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The trouble with Prince Charles

How can I count the ways! Well first, let me say what is right with him… namely that as a future constitutional figurehead monarch, he is in fact powerless to do jack shit to impose his world view on the rest of us and his ideas are in reality no more significant than John Bull the Greengrocer. That is a very good thing indeed because unlike members of the government, we are free to ignore his bleating if we wish.

The thing that annoys me however is that when Charles opines in some issues, such as hunting, people misunderstand his underpinning philosophy. People think of him as advocating liberties against the encroachment of the state because he supports the right of hunters to hunt in Britain, but this is utterly incorrect. Prince Charles is in fact an advocate of big interventionist redistributive government: for example see his calls for taxpayers to be forced to subsidise organic farms (which overwhelmingly sell to higher income members of the public). Most significantly he has no problem whatsoever with the philosophical position that rights exist collectively, which is the underpinning of every tyranny imaginable. In a letter to Downing Street, the Prince wrote:

The Human Rights Act is only about the rights of individuals. This betrays a fundamental distortion in social and legal thinking

So when Charles says:

Our lives are becoming ruled by a truly absurd degree of politically correct interference

He is not arguing against the morality of the state interfering in people’s lives, just the fact that it is not being done in a way he approves of. Like so many paleo-conservatives, he thinks the state telling you how to live your life is just fine, provided ‘sensible chaps from Eton’ are the ones in control of that state.

11 comments to The trouble with Prince Charles

  • Andrew

    _SO_ true. Poor Charles. He desperately wants to DO THE RIGHT THING and MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I think the Telegraph had an op-ed some time ago about the problem with his doing that. His mother has a much better grip on the job – I rather suspect I know what she thinks about any number of subjects, but do any of us really know? Not likely. She understands the deal is she gets to be a symbol (figurehead if you like, it IS an important job) but she doesn’t get to set policy, and doesn’t express an opinion, at least in public, on much of anything. If Charles doesn’t figure this out it will not be good for the monarchy’s future.

  • don

    The concept of ‘royalty’ is an offense to the spirit of man, plus crappy genetics. The whole posse should be charged with Continuing Criminal Enterprise and have their assets seized and distributed via lottery.

  • How is ‘royalty’ more of an offense to the spirit of man than the reality of the intrusive nature of democratic politics which deprives millions of free choice at the barrel of a gun whilst providing the fiction of consent for that intrusion? Now that is a ‘Continuing Criminal Enterprise.

    Anyway, most of the British Royal Families assets are privately owned and they have as good a claim on them as anyone else. I have no objection to ‘royalty’ as it brings in the tourists and adds a little class to the grubby business of nation… just so long as the idiots-in-ermine do not in fact have any real power.

  • don

    I’m quite sure you can support all of your theoretical positions regarding the life best lived and its attendant political structures. But I take note of where you live, and where you choose not to live. I believe the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region is quite free of the fetters of government, and quite rewarding of bold, individualistic Libertarians ready to take on all comers.

    Can you get espresso there?

  • Auguste

    No Don, that means a person must to accept the state is the superowner of their property here in Europe or there in the United States where you are, and so to legitimatly be free of it we must move to some place with no government. No, I do not accept legitimacy to be making me a political pawn to be moved by others, so I will not move! More so you assume that state own culture, but is not being so. Americans of all people should no this. Do not run from tyrany close to home, fight and destroy it! And to hell with espresso.

  • Hamish

    Speaking as a Scotish farmer, Perry and several commentators are quite right that UK farm economics are currently set up so as to make it impossible to survive without subsidy assistance. However it is not true that British agriculture could not survive without them provided the rest of Europe (aye, and to a lesser extent the USA and Canada) also competed on an equal subsidy free basis. Like with manufacturing in the 1980’s, we would need to radically restructure and many farms would surely fail, but we would be left with a lot of very high quality British producers of world class agricultural products aimed at the markets in which we are best able to compete… and just as the luddites pre-Thatcher said our economy would go down the pan without endless subsidies, and were proved completely wrong in the long run (just compare standards of living now with 1980), the same is true of agriculture. We can survive without subsidies and the god awful CAP.

  • Molly

    Well he is right about the flip side of rights being responsibility for what you do. But trouble is he sees the world the same way the collectivist left does.

  • Molly

    Oh, by ‘he’ I mean Prince Charles. Me bad.

  • Quite frankly I couldn’t give two monkeys what Charles says. Why he recieves the exaggerated respect he gets in some quarters is beyond me. The guy is a third-rate thinker (witness the idiotic subsidise-organic-farmers comment), lower down the intellectual food chain than an undergraduate debating society speaker.

    Abolish the monarchy. Vive la republique!

  • Tom Roedl

    Why shouldn’t organic farmers be subsidized? All the other farmers are subsidized, so it is not a unique concept.
    BTW, the “sensible chaps from Eton” ran the country just fine for years. It is only since they have lost most of their power that your liberties are slipping away at an alarming rate.

  • Tom Roedl: Of course it is not a ‘unique concept’. How is that relevant to anything? The whole concept of anyone being subsidized by the state in order to give competitors a comparative disadvantage is the problem. It is pretty much the most regressive way of taxing (for that is what a subsidy is) in existence today for it benefits upper middle class farmers and consumers at the expense of lower income people who do not eat organic food at all.

    And if you think Britain was ‘free’ under the likes of paleo-conservative ‘sensible chaps’ like Ted Heath, then I suggest you know very little about recent British history. Who do you think took Britain into he EU? Or perhaps you think the EU has actually improved civil liberties. If you think so, perhaps I can interest you in the purchase of a great bridge I own in Brooklyn.