The Guardian exposes Prince Charles as a Guardianista!

What a fantastic irony: his letters to ministers show how very Guardian he is.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
chief political writer

Topics Politics UK

There’s a fantastic irony to the Guardian’s apparently brave 10-year struggle to have Prince Charles’ letters to ministers published — which is that the letters reveal Charles to be a total Guardianista. The Guardian’s campaign can be summed up as follows: ‘Roll up, roll up, read what the aloof, meddling heir to the archaic British throne thinks about the world! Oh, shit. It’s exactly what we think.’

So we discover that Charles is hugely into the environment, being very concerned about overfishing and ‘illegal fishing’, especially of the Patagonian Tootfish, whose disappearance would leave ‘little hope for the poor old albatross’, he said in a letter to the minister for the environment in 2004. This echoes the Guardian‘s own ceaseless handwringing over mankind’s plunder of the seas, which is set to see ‘Britain’s traditional dish of fish and chips disappear’, the paper wailed in 2000.

Charles is also angry about the power of supermarkets, complaining in a letter written in 2005 that ‘the dominant position of [such] retailers is the single biggest issue affecting British farmers and the food chain’. Sound familiar? Yes, the Guardian has been agitating against the spread of supermarkets for yonks, publishing numerous Tescophobic articles and bemoaning ‘the chilly world of corporate retail’. ‘British farmers [are] forced to pay the cost of supermarket price wars’, said… well, have a guess. Charles or the Guardian? In this instance it was the Guardian worrying about the monolithic supermarkets’ hit on little farmers.

And Charles is very concerned about fat schoolkids. In a 2004 letter he said he hoped schoolchildren will be given healthier lunches, because then they are ‘less likely to become obese, or suffer from problems with their health and development’. How very Guardian. Just two days ago the Guardian published advice — for about the millionth time — on what parents can do to ‘stop their children becoming obese’. And it has published article after article about the scourge of junk food in schools and the need to fill kids up with kale and stuff instead, ideally modelled on some money-making recipe dreamt up by its columnist Jack Monroe. Indeed, Charles and Monroe could have a right old agreeable gab over some quinoa dish about the horror of what Charles views as unnatural foodstuffs and what Monroe brands the horrible output of the ‘readymeal industry’.

Even Charles’ letter about the importance of ‘Buying British Food’ echoes the Guardianista obsession with eating local stuff, in order to avoid all that pollution caused by air transportation of grub around the globe. His concern about the equipment of British soldiers in Iraq echoes Guardian handwringing on that very question. And on it goes. Were these guys separated at birth?

It isn’t surprising that an aloof royal, a future divine king, should valorise the countryside, elevate the natural over the manmade, and be sniffy about fat plebs. It’s somewhat more surprising that the supposedly liberal Guardian shares pretty much all those views. Monarchial snootiness meets middle-class disdain for the modern world. There’s one surefire way to stop Charles writing these pesky letters to ministers – give the bugger a column in the Guardian.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Topics Politics UK


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