Thursday 4 July 2013


If you missed it, Dispatches has an interesting feature on the payment of tax and the Duchy of Cornwall.

Interestingly the programme must have been made before the revelation that Margaret Hodge's family company is perhaps not all it should be, when it comes to tax matters.

Hodge, however, does make a good point that although the Duke of Rothsay pays income tax, it is done so on a voluntary basis. The state has no powers to demand tax from him. No one, she indicates, should pay tax on 'a voluntary basis'. Quite right. There should be rules and they should apply to me and Charles Mountbatten equally... oh, and to Margaret Hodge.

The thrust of the programme is that the duchy pays neither corporation tax nor capital gains tax, and in not doing so has advantage over other commercial entities doing exactly the same thing; that because of this the estate makes a great deal more money than an equivalent that wasn't owned by a royal and that it is all rather 1913 rather than 2013 in its running. A side line in teh programme is that for all the Baron Renfew talks about green this and green that, some of his business affairs don't appear to reflect his stated concerns.

Time the thing was ended and the heir to the throne relied only on the £16 million he gets from the state to run his office.


  1. tris

    you Republican swine you how very dare you
    slagging of YOUR betters.

    1. Jeez Niko. I tried really hard not to "slag him off" as you so delightfully call my perfectly legitimate comments about the royals. :)

      I just pointed out that the damned bounder doesn't stump up his taxes like a decent kind of chap would.

      Princess Alice of Athlone was right. They should have sent him to Eton. You meet a much nice class of chap there, you know.

  2. He also trousers millions by selling off Duchy land for housing developments and shopping centres.
    All 'green' developments of course.

    1. Most especially the massive distribution centre for Waitrose. I mean these things have to exists. Supermarkets have to get food, because people need to eat.

      But he is so hypocritical about it all.

      Everyone else has to drive less, fly less, eat less, whatever, but he must have everything he wants...

    2. But wait.

      It's Waitrose though.

      Its not like a warehouse for Lidl or anything.


    3. Ha ha... Waitrose, which unlike Lidl, is a stockist of Duchy Original...

      I wonder.

  3. Man is a BUFFOON!

    This is the man who "thinks" he will be next king of rUK. Well all I can say to those in rUK is that I hope he does NOT become your next king. He obviously treats the "common people" of rUK as his personal slaves and ripe for treatment as scum. How DARE anyone question his financial affairs or how he treats the people of Cornwall in particular!

    1. I hope he won't be the next king of anything, Arbroath.

      He has shown himself to be inappropriate to the job.

      Firstly in his political views which the Attorney General said, if they were released (in the form of his letters to government ministers) they would show his unsuitability for the job awaiting him and secondly in his determination to have his cake and eat it.

      He wanted to marry mrs Parker-Bowles; his parents wouldn't hear of it, so instead of standing down for the woman he loved he took on another woman, a child really, and used her for breeding whilst carrying on his affairs with his tart. All this having sworn before the Archbishop of Canterbury, his mother's employee, that we would be faithful to Diana.

      Then when Diana was dead and out of the way, just as she was going to marry a Muslim (coincidence that), and things had changed a bit, he decided that, against the teachings of the church of which he may one day be the head, he would marry his tart. And when the church said no, he decided to do it anyway, in a registry office. So damn me if the whole registry office didn't have to be decorated and new carpets put in... like he couldnt stand on used carpets!

      His mother gave permission on the basis that Mrs Parker Bowles would not ever take the title Queen, but I bet a pound to a penny that when his mother is dead and he's the big cheese, he will demand that that woman is crowned with him.

      He's all for the tradition when it involves him dodging taxes or having flunkies bowing and scraping, but he's not too big on it when it gets in the way of what HE wants.

      I'd prefer no royals, but if there has to be a royal family it must be like the Norwegian or Swedish one. Small and cheap.

      No more princess Margaret, prince Andrew nonsense. modern royals on bikes doing an ordinary job. No bowing; no scraping; little privilege and using their own money except for necessities.

  4. Tris

    Won't happen, this all tied into them and us, the top table and the bottom table and perceived status. The Mountbattens are a disgusting institution and the sooner abolished the better. I'm all fir a republic.


    1. Well, I'm a republican too, Bruce, but I know that they bring a lot of pleasure to people. An old lady (91) who is a friend of mine had her day, week, month made for her when she was sitting at Ninewells and Princess Alexandra came over and spoke to her.

      I'd like a president, but i don't want an ex politician. President Brown or Salmond doesn't appeal to me. I wouldn't mind someone like the Irish have. Non political just doing her best for people and entertaining heads of state.

      Maybe the Presiding Officer could double as head of state.

      Mr Ferguson would have made a good president, I suspect. He certainly kept partisan out of politics when he was in the chair at Holyrood.

      But I'd settle for a tiny royal family. Maybe when we are independent they will be here as little as they are in New Zealand... and will cost us only when they are in the country.

  5. I'd be quite happy for the entire monarchy to be scaled back, in fact, I think it needs to be. Far to much bowing and snivelling going on.

    On the other hand, if people want to do that then I suppose fair enough, if I found myself in the presence of a royal, I wouldn't be moderating my behaviour in any way what-so-ever because of their so-called station in life.

    I don't mind Prince Charles, he's just a bumbling old fool, I would be worried if he had any sway, he doesn't seem to - at least - not for now.

    Eventually, I think Scotland should have something like a president, although I wouldn't call the position that, I'd call it something else. Probably grounds for a competition in primary schools, the term president has too many political connotations.

    Would it be going too far if we made this new figurehead wear a badge like the people inside Asda doorways do who greet the public?

    1. I think the worry about Charles is that he appears to think it's his right, or his job, or something to write to government ministers and demand that they take action about things various which are of interest to him.

      If you or I wrote to a minister demanding that such and such an action should take place, we would, at best, get a standard letter back. "The minister thanks you for your suggestion...blah blah..."

      In his case, of course the response has to be thought out and a letter carefully worded, personally. Sometime ministers are summoned to Clarence House for an audience, and I bet that a few don't dare face him down and tell him he's a weird old man with weird ideas, brought about by his being brought up by nannies from the Victorian era, under the watchful eye of his Edwardian grandmother, living in a strange bubble of richness that makes the Eton cabinet look like paupers, and never actually being obliged to do anything except that which he wants to do.

      None of this is overly worrying while his mother is Queen and his father still rules them all with an iron rod. But there will come a day when he will be the big cheese, and there will be no one to knock him into place.

      To his credit, he does believe in a slimmed down royal family (much to the disgust of his revolting brothers and the ugly sisters), and his Prince's Trust is an excellent organisation, in my opinion, which really does make a difference.

      On the other hand, he just means slimmed down to him and Mrs Parker Bowles, his sons and Kate Middleton adn her sprog and, for the moment his ma and pa.

      There is no indication that there will be a lessening of the ridiculous protocol and expense that goes with the territory. Au contraire. His mother and father are relatively frugal. This man refuses to travel by anything other than private jet at horrendous cost... on the basis that someone else (us) is always paying.

      Like you, I would have no intention of creating a special Tris for the presence of royalty. We all have various different behaviour modes and if I had to meet one of them I would adopt a reasonable formal mode.

      But on the one occasion when I might have met him, I read the information sent to me about dress codes, how to behave, mode of speech, manners, deference, etc, and though... Nope. No point. I wouldn't be able to have a conversation with this man and as I would get no "thrill" from meeting him, and no pecuniary benefit from it, I'll pass, because there is no way on this earth I could call anyone "your royal highness" without bursting out in laughter at the complete ridiculousness of it all.

      Interested in the idea of a president who isn't a president. What would we call him/her?

      Any ideas, anyone?

  6. A chief high heid yin or a heid the baw?

    1. Hmmmm... great chieftain o' the puddin race, ye mean?

  7. I have nothing to say about that pair of benefit cheats.

    Nothing publishable.

    1. I bet the unpublishable stuff is pretty interesting though....