The commentators 27-03-15
...on Prince Charles
It is extraordinary that so much effort, by so many royal advisers and politicians, should have been expended in keeping secret what a future head of state has written to government ministers. All those who deplore the Supreme Court’s decision, however, are wrong. For I believe this is a great day not only for the freedom of information, which the law demands and allows. It should also be seen as a great day for the monarchy.
- A N Wilson, Daily Mail
In a transparent time, secrecy will be the enemy of monarchy. Charles is already jeopardising the compact that his mother has made with the nation. As a lukewarm republican, I intend to send him a new pen and invite him to start writing to George Osborne, but monarchists ought to be anxious. The just-about-viable fiction of constitutional monarchy, made at its best in Vernon Bogdanor’s The Monarchy and the Constitution, rests on the silence of the sovereign.
- Philip Collins, The Times
So will Charles now go quiet? It seems highly unlikely. The Prince has received backing from the Prime Minister to continue writing. Freedom of Information laws have already been amended to give him absolute exemption to his future contacts with ministers and David Cameron has indicated they could be tightened further to prevent this week’s ruling from the Supreme Court - Richard Kay, Daily Mail
In Charles's mind putting forward arguments on issues that he somehow thinks it is appropriate for him to pursue is benign. But this is his well-paid and irreconcilable tragedy. Ours is a parliamentarily controlled monarchy. It’s what our ancestors fought the civil war and the glorious revolution to create. The crown may still embody the law. But in this system there can be no such thing as a “useful prince”.
- Martin Kettle, The Guardian
...and Richard III
Pinch yourself, very hard. This must be anti-royalist satire? No, we’re wide awake as the nation mourns its most reviled monster of a king. Never was adulation of monarchy taken to such transcendently absurd heights. Richard III has been buried with pomp in Leicester cathedral by the archbishop of Canterbury. It’s comical, but tragic too, as a reminder of the indignity the British accept in their accustomed role as subjects, not citizens. Here are church, royalty and army revering a child-killing, wife-slaughtering tyrant who would be on trial if he weren’t 500 years dead. This is the madness of monarchy, where these bones are honoured for their divine royalty, whether by accident of birth or by brutal seizure of the crown.
- Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
The treatment of those arrested under Operation Elveden - by the police and by their own employer - was wrong. The suspended animation of extended police bail, which traps tens of thousands of people, is a disgrace. But, in common with every other reaction since the Dowler story broke, this coverage was hysterical and over the top.
Ordeals are what rape victims go through; torture is what hostages in Syria suffer - Operation Elveden
Comment archive, 2015
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