Sunday, 24 April 2011


Accepting hospitality from American billionaires is expected behaviour of Prince Andrew, but now I hear that Charles’s trip to Washington will be paid by a Texan tycoon with links to Augusto Pinochet. Joe Allbritton, who in ‘return’ got an invite to the wedding, is providing a private jet for HRH.

According to Clarence House it will save the taxpayer money, but I understood that Rothsay already received around £16 million a year to fund his work for the country, on top of £16 million from the Duchy of Cornwall to keep himself in kilts, and the crocodile in dresses and jewels.

Charles, who calls himself Defender of Nature (how loonie is that?), is expected to clock up more than double the average bloke’s annual carbon footprint on this one trip. His office said the 'economic climate' made the exchange a consideration. So now, GREAT Britain is selling seats at the royal wedding in return for flights. If the ‘economic climate’ at Clarence House is so dire, Charles could video conference his speech at Georgetown University, or of course, travel like you or I seat bought in advance!

It must be a bother having an arse that doesn’t fit into economy seats.


The wedding may be one of the hottest tickets in town, with loads of tacky people going, but one NOT so tacky invitee has declined. King Norodom of Cambodia has a busy schedule. Like his dad before him (who declined to attend Princess Alexandra’s wedding) he will be spending the day at home in Cambodia. Probably a wise decision Norodom. The Windsors are providing the food, not the British government. As they are well known for being as tight as drums with their own money, it will likely be cheap and nasty.


My favourite satirical comedy programme “The News Quiz” was marred this week by the inclusion of Matthew Parris, who insisted on making serious political points (nope Matty, that’s not what satire’s about) and then insulting the Scottish government by insisting that they operated well only thanks to English tax money.

If they have him on again I won’t listen to it.


It’s part of the coalition agreement that government and civil service internships be open and offered to everyone, no longer just for the sharp elbowed middle classes with connections, according to the deputy prime minister and IDS. But Cameron has either forgotten, or thinks he’s above any of these tiresome rules made for lesser beings. He will be offering a neighbour an internship without advertising the job or doing interviews.

"In the modern world, of course you're always going to have internships and interns – people who come and help in your office who come through all sorts of contacts, friendly, political, whatever.", he said. Strange two members of the government he’s supposed to oversee didn’t know that.


In a poll on MSN to find the most and the least attractive royal of all time, the most attractive was Princess Grace of Monaco; and the least attractive was Princess Eugenie of England. Grace’s family were well represented in the list of attractive, with her daughter and grandson making the top ten. The bottom ten contained all the Yorks... along with Henry VIII and the princess from Shrek... Among the attractive ones was Crown Prince Frederick from Denmark. I think that if Scotland has to have royals, it would be agreeable if they were a bit more like the Danes. The crown prince was on holiday in Australia and went in to a bar. There was a cute Aussi girl sitting at the bar. He sat down on the next bar stool and said “Hi. My name’s Fred and I’m from Denmark.” They’re married now. They somehow seem like real people.

Pics: Chic and Cammy looking less wrinked than normal; HM King Norodom of Cambodia is busy counting his matchbox collection that day; David Call Me Cameron, the Botox King choking on his words; TRH Prince Fred of Denmark and his Mrs.. I've got a shirt like that... and jeans like that...and trainers like that. Wait a minute, I think he stole my clothes!


  1. As you know Tris, I always enjoy “The News Quiz” on this side of the pond after downloading it from the BBC4 website. It did strike me that Matthew Parris struck a really discordant note by making serious political points on the satirical comedy program. His comment on English tax money supporting the Scottish educational system actually elicited a groan from the audience.

    That said, at one point he WAS sort of goaded into it by Jeremy Hardy who asked him, during the discussion on the increases in English university fees, if he – "as a former Tory MP" – could manage to justify the actions of the Cameron government in this area. Although Parris should have given a funny answer, he at least gave an eminently sensible one, it seemed to me. At some point over the weeks, I had wished that someone on The News Quiz might find an appropriately satirical way to laugh about the English students’ outrage over having to pay university fees which are actually so low when compared with some others in the world.

    American young people in particular must be scratching their heads in wonderment at the English students rioting in the streets of London over having to pay, AS A LOAN, a 9,000 pound yearly fee for a university education. Wonderment, because this is so much less expensive than an American university education. Even an education at the least expensive taxpayer supported state institutions. And the American kids have to pay their larger tuition fees in cash at the beginning of the school year. Any long-term arrangement for deferred payment must be separately negotiated in advance as a loan. And the loan payments begin when school is over, regardless of whether you find a job or not. So Americans would consider the increased fee level of the Cameron government something like a dream come true. As for the free university education which, as I understand it, is available in Scotland, that would be heaven itself.

  2. I'm still trying to get an invitation for our President. I've Emailed the White House to tell Mr. Obama that King Norodom's invitation is available. Thanks for the info Tris.

  3. "Charles, who calls himself Defender of Nature (how loonie is that?)"

    Doesn't sound loony at all. In fact, it is obviously a reference to the fact that he wants an environmental theme written into the coronation oath when he becomes 'Defender of the Faith' (I suppose you see that as loony too?).

    Prince Charles has done a lot to get environmentalism into the mainstream of British politics; with his organic food range (now able to be purchased competitively against less reputable mass-market alternatives, filled with US additives). At his personal home at Highgrove he was the first royal to insulate his entire home, a personal initiative which has saved the taxpayer a lot of cash as energy efficiency comes into play.

    He is in many ways a thoroughly modern man, a divorcee, father of two, environmentalist, charitable man. He seems perfectly normal and nice to me.

    Oh yes, charitable too (not that you mentioned that). The Princes Trust is one of the most important initiatives he has commenced to date. It lifts hundreds of youths (all failed by your 'big state' approach by the way) out of poverty and destitution by providing them with practical skills training.

    So no, loony? I think you'r being a bit loony yourself here.

  4. "But Cameron has either forgotten, or thinks he’s above any of these tiresome rules made for lesser beings. He will be offering a neighbour an internship without advertising the job or doing interviews."

    I think it is good that he is giving a young neighbour the opportunity. Stop raining on the young man's parade. Why should he be punished for knowing Cameron as a neighbour? Hats off to the boy, contacts are everything, and so that should remain - its the only way you know someone is sound. If you know them personally.

  5. p.s. sorry to keep commenting repeatedly, but this is an example of just how respected Charles is abroad:

  6. Is it dark and smelly up there Dean ?

  7. Danny:

    I'd say you were right about Jeremy Hardy goading Parris, but right too that he should have been quick enough off the mark to make a witty remark back... not start on a lecture about how fair the Tory policy was.

    I quite like him as a performer, and he is clever enough to have managed the quick retort but he does a lot of political commentary and he must have forgotten he was there to be funny, not serious.

    You're right of course, you must have had to fork out a fortune for your degree compared with the English students.

    In Scotland we think that as primary and secondary education paid for by the state, why would not tertiary education be the same?

  8. Yeah, maybe if Mrs Obama has a wo4d with the queen they could get the place which had been reserved for His Majesty....:)

    Although, the woman who lives at the bottom of my street was after it too, so she'd best hurry!

  9. Dean: He isn't a defender of nature if he insists on travelling in a private jet, one journey of which will create more greenhouse gas than I will all year.

    I think that a head of state being the head of a church is totally loonie, yes. What about people of other faiths and none? Does he not defend the Jewish faith, or the Methodists, or the 7th Day Adventists?

    I read a report the other day that said that organic food was no better for you than inorganic, and that it was all a scam....

    His personal home at Highgrove shouldn't cost the tax payer a brass bean. We provide him with accommodation at Clarence House and Windsor Castle, at Holyrood in Scotland. Why would we need to pay his electricity bills in his private home?

    As for the prince's trust, I have often praised it on here and elsewhere. it is indeed a good organisation. I have worked with it and indeed received an invitation to a garden party at Holyrood because of the work, which like the King of Cambodia, I declined, on the basis it comes with a list of "requirements" which I would not be pleased to fulfil.

    What you seem to ignore in your praise of Cameron is that it is an agreement that there will be no “jobs for the boys” in the government or civil service. Cameron either thinks he’s above that (embarrassing Clegg and IDS, or he is forgetful.

    I will have a look at the programme later Dean...

  10. That's a good question Mr Janus... He is royal you know. They are perhaps constructed differently.

  11. No doubt someone will buy up a plantation in Borneo to offset the “defender of nature’s” international gallivanting.

    I also see that the Crown Prince of Bahrain has decided not to go to the Westminster Abbey wing-ding after all. So the worst of all possible results for the D o N all the bad publicity from inviting a murdering tyrant’s son and none of the pleasure of his company (BAE systems deals for weapons etc). Another total guddle.

    As for the po-faced half-wit and his intern. Another great example of one rule for them and one for as we say not as we do...political lip-service, that sounds oh so great in a fine speech, but which is never intended to actually be practiced by the great and good

  12. A fair summation Munguin.

    I was though, expecting you to have something to say about Princess Plug. I know she's not very important in the scheme of things, and of course coming from that branch of the family she is almost bound to be a crook. She's certainly a little madam. But I was thinking that Cameron will soon have to marry her off to someone to distract us from the misery of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

    It just got a bit harder now that she has the title of the ugliest royal of all time.

  13. tris

    " That's a good question Mr Janus... He is royal you know. They are perhaps constructed differently"

    I heard their erses smelt o' rosewater and was hoping Tory boy could clarify this for me.

  14. Ye gads Hugh, there are things I'd rather think about on a Monday lunchtime!!


  15. Such rudeness from Hugh here would upset me, but I'm currently enjoying the sun on the lawn, and my 22nd Birthday, so forgive me if I disappear from my regular comments ... hangovers by tomorrow will be a killer!

  16. Tris,
    I am glad you mentioned the Prince's Trust. It really does do excellent work.

    As a Church & Crown Tory, deserted both by the Church of England and the Conservative Party, I get equally browned off with the excessive royal gush of the tabloids and, I have to say, the parading of large chips on shoulders, masquerading as outraged virtue.

    But I suppose I shall have to put up with it for the sake of the otherwise excellent and stimulating content of the blog.

  17. Mr S...

    I was never one for the church. I’m afraid that since I was a little boy, taken I think, by my Mum, to church, having listened to the minister sermonise about kindness and charity, hearing, on the very steps of the church, some woman talking to another woman about a third woman’s hat, and how disagreeable it was. That struck me as odd. Then not long after that I heard that the minister had been propositioning boys in toilets. Much later again, accompanying my Mum to the church for a visitors’ day, I was lectured on what a waste of money the church’s new single mothers’ group was...
    I have an elderly aunt to whose house I used to go from time to time, really only to do my duty as she is an incredibly disagreeable old woman, and her husband, now late, was even more so. They used to talk incessantly about their church, but never once did I hear a word about what the sermon had been. And on one occasion (actually the death of aforesaid uncle) I had the very great displeasure of meeting their vicar, and a more unlikeable person, deceased uncle excluded, it would have been hard to find. He gossiped about everyone, including people I knew (but he didn’t know I knew). Had it not been for the occasion I’d have punched his nose.
    Nothing ever surprises me about the church. You’ve probably read my disgust at the bishops conference worry themselves silly about women priests and gay bishops when all around them is poverty, war, famine, corruption... I despair.
    Of course I’m also aware of how much good the church can do. My mother’s church used to take gifts to children in orphanages in Romania, and obviously had the charity to try to help mothers with children...
    But I think it is perfectly possible to be a good person without being affiliated to any church, simply treating everyone the same, great or small, rich or poor, with the respect that their being alive should confer on them. And if that sounds a bit holier than thou, I’d say I get it wrong loads, but at least I try. And I doubt if sitting in a church every Sunday, or a Mosque every Friday, or a Synagogue every Saturday would make any difference to that.

  18. ...and that brings me to the Royals

    I never had much of a problem about them. The Queen it seemed to me did a reasonable job of her work. I thought she was a bit overpaid of course, but she seemed OK.

    It was the family... all of it. We were obliged to keep them because they were them. And people fell about curtseying and bowing. To people who were, as it were, no better than they should be.


    In the old days they believed that they were a different breed, but of course we now know they don’t have blue blood and, even if they did, that still wouldn’t make any difference.

    Are they deserving of respect? Yes of course, just like you are, I am, and old Mrs McShoggle who lives down the road is. They are people.

    They are certainly rich, but being rich shouldn’t, even if it often does, buy you respect.

    The Prince’s Trust is an excellent organisation. I’ve lectured on their courses, been invited to local cheese and wines and eventually to a garden party at the palace of Holyrood House (our royal palace). I didn’t go because I was sent a list of dress requirements, and behaviour requirements and I couldn’t see any point in me being there if I was not allowed to say anything but “Yes, your royal highness” with an incline of my head (which I was told not absolutely obligatory, but preferred by the prince). I thought that it would have been a chance to express views, but no. It was some sort of honour given to me, and my organization, for the work we had done. I’d have been just as honoured and much more comfortable with Mrs McShougle from down the road.

    So I hope that that explains the apparent chip on the shoulder, about both royalty and the church. For me it’s not outraged virtue. I’m not really virtuous at all, nor am I jealous (I’d love their money but I wouldn’t like to have to look like I was 50 when I was only 27, or to have to have John Major at my wedding).

    But I was certainly angry when the Telegraph thought that rain on the lad’s wedding day was the news we had all been dreading. I wish them no harm, but I’m sure there must be a million things I dread more than some rain in London...Rain in Dundee being one of them!!

    I am, however, really flattered at your compliment.

  19. Happy birthday Dean... 22 huh?

    Dear oh dear.... you'll soon be as old as Munguin.

    Have a great day and a small hangover....