The seventy year old prince says he won’t interfere as king

Prince Charles is now 70 years old. That’s a long time to wait for a throne, and he may have to wait some time yet, if he survives his mother.

Prince Charles ‘will not be an interfering king’ and ” I’m not stupid, when I’m king I won’t meddle”:

1 News: Prince Charles says he’ll stay quiet about controversial topics when he’s King

Britain’s Prince Charles has pledged not to interfere in the affairs of state when he becomes king, seeking to dispel concerns about his past activism on issues ranging from global warming to architectural preservation.
In an interview for a documentary marking his 70th birthday, the heir to the throne told the BBC that he understands he will have to act differently when he becomes king.

In 2015, he lost a long court battle to prevent the disclosure of 27 letters sent to government officials on matters such as badger culling, fish protection, military readiness and the preservation of historic buildings.

The “black spider” memos, so called because of Charles’ cramped handwritten greetings and closings, were controversial because some saw them as inappropriate lobbying by the heir to the throne.

But Charles defended his past actions, including establishing the Prince’s Trust in 1976 to help disadvantaged young people, saying he had always steered clear of party politics.

He generally steers clear of New Zealand too. If he becomes king of New Zealand he is unlikely to have much influence.

New Zealand Republic: Prince Charles “won’t intervene”, so what’s the point?

“If as New Zealand’s monarch Charles won’t act in any constitutional issues, and leaves us to sort things out for ourselves, then it’s time to drop the charade and make our Governor-General New Zealand’s actual head of state as New Zealand Republic proposes” continued Mr Holden.

“The Royals are in a no-win situation. Their supporters argue that the value of the monarchy is having someone overseas, outside of New Zealand able to adjudicate our constitutional issues should they arise. Yet Charles himself has confirmed that he would never want to be dragged into those issues. The claim the monarch provides a separate check is false, and the man who might be King has confirmed that”.

Some people like some connection to celebrity/royalty, but a King Charles is going to struggle against growing and much younger competition.


Her Majesty’s Official Birthday

Queen Elizabeth was born on 21 April 1926, but for some reason her ‘Official Birthday’ is about now in the United Kingdom.


100th birthday hardly celebrated

The Labour Party is sort of celebrating it’s 100th birthday this week but celebrations seem muted within the party and most of the presents from the outside are booby trapped.

Most of the commentary is looking at the end of the last hundred years and not with much  optimism at the start of the next few years for Labour.

The fortunes of a party depend a lot on it’s leader. While John Key’s star quality is gradually waning in comparison Andrew Little still looks like a red dwarf.

Tracey Watkins: Should a lack of charisma be politically fatal?

Andrew Little is the sort of bloke you could quite happily chat with over a beer. Smart, self deprecating, a bit of a laugh. Not so different to John Key, in fact. you could even imagine the two of them hitting it off if they met as strangers.

So why is it when you ask people about Labour, they see a very different man to the Little his friends and colleagues know? He’s angry, he’s always whingeing, they’ll tell you. Hopeless even, some say.

But is the criticism of Little a symptom or is it the cause of Labour’s current malaise in the polls? And as Labour looks back on the last 100 years, can it be confident the party will still be around to celebrate 100 years from now? Or has its time come?


Stacey Kirk: Is National prepared for a post-Key era? Some lessons National and Labour can learn from each other

Labour’s duo of leader Andrew Little and Grant Robertson are perfectly competent. 

But one thing that’s clear in this post-fact, Trump-rising, Brexiting world is that identity politics is the way it’s played now. 

What Little and Robertson lack in dynamic-duo appeal, Key and Finance Minister Bill English have in spades. 

And all four men can yarn away affably in a one-on-one, but place a camera in front them and only one seems to be able to beam that geniality into people’s smartphones and living rooms.

Ex Labour MP (and ex ACT leader) Richard Prebble at NBR:

Prebble with a caustic remark or three as Labour turns 100

Then there’s Andrew Little, the product of allowing a “party membership that’s way to the left of Labour voters” to select the party’s leader, something he notes is also bedevilling Britain’s Labour Party.

Not only does Mr Prebble think Mr Little is a “very unattractive leader,” he also views his strategy of forming a “coalition, alliance, whatever you want to call it, with the Greens” is  “sheer lunacy.”

“He’s basically giving permission for people to vote Green, a strategy Helen Clark was adamantly opposed to and that Shorten in Australia is opposed to.”

It’s one, he says, that could result in the Greens could potentially usurp Labour as the primary progressive party in New Zealand.

He believes the party is “looking out for talent, any sign of it, and they’re making sure they don’t select it.”

Instead, he says, “They’ve used the list system to basically provide jobs for second-rate trade union organisers.

That’s harsh but may be fair enough about past list selection. Yesterday Labour changed the way they select their list, that may or may not improve things.

Recently Brian Edwards highlighted the media obsession with media competence.

Can Andrew Little win next year’s election for Labour? A reluctant assessment.

After 18 months in the job, the Leader of the Opposition still looks dreadful on television and sounds dreadful on radio. His ‘bubbly personality’  joke has descended from irony to farce. In a recent interview – I think it was on Q+A – he saidy’know so many times that I eventually gave up counting. He talks to his interviewers but doesn’t engage with them on a personal plane. He looks and sounds like the caricature of an old-style British trade unionist.

His personal ratings reflect all of this. That, sadly, is a losing formula for any aspiring Prime Minister. Pity!

It may be a sad indictment on modern politics and media where TV ratings seems more important than ability to lead a party and run a country but that’s the reality and parties have to choose their leaders knowing this.


Perhaps Andrew Little will surprise everyone this afternoon and start changing minds and hopes.


Family first – mine

I get quite engrossed in what I’m doing here and elsewhere on political issues, but this morning it’s family first. My son is working the northern winter in a bar on a skifield in Bulgaria. It’s his thirtieth birthday today. Occasions like this are happy – seeing your children getting on in the world – and also sad when they are so distant.

I messaged the bar to ask if they could organise something to mark his birthday, but they were already on to it, as this reply shows:


Thanks for the message! We have organised a party for him for staff / friends and customers and are doing whole roasted pig as the main course – which he is chuffed about.

Simon and the rest of the staff don’t pay for any drinks in the restaurant so you dont need to worry about that. We have also already sorted a cake (for around 70 people!!!) and again, we will buy this, so please don’t worry!

We will decorate the restaurant etc and do our best to make a great party for him!! No worries about passing on messages – also if you can get some old photos of him to me, I can put them on the menus on the table without him knowing, or put them on a slideshow on the 2 TV’s…!!

Absolute credit to you, he is an amazing guy and a great worker – it’s been fab having him here this season!


That’s very nice, and humbling.

Bobbys bar

Bobby’s Bar sounds like are very hospitable place, my son is enjoying his work and play and skiing there. If you happen to be skiing in Borovets they look like they are worth a visit.

Bobby’s Bar Borovets