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Archive for the tag “Royals”

A Right Royal Scandal

While the rest of us are facing deep and disgusting cuts in our living standards and public services from this con-dem coalition, Prince William is to cost us an extra £1.4million per year in security costs.

Why you may well ask? It seems he is in ‘training’ with the RAF in Wales and he doesn’t want to live on the base like every other trainee but to take up residence in a Welsh cottage. This means personal 24/7 police protection for someone who contributes nothing to the national economy. What a disgrace!

Taking a break

Freethinker has got very depressed of late so is taking a break from the attacks on our feeble democracy, from the devious royals, the wars and bankers et al.

Although my hopes for a better World are fading, I’ve not given up, just having a rest.

Royals Scared Off?

A press conference to present the Royal accounts today has been cancelled. We all know, or should know, that these accounts are in any case far from transparent and are never properly audited, so what are they afraid of?

In addition, the Queen is asking for even more cash from us stating that there is a £5million hole in the finances. Isn’t an estimated £180million per year enough! Quite rightly the expenditure of public money by members of Parliament has come under the microscope and so to should the Royals whose lavish lifestyles we support.

Update: Just been announced that they will be published after all but NO press conference! Wouldn’t want any awkward questions now would they?

Dear Prince Charles Supporter

Yes, that’s you, like it or not you contribute to Prince Charles ever growing fortune.

His accounts, see BBC, were published today (not checked by the Audit Office of course) and show that his personal income increased to £16.4m while his tax bill decreased by 10%! Most of this income comes from the Dutchy of Cornwall which is not the private property of Charles, yet he takes all the profit. What the BBC site does not highlight is that earlier this year Charles was given a tax break worth £700,000 and the Dutchy receives ‘Grants-in-Aid’ of over £2m.

Happy to support the Royal spongers? Think of them the next time that you look at your tax deductions. The MP’s who had their snouts in the trough are mere piglets compared to the Royal Family.

Oh by the way; it seems that 2 butlers, 5 chefs, a personal dresser and 2 valets are tax deductable!

Royal Secrets

Brown had promised us more openness and transparency in the wake of the expenses scandals. What does he do? He caves in to pressure from the Palace and is bringing in a blanket ban on the Freedom of Information Act applying to the unelected Royals stating that secrecy is required to ensure the impartiality of the head of state. What?!!

Statement from the Ministry of Justice:

To ensure the constitutional position and political impartiality of the Monarchy is not undermined, the relevant exemption in the Freedom of Information Act will be made absolute for information relating to communications with the Royal Household that is less than 20 years’ old. After that point – if the relevant Member of the Royal Family is still alive – then the exemption will continue to apply until five years after their death – on an absolute basis for the Sovereign and the Heir to the Throne, and on a qualified basis for other members of the Royal Family.

This is utterly outrageous; if they demand secrecy then they must have something to hide or rather, a lot of ‘somethings’. We are footing the bill so why shouldn’t we have a right to know or at least find out what they are spending our money on? If they are using their undemocratic powers to influence political decisions, or promoting their businesses or using government planes for their private pleasure at our expense we have a right to know.

It is even likely that this FOI ban will become law not by being debated in Parliament but brought into being by powers given to the Prime Minister by the very people who demand this outrage.

If you still have any doubts about whether we should know then how about this from The Guardian in June last year.

“Prince Charles used the royal train to travel from Kemble, near his Gloucestershire home, to Penrith, Cumbria, to visit a pub – part of the “pub is the hub” initiative to revitalise village life – at a cost of £18,916, which may make it the most expensive pub visit ever made. The prince also used the train to get to Edinburgh (£21,460) and during a trip for various engagements in Wales (£43,258).”

Sponging Royals at it Again

buck-house This building on the left is of course Buckingham Palace, one of the official residences of the Queen. There is something of an ownership blur here as the Queen does not actually own it but holds it in trust for the nation. The Royal Household is paid an allowance for it’s upkeep from the Government who are frequently asked for yet more millions.

Alan Reid, ‘keeper of the privy purse’, appeared before the public accounts committee yesterday to explain what steps were being taken to find the £32m that needs to be spent on repairing royal palaces. It has been suggested, by MPs amongst others, that there is enormous scope for income generation simply by opening the Palace more often to tourists. Not surprisingly the Royals are resisting this idea and even came up with the lame excuse that they wouldn’t be able to find the staff to keep it open all year. I doubt they would have any trouble finding staff even without the recession and rising unemployment.

Alan Reid also suggested that it would be inappropriate for the public to be allowed access during state visits to the palace by foreign heads of state. Well how come The White House is open all year round, surely their guests are just as important as those visiting Buck House?

The Government should take over complete control of the Palaces and use them to generate income for their upkeep and probably some left over for the Exchequer, instead of continually paying out for them. The Royal Household obviously thinks that the people don’t mind them being inefficient and are  happy to keep handing over millions on demand.

Let’s face it, The Tower of London needs maintenance but still manages to make a handsome profit.

Meaningless Gongs

Well here we go again, another round of the bi-annual handing out of awards by our unelected head of state, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. The usual round of show biz types who enjoy themselves and make a fortune doing it, get honours ‘for services to entertainment’ how bizzare is that? At least Des O’Connor was honest when he said “”great plus… I haven’t done a day’s work in my life – I’ve done a day’s effort but not work, because it’s something I love”. A boxer who punches seven bells out of his opponents gets made a CBE, Commander of the British Empire (sic)  who was already an MBE. Dozens upon dozens of Army, Navy & Air Force Officers get an array of honours not for acts of extreme heroism but for being, er, high ranking officers. Hosts of people who are just in the employ of various Royals also get something pinned on their chest. No need to take my word for it by the way, you can download the whole, generally boring, list.

Just occasionally there is someone who has done something exceptional for the Nation or humanity in general, like Philip Dolan, chairman of the Scottish Haemophilia Forum, who achieved a public inquiry for people infected with contaminated blood. Handing out awards like confetti debases the whole idea of acknowledging an individuals bravery or extreme perseverance. It would be better to have no awards at all than to have this twice yearly charade.

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