Sunday 27 March 2011

A critic's view

Sometimes you have to wonder, if incompetence is a precondition to become a film or TV critic. Should you work for the Fairfax media, this alone would not qualify you for the job. A critic must be a raging republican with the ability to abuse the Australian Monarchy at every moment.

Take for example Louise Schwarzkoff, who gave her “critic’s view” on the new SBS series on the Danish Royal Family The Kingdom: Behind the Scenes (to be seen on SBS Two every Friday evening at 8 pm). "The British royal family could never allow a camera crew such access inside its palaces."

Nothing could be more wrong than her opening sentence. After having watched part one of the Danish documentary on 25th February one is reminded of the British series A Year with the Royal Family, shown in Australia in February 2008 on Channel Nine. The style was very similar. The cameras got very close access to Prince Philip who took the TV crew on a ride. The microphones caught very funny statements from Princess Anne and Prince Edward on how they feel when they are “on royal duty”. Not to mention the very impressive testimony of The Duke of Gloucester, who - as son of an Australian Governor-General - spent a couple of years in Australia.

On the first evening A Year with the Royal Family attracted 1.33 million viewers across the nation. This led the more serious programmes, Borderline with 0.989 viewers, Top Gear with 0.799 and the return of Kerry O' Brien to the 7.30 Report, with 0.657 viewers.

Louise Schwartzkoff was obviously not among the 1.33 Australians who watched the British documentary. May be she was appalled by her colleague Tim Elliott’s cranky sausage remarks in The Age on 4th February 2008:
Any program on the English monarchy is bound to be of interest, if only because you sit watching, hoping against hope, to spot a visible panty line or hear, perhaps, HRH inquiring of her Guard at Arms where one might find the crapper. For more than a year, the makers of this six-part documentary were granted "intimate access" to the workings of the British royal family, with tonight's opener focusing on a state visit to the US.

You can hardly expect Big Brother but hopes of any insights are fast extinguished, smothered by
Cate Blanchett's fawning narration and an impenetrable blanket of cliches: we hear how hard the White House flower arranger has worked and get some meaningless waffle from Dale Haney, the presidential dog walker.

The Queen, meanwhile, comes across as a cranky old sausage, bored with the ceaseless sycophancy and pointless appointments.
"I can't be everywhere," she says, with a dyspeptic smirk. "I can't do everything."
Their Fairfax colleague Larry Schwartz, however, actually watched the documentary and admitted: “You don’t need to be a monarchist to be impressed by this six-part series that tonight sets out to show “what it means to sit on a 20th-century-throne”. (The Age, 18th February 2008).

And another quote from the Melbourne newspaper: A BBC series, recently aired on Channel Nine, Monarchy: the Royal Family at work gives an unprecedented peek into the life and work of Queen Elizabeth and her family over the course of a year. (The Sunday Age, March 2008).

Agreed, you cannot watch everything, but before a critic hits out (Louise Schwartzkoff: “The personable Scandinavians could teach the scandal-plagued House of Windsor a thing or two.”) a journalist's duty must be to consult the own newspaper's archive. Or is the knowledge of how to keep an archive in the times of Google and Wikipedia already lost? Fairfax journalism reached a new low point.

Friday 25 March 2011

Monarchie - Why?

The Exiled Belgian Royalist gives Americans are charming answer to their questions concerning his loyalty to the Kingdom of Belgium. The Belgian Monarchs can be proud of having such supporters.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

The Monarchy is truly well and alive

What's wrong with these O’Briens? Yes, Sarah O'Brien was the evil spirit at Downton Abbey, a TV series that was a huge success in the UK. Mrs O'Brien hated with a passion, but never stopped showing her employer the face of a loyal employee.

She has an equivalent in Australia: Susie O'Brien, who works at Melbourne’s mighty, but nasty tabloid newspaper, the Herald Sun, where she stated something that only republicans take for granted: Monarchy is no longer relevant. This comes as no surprise, since republicans must repeat this sentence ten times in the morning, when by getting up they realize they made no progress.

As a journalist for a Murdoch newspaper the mantra must be mumbled by arriving at the work desk.

Isn’t it a little bit risky to write: “Privilege should not be a birthright, it should be a reward for hard work and sacrifice.“ After all, Susie O’Brien, your employer, Rupert Murdoch, is about to hand down his billions to his children, who had the privilege to be born into the magnate’s family. Only recently an American bank accused Murdoch of nepotism:
New York-based Amalgamated Bank, which owns more than 1 million News Corp shares and manages $US12 billion in funds for institutional investors, alleges Mr Murdoch's proposal to use £415 million ($A673 million) of News Corp cash to buy daughter Elisabeth's TV production company, Shine, breaks the law.

"Murdoch's admitted purpose in entering into the transaction is to bring Elisabeth back to the family business, Amalgamated says in a 46-page claim lodged in a Delaware court.

The investor backlash appears designed to put Mr
Murdoch's tenure and plans for family succession squarely into the minds of institutional investors and corporate governance advisers just days after Mr Murdoch's 80th birthday.

It alleges the decision to buy
Shine and hand Elisabeth a seat on the News Corp board "on a silver platter" is Mr Murdoch's "latest move in his quest to shore up the News Corp-Murdoch family dynasty".

"Throughout his tenure, Murdoch has treated News Corp like a wholly owned family candy store," Amalgamated says, imposing "rampant nepotism" and allowing senior executives to "embroil News Corp in apparently illegal behaviour". (The Age, 18th March 2011)

The Monarchy is no longer relevant? It certainly rules in the Murdoch empire and the O'Briens of this world would never dare to criticise their masters (in public). There are more similarities between the fictional character of Sarah O'Brien and the real Susie O'Brien than the journalist could love.
The Age’s policy: Never admit
the magic of the Monarchy

When it comes to the Australian Monarchy and/or members of the Australian Royal Family, The Age can be trusted for its republicanism.

In the edition of 21st March Tony Wright, who accompanied HRH Prince William to Northern Victoria, wrote of “the presence of Australia’s future monarch” in Kerang cheers Prince William and admitted:
The republic seems a long way from Kerang today.
One day later The Age could not help but row back from this Monarchist confession. In an editorial the newspaper claimed:
For when Prince William returns to Britain, this pleasant moment of distraction will fade for the flood-affected communities in Victoria and Queensland, and the need to ensure that their fellow citizens do not forget their plight will not be diminished. Australia's republican debate will not be changed, either. It will still be just as inappropriate for this independent nation to have a head of state who resides in another country, and for the people of this country to have no part in choosing the head of state.
Prince William, of course, will continue to be welcome here - however the constitutional arrangements may change.

Really? Did the people of this country have no part in choosing the head of state? Wasn’t the result of the 1999 referendum clear? The Australians voted in favour of the Monarchy and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. Her margin was larger than that of President Obama or Nicolas Sarkozy of France.

But such thoughts never cross the minds of The Age’s journalists.

Friday 18 March 2011

Prince William's memorial speech in Christchurch, New Zealand

His Royal Highness Prince William addressed the Earthquake Memorial Service at Hagley Park, Christchurch, on Friday, March 18th, 2011
Tena koutou katoa.

Today I represent the Queen. I convey to you Her Majesty's message of deep sympathy and condolence.

My grandmother once said that grief is the price we pay for love. Here today, we love and we grieve.

We honour the lives and memories of all those who did not survive the earthquake. New Zealanders and those from many countries around the world who came to this city as visitors or to make it their home, our thoughts and our prayers are with their families, wherever they may be.

I also bring a personal message. It arises from seeing this tragedy unfold from afar. It is a message about strength, through kindness, about fortitude.

For you who are so close to these events and have lost so much, it must be hard to grasp the degree of admiration, indeed awe, with which you are regarded by the rest of the world.

Courage and understated determination have always been the hallmark of New Zealanders. Of Cantabrians.

These things the world has long known. But to see them so starkly demonstrated over these terrible, painful months has been humbling.

Put simply, you are an inspiration to all people.

I count myself enormously privileged to be here to tell you that.

This community, more than any other in the world, can appreciate the full horror of what is unfolding in Japan. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

In the last two days I have heard tales of great tragedy, but also of extraordinary bravery and selfless courage. Throughout, one phrase units them all.

With the Queen's heartfelt good wishes and those of the Prince of Wales and other members of my family, I say it to you now.

Kia kaha, be strong.

For more information on the National Memorial Service in Christchurch see Service inspires weary Cantabrians

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Emperor Akihito of Japan
addressed the nation

In a rare televised address to the nation His Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan on 16th March expressed his concern for the survivors of the tsunami and thanked the rescue teams working under difficult conditions in the north.

Emperor Akihito said that he was “deeply worried” about the ongoing nuclear crisis at several stricken reactors. The address was the first taped video message by a Japanese emperor.

His Majesty's message were his first public comments since the earthquake and tsunami struck northern Japan and underscored the urgency of multiple crises confronting the country.

Before the Emperor’s address, the crisis took another turn for the worse. Authorities said a containment vessel in a second reactor unit at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan might have ruptured and appeared to be releasing radioactive steam.

A Message from His Majesty The Emperor (16th March 2011)

I am deeply saddened by the devastating situation in the areas hit by the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake, an unprecedented 9.0-magnitude earthquake, which struck Japan on March 11th. The number of casualties claimed by the quake and the ensuing tsunami continues to rise by the day, and we do not yet know how many people have lost their lives. I am praying that the safety of as many people as possible will be confirmed. My other grave concern now is the serious and unpredictable condition of the affected nuclear power plant. I earnestly hope that through the all-out efforts of all those concerned, further deterioration of the situation will be averted.

Relief operations are now under way with the government mobilizing all its capabilities, but, in the bitter cold, many people who were forced to evacuate are facing extremely difficult living conditions due to shortages of food, drinking water and fuel. I can only hope that by making every effort to promptly implement relief for evacuees, their conditions will improve, even if only gradually, and that their hope for eventual reconstruction will be rekindled. I would like to let you know how deeply touched I am by the courage of those victims who have survived this catastrophe and who, by bracing themselves, are demonstrating their determination to live on.

I wish to express my appreciation to the members of the Self-Defense Forces, the police, the fire department, the Japan Coast Guard and other central and local governments and related institutions, as well as people who have come from overseas for relief operations and the members of various domestic relief organizations, for engaging in relief activity round the clock, defying the danger of recurring aftershocks. I wish to express my deepest gratitude to them.

I have been receiving, by cable, messages of sympathy from the heads of state of countries around the world, and it was mentioned in many of those messages that the thoughts of the peoples of those countries are with the victims of the disaster. These messages I would like to convey to the people in the afflicted regions.

I have been told that many overseas media are reporting that, in the midst of deep sorrow, the Japanese people are responding to the situation in a remarkably orderly manner, and helping each other without losing composure. It is my heartfelt hope that the people will continue to work hand in hand, treating each other with compassion, in order to overcome these trying times.

I believe it extremely important for us all to share with the victims as much as possible, in whatever way we can, their hardship in the coming days. It is my sincere hope that those who have been affected by the disaster will never give up hope and take good care of themselves as they live through the days ahead, and that each and every Japanese will continue to care for the afflicted areas and the people for years to come and, together with the afflicted, watch over and support their path to recovery.

Monday 14 March 2011

Two sides of one coin: Labor Day and Queen's Birthday holiday

This Monday is a public holiday in Victoria: Labor Day. It commemorates the granting of the eight-hour working day for Victorians. It also recognizes workers’ contributions towards the nation’s economy. 14th March also happens to be Commonwealth Day and the theme that has been agreed by the Queen is ‘Women as Agents of Change’. This theme will be celebrated throughout the Commonwealth during the year, with special events taking place during the week of 14th-20th March.

Reading The Age today gives you no hint of the importance of this day. This newspaper ignores the workers as it ignores the Commonwealth and the Queen on Her official birthday in June. At least the journalists did not have to write abusive editorials and other opinion pieces on workers’ rights today as they usually do against Australian Monarchists and the Australian Monarchy.

In The Age’s editor’s eyes workers aren’t even worth being mentioned, while the Queen’s constitutional role really annoys Fairfax media Ltd.

What should be Fairfax media’s next demand? Scrap the public holiday as The Age routinely suggested for Queen’s Birthday holiday. Wait for the editorial on 13th June 2011. Australians will see a repeat of the 2010 ritual. Scrap Monday's holiday: Republicans: "Workers might be looking forward to their day off on Monday, courtesy of the Queen's Birthday holiday, but republicans want it scrapped."

Already in 2009 the RadicalRoyalist proclaimed: Keep Labor Day! Nothing will change the RadicalRoyalist’s poconviction – keep Labor Day and Queen’s Birthday holiday!

The Princess Royal meets staff of the Western Riverside Waste Authority Materials Recycling Facility at Smuggler’s Way, Wandsworth, London, 10th March 2011.

Saturday 12 March 2011

Royalist uprising
On 12th March 1793 the population of Saint-Florent-le-Vieil rose against the French republic and the Jacobin terror regime.

Jean-François Michael sings the Royalist battle song Chouans en avant in a powerful modern version:

A history of the War of the Vendée here in French. Wikipedia as vague as usual: Estimates of those killed in the Vendean conflict - on both sides - range between 117,000 and 450,000, out of a population of around 800,000.

A more radical approach, calling the republican response a genocide, put it like this:
What the French Revolution invented, 150 years before Auschwitz, was industrialized murder.

In Vendée, a city that had revolted against the central Revolutionary government, over 100,000 people, including women and children, were murdered, executed in part by grapeshot and by tying them to boats that were sunk in the Loire River. ("No nation," wrote Friedrich Engels in a diatribe against the Czechs, "can tolerate a Vendee in its heart.") A similar, somewhat smaller outrage took place in Lyons, a city that had rebelled and was to be erased for good. By some estimates, 14,000 houses were demolished.

During this sombre extermination drive, two sinister shadows stand out: those of General Turreau and of Carrier - known as "the drowner of Nantes".

Two thousand Vendeans - half of them women - were shot at Angers; 1,500 on the island of Noirmoutier; 1,800 in the quarries of Gigant, near Nantes.

Carrier had 4,000 prisoners drowned in the river Loire.

Still it was not enough. On 19th January 1794, Turreau presented his extermination plan to the Convention: 24 columns of men would be sent to the Vendée with orders to penetrate every corner of the rebellious département and to burn and destroy everything they found. The Vendée was put to fire and sword.

On just one day, 28th February 1794, at Les Lucs sur Boulogne, a column under the command of Cordellier killed 563 people.

But it was not over yet. The exhausted survivors regrouped behind two battle-hardened leaders: Charette and Stofflet. The death-squads were massacred in their turn at Chauché, at Les Clouzeaux and elsewhere.

A Republican column led by Crouzat - who, in the absence of Stofflet, killed 1,500 people in the forest of Vezins on 25th March - was cut down three days later at Les Ouleries.

Turreau's plan had failed. The Vendée was wounded, but with its endless programme of guerrilla warfare was still a threat. The wooded bocage provided a maze of sunken lanes where a single strategically-placed Vendean could easily pick off his opponents and into which Republican troops ventured at their peril. Reprisals, though, were often enacted on civilians. "The incredible Vendée still survives," wrote back the angry Republican commanders to the Convention.

On 13th May 1794 Turreau was relieved of his duties. Needing troops to fight on its frontiers, the Convention pulled out of the Vendée.

A bas la république!

Vive le Roi!

Thursday 10 March 2011

Armoury of facts a perfect defence against anti-queen whingers

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s forthcoming visit to Ireland, The
Irish Times
brings you this commemorative souvenir guide to rebutting republican whinges.

1. Her troops still occupy our country
Most of the 5,000 British troops officially based in Northern Ireland have been deployed to Afghanistan, so they are actually occupying someone else’s country.

2. She is commander in chief of the Parachute Regiment
No, she isn’t. Prince Charles is commander in chief of the Parachute Regiment. You may remember this from previous republican whinges about "the Para Prince”. She is nominal head of all UK armed forces but whingeing about that is stretching a point. Equivalent unionist whinge: “The pope is head of the Swiss Guard and should give the Jews back their gold”.

3. She is an unelected head of state
Just like Douglas Hyde, Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh and Patrick Hillery, although in fairness, Mary McAleese is only a re-unelected head of state.

4. She owes Ireland reparations
In fact, having lost her uncle to an IRA bomb in the Republic, the Queen is owed €15,000 by the Remembrance Commission. However, she is probably not owed the further €15,000 grant for those in economic hardship.

5. She can’t marry a Catholic
This is true, but as with the rest of the British constitution it is only written in stone until circumstances warrant a change, whereupon it will be deftly fudged. Until then, why bother? And just how does this oppress the hairy-knuckled sons of Erin? Had their hearts set on a civil partnership with Prince William?

6. Her real name is Elizabeth Windsor
No, her real name is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith. But you may call her “Your Majesty” in the first instance and “Ma’am” thereafter.

7. Her real name is Elizabeth Saxe-Coburg Gotha
Is anyone in Ireland seriously going to sneer about being ruled by Germans? Seriously?

8. The whole concept of monarchy is offensive
But for some reason it is less offensive of the Dutch, Danes, Belgians, Swedes, Norwegians and Spaniards, just as imperialism was less offensive of the Dutch, Belgians and Spaniards, invading Ireland 900 years ago was less offensive of the Danes, Swedes and Norwegians and invading Ireland to put a Protestant on the throne was less offensive of the Dutch.

9. She must apologise for the Famine
She almost certainly will. That should earn a brief moment of silence from the world’s second-fattest country.

10. Policing will cost a fortune
Not exactly. Policing the protesters will cost a fortune. Policing the Queen is completely unnecessary, while policing Prince Philip can usually be left to the queen.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Prince William to visit New Zealand and Australia in March

Prince William will visit New Zealand and Australia next week to tour areas devastated by recent natural disasters, St James's Palace has said. On 17th March the Prince will travel go to Greymouth, near the site of the Pike River mine disaster on the South Island of New Zealand in which 29 people died. The following day he will go to Christchurch where more than 150 people died in an earthquake last month. Prince William will give a reading at a National Memorial Service in a Christchurch park on the 18th March, which is expected to be attended by up to 100,000 people, and then carry out other engagements in the area.

On 19th March will arrive in Australia and spend two days visiting a number of areas in Queensland affected by the recent floods and cyclone. On 21st March he will arrive in north-western Victoria to view areas affected by the worst floods in the state’s history.

The Prince will visit the two countries on behalf of the Queen following invitations from Her Majesty’s prime ministers of New Zealand and Australia. "William will be travelling on behalf of the Queen and the wider Royal Family," St James's Palace spokesman said.

The spokesman added: "The Royal Family have been watching the natural disasters with the same shock and sadness as everyone else.

"They wanted to show their solidarity with the people of New Zealand and Australia, and the decision was taken with the prime ministers' offices and the royal household that
Prince William should attend and visit the countries."

Prince William will meet those affected by the recent disasters, and members of the emergency and other support services.

New Zealand
Prime Minister John Key told reporters today that Prince William would speak at the memorial service.

"This is a heart-warming gesture that will mean a lot to the thousands of people whose lives have been forever changed by these events," Mr Key said. "I think all New Zealanders will appreciate the gesture from The Queen to ask Prince William to come down. It's a very important step that he's taking because it shows you the international feeling for Christchurch and Cantabrians."

Premier Ted Baillieu said he was "delighted" Prince William was showing his support to hard-hit communities.

The Royal Family has shown a lot of interest in the terrible damage done to communities and families by the floods and Victorians will be greatly heartened to know of their interest,"’ Mr Baillieu said.

The Prince’s visit will provide immense support and comfort to communities and families stricken by these floods.”

Premier Anna Bligh said the visit would do wonders for the state’s struggling tourism industry.

"I do thank the Prince for his decision to visit Australia," she told state parliament, "I hope that he sends the message back to his friends and colleagues in the UK that Queensland is open for business and that while he’s here he gets an opportunity to see that himself."

The local media
The Age published a rather silly comment by Michael Shmith: Will we still have the will for Will? . What else could be expected?
Queen Beatrix in Oman for a private visit

Protests in the Sultanate of Oman could not deter Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima to go pay a visit to Sultan Qaboos bin Said despite criticism from the Dutch parliament.

The Dutch Monarch arrived Tuesday afternoon and was greeted by Vice Premier Fahid bin Mahmoud al Said and Culture and Heritage Minister Haitham bin Tariq al Said and were driven to the royal palace at Bait al Barak to meet the Sultan for dinner.

NOS correspondent Marieke de Vries, reporting from Oman:

Protests led to the Queen Beatrix’s official state visit being postponed and downgraded to a private dinner. The decision to go ahead with the arrangement was made to safeguard a major defence contract, reported on Monday. Oman has placed an order worth hundreds of millions of euros with Dutch shipyard Damen Schelde for the construction of four naval vessels.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Royal Wedding Website in Australia

The Australian Monarchist League announced the launch of it's informative Royal Wedding website.

The website has been developed to promote the royal wedding after the enormous surge of Australian interest in the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Photos of Hope
After the liberation of the eastern part of Libya, the people of the Cyreneica display royal symbols.

A young rebel with a portrait of King Idris I of Libya.

Consisting of a white crescent and star on a horizontal red, black and green triband - with the central black band twice the width of the outer bands - the flag was adopted when Libya became independent on 24th December 1951 with King Mohammed Idris as-Senussi as its head of state. Today, the flag is still used by monarchists and the Libyan opposition abroad.

Un insurgé brandisse le drapeau du roi Idris, renversé par Qaddafi en 1969, à Tobrouk, près de la frontière égyptienne.

The French newspaper Le Figaro spoke with Libyan Crown Prince Mohammed es-Senussi L'héritier du trône libyen en exil à Londres: «Je me bats d'abord pour l'histoire, pour faire respecter le nom ma famille. Si dans l'avenir les Libyens choisissent la monarchie, je suis là