Monday, 15 February 2010


Andrew Pierce has written a full length article in the Mail on his interview at Buckingham Palace with his namesake Andrew York.

He was entertained over sandwiches and cake in the prince’s apartments where he says neither of the Equerries was about, so Andrew served the cake himself.... Imagine.....he’s 50 and he served the cake all by himself and that was newsworthy!

Andrew (York, that is) is now the UK Ambassador for Trade and Industry. Of course, without his connections it is doubtful that a man with 20 years military experience and nothing else would have been appointed to such a role, it being more ideally suited to a person with business experience and acumen, but I suppose he has to have something to do. In that role, however, to be fair, he carried out over 600 engagements last year.

Most of the criticism of Andrew is that he prefers to use private planes, funded by us, instead of travelling by rail or train. There are also legitimate concerns about the vast amount of money that his daughters cost the state, without ever giving anything back. Recently it has been highlighted that security for them costs more that £500,000 a year, and that an apartment in St James’s Palace had to be converted, at a cost of £2.5 million for one of them.

[I’m always amused when I hear of this kind of money being spent for renovations. It was the same when the Queen Mother died and Charles got Clarence House. The state paid out £5 million for the palace to be upgraded. This painted a picture of the old QM living in some dreadful slum with damp running down the walls, like some of the pensioners in my town. Not something that I can readily imagine from a woman who insisted on fresh flowers every day in every room of her house, whether she was likely to be in it or not.]

He apparently uses the royal “we” as he describes what he does, travelling across more than 20 countries in the last year, costing the taxpayer over £140,000. But it is the personal use of the Queens helicopter which draws most criticism. He insists on using it for short hops to both official and private engagements at vast cost to the taxpayer. There is also the fact that his royal status giveshim exemption from the reaches of the FOI act for some reason unknown to me, so we don't know how much this all costs.

Yet Andy feels he is good value for money. Now, strange for a Republican blog to say, but in many ways he may be right. Whether Andy knows squat about business or not, he does have huge drawing power. People all over the world are desperate to meet a British royal, and so they turn up and show interest. If this is good for trade, then it’s good for the UK, and possibly even, on very rare occasions, for Scotland. And as the BBC and politicians show, the royals have no particular monopoly on self-important, grubby greed.

However, just as with all these other organisations, it is high time that Andy Airmiles realised that belt tightening is not just for poor people. Someone has to tell him that there are trains and cars and that private planes and helicopters are the province of his mother.... and no one else.

And as for these daughters of his, he must learn to pay for them himself. Even the most ardent royalist must realise that when ill people are being refused Disability Living Allowance and being left to moulder in their houses as cuts are implemented to pay for Labour's recession, £2.5 million to do up what is after all fabulous state housing for one 21 year old girl is just NOT ON. The article is worth a read and to be fair Andrew has some sensible things to say about other people's excesses, particularly what he feels about bankers bonuses beyond the headlines. But he must learn that cuts mean cuts everywhere, and that includes him and his family.


  1. My oldest mate served beside him when he was a heli jockey.
    I trust my mates judgement.
    He's a wanker.

  2. Conan: Bet your mate is right. Drew made some good comments in the interview about the bankers. But he seemed to have no idea that that sort of thing should apply to him too.

    I can't unederstand the notion that people like him have that they are better in some way than other people. Whether its royals who think that whatever they want they have to have, or it's BBC bosses that think we should pay for super first class flights for them because they are them.

    It like their body doesn't fit into cattle class seats that the rest of us travel in and can't eat with plastic forks and out of plastic dishes like we do, when we are paying for their travel. It's nothing personal. Some of them may be perfectly nice. They are just no different from me so why are they treated like they are made of solid gold?

    And I get very angry at millions being spent on an apartment for this girl. Why? What is it about her blood and skin that is different from any other 21 year old girl who would ahve to go on the council waiting list and get a high rise in Junky Towers?

    It's just completely sickening, soecially when we are all so bloody hard up.

  3. The Royals are always a laugh sitting their in their various state funded palaces telling the rest of us how to live, as if they had any concept of such a thing. If they are all such good value for money why do their expenses need to be exempt from freedom of information laws? That’s what I would have asked air miles. It is our money isn’t it? So why can’t we be trusted to know how these blue blooded aristos who were apparently born to be better than all the rest of us, know what real good value they actually are? The answer is simple, they are not good value for money just the same as MPs are not, why do you think that Gorbals Mick spent so much time and money on having their expenses exempted from FOI as well?

    It is the usual old clapped out homilies that the royalists trot out again and again to justify this gross example of nepotism. They bring in money, yea right, like one person comes to London just to see them. How is that possibly anyway when even the British don’t know their schedule for fear of them being blown up. The Queen is not coin operated; if she were she may be worth the money. People come to see the trappings of monarchy like the crown jewels which believe it or not are still there when the monarchs are not. How many people still go to Versailles even though they chopped off Louis XVIs head off ages ago.

    They are apolitical, well the Queen is, but Prince Charles has made it clear that he will not be. So how will that stack up when he is King? Or will this argument change when that happens to “the Royals are great they are so political”?

    They are great ambassadors for Britain, yea and the French or US President’s aren’t? So is Andy Murray but I don’t see anyone putting a crown on his head and saying his offspring no matter how useless, stupid and crap they are will be better than us all. They only impress people who get dewy eyed over them like other royals and that is only because they think they have some real clout when it comes to selling cluster bombs etc Do you think they would be any less deferential to the US President or is this just another example of this country trying to punch above its weight?

  4. Some parts of the world ( especially the middle east ) are impressed with royalty and it can swing deals so he is probably handy for that purpose.
    Your helicopter is a tad out of date. The Wessex was phased out in 98 and they now have an American Sikorsky S-76 or a Merlin if the Sikorsky is on scheduled maintenace.

  5. Andrew is a credit to the Royal family, his heroic service of 20 odd years provides him with the discipline one ought to be able to rely on from a servant and representative of government, and policy.

    I believe that he would only have been appointed had he been the best possible candidate for the job, and he has many personal strengths, akin to an entreprentuerial individual.

    A solid choice for an important role.

  6. Its power that people are impressed by and attracted to. Foreigners because they don’t understand that the royals here have no real power. And in the Middle East because their monarchs actually do have power and they think ours do too. Do you think that they would not fawn over President Obama or his wife or indeed any member of the First Family? How does this argument stack up when you consider that the most powerful and influential country in the world is a republic that has never had any royals. How do they get things done and win deals without the royal hangers on to go here, there and everywhere currying favour?

  7. Dean; how does that 20 years in the armed services equip Andrew to go around discussing Business? As far as I am aware that is not something that they teach in any of the services. The item in the Mail even says that the reason he stayed in the services so long was because he was not much cop at anything else. How does that make him the best candidate for the job? And who were the other candidates by the way? Or is that exempt from FOI as well?

  8. He's not really Dean. He was a dirty wee sod when he was a young lad. Being the only one who had any kind of looks at all, he had loads of girls. He married an absolute disaster and Princess Fergie let the royals down badly with her naked sexpolits with bald men, organised television disasters and much more.

    Since they separated she has been on various occasions, an embarrassment. Now divorced they live together as if they were some sort of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton copycat couple.

    He has no skills for the job except his royal highness, which I accept, impresses some people.

    I find the title insulting. Does that mean as well as not getting the job I'm actually sonme sort of "lowness"? He gets a government pay of nearly a quarter of a million (which in fairness the Queen refunds to the government. [I accept my mum couldn't afford to refund my pay]), and he seems to have houses all over the place at our expense.

    I just don't think he's value for money at all.

    Sorry, we were bound to disagree on this one.

  9. Andy managed to get £15m from someone in Kazakhstan for his old house in Windsor ( £3m above asking price ) so he's good at business. Especially since the house had gone to rack and ruin and is only good for pulling down. Plus his links with Gaddafi and his sons will be good for future oil deals for the UK.

  10. Anon, sorry about the chopper. It was bright red and I like bright red trains and planes.... ya know, it's a guy thing, I think.

    LOL. Thanks for pointing it out though... I should be more careful in the future.

  11. Conan

    why would you trust your mates judgement if you think your mate is a Wanker???

  12. Anon: I've agreed that despite having no experience at all he might be a draw for those who like the fairytale story of blue blood adn wpould come along to things just to be in teh saem room as someone with royal blood. Personally I wouldn't budge my butt by an inch to see him, but there are many who will.

    I doubt he negociated the sale of the house himself though. These people have skivvies to do that sort of thing. I suppose some people want to own something that someone like him has owned....

    Sleep in the same room as the Duke slept in, maybe on the same bed. I find it sickening, but heigh ho.... I'm impressed by talent, not high birth or money so I just can't understand any of it.

  13. Hum Niko. You know you love Conan really, don't you?

  14. Munguin: I agree with most of what you say, but he does have good points, and it would be foolish to ignore them...

    .... At only 50 for example, he can serve cake.....

    Next time I'm looking for a cake server I'll keep him in mind!


  15. Niko,

    Trust you to come to the aid of wankers.


    The reason they have the notion that they are better than anyone is that this is drummed into them from an early age and they spend most of their days surrounded by forelock-tugging fawning sycophants especially during Prime Minsterial visits.

  16. Conan,

    I would have thought that would be a distinct advantage in skillfully handling a chopper.

  17. Lord Brownlie; Maybe he is worth the money. After all he probably has to endure visits for weeping willie, better known to you and me as greetin' gordon...

    I'd want a quarter of a million for having to listen to him.

    By the way, have you noticed that Gordon Brown and Darling Alistair sone ecactly the same. I woke up this morning to a nightmare sound of what I thought was Brown, only to discover it was his glove puppet.

  18. Tris,

    Yes I don't think that when it comes to the royals we shall ever agree!

  19. Yes. We'll need to accept that Dean.....