News moves fast, or at least the latest piece of news circulates at light speed and then disappears. Some pieces of news need to come back around though. Prince Charles’ letters to politicians for example.
With Ukraine and Crimea entering the world of early 20th Century politics via Russian Anschluss, and the mystery plane crash of Flight MH370, it’s easy for us to forget that on March 12th three judges – including Lord Dyson, the master of the rolls – ruled that the Attorney General Dominic Grieve acted unlawfully when he laid a blanket ban over the publication of letters sent by a public servant to sitting politicians.
According to The Guardian, “The ruling, led by Lord Dyson, the head of the civil judiciary in England and Wales, paves the way for the release of the letters, which reveal how the prince lobbied government ministers to change official policies.”
My luck to be chucked down the lavatory and go on and on forever swirling round on the top, never going down. Prince Charles to Camilla Parker Bowles – 1993.
Personally, I hope that Chaz used the same kind of imaginative style in his letters has he did in his phone calls that the New Idea, the Australian women’s weekly magazine, got its hands on in 1993. The transcripts for those still appear here and there.
Back to now, and Grieve’s opinion is that the unwritten British Constitution is founded solidly – as solidly as unwritten ideas can be – on the principle that the monarch could not be seen to be favouring one political party over another.
Therefore, Charles having run-ins with Tony Blair’s government via 27 pieces of correspondence (“some of them “particularly frank”) between September 2004 and April 2005, “would be seriously damaging to his role as future monarch because, if he forfeits his position of political neutrality as heir to the throne, he cannot easily recover it when he is king”.
So, when do we expect to see the letters of a Public Servant to seven government ministers being made public?
A spokesman for the Attorney General said, “We are very disappointed by the decision of the court. We will be pursuing an appeal to the supreme court in order to protect the important principles which are at stake in this case.”
So, probably not until Charles finally does stop “swirling round on the top”. This is a shame given that you’d imagine Charles’ opinions – as an unelected servant of the British public – might be of interest to us all.
On a final thought, given that we have a Constitutional Monarchy, wouldn’t a written constitution that is accessible to everybody help with problems like this?