Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
A message from Walter’s bunker deep under the verdant Tai Tam Valley.
I recently started a process that would have seen this website operate in part behind a paywall. To my surprise, I’m generating enough traffic to justify such a move. The cash flow, while not significant, would be welcome to further develop this project.
Unfortunately, as I got into the process of setting up the service certain unsettling things became apparent. In short, I’d be subject to the controls of the service I opted for. They’d have the recourse to screen my content, editorialise and filter out subjects they felt uncomfortable with. Simultaneously, a furore has broken out over Patreon. This subscription service provider, is cancelling accounts under pressure to de-platform people. Censorship is taking place with Silicon Valley deciding who gets a platform and who doesn’t.
Most of my stuff is uncontroversial, expect that these days people take offence at a difference of opinion. Then cite that to shut people down. When the British police can arrest a man for calling a police horse ‘gay’ anything can happen.
Some of the folks Patreon has dropped are not on my favourite list. Their opinions are borderline offensive stuff. Nonetheless, I support their right to have a voice. It’s a slippery slope when certain groups dictate who can and cannot speak, and about what subject. This video best sums up my views on freedom of speech.
Taking all this into account, I’ve decided not to opt for a subscriber service nor place any part of this website behind a paywall. Thanks.
If we’ve learnt anything from 2018, it's that politicians and their technocrats minions have failed the British people. Moreover, those same people appear hellbent on usurping the democratic will of the nation by orchestrating a false Brexit. As a Remainer, I take no joy watching this slow-paced putsch unfold. It’s evident the people who negotiated the deal have by a sleight of hand produced a non-Brexit.
What’s on offer will leave the UK within the EU, without the ability to influence decisions. In effect, Britain has surrendered its right to assert an opinion or control policy. I’m afraid it is vassalage. This stunning achievement has arisen for many reasons. The establishment doesn’t want out, that’s clear. Then you have endless infighting and cross-party posturing. No one in the political class walks away untainted from this monumental mess.
That Mrs May is beholden to the Democratic Unionist Party for her tenure in Number 10 is crucial. It means the faux issue of the Northern Island border sits centre to the whole imbroglio. No one even thought about it at the time of the vote. Distracted by a bloody red bus with numbers and the implied cash flow to the NHS, the debate was facile.
And yet, the Brexit vote was about much more. It was a mass vote of defiance against a political and expert class that viewed the populace with disdain. I include all shapes of politics in that statement. That ‘war-criminal’ Tony Blair and his barking dog Alsatian Campbell come out to scupper the deal is enough proof. The elites don’t like it that the people are dictating the agenda; thus they want to see the deal sunk.
The avowed pro-European Westminster mandarins align with Brussels. It suits them well. The ‘I know best’ attitudes prevails, plus the offer of rich career pickings. For politicians cast aside, the EU is a fat paycheck. Lord 'Mandy' Mandelson is one of many who trod that path. They adjudge the British people as ‘poorly educated and angry’ dismissing them to rob the popular vote of its agency. Only self-proclaimed clever people can decide matters. It’s not lost on us that many Brexit voters are less well-off than the Remainer elites.
With such people in power, you have to question their commitment to democracy. Meanwhile, a proposed second referendum amounts to shirking responsibility. Although, it does affirm the failure of the politicians as if that needed highlighting. Elected to do a job; the whole lot has fallen down.
Over in Parliament, a furore erupts over whether Jeremy Corbyn called Mrs May ‘a stupid woman.' Who gives a flying futtock? Indeed, not the ordinary folks, who would either agree or be indifferent. More attention is thrust on this issue than the growing numbers sleeping rough.
Expert lip readers pour over the recordings of the incident to seek the ‘truth’. Even if he said it, there is nothing inherently sexists with the statement. That’s unless you are an emotionally-charged SJW seeking offence in every statement. This weaponisation of emotional utterances, allied to fake outrage, is a sorry pantomime with no laughs.
In summary, you have to say the current crop inhabiting the Westminster bubble is incompetent, weak and deceitful. Don’t expect Labour to deliver. The party is far from cohesive under Corbyn. The public recognises his frailties as his popularity falls further behind the besieged May. That he can’t rise above her dismal showing is beyond belief.
The hollowed out Liberals remain soiled by the Clegg years. He's run away to work for Facebook. As for the Tories, the old fault-lines are on display. Civil war is on the verge of breaking out if only the paper tigers - Rees-Mogg and Boris - can summon the courage to act. Mrs May was always a place filler, who has extended her tenure way beyond what I expected. I’ve developed a grudging respect for the lady. She’s still at the helm, fighting every swell and wave while taking flak from the rear.
In 2019, there need to be new voices, new blood, and new direction. In truth, without it, British politics will wallow in a stalemate. Transformational change must come, with all its roughness, dislocation and mayhem. Unlike their ‘gilets jaunes’ French counterparts, the British people don’t usually take to the streets. They don’t burn down Starbucks or blockade the highways. I feel that unless things change, that might come.
I hate Christmas. All right, I’m the Grinch. Some tell me “get over it”. After all, it is one day a year. That’s the problem it’s not only one day. The bloody repetitive godawful jingles started in mid-November.
Let’s be clear about a few things. Jesus Christ was not born anytime around the 25th December. Christmas as a festival existed long before any births took place in the greater Bethlehem area. The bible is silent on when JC popped into the world.
All it tells us is that Mary and Joseph travelled by the express bus from Nazareth to Bethlehem to take part in a census. Earlier, Mary had been visited by the Angel Gabriel to tell her she's carrying the son of God. Joseph being a simple sort accepted that. The child was delivered in a stable because they forgot to book a hotel on Trivago.
This year, as with every year, religious leaders will once again spout forth against the commercialisation of Christmas. In the process, they’ll ignore the fact they stole Christmas from the Pagans. In the fourth century, some bloke called Pope Julius I chose the 25th December as the date of birth for Jesus. He took the Pagan festival, rebranded it and then set about spreading the word. It took until the end of the eighth century for Christmas to catch on across Europe. By the way, Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on 7th January.
So the whole Christian thing is a fabrication or clever marketing - aren’t these the same thing? Oliver Cromwell was having none of it. In 1644 he banned Christmas. The collective gaiety and compulsory joy being too much for grouchy Oliver. He had a point.
The modern Christmas is a product of Victorian shaping, with a massive dash of product placement. For example, Prince Albert introduced the Christmas tree. Incidentally, it’s a myth that the talented people at Coca-Cola created Father Christmas as a marketing ploy. Instead, Santa is a composite figure. He’s a Frankenstein, taking bits from Saint Nicholas and other winter festive deities.
As a child, I needed sedating on Christmas Eve. I heard Father Christmas land on our roof. Maybe I was delusional given that Mum had prescribed a dose of Aspirin to calm me. The blood loss from a bleeding stomach contributed to my delirious state. Indeed, I could hear Santa’s words as he assembled our toys at the base of the Christmas Tree … “..fucked up bloody thing never come down...”. Santa sounded cross. That’s no surprise with all those toys to deliver at such short notice.
We’d be out of bed at 5 am - run downstairs full of expectation to receive the perfect gift for the season of love and peace - a Johnny Seven gun. It had a pistol, a rifle, a grenade launcher, plus an armour piecing shell. With all that Baby Jesus could rule the world.
Later on comes purgatory. We’re forced to visit the grandparents, Stan and Phillis. This annual pilgrimage to the house of silent tension is in sufferance. We put on our best clothes, behave and don’t touch the ornaments. They made us welcome with “Eat the raisins, not just the nuts”.
The only saving grace was her trifle. A layered delight of custard, strawberries, cream and enough sugar to cause diabetic shock. It’s the reason we tolerated the whole painful saga. They also had a colour TV before anyone else, so that compensated a bit. Come on; this was before video games or the Internet. Our world was black and white.
If you want to understand Christmas, forget the whole Christian narrative. These days it’s moved beyond that. How else do you explain that Taoists and affirmed Buddhists are getting in on the act here in Hong Kong? Of course, there is the commercial side as manufacturers and marketers work with relentless energy to move their stuff.
Advertising kicks into overdrive as we're assailed by the latest must-have gadget or unique item. Much of it gets forgotten or put aside within days. In the UK an estimated £355 million worth of unwanted Christmas gifts were returned in 2016. Add to that the staggering 74 million minced pies that end up in landfills. Christmas is starting to look like an ecological disaster.
Research indicates that as many as 20% of folks find Christmas overwhelming. The compulsory need to be jolly and take part in every aspect of Christmas sometimes is draining. The overspending, anxiety over gift giving and family tensions can all boil over. A 'Facetime' Christmas may be the answer.
So what’s the point? In answer to the question, you have time to reflect. The passing of the seasons, the onward motion of life paused for a moment. I’m spending my festive season with the wife, daughters and one farting dog. I’ll get a bottle of single malt, watch ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ on a loop. There is an eternal joy in being with family. I love Christmas.
May your God be with you, but more importantly your family. Did I mention I’ll be getting a decent single malt?
Here’s the latest instalment in my series on Britain’s steady journey down the rabbit hole. Forget the Brexit nonsense, the real erosion of Britain’s freedoms is from within as an insidious minority propagates its agenda, seizing control of the debate space.
In 2019 we can expect reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. This move will allow folks to self-identify as a man or woman. Transgender people have a rough time; thus any measures that ease their troubles are welcome. Except for the elephant in the room. That elephant is a predatory bloke called "Brenda" who identifies as a woman to gain access to female changing rooms, etc.
These are not made-up concerns or some transphobic fantasy. It has happened already. Feminists and others who raise concerns about biological males in all-female facilities face an onslaught from the radical trans-rights activists. In some ways, the feminists are getting a bit of their own medicine. They promoted their cause by direct-action. The trans-right activists adopted the feminist playbook, polished the tactics and took it to a new level. Hoisted by your own petard.
Nonetheless, it's a genuine concern. Many brave ladies have come forward to voice their worries of a threat to their safety. In turn, each gets assailed as transphobic when they're only seeking to protect women and girls. Others are then afraid to speak out. A militant minority dominate the conversation, giving a false impression they enjoy broad support. The silent majority sit sullenly.
The relentless attack on freedom of speech compounds this unfolding mess. Meanwhile, the Police enforce ‘thought control’ rather than dealing with real crime. It's all very 1984. If you are a victim of an assault you think has been directed at you because you are a member of a legally privileged group, your testimony is enough to classify the attack as a hate crime.
The operational guidance for police forces spells it out: “For recording purposes, the perception of the victim, or any other person, is the defining factor in determining whether an incident is a hate incident… The victim does not have to justify or provide evidence of their belief, and police officers or staff should not directly challenge this perception. Evidence of hostility is not required for an incident or crime to be recorded as a hate crime.”
Thus no tangible evidence is needed. Feelings are the only factor. We seem to be moving towards the situation in which we can turn every wrong we suffer into an expression of hatred. If you report a burglary, the cops come looking for signs of a break-in and that something was stolen. For hate crime, it’s all about feelings. No wonder the police can assert reported hate crimes have surged. Bonkers!
In one incident an upset father called police after his daughter lost a tennis match to complain the defeat was due to a racist umpire. The police log stated “Informant feels his daughter was subjected to racial discrimination at a tennis match where line calls went against her."
Elsewhere, Lady Warsi, a Conservative peer, is keen to get as much top cover for her constituency as possible. She recently pushed for an all-embracing definition of Islamophobia under the law. Her proposal would criminalise any criticism of Islam. After the mass rape of white girls by Muslim gangs, it seems Lady Warsi is keen to shut down any further adverse comment.
This lady has a track record of craziness. In 2005, her homophobic attitudes leaked out. She then resigned from David Cameron's government over its approach to Israel. Her antisemitic opinions came to the fore, although she'd deny it. Fortunate that she’s failed, as her definition faced robust opposition from more sensible folks. There is hope.
Meanwhile, on the campuses, things are going from bad to worst. The University of London is doing its bit to ensure students are not offended or exposed to anything upsetting. Comedians booked to perform need to sign a 'behavioural' agreement. Performers must agree to a no-tolerance policy; no racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-atheism. That’s quite a list.
Can they discuss the weather? Possibility not because if its cold and that affects the old, then ageism comes in to play. Must be fun at their comedy nights.
Let's remember what comedians do. They play with ideas; they challenge norms by showing the absurdity of situations. That sometimes leads to a higher truth and other times it’s funny. Is that too much for the students? Probably not, as worst gets said behind closed doors. The reality here is all about a minority signalling their wokeness. Most students are mature enough to make their own decisions.
The determination to shut down free speech is all pervasive. The middle-class Marxists from the social sciences only allow a single narrative. Students taking proper degrees in physics, maths and the likes of chemistry are too busy with actual study for this nonsense. The kids in the soft degrees, where empirical evidence is not a prerequisite, don’t need to study. Thus, they can have fun.
In 2017, the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust conducted a free speech ranking of UK universities. Of 115 colleges, 62 were hostile to free speech or had policies to shut it down. While 46 colleges adopted a regime that 'chilled' freedom of speech: only seven had hands-off policies.
The Education (No. 2) Act 1986 requires that universities take reasonable steps to secure freedom of speech within the law for staff, students and visiting speakers. That’s not happening. It only remains for academic leaders to cower in surrender for the radicals to dictate what's heard on campus.
It's laughable that the UK points its finger at China asserting that free speech is under threat. The real challenge is on your ground.
“Population Explosion” scream the headlines. “Too many people are overburdening the planet, and we are heading for disaster.” That’s the dominant narrative: environmentalists, politicians and every ‘Johnny with a cause’ spout this line. After all the United Nations told us on 31 October 2011, the planet was home to seven billion people. That’s up from 1.6 billion in 1900. We need to get a grip and sort this out.
Poverty, pollution, instability and wars are all blamed on overpopulation. The ‘save the planet’ crowd allied to the ‘global warming pundits’ are the most vocal. Brandishing their data on power-points, they make a grand living jetting about telling us how to conduct our lives. The problem is these folks are wrong about population growth. Here’s why.
For most of recorded history, and as far as we can tell, the human population growth rate per annum was less than one per cent. I know the data is dodgy the further back we go, but that’s not a significant concern. It's modern trends we need to consider.
After World War I, fertility rates (how many children each woman has) went up. The population growth rates climbed to reach about four per cent in 1970. Only the great Chinese famine and World War II saw temporary downward moves. It’s important to understand that a two per cent annual increase in population compounds to give a doubling every 35 years.
The growth we’ve seen over the past 100 odd years is rapid and unprecedented. Moreover, in case you hadn’t noticed its stopped. The data is clear. The worldwide population birth rate peaked around 1990. It’s now going down.
Wait a minute I hear you cry! Why is the population of the world still increasing when births are falling? The answer is simple. Deliveries don't cause the continued growth, but a lack of deaths. People are living longer. At the same time, children are surviving childbirth and the delicate infant years. All these combine to keep the population up for the time being.
Forecasters observe counter-intuitive factors that have a bearing on how the numbers may change. For example, birth rates are higher when child death rates are higher. This applies to rich and developing countries. Added to that is wars, famine and epidemics spur greater population growth in the longer term. This phenomenon appears to function to ensure the species survives. Thus, if we can prevent and avoid disasters, we help stabilise the number of children born. That’s already happening.
Anti-malaria campaigns have prevented an estimated 6.5 million deaths, many of these are children. When fewer children die, parents have less compunction to add more children. Today 100 countries have eliminated malaria. In turn, this led to a corresponding drop in fertility rates. It’s as if that anti-malaria net you sponsored is a secondary birth control device. Don’t tell the Catholic Church.
To sustain a population, as a rough figure, each woman needs to give birth to 2.1 children. That’s assuming no flu epidemic or war comes along to wipe out millions. Once again, because of compounding, even small changes in fertility or death rates cause big swings in population numbers.
Forecasting is a tricky business because it involves a degree of subjectivity and making a few assumptions. Also in play are external factors. Singapore as a new nation in the 1970s wanted to understand and plan for its projected population. The demography guys got to work to predict 80,000 births a year by 2000. The reality was 38,000. Policymakers struggled to recognise that the models used to predict future numbers are weak at best and misleading at worst. No one understood that as society evolved upward, then fertility declined. That’s now obvious.
There is some data we can rely on, and it points to trends that are likely; not certain, but likely. In 1960 the average was five children per woman worldwide. These days that’s fallen to 2.5 children per woman, and the trend line appears to continue on a downward trek. While some nations have seen rises in fertility rates, this comes from new young migrants having kids. These changes are not intrinsic to the country nor sustained.
The scientists agree that the population explosion has fizzled out in the rich and developing countries. Moreover, the evidence suggests the population will either stabilise or decline.
Already we see the signs. Major urban centres such as Liverpool, Glasgow, Rostock and Detroit are experiencing de-population. These cities relied on migration to sustain their numbers. As this dries up, the life-blood ebbs from the city. We can expect more of this if the fertility rates continue to fall.
We can point to factors causing the fall in fertility. Female empowerment through the pill, better education, economic influences and culture all play a part.
The consequence of fewer people is a double-edged sword. Some are pessimistic, yet there is an optimistic side. Indeed, it should reduce the pressure on the resources of the planet assuming we don’t use more stuff. But, many of our current economic models work on growth in numbers and consumption. That will need to change. Further, it is not fewer people but also more people living longer.
The rich western nations currently moving towards curtailing migration may have to change course. With shrinking populations, who will do the menial jobs and staff the old folks homes? Who will run the hospitals? Food for thought.
As I’ve shown forecasting is a tricky business. The best data we have indicates that by 2100 we may see the population of the world peak at around 10 billion. After that, a decline may set in, although how far it goes is anyone’s guess. However, with low rates of childbirth, the population drops to 6.2 billion and keeps moving downward.
Of course, we could be completely wrong. All those ladies pushing dogs around in prams may suddenly switch track and get a boyfriend. Then all bets are off. Still, my hunch is dog pram makers have an excellent future.
I recently gained access to a declassified ‘Top Secret’ paper detailing the probable nuclear targets for the Soviet Union in the United Kingdom. The 1972 assessment is chilling reading. As a kid, I fretted over a nuclear war especially after watching the movie ‘The War Game’. And yet nothing can prepare you for what these papers stated may happen.
The Soviet approach called for an ‘overkill’ strike with an overwhelming crippling attack. Submarine's start the onslaught, giving little warning. A salvo of land-based ballistic missiles follows.
The British planners anticipated an initial strike of 150 nuclear warheads on UK targets. These are a mix of airburst and ground attacks in the range of two to five megatons. Before this hell rains down, a series of high-yield airburst in the upper atmosphere knocks out all communications and unshielded electronic kit. The national grid fails. Telephone systems stop, as would water pumping. Hospitals grind to a halt, factories shut-down, and food distribution ends.
In the modern context, all the computers that run our daily existence go down in an instant. You can’t move, access money or do anything. Suddenly you are back in the dark ages, without the skill-set for that time. Meanwhile, if they’d had a warning, most of the government are deep underground
Military targets face an onslaught of multiple ground bursts aimed at taking out underground structures. Meanwhile, all primary and secondary urban centres could expect airbursts in the two to five megatons range.
Using the data in the report and this modelling tool, I’ve assessed the impact on my 1972 location. At that time I lived on the north-eastern side of Hull. What I didn’t realise is number of missiles heading my way.
The tool asks users to choose the target, megatonnage and whether the blast takes place at the surface or in the air. A surface blast aims at bunkers below ground, and the radiation fallout is more significant. An explosion in the air affects a larger geographic area.
Some 25 km to the east of my 1972 home is Patrington, a quiet market town on the plain of Holderness. It's low rural country that hides a secret. Buried deep under the fertile fields is the RAF’s primary underground radar facility. Designated RAF Bempton, the planners, expected this to get hit in the first wave with at least two ground bursts in the two to five megaton range. Modelling a hit by Soviet SS 4 missile with a yield of 2.4 megatons, the devastation is as follows.
With a sparse population, the initial death toll is an estimated 8,900, although 68,200 would sustain life-threatening injuries. The blast would reach the eastern edge of Hull 20 km away smashing windows and bring down weaker structures. Adjacent villages burst into flames.
A hit on Patrington would ignite fires in the massive petrochemical facilities at Immingham and Saltend. Without the power to pump water, these fires burn unchecked.
Ground bursts produce more fallout as the debris goes skyward. With the prevailing west wind, this drifts out over the North Sea towards Holland.
Simultaneously Hull receives an airburst over the docks. Again assuming an SS 4 missile with a 2.4 megaton warhead, then 213,800 die instantly, and 121,300 sustain serious injuries. The city centre and its surroundings are flattened, while the damage reaches as far as Beverley.
Other potential targets in the vicinity are York, RAF Leconfield near Beverley and RAF Staxton Wold above Bridlington. Even if you survived the initial explosions, the winds carry radiation from targets to the west. Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool are all on the list.
Further south, London is a special target. The horror visited on the capital is beyond words. At least three air-bursts and four ground-bursts ignite everything from Basildon to Slough. Calculating the damage is dependent on many variables. These include the height of weapon detonation, time of day and weather.
Yet, it’s safe to say that at least four million Londoners perish in the initial fireballs. Another six million will die within days from burns, impact injuries and lack of primary medical care.
Hospitals, schools, homes, police stations - all gone. The very architecture of our current existence smashed and burned. We’re back to the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The scramble for food and water will consume us. Besides the physical injuries, the psychological impact is unfathomable.
We revert to base instincts, stripping away the veneer of humanity and civilisation. I recall Mr Howes my English teacher at junior school asserting he’d want to go in the first flash. At the time I didn’t comprehend his sentiment. Now I embrace it.
The scenario envisaged in the paper sees a complete collapse of UK's infrastructure. It heralds deprivations on a massive scale for decades. Those incinerated are the lucky ones. Survivors hang on to a subsistence existence in a highly irradiated environment. The Royal United Services Institute asserts the result of nuclear war would be so devastating that there is no way of facilitating a humanitarian response. In short, it’s back to the dark ages.
It didn't happen, but the threat is still there. If it happens, the survivors will envy the dead. Have a nice day.
My regular readers will be aware that I am not enamoured with Brian. Next week, the man on the world's longest apprenticeship turns 70. This birthday is the trigger for an outpouring of publicity to support his rise to the throne. His PR machine is going into overdrive, with gushing pieces in such places as Hello and Now magazines. Even the republican Guardian is getting involved.
In the process, we get action man Brian, then academic Brian and family man Brian. Photographs of his days in the Royal Navy and the RAF abound. Next, he’s wearing gowns and standing among a collection of books - some of which he may have coloured in. Finally, we get Brian the father, grandfather and kindly uncle. He’s even riding the coattails of his son’s family to burnish his image.
Of course, we don’t get Brian the philander nor Brian the slightly odd bloke who has wacky ideas. Nor are we treated to hypocrite Brian; the man who lectures us about the environment while residing in many homes and jetting about in planes. Lastly, completely missed out is the great thinker Brian. Well, that’s because he’s not.
But, he's a confident sort. “The young have ideas above their station” he mused “because they are taught they can all be pop stars or High Court Judges or TV presenters, even heads of state, without putting in the necessary work”. Wow. You need to savour that, roll it around in your head and contemplate the full meaning.
Remember it comes from a man handed his title on a plate - who will be head of state because he came down a specific vagina. That’s his only qualification for the job. Nothing else matters. Reflecting on the Hong Kong handover ceremony, he observed the Chinese leadership looked like waxworks. Has he ever taken the time to peer around at his own family? The self-awareness gene is missing in the man.
His consort, Fag Ash Lil has grown on me. You sense that she’s more grounded which brings us to the elephant in the room. In all the publicity, there is no mention of Princess Diana of Harrods. Airbrushed from history Soviet style.
The most striking and problematic aspect of this choreographed effort is its sheer falsehood. The PR gurus have gone to considerable effort to spin a sanitised version of Brian’s history. It's fortunate a majority of the public have not forgotten the massive blots on his record.
His poor choice in brides and potty ideas are not my most significant concern. Instead, it's the evidence pointing to Brian being a somewhat different monarch from his Mum. She played the part to perfection — the mystery and aloofness delivered in equal measure. It’s argued she only put a foot wrong once. That was over the whole Diana saga and remaining in Scotland when the nation wanted her in London. Indeed, that’s the conventional narrative. The truth of it we may never know.
Unfortunately, all the evidence points to Brian being an ‘activist’ King. And that could bring the whole show crashing down around his rather large ears. As Walter Bagehot, the essayist pointed out some years ago.
"If the sovereign be able to play the part of that thoroughly intelligent but perfectly disinterested spectator who is so prominent in the works of certain moralists, he may be able to choose better for his subjects than they would choose for themselves."
As Bagehot asserted “The sovereign has, under a constitutional monarchy such as ours, three rights — the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn. And a king of great sense and sagacity would want no others. He would find that his having no others would enable him to use these with singular effect.’
Therein lies the rub. Brian has already proven himself a player and no disinterested spectator. His attempts to interfere in politics are legendary. His memorandum to ministers reveals he sought to influence policy in support of his pet causes. Margaret Thatcher complained to him and the palace about his interference. “I run this country, not you, sir,” Thatcher is alleged to have told him.
He has repeatedly made known that he despises science. This view is odd for a man who relies on so many of its innovations to do his work. He has in the past described the scientific worldview as an insult to ‘sacred traditions.’ Is that why he supported a mosque in North London that acted as an incubator to Islamic terrorists.
Richard Reid the shoe bomber, Abu Hamza al-Masri and others used this facility. Brian acted as patron. He’s never accounted for that except to say he wants to be the defender of all faiths. Does that include those faiths that bring terror to British streets?
It appears this arrogant and absurd man does not fool the savvy British public. The data is damning. His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, K.G., K.T., G.C.B., O.M., A.K., Q.S.O., P.C., A.D.C., Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, is an unpopular man.
A 2018 YouGov poll places Brian as the seventh most popular royal. He sits behind the Duchess of Sussex, who joined the royal family a matter of months ago. His numbers are low.
Then you have polls showing that some 54 per cent of Britons would prefer Prince William as King over Brian. It’s not pleasant reading for the man.
Plus, don’t forget that the British throne extends to 16 countries. Some of these states may consider abolishing the monarchy after the Queen’s death. Polls suggest several will go that route.
His assertions that he won’t be a meddling King ring hollow. The man appears incapable of constraining himself. The only saving grace in all this is that Brian’s reign is unlikely to be as long as his mothers. Thus, time may limit the damage he does. In the meantime, he’d do well to take the sage advice of a Yorkshire farmer pontificating on the subject. “Do your duty lad and shut your gob!”
I’ll leave the final words to Bagehot "The benefits of a good monarch are almost invaluable, but the evils of a bad monarch are almost irreparable."
Walter De Havilland is one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Hong Kong Police.