All entries for Tuesday 18 August 2009

August 18, 2009

Prince Charles: A Time to be Silent?

Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/aug/17/prince-charles-national-trust-patronage

Recently I thought: I long for Prince Charles to be king. Then, he will have to be silent.

This scientifically uneducated, culturally backward-looking, self-indulgent, self-pitying moral coward believes that he has a mission to educate the nation and control its thinking about the environment, health, aesthetics, and family values.

Have I overstated things? Perhaps Prince Charles is no worse than anyone else. He has made mistakes, as we all have done. But he is no better than the rest of us, for sure. Nothing in his life qualifies him to tutor us, other than the accident of his birth.

Prince Charles surrounds himself with advisers, none of whom has the courage to tell him that there is a time to be silent.

My hope was that, when he becomes king, Charles will have to step back from controversial posturing, so we shall hear from him less.

But then I realized that, as king, he will have even more opportunity than now to meddle in secret, behind the scenes.

I have always been a republican, but not a passionate one since I came more to appreciate the value of long established institutions.

Prince Charles's behaviour may increase my enthusiasm for constitutional change.


I am a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick. I am also a research associate of Warwick’s Centre on Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, and of the Centre for Russian, European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Birmingham. My research is on Russian and international economic history; I am interested in economic aspects of bureaucracy, dictatorship, defence, and warfare. My most recent book is One Day We Will Live Without Fear: Everyday Lives Under the Soviet Police State (Hoover Institution Press, 2016).



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