River Wissey Lovell Fuller

The Prince and the Parliament

November 2002

Charles and his comments

Recently it has become known that Prince Charles has taken to expressing his support for various causes by writing to the Prime Minister. There are those that consider that he has the same right as anyone else to air his views, which is true, but the only difference is his letters will be read. So it could be argued that he is acting unconstitutionally by using his position to enter the political ring. Certainly he is in a very privileged position in that he can exercise power without responsibility. He can express his views very forcibly but does not have to listen to those who might disagree with him. Whatever they think readers might be interested to read the words of Walter Bagehot (1826 - 1877), economist and author of 'The English Constitution' (1867):

"It is easy to imagine, upon a constitutional throne, an active fool who always acts when he should not, who never acts when he should, who warns his ministers against their judicious measures, who encourages them in their injudicious measures. It is easy to imagine that such a king should be the tool of others; that favourites should guide him; that mistresses should corrupt him; that the atmosphere of a bad court should be used to degrade free government."

It is also reported that the Prince has let it be known that if the proposed ban on hunting with hounds were to be put into effect, he would feel like leaving the country and spending the rest of his life skiing. It seems to me that that is a sad reflection on the attitude of a future king, if the only real interest he has in being in the country is to go hunting. No doubt there are those who are now even more keen to see the proposed ban implemented with the hope that he will keep to his words.

Ron Watts

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