Royal Hubris.

As an ex-pat yank I am not much for royals. Its a war of independence, ex-colonial legacy type of thing, I imagine, but the idea that some otherwise useless people connected by traceable bloodlines can claim superiority and the right to “lead” just grates on me. The universal law of genetic decline comes to mind here (previously posted upon).

So it is with bemusement that I read that the 2nd in line to the British throne and his new bride have decided to skip a NZ visit this year because “it might influence the elections.”

Are they high (legally or not)? Sheeeeet. I suspect anyone who believes this to be true to be absolutely chronic.

Whatever the numbers of royalist fools in NZ, it takes a stoner quantity of imperial hubris to think that Wills and Kate could influence the outcome of the November elections. In fact, I reckon that Alisdair Thompson’s strong National links (including his reported blokey relationship with the PM) will be more decisive in November than these two over-privileged parasites on a party holiday.

If you ever want to see an egregious example of dole-bludgeing, go no further than Royalty.  Some of the men may do military service while living lifestyles way above their pay grade, but the wimin do nothing other than charity socials and token appearances to excite the hoi polloi.

I say **** that. Lets get rid of the bludgers and go for full independence ASAP. After all, what have we to lose other than our symbolic colonial chains?

25 thoughts on “Royal Hubris.

  1. Whilst I largely agree with your sentiments regarding the Royal Family. From a New Zealand perspective the institution is funded by the British and allows New Zealand to have a politically neutral, effective Head of State.

    I have seen a lot of sugestions as to how this could be achieved and none of them have convinced me. I think it is inevitable that the office ( Presidential I am guessing ) would be politicised and end up costing us a hell of a lot more than we are shelling out for the GG Office.

    Chris Laidlaw writes on this and a hell of a lot more in his excellent ” Rite’s of Passage ” book. For the record I do hold a British Passport ( The only place it is of any use is entering Britain my NZ passport is a lot better traveling in Western Europe ).

  2. The royal entrail-readers will be all over this one.

    Perhaps this is a not-so-subtle slap in the face for Mr. Key? Maybe the palace was not happy at the way Wills was shamelessly hijacked for political ends at Pike River?

  3. Some of the men may do military service while living lifestyles way above their pay grade, but the wimin do nothing other than charity socials and token appearances to excite the hoi polloi.

    That’s a rather sexist analysis, “wimin” notwithstanding. The work that Princess Anne does with over 200 charities including having been president of Save the Children since 1970 has got to be a little more useful than faffing about in helicopters far away from any real danger. Being a high-profile soldier doesn’t make your army any more successful, but lending your profile to a charity makes it easier for it to raise money.

    I’m no royalist, and I don’t think taxpayers should be pouring money into funding royals to contribute to any particular enterprise, but it’s not fair to divide their usefulness according to gender.

  4. I agree with the sentiment that they’re obsolete parasites, but I have yet to see a magazine cover at the supermarket checkout that supports this view. So I support the decision of the obsolete parasites to keep out of our business.

  5. I think a royal visit could have affected the election. Not because they would make any overt endorsements, or that anybody would follow them if they did, but it would amount to free publicity on behalf of the sitting government. I think it’s a defensible decision.

    I’ve got my opinions on the utility of the monarchy but in the interests of engaging with the substance of the post rather than nitpicking I won’t expand on them.

  6. Trouble:

    Here is the forest. There are the trees. Here is the issue. There is your side show. Capiche?

    Hugh: Thanks for the restraint.

  7. Oh, ok, we’re only meant to comment on the important parts of your posts. If female royals being worse parasites than male royals is a side issue, why did you say it?

    FWIW, being parasitical vs being useful has no bearing on whether it would be fair to show up during an election campaign. Being high-profile vs being obscure, on the other hand, does. Kate and Wills aren’t that useful, but they are very high-profile, and would lend that attention to whoever was in the government’s place hosting them.

  8. Pablo, you may be right in theory that a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge should have no impact on the election, and you may even be right that it would have no impact on the election, but… the impact on the media following public would be extreme

    We will start with an excruciating amount of Kate and Wills coverage, with Key looking prime ministerial, and his wife looking decorative. Not so bad, but this is close to an election.

    Someone will point out that Key is getting disproportionate amounts of coverage looking prime ministerial, so they’ll careful add exactly the same amount of time of Goff looking prime ministerial (in waiting) along with a decorative wife, and correspondingly more Wills and Kate. Someone will then realise they should add some Act (cue concerns over whether it is Brash or Boscawen or Hide), Māori Party (does a shot with both co-leaders count as one shot or two?) and the Greens (ditto), plus media coverage of their spouses’ fashion sense, oh and more Kate and Wills.

    At this point Peter Dunne will go to court to seek an injunction against the broadcasting of all the leaders unless he is also covered. He will succeed, and the media will eventually decide to add in Dunne and Anderton and balance everyone else to be exactly proportionate to the party’s opening addresses, yep, more Wills and Kate.

    Now someone will point out that the Mana Party wasn’t registered at the time of the broadcasting funding decision, but was at the time that Kate and Wills’ visit was announced. Cue debate about Titewhai Harawira’s taste in hats.

    This whole debate will be lovingly covered blow by blow in prime time news for weeks, complete with daily live crosses to “our London correspondent, standing outside Buckingham Palace”.

    You know it’s true :)

  9. Anita, No way. My grandmother is dead. While alive she was always going to vote for Rob and royalty. A photo will not make a difference at an election. Your other points are far more interesting.

  10. The convention of political neutrality requires that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge avoid doing anything that could be construed as giving support to a political party; if they had come here someone could complain that their actions were evidence of bias.

  11. Sanctuary: I had not thought of that angle, which is a good one. I had read that the reason was to not influence the election, but it could well be that given the politicisation of Will’s previous visit his handlers decided that it would be best to not be a part of the RWC/pre-election circus.

    What bothers me is not that the govt would seek to take advantage of the visit (with all the sequels Anita has so artfully described), but that there is a presumption on the part of the royals and/or the media that voters actually are dumb enough to alter their preferences based upon the perceived or implicit endorsement of a party by the royals, and that they would be of sufficient number to influence the outcome of the election.

  12. That’s just the thing, Pablo – I don’t think that presumption exists. Their actions are quite adequately explained by the “free publicity” factor, which as we’ve seen has a pretty solid basis.

  13. I think you may find this whole story about Kate and Wills not coming down under was a fabrication of a London tabloid, ie, the Daily Mail.

  14. Mike Johnson,

    And now we cross live to our London correspondent standing in front of Buckingham Palace with a copy of today’s Daily Mail…

  15. So it is with bemusement that I read that the 2nd in line to the British throne and his new bride have decided to skip a NZ visit this year because “it might influence the elections.”

    Are they high (legally or not)? Sheeeeet. I suspect anyone who believes this to be true to be absolutely chronic.

    That would include the PM, then. He’s been pushing for a parasite visit for precisely the reasons Anita outlines. And that is precisely why they shouldn’t come, any more than they should publicly pal it up with David Cameron before the next UK elections.

  16. I think I/S has nailed this. A Royal Visit* in and of itself wouldn’t be a meaningful influence, but it could be exploited as a propaganda event by an incumbent government ruthless enough to do so. Especially a conservative government.


    * Deferential or A. A. Milne capitals employed for irony.

  17. I guess my anti-royal bias is blinding me to the obvious, because even if the govt wanted to exploit a royal visit for propaganda purposes I still find it hard to believe that would be a serious influence on the election outcome. I mean, the masses may be asses but this is too much!

  18. As I’ve said before, simply being seen standing next to Prince William doing something asinine would give Key a subtle bump in the polls. It’s less to do with belief that Wills is some kind of genetically superior ubermensch, it’s just the celebrity effect. If The Rock visited New Zealand and hung out with John Key, it’d have the same effect.

  19. Leaving aside the celebrity effect that Hugh has explained and I think we accept is real there is a strong case for staying as a monarchy until the current incumbent passes and then holding an election (referendum). She became head of state in a different era.

    Charles is completely unsuitable and would lose an election. William has a chance of winning the election because of the celebrity factor.

    That would indeed be an affirmation that New Zealanders are influenced by such trivia.

  20. Phil, it’s already been established that this is not a post to discuss the pros and cons of monarchy. Pablo has stated his opinion, any arguing with it is a derail.

  21. Ha Ha, Hugh @18:18. Heck, I reckon than the Rock would draw more (younger, working class, non-Pakeha) voters to National than the royals ever could.

  22. I think having a ‘Royal Family’ which periodically throws up – in the truest sense of the word – one of its members to pretend to be the ‘Head of State’ is an extremely useful constitutional construct.

    Yes, these people are largely useless parasites, but their very existence serves a useful purpose. They do no harm and their very existence serves as an effective barrier to stop some power hungry asshole from taking control.

    I agree though that it would be better for them to avoid adding their media circus to the mix so close to our elections… so maybe one of their spin doctors has some brains and good on them for that.

  23. Hi All,

    I think this post on the Royals was such a breath of fresh air. Thanks again Pablo, its so nice to have you back here!

    I don’t think its true at all that the Royals do no harm and are politically neutral. If it seems so it is only because their values are so accepted that they seem normal.

    It is widely known that they support the Tories in England. They are part of the landowning class in England and most visual representatives of Britain’s long ruling, extremely privileged upper class. They have strong allegiances to certain political views on gender roles, sexuality, the social and economic structure, religion and so on.

    I find the extent to which Kate Windsor(?) is worshipped disturbing from a feminist perspective. She doesn’t seem to work even 40 hours a week, and she flaunts her wealth and social class via designer coats and interesting little structures attached to her head. What about the amazing women who study brain tumours, counsel rape victims, climb mountains, struggle to look after 10 children in Otara on the DPB? You don’t see women like that on the cover of every magazine. The fact that she is held up as a role model is profoundly political. Like it or not, it influences women and men all over the world.

    The Royals also reinforce unequal gender roles through enforcing their traditions on visitors. Helen Clark was sniped at by the royal crowd for wearing trousers whilst being a woman rather than a dress for visiting the Queen about 100 years after New Zealanders had gotten over women wearing pants.

    Foreign dignitaries still symbolically kneel and scrape before the queen as in colonial times, and I would be surprised if our prime mister wouldn’t fall over himself to prostrate himself before the Queen and be a knight of her order.

    While I don’t know if the Royals would be able to influence the election, I do know that them being here would reinforce the conservative values that they espouse, and that the National party espouses.

    I know for a fact that the founding members of Monarchy New Zealand are also members of the Young Nats Monarchy New Zealand continually makes the claim that if we didn’t have a monarchy we would have dictatorship. Something that is patently untrue when you look at other democracies without monarchies.

    While I am sure that Wills and Kate are lovely people. I still believe that the monarchy in general espouses some very nasty values that are in direct contradiction to our purported philosophical roots in liberal democracy and egalitarianism. And that is exactly why they National party reinforces their existence.

  24. Sally, it is not at all true that the Royals are widely known to support the Conservatives. Prince Charles, for instance, is widely known to be in favour of organic farming, the preservation of historic buildings at the expense of urban development, and small sustainable localvore communities. Tory positions?

    I also think you’re wrong that “The Royal crowd” were the ones attacking Clark for wearing pants to meet The Queen. The only criticism I ever saw came from the National Party. But then if you feel that Tories = The Royals, I guess you don’t see the difference.

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