RECENTLY we’ve seen just how little Prince Charles cares about constitutional boundaries. He allegedly compared Putin to Hitler and did nothing to deny it.
By blundering into one of today’s most sensitive foreign policy issues, he has damaged British interests and risked a serious diplomatic incident. He has also shown us why ‘Prince’s Consent’ – the secretive royal power that gives him an effective veto over new laws – must be scrapped immediately.
Few probably know that Prince Charles has a veto over new laws that affect his interests. This consent is not a formality. It involves a minimum notice period, full explanation, advice from his solicitors, continuous updates and so forth.
There is plenty of evidence that Charles uses the process to ensure that his Duchy of Cornwall is given special treatment in law. It’s one of the many reasons why the royals have sought and been given exemption from the freedom of information laws.
We know that Charles actively lobbies politicians, including Ministers. We know he has a personal political agenda. We know all his letters and minutes of meetings are currently kept secret. Obviously he has much to hide. And we know that via Prince’s Consent he has the power to insist on changes that affect his interests.
The whole idea of Prince’s Consent is a disgrace in a democracy. This royal veto is a stark reminder of what is wrong with the monarchy and why we need a republic, where power can be held to proper account.
From: Arthur Quarmby, Underhill, Holme.
HINDSIGHT allows one to regret that, at the collapse of the USSR, the western powers failed to take that wonderful opportunity to hold out the hand of friendship to the newly de-communised Russia.
One can see that any such move would have been resented by Western military leaders; without the spectre of a Russian threat, all those lovely billions would be diverted elsewhere.
So Nato prefers to recreate the Cold War by moving into Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and preparing to follow the EU into the Ukraine, making Russia feel threatened, and pushing them towards alliance with China.
Why rake up policing past?
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield, East Yorkshire.
AS a former police officer, I am saddened by the trend to rake up historic events where the police are depicted in a bad light. Yes, I agree that the Hilsborough disaster should be probed and wrongdoing by senior police officers addressed but to rake up the Battle of Orgreave is, in my mind, a blatant attempt to denigrate officers who were only obeying government orders.
I note with equal sadness that officers using their batons is highlighted with no mention of the violence threatened by the miners to lorry drivers trying to do their job. There were serious faults on both sides and we must remember all men under pressure can over react as indeed did many of the strikers. What next? An investigation into the failing of the police in London over Jack the Ripper?
Cross about Latin word
From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.
THE obvious answer to 4 Down “the innermost shrine of an ancient Greek temple” (General Knowledge Crossword No. 2,348) is “adyton” a Greek word for a Greek place. However, the compiler in his wisdom – or perfidy – decided that because he wanted to use “Amarcord” as the answer to 12 Across, he needed an “m”. So he made the answer to 4 Down “adytum” which is the Latinised version of the original Greek.
Unfair! Unfair! I mean the least he could have done was to signal that it was the Latinised word he was looking for. It wouldn’t have made solving the puzzle any easier, but it would have saved me from getting splinters in my fingernails from doing so much headscratching!
An open and shut case
From: Fiona Lemmon, Clifton Byres, Clifton, Maltby, Rotherham.
I MADE a day trip to Bridlington on May 20, planning to visit the Little Organic Bakery (which has a cafe) for lunch and Gallery Forty Nine for the exhibition of wildlife-inspired art which runs until Saturday in the Old Town.
The latter was featured in the Culture magazine (The Yorkshire Post, February 14). I checked the websites of both the bakery and gallery, albeit not immediately before I made the day trip which I had planned for some time.
The bakery/cafe was my first port of call where I discovered that it is no longer open on Tuesdays, whereas the website information had informed me that it was shut on Wednesdays. Actually, it is now shut on Mondays and Tuesdays.
To add to my disappointment and frustration, on reaching the gallery there was a sign on the door saying “Closed” and a handwritten note to the effect that the gallery is now open only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Visits at any other times are by prior appointment.
I’d have expected the gallery owners to have had the courtesy to maintain its usual opening hours and days until the end of the current advertised exhibition. Both those setbacks aside, I spent a most enjoyable day in Bridlington.