Sunday, December 20, 2015

Peter Hitchens on Princes and Papers

Secrets are safe with Charles

Why is anyone shocked that the heir to the throne, who will one day be head of state, is allowed to see Cabinet papers? I’m more shocked by the idea that quite a few senior modern politicians, unrepentant communist hacks, fantasists, drunkards, tax-dodgers, etc, have had such access.

If ever I have a moment’s doubt about the Monarchy, it is dispelled when I look at those who hate it. Why do they loathe it so? It has no power as such.

But, like the king on a chessboard, it prevents others from occupying the space where it stands.

Politicians long to be the ones being cheered, they long to have mounted guards of honour and anthems played when they enter the room. They want their own aeroplanes. They want the Armed Forces to be their personal toys. They dream of requiring us to be loyal to them.

It creeps up on them. Cherie Blair (having failed to get elected as an MP) once acted as hostess aboard the Royal Train, and her husband loved posing with soldiers. Lady Thatcher started turning up at the scenes of national disasters.

David Cameron claimed to be speaking ‘on behalf of everyone in Britain’ when he wished astronaut Tim Peake luck on Tuesday. No he wasn’t.

He’s a divisive politician and he doesn’t speak on my behalf (or on the behalves of quite a few others) about anything. It was the Queen’s job, and she duly did it.

One day, God willing, Charles should do it. Reading the papers that reveal the miserable deals and compromises of government should help him keep his poise when he grants audiences to the trivial, unmemorable men and women who secretly think they’re more important than the Crown of England.

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