Sunday, 18 July 2010

Is Prince William with us in the "we are all in this together" syndrome?

The Sunday Times reports today that Prince William is to cost cash strapped North Wales constabulary an estimated (remember these royal expenses are not subject to FOI, for some reason) £1.4 million in extra protection costs as a result of his decision to live in an isolated cottage rather than on the RAF base where he is doing his flight training.

Incredibly this means that the savings forced on the force will be wiped out in a stroke. The North Wales force had been told that it would have to save £1.4 million as a result of government cutbacks. This entire saving is now going to be obliterated in employing a 15 strong unit of armed officers to protect William. A cost that need not accrue if he were to live on the well protected RAF base where he is doing his three year helicopter pilots course.

The reason for William’s decision is so that he can spend more time with his girlfriend, Kate Middleton and friends. Well that is nice. I guess the people of North Wales can just do without police for the duration of Wills stay.

St James’s Palace has said that it is not unusual for officers of William’s rank to live off base. What is unusual is that “normal” officers do not need a round the clock escort of 15 armed police. Nor are their expenses, paid for by the British taxpayer, exempt from Freedom of Information Legislation.

Of course William and his brother are very keen to display a veneer of being just normal lads. But from time to time that slips and we are all made painfully aware that we are not all in this together at all. You know the sort of thing: young role models dressing up as Nazis or assaulting journalist while pissed outside night clubs or borrowing a MOD Chinook to fly through one of the most heavily protected airspace corridors in the country to take you mates to a stag party. That sort of thing.

William don’t put yourself out one iota will you. The rest of the country is in a financial pickle but you just keep on milking the state for all you are worth.

Protecting Willie’s love nest in rural Wales? Good value for money? Hardly. Cheap at twice the price? Really?


  1. This is just nonsense. It’s exactly what makes me angry about the royal family. The people of North Wales will have to have less policing because William wants.... He’s beginning to sound like his father.

    It makes a total mockery of "all in this together". But then we were fools if we ever believed that the whole country would pull together. A few well chosen publicity releases about ministers using public transport and ... then of course we know what happened......

    Im not sure why William has to train as a helicopter pilot anyway. He’s never going to actually do it. The notion that a future King should have served in the armed forces dates, presumably, from the days when the King led his troops into battle. I see, however, no reason for modern day princes to be in the armed forces.

    Would it not be more appropriate for William to spend time working in some situations where he would come into contact with “ordinary people”. Would it not be appropriate for him to work in parliament (so he could come into contact with people who would describe themselves as anything BUT ordinary).

    What about spending time working in business, finding out about the industries that keep the countries of which he may one day be king? Indeed spending real time in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the other small kingdoms of which his grandmother is ruler might be a way of passing his time.

    Of course we hear arguments that the troops like the fact that there are princes in their midst. Well i know a few “ordinary” soldiers, and nothing would be further from their thoughts. It may well please senior officers, I don’t know. I’ve never met any.

    Of course William must know what goes on in the armed forced too, but he can never be allowed to make himself, his country and his comrades a target. He can never fight. So why are we wasting time, money, and a space that could be taken by someone who could actually do the job?

    If this fiasco is allowed to continue, William should be made to pay this security himself out of the vast amount of money he inherited from his mother, and if he can't afford it, his father should pay for it.

    It is simply not right that hard savings made by people right across North Wales should be squandered on a playboy prince, or anyone else, who wants to spend time with his girl friend. This is not the 1930s.

  2. Well Tris I have to say that your rant was far better than mine.

    William and the rest of his family must know how this would look in these straightened times. But I think that fact of the matter is they don’t care. They actually think they are better than all of the rest of us and so have a right to a silver spoon existence. What I cannot bare is the sheer hypocrisy of it all, him and his brother go out of their way to cultivate an image of being just ordinary guys but that is not what they really think. If it were, would ordinary guys be able to jip the state for one and a half mill so that they could have a cosy house party with girlfriend and mates while pensioners freeze and young people are thrown on the jobs scrap heap because the country can’t afford to help them?

    Disgraceful! Let’s hear the royal apologists explain this one away.

  3. There is no place in a modern society for this evil royal family.

  4. Mr Munguin, that jist boggles ma mind. When aw aboot us fowk are lookin penury in the face, when they're feart as tae whit's aheid fer the services they depend oan, the jobs they need tae feed thersels, the state o' their toun's, the state o' the country, an' that big eedjit's happy tae burn oor money needlessly...

    Ah'm beside masel so ah am. An' ah'm amazed tae at the stupidity o' Wullie an' his advisers, his wee 'coort', an the rest o' his faimily. It's jist anither nail in their coffin, anither step taeward the republic ye want tae see, an' which ah'm mair confident wi each passin day that we'll live tae see.

  5. Anon: evil is a little strong, selfish maybe.

  6. Aye Sophia it makes me fairly cross as well. I thought that we would not all end up in it together. That was just another of Cameron's soundbites that got him elected. Now that he is he can start ignoring them left right and centre. New Politics and the Respect Agenda have gone by the board already so it should not be long until it is clear that "we" are not all in it together but "you" are all in it together.

  7. no 1 ())the we are all in this together was and is a stinking vile tory soundbite which most normal people spit on...

    to conflate that with our princes is not only untrue bur also a downright stinking muinguin lie

    and as for a Scottish nationalist trying(not very well) to decide what the people of cymru would or would not wish smacks of a mind twisting interference.............

  8. Not my place to question, I am sure they need the security and protection. Could you imagine what would happen if either Prince was murdered?!!

    No, best not question. Have a little faith in the royals. We are their subjects after all.

  9. Mr MixedPickle, what a laugh, either we are all in this together or we are not. I’m not at all sure what I am conflating with our princes here, do you mean the notion of us all being in it together or the Tory lie that people spit on?

    Are you suggesting that the people of Wales would be happy to do without police on the beat in order to accommodate our princes? And if so why would the people of cymru be more happy to accept the waffling of a Scottish Labour apologist than an upstart Scottish Nationalist?

  10. Dean, why isn't it your place to question? William has a choice, either he makes do with living on an RAF base and saves the people of North Wales £1.4 million or he lives in a cosy cottage and the people of Wales have less police on the street. It's as simple as that.

    I'm sorry that you are happy to accept the notion that these people are better than us. But I am not.

  11. I don't know how many people live in the North Wales constabulary area, but I can't really believe that Dean thinks that one prince and his girlfriend are worth more than they are...

    But maybe he does.

  12. The royals should be in Afghanistan fighting at the front of our troops the way they used to. Only with equal rights these days all the female ones can be there too. With this, as well as all the people for this war, we could send all the scum and things would be better for everyone who is left behind.

  13. A bit off-topic. But Dean, your use of the word "subject" brought to mind recent news reports here in the states about some new scientific analyses which have been carried out on a curious smudge in Thomas Jefferson's rough draft of the Declaration of Independence. As you might imagine, the term "subject" in this context has fallen SEVERELY out of favor here in the states. But it's now been shown that Jefferson clearly used that word in a line of his draft. He appears to have been so horrified by his mistake that he wiped the still-wet ink with his hand and replaced it with the word "citizen," very carefully overwritten to obliterate any trace the original word when viewed in normal light in 1776. (The word is now visible using hyperspectral imaging techniques.)

    He had simply crossed out some other changes, but seemed to want to totally obliterate from American history his use of this word. Seems that revolutionaries have to take care that they don't transmit the wrong image to posterity....LOL.

  14. Billy yes they did try that in the past but ususally the royals made such a pigs ear of it they stopped it. Equal rights for the female ones yes Anne for example but that is another thing that Cameron promised before the election (presumably to get female votes) but is not now going to do.

  15. Thanks for that Danny. To be honest it is not a word that is often used here either these days. Especially not is Scotland where the monarch traditionally rules by the will of the people and not by God given right and hence is Queen of Scots (i.e. the people) and not Scotland which belongs to the people.

  16. That's very interesting Munguin. I actually had no idea why Mary was called Queen of Scots, which had seemed to me an unusual formulation. Scotland has such a rich history. When looking into the history of independence declarations a while back, I discovered Scotland's "Declaration of Arbroath" of 1320. Said to be the first known formal declaration of independence, and which may have influenced Jefferson and the framers of the American declaration.

  17. Thats great I'm glad we could be of some service. We are very proud of the Declaration of Arbroath.

    To go back to being King or Queen of Scots. The notion of unquestioned allegiance is a very English way of looking at things. Scots have always felt that it was their right to get rid of a King or Queen if they did not rule by the will of the people.

  18. Yes Munguin, that's true, until we lost that right, being a tiny part of a much larger and more important country.

    Really the Queen of Scots that we have at present only resides in our capital city for 10 days a year out of 365 (6). That's marginally more than new Zealand or Canada, etc, gets, but not a great deal.

    The rest of the time she works as Queen of England, (although of course I'm sure she is working in Scotland's interests too).

    In fairness she is more Scottish than anything else, and she choses to spend her down time at a private home in Scotland.

  19. In fairness though, although she's a descendant of the Hanovers, her primary royal descent is through the Stewart line making her Scottish.

  20. Yes Anon. Her mother was Scottish and she loves Scotland.

  21. In times like this,the royal family must, however be one with the world in saving the victims of earthquake and radiation level in japan, retrieval of the dead bodies in New Zealand and other disasters that had happened these past few days. They shldn't focus only on themselves or about the affairs they're so "in" to. A future King shld be compassionate enough not just with his own citizens but with other fellow human beings as well infront or behind the camera.

  22. The Royal Family brings lots and lots of tourist to your country..They go there to see the palace and stop your whin ..If it was not for them who knows what lanuge you would be sick of people crying when you understand the world you will know how much money is brought into your country because others in the world love all the is because of the royal family millions of pounds are spent in your country..just look how many people are interested in the royal wedding..Think about it they give more to your country .Than you give them ..everyone has oppertunity so go after yours and be happy you have the most amazing country in the world..

  23. Why not use 15 men from the household regiment and rotate them in and out of the assignment.This will save money and put the cost with the Queen's Household instead of the people of North Wales.He will be king so he is of more value then his father who will probably never be King.

  24. I suppose it depends on what you think of as value.

    For me, each one of us is of the same value; you me, Wills, Chick, Old Mrs McTavish, etc....