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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Spare us the Spare, Repair our Planet, Stay Calm, Fake News is not New

Spare us the Spare

Following 6 boring episodes of Harry and Meghan complaining from a luxury mansion in California (their house is close by in Montecito - $14 Million, 9 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms) about how the Royal Family and the Press are out to get them, Prince Harry has published his book 'Spare' preceded by a vast amount of hype and early leaks. He encouraged this by appearing on 4 chat TV shows (1 in the UK, 3 in the USA) just prior to the release.

Swindon bookseller's shop window

If he does have any genuine complaints where he and Meghan were poorly treated, they are eclipsed by absurd references to so-called injustices that only go to show that he has a chip on his shoulder and believes that despite his life of luxury and stardom, his life is so unfair, and people so much more hurtful towards him than is acceptable. He fails to see that his life and Meghan's life are full of privilege which he rubs in the face of ordinary people many of whom struggle to make ends meet at this difficult time. He has tens of millions in his bank account and is out of touch with the real world. 

  • He complains that William was given the larger bedroom. Isn't this often the case with the first child? 
  • He complains that the Royal Family remained silent following Jeremy Clarkson's vile rant about Meghan in The Sun, while they apologised for the incident in Buckingham Palace between Lady Susan Hussey and Ngozi Fulani. Ms Fulani, a black British charity founder, was a guest at an event hosted by Camilla. She was challenged repeatedly by Lady Hussey about where she was "really from" - and Ms Fulani complained about how the exchange had offended her. Lady Hussey resigned. Surely Harry would have been critical if the Royal Family had failed to comment on this potentially racist incident that took place at Buckingham Palace? Does he expect them to comment on every press article that is negative to Meghan?
  • He talks about killing 25 Taliban fighters while serving as an Apache helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, a comment which has drawn criticism from army veterans. Surely this is not a sensible thing to publish when you have already expressed concerns about your security? Is he really this stupid?
  • He talks about losing his virginity in a field behind a pub with an older woman when he was 17. How appropriate is this?
  • He talks about a row about shaving his beard for his wedding. He says William ordered him to shave it off. Isn't this just a typical private family row? 
  • He talks about how Meghan bought a first class ticket on Air New Zealand to get her father out of Mexico to the UK and away from the press. Air NZ comments that they don't fly that route and they don't have first class. Although they joked that they may be introducing Sussex Class soon.
  • He talks about how he buys clothes in the TX Maxx sale. TK Maxx responded to say they don't do sales.
  • He describes how when training to fly in the army, his plane was set to freefall and he had to rescue the situation. The pilot flying with him says this is nonsense.
It seems to me that Harry and Megan are using their new roles to make as much money as possible, at the expense of pretty much anyone. How can ordinary people feel sorry for them when they see their luxury idyllic lifestyles and privileges? Is anything he says factually accurate and non biased? He seems able to see the world only from his own perspective.

I noticed that by the end of the month, even Blackwells are selling it at half price. Perhaps the hysteria was very short lived. In the meantime, the real Royal Family, continue with their charity pursuits and keep a relatively low profile. At leats they are doing some good and trying to help ordinary people.

We can repair our Planet

Recovery of the ozone layer could happen within a few decades, scientists said in a U.N.-backed report, as China has nearly eliminated rogue chemical emissions. Ozone levels between the polar regions are expected to reach pre-1980 levels by 2040, if current policies continue, and ozone holes should also recover." New York Times January 10th 2023

So there is hope for our planet. Unfortunately, human nature is such that we have to wait until it gets really bad before we will take the required action. That's because there is always something more urgent.....

Stay Calm

When someone pulls out in front of your car. When you arrive at the supermarket to find a man pissing in the car park having left his car running beside him. When someone carelessly blocks your way on the public pavement with their suitcase. I keep reminding myself to stay cool, calm down, don't get upset. I am the one who will suffer if I don't stay calm and I can't let these selfish people do that to me. Instead, from now on, I will take a photo where appropriate and publish it on my blog.

Fake News is not New

Who said 'Let them eat cake'?

I always thought it was Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France from 1774 to 1792, married to King Louis XVI. Both were executed by guillotine in the 1793 French Revolution. It is true that the people were starving following bad tax policies and bad harvests; it is true that the life lived at Versailles by the Royal Family and their hundreds of courtiers, aristocrats and hangers-on was extravagant and luxurious.

King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette

But it has recently emerged that both the King and the Queen tried to simplify court life and move away from the extravagant customs. Marie-Antoinette did spend money on the Royal Palaces, gardens and parties, but this was a drop in the ocean compared to the huge sums that France was spending supporting the fight for American Independence against the British.

Supported by her husband, Antoinette gave huge sums of money regularly to poor families in Versailles. She adopted four orphans and treated them as her own. On big occasions such as the birth of her son, she gave away vast sums and toys to poor families and helped them in other ways.

Unfortunately her enemies at court spread fake news which was ultimately to contribute to her downfall. There was no social media and news took weeks to travel at this time. One of the favourite ways that fake news spread was via 'libelles', pamphlets that were often printed abroad due to their libellous and graphic content, sometimes referred to as 'political pornography'. Typically Marie Antoinette would be discredited being shown in bed with lovers, with outrageous dresses to exaggerate the expenditure, or as 'L'Autrichienne' being disloyal to France. The libelles were scattered throughout the royal places and no doubt delivered to newspapers for further treatment.

'Libelles' - scandalous, often fake news

Not only did Marie Antoinette never say 'Let them eat cake', it has been documented that on numerous occasions she did precisely the opposite - she helped the poor in many ways. She even refused to allow her horse and her carriage to cross fields that would harm the people's crops growing there, unlike other aristocrats!

So Fake News is not new, and it has been doing huge damage for centuries now. I suggest you question every piece of news unless you are sure of its source and authenticity.

Quote for the month

"Monsieur, je vous demande pardon, je ne l’ai pas fait exprès"
"Pardon me, sir, I didn’t mean to."

The last word's of Marie Antoinette after she accidentally stepped on the foot of her executioner, Charles-Henri Sanson. Sanson had already executed her husband, King Louis XVI, and 2,496 others.

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