Friday, 23 August 2013

A Proper Charlie

I cannot understand the fuss about Prince Charles's frequent meetings with Ministers. Or about the secondment of members of his staff to Departments of State.

Or about the practice, alleged (if that is the word) by Lord Rogers in the latest edition of the New Yorker, that London developers now check with Clarence House before making any major commitment.

The Prime Minister is summoned to the bar of a public house in order to pay court to our pre-eminent intellectual, who is a gameshow host, an occasional actor, and a long-lapsed comedian. Oh, to be Russian. Or any other kind of European. Less EU, please. But more Europe.

The Education Secretary and would be Prime Minister is still having regular, off-the-record meetings with Rupert Murdoch, to whom he owes his entire elevation. The Secretary of State for Health shares the Prince's enthusiasm for homoeopathy, but the Prince does not share the Secretary of State's power over the matter.

That a Royal staffer has been attached to the badger-culling DEFRA cannot be said to matter when the Prince himself supports the badger cull, even if his newspaper critics do not. It is not as if they have been seconded to DEFRA. That really would be a story.

And there does need to be someone in our national life, some Sage of the Age or what have you, who is informally but unmistakably empowered to put the kibosh on daft development proposals. That may as well be Prince Charles as anyone else. I am not aware of any other applicant for the position.


  1. "The Education Secretary and would be Prime Minister is still having regular, off-the-record meetings with Rupert Murdoch" I thought Toby Young had been sacked by The Sun. Or do you mean Mr Sarah Vine?

    As an aside, and as someone who benefited from your guidance, you will be much missed at Collingwood.

  2. You are very kind. But I have two new businesses to set up and worsening health to battle. I can no longer hobble all the way up there.

    I am keeping my SCR membership, though, and keeping in touch with my existing charges now that the responsibility technically ends with the first year, anyway.

    They tend to live nearer the centre of town, and I am always available to entertain and to be entertained.

    I remain, though I say so myself, a hugely successful referee. That will not be changing.

  3. What is your health issue?

  4. Charles's "meddling" is needed now more more than ever, since our supine, spineless Parliament has failed to do anything to preserve any of the good things about Britain.

    I wish he, the House of Lords, the real Church of England (not the pathetic Leftists now in charge of it)would meddle in our democracy alot more.

    And bring back the hereditary peers-they were the only true conservatives in Parliament, and far more pro-British than anyone in the Commons.

    They were so conservative that Tony Blair had to use the Parliament Act to ram through his Bill lowering the homosexual age of consent to 16.

    No wonder Labour hated the hereditaries.

  5. I have several "health issues", but I am not going to discuss any of them on here.

    Whatever is the Law of England is by definition the doctrine of the Church of England. However, if it adhered simply to the body of doctrine common to Eastern and Western, Catholic and classically Protestant camp, then it would be firmly in the "Leftist" camp from your point of view.

    As soon as trade union barons were done away with as a force in the national life, then hereditary barons were doomed. The reverse would also have held, but it happened not to happen that way.

    Likewise, any threat to the monarchy will only ever come from that Murdoch-Thatcher-Blair corner. Did, in fact. You probably cannot quite remember just how close they came. By no means only after the death of Diana.