Monday, 31 October 2011

So much for democracy…

This is astonishing: the Royal Family is rich. I mean stinking rich. So rich that King Croesus would be jealous. It's the deal made with the royals in 1660: the British said that they could come back and have all the palaces/jewels/courtesans/counties they wanted, as long as they kept out of politics. A deal, incidentally, that the royals have frequently broken.  

Ministers have been forced to seek permission from Prince Charles to pass at least a dozen government bills, according to a Guardian investigation into a secretive constitutional loophole that gives him the right to veto legislation that might impact his private interests.
Since 2005, ministers from six departments have sought the Prince of Wales' consent to draft bills on everything from road safety to gambling and the London Olympics, in an arrangement described by constitutional lawyers as a royal "nuclear deterrent" over public policy. Unlike royal assent to bills, which is exercised by the Queen as a matter of constitutional law, the prince's power applies when a new bill might affect his own interests, in particular the Duchy of Cornwall, a private £700m property empire that last year provided him with an £18m income.

But it's emerged today that Prince Charles has been given the right to veto or amend legislation which might affect his £700m private business, and he's exercised that right. This, British readers, is what makes you subjects rather than citizens. We elect people to act in our collective interests, and they act in the interests of their friends and the aristocracy. We get poorer, sicker and thicker, they get richer and richer.

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