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Media Intrusion Splut William And Kate, Not “Class” 17 April 2007

Posted by David in BBC, Comment, Media, Royals.
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I really cannot believe the media. It was painfully obvious to everyone that their constant barrage of intrusion caused the break up of Prince William and Kate Middleton, who was forced to live in the glare of a media which photographed and published her every move – from going shopping to sitting on a bus – while they speculated about possible engagement (Woolworths even ordered the commemorative plates to sell). Talk about external pressure on a relationship. Everything she did, and everything her family did (including her Mother chewing gum), was being analysed and judged for suitability as future British Queen by a media that views everything but itself as irredeemably flawed. In the end, poor old Kate Middleton seemed to be dating the press more than she was Prince William.

Meanwhile, every night out Prince William had with his new Army friends was shown as him neglecting Kate (who was probably watching Friends or doing her hair anyway). God knows what they’d have said if Kate had been photographed out with her friends instead of William…

When the situation started to scarily resemble that of a young Diana – Kate being badgered down the road Starbucks coffee in hand by dozens of happy snapping paparazzi – the end was near. When the media even began to suggest it was very much like it had been with Diana, there was really no escape from it.

As was initially suggested, William and Kate were I firmly believe rightfully told by both their families they had to decide; marry and commit to the life (and get the security protection), or flee it. The painful balancing act couldn’t go on, it just wasn’t fair on either of them (especially Kate). By ending it, they have let Kate free. She has escaped from a terrible life time sentence, at least for now (no one has said they’d never get back together in a few years, older and ready to settle down).

But what I really cannot believe is that, clearly to blame, the media have gone looking for another cause of the split. And what’s the best they can do? Class. Pathetic!

The story that the Queen disapproved of Kate’s Mother Carole Middleton – because she used the word “toilet” instead of “loo” and “pardon” instead of “what” – is frankly outrageous. The Queen would firstly never express disapproval of anyone, she is too graceful and discreet to do any such thing. She has met some of the most horrible people in the World – such as “Lixard of Oz” Paul Keating (who as Australian PM told her he wanted to abolish her and grabbed her under his arm in a public meeting) – and remained graceful and polite. She has read Queen’s speeches in the 50s, 60s and 70s resembling the Communist Manifesto and not shown emotion. She even opened the Edinburgh Hollyrood Parliament without laughing. So I doubt she cared less about having someone chew gum or use the word “toilet”.

And secondly, the Queen mixes and has always mixed with a very wide variety of people across the entire Commonwealth, and has more enjoyment with what these (which Royal observers would see as being in a lower class) than she does with Royal observers like Nicholas Witchall, who Prince Charles described as awful. The Queen particularly likes people with horses, and there are few interests with a more mixed socially bunch of people than the horse World. If anyone it’s the Royal observers who disliked the Middleton’s “class”, not the Queen.

The Telegraph is strangely very interested in the “class story”, which I find odd for them. According to their Which Class Are You?survey I “probably have a coat of arms” (I have a coat and two arms, does that count?) and am just 50 points short of being Duke of Devonshire (because I don’t have any children to send to school, and have a PlayStation and not a dressing up box – a dressing up box is a bit odd for a Duke isn’t it?).

Paxman Redeems Himself 8 October 2006

Posted by David in Royals.
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I usually hate Jeremy Paxman. Sneering, patronising, condescending, left wing, never actually lets people answer even if they want to – but today he has redeemed himself.

In an article for the Independent, he explains how the mild republicanism instilled in him through the education system has been banished by his research into the Monarchy. Now he rightly sees them as a link with the past and a bulwark against fanatics. Having a unifying figure above politics is a huge strength, and I recommend anyone to read his article.

If only more would acknowledge the role played by the monarchy. Simply the pride of her awarding a Victoria Cross to Private Johnson Beharry alone makes it all worthwhile, let alone those others awarded for their work.

The Queen At 80 17 June 2006

Posted by David in Royals.
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QueenFor over 50 years, the Queen has reigned but not ruled a changing Britain in a changing World. She was just in her 20s when, on the death of her Father, she took on the role of the World's most high profile woman as the British Head of State and Head of the Commonwealth. In her years as Head of State she has seen a total of ten Prime Ministers – ranging from Winston Churchill to Tony Blair – overseen a change from global Empire to modern nation, and provided a stable, non-political and unifying figurehead. She has survived assassination attempts, and shown constant courage – even driving slowly down a crowded Mall just a short while after September 11th. A never ending assault from republicans has been shrugged off with ease – attacks particularly on her family. However the public are largely welcoming of a non political figurehead, and all families today are problematic. Long may she reign.

“Olympic Ceremonies Awful,” Says Prince Philip 27 May 2006

Posted by David in Royals, Uncategorized.
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Prince Philip has joined the growing number of people Prince Philipcomplaining about the Olympics. In an interview with the Telegraph, he describes the ceremonies as bloody nuisances", and called for them to be banned. "I am truly fed up with opening and closing ceremonies," he said, the first public figure to say what almost everyone has been thinking for ages. "They ought to be banned. They are a pain in the neck," he added. Rather extreme, though they do go on for ages.

The true cost of London hosting the 2012 Olympics we all await, currently £6 billion is the figure. However if experience is anything to go by, it'll be larger – Greece was heavily indebted after the Athens games and Toronto has only just paid back its debts. The Olympic boost will also not be as large as hyped, as it lasts only a short while. Also, the facilities at Sydney and Athens are today all derelict as there is only so much need for sports facilities.

What was most outrageous however was the £600m given to train athletes. Why? If money equals sporting success, why bother? Shouldn't we spend taxpayers money on schools, hospitals and other services instead of advancing the careers of healthy sportspeople? A few seconds of reflective glory isn't worth this amount of money when the NHS is going bankrupt.

Politicians need to get back into the real World, away from their expensive ego trips. If they are going to spend cash on the Olympics, they had better make sure it is financially beneficial and good for regeneration. I am sceptical, the words used are the same as when they hyped the dome!