Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Evict the Queen from Buck House: Make space for Rupert!

You would not have guessed it: Barry Everingham is a Melbourne-based republican and a commentator on royalty. Melbourne’s tabloid newspaper HeraldSun is one of his favourite media to publish his articles and the HeraldSun gave the author that discription.

Considering the number of articles he writes on the Monarchy in Australia as well as the British Monarchy and the republican tendencies in both countries, he must earn a substantial amount of money. Let’s hope he gets enough to live royally. The commentator's latest presumably well paid attack on Royalty was published on 8th July in the HeraldSun

Barry Everingham is disgusted that “our own head of state has complained she hasn't enough money for the upkeep of Buckingham Palace. The Queen wants the Government to allocate a huge sum to keep the crumbling building shipshape”.

Dear me, what has she asked for? A 70 percent payrise like French president Nicolas Sarkozy? He got immediately what he wanted from a rubber stamp Assemblée Nationale, but Barry Everingham was not referring to the civil list the British Parliament draws up every year to pay for the cost for the Monarchy. Actually, you will not find the annual budget for the Monarchy in Barry Everingham’s article. You have to look into more serious media to find this: “The monarchy now costs £40 million to maintain, up £2 million in the last year, according to an annual report from Buckingham Palace. The Queen spent £1.2 million on catering and hospitality and £600,000 on housekeeping and furnishings.” Or you can go the British Monarchy website and download the annual financial report.

You will then discover facts Barry Everingham avoids to mention: “The Royal Public Finances annual report, which includes details of public expenditure on property and travel, states that Head of State expenditure for 2007-08 at £40.0 million (including VAT of £2.6 million) has increased by 2.0% in real terms. Over the past seven years it has decreased in real terms by 3.1%.

Unlike French president Sarkozy or US-president George Bush the Queen does not get a salary. The Royal Budget is mainly spent on people who work for the Monarchy. As long as a country has a head of state, costs arise to keep the machinery going – in a Monarchy as well as in a republic. Claims, a republic would be cheaper, have very often proven wrong, like here.

However, Barry Everingham goes even further in proclaiming: “The Queen wants the Government to allocate a huge sum to keep the crumbling building shipshape.” Again, he follows the motto: Don’t let facts disturb your prejudice. The fact is that Buckingham Palace and other residences are in urgent need of repairs. Already in June last year The Daily Mail warned:

“At Frogmore, which is in the grounds of Home Park at Windsor, parts of the Victoria and Albert Mausoleum's ceiling have fallen in and the situation is so serious that English Heritage has warned it may need to be closed completely.

"The problems are most acute, however, at Buckingham Palace. The elegant quadrangle is described as a 'potential risk to health and safety'. Built in 1847 out of Caen stone, it has been badly affected by the elements.

"Although aides insist the area is not dangerous for members of the public, they admit the incident involving Princess Anne's car in February was a close call. 'It was fairly dramatic. To have the nation's palaces crumbling in front of our eyes simply isn't acceptable,' one senior aide said.

"The maintenance of official royal residences is funded by a grant from the Department for Culture Media and Sport. If the Queen is refused the extra money, aides say they will have to divert it from other essential projects rather than play roulette with public safety.

"Sir Alan added:'There is a critical backlog in maintenance projects already, however, and if our historic buildings are to remain safe it is essential that the grant is increased by £1million per year.'"

You may well ask: Why does the Queen not receive the necessary funds? The answer is simple: Because of the bloody Olympics: Queen refused government grant because of 2012 Olympic Games

Cheap republican Britain?
Returning to Barry Everingham's article we have to ascertain that he does not give any figures, he just talks about “a huge sum”. Would this sum be smaller in a republican Britain? Certainly, victorious republicans would not let the Royal Family stay in Buckingham Palace, but would nationalize this building and many more Royal Residences. Who would then pay for the repair work? The incoming president himself? Does George Bush pay for any damage his presidency causes - locally or worldwide? Still the people, I guess, like in any other republic. Barry Everingham’s envy game is as lucid as his sources are doubtful.

With a little help from his Marxist friend
In his HeraldSun article Barry Everingham relies heavily on an article published in the London newspaper The Times: “One newspaper headline rather rudely, yet hilariously, reported 'One is on one's uppers', and the venerable The Times went so far as to suggest that perhaps it's time Parliament voted to abolish the monarchy, using the recent events in Nepal as a blueprint.

We can provide you with the name of the author Barry Everingham dares to mention: Mick Hume, former editor of Living Marxism, wrote the attack on the Queen "Can't pay for your palace? Then get out" on 1st July, 2008, which inspired Barry Everingham to his flaming crusade against "the greedy royals" six days later.

I don't know if Mick Hume is a staff writer of The Times or just a freelancer like Barry Everingham. It is significant, that both newspapers, The Times and the HeraldSun belong to Rupert Murdoch’s world wide media empire. They all follow the same pattern: Discredit the Monarchy, but make money for Rupert. That’s obviously as fine for good old marxists in Britain as for their fellow republican imitators in Australia. Or should I have missed an attack by Barry Everingham on the Murdoch dynasty?

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