Blogs > Liberty and Power > Politicians grab first class so Prince Charles goes Club Class to Hong Kong

Feb 23, 2006 3:34 am

Politicians grab first class so Prince Charles goes Club Class to Hong Kong

Read Prince Charles’s candid thoughts here. Even though the heir to the throne was not amused, I wager you will be when you read this account.

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Paul Noonan - 2/25/2006

I've read other excerpts from Prince Charles' "Great Chinese Takeaway" on other British papers' websites indicating his concern that the end of British rule in Hong Kong would be the end of the rule of law and expressing concern regarding the effect of the presence of the Chinese army on the population there. One wonders if the thought of the effect of the handover on the HK population even crossed the mind of the elected British politicians on the trip with him or were they able to think of nothing beyond the trade implications.

Mark Brady - 2/24/2006

My remarks concerned solely the head of state. For much of the nineteenth century the UK had a parliamentary government that exercised a considerable degree of self-restraint and a largely constitutional monarchy. On the other hand, the US had a national government headed by the head of state (the president) so it was easier for the ruling party to wrap itself up in the flag since the head of government was also the head of state.

And today Brits find it easier to dissent from, say, government foreign policy than Americans do. Tony Blair and the Queen are two different people but George W. Bush the Republican is also George W. Bush the president and head of state. I hope this clarifies my argument.

Aeon J. Skoble - 2/24/2006

That's an odd false dichotomy. England has BOTH a head of goverment who exercises considerable powers, AND a monarch with little real power (but which nevertheless costs a fortune). It's not like the old-world monarchies became libertopias as the power of their monarchs waned; the power was simply transferred to their parliaments or whatever.

Mark Brady - 2/24/2006

Given the choice between a head of state who exercises considerable powers (as in the U.S. or France) and a constitutional monarch (and perhaps more on the Scandinavian model than the British) who has relatively little real power, I think I'd prefer to live in a state with a constitutional monarch than with a president.

Aeon J. Skoble - 2/23/2006

That's we rebelled against those guys. The idea that he and his relatives are literally better than "commoners" is not only morally offensive, but at this point quite silly. And the poor taxpayers have to support these wastrels. Give me a break! If I were British, I'd rant about this incessantly; being American I can afford not to -- although I do get incensed with the American fascination with the British Royal Family. I think they should revive HUAC, for the sole purpose of combating American devotion to the so-called nobility of the old world. Job One: make Locke's 2 treatises (both of them) required reading in junion-high civics classes. (Yes, I'm kidding, no flames please.) I guess Job Two should be to make them required reading for themselves and their colleagues (not kidding).