It’s come to light that representatives of the royal household have vetted 67 new Scottish laws before they were signed by the monarch and became a part of the body of Scots Law. The monarchy has the ability to lobby for changes to any legislation which it deemed to infringe upon the property, wealth, and privileges of the royal family. It’s a power they exercise regularly.
The Royals lobbied to ensure that their Scottish properties are exempt from a law requiring landowners to sell portions of their land in order to facilitate the construction of pipelines for heating using renewable energy, rather than fossil fuels. The measure was a part of a recent law aimed at ensuring Scotland meets its carbon reduction targets. The royals will be in attendance at the COP 26 Climate Change talks in Glasgow in a few months time, pontificating about the need to prevent climate change and protect the environment, at least as long as their own financial and property interests are not impacted in any way. You can be sure that Nicholas Witchell and the other BBC professional sook ups won’t mention that when they’re wittering on about how much the royals care about the environment.
The royal household also secured an exemption from laws aimed at rooting out discrimination on the grounds of sex or race. It recently came to light that the royal household banned black or Asian people from serving in clerical roles in the royal household until at least the late 1960s.
The Windsors already enjoy enormous personal wealth, they are notoriously guarded about the true extent of their wealth, a task which is made easier because the family have ensured that the normal laws relating to financial transparency do not apply to them. According to an investigation by the Guardian, in the 1970s the Queen secured an exemption from a financial transparency law, allowing the Windsors to keep the true extent of their vast personal wealth a secret.
What’s not in doubt is that the Windsors enjoy a personal wealth far beyond the imaginings of ordinary people, the only question is the exact figure. In 2017 Forbes magazine estimated that the family as a whole is worth $88 billion, and in 2019 reported that the Queen alone had a personal fortune of an estimated $500 million.
This amount does not include the Crown Estate, which is a portfolio of land and property which belongs to the Crown as a state institution and not to the Queen personally. The revenues from the Crown estate go to the maintenance and upkeep of the royal family.
One of the ways in which the family maintains this wealth is through exemptions to tax laws and other laws which have a financial impact. Additionally the royal family are by far and away the biggest benefits claimants in the UK, receiving £86.3 million from the state in the Sovereign Grant in the financial year 2020-2021. The Sovereign Grant replaced the Civil list in 2011. £36.8 million of this is set aside for the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace. The Sovereign grant is calculated as a proportion of the annual income of the Crown Estate, the remainder going to the Treasury.
However the Act which introduced the Sovereign Grant includes a provision – put in at the insistence of the royal household – that prevents any fall in the value of the Sovereign Grant. It was put into force this year when the Crown Estate portfolio fell by more than £500 million in value, after land and property investments decreased sharply during the pandemic. Instead of absorbing the loss like every other business owner who has seen their assets hit due to covid-19, the taxpayer has bailed the royals out – ensuring that the Sovereign Grant will not fall in value for the next financial year. So much for “We’re all in this together.” Public money that could have been spent on vital public services during a time of global emergency was instead diverted into the bank accounts of an already obscenely wealthy family.
The Sovereign Grant is in theory supposed to reimburse the Windsors for the costs incurred in performing their public duties. The royals have a very self-indulgent definition of what counts as costs incurred in public duties, duties which in any event amount to waving occasionally at us peasants. Prince Andrew was reimbursed £16,000 for the cost of chartering a private jet so he could go and play golf in Northern Ireland, It would have cost under £100 to fly with a commercial carrier, but possibly private jets have more facilities for any female teenage travelling companions you might want to take along for the trip.
Another £1 million was billed to the public purse for the refurbishment of the home of Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester. No, I’d never heard of him either, and I suspect that even Nicholas Witchell would struggle to identify him from a photo in order to ooze sycophantically about him.
The cost of maintaining the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the monarch’s official residence in Scotland and a handy venue for the second in line to the throne to have secret meetings with Gordon Brown to discuss opposing Scottish independence, is met by Historic Environment Scotland. The cost of maintaining Windsor Castle is likewise footed by the state.
In total the royal household has intervened to demand changes to or exemptions from, over 1000 pieces of legislation since the Queen ascended to the throne. They have intervened 67 times in Scottish legislation since the establishment of devolution. The exercise of the Royal prerogative, which permits the monarch to intervene in legislation, is a regular occurrence. The monarch is supposed not to get involved in politics, but it seems that the Windsors are very keen to get involved in politics in order to defend their immense wealth and property holdings.
The true cost of this hideously wealthy and pampered family is kept from the public, as is the true extent of their meddling in the political process in order to protect their wealth and privilege. You can be sure that the BBC won’t tell us any of that despite the vast amount of airtime they devote to the Windsors. There is zero prospect of them being cut down to size by a British state for which the worship of the Windsors is a vital element in the cult of British exceptionalism. No wonder the royals are opposed to Scottish independence, it represents a direct threat to their wealth, power, and political influence. Royal apologists like to talk about the grace and favours of the monarch. The truth is that the Windors profit from the grace and favours of the public.
NEW MODERATION POLICY
In the wake of recent events I am determined that this site will not become a home for bigots and conspiracy theorists. They will not be welcome here. Moderation is the most stressful part of running a blog, but this site is going to continue to make the positive case for independence. With this in mind as of today a new moderation policy is in force.
Anyone who attempts to use this site to post hatred, bigotry, or conspiracy theories will be banned. If you attempt to insult and abuse anyone you will be banned. This site has a zero-toleration policy for homophobia, transphobia, racism, and misogyny. Failure to respect this will result in a ban.
If you intend to spend the next four years undermining the SNP, the Scottish Government and the pro-independence parties that the great majority of independence supporters voted for, you can do so somewhere else, because you’re not going to do it here. The reminder that has regularly appeared on this site is not a serving suggestion. It will be rigorously enforced. If you don’t like this rule – there is a small x at the top right of your screen. Click it, close this page and go elsewhere.
This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.
Scotland will have another independence referendum at some point in the next couple of years. Until then, this blog will continue to publish articles which – I hope – are amusing, entertaining, and which help to educate Scotland on the need for independence. However in order to do so I need to eat and pay my bills. Due to my reduced productivity and the limitations imposed on me by my health, this year I am asking for half the amount I’ve requested in previous fundraisers. I hope to raise £5000 which will go towards supporting myself for the next year.
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