Advanced groveling

And then via Stephen Curry on Twitter I learn that Priss Choss has a veto on legislation that might affect his private interests. Say what? No really; he does. I don’t know how I managed to miss this last October.

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 affect 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.

And neither the gummint nor the royal corporation will give details. Away with you, peasants, they say.

“We should know why he is being asked and the government should publish the answers,” said Lord Berkeley, who was last month told to seek Charles’ consent on a marine navigation bill.

Because it might affect his private interests – how crazy is that? Are his private interests sacrosanct? If they are, why are they?

Omigod omigod – I’m reading the letter sent to Lord B telling him to ask Prinny’s permission – and they capitalize “His” – would you believe it?!

He (Lord B) has to write to Earl Attlee to ask him “to approach Clarence House” – Lord B can’t just call Priss C on the phone, god no, that would get him 40 years in a Thai prison – “to approach Clarence House to seek the consent of the Prince of Wales to the Marine Navigation Bill so far as it affects His interests.”

Jesus Christ almighty – I didn’t know they were expected to capitalize the pronouns. How obsequious can you get. Hey Choss? You’re just a you as far as I’m concerned, dude. If we were speaking French I would tutoyer you.

What should one pack for life in a Thai prison?



  1. says

    You’re just a you as far as I’m concerned, dude. If we were speaking French I would tutoyer you.

    Still, y’know, in the spirit of tradition ‘n all, I guess I should prolly capitalize properly my preferred nicknames for Da Chaz…

    (Doffs cap in fine underclass style…)

    ‘Top o’ the morning to You, Quackboy!’

  2. Zengaze says

    It’s fucking nuts, I know many people will get a giggle at this, and dismiss it as unimportant, but it is a clear demonstration of dictatorship at work. People in the UK constantly make the mistake of saying we live in a democracy and I’m tired of correcting them. We don’t we live in a constitutional monarchy, and the difference has just been demonstrated.

    I’m a citizen not a subject.

  3. Lyanna says

    How can there be a “secretive” constitutional loophole? Isn’t that public?

    Either way, what a disgrace.

  4. stevebowen says

    I have more antipathy to the 26 Lords “spiritual” than I do to Chas,as the monarchy will effectively disappear as a constitutional entity when Brenda goes, becoming a celebrity sideshow.

  5. Bricabrac says

    If we were speaking French I would tutoyer you.

    If you were speaking Japanese would he be anata, kimi, or omae?

  6. says

    i live in canada and you have no idea how obsequious and deferential the media and politicians are towards the royal family. when i tell american friends our head of state lives in a castle in england they look at me funny. we have a lunatic foreign affairs minister who has been going through the embassies and taking down famous canadian paintings and replacing them with cheap pictures of hrh.

    occasionally she comes here to inspect bulls or dogs.

    ok, i’m done.

  7. Brian says

    The headline in that link is “Prince of Gales”. I wonder if the sub-editor meant that pun? In Spanish Gales is the word for Wales. So “Prince of Gales” could be Spanglish for “Prince of Wales”. I need to get a life. 🙂

  8. Brigadista says

    These people are an anachronism. You get to “rule” and own lots of land because you popped out of the right womb. Like Zengaze @3, I’m constantly pointing out that you can’t call anywhere a democracy if it doesn’t have an elected head of state. That fact takes on even further significance here in Spain when you consider that the current king was Franco’s chosen heir.

  9. Dave says

    *sigh*, so nice to be told we don’t live in a democracy, and neither do the Belgians, Dutch, Norwegians, Danes or Swedes. The Spaniards, well…

    A constitutional monarchy is not a dictatorship, thank you very much, and if you think it is, you need to grow up a bit. ‘Democracy’ very much does not come from electing one’s head of state – ask the Russians, who are big on electing Putin, but whose ‘democracy’ is being systematically fucked into a cocked hat in the process.

    Fawning over the PoW is absurd, of course, but compared to the many other failings of the UK’s political system, it is a minor point. Very few of those failings have to do with it not being ‘democratic’ enough however, unless you think ‘democratic’ means ‘doing what I want’. If we had strict proportional representation here, for example, we might get half a dozen Green MPs, yay us, and a couple of dozen Fascist ones, oops…

  10. Zengaze says

    No Dave, whilst technically you are correct about democracy in its literal form, I was using the term democracy as lazy slang. My bad. As it happens my politics are rooted in constitutional republicanism.

    There a very ferw forms of governance more objectional to a modern intelligent human who strives for egality than monarchy, whether it be curtailed by legalese or not. The idea that by right of birth one human should have privilege over others is an anathema which belongs in the dark corners of our history as a species. I’ll disregard the “grow up” remark as the puke that it is.

    Your apologetics for the UK constitutional monarchy is that “at least it isn’t as bad as Russian democracy” really, I mean really? Take your head out of the royal ass that has kept you there by the combination of conditined apathy and misplaced nationalism, and give me a rational argument for the perpetuation of right to rule from right birth.

    I assume you are a British subject? Yes subject….. In British law you are subject to the domination of the crown….. The citizenship of British subjects is very different in legal terms to the citizenship status of other “western democracies” yes that lazy term again, such as France or the US.

  11. Brian says

    Actually, the one argument that makes monarchy bad is it’s best asset. Unlike France and the US, countries like Australia don’t have to worry about the head of state trumping the elected government. With one exception in ’75, when the GG sacked the government, we don’t have antagonistic parliament v antagonistic head of state in OZ. Say what you like about the inherent unfairness of being monarch by pure luck, stupid gits each and every one, but they do not interfere with the politics of this country, in fact I believe they are constitutionally unable since the late ’80s and reserve power rests with the GG, I’ll take that any day over a popularly elected president, who legalese aside, would be a rival to parliament, might even have veto powers. In other words an elected monarch. In short hereditary monarchs that are disinterested in politics and who are morons are better than elected monarchs who are often morons too! 🙂

    I wouldn’t mind a president elected by parliament, with limited reserve power, which is roughly what we have now, just she’s called the Govenor General.

    . Rupert Murdoch on the other hand is a problem….

  12. says

    *sigh*, so nice to be told we don’t live in a democracy, and neither do the Belgians, Dutch, Norwegians, Danes or Swedes.

    I’m a Dane, so I’ll just weigh in on that.
    Your point is correct, insofar that we’re technically a monarchy with a democratic element. The Queen has to sign and approve all laws before they go into effect, just as she must approve of the new cabinet after each election.

    However, she effectively has no power. While the constitution grants her the power to, say, refuse signing a particular law, in actuality, there’s no way she’d get away with it. She’d be out on her ass in two minutes if she tried.
    It’s like an unspoken agreement. She agrees not to use that power and the people agree not to make her get a real job. She’s allowed to pretend to be queen as long as she doesn’t try actually being one.

    I thought it worked the same way in the UK. I’m surprised that Charlie has any real say. This whole thing, especially the secrecy part, sounds really sketchy.

  13. Didaktylos says

    While it does sound ant-constitutional, I imagine the way it works in practice is that the paperwork makes the rounds of the in-trays of PoW’s officials before eventually getting signed off.

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