Rebel Man

Your boy Chuck is funny, isn’t he – I mean really, really, fall down and roll around funny. Like a John Cleese routine. He just cracks me up. I mean you have to admit, there is something hilariously funny about one of the richest and most overprivileged men on the planet thinking (and even talking) of himself as a ‘dissident’. Aw, honey, won’t they listen to you then? Are you all excluded and ignored and not paid attention to? Aw, diddums, that is such a shame. Of course there’s that architect whose career has never been the same – but never mind, never mind, never mind, if you want to call yourself a dissident, you go right ahead. I have every sympathy. I do love a good pout; I’m a world-class pouter myself; so if you want to spend a few decades pouting at public expense, why that’s just fine, all part of the job. Victoria pouted, the dear Duke of Windsor pouted, so you just carry on, you lovely man. Nobody understands you, nobody appreciates you – it’s shocking, isn’t it?

You have to admit. There was that time he made a fuss about unqualified people expecting to be promoted. I did find that, coming from him, irresistibly funny. And then there’s all the pontificating about ‘alternative medicine’ and Gerson therapy, for which he gets plenty of attention and publicity, because he is the Air to the Phrone, while medical dissent from his pontificating doesn’t get nearly the same attention. Does that make him a ‘dissident’? Does someone who gets respectful attention as well as plain attention out of all proportion to his intrinsic merit, deserve to be called a dissident? I wouldn’t have thought so, myself. I would have thought otherwise. But there, I don’t understand the whole monarchy thing, so don’t listen to me.

But there is something ever so slightly disquieting about the fact that the future king, however limited and notional his remaining power may be, feels a need to whine to a government minister about the Human Rights Act. There’s also, actually, something more than slightly sickening about it. More than a whiff of let them eat cakeism.

Prince Charles wrote “rubbish” on a letter defending the Human Rights Act, a leaked copy of the document showed today. The letter was part of an exchange between the prince and the former Lord Chancellor Lord Irvine of Lairg about a perceived rise in litigiousness in British society…He expressed concern that the Human Rights Act risked promoting an “American-style personal injury ‘culture’.”…The prince underlined a statement beginning: “[I see the challenge we face as ensuring that] as we become a society more based on responsibilities and rights …” According to the Times, he dismissed the claim with the handwritten comment: “But this is rubbish – we’re a society based on rights alone.”

Huff huff huff, chummhaw – that won’t do at all old boy, not at all, riffraff and ordinary people mustn’t have all these bloody rights, they’ll only use them to put coal in. Oh, he’s a trip, that prince. I saw him interviewed by a US journalist recently, and his air of barely controlled disdain was something to behold. He actually used that phrase ‘people like you’ – you know, peasants, underlings, inferiors, commoners, vulgar little men from that vulgar big country. Every inch a dissident.

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