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Goodbye Harry – come back when you’ve got a real job

By   /  May 18, 2015  /  23 Comments

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The general lack of public interest in the antics of this layabout Englishman was in stark contrast to the incredible wall-to-wall media coverage – front pages galore and leading TV news items – usually reserved for an All Black Rugby World Cup win.

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Like so many of the past royal tours this latest by the unemployed Harry was at best a lacklustre affair. As with royal tours in recent years there were none of the huge crowd turnouts of the 1950s and 60s as I was growing up. In those days the royals had widespread popular appeal compared to today when the best Harry could muster were a few hundred here and there and media-inflated numbers of a few thousand in Christchurch.

The general lack of public interest in the antics of this layabout Englishman was in stark contrast to the incredible wall-to-wall media coverage – front pages galore and leading TV news items – usually reserved for an All Black Rugby World Cup win.

Harry’s visit was puffed up to ludicrous levels.

We’re all used to reading drivel pushed on us by the mainstream media but it surely reached new lows this time. Take this from the lead story on the front page of the Christchurch Press yesterday:

“She may be still in nappies but Pippa Judd has already been crowned the girl who captured the world’s most eligible batchelor’s heart.”

This was a seven month old baby who smiled at Harry! I won’t paste any more of this story here for fear you will lose your breakfast reading it.

Needless to say no media thought to ask Harry what he was doing flying military helicopters in Afghanistan or supporting the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. In defence of journalists it’s a fact any reporter with such intentions would not been allowed near the happy sloth. The media had already written the story long before Harry arrived. There were to be no embarrassing questions, no inquiring of his support for imperial wars and no questioning of the huge waste of UK and New Zealand taxpayer funds to get him here.

Much more newsworthy was last week’s story revealing the extent to which Prince Charles – Harry’s ne’er-do-well father – writes to government ministers in the UK in an effort to influence policy. On the one hand he has as much right to write to a government minister as anyone else but his constitutional position means he shouldn’t. The separation of the British parliament from the predations of kings and queens was a hard-fought battle over many centuries but despite this UK government ministers, including Prime Minister at the time Tony Blair, met with Charles to discuss his concerns on a wide range of issues.

This much more important story made the papers but would have been missed by most. Instead we were force-fed a pile of royal rubbish – more closely resembling the reality TV show The Batchelor than any connection with our day to day lives.

New Zealanders have been deeply demeaned once more by media coverage of a royal tour.

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23 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    “Harry’s visit was puffed up to ludicrous levels.”

    I was amazed how much time was given for Harry but how glaringly sparse time was given for the debate about our flag during that time?

    Ever since Harry has left again we see the flag Promotion has resumed by the promotion group have put in our face.

    This carefully constructed advert goes as a loaded suggestion suggesting “we want to know what you think about us changing our flag”?

    They have thereby said they are changing the flag aren’t they?

    This flies in the face of taking away our right to retain the flag don’t you think and offensive to anyone who believes in our right to choice and democracy.

    So perhaps Key has his choice as;

    “Welcome to planet Key”, where possibly the flag should appropriately have the face of this dictator on it also to top his massive selfie needs.

  2. Stephen says:

    Well John he has had a real job serving in the armed forces, a task where he has had to deal with and perform under the most challenging of conditions. You on the other hand are a teacher and somehow I doubt if you ever truely grew up and left the school environment. You as a teacher don’t have to perform, if your pupils pass or fail you still get paid the same amount.

    • Dan says:

      Could not have said it better Steven. Cannot be hard to sit on the left and gripe about the odd topic that takes you fancy, yet not, in an entire lifetime of whining, achieve much for those you purport to support.

      • e-clectic says:

        I have a high level of admiration for John Minto who has tirelessly and fearlessly advocated for those treated unjustly and unfairly over a long period of time.
        Kia kaha John.

  3. Stuart Munro says:

    Harry is pretty harmless, though the Press reported a crowd of a couple of hundred as thousands.

    Charles’s letters are here:

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/ng-interactive/2015/may/13/read-the-prince-charles-black-spider-memos-in-full

    They don’t read like an improper exercise of royal prerogatives.

  4. Ann Johns says:

    I see the rabid right is on here full force now. Nice to know that they are taking notice of TDB.

  5. Andy says:

    I am interested to know how a “layabout” can find time to learn to fly helicopters and serve in the forces.

  6. Mike in Auckland says:

    Yawn, Harry Who?

    I turned the TV news off as soon as the name was mentioned, I did the same with radio, and online I choose my media wisely, and avoid anything “Royal” and “celeb” with decided determination.

    So it appears a “Prince” called by that name was here, I read.

    Yes, he got some privileged military involvement and went to places, he is attending the odd event, likes a bit of partying and so, and is a BATCHELOR.

    Hooray, some young females seemed to sense an opportunity, I heard, and made proposals, or tried to get close. Even kisses were exchanged.

    It seems a fair few people just love to be sycophants and admirers of whatever privileged prick(s) or “pricksesses”.

    Maybe their lives are so dull, they lack imagination and any creative mindset, so they stream out and search for any famous, successful and rich person they can cling to, they can follow, they can try to get a hold of, as there is really NOTHING else much that exists in their own little lives, but desperation to be noticed and to find an “opportunity”.

    Is this perhaps the result of a capitalist, opportunistic, divided society, where so many sadly seem to think that the ones at the top are so “deserving” and types of “saints” or “heroes”, and others are not, due to their poorer status?

    As for the MSM feeding in frenzied fashion on such celebrated “heroes” with little credit but “privilege”, they simply make themselves morally redundant, by promoting such nonsense and stupidity. Suckers!

    • Shug McGlumfer says:

      For a man who avoids royal coverage you seem to know a lot about the visit. A closet Royal perhaps?

      • Mike in Auckland says:

        FFS, what is your point here?

        I read the post above and due to media frenzy about it had to make extra efforts to stay clear from the news about “Harry”, so it was hard to avoid the nonsense at times.

        What (mental) closet do you live in by the way?

    • Winnie says:

      Royals, like flag debates, are diversions.
      They are also part of the moneyed class, the tip of the class structure of privilege pyramids.
      They are the English equivalent of what has been happening here since 1984 when ACT infiltrated a Labour Party enamoured with David Lange – the moneyed “me” class. The tip of the elite pyramid.
      So there are wealth synergies between the old money of the English monarchy and the nouveau riche colonial bankers and moneylenders. That’s why we have the fawners and big-noters straining their bollocks to be seen with royalty.
      And every little girl who’s ever worn pink and grown up on the fantasies of marrying a prince, queues in the rain for a chance to be seen in the crowd and plucked from obscurity and whisked off to the palace.
      And every older princess, nearing, or gone menopausal, changes their hopeful adoration into motherly love for Harry “he’s so polite and so ordinary”. Yup.
      As Harry left NZ, it was announced he was going home to leave the palace and get a real job.
      He could get a job here in New Zealand ferrying our President elect John Key back and forward from Hawaii to NZ. … in a purely non-political and ironic role of course….

  7. Ben says:

    Do you really blame soldiers for their part in the wars? Really?

    • Daniel Venema says:

      Yes. We all have choices.

      • Mike in Auckland says:

        According to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister Bill English and many others of their political mindset, we all have endless “choices”, to succeed or starve, to become famous or a boring “underling”, a millionaire or a low wage earner.

        I am sure you go by their preachings, when you talk about “choice”.

  8. elle says:

    Im not a royalist and im not a “rabid righty”
    Harry was born into a family with restrictions on what he could and couldn’t do,Hes young and not sitting on his backside doing nothing.
    He is a pleasant young man.
    Flying helicopters in a wartime situation is not supporting the war, most young people of his age would be praised for doing it ,just because hes royal dosnt mean he’s any different from other people his age.
    He was sent here to support the royal family who in this day and age is going down in the popularity stakes,and I might add for good reason,but he was doing as he’s told.
    John Minto you should pick on someone your own age! you sound like a bitter man.
    I would add Prince Philip was a layabout doing nothing .
    Prince Charles hurt Harrys mother by messing about with another woman,Harrys not had much in the way of role models,but he’s grown into a nice young man .
    Prince Charles letters are not much to criticise,hes doing what we do here on our comments, he is trying to make a difference,a big fuss about nothing.
    Most of the royal hangers on get paid for nothing ,and that should be stopped, in fact the royal family have so much money from taxpayers,that should stop,they can live for a very long time on their wealth.
    Just leave the young ones alone ,the press made Diana’s life a misery ,
    don’t start continuing the mean behaviour , Harry is who he is .

    • wild katipo says:

      Yeah , y’know….I kind of agree with a lot of the sentiment there , ELLE..

      There’s two sides to it….on one …the archetypal indolent aristocratic spoilt brat / port drinking eccentric lord of the manor…..on the other hand…

      The old tradition of male members of the royalty serving in the forces…

      But despite all the privilege ,despite the cloistered environment…we have a young guy..who , seems keen enough to at least appear enthusiastic with life, mix it with the army boys and do the haka …

      One could be cynical and call it a managed pr job…but I think he is young , and , even if protected in a war zone ( is he ? )… like a lot of young people…is caught up with certain expectantcies demanded of him doing his tour of duty….

      I’m definitely no Republican …that would spell the end of this country…the neo liberals would have even more leverage to subvert us , – and while perhaps the royal family have made a lot of social faux pas over the recent years – and we certainly know our history of the bloodshed caused by megalomaniac royal houses…

      I still think we should at least value some things of the commonwealth ,that once you remove that status…if you have corrupt leaders yourselves…you are that more likely to have no defense or advocates …making it that much harder to extricate them in a sensible way.

      And so begrudgingly almost…because I see the dangers of neo liberals subversiveness in a republic…or any other passive aggressive tyrants like Key …

      I’m sorry John , your a good bloke but find myself supporting…even if in an indirect way …at least the institution of the British royalty blue-bloods as just one more obstacle in the way of the enemy at home .

      And I want the flag kept as it is. For that reason.

  9. Rae says:

    Well I am going to go out on a limb here, and say that as a natural left leaning person (economics-wise, which is after all that should define left of right), and state that while not a royalist in the strictest sense of the word (not to the point that I feel the need to know whenever one of them farts) that I think a constitutional monarchy is not a bad idea. They no longer have the ability to part your head from your body with the wave of a hand, and are more of a figurehead, if you will, in societies where they still exist.
    Thing is I actually think the system we have is cheaper than would be if we decided to go republicky, presidents can be awfully expensive beasts. I look around at European countries that still have monarchies and generally they are pretty stable – Scandinavian countries for example.
    It probably will come to pass that their mystery and the idea that they are some sort of higher being may dissipate naturally, but at the moment I think they are an okay kind of glue against the rabid self serving nature of politicians.

    • esoteric pineapples says:

      Too right Rae – there’s always an assumption about the Left, and on the part of the Left, that all Left leaning voters want to get rid of the royal family as head of state.

  10. Dex says:

    So you want Prince Charles to stop advocating for climate change legislation that could help save this planet. He is one of the biggest climate change supporters we could have on our side, opposed to big business interests on the other.

    Yeah nah.

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