Wednesday, February 28, 2007


A Surfeit of HRH

The urge to meddle is human. We see something we disapprove of and think ‘That isn’t healthy; it should be stopped!’ And it’s true that, when someone opens their mouth and the resulting activity is something I find difficult to swallow, I might be tempted to tell them what to do with themselves. But no. However bad for the digestion Prince Charles is, he should be free to say what he likes. I just object to having it forced down our throats. Mr Windsor, who coincidentally markets his own supermarket-sold brand of expensive ‘organic’ food, now wants to ban McDonald’s.

Apparently Charles came up with this brilliant notion while at the launch of a public health campaign in the United Arab Emirates. He asked a nutritionist,
“Have you got anywhere with McDonald’s, have you tried getting it banned? That’s the key.”
How insightful! Ban nasty common food, and everyone will magically turn to nice healthy banquets from the Prince’s own label instead, though I somehow suspect, not at the same price. Nothing like free competition! Normally it would be the word ‘nutrionist’ that would make me look carefully at a person’s qualifications, but whether she’s a fully trained medical expert or just someone with a dodgy diploma from the university of television, I’m sure Prince Charles will manage to know less than she does. Where science is concerned, I’d probably even give ‘Doctor’ (not a medical term) Gillian McKeith’s work more serious consideration than whatever ‘Prince’ Charles has cooked up. Still, there’s a sort of progress: it’s better to be told we have to buy his venison nowadays than be back in the days when we’d have our hands cut off for eating it, I’ll grant you. How he must miss them.

I don’t like McDonald’s. I don’t like their business practices, I’m not fond of their décor, and above all, I don’t eat there because I don’t like the taste of their burgers – but I’m not prejudiced against junk food, and I’ll occasionally grab some that I do like the taste of. Occasionally even something with a crown on the packaging (though not a ‘Duchy Original’)! Like everyone else, if I eat too much food that isn’t good for me, I’m big enough to take the consequences, and sometimes a size bigger. On the bright side, though my trousers may at times be a little tight for me, I can get in and out of them without the aid of three footmen and a shoehorn. It’s none of my business if someone wants to eat something I don’t like the look of – it’s not hurting me, and even if I felt far more strongly about it than ‘mild dislike’, that’s no excuse to have it banned, even ‘for their own good’. Choice is a fundamental tenet of democracy, but then, ‘Prince’ Charles is as well-qualified to talk about that as he is about science.

So it’s easy to think ‘Oh, just shut up’ when Charles comes up with another of these splenetic, unqualified outbursts. Each to their own taste, though. Let him open his mouth whenever he likes, just like the rest of us. But how about on the same terms as the rest of us? No automatic hotline to the Prime Minister – who needs no ‘celebrity’ prompting to ban things – no fawning media coverage as if he knew what he was talking about, no millions in state subsidy, no free ride to grumpiness at the world because he’s been kept waiting to get the country’s top job without anyone else having a say. Instead of telling us all what’s good for us, how about giving us a referendum so we can all say what we think of him, and have the chance to choose someone on the basis of what they’ve done instead of who their parents are? Give him a vote, too. And when the voting public decide they’d rather have Ms Mirren as head of state than Mr Windsor…

‘The Blogger Formerly Known As Prince’. It has a ring to it.

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"grumpiness at the world because he’s been kept waiting to get the country’s top job without anyone else having a say"

For a second there I thought you were talking about somebody else!
Why Tom, whatever could you mean? ;-)

On a completely unrelated subject, you may recall a story breaking last year that Charles has a friend
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