Despite spending half my time writing very un-politically correct paragraphs I am, believe it or not, a staunch advocate of the ‘press’ being accountable to the public, and not the other way round.
I am also a royalist, seemingly one of the few who is of the opinion that the Royal Family’s benefits far outweigh their costs.
However, today, I am intrigued. In my book ‘In Bed With Cows’ I made a couple of references to Prince Charles and how I believe he has quite a blinkered view on society, especially that of agriculture. And now we find that he has been writing to the government, to advise them of his opinions on a variety of subjects including health, education, media and sport, as well as DEFRA - possibly telling the latter we should all be planting organic leeks.
But then, despite a newspaper hack quoting the Freedom of Information act and demanding to see them, the government have declined to disclose their contents. To quote BBC’s royal correspondent: ‘the highlighting of these letters is enough to give his critics ammunition, and fuel their argument that he is meddling behind the scenes...’
For once I agree. He has been meddling behind the scenes, and he is not qualified to do so. In fact, the man is about as in-touch with reality as Jimmy Saville was with Social Services!
So I, for one, would really like to know what it said in those letters and feel myself baying for them to be released to the public.
Let’s face it, if I, or pretty much anyone else, had written them, then Attourney General Grieve would have happily handed them over to the Guardian in a heartbeat. But, in this instance, it is in our own interests that we don’t get to find out what the opinions of our future monarch are, as it may ‘jeopardise his relationship’ and ‘declare his political preferences’.
Is that possibly because they are as mad as his great-great-great mad ancestor’s?
It would be good to find out, wouldn’t it? Before it’s too late.
For example, in 2005 was he suggesting to the education minister that primary school children stay away from Jim’ll Fiddle-with-it, or anyone else in a shell-suit with improbable blonde hair and a greasy smile?
Or maybe that the minister for sport to keep Boris Johnson well-away from the cameras in the Olympics? Or from primary schools, for that matter, now they have been issued with the above description.
Perhaps farmers should all sell their gaz-guzzling tractors to Africans and go back to using draft-horses called Dobin to till the earth, feeding them on organic carrots grown on a Cornwall estate until we have a national food shortage. Highland, Shorthorn and Angus cattle could all become the modern-day saviours of the beef industry.
Hang-on. Come to think of it.... Maybe the Emperor’s new clothes aren’t so new after all?