Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A spoilt, petty, self-pitying, meddling plonker for a king.

Prince Charles wants to be an activist king, claims a new book, Charles: The Heart of a King by Catherine Mayer. The book describes an intemperate fool whose court is so dysfunctional and riven with petty rivalries that the author compares it to Henry VIII's as described in the Hilary Mantel book Wolf Hall. 

Charles is strongly partisan in his political views and has meddled in public issues as broad as British architecture and climate change. The fact that he knows little about the topics he pronounces on does not seem to deter him. It is obvious that he has little understanding of the modern constitutional role of the monarch, which his mother has defined and so ably maintained for six decades. That role is primarily one of political neutrality. The monarch is meant to sit above the hurly-burly of political debate and only act on the advice of her ministers in whom Parliament has confidence.

I've made no secret in previous posts that I am a republican. It galls me that the role of New Zealand's head of state is handed down as an inheritance in a family that lives on the other side of the world. However, I do appreciate the superb job that Queen Elizabeth II has done in the role. She is a constant in an ever-changing world and undoubtedly a factor in maintaining the peaceful, stable, relatively prosperous, democratic nation that is New Zealand. You get the impression that she never says or does anything that is not carefully considered. 

Charles could not be more different in style to his mother and just as Queen Elizabeth has been a force for stability in her realm, Charles's ill-considered, confrontational meddling will be very destabilising. The only positive thing that is likely to come out of his reign is the end of the monarchy itself. Kevin Maguire, associate editor of the Daily Mirror summed him up beautifully as "Spoilt, petty, self-pitying, meddling and a plonker – Prince Charles is a gift … for republicans.”

Charles is an idiot, but for a republican like me, he might prove to be a useful idiot.

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