I shall leave aside the irony depicted in this photo of Prince Harry wearing a t-shirt bearing the image of Che Guevara, it is an improvement on his previous fashion choices but whilst I am sure Rommel would have little problem with the Prince sporting his Nazi-emblazoned Afrika Corps uniform I think Che might have slightly more objection in this picture which suggests abject ignorance at best. Harry is currently the 3rd in line to the throne. He is also a member of the Armed Forces. There has for some time been a debate surrounding his unit’s deployment to Iraq and whether or not Harry should accompany them. It has recently been decided by the army that they will not take the risk of sending him.

So the Windsors get to keep their blue-eyed boy safe. One wonders what the Williams from Cardiff or the Walshes from Manchester would really think of this as their boys and girls join the countless thousands who have been packed off to war before them. Some of them will not come back. Is that fair, or is it a case of one law for the poor and a totally different set of standards for the bluebloods?

The military’s view is that Harry would be a target for the insurgents. Personally I think all the British troops are targets for the insurgents and I question whether the disparate rebels in Iraq really have access to the sort of highly specialised intelligence to pinpoint an individual soldier within his battallion. Or is the army coming clean about its inability to protect its own servicemen. It would of course be a PR disaster were Harry to be wounded or killed, as we are no longer in the times when the royals lead their troops into active service. It would be even more of a catastrophe were he to be killed by friendly fire. Again one has to ask whether it is possible for intelligence to pinpoint an individual soldier when it comprehensibly fails to prevent people being killed by their own side.

Furthermore it would be highly likely that were Harry to be killed there would have to be an enquiry and at present one cannot see the army being altogether keen to get into that sort of territory whereby potentially a Pandora’s box may be opened. What with friendly fire casualties, collateral damage and prisoner brutalities it would take one hell of a cover-up not to let any of that out.

So we are expected to wear the fact that a minor royal of precious little if any actual significance to anyone’s life, save his own family and thus no more or less important than all the other sons and daughters out there, will be granted a Get Out Of Death Free card through no merit of his own but by the arbitrary coincidence of his place and lineage of birth. This angers me because my politics make me believe that we are all genuinely born equal, so such exceptions for some and not for others are an anathema to me.

So why do we have the monarchy? They are good for tourism apparently, which would appear to suggest that were they not to be there we would lose revenue. This is interesting as I have never seen a comparitive study as to whether the royals bring more in than we are required to spend on them but I do know that in spite of France having got rid of its blue-blooded parasites sometime ago there are still a great many visitors to Paris and the palace at Versailles and I am quite sure that paying for the upkeep of the regal history of France costs the French Republic a great deal less than the British population pay in taxes in order to prop up the money-vacuuming bastards in Buck House.

We are told that the Queen volunteered to pay income tax, which was magnanimous of her to do so, in the context of an era where the Tory government of the time had brought the top rate of tax down to an almost all-time low. The Queen does not pay the London congestion charge for her state cars. She pays Council tax on a voluntary basis but then she can afford to since receiving a large proportion of the Queen Mother’s estate valued at between £50 million -£70 million for which she is not required to pay inheritance tax. (There is an exemption for sovereign to sovereign bequests, interesting since the Queen Mother was not the monarch) The Civil List which pays for the royal estate is currently fixed until 2010 at £7.59 million a year. The individual figures who were fixed to gain from it in 1993 were The Queen, the Duke Of Edinburgh and the Queen Mother, so the Queen Mother’s estate has been largely funded by the tax payer. The Duke of Edinburgh receives £359,000 annual salary which has to be one of the contenders for the title of biggest example of money for old rope.

It’s the 21st century people, have we really not outgrown this bloated parasitic institution which installs a glass ceiling of privilege and oppulence beyond which we and our children may not reach? Can we not find a better use for £7.9 million such as education, housing, healthcare rather than propping up an arcane outdated set of in-bred reactionaries?

Song Of The Day ~ Skinnyman – Council Estate Of Mind