Royal Lobbying in the UK, and exemption from the Freedom of Information Act

In the UK recently, senior members of the judiciary ruled that it was ‘not in the public interest’ for the public to know how Charles Mountbatten-Windsor (Prince Charles) influences government policy. The Guardian, which made a request under the Freedom of Information Act to see correspondence between Charles and government departments was refused, despite being granted in September last year. Judges in a previous tribunal ordered the government departments to publish the letters.

 

However, the attorney general Dominic Grieve, blocked the decision, explaining that the letters “contain remarks about public affairs which would … have had a material effect upon the willingness of the government to engage in correspondence … and would potentially have undermined his position of political neutrality.” At the same time, Lord Rogers made a public statement denouncing both the decision by Grieve to block the publication of letters, and the situation itself:

 

“It is either a democracy or it is not. I don’t think anybody, be it a King, Prince, or poor man, has a right to undermine decisions which have a public impact. The only way for Charles to be a public figure is for him to act publicly. It is not democratic to cover up his interventions.”

  

The recent High Court defence of Grieve’s veto creates a worrying precedent, that ministers can silence information that may not be favourable to them or their interests, particularly because even the High Court is not immune to an overruling. The Lord Chief Justice, whilst believing that Grieve did act in the public interest, still called the process by which he blocked the Freedom of Information request a “constitutional aberration”. 

Prince Charles – A False-flag Republican?

Prince Charles himself.

Thomas Paine, writing a warning for the Americans on the monarchy said that “Such an unwise, unjust, unnatural compact might in the next succession put them under the government of a rogue or a fool.” As Nick Cohen said in the Guardian, “In Prince Charles, we have both.”

The current monarchy rests on convention, and an understanding that the current King or Queen will not attempt to test the limits of their unwritten constitutional boundaries. This has been largely been abused by Prince Charles, and it doesn’t seem likely that the situation will change if he becomes Monarch of the United Kingdom.

Continue reading