you completely.

    In the first para you say a system “closer” to that of the US. Which other differences would you envisage other than the money aspect you go on to mention? Would you, for instance, retain the two essential features of the US system (direct universal suffrage and the Electoral College) as are?

    You mention “funding” for political parties, which implies that Presidential candidates would be chosen by parties : is that correct?

    If so, how would you reconcile that with your further idea that the Head of State should be chosen from outside the ranks of politicians? Would that be a realistic idea?

    And a last thought : would it not be anti-democratic and discrimnatory to lay down that a serving or former politician should not be a candidate?

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    I think this discussion has already revealed that it’s quite simple to say “get rid of the Monarchy” but slightly less simple to propose legal, realistic and practical alternatives. But perhaps Flaming June will come up with something none of us has thought of., this is why I should very much like her to join in.

  24. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 4:56 pm

    [Mod/Jon: excessive commentary about Flaming June’s contributions – this question is a direct repeat anyway]

  25. Graham Derrick

    16 Jul, 2013 - 4:58 pm

    Dear Craig, good to know you’re on the mend. In your next blog please include as many details as you like as to the standard of the NHS treatment you have received. A useful way to build up an impression of the care provided is from many anecdotal accounts.
    Best, Graham Derrick

  26. Habby

    To answer your last point first. You say;

    “it’s quite simple to say “get rid of the Monarchy” but slightly less simple to propose legal, realistic and practical alternatives.”

    seemingly unaware that many many countries have managed to do precisely that!!

    leaving the reasonable suspicion that your curious complacency in this matter is borne of some personal or otherise beneficial interest in the status quo, and indeed negating your subsequent detailed questions on procedure.

  27. Habby

    It’d be remiss of me not to correct your schoolboy howler.

    You suggest that it would be:

    “anti-democratic and discrimnatory to lay down that a serving or former politician should not be a candidate”

    yet the principle separating executive from legislature is fundamental to most systems of government, including our own, until the current botched system emanating from what your antecedents called The Glorious Revolution.

    Make no mistake. Ours is a cobbled together nonsense which even old Tories like Quentin Hogg argued was an elective dictatorship. This is because in our system the executive and legislature are much more often than not, one and the same. With the Party system and whipping, it has just become worse and worse.

  28. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 5:37 pm

    @ Herbie

    “..seemingly unaware that many many countries have managed to do precisely that!!”
    __________

    No, I think you’ve misunderstood; I’m perfectly aware that other countries have worked out arrangements and have indeed pointed out what seem to be the two major options – direct election or election by Parliamentarians. I was asking you (and others) which of the above two options (or any other option) they’d advocate.

    “..leaving the reasonable suspicion that your curious complacency in this matter is borne of some personal or otherise beneficial interest in the status quo..”

    You’ll remember that Craig once asked contributors to stick to the subject matter and not speculate on the contributor’s motives (which, he said, they could anyway not know). So it would be more conducive to rational discussion here if you were not to voice your ‘suspicions’ and certainly not to use them as a pretext for avoiding legitimate questions as you appear to wish to do.

    (You’ll find my questions at 16h48, above.)

    Thank you.

  29. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 5:47 pm

    @ Herbie

    “You suggest that it would be:

    “anti-democratic and discrimnatory to lay down that a serving or former politician should not be a candidate”

    yet the principle separating executive from legislature is fundamental to most systems of government,…”
    __________

    I’m not quite sure where the schoolboy howler is, Herbie.

    It happens to be the case that in most republics the President is a former politician (a legislator, if you will) and I’m sure you wouldn’t wish to accuse all those countries of blurring the line between the executive and the legislative, would you?

    The point you also seem to have overlooked is that the party politician ceases, constitutionally, to be a party politician the moment he or she becomes President.

    So, having cleared that up, do you feel like answering the couple of clarifications I asked for at 16h48?

    Thank you.

    PS – other anti-Monarchists (or indeed Monarchists), feel free to join in!

  30. Habby

    If the current system is a cobbled together nonsense, which it is, then why would anyone with an interest in the matter not wish to change it?

    Further, why would anyone wish to retain it?

    Eh?

    That’s the first step, Habby. The desire for change.

    As I’ve shown above, there is no argument that it’s impossible to change, however much you may wish to pretend that’s the case with the old bogging down in detail trick.

    Since there’s no argument that it’s impossible to change our current system, for the moment we need only line up along Change or No Change.

    It really is as simple as that.

  31. Planet of the Arabs: A montage of Hollywood’s relentless vilification of Arabs and Muslims

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi1ZNEjEarw&feature=youtu.be

    ——————-

    Why do you go as far afield as the U.S. to find a country where the people elect their president?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_presidential_election,_2011

  32. “The point you also seem to have overlooked is that the party politician ceases, constitutionally, to be a party politician the moment he or she becomes President.”

    That’s part of the problem obviously. These party politicians will forever be linked to the legislature.

    Perhaps you think we can just ask them to cross their hearts and hope to die should they let their old mates influence them, or you’re particularly enamoured of revolving door politics.

    There are many many better people outside of politics than within, and it’d be a shame not to call upon their public service.

  33. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 6:18 pm

    @ Herbie

    I think I’ll make this the last one because it’s become fairly clear you don’t wish to answer the questions.

    Let me just say that I don’t think I said that it was “impossible to change” from a monarchy to a republic. On the contrary, it’s perfectly possible to do so – most present day republics were once Monarchies. And you are in error in your belief that asking questions about how republicans would envisage the election of the President is “bogging down the discussion in details”. In the real world, Herbie – to all but simple blowhards – details are important, are they not?

    You also said that “the desire to change” is the “first step”. That is true. But is it not also true that it is for those who wish to change from the status quo to make their case for doing so? This, I regret to note, you have also failed to do.

    So, in summary

    – you have not tried to make a reasoned case for changing from a Monarchy to a republic

    – you have failed, or are unwilling, to answer a few eminently practical questions to which such a change would ineluctably give rise.

  34. Sir Humphrey says:

    “- you have not tried to make a reasoned case for changing from a Monarchy to a republic”

    I have. Several times. I’ve pointed out that anyone who knows anything about the British Constitution knows that it’s a hodge podge, poorly cobbled together and resulting in what Lord Hailsham has called an elective dictatorship.

    That’s reason enough to change it. It’s certainly more than reason enough to question the bona fides of anyone trumpeting the current system as the best thing since sliced bread.

    “- you have failed, or are unwilling, to answer a few eminently practical questions to which such a change would ineluctably give rise.”

    There’s no need to get bogged down in the details at this stage. These are things that a Commission would look at, over a long period of time I’d imagine.

    All you need to know is that the system needs changing. You’re either for that or against it.

    What we certainly don’t want is any attempt by you to pretend that any change is so horribly complex that we’d best leave well enough alone, and that’s all you’re up to.

    Typical vested interest bureaucrat, in fact.

  35. Sofia Kibo Noh

    16 Jul, 2013 - 7:23 pm

    Habbas. 4 07pm

    ” “Habbabkuk” is third person singular.”

    Don’t be silly Dads!

  36. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 7:35 pm

    @ Herbie

    I shall now resume the discussion as you have moved away (wisely) from the theme of Monarchy/Republic wrt to the Head of State to the theme of the “Constitution” writ large, ie the political system applying in the UK.

    Firstly, let us leave aside as unworthy

    1) your by now usual suppositions as to motive (“Sir Humphrey”, my “bona fides” and “typical vested interest bureaucrat”; these are not arguments;

    2) your assertions (“trumpeting the current system as the best thing since sliced bread” and “pretending that any change is horribly complex”); these are inaccurate ans well as not being arguments.

    On the substance of your argument – such as it is – I would say the following two things:

    1/. You appear to be saying that the British (unwritten) constitution needs to be changed because it is a “poorly cobbled together hodge-podge which has led to an “elective dictatorship”.

    Given that these judgements of yours are subjective (there are many who would disagree) and leaving aside for the moment that there is no (written) constitution of long standing in the world that has not, like the UK constitution, evolved over time (in the case of written constitutions, by way of “amendments to the Constitution”), I’d be interested if you could flesh out in just a little detail in which way(s) the UK constitution is a “poorly cobbled together hodge podge, and also what you would consider to be the essential features of a new constitution that would meet with your approval.

    This leads me to my second point, which is really a variant on the point above :

    2/. Although I recognise its attractiveness (and convenience) as an argument, I’m not convinced that “all you need to know is that the system needs changing” but that there is no need for any, even broad, detail at this stage. I don’t think that its intellectually (as opposed to emotionally) valid to say something needs to be changed without having much of a clue what is wrong with the present system and what should be the main features of the new, supposedly better system. Hence my invitation to you under point 1.

    Remember now – we have moved away from the Monarchy, at your volition, so please keep your arguments focussed on your new theme of choice, the UK constitution and don’t move inot yet something else!

    Thank you

  37. “That’s unionism for you (Fred)”

    Nationalism, Unionism, two sides of the same coin. If you paid attention you would have seen me criticising Unionists.

    You really can’t comprehend anything but your “us and them” mindset can you?

  38. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 7:38 pm

    @ Dreoilin

    you’re right, Ireland just didn’t come to mind. But you musn’t assume that I live next door :)

  39. We’ve had this monarchy-versus republic discussion here on a number of occasions, actually, when the poster-formerly-known-as-Alfred [cue puff of sulphurous coriander emanation from the genocidal Indians of Leicester!], and others, put forward the various well-trodden, and somewhat valid, arguments for a constitutional monarchy.

    Personally, I’d like Britain a republic (there are a number of workable models) and have no aristocracy. But Britain’s problems run far deeper than that and just getting rid of the Crown and titles, on its own, would not alter these basic problems.

    So, either abolish the monarchy… or make me a Duke! Give me a pair of white rhinestone boots, a white cowboy hat and a louche swagger and I’m sorted. There are far too many damn barons and baronesses running around with their coronets bouncing off their heads, Alice Through the Looking Glass-style, as it is.

  40. “But you musn’t assume that I live next door.” Habbabkuk

    Habbabkuk, you’re not the boy next door? Aw, how disappointing. I’d always imagined you as a Bay City Roller.

  41. Habby

    The British Constitution includes the Monarchy, does it not, so how can you conclude that we’ve moved away from the Monarchy?

    I’m tempted just to refer you directly to Lord Hailsham’s excellent work on the subject of our “elective dictatorship”, and he knew a bit about this stuff, inside and outside and from a Tory perspective.

    But, I’ll give you a few pointers:

    British constitution enshrines in practice the unity of executive and legislature. They are one and the same, much much more often than not.

    This worked better when the party system was less rigid. Now it’s an abomination.

    Best practice is separation of executive and legislature, as was recognized in the emergence of Parliament itself and indeed even in the hodge podge cobbled together version where, in its stead, there’s now a pretence at separation of powers between monarch and parliament, the Queen appointing ministers and the other pretences in prerogative powers.

    The Queen isn’t the executive. None of the Privy Council committees, including the Cabinet are hers to control.

    These are factual distinctions.

    So, in Blair’s time, he controlled both parliament AND executive, running his own show pretty much as he liked. That’s the elective dictatorship.

    The question then becomes, do you want to retain this elective dictatorship or do you want a separation of powers between executive and legislature. Checks and balances, if you will.

    I should say, for clarity, that the hodge podge reference to British Constitution is not a reference to change through precedent etc but rather to the manner of its inception in the turbulence following civil war and Protestant Reformation.

  42. If anyone wants to watch an interesting take on Judaism/Being Jewish/Israel and related items, then feel free to watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/zionget?feature=watch

  43. Good on you, Craig, and well done for avoiding the Liverpool Care Pathway.

    I note that the Murrayista misery-mongers are out in force today, moaning about feudalism and the downtrodden people of Cornwall, of all things. Still, at least it makes a change from Israel!

    A suggestion for the Miserables: get yourself down to Kernow while the fine weather lasts, and enjoy the serf!

    Life is grand!

  44. “I note that the Murrayista misery-mongers are out in force today, moaning…” Anon.

    Is this mammary alliteration ‘after Margaret Thatcher’, as in “moaning minnies”?

    And what of The Bay City Rollers, prithee?

  45. Sofia Kibo Noh

    16 Jul, 2013 - 9:05 pm

    @ Dad! All over the place, again.

    Apologies for the disgraceful ad hominem (7 23pm). I really have no idea how many of you there are.

    Re monarchy, you might as well argue for the desirability of intestinal worms.

    On value-for-money grounds alone the UK monarchy seems to be a no-brainer.

    The estimated total annual cost of the monarchy to taxpayers is £202.4m, around five times the official figure published by the royal household (£38.3m last year).

    That much would pay for 9,560 nurses.

    The British monarchy is 112 times as expensive as the Irish president and more than twice as expensive as the French semi-presidential system.

    How could anybody seriously want that?

    Loads more data at: http://www.republic.org.uk/valueformoneymyth.pdf‎

    Saoirse, comhionannas, bráithreachas!

  46. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 9:07 pm

    More like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Suhayl

    More mammaries will be necessary to suckle the throngs.

  47. “9,560 nurses…”

    Or 10,000 very small nurses.

    Here’s to the republic!

    But jngs ma boab! Alex Salmond still wants the Queen! Actually, one suspects he simply doesn’t want to frighten some people away from voting, ‘Yes’ to independence.

    Give Alex a cowboy hat and rhinestone boots, I say!

    You know what Kig Farouk said, don’t you?

  48. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 9:26 pm

    @ Herbie

    “The British Constitution includes the Monarchy, does it not, so how can you conclude that we’ve moved away from the Monarchy?”
    _________

    It does indeed, and I concluded that you had moved away from the Monarchy to the “Constitution writ large, ie the political system applicable in the UK” (the words I used)because you declined to answer a few key questions regarding how you thought a President should be elected, choosing instead to start talking about the UK constitution and issues such as the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature.

    Your references to Lord Hailsham reinforce the idea that you have enlarged the discussion in that his “The Dilemma of Democracy” – which I happen to possess (but thanks for the “pointers, anyway :) )is almost entirely about Parliament and says little about the Monarchy.

    Anyway : now that you’ve given us your “pointers”, would you care to advance a little on the question(s) I put to you on your new theme? You’ll find them in my post at 19h35 under point 1/.

    (Please don’t confine yourself to just saying something like “a better separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of govt.” but give us your ideas on how you think this – and other improvements- could be achieved in your opinion.).

    Thank you.

  49. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 9:28 pm

    I think someone feels a pinch to the ‘Eminences’ of it’s own choice.

  50. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 9:32 pm

    @ Anon

    “Life is grand!”
    _______

    I don’t remember giving you a franchise on my “La vita è bella, life is good!” but it of course goes without saying that you’re very welcome!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Loved the “enjoy the serf” as well :)

  51. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 9:36 pm

    @ Suhayl

    “You know what Kig Farouk said, don’t you?”
    _____________

    No, but let me guess (since he was very sexually active despite his girth) : “Give me 9560 nurses”?

  52. Flaming June:

    “That was 1.86 billion dollar bills not 1.86 billion £1 coins. Can you picture the stacks?”

    No i can’t but, simply, because my brain won’t go there towards a futile visualisation. Sounds, though, that you would like to picture them sitting under your mattress. Do i sense some envy here? What kind of mind is drawn to picture someone else’s ‘stacks’ ?
    ——
    ” Not many members of the committee there. Have they already jetted off for the hols?”
    Envy again or the new MP police?

  53. “The estimated total annual cost of the monarchy to taxpayers is £202.4m”

    I very much doubt the veracity of this estimation, but supposing for a moment it is correct, it would represent approximately half the annual aid sent to Pakistan. A healthy scepticism is in order whenever one sees “x amount would pay for y amount of nurses”. Always nurses, because that really tugs at the Murrayista heart-strings.

  54. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 9:47 pm

    202 mil seems about right for just keeping the gardens up. It’s a pittance that would only pay for a few thousand nurses, so not even worth mentioning.

  55. “The whole world is in revolt. Soon there will be only five Kings left — the King of England, the King of Spades, the King of Clubs, the King of Hearts, and the King of Diamonds.” King Farouk of Egypt.

    But who knows, he may well have said, “Give me 9,560 nurses”!

    Numbers of nurses are always quoted by the media in relation to almost anything. I don’t know what it is, specifically, about the numbers of nurses. It’s almost like a currency in the world of soap opera news.

    Having said all that, I agree with Sophia Kibo Noh.

    !!Send 9,560 murses to take over all the palaces!! Al together now: Inhale, exhale… !! Blow away the house of cards!! But Comrade Kibo, don’t let those nurses near the champagne…

  56. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 9:54 pm

    @ Anon

    And, do you know, I read something recently to the effect that nowadays it costs about £4 million to build one mile of motorway.

    So that would be about 50 miles of motorway a year we’re not building because of the Monarchy.

    Thing is, though, no mile of motorway would last 60-odd years as well as Her Majesty has.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    La vita è bella – Long live Her Gracious Majesty!

  57. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 9:55 pm

    Nurses are the true caregivers. Physicians, not so much.

  58. I think this may be where Sophia Kibo Noh got the figures from? But of course, at root, it’s not about figures.

    http://www.republic.org.uk/What%20we%20want/In%20depth/Royal%20finances/index.php

  59. Good stuff, Habbabkuk. I always thought Cornwall could do with a motorway.

    Am so sorry for the above transgression. As many of the eagle-eyed investigators here think I am you, I thought I would play along for a while and give them all the evidence they needed. You see, poor Dreoilin has had a run of bad luck lately, and so I thought she could do with a breakthrough!

  60. “Thing is, though, no mile of motorway would last 60-odd years as well as Her Majesty has.” Habbabkuk.

    Eek, you sound like Norman St John Stevas. I need a parenteral anti-emetic. Let me call a care-giver! Let me call a nurse!

  61. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 10:04 pm

    10,000 nurses needed to pave a mile in Lancashire. Pretty good pay for the week.

  62. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 10:09 pm

    Musical interlude on topic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmOe27SJ3Yc

  63. We’re seeing a lot of this ‘republic’ web link, Suhayl, but I doubt it takesinto account the economic benefits of the Monarchy in terms of tourism and Diana mugs. But you’re right, it’s not about money, but principle. So thank Her Maj for 60 years of unimpeachable public service.

  64. “Saoirse, comhionannas, bráithreachas!”

    Sofia, you’re a tonic. :)

    Habbabkuk, fwiw, I think you’re in the United States. My comment about “so far afield” was addressed to nobody in particular.

    Mention of rhinestone boots reminds me, I used to listen to a lot of this great singer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prJyb7W605c

    and for Suhayl, who mentioned the bobbies two ba two:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWB1Sqsx1jo

  65. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 10:13 pm

    @ Anon

    £200 millions (if correct, of course) is equivalent to about £3,50 per head of the UK population, illegals included. And that is equivalent to about 1p a day.

    I believe it now costs at least 10p to have a pee in one of those public paying lavatories.

    Absolutely scandalous! (both, I hasten to add)

    Peep peep!

  66. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 10:13 pm

    Jack Nicholson as the NHS. They like nurses.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYDP3nBh_E4

  67. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 10:26 pm

    @ Suhayl

    “Eek, you sound like Norman St John Stevas.”

    Ouch! A bit below the belt, that, don’t you think?
    _________

    @ Anon

    No transgression at all! The more people who think and write “Life is grand!” the better! Because it is.

  68. ” do you know, I read something recently to the effect that nowadays it costs about £4 million to build one mile of motorway. ”

    Must’ve been along time ago, latest figures from the Highway agency that I can find put the cost of a mile of three lane motorway at £30 million but that skyrockets if it has to be put in a tunnel or on an elevated section. The five mile elevated extension to the M74 in Glasgow cost £692 million.

  69. Habbabkuk (La Vita È Bella!)
    Unblock? NO

    Anon (Habbys bumchum)
    Block? YES

    Villager (Habbys new bumchum)
    Block? YES

  70. Sofia Kibo Noh

    16 Jul, 2013 - 10:47 pm

    @Anon. 9 42pm

    “Always nurses, because that really tugs at the Murrayista heart-strings.”

    Can you supply links to back up other times when dastardly Murrayistas have used nurses for that purpose?

    I was just thinking in terms of value to society.

    Value of 9,560 nurses = Value of 1 monarch?

    How difficult is that to work out?

    Of the various forms of government which have prevailed in the world, an hereditary monarchy seems to present the fairest scope for ridicule
    Edward Gibbon

    Seditious mutterings here from the Flaming chicken run. NSA megafolder: FJwe7fh87

  71. resident dissident

    16 Jul, 2013 - 10:47 pm

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Does Craig’s use of the Royal “we” in the blog title have any significance? Given the support of some of his acolytes for the Syrian and North Korean monarchies perhaps he is planning to offer himself as a replacement for Liz Windsor who clearly doesn’t meet the exacting standards they set for monarchs.

  72. What you need to be on ‘full fighting form’ (craig) is (‘surely’?!) a good ‘support crew’ (?!) …

  73. resident dissident

    16 Jul, 2013 - 10:52 pm

    Yes Exexpat – but who is on your list for stringing up come the revolution. All good revolutionaries have a list or seven dont they?

  74. Resident Dissident
    Unblock?

  75. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 10:56 pm

  76. And no ‘we’ aren’t fucking stooge($) asif 4 asad bunch of bastards such as the dprk regimeß or suck as ..

  77. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 11:07 pm

    @ Kempe

    My God, that much?

    Was I at least right in my estimation of the price of taking a leak? I hope you’re not going to tell me it costs 50p.

    At £30 million minimum per mile, that means that every year 6,5 miles of motorway don’t get built because of Her Majesty.

    Appalling!

  78. Kibo
    “Apologies for the disgraceful ad hominem (7 23pm). I really have no idea how many of you there are.”

    That doesn’t sound like a very sincere apology when in the same breath you accuse Habbabkuk of sock-puppeting. And, Kibo, dear friend coming from you of all people? I’m disappointed that the daughter struggles to follow “Dad’s” standards.

    Note how Herbie had to be cautioned and put on the mat (quite rightly) by Habby, for infringing Craig’s direct advice.

    Ironic though how you and Herbie are the first one’s to go with your-thinly-veiled-sucking-up appearance to Jon to show Jon support, and the next second, this is what you resort to.

    Herbie, starts addressing Habby as Sir Humphreys or whatever. Next, someone might be tempted to call him Herbie**ore — how helpful would that be?

    Please decide whether you really support moderation here or not. As for Sophia it was ok while it lasted, but she’s way past her sell-by date, i would suggest. As Obama said ‘you never step into the same river twice’. Its a great pity that his deeper side has been a-wasted. Just a sign of the times. And because of those signs i’m interested in the primacy of how the mind impacts politics/society and less so of how politics impacts the mind which is secondary. So at the secondary level we see all this frustration and bitterness. And acting from that frustration only arises more frustration. That is why the world is confused, lost.

    If you want to see change, please change.

    As for Herbie, he seems to be here only in a vain attempt to score points. I have read with interest his exchange with Habby who is chasing him all over the board — he’s on the ropes with no specifics. Note seriously how Habby brings rigour to the debate.
    ——
    Btw some good points made by Habby and Suhayl, inspired by Dreoilin, earlier re potential education dollars being lost in military machines of so-called developing countries.

  79. Expat apply for a moderator’s role — see what happens. Proof of the pudding is in the eating. Objectivity is in my training as is freedom to observe. Poodles and herd mentality was part of the problem how Blair managed to shaft the whole of the British parliament. Come out of the shadows.

    And by all means contribute to the debate instead of just sitting there saying i don’t like him, block. Bumchums etc, grow up if you’re serious at all about the world, its sorry state and humanity.

  80. I’ve had a load of jet fighters flying around in circles over me all day, costs £30,000 and hour to keep one of those things in the air.

    I’m no fan of the Royal Family, can’t stand them myself, loathe them actually but I know a lot of people do like them. I know see how immensely popular they are with the masses, they sell an awful lot of news papers.

    So I reckon they don’t cost that much compared to fighter planes and giving arms to Al Qaeda and such`so I’m quite prepared to tolerate them considering they give so much pleasure to all those people standing hours in the rain to wave flags as they drive past.

    That’s what a free society is all about isn’t it? Tolerating the things you don’t like much for the sake of those that do. If we start demanding everything is just how we want it be then a lot of society isn’t going to be free.

  81. Habby

    There are two answers to Britain’s recurrent problem in having a constitutional setup that almost always produces an elective dictatorship.

    1. Abolish the monarchy and elect an executive president with real power.

    2. Strengthen parliament and make the electoral system more representative of the people.

    2. is what’s normally proposed these days, but they don’t ever seem to get around to it.

    1. is easier. You just need media to work their Diana magic again.

  82. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Jul, 2013 - 11:32 pm

    @ Villager

    “As for Herbie, he seems to be here only in a vain attempt to score points. I have read with interest his exchange with Habby who is chasing him all over the board — he’s on the ropes with no specifics.”
    _________

    You cheeky so-and-so! What do you mean, “on the ropes”? – Herbie was down on the canvas, out for the count.

    But then his twin brother stepped into the ring with a new theme. Owing to his present silence, only time can tell how many rounds he’ll go before the ref counts him out.

    When Habbabkuk’s in the ring, you get two for the price of one, and that is not to be sneezed at in these austere times.

  83. Excellent Big Picture comment by Fred.

    Profound in terms of relevance of comparison to fighter jets and the broader point about, as i read it, live and let live — based on the reality of “what is’, Not some ideology.
    —–
    Whats your verdict Expat?

  84. Sofia Kibo Noh

    17 Jul, 2013 - 12:00 am

    @Villager. 11 11pm

    “That doesn’t sound like a very sincere apology when in the same breath you accuse Habbabkuk of sock-puppeting.”

    I can see how you might have though that I was accusing there. In fact I was simply apollogising for a post that was 100% ad hominen. I take the piss, I know, but I try to keep it relevant and I dashed that one out in haste and later regretted it. Hence the apology.

    I don’t really care whether Dad is singular or plural. What matters to me is that, whatever the topic he/she/they can be counted on to defend the indefensible. Always promoting narratives in which humanity loses out to power.

    Re monarchy, I just can’t for the life of me see how one UK monarach could be considered to be worth 9560 nurses or 112 Irish presidents. That’s it.

  85. Okay Habby so it must be in the genes — Sofia Kibo also tried to give us a two-for-one :-) I get it 😉

    Anyway I’m reminded of one of my favourite Beatles songs for its melody of the Beatles well before Sir Paul

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXdKlpBOvs0

    All hypocrites, though!

    What did the Flower-children bring us other than a popularisation of drugs?

    We need another way to live but i remain deeply sceptical of the armchair activists like Flaming June, Herbie and our failed petty-politician Nevermind and such likes.

  86. Sorry if i misunderstood you but the Eminences including ‘Herbie’ have been going on neurotically — minus the forensics i applied in your determination — about Anon being Habbabkuk.

    Take your point re equivalence but the Irish e.g. perhaps is a better apples-for-apples comparison. One will get a closer look in the morning.

  87. Villager
    17 Jul, 2013 – 12:06 am

    intended for Kibo, if not obvious

  88. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    17 Jul, 2013 - 12:10 am

    Villager; I respect your protectiveness wrt to free speech, but I question the limits. Do you really think the unmentionable one is serious and not disruptive in intent? I have been meaning to ask you that question.

  89. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    17 Jul, 2013 - 12:18 am

    I guess i’m using the US definition of ‘free speech’. In our democracy, you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater when no fire exists. There are limits.

  90. Ben, i think he is. He doesn’t rush to declare or box himself as a ‘liberal’ wearing it as on a uniformed sleeve as many do here, but i think he’s on the ‘right side’ of many key issues (or at least he wants to understand if one is taking a holistic view in a very imperfect world. Syria is an example)– my interpretation, i don’t want to be speaking for him. He’s far more subtle than some of the gushing sycophants, a trait i despise in the spirit of poodles etc — see my earlier point re Blair shafting the whole of Parliament and then people reelecting him for more. A rigourous debate to come to ‘conclusions’ or synthesis of thinking is more scientific and rational.

  91. Ben, but you can chase a black unarmed young black boy, start an intimidating altercation and then take out a licenced gun and shoot him dead with candy in his pocket.

  92. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    17 Jul, 2013 - 12:27 am

    Then why does ‘he who must be obeyed’ harass those who wish not to engage. That feature, to me is a bug. It identifies one who uses that approach as a troll. Is it ‘borderline personality disorder’, or am I seeing this through a prism?

  93. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    17 Jul, 2013 - 12:29 am

    “but you can chase a black unarmed young black boy, start an intimidating altercation and then take out a licenced gun and shoot him dead with candy in his pocket”

    And..get away with it. That’s my point.

  94. Might i also add that we are far more downstream in the evolution of dialogue from even a month ago. I think people need to move on and be agile and live a new day fresh rather than lapsing back. Life is a living thing!

  95. Sofia Kibo Noh

    17 Jul, 2013 - 12:46 am

    “I Hereby Resign in Protest Effective Immediately”

    “The narrative, professed by the state, and echoed by the mainstream press, has proven false and criminal. We have become what I thought we were fighting against.”Brandon Troy (Former US soldier)

    Full letter: https://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/07/16-5

    How many wearing those uniforms must be having similar realisations?

    It must be getting harder by the day to really believe all the crap.

  96. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    17 Jul, 2013 - 12:55 am

    I would rather think the progression is ‘upstream’. Salmon prefer it.

  97. “At £30 million minimum per mile, that means that every year 6,5 miles of motorway don’t get built because of Her Majesty.

    Appalling!”

    Another way of looking at would be grateful for the environmental damage thus prevented.

  98. Flaming June

    17 Jul, 2013 - 4:50 am

    Ten Years Ago: The Political Assassination of Dr. David Kelly

    The Dr Kelly Inquest Campaign demands due process of law – the re-opening of Dr Kelly’s inquest – and transparency, to achieve truth and justice.

    TENTH ANNIVERSARY SILENT PROTEST

    ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE,
    THURSDAY 18th JULY 2013
    2pm PHOTOCALL

    The campaign to re-open the inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly is holding a silent, gagged, protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice, London, on Thursday 18th July 2pm, to mark the tenth anniversary of Dr Kelly’s death and to demand the re-opening of his inquest.

    Campaigners demand Dr Kelly’s inquest, as his right under British law, to examine all the evidence, including the fresh evidence. The coroner ‘speaks for the dead to protect the living.’ Campaigners demand due process of British law and transparency, for the clear establishment of truth and justice.

    All single, unexplained deaths require an inquest under British law. Dr Kelly’s unexplained death, according to many centuries of British law, should have been examined in a proper coronial inquest, with the option of a jury, the power to subpoena witnesses, testimony given under oath, with cross-examination and the requirement to establish suicide beyond reasonable doubt.

    Instead, Section 17A of the Coroners Act 1988 was quickly invoked – which is used to cover multiple deaths, as with train disasters – probably uniquely, for Dr Kelly’s single, unexplained death. The result was the Hutton Inquiry, engaged only to look into ‘the circumstances surrounding Dr Kelly’s death’, neither overseen by a coroner, nor with the proper powers of an inquest.

    There is fresh evidence which requires the scrutiny of a proper coronial inquest. Thames Valley Police FoI responses reveal that there were no fingerprints on six items found with Dr Kelly’s body, including the knife with which he is said to have cut his ulnar artery, blister packs of Co-proxamol tablets, which he is said to have swallowed, an opened water bottle, a watch, spectacles and mobile phone. No gloves were found at the scene.

    Lord Hutton requested the records provided to the Hutton Inquiry, not produced in evidence, be closed for 30 years, and that medical reports and photographs be closed for 70 years. The Ministry of Justice was unable to explain the legal basis for Lord Hutton’s order.

    The Dr Kelly Inquest Campaign demands due process of law – the re-opening of Dr Kelly’s inquest – and transparency, to achieve truth and justice.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/ten-years-ago-the-political-assasination-of-dr-david-kelly/5342952

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