Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Maybe the Royals have some value after all?

I’m beginning to think the Royal Family may have some value after all.

Two recent incidents, relating to two damned big issues, have changed my mind.

It was reported yesterday by Radio NZ1 that Prince William expressed surprise when visiting Christchurch that the rebuilding in Christchurch is taking so long. 

Translated from diplomatic Royal-speak, which never ever even implies fault or wrongdoing, you might read that as asking, “What the fuck have you been doing all this time, and how come it’s taking so freaking long.”  Which is a fair question, Your Eminence – the correct answer to which, (should the rhetorical question have been directed at the Grey Ones as we suppose it must have been), must surely be, “Sorry, sir, we’ve been getting in everyone’s fucking way!” As they have been.

Score One to the Royals.

And the other incident, you ask?

That came about a few months after the arse fell out of the global economy, when William’s grandmother was visiting the London School of Economics. Having been shown all over the delightful facilities in which high-level econometrics and mainstream economics has been taught to hundreds of intelligent youngsters every year – not to mention the high-powered research pumped out by tenured professors therein – the Queen asked her hosts the obvious question (and here I paraphrase, using words and emotions that must surely been in her mind, if not yours and mine): “How come with all this fancy-arsed economic learning around you, you didn’t even see the fucking crash coming?” (That she refrained from shouting when she asked the question is a tribute indeed to the sort of Royal diplomacy used in delivering William’s question so blandly.)

To the Queen’s question, the response was muddled, mixed and frankly bollocks, a much-delayed three-page missive, finally blaming "a failure of the collective imagination of many bright people." Which, translated into common parlance, might almost be taken as an open admission that their fancy high-flown economic theories and models of central planning are a total disaster area.

And much the same response could, and should, have been made to William.

The Royal Family. Mostly, like Charles, they’re just fools.  But sometimes, they’re like the fool in Shakespeare’s play, stating the bleeding obvious while all around are drinking up large when they should really be drinking the hemlock and falling upon their bloody swords.

God Save the Queen’s.

* * * *

1. Reported in the first story 5:30pm RNZ news last night. Surprisingly, or not, the comments had changed by the 6pm report.


  1. William should have spoken to the landowners and business people of Christchurch. They would have given him the good oil on the roadblocks that have been placed in their way.

    It’s a story that needs to be told but those experiencing the bureaucratic nightmare are unable to speak publically for commercial reasons. This week I spent time with a businessperson (let’s call him John) who helps investors and landowners through this nightmare (as one line of his work). John is quite literally shocked by the way the authorities are treating investors and landowners. Two examples:

    (1) John arranged for a significant international investor to meet with a “very senior official’ to discuss development plans for their property and the potential for additional investment in Christchurch. John attended the meeting with the investor and was appalled at the arrogance and disrespect shown to this investor by the official. The investor was left in no doubt as to who is boss in Christchurch – that their property rights were of little value or interest to the official. This investor loved New Zealand and Christchurch but now realises that New Zealand is a very different place to the one they once knew. The investor has taken their capital elsewhere.

    (2) John is helping a developer of a large commercial project. On two occasions the developer had “A” grade tenants signed up subject to the project getting approval by officials. But on each occasion senior officials (at the highest level) introduced so many roadblocks and delays in the development (and the stories John told me about this are shocking) that the tenants had to look elsewhere for another site. The development is stalled while approval for the development is sought and new tenants found.

    William’s question is a good one. But those surrounding him on this trip would never have let him get close to those who know the truth of what is happening in Christchurch.

  2. "Prince William expressed surprise when visiting Christchurch that the rebuilding in Christchurch is taking so long."

    Good on him! I too (as a Wellingtonian) have wondered what the hell is going on in Christchurch.

    If this had happened in Japan, you can guarantee that the city would have been *completely* up and running, new housing and all, within 7 or 8 months - maybe even sooner. But no - the bureaucrats here (in an effort to make it look like they are doing something) put up the "red zone" in the central city which has been there for about 3 years now (if I'm not mistaken). Bloody ridiculous.

  3. Maybe William should have spoken to Nicky Arts. Just another data point demonstrating that the problem is central planning.

    "A fed-up central-city business owner says the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) has "paralysed progress" in High St.

    "Nicky Arts owns a shop in the historic Duncan Buildings in High St and is trying to repair it so she can reopen, but she is hitting obstacles at every turn."



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