21st November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Sick to my stomach (Donald McDonald)

, by , in Readers' Views

An everyday event – a wedding – involving two young people who are of absolutely no consequence to me, my friends, my community or my family.

For this, the nation’s industry is brought grinding to a halt. If the trade unions achieved this there would be an outcry from the establishment.

From the BBC and other news media we are subjected to an avalanche of sycophantic drivel, a deliberate (or are the media peoples’ heads so far up their own fundamentals that is an unwitting) campaign to brainwash the public. Priority is given to this non-event in the news as our country fires missiles at a capital city.

Millions are being squandered on the pomp, ceremony, hospitality and security surrounding this event; meanwhile the government is squeezing people dry and families struggle to heat their homes and put food on their tables in an age of supposed austerity.

I’m afraid the whole affair makes me sick to my stomach.

Donald McDonald


  1. Fiona Macdonald

    The same as you had no choice what family you were born into, this lad had no choice either. Can you not just let people who want to enjoy the day enjoy it and keep your opinion to yourself? Do you honestly think anyone gives a toss what you think anyway?

  2. Phil Smith

    Hey Donald, if you don’t like living in the United Kingdom, go and live in China or some other communist state!!

  3. Robert Wishart

    Hope you had your Royal Wedding souvenir sick bag handy Donald. Mine is full. Could someone please tell us when it will be safe to turn the wireless back on and we can get some real news.

  4. Sam Thomson

    Completely agree with Donald. The monarchy became useless hundreds of years ago when we started electing our leaders, they should just be done away with. People are looking for cuts. Cut the royal family out and make them earn money and stop spending ours!

  5. Stanley Manson

    So you don’t like good news then!!

  6. Brian Smith

    Yes, Donald, let the sycophants and droolers enjoy themselves.

  7. mrs.C. Donald

    The status of the Crown and the Monarch is for a united democratic people without poliical choice. The Prime Minister is answerable to the Crown.
    A President requires vote and divides the people with a danger of dictatorship in political use especially in Europe where a little moustached man in 1939 would have loved you, Sam.

    Donald, nobody wants USA or Britain but when in trouble we are first place they run for help. The International Law is being abused by dictatorship and was put there and signed by nations after 1945 not to attack own people. I take it you expect United Nations to sit back as long as you are safe here with all the freedom of speech allowed that these countries do not have or even dare to express for decades.

    Christine Donald

  8. neil sutherland

    Strongly agree with Mr McD. The cost of todays royal do would go some way to sorting out the country’s debts. Now another bludger is on the civil list. How much does this list cost you and I. The French had the right idea. One less commoner ……………I would like 50 more.

  9. Brian Smith

    This might put yesterday’s events in perspective:

  10. Gordon Harmer

    Well said Mrs Donald I wish I could write so eloquently. Not being a follower of the Royal Family myself I think the wedding was good value, if only for the feel good factor it brought to the millions who loved it. There us so much negativity in the world today some of it expressed in the remarks above. Fridays wedding would have generated millions of pounds world wide and put together with the positive vibe it gave the people who enjoyed it. it was well worth it. Some of the above writers would have us living in a sad sad world if they could force their beliefs on us. In their ideal right wing / left wing world the wedding would never have happened and neither would we have the freedom to comment on it as we do here.

  11. Ann Lowe

    Seems to me you have an awfully sensitive stomach and quite a mean spirit.

  12. Chris Ash

    I trust Mr McDonald is also opposed to the billions of pounds the British tax-payer hands over to the EU each year? Or the billions given away in foreign aid to various unpleasant African dictators?
    The Royal Wedding was a wonderful spectacle and – despite the rantings of Mr McDonald – a huge boost for the British economy.
    And as for the RAF and Royal Navy joining in an international effort to oust Gaddafi – good luck to them, I say – or does Mr McDonald sympathise with Gaddafi, the long-time sponsor of terrorism, backer of the IRA and mastermind of the Lockerbie attack?

  13. Ted Knight

    Some interesting comments here which fully demonstrate two things: abysmal education standards or bloody-minded mischief.

    If the cap fits………

  14. Ron Stronach

    I love living in Britain, I love the way of life (to an extent) I love being able to express what I think without being arrested or shot. I dont think there are too many dictatorships that allow all of this – ask the Arab nations. I love having a monarchy, it makes us special, ask the Americans or even the French by all accounts.
    we are British, we have a Monarch, get used to it.

  15. Mr Chris Firman

    So France had the right idea?
    You mean, unleashing Napolean on the world? He was the Hitler of his time.
    France’s republican army of WW1 mutinied, whereas the British Army – which swears an oath of alliegance to the monarch – didn’t.
    France split in two in WW2, with half of the nation becoming a Germany client state under the Vichy regime.
    Even at their last Presidential election, Jen Marie le Pen – a man who denies the holocaust took place – came second.
    You really think we have anything to learn from France’s electorial system?

  16. Colin Hunter

    It’s odd that no-one has mentioned that the £30 – 40M (Approximate) cost of this, admttedly, spectacular event could have paid for our Coastgaurd Tugs and watch stations for some considerable time into the future. Still, who needs coastgaurds on the Mall? says it all really. It’s ironic that Prince Williams job is as a RAF S&R Helicopter pilot, closely allied to the coastgaurd!

  17. mrs.C. Donald

    Two points to the laughing synics. How do you think you have the peace,freedom and security your families enjoy in this era without fear which could be explained by the people of the Channel Islands – read your history if never been taught as these residents cried with relief when that Union Jack returned with her majesty’s forces.
    Having been born in 1941 and tenenment life meant people running to shelters from bombing and the happiness in 1945 then I will never condemn the Crown.
    The IRA gained support to hate the Crown but many forget southern ireland would have once greeted a little jackbooted army in a certain era.

    The Queen misses nothing and knows more than any of us and a Prime Minister was once quoted – Harold Wilson to Jim Callaghan, on a weekly Tuesday visit to the Queen, to be sure of his homework. The Monarch missed no detail which involved the people.
    The Crown is important and not a game.
    Imagine our emulating words of USA to a voted President – “hail to the Chief”. Oh, please no.
    If feeling sick then that is your right,choice and freedom to do so – happy days everybody.

    Christine Donald

  18. Mr Chris Firman

    Strange how republicans focus on the ‘cost’ of the wedding (esp given that it actually generated tens of millions of pounds) but fail to mention that membership of the EU costs the UK about GBP15bn a year. We just gave the Irish hundreds of millions to keep them solvent. We are also giving hundreds of millions in aid to India – a nation which has aircraft carriers, nuclear weapons and a space program. Can we hear some of the anti-Royal elements commenting on this genuinely wasted tax money?

    It all just smacks of petty-minded class war envy – I thought that nonsense all died out in the 70s?

  19. Steven Cheverton

    @Ron Stronach: You choose two curious examples of countries that you claim envy our monarchy. The broad principles of the founding fathers, that Americans manifestly hold very dear, consciously gravitate away from a system of monarchical government that entrenches elitism and social hierarchies. ‘The American Dream’, still such a powerful social and cultural symbol in the USA, emerged as the natural state of being in the absence of monarchy. France has rejected monarchy several times in recent history. The journey from subjects to citizens is matter of huge national pride in France. It seems to me that a country that still proudly boasts ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’ as its national motto isn’t pining for another procession of Louie’s any time soon.

    The citizens of these two countries are amongst the best educated in the world. They are also much more politically engaged than we are in this country. Their (imperfect, perhaps) political structures are the result of centuries long, intelligent national debate surrounding the nature of how they want to be governed. I think they would look at you askance if you suggested we had anything to teach them in regards to political structure. (Consider: it’s not just our head of state that’s unelected but our second chamber too!)

    Of course there is interest in the Royal wedding in France and America. This interest, however, is in the personalities and not the politics. Sadly, the same seems to be true of the British.

  20. donald mcdonald

    It’s strange how people interpret the written word: my letter did not say anything against the royal family (although I could have); I only complained about the amount of media fuss, and the expense to the taxpayer, over a simple wedding, and the inordinate focus by the media at the expense of real news.

    Nor did I say anything in support of Gaddafi – what I would question is the morality of delivering high explosives to any heavily populated city. That’s what terrorists do.

  21. George Smith

    Where does Donald McDonald get the idea that the wedding cost the taxpayer?
    The Royal Family and the Middletons paid for the occasion, other than the security which was – naturally enough – provided by the Metropolitan Police. There job is, after all, to provide security in London. This was reckoned to be 20 million pounds – all money which went in overtime to officers and is therefore taxable and stays in the British economy.

    20 million might sound a lot, but bear in mind that most economists reckon the wedding provided a 600 million pound boost to the British economy – money brought in by the hundreds of thousands of overseas visitors, as well as sales of all manner of licensed memoribilia.

    So the idea that is ‘cost’ you anything, Mr McDonald, is absolute rubbish. I think you should just come out and admit you simply don’t like the Royal family, rather than pretending you have any logical economic argument against them.

  22. Brian Smith

    Here are some useful facts about the royal family and the good things they bring us:


  23. Chris Ash

    ‘two young people who are of absolutely no consequence to me’
    ‘sycophantic drivel’
    ‘millions are being squandered on the pomp, ceremony…’
    Sound pretty much like an attack on the Royal family to me.

    The Libyan rebels seem delighted that the West has finally intervened to help topple their murderous dictator – or do you think they are wrong to, Mr McDonald? Would you have been more comfortable had the West sat back and watched them be slaughtered by Gaddafi’s air force and armoured brigades? What would you have suggested the West do instead? Organise a leaflet campaign? Perhaps a strongly worded petition?

    Your opposition to the efforts to remove Gaddafi reminds me of what George Orwell wrote in 1942:
    “Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. The result of this is that so-called peace propaganda is just as dishonest and intellectually disgusting as war propaganda. Like war propaganda, it concentrates on putting forward a ‘case’, obscuring the opponent’s point of view and avoiding awkward questions.”

    I assume you did not mean to offend those tens of thousands of brave RAF airmen who died in bombing raids on Nazi Germany by calling them ‘terrorists’? Or did you?

  24. Rory Lumsden

    Surely if anyone should be accused of supporting tyrants in the middle east it should be the literally bloody royals – who invited the royal families of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, at the same time they were massacring their own people. You say that the Royals payed for it themselves but where did the Royals get their money from? I can’t believe that someone can’t display feelings of opposition, to a self-serving parade of the nations unelected figureheads (and the nazi-style state television news coverage that came with it), without receiving a tirade of unfounded abuse which has typically and ironically produced arguments that to be against the royals, is to be against the efforts of those who have fought for us, when it was the Royals who were known Nazi supporters. We have a wedding between two multimillionaire privileged poshers coming from a billionaire family of bloodthirsty sectarian fascists, and yet you can be called classist when simply arguing that we shouldn’t be spending money on a nauseous wedding when 22% of the nations people are in poverty.

  25. Gordon Harmer

    Any one who believes what is written in the socialist shirker and refers to it as useful facts is of their trolley. They should go and live in Russia and see what socialism (communism) means to Mr average. One thing is for sure you would not have the right to publish anti establishment propaganda in columns like this. A swift trip to Siberia would your just reward, that’s how equality works in a socialist world. If you are not happy with your lot in a free country like Britain go and join the bread and meat queues in a socialist country.

  26. Seamus Lumsden

    The royal wedding is estimated to have cost AT LEAST £2billion, possibly as much as £5billion. Why? The percentage of GDP lost due to the extra public holiday. Policing costs were £20million, some which went towards the ‘pre-crime’ arrests of peaceful protesters. And the clean-up operation set to rise into the millions as well. Good Value?

    Someone mentioned that the wedding was no cost to the tax payer as it was paid for by the Royal Family. Aye, and where do the royal family get their dosh from again?

    Chris Firman seems to be arguing this – if we’re wasting money on the EU and foreigners , why not waste more on a royal wedding. Good logic sir, you should be an economist
    Yes, we shouldn’t be funding dictators or nuclear/space programmes, but Britain, especially the Royal Family, should have a moral obligation to the people in desperate poverty in the countries, such as India, that we pillaged for hundreds of years in the heyday of our glorious British Reich.

    The EU bailout money? A lot of money. The EU is flawed and full of bureaucrats, but is at the heart of the matter, a sensible idea, and one which has benefitted the British economy in some ways, but has admittedly hindered others. But I don’t see how that’s relevant to the royal wedding anyway…

    Christine Donald mentioned some along the lines of republics leading to fascism. While im no fan of the USA style of governance, here we have more unelected national bodies of governance than we do elected. How democratic is that?

    Finally, a lot of people seem to be responding to grumblings about the royal wedding with stuff like: “Oh my god, your such a party pooper” and “so you don’t like good news then.” You are missing the point entirely.

  27. Seamus Lumsden

    Gordon, just to let you know, as i feel you may have missed this, but the USSR collapsed in 1990. Have you had your heid up your … for 21 years? haha

  28. Mr Chris Firman

    Mr Lumsden

    It is you, sir, who misses the point of my argument.

    Donald McDonald is bleating about the cost of the Royal Wedding but ignoring the elephant in the room – we are throwing BILLIONS away every year to the EU and in overseas aid, but he would rather spitefully focus on a great celebration that cost a relative pittance, and was indeed a boost to the economy. Why?

    And as for us having some sort of moral obligation to prop up the failed states that used to be our Empire – why? They screamed for independence and they were given it… and – surprise, surprise – they’ve made an absolute mess of it. If they want to be independent, then I suggest they should learn to stand on their own two feet. If you, like they, are unclear as to the meaning of the word ‘independent’, I suggest you consult a dictionary.
    Do you also think the Italians, Normans, Vikings et al should also be giving money to the British government as some sort of penance for invasions and raids made in the past?

    And as for the EU being a ‘sensible idea’ … have you been drinking?

  29. Mr Chris Firman

    And as for Rory Lumsdem’s claim that the Royals were ‘known Nazi supporters’ – please name your source.
    HRH the Duke of Edinburgh served in that war, as did Mountbatton etc. Even HM the Queen served as a Land Girl. What, pray tell, did you do?

  30. I hate to pour cold water on the warm glow of some correspondents, however, while I accept there are some benefits, there is a problem with monarchies we surely can’t accept.

    Existence of a monarchy underpins the belief that some people are above others by birth and the ramifications percolate through the UK class and political patronage system and into the types of lives which all bar a lucky, or gifted, few must lead.

    Never was this more clearly signalled than in the ineligibility of the last two UK prime ministers to be invited to the royal wedding, on the grounds that they are not Knights of the Garter (not that I could care less, otherwise)!

    Even the great meritocrat, Mrs Thatcher, couldn’t resist a hereditary peerage, automatic membership of the House of Lords for all future generations.

    Our anachronistic honours system and the bovine by-product that tumbles generously around it is rooted in our monarchic/feudal past and the continued existence of the monarchy sustains it. That can’t be right.

    Irrespective of the performances of individual royals which are often admirable and though I shudder to think what might replace them, the principle of free seats on the gravy train by birth, in this day and age, is repugnant.

  31. Seonaid McDonald

    Anyone who thinks that the right to vote and the right of free speech in the UK has any connection to the Royal Family is totally deluded. These rights were fought for by ordinary working people over hundred of years, in the teeth of strong and determined repression from the British Establishment, including the Royal Family. These people are only rich and powerful because of the dreadful deeds of their ancestors (in Britain and overseas). Did you know that books were burned by the hangman in Edinburgh in the 1750s for being anti-Hanoverian? Not to mention the people burned out of their homes throughout the Highlands. Then there were the atrocities committed in Ireland and other parts of the British Empire over centuries. A hereditary monarchy has no place in a modern democracy, yet alone one that costs us money.

  32. Harry Sheriton

    I think that by casting a political shadow over the wedding, you transform it into something much more significant than it initially should have been. Because in essence the day was rather insignificant if you chose to leave the television off, a harmless display of pageantry and pomp which closed a few roads and gave a million happy people a nice day out. Yes, it may have been hard to escape as the proceedings reached a climax, but this country’s monarchy, like it or not, are always going to take centre stage, especially as long as “Hello” is involved. They have always been there, and always will be. If there was a revolution tomorrow and we got rid of the lot, no amount of scrubbing would remove the mark they have made throughout history. We are in many ways lucky to live in the way we do and in the country we do, and it could be seen as a blessing that the most significant thing that some people here have to complain about is a popular young couple and an regal elderly woman. Money may be an issue to some, it was my main annoyance before the occasion, and yes it did cost a large amount, but do keep in mind, these occasions are rare, and there are only likely to be a couple more royal weddings in your lifetime. Please rest easy in the knowledge of that. Besides, the country still seems to be coping money wise (just), and I saw no signs of a meltdown or of a poverty stricken nation on saturday the 30th. I am by no means a self declared royalist, but I do believe that the wedding is of no harm to our country, and that in many ways, we needed it.

  33. mrs.C. Donald

    Seamus Lumsden I never said and never will express any rotten fascism for Americans whom I have a great respect for and where does Republican come into it.
    It was only a phrase(hail to the chief) that I could not see the British using in a different lifestyle. – end of.
    America don’t rubbish their flag or even dare to do as some do(this country) to ours.

    C. Donald

  34. donald mcdonald

    Wasn’t the dress lovely though!!

  35. George Smith

    From reading the posts by those who opposed the Royal Wedding, it is pretty obvious that these people disapprove of anything and everything British. They quote Communist drivel from the Socialist Worker party, squeal about our Imperial past – something which we should actually be very proud of – and acuse the RAF of being ‘terrorists’ simply because they are implementing a UN Resoution and targeting a Dictator who is butchering his own people.

    Its the old maxim of the British left: ‘my country – always wrong’.

    Let me guess – you also find the Union Jack ‘offensive’? You also think it’s ‘disgusting’ that people get Knighted or awarded OBEs? You think the wearing of Remembrance Day poppies is ‘Imperialistic war-mongering’?

    As others have suggested, if you loath our nation so much, why don’t you move to a People’s paradise like Zimbabwe, North Korea or Venezula?

  36. Steven Cheverton

    @Harry Sheriton: Your description of the royal wedding as a ‘harmless display of pageantry and pomp which closed a few roads’ is naive. ALL royal weddings are highly political occasions. Admittedly, this wedding is not cementing a peace treaty or being used to move money around the royal houses of Europe to maintain power structures, but it is loaded with political significance. Even a cursory glance of the guest list should tell you that. Was it a small church packed with family and close friends? No. It was a gathering together of all of Britain’s trading partners and political allies. This was a quasi-state occasion that used old-fashioned, no expense spared (our expense, incidentally – £180,000,000 per annum from the taxpayer direct to the royals) ostentation to dazzle those whom we wish to influence. (So, if you cover it in gold leaf first it seems you can polish a turd after all!) Not to mention the priceless publicity it generated that went some way to restore the reputation of a damaged brand. Damaged primarily by the groom’s father, grandfather, uncle’s and brother it has to be said. Political from start to finish.

    @George Smith: It is ludicrous and insulting to suggest that being a republican is to be unpatriotic. Are the Germans, French, Americans, Russians, South Africans, Indians, Swiss or Irish unpatriotic? In those countries ANY ONE born in the country could, if hard working and talented enough, become head of state. Only those born into one family can achieve that office in Britain. Is it unpatriotic to say that is wrong? The royal family is a controversial institution and despite the outrageous pro-monarchy coverage from the BBC and other media organisations, remains for many an unacceptable legacy of our feudal past.

  37. Ron Stronach

    Well the wedding has been and gone, all went well, no point in worrying about how much it cost, someone paid the bill. As long as I dont pay all of it.

    It was a good day, proud to be British every day not just on special occasions.

  38. donald mcdonald

    No rational person could question the bravery of servicemen who fight for their country, particularly that of the RAF pilots during WW2. (My grandfather, Willie Grant, experienced the hell of the WW1 trenches; his son, my Uncle George, fought in a tank regiment in WW2. Neither spoke much of it, but both had a lasting hatred and dread of warfare).

    But we should all be able to question the wisdom of the orders that servicemen are given by their superiors and ultimately their political leaders.

    The allied bombing of civilians in WW2 was an act borne of desperation in the touch-and-go effort to defeat the Nazi war machine, and debate continues to this day around the moral and legal issues surrounding this. It could be argued that it just revenge for the blitzing of British cities – we paid the Germans back a hundred-fold by that reckoning. My mother experienced the Clydebank blitz directly, and she has little sympathy for the German casualties that followed.

    But in 2011 I can see no similar justification for firing missiles into Tripoli. The western powers became involved in Libya on the back of a UN resolution to protect civilians. No air strike is guaranteed precision, so firing missiles into a city carries a high risk of killing civilians – innocent men, women and children.

    Nor is an attempt to assassinate Gaddafi sanctioned by the UN, whatever you think of him.

  39. Gordon Harmer

    Ha ha Seamus tis yourself who has his head up some where or thing for the last how ever many years I did not say the USSR. Russia is what I said, a country in its own right that used to be part of the old USSR and a socialist (communist) country as I said. Just in case you don’t know where it is you can find it on Google maps between Finland and the Bering Sea. Oh and I wonder do you think there will be another extra public holiday next year, when those who want to will celebrate the Queens diamond jubilee.

  40. Angus MacDonald

    My my, what a lot of rubbish I have read here. I’ll start with you George Smith in your last post. Disapproval of the royal family is not disapproval of everything British. What you have used there is the logical fallacy of : the royal family are the royal family of Britain thus anyone who dislikes them must hate Britain. However the truth is that you can be an anti-monarchist and still love Britain. As for your claim we should be proud of our imperialistic past……why? We caused nothing but fear, hatred and poverty in the countries we invaded. We brutally slaughtered the indigenous populations and destroyed their culture. That is nothing to be proud of. I also notice you claim that the republicans find the Union Jack offensive. The Union Jack is only the Union Jack when flown at sea otherwise it’s the Union Flag. I don’t find it particularly offensive in of itself but I do find your attitude fairly offensive. The wearing of poppies became tradition after WW1 to mark remembrance for the fallen. No it is not a mark of Imperialistic war mongering, it is a mark of respect. As for knighthoods and OBE’s yes it is disgusting that in a modern Britain we are forced to accept that a knight is worth more than us simply by the fact that he is born from the right family. Orders of the British Empire, Members of the British Empire and all the other awards should not exist now as there is no longer an empire. I don’t loath the “nation” as you put it I loath the idea of the monarchy. Though which nation you are talking about I have no idea.

  41. Angus MacDonald

    Also Mr Chris Firman King Edward the seventh was a Nazi Sympathiser.

  42. George Smith

    Steven Cheverton

    Please quote your sources for your claim of 180,000,000 pounds worth of taxpayer’s money being spent on the Royal Family? You are utterly and hopelessly wrong – the Civil List receives 7.9 million a year – and this is being cut. 72% of this goes on wages for staff (ie. jobs) and the rest on the upkeep of palaces etc.

    It is in no way ludicrous to suggest that a Briton who is a republican is unpatriotic. Just look at the comments of those above you – your fellow republicans seem to hate everything British.

    You claim the Royal familiy is ‘unnacceptable to many’ – though it would seem you are wrong on that too. Polls taken over the Royal Wedding saw just 13% in favour of a republic. Face it – you are an extremist minority.

  43. Chris Firman

    Angus MacDonald

    King Edward VII died in 1910.
    I doubt, therefore, even the most delusional of republicans could claim he was a Nazi sympathiser, but nice try.

  44. Chris Firman

    Althought you have already proven your grasp of history is somewhat pathetic, I assume you are kidding when you say the British Empire brought ‘nothing but fear, hatred and poverty in the countries we invaded. We brutally slaughtered the indigenous populations and destroyed their culture’.
    Here’s just one example:
    When the Pioneers settled what became as Rhodesia in 1890, they entered a sparesly inhabited area (not a country, as you claim) which lived under constant fear of slave raids from stronger tribes and which had by then not even invented the wheel or writen text. Within a generation, this place was dragged out of the iron age and there were roads, motor cars, railways, hospitals, schools, industry, law and order.
    You might feel ashamed of this for some unknown reason, but I think it is something to be deeply proud of.

  45. George Smith

    So you don’t find the Union Flag ‘particularly offensive’… well, talk about damning something with faint praise! What is it that you find in any way at all offensive about it?

    I think it is safe to say that someone who
    a) hates their head of state
    b) finds something offensive about their national flag
    c) is ashamed of their country’s history
    could reasonably be considered unpatriotic.

    As for you finding my patriotism offensive? Well, I really couldn’t care less.

  46. George Smith

    Mr Firman,

    Your example of Rhodesia is a good one. Their next door neighbour – Bechuanaland / now Botswana – is another.
    As you will no doubt know, the King of the Bechuana – King Khama the Good – ASKED for his lands to become a British protectorate to save him from the constant land grabbing of the Transvaal Boers, the murderous slaving incursions of the Matabele and the unwanted attentions of the Germans who were approaching from the West.
    Not only that, but the staunchly pro-British King Khama supplied men to support the Pioneers when they moved into Mashonaland in 1890 (which you mentioned) and also to support the Rhodesians in their war against the Matabele in 1893.

  47. Steven Cheverton

    @George Smith: My source for the figure of £180 is:

    Note the section at the bottom of the page ‘What you can buy for £183m’ In these times of hardship for families that don’t live in one thousand room castles I think it is a sobering thought.

    You claim that I am ‘wrong’ to suggest that the royals are unacceptable to many when in fact up 10 million people in Britain want to see an end of the monarchy and many millions more are ambivalent at best:

    I think 10 million is a lot. Don’t you?

    And finally, so the queen spends money on her staff does she? http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/content/view/full/104045

  48. Angus MacDonald

    Sorry about that Mr. Firman, I was in a hurry so I had to speed read my stuff. I meant to say Edward VIII.

  49. Seamus Lumsden

    Mr Gordon Harmer… I am aware where Russia is. I am also aware that it has not been a communist state since 1991. So if you want people to go and see the bread queues and harsh life of a Siberian in Communist Russia, i suggest you invent a time travelling device post-haste.

  50. Seamus Lumsden

    Chris Firman – Did you know the term ‘concentration camp’ comes from our lovely record in the Second Boer War. Look it up

    What have I been drinking? Copious amounts of tea seeing as you asked. When I said the EU is, at its heart a sensible idea, this is what i meant…

    For thousands of years, the countries of Europe were in competition with one another, war after war, empire replacing empire, people slaughtered blahblahblah. Why? The reason why most war are fought, for the expansion of territories in order to accumulate or regain a valuable resource of some kind. The First and Second World Wars were the culmination of imperial competition and militarism. Post-WW2, the decision was taken to attempt integrate Europe, so that countries may share resources and labour in a common market, therefore preventing future wars between neighbours. So at the the heart of the EU is peace and respect for human rights. Which is a good thing surely

  51. Brian Smith

    I am waiting for George Smith to tell us about the philanthropic career of Leopold II, king of Belgium.

  52. Gordon Harmer

    Mr Seamus Lumsden you need to learn to read what is written before you I said a socialist state with communist in brackets, meaning what’s the difference, none in my view. They still have bread and meat queues especially bread queues after the failure of last years grain harvest. You don’t have to go to Siberia to see the harsh life in communist Russia (your words not mine) you just need to go to socialist Russia today, no need for time travel. Russian propaganda will tell you there is no rationing as they will tell you there is no more communism, its just I am not daft enough to believe it.

  53. Rory Lumsden

    @George Smith/ Firman So hopefully we all know what happened in the Boer War don’t we Mr Smith? Oh yes the British set up the first ever use of concentration camps resulting in the death of countless thousands of innocent men women and children. In fact the main reason that the Boer war started was because the local tribes in the region were so terrified of the horrific colonial powers of the Boers and the British that they tried to strike an alliance with the Boers, when this failed they turned to the British, who typically reacted much like every other tyrannical superpower in history – murder, destruction of knowledge and local customs. It quite frankly sickens me that you can celebrate the legacy of an empire that forged its power on the slavery of millions of African people, the needless deaths of millions of those who opposed its aims politically, socially, culturally or religiously, and the merciless persecution and oppression of it’s own people – the Irish famine and the highland clearances being fine examples.

  54. Chris Ash

    Well we’ve got republicans claiming that King Edward VII was a Nazi and others quoting the extremist republic.org website as the font of all knowledge, but at least Mr McDonald has hastily back-tracked from his earlier claim that “delivering high explosives to any heavily populated city” is “what terrorists do”, so that’s to be appreciated as it was a disgusting slander on the RAF.

  55. donald mcdonald

    I have gathered the following from the maelstrom above:

    1. Some British people approve of the monarchy.

    2. Some do not.

    Don’t you think the bridesmaids were enchanting though!

    If I’d been invited I think I’d have gone for mauve.

  56. George Smith

    Mr Cheverton

    You’ll forgive me for taking figures quoted by republic with a pinch of salt. I would tend to trust figures from a less biased and less spiteful source, like those I quoted earlier.

    The claim made by one of the republicans earlier was: ‘The Royals were known Nazi supporters’ – so far Edward VII has been accused, but when it was pointed out to the republicans on this blog that Edward VII died in 1910, they changed their minds and instead accused Edward VIII. So one (hastily changed) accusation with no supporting evidence offered. Hardly the same as ‘the Royals were known Nazi supporters’, now is it?
    It has indeed been suggested by some that Edward VIII was sympathetic to Nazi Germany prior to WW2. However, many people in the 1930s saw Hitler as a strong, impressive leader – obviously this is before his true colours were revealed and he started slaughtering people. I have never seen anything that suggest Edward VIII ever did anything treacherous.
    It is worth noting that some of the British trade unions (which are so precious to the British left) were also strongly pro-Nazi (or rather anti-British) up until the point that HItler declared war on his erstwhile ally, Stalin. Before this, and acting under instruction from Stalin’s agents, these unpatriotic scum did all they could to sabotage Britain’s industry. You can read about it in Churchill’s magesterial 6-part history of WW2.

  57. donald mcdonald

    Mr Ash,

    As regards the bombing of a city, how do you compare these 2 acts in terms of how terrorised the victims will feel?

    1. Delivering a bomb to a crowded public place in a rucksack.

    2. Delivering a bomb to a crowded public place by pressing a button in a billion dollar aircraft that is 30,000 feet in the air.

    In both cases the perpetrators are acting under orders, from somewhere.

    In both cases the result is a savage act of violence wrought upon the populace.

    Two weeks ago there was a big news item about bits of cluster bombs being found in Libya as Gaddafi’s forces attacked Misrata.

    No mention that the USA and the UK fired thousands of cluster bombs when fighting in Iraq less than a decade ago!!

    We need to consider the facts from every angle, and let our rulers know when they are acting abyssmally. 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

    You could always ask 3 of Gaddafi’s grandchildren about it, if a NATO attack hadn’t blown them to bits last week.

  58. Chris Firman

    Oh this is getting hilarious now… so the British invented concentration camps, did they? You are, of course, completely incorrect.
    The concentration camp was invented by the Spanish in their wars in Cuba and then used by the Americans in the Philipines before the British employed them in South Africa – as you say, ‘look it up’. The Spaniard credited with their invention is Don Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau and their Spanish name ‘reconcentrados’ was later Anglicised to ‘concentration camp’.
    Also, it seems you are disingenuously trying to compare the British concentration camps of the Boer War to the German death camps? Is that your aim? Well, again, you could not be further from the truth (as usual). There was no planned extermination of people in the British camps, indeed, in many, the mortality rates were considerably lower than those in peacetime. Many of the camps had infant mortality rates lower than those in British cities.
    You are obviously utterly unaware that Boers were not gassed in the camps, and those who died did so mainly because a measles epidemic swept through South Africa at the time. Let me guess, that was the fault of the British monarchy too? If you take a moment, you will find there were schools, hospitals, shops, churchs etc in the British concentration camps, and these were not fenced in – people could come and go as they pleased, subject to a night time curfew. Many worked in the towns near where the camps were sited. Where possible, the British prefered to house refugees with relatives. At the end of the war, Louis Botha (a died hard Boer general) thanked the British for taking care of their women and children.

    It seems you are also utterly unaware that the Boers were the ones who invaded British territory, with their dreams of making an ‘Afrikaans Empire from the Zambezi to the Cape’, in the words of Jan Smuts. The blacks of South Africa were overwhelmingly on the side of the ‘evil British Empire’ because of the horrific way they had been treated by the republican Boers.
    Perhaps you are also unaware that in the British colonies of South Africa prior to the Boer War, black and coloured people had the same access to the vote as their white colleagues – it was granted dependent on education and the payment of tax (which seems a lot more reasonable than our current system). In the two Boer republics, blacks had absolutely no voting rights at all, and slavery still existed in all but name through the ‘apprentice’ system. Again, you are probably blissfully unware that the Boer republics (that word again) were founded because these people objected to the British Empire outlawing slavery so they moved inland – oh, those wicked Brits! We should be so ashamed!

    Perhaps you are equally unaware that the British army lost 7000 men in action during the Boer War, but 15000 to disease. Infant mortality in those days was about 500/1000, and indeed, in some parts of the Cape prior to the war ran at an incredible 800/1000 – which might make even the most self-loathing republican understand that disease / infant mortality was a huge issue in those days, and this was why people died in the concentration camps.

    Seems republicans have a very tenuous grasp on history – first Edward VII was a Nazi, apparently,, and now this nonsense – whatever will they come up with next?

  59. George Smith

    Mr Lumsden,

    Err – no – you obviously DON’T know what happened in the Boer War!

    Your ‘facts’ are almost as funny as the earlier claim that Edward the Seventh was a Nazi – the British DID NOT invent the concentration camp – the Spanish did. The war did not start because of the blacks were ‘so terrified of the horrific colonial powers of the Boers and the British that they tried to strike an alliance with the Boers’ – where did you get this rubbish from? The Morning Star website again?
    The Transvaal Boers (who you seem to admire) refused to grant the vote to British inhabitants even though they made up a majority of the white population and paid 80% of the taxes. Needless to say, the republican Boers also refused to grant any political rights to the blacks in their countries – unlike the blacks in the British colonies.
    This lead to tension and unrest and in 1899, Kruger launched an invasion of the two British colonies in South Africa – Natal and the Cape Colony. The Boers outnumbered the unprepared British by 2:1 and surged into Natal, burning farms as they came, torching towns and looting. For a long time it really looked like these lawless racist republicans would drive the British Empire out of Southern Africa. The Boer treatment of the blacks during the war was horrific – blacks who loyally served their Queen were murdered or castrated by republican forces. As the blacks were all on the side of the ‘evil British Empire’, whole African villages were burnt down and their inhabitants murdered by the Boers.

    And strange you bring slavery into this…. slavery has existed since the dawn of man, in every corner of the globe. African slaves were caught by other Africans and Arabs and sold to Europeans. The first people to realise this trade was barbaraic was – wait for it – the British Empire. We outlawed slavery across the globe and for the next 60 years, the Royal Navy slaving squadrons took this battle to European slave traders, freeing 150,000 slaves (who were mainly settled in Sierra Leone) and losing 17000 men in the process. Heros of Empire like Livingstone and Gordon were the scourge of the slave trade, and African Empires (which you seem to approve of?) like the Matabele and Zulus were knocked down to size and their copious slave raiding antics brought to a halt.

    Something we should be ashamed of? Why? This is something we should be hugely proud of.

  60. George Smith

    Brian Smith

    You’ll find that Leopold II was never the British Monarch – you fellows really are grasping at straws.

  61. Gordon Harmer

    Seamus if you really think Russia is a different place, follow this link,
    You will find nothing has changed there.

  62. Chris Ash

    Mr McDonald,

    I think we can gather a lot more than that from the maelstrom:

    1) the vast majority of people in the UK support the Monarchy
    2) only 13% support a republic – these are independent figures quoted on the BBC and SKY
    3) republicans seem to get sicken a lot – over sensitive, perhaps?
    4) republicans have a shockingly poor understanding of British history – Edward VII was a Nazi? The British invented the concentration camp?
    5) republicans object to the money being spent on the Royal Wedding, but have no problem with billions upon billions being given away overseas

    However, you have finally said something I agree with in your comment on the bridesmaid (there was only one, so not sure why you said ‘bridesmaids’ – yet more misinformation, perhaps?) – Pippa Middleton looked stunning and seeing her was worth whatever the wedding cost.

  63. Phil Smith

    The people on here “slagging off”, the British nation, assuming they live in the UK, should be grateful they live in a Democracy so they can spout off their hateful comments without the fear of being locked up in the Tower of London!!

  64. Steven Cheverton

    @George Smith: ‘Republic’ is a serious pressure group that can count amongst its members lawyers, politicians, journalists, writers, scientists and entertainers, for example:
    Richard Dawkins, Caroline Lucas MP, Lord Hattersley, Paul Greengrass, Glenda Jackson MP, Francis Wheen, Michael Mansfield QC, Ken Loach, Norman Baker MP, Mike Leigh and John Cole as well as hundreds of thousands of normal working folk. Hardly a list of the “looney left’ is it? Furthermore, the figures it quotes are taken from surveys done by leading pollsters such as MORI and Britain’s most popular serious newspapers. The figures regarding royal finances are all available in the public sphere and are checked by lawyers and academics who specialise in the field. To call serious people with deeply held views that promote fairness in our society ‘spiteful’ is rather childish and is symptomatic of your lack of a cogent argument. Of course, you can choose to ignore all of this (as I’m sure you will) but I have provided you with peer reviewed evidence to back-up what I have said, whereas you have simply barked abuse at people who have disagreed with your point of view.

    Also, it is somewhat laughable that in one breath you dismiss ‘Republic’ as a spiteful and ‘bias’ source and in the next recommend that we read Winston Churchill as a reliable source for the history of the trade unions! On a scale of 1 to 10 how patriotic is calling your fellow countrymen ‘rats’ and ‘scum’ while claiming that history’s second most famous fascist, Mussolini, was the “Roman genius… the greatest lawgiver among men.”? Now there is a bias source…

    If you fancy yourself as a historian, how about citing some primary sources to argue for a monarchy, cause your choice of secondary ones is frankly barmy.

  65. Chris Ash

    Mr McDonald

    I am intrigued as to how one ‘fires a cluster bomb’, though assume you must mean ‘drop’. I have not problem at all with the RAF and USAF using cluster munitions against Iraqi troops. Why would I? They were the enemy.

    There is a big difference between what the RAF do – ie. pin point attacks, making every effort to avoid civilian casualties, working under constant scrutiny of a free press and subject to strict military discipline and the accepted rules of war, and what the terrorists do – target soft targets and kill as many civilians as possible.

  66. Chris Ash

    I note the list of members of republic Mr Cheverton provided with interest. All those with ‘MP’ after their name have taken an oath of allegience to the Queen – so by joining republic, they are breaking a solemn vow.
    This might not mean much to you, but I consider this dishonest and dishonourable.

  67. George Smith

    Mr Cheverton

    Herewith the figures quoted in the UK’s most widely read broadsheet newspaper:


    Whatever your personal views on republic.org, you would be outrageously naive to think they wouldn’t try to put their own spin on things.

    This story is also interesting:


    A pathetic total of just 1000 people attended the republic’s rival party – compared to 1.5 million who attended the Royal Wedding, plus hundreds of millions (if not billions) who watched on TV.
    You will notice that republic.org also claim they have a paltry 15000 members – quite where their figures of ’10 million’ came from is anyone’s guess, but one thing we have all learned on this blog is that republicans do not allow facts to get in the way of a good story.
    By way of comparison, another extremist fringe group, the BNP, has around 10600.

  68. George Smith

    I’d like to give another instructive quote on the way the British Empire was viewed by the black population. First, however, I had better give a little background for the benefit of those whose grasp of history is – shall we say – somewhat lacking.

    In 1877, the independent republic of the Transvaal was bankrupt and facing destruction at the hands of the Pedi tribe, which whom the Boers had rather foolishly picked a fight. Without a shot being fired, the British moved in and occupied the Boer republic to stablise matters. A few years later, with their finances sorted out (by the British) and the neighbouring warlike tribes subdued, the Boers decided they fancied their independence again. A few skirmishes followed.
    Unluckily, we had a leftist ditherer as PM at the time – Gladstone. He refused to commit troops and sued for peace – and thus the war ended in British defeat (the only one of the Victorian Era). Those who suffered worse were the blacks of the Transvaal who had been very well treated under British rule. Which brings me to the quote:

    “The missionary John Moffat was sent to explain to African chiefs in the Transvaal that they could no longer enjoy British protection and rule of law. “A few spoke, but for the most part there was the silence of despair. One gentle old man, Mokhatle, a man of great influence, used the language of resignation, “When I was a child, the Matabele came, they swept over us like the wind and we bowed before them like the long white grass on the plains. They left us and we stood upright again. The Boers came and we bowed ourselves under them in like manner. The British came and we rose upright, our hearts lived within us and we said: Now we are the children of the Great Lady. And now that is past and we must lie flat again under the wind – who knows what are the ways of God?”.”
    Birth of a Dilemma, page 110

  69. George Smith

    Phil Smith

    Well said! Though if I am honest, I find their hateful comments highly entertaining. My favourite is the way they claim to be patriotic, but twist themselves in knots to come up with reasons to be ashamed of being British…. even to the extent of making things up.

  70. Seamus Lumsden

    At NO point did i say we were gassing people in the second boer war. Stop jumping to ridiculous conclusions. You were revelling in the British empires ‘wonderful’ record, and i merely wanted to shed some light on the not so wonderful aspects; concentration camps (i said term was coined not invented), scorched earth tactics, etc. Your grasp of cause and effect is lacking, so I will merely say this: If you are given little water, food, clothing or sanitary conditions and are bundled together with other people in a similar condition in overcrowded conditions, your immune system will suffer and you will inevitably contract disease.

    Anywho, i’ve had enough of this irrelevant jibber jabber. I shall get back to studying for my HISTORY degree exams, and shall leave you and Mr Smith to discuss the joys of Winston Churchill, Colonial weaponry, Social Darwinism, big game hunting and the conversion of ‘savages’ to christianity. Maybe you two can meet up for a cherry, a spot of flag saluting, and a bit of marching.

    Enjoy waking up on Friday to a government that wants to destroy everything you hold dear. I’m going to bloody love it. TOODLEPIP! xxx

  71. George Smith

    Mr Cheverton

    I trust you will retract your ludicrous ‘hundreds of thousands of normal working folk’ remark, given the evidence I presented?

  72. donald mcdonald

    Let us conclude this fractious thread with some doggerel:

    Pay your taxes, do not flinch
    Even if you feel the pinch.
    Give millions to the Windsors,
    A deserving jolly lot,
    They can knot your tie,
    Believe it or not.

    Celebrate their weddings,
    For they are very great.
    Kowtow to the queen,
    She is your head of state.
    Remember we are always right,
    In Iraq, Libya or Kuwait.

    We can fire/drop cluster bombs,
    Whilst others must, must not.
    We sold arms to Gaddafi,
    Tut tut tut tut tut.
    Now we must remove him.
    What do you think of that?

    If only we could all acknowledge
    Our common ancestry,
    From prehistoric East Africa to the here and now,
    Forget your nationalistic sacred cows.
    The common man is the key –
    We must seek a much fairer society.

    This thread is now closed – Ed.