Born Kneeling 1248

What comes out to me from the “Black Spider letter” correspondence of Prince Charles published today is how utterly obsequious Tony Blair and New Labour ministers were to him. No sign whatsoever of radicalism from the former “People’s Party” as they fell over to ingratiate themselves with the heir to the throne. I rather enjoyed Charles quite sharp tone to Blair.

I am fundamentally opposed to the existence of the monarchy. It will hopefully be replaced by a better system, but no human system is perfect. Given that we have a monarchy at present, you will perhaps be surprised to learn that I do not see anything wrong in Charles’ letters, which put forward views which are much what we would have expected him to hold. Of course there is interaction between the monarchy and government, and of course we should get rid of this hereditary element. But Charles’ lobbying is hugely less damaging and pernicious than the corporate lobbying I witnessed throughout my Whitehall career. At least Charles is not lobbying them for corporate advantage and giving large political donations at the same time.

While in my view he did nothing wrong in writing the letters, he and government are both very wrong in arguing they should be private. It is when it is secret that such attempts to wield influence between two branches of government – and monarchy is a branch of government – can be most simply perverted to ill ends. That such publication will not occur again because government has legislated to keep it secret, is an example of the privileged arrogance that prevents this from being a genuine democracy.

Altogether not that big a story and it gives Rusbridger and the Guardian the chance to pose as radical. I find the fact that what is published is so anodyne and unobjectionable rather suspicious – what has not been published? Rusbridger is of course the editor who complied enthusiastically with a GCHQ instruction to smash the Snowden hard drives. The existence of other copies does not justify this any more than it justifies book-burning.

By coincidence, a very worthwhile article by Michael Gillard that had been excised from the net has recently been republished, setting out how Rusbridger in 2002 conspired with Andy Hayman of the Met to bury an investigation into police corruption, including the burglary of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry. By a further coincidence I was having a pint with Laurie Flynn in Sandy Bell’s four days ago.

Hayman went on to be the promoter of the stream of lies about the murder of Jean Charles De Menezes and the publicist of numerous fake terrorist plots, before having to resign in a scandal involving nubile police officers at public expense in tropical islands.

Rusbridger and his extraordinary wig go on and on as a pretend opposition outlet, their reputation much dented by recent hysterical unionist output which exceeds the Daily Express. But Rusbridger’s continued usefulness to the establishment is not in doubt. The pose of publishing the most harmless of Prince Charles’ letters does little to help a threadbare disguise.

1,248 thoughts on “Born Kneeling

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  • CanSpeccy

    I am fundamentally opposed to the existence of the monarchy.

    So you’d like it to be President Cameron, resident at the Palace, wasting his time greeting every Commonwealth head of state who happens to be visiting London, rather that some more or less harmless monarchical nonentity?

    The chief problem, it seems to me, with a hereditary but titular head of state is that genetics or bad upbringing may result in the position going to a person totally unfit for the job. However, where parliament is sovereign, that is not a major problem. Edward VIII agreed to go quietly, but could have been booted by an act of parliament.

    Similarly, if Charles becomes senile or in some other way unacceptable, Parliament can pass a succession act specifying who should follow QEII. In fact, a law imposing a retirement age on the monarch would be a good idea. In times past, most monarchs could be expected to die relatively young, but today, most cannot be expected to succeed to the throne until after the normal age of retirement. Despite the popularity of the Queen, a more or less permanently geriatric monarchy does not seem like a good idea.

  • CanSpeccy

    @ Fedup

    “With just 34% of the vote, blah, blah, blah.”

    The Scotch Nats got 50 plus seats with fewer votes than the Lib-Dems with only 10 seats, who got fewer votes than UKIP with only one seat.

    But in every constituency, the people are represented by the most popular candidate (unless the vote was rigged), which makes perfectly good sense to me.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    We are all so Fucking Afraid of these Cunts in Control..and Do Not Pretend We are Not…

    Case (1) Craig Murray actually admits..he goes into hiding when he exposed something which everyone knew was trues…and where was he Margate or something…just because he leaked something from his former mates in the foreign office…

    So are we supposed to believe what he wrote?

    Well, shiit yes….he probably was paranoid…but they probably weren’t after him….

    Craig Murray – Well Yes..We have Already Tried to Kill That Cunt..But He Survived

    It would be somewhat impolite to try and do it again..He will probably drop dead soon anyway.

    But so why won’t Craig Murray come out and tell The Truth..about something Really Simple?

    Anthony Lawson is Now Dead…But He Was About 80 Years Old…and had Fcked Off To Thailand…are fck it…we can’t be bothered chasing Him There…and then there is 108Morris108 in well Cambodia wasn’t it..I am already Fckin Dead (and I’m Jewish) You Can’t Kill Me Again..I ain’t Got any money…

    “WTC 7 — “This Is An Orange” (by Anthony Lawson)”

    Just ignore the facts..and you will be all right..Might Even Get Invited to a US TV Show With The Mother of Disaster Capitalism..Naomi Klein…But She Won’t Tell All The Truth Either

    More Than Me Job’s Worth mate.

    yeh – its them Muslims what Did It..I am Jewish and I’m All Right – Have You Bought Me Book Yet Lad..Yes..It was Very Good..Have You Been Learning Form Noam Chomsky Dear?


  • Tony_0pmoc

    So what are You Going To Do – Assuming You are THE CUNT in Control

    Kill Me – or My Ex – or Her Kids Who Really are Top Lawyers….

    I haven’t had the heart to tell her yet, nor my wife, but I did tell my Girlfriend cos She is a Professional and I Love Her So Much(like a Sister – She’s From Lancashire Too)…She said Please Tony – Do Not Tell Me Any More..She Couldn’t Handle It. I couldn’t handle it..The Knowledge Ruined My Christmas About 5 Years Ago…

    How could I tell anyone, that My Ex (From Serbia) Her Most Beautiful Cousins in Serbia – During The War..When We were Bombing Yugoslavia…do you really want to know the rest…

    O.K. I will spell it out to you..The Most Beautiful Teenagers in The World…were Being Captured…completely nothing wrong with them – not even in a warzone…

    They were Being Captured Fresh

    And Their Organs Surgically Removed – Close To a CIA Airport – and Transported Very Quickly To …shiit sorry

    I can’t write any more..I just have to cry

    Under The Control of Israel and The KLA

    I see they are back again in Macedonia…

    I can’t handle this stuff its even worse than Americans with drones

    and I am not supposed to say…

    It’s all Documented…Search if you don’t believe me

    Are We Not Going To Stand Up Against This?

    Are We British or Cunts?


  • Tony_0pmoc

    So it is not about Elections..You Can’t Vote The Evil Poeople Out. It is Not about Giving Money To Charities…All The Main Charities Have Been Infiltrated Too By These Neocons..Take Amnesty International For Example – sure They occasionally Give The Impression..and Save The Children…

    You Can’t Do Fucking Nowt By Voting or Donating…

    You Got To Personally Confront These Cunts

    Get Off Your Arse and DO SOMETHING

    Do Not Just Write Stuff on The Internet

    Do It

    Make a Difference

    Challenge Them


  • Mary

    One week later, Carney comes out with the facts. Very convenient for the Tories that there is some protocol that truth telling is verboten in the run up to the election.

    – The Bank of England has cut its 2015 growth forecast from 2.9% to 2.5%, and for next year from 2.9% to 2.6%, as governor Mark Carney unveiled his quarterly inflation report.

    – Mr Carney also said deflation could emerge during the year.

    – The Bank also downgraded expectations for wage growth in 2015 from 3.5% to 2.5%.

    – The Bank revised down its productivity forecast because it sees a disproportionate number of new jobs as low-skilled and low-output. Productivity growth is now expected to improve only modestly in the coming year before remaining below past average rates.

    A bed of nettles rather than the bed of roses as sold by Cameron and Osborne.

    Incidentally he speaks of a continuing fall in oil prices. Maybe on world markest but unleaded here is 122ppl

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Do not try and Tell Me, Nor My Wife and Children…That This Is Not About Making Choices…

    You are Not God. You are Not The Authority.

    We can make our own individual choices..all we expect from government is to build the basic frameworks…like the fences I am responsible for in my garden…

    That is My Job..I do it.

    What The Fuck Do You Cunts Do Except Make War as Dictated To You By The Fucking Americans…

    I am not an American Poodle..and I am Not JEWISH

    Now Fuck Off You Cunts

    If You Can’t Do The Job You Were Elected To Do.

    You are supposed to be working for us British People.

    We Pay Your Wages and Even UKIP…You are Supposed To Do What We Tell You To Do.

    Get It..?????????????????

    No The Americans and The Israeli’s Pay Us More..Us Politicians are Working For Them..You are just Peasants..Cannon Fodder For Our Next Wars…Fuck Off Oik.


  • LordSnooty

    Anything that exposes the odiousness of the rodent Blair is ripe for publication, in my book.

  • Becky Cohen

    “By a further coincidence I was having a pint with Laurie Flynn in Sandy Bell’s four days ago.”

    As long as you didn’t get totalisches merked again, Craig:))) – like you said you were off to do last Friday morning when the rest of us were mostly off to work/school. I do agree with you, though: Charles came out of the black spider memoes rather well and not at all sinisterly as their name would suggest.

  • DoNNyDaRKo

    I’m no big fan of the royal family either… I hope Scotland will ditch them n time,but they don’t annoy me unless I’m reading the Daily Mail where they are shoved down your cake hole from start to finish.
    However to have Charles “heiring” his views is quite alright.It shows a healthy interest in his realm.and trying to influence politicians is done daily for money and favours in Westminster so why not Charles & nothing to keep secret I would say.
    The Guardian has become a major disappointment,but the rot began when the Times changed.
    I’ve been in Sandy Bells a few times in days gone by,when I stayed at Meadow Place.Mind you there weren’t many I missed on the High Street or in the Grassmarket either.

  • Anon1

    “Incidentally he speaks of a continuing fall in oil prices. Maybe on world markest but unleaded here is 122ppl”

    Yes, in the leafier parts of Surrey one tends to notice a mark up in price that reflects the relative affluence of the locality. The UK average price of unleaded is a more modest 112ppl.

  • Abe Rene

    Following Prince Charles around as if he were the object of The Crick Report. Such lese-majeste. Shocking! Kristina Kyriacou no doubt deserves a pat on the head for knocking off his microphone cover. I shall enjoy every guilty minute reading them all, and then think that it is just as well as correspondence between royalty and ministers stays confidential. After all this is a constitutional monarchy. 🙂

    Constitutional monarchy is not pure democracy, but to use the words of Churchill, such a system may be the worst but for all the others in an imperfect world.

  • intp1

    Perhaps, bizarrely, we (the people) should resort to lobbying their Royal Highnesses in order to bend the ear of the tyrant called parliament?

    They have no-one to answer to now, they will push through a frenzied phalanx of human rights atrocities, Banish privacy, Neo-con wars, handouts to their benefactors, cow-towing to the Americans and their protection racket.

    5 seats is narrow but their whips, their threats and their carrots of corruption will keep them in place. The stakes are too high.

    The British Public have spoken and they have fu*ked themselves.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    There’s one argument for an hereditary monarchy – and one which has some input into the nation’s politics – which needs stating. Continuity. As things presently stand, as has been pointed out, the Commons have effectively absolute power, the Commons are re-elected periodically, and its ideology can change suddenly.

    Since WW2, the expertise in government presented by a trained and examined Civil Service has been progressively sidelined. The effect of that is that any freshly-minted PPE graduate, with no experience of anything, can inflict his amateur theories* of government on the public: that when he hits the skids for reasons which a competent private secreatary, a genuine student of history, or HM The Queen would have regarded as utterly predictable, there’s an election and the next idiot can ignore his advisors and repeat the process.

    I was delighted to read the ‘black spider’ letters, which show that Charles is at least as aware of his position and the legitimate bounds to his influence as he needs to be. He is, after all, as entitled to write to politicians as anyone else. I doubt very much that he has the clout of even a medium-worth party donor, and in the case of Blair, certainly had less weight in Blair’s foreign policy than Bush, Sharon or Netanyahu. Which is an anomaly which still needs addressing.

    But I’d like to see the letters that weren’t released….

    *or his Oxford don’s ivory-tower theories of government, poorly digested and regurgitated.

  • nevermind

    Intp 1, exactly, fully agree with your last sentence, why did we vote when we could have had a bonfire?

    Lobbying Charles? Hmmm would he like it when the bizarre spam his inbox?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Hmmm would he like it when the bizarre spam his inbox?

    You think they don’t? However, like the PM, he has staff to deal with all that.


  • Abe Rene

    @B’ a; Zevul “Continuity. As things presently stand..the Commons are re-elected periodically, and its ideology can change suddenly.

    Since WW2, the expertise in government presented by a trained and examined Civil Service has been progressively sidelined.”

    Two excellent points, IMO. Concerning the second, I wonder how the influence of the civil service could be restored. Perhaps the House of Lords, ideally a House of Expertise, might help?

  • S Paterson

    One of Lord Janners victims will be talking on the Victoria Derbyshire programme this morning.

  • Robert Crawford


    After my last comment, last night, I have not been able to access anything, until now, and I can’t get in to some, not all other sites, like E-mail.


    I meant to thank you yesterday on the information about how things are in France, thank you.

    That is the kind of information that the British people need, to open their eyes, to what other countries do FOR their citizens, not what is DONE TO, the people here.

    Don’t drink the water when you go abroad. Was the advice given to those who wanted to see other countries.

    When we joined the Common Market we were told it was OUR water that was needing to be improved.

    I would like to take your bet. I want you to be right. However, that lot can stick like shite to a blanket!

    Back to what the British people need to know.

    I searched for EU State Pensions after your info on France.

    The most wonderful government in the world is the meanest in the EU, and is as mean as poor Mexico, South Africa with all that gold, diamonds, platinum etc., in the hands of white people pays the lowest.

    “Man’s inhumanity to man”.

    Sorry if I have spoiled your day.

    Give us more factual information on what other governments do for their people, please.


    Please tell me why you pay for anything to be “stuffed down your cake hole”.

    I can’t work that one out.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Abe, I’m thinking that the quadripartite system, Commons, Lords, trained Civil Service and monarchy, might offer a valuable diversity of approach. Blair and others have complained that they found it surprisingly difficult to get things done (and hence invented ‘deliverology’ – his loathsome name for the process of subverting democracy in the interests of The Markets – and ‘delivery units’ to implement it) Retaining and if possible enhancing this difficulty must be a priority –

    Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.

    -HL Mencken

    Half the Lords should be chosen by lot in proportion to the national vote, from lists supplied by the parties, following a general election. Should the proportions change at the next election, noble lords will be removed, again by lot, from party lists, to reflect this. Otherwise they will be life peers. A quarter should be hereditary, in the gift of the monarch, but open, like all members, to dismissal on the grounds of poor attendance. A quarter remain to be argued about, but would presumably include religious leaders, academics from every discipline and businessmen. The number of Lords would remain constant.

    The Civil Service would ultimately be staffed by people who understood that their business is to frustrate the follies of the Commons, and in particular the ruling party therein. This implies a return to a Victorian or Edwardian model. Retiring (or indeed current) Civil Service staff would not be allowed to take directorships, bribes or sinecures in business.

    The Commons would then be able to remain approximately as corrupt and venal as it is now, with few exceptions. Some things are too big to fix. Though I would advocate a circular Chamber and a swear box.

  • Mary

    Weird. Establishment supporters on here?

    When is P Harry going to stop farting around in NZ? If you think the Mail’s coverage of the royals is obsequious, you should try Murdoch’s Sky News. The female reporter who stood outside the Lindo Wing that famous day is following the 5th in line around on his journeying in that little outpost of EmPyre.

    PS Silly remark Anon1. You should know by now that I have other things in my mind (other than the price of petrol) and on my mind. Where is your best mate? He seems to be fading into obscurity.

  • Mary

    The location was Marks and Spencer.

    The aide was ‘Ms Kyriacou, a former music industry executive who previously worked for Cheryl Cole, was hired by the Prince in 2012 to promote his charities. She has also worked in the past for Sony, for Comic Relief as its head of media and as Gary Barlow’s manager.’ Torygraph

    Good choices Chas. Wasn’t Gary Barlow involved in that tax evasion scandal?


    ‘Tax avoidance controversy

    In June 2012, it was revealed that along with Take That bandmates Howard Donald, Mark Owen and over 1,100 other people, Barlow had invested £26 million in music industry investment schemes.[124] The news attracted controversy when it was understood that the schemes could serve as tax shelters for wealthy people. Barlow was accused of tax avoidance rather than tax evasion, as the scheme itself was not illegal at the time Barlow invested in it. Barlow’s lawyer responded to the claims, stating he “paid significant tax, and that they believed the schemes were not for tax avoidance purposes but were legitimate commercial enterprises”. On 10 May 2014 a judge ruled that the scheme was set up for the purpose of avoiding tax, with the scheme generating losses of £336 million to enable Barlow and others to offset these losses against the taxes they were liable to pay from their other earnings. HMRC indicated that they would be pursuing Barlow for repayment of the taxes that he and others had sought to avoid paying.[125]’

  • fedup

    Well that fucking tears it!

    The country is in ruins, dead are not buried, injured are left to die on their own, the place is in shambles, and half the population is either missing or dead, the government ineffective, and what do the Canadian Broadcasters worry about, and talk about?

    Nepal’s economy in peril after earthquakes

    These fascist bastards have infested the planet, the explosion in the population of these vermin has resulted in propagation of the sick notion; economy is above human life! Never mind the dead, but what about the economy?

  • Ba'al Zevul


    It’s not even news. Nepal’s economy was a basket case before the earthquakes. I’m afraid the Economic Saviour Of The World isn’t around this week, so he can’t install a Nepal Governance Initiative office in the least rubbly ruins and sell the rest to Mubadala . He’s in Nigeria.

    More Blair on ‘An Apology’ thread.

  • Phil


    It’s a shame your obsession with Blair isn’t available in itself. If you had copied all your Blair comments into a specific blog it would b quite a resource by now. Blairwatch.

  • Anon1

    When is P Harry to stop farting around in NZ? If you think the Mail’s coverage of the royals is obsequious, you should try Murdoch’s Sky News. The female reporter who stood outside the Lindo Wing that famous day is following the 5th in line around on his journeying in that little outpost of EmPyre.

    PS Silly remark Anon1. You should know by now that I have other things in my mind (other than the price of petrol) and on my mind.


    You mean like Sky’s coverage of Harry’s NZ tour?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I hijacked The An Apology thread for roughly that reason. I wasn’t sure how productive it would be, or whether the interest would justify a separate blog. So far, it doesn’t, I don’t think. Obsession? Fair comment, but not quite right. Blair’s public impact is intermittent, and there is no continuous narrative to it. Also, most Blair news is sourced by Blair himself, or at least one of his organisations. I feel some continous monitoring of other sources is desirable, and to be frank it can be a bit of a chore. OTOH Blair neatly encapsulates all that I find disgusting in politics; think of it as a metanarrative, which I am happy to keep off the main topics of the day, beyond occasional reminders of its existence.

    And thanks to Craig for letting me do it, as always.

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