Prince Charles and homeopathy: crank or revolutionary? | Telegraph

62

The Royal family has long been devoted to the practice of homeopathy – in fact, to this day, there is a court homeopath, a position that seems as anachronistic as the royal horologist or the master of the Queen’s music. The Queen’s father, George VI, was a firm convert to the cause, as was his father, George V.

Indeed, Her Majesty is not only devoted to homeopathy, which she also uses on her animals, but the broader spectrum of alternative medicine – and it is said that her avoidance of illness during her 60 years on the throne is due to supplementing her conventional medical regime with herbal remedies.

But it is Prince Charles, famously so in tune with nature that he talks to plants on his Highgrove estate, who is alternative medicine’s staunchest supporter among the Royals – and indeed one of its most enthusiastic advocates in the UK. The practice is, he told the World Health Assembly in Geneva in 2006, “rooted in ancient traditions that intuitively understood the need to maintain balance and harmony with our minds, bodies and the natural world”.

Though his interest in the subject dates back to his childhood, Charles’s public devotion to alternative medicine first became clear in an address to the British Medical Association in December 1982 on the 150th anniversary of its foundation. Charles, sitting in his study at Highgrove, was struggling for inspiration on what to say and wandered over to his bookshelf, where he picked up a tome about the 16th-century physician Paracelsus.

After reading just a few pages, the ideas crystallised for what the medical profession described as a “seminal outburst”. “I have often thought that one of the less attractive traits of various professional bodies and institutions is the deeply ingrained suspicion and outright hostility which can exist towards anything unorthodox or unconventional,” he told guests. “I would suggest that the whole imposing edifice of modern medicine, for all its breathtaking successes, is like the celebrated Tower of Pisa, slightly off balance.”

Written By: Sarah Rainey
continue to source article at telegraph.co.uk

62 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by Neodarwinian:
      …..
      .

      I see why the Queen does not abdicate. Bad to worse?

      More importantly, what sort of animals does Prince Charles husband?
      After finding out here that homeopathy is no doubt being practised on her poor miserable little Corgis, I worry!
      Which leads me to be intrigued with dog homeopathy. Instead of 99.9999999999% sugar (or more likely 100%), what does the dog “medicine” contain? Fascinating!

    • In reply to #2 by aquilacane:

      Anyone who thinks they are superior by birth is delusional, his homeopathy fetish just proves it.

      Delusional? yes, but so far as I know, Prince Charles has never laid claim to superiority by birth. Some of his other concerns and activities do point the other way; such as his Prince’s Trust and his model town of Poundbury . Taken as a whole, his love of nature and his concerns for quality of life for all people are, I think indicative of good character, despite his delusional attachment to homeopathy.

      • In reply to #26 by inquisador:

        In reply to #2 by aquilacane:

        Anyone who thinks they are superior by birth is delusional, his homeopathy fetish just proves it.

        Delusional? yes, but so far as I know, Prince Charles has never laid claim to superiority by birth. Some of his other concerns and activities do point the other way; such…

        He wouldn’t accept his title or his privilege if he didn’t think he was born superior.

        • In reply to #42 by aquilacane:

          In reply to #26 by inquisador:

          In reply to #2 by aquilacane:

          Anyone who thinks they are superior by birth is delusional, his homeopathy fetish just proves it.

          Delusional? yes, but so far as I know, Prince Charles has never laid claim to superiority by birth. Some of his other concerns and activit…

          Aquilacane ;- He wouldn’t accept his title or his privilege if he didn’t think he was born superior.

          You may be right, but I think he is probably not so delusional as to believe himself superior on account of his happening to be born into the royal family. Nor would he consider himself to be inferior enough to warrant refusing his undeserved but real birthright. I probably wouldn’t either if I were him. Does anyone ever refuse their good fortune in being born into privilege? Would you?

  1. Prince Charles crank or revolutionary? Hmmmm tough question, anyone who thinks the latter is reading the wrong website. I. Suppose this is the problem with monarchies, you have no control over who is next in line and then you might end up with someone as totally unsuitable as Charles.

    • In reply to #4 by Miserablegit:

      I. Suppose this is the problem with monarchies, you have no control over who is next in line and then you might end up with someone as totally unsuitable as Charles.

      Oh, I don’t know about that… King Louis XVI and Charles I are among others that would beg to differ. Not to mention the princes in the Tower, Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury.

      I shouldn’t think the British royals have much to fear in that respect though…they are kept around as a sort of petting zoo, like an expensive piece of Royal Doulton that is taken out of the china cabinet and polished every so often as a show piece from a bygone age.

      As for the royals interest in homoeopathy, I suppose one can be inclusive of the nonsense when one has the benefit of the best medical attention in the land. How would they even be aware of the placebo effect when the treatment is supplementary to the best treatment regime conventional medicine has to offer? I don’t think there is any conflict that can be observed in recovery when one is taking the latest antibiotic while eating sweeties and drinking water…is there?

      Charles is a whack job, the UK has much bigger things to worry about than whether he becomes King or not…it’s just a pity he doesn’t rely solely on his love of woo woo medicine, we might then catch a break.

      • In reply to #19 by Ignorant Amos:

        …it’s just a pity he doesn’t rely solely on his love of woo woo medicine, we might then catch a break.

        Yes, yes, yes. Why doesn’t Charles and the rest of his alternative medicine-loving family put their lives where their mouths are and go on an alternative medicine only treatment regime? That would be a win/win for all concerned!

      • In reply to #19 by Ignorant Amos:

        In reply to #4 by Miserablegit:

        Charles is a whack job, the UK has much bigger things to worry about than whether he becomes King or not…it’s just a pity he >doesn’t rely solely on his love of woo woo medicine, we might then catch a break.

        I think you are wrong to dismiss him so lightly. What this article demonstrates is that he is using his royal privilege to actively challenge accepted scientific fact and peddle his favourite brand of quackery. He is deliberately undermining the medical profession. It would appear this is quite successful with people resorting to homeopathy simply because the Prince of Wales recommends it. This worries me. The sooner the actions of this loathsome individual are given a more critical coverage by the press, the better.

        • In reply to #24 by andyb:

          I think you are wrong to dismiss him so lightly.

          Oh I wasn’t dismissing the balloon so lightly at all. I’m aware that he might be a role model for many other balloons. I don’t think the gene pool will suffer too greatly from folk that are gullible enough to follow his lead.

          What is more important is showing, the quackery and the fool, up for the nonsense that it can be shown to be. Those gullible enough to take royal advice need the protection, as I and others have said, the royals are privy to the best treatment in the land, anyone believing a royal with a serious ailment and is only taking woo woo treatments is as daft as a brush.

          What this article demonstrates is that he is using his royal privilege to actively challenge accepted scientific fact and peddle his favourite brand of quackery. He is deliberately undermining the medical profession.

          This is nothing new though…it is just a rehash of old ground.

          It would appear this is quite successful with people resorting to homeopathy simply because the Prince of Wales recommends it.

          If that is the case, then they have been for a while now. This past year has seen two articles about this nonsense.

          ** Prince’s charity lobbied government to water down homeopathy criticism**

          He’s at it again: Prince Charles accused of lobbying Health Secretary over homeopathy

          Going back even further we were discussing big ears and his woo woo here…

          Prince Charles branded a ‘snake oil salesman’ by scientist

          …and mentioned in other articles and comments over the years…

          “The experiment I [Richard Dawkins] have proposed is not technically difficult, and it wouldn’€™t cost very much money, as medical research goes. Prince Charles, whose backing of homeopathy has greatly helped it to achieve the degree of respectability that it enjoys in Britain, including NHS support, could easily afford to fund the research. He should do so. Nothing in the experiment I have described violates his preference for a ‘€˜holistic’€™ approach to medicine. On the contrary, my design bends over backwards to accommodate it, even allowing the treatment prescribed to every patient to be uniquely tailored to that individual.”

          The trouble with homeopathy

          This worries me.

          Me too!

          The sooner the actions of this loathsome individual are given a more critical coverage by the press, the better.

          Absolutely spot on.

        • In reply to #24 by andyb:

          In reply to #19 by Ignorant Amos:

          The sooner the actions of this loathsome individual are given a more critical coverage by the press, the better.

          In reply to #24 by andyb:

          I think you are wrong to dismiss him so lightly.

          Oh I wasn’t dismissing the balloon so lightly at all. I’m aware that he might be a role model for many other balloons.

          Loathsome? No.

          Balloon? Oh yes, exackerly!

  2. Prince Charles and homeopathy: crank or revolutionary?

    Crank, because (a) any number of lines of evidence say so, (b) none say otherwise and (c) he certainly can’t be revolutionary for several reasons the article itself gives, e.g. the family has had a long history of homeopathy. No revolutionary is that conservative.

    His sceptics say it is “witchcraft” and “nonsense”, but Prince Charles’s faith in the alternative medicine is unwavering

    So he’s a stubborn crank, then. Faith is the right word; no evidence supports his stance. Nonsense is the right word; it contradicts just about every law of chemistry. That fact also seems to warrant the witchcraft label.

    ‘I would suggest that the whole imposing edifice of modern medicine is like the celebrated Tower of Pisa, slightly off balance,’ Prince Charles declared in a speech to the British Medical Association in 1982

    So in 31 years the “our time will come” promise of homeopathy has failed to ring true. As foolish as that makes Charles look, homeopathy’s history of being believed without evidence is much older, even within his own family. Remember, it’s not enough for medicine to suck; homeopathy has to have positive evidence to support it, or it’s slightly off balance vs. entirely unhinged.

    it is said that her avoidance of illness during her 60 years on the throne is due to supplementing her conventional medical regime with herbal remedies.

    It really does matter by whom this is said, and why they say it. But guess what? Herbal and homeopathic remedies aren’t the same thing either. Just as finding Bigfoot wouldn’t prove the existence of the Loch Ness monster, so discovering one more plant is medically useful than we thought doesn’t prove a chemical can be medically useful when entirely absent from what one ingests because water somehow “remembers” it. (Also, how does one square water memory with the efficacy of sewage treatment? If water remembered what it had dissolved, it would have the most Willy Wonka-esque blend of properties of any chemical on Earth, with a bit of homeopathy at the end of its long history making precious little difference. Oh, right; you need “succussion” to turn on the memory. Apparently rolling waves don’t have quite the right momentum properties to make the magic work.)

    “I have often thought that one of the less attractive traits of various professional bodies and institutions is the deeply ingrained suspicion and outright hostility which can exist towards anything unorthodox or unconventional,” he told guests.

    This guy has no understanding whatsoever of how science works. You make your career by using real evidence to prove everyone else wrong.

    His speech prompted the BMA to set up an inquiry (which found, in 1986, no scientific proof that any homeopathic treatments worked), and cleaved an ideological rift between Charles and much of the medical profession that endures to this day.

    Translation: Charles challenged people to prove him wrong, they succeeded and he took his ball home. But here we are, 3 decades later, and he’s still making the same claims, despite many independent tests of them having occurred, and every single one of them saying he’s wrong. Why is this article so “balanced” (it’s a false balance)? Of course he’s a crank.

    In 1993, the Prince set up the Foundation for Integrated Health, a charity that lobbied for homeopathy to be considered alongside mainstream medicine in hospitals. It argued that embracing such treatments would benefit patients and save money, cutting prescription drugs bills by up to 50 per cent.

    Only if they work; but they don’t.

    Is Charles right? Do you think homeopathy works?

    There’s a poll? Great; let’s see how far the populace departs from scientific consensus. It could be a quantifiable measure of human wilful ignorance. I notice they deliberately misdesigned it so as to split the “no” camp in two, probably so they could boast, “look at which one was biggest!” You can see why these people defended First Past the Post. It’s not working though.

    Charles’s support has, in no small part, led to a surge in the number of patients seeking such treatments. Nearly six million Britons now see complementary practitioners each year, and one in four would like access to be universally available on the NHS. (Currently, treatments are accessible only in some areas, including Bristol and Lothian.) Over-the-counter remedies, such as arnica cream, have seen a 24 per cent growth in sales in the past decade.

    Firstly, arnica isn’t homeopathic; secondly, how do you Charles gets the credit for this? Cum hoc ergo propter hoc?

    Rachel Roberts, chief executive of the Homeopathy Research Institute, admits that she was once sceptical about holistic medicine but was won over by Charles’s endorsement of the practice. The royal physician is Dr Peter Fisher, clinical director at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine and an accredited homeopath.

    Firstly, what kind of fool believes something because of another individual believing it? It’s not like Charles has published subsequently reproduced positive findings of homeopathy working in a peer reviewed scientific journal. Secondly, how does an “accredited” homeopath differ from a BS one? Because I could be the latter right now. This reminds me of Dara O’Briain’s savaging of the headline “bogus psychic scam”; as if there’s any other kind of psychic.

    “The Royal family have huge resources and access to everything medicine has to offer, yet they choose homeopathy,” explains Roberts. “I thought, ‘Why would they use it if it doesn’t work?’”

    Because they think it works; that’s all it takes to explain their behaviour. You can’t infer from that they do work. It might seem hard to believe that family could be so misguided or ill-informed, but it’s far more feasible than the same being true of every medical organization on the planet.

    Of course, for those who see alternative medicine – and particularly homeopathy – as bogus, Charles’s passion for it only undermines his credibility. And they will argue that it is by no means due to the practice that he – like his mother – has only excused himself from public duties due to illness on a handful of occasions. But, as the Prince approaches his 65th birthday in rude health, he will, no doubt, find his faith in alternative medicine stronger than ever.

    So basically, the homeopath is a guy who commits causal fallacies.

  3. Alas – the answer is: a bit of a crank. However, his heart is in the right place. His monumental failing is that he knows no science. I doubt whether he’s even clear about the difference between an atom and a molecule.

  4. Princes, princesses, queens and kings are in the same category as popes, cardinals, priests and reverends — something that any modern, self-respecting and reasonable society should have got rid of centuries ago. Why these idiots still retain our attention is beyond me.**

    Talking of alternative medicine: as has been said almost ad nauseum, alternative medicine that works is called, well, medicine.

    **Yes, yes, I know why they’re still there (for silly historical reasons etc), thanks, but still…

    • In reply to #2 by aquilacane:

      Anyone who thinks they are superior by birth is delusional, his homeopathy fetish just proves it.

      Agreed with the first part, but the second part doesn’t logically follow.

      In reply to #6 by Jos Gibbons:

      Well said, as usual. Also, is it ad hominem if he casts doubt on the character of institutions and organizations in this way, by implying that they are overly conservative and closed-minded?

      In reply to #7 by Graham1:

      Alas – the answer is: a bit of a crank. However, his heart is in the right place. His monumental failing is that he knows no science. I doubt whether he’s even clear about the difference between an atom and a molecule.

      This is likely, but I think we’ve yet to rule out the possibility that he’s looking for a bit of good PR with these persistent stunts. Continuing in the face of failure, and putting down those who tested and falsified his claims, could just as easily result from selfish motives as from innocent ones.

      In reply to #8 by RDfan:

      Princes, princesses, queens and kings are in the same category as popes, cardinals, priests and reverends — something that any modern, self-respecting and reasonable society should have got rid of centuries ago. Why these idiots still retain our attention is beyond me.**

      Yes, they are a living contradiction, and I still don’t understand why they get idolized so much. People who denigrate Parliament seem remarkably fawning when it comes to an institution that isn’t so democratic; perhaps it’s a mixture of misplaced nostalgia and nationalistic pride?

      I wonder how many British people would fumble with an excuse to keep them going if questioned. At least the monarchy is losing political power.

      In reply to #19 by Ignorant Amos:

      I don’t think it would matter too much if he did become King, considering how vestigial their power is. Parliament wields most of the political power, and the Royal Family are basically expensive walking symbols and ambassadors. For all that they are financial money sinks on the British landscape, they probably will lose even more political power over the coming decades.

      In reply to #23 by Roedy:

      I suppose the advantage of homeopathy over other quack remedies is it will do no harm other than displace remedies that work. If you have a hypochrondriac, homeopathy is the ideal medicine.

      I’m not so sure it is harmless. People convinced it works will sometimes shun taking real medicine, which is precisely what faith-based healing does in the US, and if you follow Jerry Coyne’s blog on the subject, you’ll find that avoiding established medical practice can be painful and lethal.

      In reply to #24 by andyb:

      Granted, that is true, but on the other hand, Charles is not particularly popular in Britain, and certainly nowhere near as respected as his brother or the Queen. As far as risk levels go, he’s probably less influential and less dangerous than American female celebrities like Jenny McCarthy.

      • In reply to #28 by Zeuglodon:

        In reply to #19 by Ignorant Amos:

        I don’t think it would matter too much if he did become King, considering how vestigial their power is. Parliament wields most of the political power, and the Royal Family are basically expensive walking symbols and ambassadors. For all that they are financial money sinks on the British landscape, they probably will lose even more political power over the coming decades.

        The royals may not have much actual influence, but they are the top tier of a system which does see unelected individuals wield no small amount of power over the rest of the citizenry, by virtue of their belonging to the second chamber of the Houses of Parliament.

        If the Royal Family went under the axe, the House of Lords would almost certainly follow; then the Commons, the Church of England (which currently has 26 Lords Spiritual in the H of L) and perhaps the entire worldwide Anglican community, the public school system, the last vestiges of Empire, and so on. The monarchy is the linchpin for the whole thing.

        The shoe-fetishist who co-wrote Phantom and the guy responsible for Downton-cocking-Abbey have a say in how the country is run. That can’t be right.

        In reply to #24 by andyb:

        Granted, that is true, but on the other hand, Charles is not particularly popular in Britain, and certainly nowhere near as respected as his brother or the Queen…

        Charlie’s brother? Which one, Andy the arms dealer or the media-bothering Edward?

        • In reply to #41 by Katy Cordeth:

          The royals may not have much actual influence, but they are the top tier of a system which does see unelected individuals wield no small amount of power over the rest of the citizenry, by virtue of their belonging to the second chamber of the Houses of Parliament.

          If the Royal Family went under the axe, the House of Lords would almost certainly follow; then the Commons, the Church of England (which currently has 26 Lords Spiritual in the H of L) and perhaps the entire worldwide Anglican community, the public school system, the last vestiges of Empire, and so on. The monarchy is the linchpin for the whole thing.

          Some of those I wouldn’t exactly miss, but methinks you doth exaggerate too much. Granted, much of the legal and political edifice would need to be reconsidered and restructured, but so long as there’s an institution in place to stand in for the Head of State – say, a presidency, or the existing Parliament – then it’s hardly a country-threatening issue unless it becomes expensive for the taxpayer to redesign the governing bodies so radically. In any case, the monarchy will most likely simply fade into constitutional irrelevance at the rate it’s going. You don’t need a living family of aristocrats to represent an entire nation.

          The shoe-fetishist who co-wrote Phantom and the guy responsible for Downton-cocking-Abbey have a say in how the country is run. That can’t be right.

          Interesting political claim, but unless this is a cunningly veiled critique of the election system, I’m not sure what you mean. Would you care to elaborate?

          Charlie’s brother? Which one, Andy the arms dealer or the media-bothering Edward?

          Wait, did I really write “brother”? What the heck was I thinking? I meant his son, William.

          Don’t know why I didn’t spot that embarrassing error. My bad.

        • In reply to #41 by Katy Cordeth:

          If the Royal Family went under the axe, the House of Lords would almost certainly follow; then the Commons, the Church of England (which currently has 26 Lords Spiritual in the H of L) and perhaps the entire worldwide Anglican community, the public school system, the last vestiges of Empire, and so on. The monarchy is the linchpin for the whole thing.
          >

          RD, I believe, has a soft spot for the Church of England and recently he described being brought up with the C of E as “a type of inoculation” against something worse.

          I see the political institutions of the UK especially the monarchy as an inoculation against something much worse ie a dictatorship. As we have seen in the many and varied attacks on our civil liberties in the face of the so-called terrorist threat, liberal democracies live on a knife-edge.

          Look around at the monarchies of Europe – Denmark, Norway, Sweden – all batting way above the average with regard to human rights – even within Europe. Spain you will remember has a monarchy again where it was formerly abolished by one General Franco.

          I say, thank your lucky stars to have the monarchy – without them the threat of dictatorship would loom much larger in my view. I simply can’t see a dictatorship established in the UK all the time Charles is around. In fact I’d go further, if a dictator arose amongst us, Charles would be one of the first to go.

          The problem is – and I’m not saying I include you in this – many people on the left have so much hatred and self-righteousness stored up in the hearts and minds that they will burn down everything representing “the establishment” without giving much thought to the future. It is about time, we started valuing the UK for being one of the best places in the world to live – and that includes having a constitutional monarchy.

          PS Have you seen my latest comment here.

          • In reply to #48 by GPWC:

            You may have a point about it being inoculation against worse forms of government, but I might also point out that there are countries without a constitutional monarchy that are on par with or very close to the countries you just mentioned in terms of such measures as standard of living and gross domestic produce. Examples include Switzerland, Singapore, Germany, Romania, Iceland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Finland, and France. Also, while I’m cheating a little to include Canada, Australia, and New Zealand since they’re technically constitutional monarchies, the monarch’s duties in those countries are largely carried out by the Governors General in her stead, and it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest their national prosperity and standard of living is due to the monarchy.

            In any case, even allowing that the monarchy is better than some forms of government, it is at heart an unfair hereditarian privilege inimical to a general principle of equality and/or fairness. Probably the main reason the monarchy is so beneficial these days is because its power is largely nominal, and any actual power has been diverted to other institutions like the House of Commons.

          • In reply to #49 by Zeuglodon:
            >

            I wasn’t making a point about living standards – I agree there are many countries above the UK in terms of GDP per capita (I think we are in the top 25, but only just these days) – I was making a point about our political system and especially the judiciary which spins off from it.

            You mention Germany though so I think it is only fair to point out that they got rid of their monarch (not a great one, I accept) but that left a power vacuum, and – not mentioning any names – the rest is history.

          • In reply to #48 by GPWC:

            In reply to #41 by Katy Cordeth:

            I see the political institutions of the UK especially the monarchy as an inoculation against something much worse ie a dictatorship. As we have seen in the many and varied attacks on our civil liberties in the face of the so-called terrorist threat, liberal democracies live on a knife-edge.

            I own a tiger-repelling rock. I’ve had it for years and in all that time have I been attacked by a tiger? I have not. It obviously works.

            I say, thank your lucky stars to have the monarchy – without them the threat of dictatorship would loom much larger in my view. I simply can’t see a dictatorship established in the UK all the time Charles is around. In fact I’d go further, if a dictator arose amongst us, Charles would be one of the first to go.

            The recent history of the royals shows they tend to be rather fond of dictators:

            Nazi Germany and the Royal Family

            And dictators love nothing more than cosying up to royalty.

            The problem is – and I’m not saying I include you in this – many people on the left have so much hatred and self-righteousness stored up in the hearts and minds that they will burn down everything representing “the establishment” without giving much thought to the future.

            I quite agree that the UK is one of the best places in the world to live, if not the best. It’s probably the most tolerant, multicultural country that exists. And as the planetary population continues to soar and we find ourselves increasingly making like sardines, hopefully it will set an example and show that different races and religions can get along quite nicely.

            The UK has given the world Shakespeare, Dickens, Scotch eggs, Geoffrey Chaucer, the Sunday roast, Alan Bennett, Pam Ayres, choo-choo trains, Elvis Costello, Tony Hancock, the world wide web, Stan Laurel, television, the jet engine, Alfred Hitchcock, the pencil, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, the sandwich, the Mr Men books and at least eight other things.

            Thank you for not including me among those you say are filled with hatred and self-righteousness. I don’t really hate, or at least try not to, although I can be self-righteous; it’s hard not to be when you’re as right as often as I am. :(

            It is about time, we started valuing the UK for being one of the best places in the world to live – and that includes having a constitutional monarchy.

            It may include having a monarchy, but until you can show that it’s because of a monarchy, I see no reason to hang on to an anachronism which holds that a select few are inherently superior to the rest because of the fact of their birth and get to enjoy vast wealth and privilege as a result, with the only justification for this being that it was ordained by God.

            Where’s Oliver’s army when it’s needed most?

            PS Have you seen my latest comment here.

            Yes I have, I’ve got the email notification thing enabled. Sorry, I meant to like it or respond but I’ve been busy. Or I forgot. One of those. Best wishes to Y.

        • In reply to #41 by Katy Cordeth:

          The royals may not have much actual influence, but they are the top tier of a system which does see unelected individuals wield no small amount of power over the rest of the citizenry, by virtue of their belonging to the second chamber of the Houses of Parliament.

          The Royal family and the House of Lords are not as co-dependant as you are making out. With the House of Lords Reform Bill the “unelected individuals” will be a moot subject. Until the reforms are past, or we put an alternative in place, the Lords provide a buffer to the commons as a system of checks. Not the ideal I grant you, but it’s what we have until we get better.

          If the Royal Family went under the axe, the House of Lords would almost certainly follow; then the Commons, the Church of England (which currently has 26 Lords Spiritual in the H of L) and perhaps the entire worldwide Anglican community, the public school system, the last vestiges of Empire, and so on. The monarchy is the linchpin for the whole thing.

          So, if the monarchy went, you are suggesting the government and the state church would closely follow as a result? Really?

          The shoe-fetishist who co-wrote Phantom and the guy responsible for Downton-cocking-Abbey have a say in how the country is run. That can’t be right.

          I really can’t see why having a deep attraction to a fashion item of clothing and an a brilliant artistic impresario or having a career as an actor, producer and writer has to do with having a limited say in the running of the country. Both have credentials that place them better to run the country than the balloons that are actually running the country.

          Andrew Loyd Webber

          Composer, panellist, television personality, businessman, songwriter, theatre director, he has also gained a number of honours, including seven Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, fourteen Ivor Novello Awards, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. He is also the president of the Arts Educational Schools London, a prestigious performing arts school located in Chiswick, West London.

          Julian Fellowes

          Fellowes is the Chairman of the RNIB appeal for Talking Books. He is a Vice-President of the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, Patron of the South West branch of Age UK, Patron of Changing Faces, of Living Paintings, of the Rainbow Trust, and of Breast Cancer Haven, as well as supporting charities concerned with the care of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and other causes. He recently opened the Dorset office of south-west adoption charity, Families for Children. He also sits on the Arts and Media Honours Committee.

          Fellowes is on the Appeal Council for the National Memorial Arboretum and he is also the Patron of Moviola, an initiative to facilitate rural cinema screenings in the West Country.

          Compared to the goat that is in charge of the country at the moment.

          David Cameron

          Six weeks before taking his O-Levels he was caught smoking cannabis. He admitted the offence and had not been involved in selling drugs, so he was not expelled, but was fined, prevented from leaving school grounds, and given a “Georgic” (a punishment which involved copying 500 lines of Latin text). He has also admitted taking Cocaine.

          While Leader of the Conservative Party, Cameron has been accused of reliance on “old-boy networks” and attacked by his party for the imposition of selective shortlists of prospective parliamentary candidates.

          BTW, I’ve yet to meet a member of the opposite sex who hasn’t a shoe fetish. I doubt you would see that as an obstacle to attaining a position of power and influence. In fact, I’m a bit partial to a bit of fancy footwear myself, on both sexes.

  5. Firstly, I blame the parents; although I wonder what his father thinks about it.

    Secondly, could it be that he’s just bored?

    He also, unconstitutionally, meddles in the civil affairs of architecture. He’s entitled, as are we all, to his personally tastes, but none of us are automatically at liberty to hold opinions, we can only stand by that for that which we can successfully argue.

    And let’s face it, his treatment of Diana Spencer was cruel.

    He is indeed, as Christopher Hitchens put it “The Prince of piffle.”

    But, he’s not entirely to blame, it can’t be easy living inside a nineteenth century bubble in the twenty first century.

    However, the spin off from his pronouncements is a problem, because although he may be able to waste money on this nonsense there are many who can’t, but nonetheless hearing what he has to say will.

    Further, he lends credence to the idea of homeopathy being provided by the National Health Service at the expense of me the tax payer, and at a time when it’s just been announced that a two tier system is being introduced because of lack of resources.

    So, I have to say that having come to examine the situation it turns out not to be such a joke after all!

  6. Mad princes,winsome princesses,duchesses,dukes,malignant clerics, palaces,grace and favour, the whole medieval, stinking,self -serving dungheap should be shovelled into the dustbin of history NOW!,

    • In reply to #11 by sunbeamforjeebus:

      Mad princes,winsome princesses,duchesses,dukes,malignant clerics, palaces,grace and favour, the whole medieval, stinking,self -serving dungheap should be shovelled into the dustbin of history NOW!,

      Yeah, well! What was it Hilair Belloc said? Oh yes:

      “And always keep a-hold of Nurse

      For fear of finding something worse.”

      S G

  7. Water peddlers never had it so good with those guys.

    “I have often thought that one of the less attractive traits of various professional bodies and institutions is the deeply ingrained suspicion and outright hostility which can exist towards anything unorthodox or unconventional. I would suggest that the whole imposing edifice of modern medicine is like the celebrated Tower of Pisa, slightly off balance.

    Go, you magnificent uncompromising rebel. There is no fooling you.

  8. A revolutionary monarch? Wouldn’t that be a bit… suicidal?

    Not if you’re waiting to ascend the throne. HIS PLAN BECOMES CLEAR.

    “Mother, you really should change to using these homeopathic cures. They’re used by doctors and everything.”

  9. I have just read the whole article and I am shocked by how terribly uncritical it is of Prince Charles and homeopathy. Here is an extremely privileged royal, wealthy beyond imagination, misusing his influence to challenge established medical and scientific knowledge – fields of expertise he knows nothing about. Why is he allowed to do this unchallenged? Why does this journalist report his views as equally as good as those of the experts? How on Earth can it be a good thing that he is inspiring others to turn to voodoo medicine?

    I am sorry about the rant, but this kind of lazy, uncritical journalism depresses me. Prince Charles should be the subject of much more vocal criticism than this.

  10. He does have something of an argument.

    But it’s not so much that there’s anything good about homeopathy. More that there’s something rotten in the state of medical practise.

    The original BMA research showed no scientific evidence that homeopathic remedies worked. Though there may have been an assumption at the time that BMA practises were justified on a different basis. Perhaps the real question should have been a comparison as to whether there was scientific evidence that BMA practises worked significantly better. We now know know that there probably also wasn’t much good scientific evidence for many of the BMA treatments of the time.

    Technically the BMA remedies should probably come out slightly ahead of homeopathy, based on scientific evidence. But the score might be more along the lines of homeopaths lose by 500 own goals to the BMA who only scored 495 own goals. Any need for a tie breaker could be based on the net difference in placebo effect. But it might not be clear whether the homeopaths or the BMA bedside mannerisms would come out ahead.

    It’s not possible for homeopathy to be better than scientific evidence-based medicine. But it is possible that non scientific, lack of evidence based medicine practises might occasionally be a lot worse than homeopathy. In the long run evidence based medicine will prevail because it is more open to actual evidence. But it can take some considerable time to open up. Reason being that medical practise and pharmaceuticals are very attractive investments for very wealthy and astute people. And it can take some considerable time for forecast revenue streams from patent rights for useless medications to be fully exploited. So when new discoveries come along, such as that antacids are useless for treating stomach ulcers, which were never actually caused by bacterial infection, then the medical industry needs to wait many years until all the stockpiles and production/supply contracts are fulfilled, all legacy profits capitalised, and a new highly profitable substitute product line (like statins) is established before reality becomes available to be scientifically embraced. Then the cycle repeats as the new profit line eventually becomes tarnished with quackery.

    • In reply to #20 by Pete H:

      But it’s not so much that there’s anything good about homeopathy. More that there’s something rotten in the state of medical practise…Perhaps the real question should have been a comparison as to whether there was scientific evidence that BMA practises worked significantly better.

      Really? That your first point is correct doesn’t make the second relevant.

      We now know know that there probably also wasn’t much good scientific evidence for many of the BMA treatments of the time.

      Gonna have to ask you for your source on that Pete. Evidence-based medicine didn’t just happen in the last 30 years. Also, the BMA is a trade union, not a regulatory body, though they are somehow (incorrectly) seen to represent all UK doctors.

      But the score might be more along the lines of homeopaths lose by 500 own goals to the BMA who only scored 495 own goals. Any need for a tie breaker could be based on the net difference in placebo effect. But it might not be clear whether the homeopaths or the BMA bedside mannerisms would come out ahead.

      Evidence? In any case, homeopaths having better bedside manner than doctors is irrelevant to their chance of curing you.

      In the long run evidence based medicine will prevail because it is more open to actual evidence. But it can take some considerable time to open up. Reason being that medical practise and pharmaceuticals are very attractive investments for very wealthy and astute people. And it can take some considerable time for forecast revenue streams from patent rights for useless medications to be fully exploited. So when new discoveries come along, such as that antacids are useless for treating stomach ulcers, which were never actually caused by bacterial infection, then the medical industry needs to wait many years until all the stockpiles and production/supply contracts are fulfilled, all legacy profits capitalised, and a new highly profitable substitute product line (like statins) is established before reality becomes available to be scientifically embraced. Then the cycle repeats as the new profit line eventually becomes tarnished with quackery.

      Ok, you’ve lost me here. Are you suggesting that if a current scientific paradigm is overturned (such as that peptic ulcers are associated with H. pylori infection) western medicine won’t admit it until the currently used drugs are used up? Obviously pharma will try to jump on any profitable bandwagon going but it’s another thing to suggest a profession-wide collusion amongst doctors.

      • The relevance of the connection between homeopathy (or just about any alternative pseudoscience) and mainstream medical practise is that obviously not all mainstream medical practise is able to avoid its pseudoscientific origins. It’s what people actually do or don’t do that counts, not the theoretical underpinnings. This is a battle that is never over.

        A current example might be how very low cost sophisticated video surveillance cameras can now be employed to see things that were previously unobservable. Physicians based in Australian hospitals have been discovered to be ‘too busy’ to comply with basic sanitation practises involving hand washing. (By too busy I assume that what is at stake is the opportunity cost – the revenue benefits of additional patient consultation vs the time wasted in hand washing practise.) Possibly these kinds of basic topics have been dropped off the medical school program, being deemed included in the pre-requisite remedial primary school syllabus following pre-school mothering. But primary schools, at least in NSW, no longer provide hand washing facilities with soap for their student toilets. Presumably as a cost-saving measure. (Perhaps owing to recently prevailing drought conditions – assumption being that bacteria are best eliminated by dessication.) So it’s possible for these kinds of scientific, evidence-based, innovations to revert. It might even be a good thing for people to spread around a few extra bacteria and viruses to stimulate each other’s immune systems. However that may no longer apply now that so many superbugs live in our hospitals.

        The main relevance of homeopathy to mainstream medicine is that just by not doing mainstream medicine many opportunities for medical misadventure don’t occur. Particularly with prevailing issues of adult literacy and drug abuse among hospital staff. (Not to mention traditional issues with physician’s hand writing.) Given that there are very many situations where people just get better anyway and that there is a significant rate of medical misadventure, then just by not doing mainstream medicine regardless of the nature of the alternative, generates a base level of ‘positive’ outcomes for alternative medicine. This doesn’t help genuinely needy people who are diverted from effective medicine towards quackery. And it’s reasonable to assume that mainstream medicine comes out ahead, most obviously on very clear cut cases of acute injury and disease. But things may be less clear cut given that the majority of medical consultations do not involve acute injury and disease.

        Add that alternative medicine may be better at generating placebo responses and the situation gets muddier. Add that most people in medical practise, especially those with the relevant licenses to prescribe medication, tend to be relatively wealthy people. Many even earning more than plumbers or electricians and similar people who provide actual practical, measurable, and valuable services to society. It’s enough to at least make people a little suspicious. Why are physicians generally earning at the same level as politicians, bankers, and other financial and legal industry operators, people who literally print their own money and pay themselves with it? Could physicians be the only exception among their unusually high income peer groups of politicians and bankers?

        Certainly physicians are not paid for maintaining patient health. The outcome is irrelevant. No more than bankers are paid for maintaining financial stability or politicians are paid for maintaining civilisation.

        I’m reasonably sure there isn’t a conspiracy involved. There doesn’t need to be. Just the classic case of the invisible hand with people acting in their own interests and doing what they are reasonably confident will make them rich. Essentially this means entering medicine, law, or politics. Unfortunately being a scientist is very much not included as a suitable career option, and matters scientific are more or less irrelevant to these occupational choices.

        Significant efforts are undertaking within these professions focussed on ensuring the right kinds of people, in appropriately low numbers, are admitted to these professions. The relevant advanced training, if any, is more a mechanism for raising barriers to entry to the professional field than in ensuring a scientific evidence-based scientific approach to professional services.

        As for evidence on the performance of evidence based medicine: Keep in mind that the issue is with the kinds of consultations that make up the majority of people’s engagement with physicians. There is little doubt about the efficacy of most mainstream treatments for acute problems and it’s probably unusual when some people do prefer the likes of homeopaths to real physicians. But most of the activity is not in the acute area. Maybe my locality is a bit strange and I’m a bit out of touch because I seldom see medical folks but my local GP told me that the overwhelming majority of patients see him because they are feeling tired a lot. Unfortunately a prescription of switching off crap TV, ceasing to consume junk processed food, and getting a little exercise doesn’t seem to be yet included in the kind of evidence based breakthrough treatments that people are prepared to pay for. Possibly if patients were indulged with a multi-hour treatment program conforming to the latest and most sophisticated pseudo-scientific programs, and given various magic potions and incantations, then the physician might generate a significantly better outcome for his patients. At least to the extent that the treatment process took them away, however briefly, from indulging in TV and junk food and made them tired enough to actually get a good night’s sleep for a change.

        Ben Goldacre from the UK is a good popular source on a variety of medical misbehaviours. Yes there is apparently good progress on applying the evidence based approach to medical treatment. But it’s got a very long way to go yet to catch up with much of what’s become orthodox practise. And even with a scientific evidence basis often the quality of the evidence eventually proves to have been seriously inadequate. E.g. An item in the news today anti-venom for the Australian redback spider is ineffective, and probably never was effective. Possibly a harmless situation as the redback isn’t as lethal as once thought. Maybe similar to the fuss about vitamin C or the iron content of spinach or the value of stretching to prevent exercise injury etc. There’s plenty of evidence-less medicine in public health policy. But much of it may be no less harmless than pseudo-scientific homeopathic non-treatments.

        In reply to #59 by Docjitters:

        In reply to #20 by Pete H:

        But it’s not so much that there’s anything good about homeopathy. More that there’s something rotten in the state of medical practise…Perhaps the real question should have been a comparison as to whether there was scientific evidence that BMA practises worked significan…

  11. “The Royal family have huge resources and access to everything medicine has to offer, yet they choose homeopathy,” explains Roberts. “I thought, ‘Why would they use it if it doesn’t work?’”

    What utter bollocks. What the Royal family choose, or perhaps more to the point what is chosen for them by their doctors, when they are actually properly ill is the best conventional medicine with money no object that modern science can provide. It’s one thing to take a useless homeopathic nostrum when you have a sniffle that’ll get better on its own anyway and then try and claim some benefit from it and another thing altogether to rely on quackery when you have a serious illness that requires surgery and/or powerful drugs. I think we can be damn sure that any doctor who tried to treat a member of the Royal family with vigourously shaken water in such a situation would find themselves struck off the register in very short order.

    All this demonstrates is how abysmally lacking in scientific knowledge and and the ability to perform critical thinking the Prince of Wales is. Why the hell he thinks 16th century medicine could have the slightest relevance to modern science or give him the right to pontificate about current medical practice is beyond me. I suspect he’s bored, doesn’t have enough serious concerns to occupy himself with and is utterly fed up of waiting for mum to pop her clogs or resign the throne to him. Hopefully it’ll skip his generation anyway and go straight to Will or Harry if it has to continue at all, the value of which to any of us ordinary mortals seems highly dubious.

  12. I suppose the advantage of homeopathy over other quack remedies is it will do no harm other than displace remedies that work. If you have a hypochrondriac, homeopathy is the ideal medicine.

    There is no way to tell it apart from water. There is no study showing it is effective. It has corporate backing. As Nestle discovered, selling water at huge markup is immensely profitable.

    Perhaps you could have fun with a fake homeopathy company that patented water and sued other homeopathy companies.

  13. Let’s be honest; he’s a crackpot.

    We Brits are in love with the royals in the same way that North Koreans are besotted by Kim Jong-un. Just as the unfortunate people who live in that communist nightmare may not realise that they’d be better off without their great leader, similarly we in the UK don’t realise how shedding the monarchy would make us just that bit more rational – and in a better position to criticise the irrationality of others.

    Our grovelling love for the silly prince and his tedious mother makes us look like hypocrites when we mock Americans and their religiosity because – clearly – we’re every bit as whacko as US citizens.

    Irrationality in the States makes itself obvious in Fox News, for example, and the words of its Christian Taliban presenters, or, let’s say, in the prevalence of churches in the Bible belt. Ours is evident in the way we doff our caps to nut jobs that give their animals homeopathic snake oil – their animals for crying out aloud! The royal crazies don’t even have the excuse of the placebo effect because corgis surely don’t know that they are receiving a claimed medicine, so they surely can’t be kidding themselves better in the way that humans do.

    We don’t have the right to look down on Americans in the smug way that we do, not with our serf-like mindsets.

    • In reply to #27 by atheezilla:

      Let’s not generalize here. Not everyone in the UK wants to be a Subject. Personally, I’d be happy to see them on a level with everyone else, and then have some of their wealth be put to better use.

      • In reply to #29 by Zeuglodon:

        In reply to #27 by atheezilla:

        Let’s not generalize here. Not everyone in the UK wants to be a Subject. Personally, I’d be happy to see them on a level with everyone else, and then have some of their wealth be put to better use.

        They are loved by the overwhelming majority. That’s why the populace in general devours even the most trivial news about the royals. Stories or photographs about members of the monarchy sells newspapers in a way that information about the Beckams doesn’t. That’s why it is difficult to criticise them in our daily lives, maybe in an office setting, without making people irate. Generally it isn’t politically correct to point out what twits they are.

        I salute you, sir/madam, for your republicanism.

  14. Charles is what you get when you have system of hereditary office that is privileged in being somewhat elevated above criticism by nostalgia and misguided tradition but largely ignorant and woefully myopic in its outlook.

    Coming from the Cromwellian school of monarchism I never had the slightest difficulty in criticising the royals particularly when they depend solely on their jobs for the symbiosis of the Anglican church and collusion of successive governments. Charles should be King as soon as possible just to illustrate the problem, regrettably he won’t survive long enough (esp on homeopathy) to do enough serious and lasting damage to the firm. His dear ol’ mama is trying to outlive him.

  15. The monarchy system is a living anachronism. I would phase it out. Get rid of it, but if anyone is to blame for it it’s the general population who seem to be a majority in favour to support the royals. I don’t blame the royals themselves, rather their popularity with the public that ensures their continuity.

    • In reply to #34 by Stevehill:

      “Prince Charles and homeopathy: crank or revolutionary?”

      Oh come on, ask us a hard one.

      Wait a minute. – - – Why can’t it be both? Remember Timothy McVeigh, Guy Fawkes, and Joseph Smith?

    • In reply to #35 by NearlyNakedApe:

      The famous Monty Python sketch “2nd Annual Twit of the Year contest” invariably comes to mind whenever I see this dude.

      Yep he is Nigel Incubator-Jones in person!

  16. Don’t worry. This appalling nonsense and unwarranted intrusion into public health matters will all be brought to an end when the Government privatise the Monarchy. The Disney Corporation, who have had their eyes on a Disneyland UK opportunity for a while now, are finding the possibility of having real Disney princesses irresistible. The Windsor Theme Park will put its neighbour, Legoland, to shame.

    Disney employment contracts are usefully very restrictive. They’ll have none of this extra curricular activity. No damaging the brand by association with nonsense. (Altogether more integrity than the British Monarchy.) They’ll need to put in an offer quick, though, before this crank trashes the product completely. Cartoon Networks may be the government’s only possible sale if that happens.

  17. Of course the Monarchy are nuts – that’s what makes them the Monarchy.

    Long live the whole squirrel-shit-nutty bunch of them. Let’s make sure they stay in Buckingham Palace where we can keep an eye on them and they can be gawked at by tourists.

    You wouldn’t want them to get real jobs would you? Image the damage they could do if they worked in Tesco or worse still Boots.

  18. …an accredited homeopath

    O_o, run that by me again.

    I admire the environmental work he’s done (a frog is named after him) – but drop the woo, t’is naught but dead weight!

    HRH – his royal homeopathy?

  19. Revolutionary?!! interesting choice of terminology.

    Revolutionaries tend to be the ones to do away with the monarchy. his mother, who has lived a long healthy life, no doubt with help from modern medicine, is the only thing standing between him and the throne

    and so even in 1982 he was wondering if the medicine that kept her (and her mother back then) so well, might in some way benefit from some 16th century insired quackery…

    ok maybe he has been harbouring “revolutionary” thoughts

  20. In reply to #43 by Zeuglodon:

    In reply to #41 by Katy Cordeth:

    The royals may not have much actual influence, but they are the top tier of a system which does see unelected individuals wield no small amount of power over the rest of the citizenry, by virtue of their belonging to the second chamber of the Houses of Parliament.

    If the Royal Family went under the axe, the House of Lords would almost certainly follow; then the Commons, the Church of England (which currently has 26 Lords Spiritual in the H of L) and perhaps the entire worldwide Anglican community, the public school system, the last vestiges of Empire, and so on. The monarchy is the linchpin for the whole thing.

    Some of those I wouldn’t exactly miss, but methinks you doth exaggerate too much. Granted, much of the legal and political edifice would need to be reconsidered and restructured, but so long as there’s an institution in place to stand in for the Head of State – say, a presidency, or the existing Parliament – then it’s hardly a country-threatening issue unless it becomes expensive for the taxpayer to redesign the governing bodies so radically…

    I may have been getting carried away with the complete downfall of the worldwide Anglican church, but still think there’s a fundamental interconnecness that exists among the highest institutions in Britain, none of which can survive if another fails. Without a monarch, what is the justification for having an upper parliamentary chamber made up of those who haven’t been elected by the populace? I would suggest there isn’t one.

    Ignorant Amos in his comment #41 says the House of Lords provides a buffer against the excesses of the Commons, which is correct I believe. It’s an important constitutional role, which leads to the next point…

    The shoe-fetishist who co-wrote Phantom and the guy responsible for Downton-cocking-Abbey have a say in how the country is run. That can’t be right.

    Interesting political claim, but unless this is a cunningly veiled critique of the election system, I’m not sure what you mean. Would you care to elaborate?

    Amos’s boycrush on and admiration for Julian Fellowes and Andrew Lloyd Webber and their many accomplishments in the world of showbusiness and chariddy notwithstanding, these people were not elected but appointed. Nor are they apolitical; both are Conservative peers, who invariably toe the line when it comes to casting their votes:

    Voting Record — Lord Lloyd-Webber (13305)

    Voting Record — Lord Fellowes of West Stafford (25038)

    They are fulfilling a party-political role despite not having been elected; they’re nominated by the government of the day, presumably as a reward for services to the party or parties which make up said government; they’re ennobled by a monarch whose only justification for continuing to exist in the 21st Century (other than “bringing in tourists”; yeah, because the French Republic never gets any visitors to its historical buildings — the Palace of Versailles is abandoned and used by local kids for skateboarding) is that she doesn’t have any real power. This doesn’t seem quite right in a supposed democracy.

    Nor am I sure how a slew of Ivor Novello awards qualifies someone to make an informed vote on a bill about same-sex marriage. Well, I might be if Lords Lloyd-Webber and Fellowes didn’t consistently vote against marriage equality. Ivor must be turning in his fabulous grave. And being a patron of a charity looks good on one’s curriculum vitae and impresses the Ignorant… sorry, the _i_gnorant but requires little actual effort. Princess Diana was patron of about a hundred charities which she resigned from the day after her divorce to Chuck was finalized, I seem to recall. She might have occasionally shown up for some free grub or a bunfight with Fergie at an event held by one of these organisations and made a brief speech, but that was it.

    • In reply to #50 by GPWC:

      In reply to #49 by Zeuglodon:

      I wasn’t making a point about living standards – I agree there are many countries above the UK in terms of GDP per capita (I think we are in the top 25, but only just these days) – I was making a point about our political system and especially the judiciary which spins off from it.

      Katy answers this point well enough, so I won’t say much except that it’s difficult to measure how well a country is doing if you don’t know about such things as living standards and economic health. You can’t exactly sing about the good side of British government, for instance, on the basis that there are worse alternatives.

      You mention Germany though so I think it is only fair to point out that they got rid of their monarch (not a great one, I accept) but that left a power vacuum, and – not mentioning any names – the rest is history.

      Anecdotal as that point is, the clear problem was how power was allocated after the abolition of the royals. France had a similar problem during the 1790s and early nineteenth century, but then the United States of America managed to claim independence without equivalent hassle. Also, both France and Germany did stumble upon an improved form of government, hence their modern prosperity.

      In reply to #54 by Katy Cordeth:

      I may have been getting carried away with the complete downfall of the worldwide Anglican church, but still think there’s a fundamental interconnectedness that exists among the highest institutions in Britain, none of which can survive if another fails. Without a monarch, what is the justification for having an upper parliamentary chamber made up of those who haven’t been elected by the populace? I would suggest there isn’t one.

      Ignorant Amos in his comment #41 says the House of Lords provides a buffer against the excesses of the Commons, which is correct I believe. It’s an important constitutional role, which leads to the next point…

      Ignorant Amos already replied to this, and I can’t really add to his point about the reforms. If you simply mean that they are co-dependent as they are now, I’d agree with you. But maybe the reforms would count as an improvement. I wouldn’t object to ex-civil servants and former members of the judiciary lending some expertise to the proceedings of Parliament. It would hopefully be a meritocratic arrangement, given their experience.

      Amos’s boycrush on and admiration for Julian Fellowes and Andrew Lloyd Webber and their many accomplishments in the world of showbusiness and chariddy notwithstanding, these people were not elected but appointed. Nor are they apolitical; both are Conservative peers, who invariably toe the line when it comes to casting their votes:

      They are fulfilling a party-political role despite not having been elected; they’re nominated by the government of the day, presumably as a reward for services to the party or parties which make up said government; they’re ennobled by a monarch whose only justification for continuing to exist in the 21st Century (other than “bringing in tourists”; yeah, because the French Republic never gets any visitors to its historical buildings — the Palace of Versailles is abandoned and used by local kids for skateboarding) is that she doesn’t have any real power. This doesn’t seem quite right in a supposed democracy.

      Yeah, that point of yours I can understand. That’s just circumventing the point of having a democracy, and I question what they could actually bring to the table, as well as their qualifications for doing so.

    • In reply to #54 by Katy Cordeth:

      Amos’s boycrush on and admiration for Julian Fellowes and Andrew Lloyd Webber and their many accomplishments in the world of showbusiness and chariddy notwithstanding, these people were not elected but appointed. Nor are they apolitical; both are Conservative peers, who invariably toe the line when it comes to casting their votes:

      Hey, no boycrush here, they were your piddly examples. I was just pointing out the lifes credentials they have over the leader of the party they represent.There is one more Conservative Lord than Labour Lord.

      Conservative Party (222)
      Liberal Democrats (99)
      Labour Party (221)
      UKIP (2)
      Democratic Unionist Party (2)
      Plaid Cymru (2)
      Ulster Unionist Party (2)
      Green (1)
      Ind Lab (1)
      Ind L Dem (1)
      Lab Ind (1)
      L Dem Ind (1)
      Crossbenchers (182)
      Non-affiliated (21)
      Lords Spiritual (25)

      Voting Record — Lord Lloyd-Webber (13305)

      Voting Record — Lord Fellowes of West Stafford (25038)

      What relevance that data has is anybody’s guess?

      And being a patron of a charity looks good on one’s curriculum vitae and impresses the Ignorant… sorry, the ignorant but requires little actual effort.

      At least your two bozo examples are in touch with a modicum of the real world by being patrons.

      Not that I give a flying fig either way, but at least a cursory interest in the charity is needed. What purpose does patronage fulfil otherwise do you believe? How much effort do you know they actually invest or is it just conjecture that they put in little effort? How do you even measure effort? I feel you are being a tad disingenuous. How many politicians are patrons of charities?

      Whatever you might think about Diana and her patronage to certain causes, she was effective in drawing attention to the campaign against landmines…

      All Honourable Members will be aware from their postbags of the immense contribution made by Diana, Princess of Wales to bringing home to many of our constituents the human costs of landmines. The best way in which to record our appreciation of her work, and the work of NGOs that have campaigned against landmines, is to pass the Bill, and to pave the way towards a global ban on landmines.
      ~ Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook

  21. I was watching a video called Real dirt on farmer john(sic), about a man with a failed farm who turns to growing organic vegetables for a coop.

    One of the odd things he did was use “homeopathic” pest control. Presumably, if this worked the same way other homeopathic remedies do, it doesn’t. This quackery would be used in huge quantities, jacking up the price of veggies.

Leave a Reply