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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  • Phil

    Back on topic.

    Way too much royal arse licking going on here. F**k Prince Charles. Who cares that there is something about him you do not find completely offensive. They are the apex of, the showcase for, the inequality and destruction. F**k them all. Get over your lingering royal fetish and face facts: they must go as part of the reconfiguration of society that rejects perpetual war. They are not inoffensive at all. F**k them.

    Down with the crown.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The Guardian’s greatest failures were publishing of the unredacted Afghan File which resulted in the murders of Gareth Williams et al., and supporting the Met’s heating up of Operation Crevice which triggered the London bombings.

  • Mary

    Anon1 Grow up. If you go to Sky News, for the news, you expect news and not this royal tosh. Generally speaking, their news coverage is more searching and factual than the BBC’s and less biased towards Israel which is a bonus. Their election coverage was accepted to be superior to the BBC’s.

    We have heavy rain today in Surrey which is indeed extremely leafy. What’s the weather like in Tel Aviv and is TA leafy or leafless?

  • Abe Rene

    @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…”

    Sounds good, though I’m doubtful about elected peers, because they could be prone to the same weaknesses as elected MPs. We already have a totally elected House, which is the more powerful, and the hereditary peers in the Lords provide continuity.

    However I am for not allowing people to become peers for doing political parties favours, though this might be difficult to stop altogether in practice.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Phil, Simon Jenkins identifies more pressing concerns than Chas:

    The black spiders are harmless creatures compared with the multimillion-pound tarantulas of big-time political pressure, uncharted and undisclosed. Where are the construction and property interests, the doctors and big pharma, the beef and barley barons, the defence suppliers and the bankers? During the financial crisis, the publicly owned RBS was paying six lobbying firms to put pressure on ministers.

    David Cameron in opposition claimed lobbying as “the next big scandal waiting to happen”. He then appointed Francis Maude “to make the UK the most transparent and accountable country in the world”. The result was a mouse of a registrar. Tamasin Cave and Andy Rowell of Spinwatch reckon just 1% of lobbying is even remotely “regulated”. Small wonder that trust in government has gone from 80% in 1997 to 30% today.

    The issue here is not the privacy of private communication, which the Cameron government holds cheap when it is intruding on others. The issue is how open should be all processes of Whitehall policy formation. Are we entitled to know the conduits of access enjoyed by those with a massive financial interest at stake? The Guardian has shown the Prince of Wales to be a small fry in this ocean. What about the sharks?

    Charles is an amateur. Don’t be distracted from the professionals, please.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Abe, I’d hoped to anticipate you on elected peers by suggesting that they were chosen by lot (independent lottery) from lists supplied by the parties. Specify that the lists contain two or three times as many punters as there are vacancies, and that at least partially stymies the awarding of specific favours to specific favourites. I do agree there is a weakness there, but think some sort of carrot has to be retained for incentive purposes. And a stick for blatantly party-political appointees, to be agreed with little objection from me.

  • Phil

    “Charles is an amateur. Don’t be distracted from the professionals, please.”

    Sure. Of course he personally is small fry in the world of corruption. The royal families importance lay elsewhere. The sell the idea of inequality. They are the apex of a class system that sustains the rule of the few. They are closer to god, deserving of their riches, exist to make you bow. “It’s just a bit of fun” said my neighboiur as she trained the local kids to scrape and bow at a royal wedding party. It’s not just a bit of fun.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    When someone uses the word ‘governance’ as opposed to ‘government’ I get a diaphanous image of Tony Blair. It’s the recently-coined, American usage of those who believe that the people exist for the benefit of the markets. Very revealing, Trowbridge.

  • Mary

    Cameron put Jim O’Neill late of Goldman Sachs in charge of the drive to find new antibiotics. Good choice Dave. Jim knew where all the gold bars and shekels were located.

    Wrong! We now have to pay Big Pharma.

    Pay big pharma to solve antibiotics crisis, says UK government review
    Jim O’Neill, economist appointed by David Cameron, says a global fund would incentivise drug firms to save millions of lives

    Review on Antimicrobial Resistance chairman

    Offices at the Wellcome Trust HQ in Euston Rd.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    No-one to be elevated to the Lords if they have donated more than their annual member’s subscription to the party proposing them, perhaps?

  • Mary

    from Medialens

    Beyond satire: McCain appointed to Ukraine reform advisory team headed by fugitive Georgian ex-leade
    May 14, 2015, 1:25 pm

    McCain appointed to Ukraine reform advisory team headed by fugitive Georgian ex-leader

    Saakashvili…faces numerous charges at home, including embezzlement of over $5 million, corruption and brutality against protesters during demonstrations in 2007. Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office launched proceedings to indict Saakashvili and place him on the international most wanted list, but Kiev refused to hand over the fugitive president, despite an existing extradition agreement between Ukraine and Georgia…

  • Abe Rene

    @Ba’al Zevul “chosen by lot (independent lottery) from lists supplied by the parties..” Why by lot? If an independent commission chose the most worthy of 3 candidates from some party (on similar lines to choosing people for Honours apart from any party affiliation), then the partisanism could be diluted in a deliberate way.

  • Abe Rene

    @Phil “They are the apex of, the showcase for, the inequality and destruction.” I would say that they are the guardians and showcase of the country’s glory and excellence, just as beefeaters guard the crown jewels. For this reason the Queen is the fount of honour, and therefore at its apex.
    Vive la Reine!

  • Ba'al Zevul

    then the partisanism could be diluted in a deliberate way.

    I see the lottery as being more free from accusations of partisanship (justifiable or not), and it would add the stochastic element without which evolution doesn’t work. In fact that would be even more applicable to the replacement of hereditaries. But I’ll be happy to be included on the steering committee, come the revolution.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Phil/Abe I say simple minds need a figurehead, though how much privilege it warrants is deeply debatable.

  • Mark Golding

    Flash-back to 2014 – Palace paedophilia? Cameron lies? BBC Propaganda-Tony Rooke?

    The U.N. says 7 in 10 Palestinians killed in Gaza were civilians. Israel disagrees.

    With thanks, love and gratitude to Kerry-anne Mendoza – Scriptonite:

  • Johnstone

    Charles’ black spider letters just serve to remind me of another letter.
    Now if your wife wrote about you, her ex husband, that she had knowledge that you were going to make sure that she died in a car crash and she did indeed die in a car crash, wouldn’t you (or I or the man next door for that matter) at the very least be questioned by the police or have to give evidence at the inquest into her death?
    John’s link described the willful ‘dehumanization’ of Eton boys… might be useful in the event of a parricide in the family I suppose.

  • Republicofscotland


    What kind of pfffft was that exactly? Notice no troll comments in the presence of royalty. Was that a Pfftocopy of habba’s bum irreverentially left for the Queen in the MI5 office or the Pffft! I give Habbachat when he craps in my front garden.”

    Giyane,I wasnt aware pfffts had different levels,I’m confident my comment is patently obvious indicating that the Royals and all the hangers on around them can go …. themselves.

    Is that pfffft clear enough.

  • Republicofscotland

    Good to see the Vatican officially recognise Palestine in a new treaty.

    The Vatican also welcomed the decision by the UN to recognise Palestine.

    Though both bodies should’ve done this years ago,shame on the they both have much blood on their hands.

  • Republicofscotland

    Yvette Cooper throws her hat into the ring in the contest to be Labour leader,Labour a party full of shallow unelectable nobodies,has intimated it will take up to five months to pick a new scapegoat,I mean leader.

    Meanwhile the branch office of London Labour in Scotland,the USDAW union has back Jim Murphy to stay as leader of the branch office in Scotland.

    Murphy whose only been in the job for five months along with Kezia Dugdale his deputy known as (Deputy Dug) presided over Labour worst ever defeat north of the border.

    Murphy who’s a devoted careerist,is prepared to sacrifice Labour in Scotland to secure his own future,that’s the spirit Jim.

    Labour’s new motto: F..k You Jack I’m alright.

  • Republicofscotland

    The UK government would be required to get the approval of the Scottish parliament before it could remove the ECHR legislation from Scots Law.

    Under the present parliamentary arithmetic, that would be out of the question, but under other possibilities, it would still be extremely unlikely to happen.

    The new British Bill of Rights would restrict the use of human rights laws “to the most serious cases” and allow Parliament to ignore rulings from Strasbourg that it did not like.

    The first problem with the Conservative proposal is that it is not possible for the British Government to “break the formal link” between the UK and the European Court of Human Rights without withdrawing from the Convention completely.

    That is because, under our treaty obligations, we have accepted the Strasbourg court as the ultimate arbiter of Convention violations.

  • nevermind

    The Farage will be a loose and relaxed on Dimbledors tonight mark my words, and there will be not a single lefty in the audience to disturb him after this election, after all Dimbledor the elderly is a semi publicly employed BBC grandee and dependent on their franchise/appanage

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