Category Archives: Royalty

Behind the infant Queen’s gesture lies a dark history of aristocratic Nazi links

Editor’s Note: Karina Urbach is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research at School of Advanced Study and is the author of “Go-Betweens for Hitler“.

Karina Urbach writes for The Guardian:

When analysing the approach taken by the British royal family to events in Germany in the 1930s, key is the pervasive fear of communism among the aristocracy in Europe. In 1933, Edward (later Duke of Windsor) said of the Nazi regime: “It is the only thing to do. We will have to come to it, as we are in great danger from Communists, too.”

The royal family was also particularly susceptible to such fears because some of their German relatives had from the outset been great admirers of Hitler. To this day, the royal archives have ensured that correspondence between the monarchy and these German relatives remains closed to historians. But, thankfully, relationships always have two sides to them. Other archives – in Germany – reveal the substance of contacts between Queen Mary, her sons – George VI, the Duke of Windsor and the Duke of Kent – and their German cousins.

Among these were members of the houses of Hessen, Coburg, Hanover, Hohenzollern and Waldeck-Pyrmont. Many of them were infatuated with Hitler. These German relatives had an agenda and their agenda was written by Hitler: an alliance with Britain.’

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British Royals told: Open archives on family ties to Nazi regime

Jamie Doward and Tracy McVeigh report for The Guardian:

Buckingham Palace has been urged to disclose documents that would finally reveal the truth about the relationship between the royal family and the Nazi regime of the 1930s.

The Sun’s decision to publish footage of the Queen at six or seven years old performing a Nazi salute, held in the royal archives and hitherto unavailable for public viewing, has triggered concerns that the palace has for years sought to suppress the release of damaging material confirming the links between leading royals and the Third Reich.

Unlike the National Archives, the royal archives, which are known to contain large volumes of correspondence between members of the royal family and Nazi politicians and aristocrats, are not compelled to release material on a regular basis. Now, as that relationship becomes the subject of global debate, historians and MPs have called for the archives to be opened up so that the correspondence can be put into context.’

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Queen’s Nazi salute footage is matter of historical significance, says Sun

Jamie Grierson reports for The Guardian:

The managing editor of the Sun has defended his newspaper’s decision to release leaked footage, apparently shot in 1933 or 1934, showing the Queen perform a Nazi salute as a matter of “historical significance”.

The black-and-white footage shows the Queen, then aged six or seven, and her sister Margaret, around three, joining the Queen Mother and her uncle, Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, in raising an arm in the signature style of the German fascists.

Edward, who later became King Edward VIII and abdicated to marry the American socialite Wallis Simpson, faced numerous accusations of being a Nazi sympathiser. The couple were photographed meeting Hitler in Munich in October 1937, less than two years before the second world war broke out.’

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We shouldn’t let Prince Philip off the hook

Owen Jones writes for The Guardian:

[…] Prince Philip is back in the headlines with another “gaffe”, followed by the usual “oh what is he like” response. This time, he asked a group of East End women: “Who do you sponge off?” The easy response here is that they weren’t personally offended, so what’s the problem? Well, if a senior politician expressed sentiments that aren’t, let’s just say, very favourable to women as a whole, it would be goodbye career. It’s perfectly right to hesitate before criticising a 94-year-old, out of respect for his age. And I think that’s a good point. But at the same time, he’s one of the chief representatives of the nation.

Last week, he told a photographer who was perhaps excessively perfectionist to “just take the fucking picture!” This is the ultimate abuse of authority: someone powerful by virtue of birth abusing someone who holds their position by virtue of ability, knowing they can’t respond. They just have to take the public humiliation. Not a great look, is it? I appreciate Prince Philip must tire of being constantly photographed, which is why there’s a strong case for rotating the position of head of state so that they and their spouse get some respite.

He’s the man who once asked Lord Taylor of Warwick: “And what exotic part of the world do you come from?” That’s because Lord Taylor is black. When he once visited an electronics factory in Scotland and came across a “messy fuse box”, he exclaimed it looked “as though it was put in by an Indian”. He asked a female sea cadet if she worked “in a strip club”. And when he met British students in China in the 1980s, he said: “If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed.”’

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Bahrain: Democracy Behind Bars

The Royal Family are exempt from Freedom of Information requests and can veto BBC programmes. Why do we put up with this?

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown writes for The Independent:

‘[…] The Magna Carta is now 800 years old. In June 1215, rebellious Barons got King John of England to sign a charter that guaranteed them status and entitlements and protected the Church from royal interference. The document did not give every subject fundamental equality and rights. It was a charter by and for the upper classes. Still, there will be events marking this much mythologised moment throughout 2015.

OK, so let join in with this latest national commemoration, part truth, part fantasy. It may encourage us all to contemplate and renew our faith in liberty, freedoms, fundamental human rights and democracy, which came much later.

But how is that possible when the family at the top of the social structure undermines every one of the ideals and principles that our nation proclaims at home and abroad? The incantations sound hollow and meaningless.’

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Buckingham Palace Denies Sex Claims Against Prince Andrew

Prince Harry ‘banging the drum for UK plc’ in Oman

‘Prince Harry is visiting Oman today, led by arguably the world’s longest surviving dictator, Sultan Qaboos Bin Said al Said. He has been lauded for creative diplomacy, maintaining ties with countries NATO opposes like China, Russia and Iran. But as the former Media Manager to Prince Charles, Dickie Arbiter, pointed out on this show, the government have ulterior motives for sending the Royals to a country. Harry will be ‘banging the drum for UK plc.’ not far from the UAE, which is currently fighting a proxy war in Libya against Qatar. And UAE’s allies, Bahrain, are accused by Amnesty International of using the threat of rape of children to extort confessions.’ (Going Underground)

TUC leader speech on class system cut off by royal baby newsflash

Editor’s Note: This story reminded me of when an MSNBC host cut off a U.S. Congresswoman who was talking about the NSA’s bulk collection of phone data, just so that she could bring us “breaking news” about Justin Bieber appearing in court. Hilarious yet absolutely shocking at the same time but is it really any surprise? Bieber and the Royal baby are just another example of what a joke the media is on both sides of the Atlantic. A media which is largely there to keep us misinformed and distracted for the benefit of those own the system. So strap yourself in for another long, drawn-out, gooey eyed ride with Britain’s favourite celebrities. Puke!

Andy McSmith reports for The Independent:

‘Live television coverage of a speech by Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, was cut off this morning minutes after she had warned of a return to a “Downton Abbey” society –  for a newsflash announcing that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second child.

The second royal pregnancy was deemed to be so important that nothing more was heard of Ms O’Grady’s speech, in which she expanded on her theme that the British class system is being reinvented, as the gap between rich and poor widens.’

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William Hague’s sleazy Foreign Office: The Queen’s party sold to the highest bidder all around the world

Peter Osborne writes for The Telegraph:

‘For many years Her Majesty’s birthday party has been one of the most important social events of the year in foreign capitals. Understated and discreet, these events have spoken volumes about what British diplomats today call soft power – and invitations have been highly prized.

However, their character has changed very sharply since the Coalition government took office, and William Hague became Foreign Secretary. Indeed, they are no longer recognisable: they have been turned into trade fairs. The Queen’s Birthday has been put up for sale.

Her parties are now paid for by sponsors, whose company logos are prominently displayed with the invitations and products promoted at the parties. So long as they pay enough money, these people can get a plug from British ambassadors and high commissioners when they make their speech. Favoured sponsors can even bring their own guests with them.’

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Queen’s income set to rise to £40m next year

From BBC News:

Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Duke of Cambridge with Lupo the dog‘The Queen’s income is expected to rise by more than 5% next year after the Crown Estate announced record profits. The Sovereign Grant, which covers the costs of the Queen’s official duties, will reach £40m next April. The grant is calculated as a percentage of profits from the Crown Estate, which includes properties such as Windsor Park and much of the UK coastline.

Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace accounts show about a third of the grant is spent maintaining the royal palaces.  The accounts, also published on Thursday, show that more than £4m has been spent on converting offices in Kensington Palace into an apartment for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George. The work included the removal of asbestos, new heating, hot and cold water, electrical services and a “simple redecoration”. The furnishings and a new kitchen had been paid for privately by the Royal Family, a palace official said.’

READ MORE @ BBC NEWS…

Poverty stricken Queen treats Prince William and Kate to £8m luxury helicopter

Tom Payne reports for The Independent:

‘The Queen has treated Prince William to an early birthday present – a luxury £8m helicopter. The chopper, a 2008 Augusta A109S Grand, will be used to ferry William and his wife Kate between official royal engagements. The Duke of Cambridge, who turns 32 tomorrow, is a qualified RAF helicopter pilot but it is not clear whether he will get behind the controls of the Augusta. The Daily Mirror is reporting that the aircraft will be leased out by the Queen, and that other members of the Royal Family will be able to use the aircraft. Sources close to the Royal couple told Sky News that the helicopter, which has no previous owners, represented “better value for money”.’

READ MORE @ THE INDEPENDENT…

Spanish king Juan Carlos to abdicate in favor of son

From the Associated Press:

14 May 1962: Prince Juan Carlos of Spain marries Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark, in Athens. Queen Sofi­a was born in Athens on 2 November 1938, the first daughter of King Paul I of Greece. Her family was forced to flee Greece during World War II. She was Greek Orthodox but converted to Roman Catholicism‘Spain’s King Juan Carlos, who led Spain’s transition from dictatorship to democracy but faced royal scandals amid the nation’s near financial meltdown, will abdicate so his son can become the country’s next monarch, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told the country Monday in an announcement broadcast nationwide. Rajoy did not say when the handover would happen because the government must now craft a law creating a legal mechanism for the abdication and for 46-year-old Crown Prince Felipe’s assumption of power.’

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Patrick Cockburn: Prince Andrew praises Bahrain, island of torture

Patrick Cockburn writes for The Independent:

Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa shows the UK's Prince Andrew round the Bahrain International Airshow (16 January 2014)‘The Duke of York will be the keynote speaker at a conference in London this Friday celebrating Bahrain as a place of religious freedom and tolerance of divergent opinions. Speaking during a visit to Bahrain last month, he said: “I believe that what’s happening in Bahrain is a source of hope for many people in the world and a source of pride for Bahrainis.” This is very strange, as the island kingdom of Bahrain has a proven record of jailing and torturing protesters demanding democratic rights for the Shia majority, an estimated 60 per cent of Bahraini citizens, from the Sunni al-Khalifa monarchy. In its annual report on human rights, the US State Department identifies many abuses, the most serious of which include “citizens’ inability to change their government peacefully; arrest and detention of protesters on vague charges, in some cases leading to their torture in detention”. It draws attention to the fact that “discrimination [has] continued against the Shia population”.’

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The ‘black spider’ letters: Prince Charles likes to make his views known, but not to the people

Archie Bland writes for The Independent:

He makes for a peculiar sort of professional lobbyist. As such, you might hope that he would go out of his way to advocate the sort of causes that would appeal to the widest range of his 60 million or so employers. To judge by the available evidence, though, that’s not the case. The few letters of his that we do have access to suggest that he views himself exclusively as the divinely appointed representative of people who wear red trousers. “Our lives are becoming ruled by a truly absurd degree of politically correct interference,” he told the Lord Chancellor in 2001; the farmer had been right, he grumbled to Tony Blair in 2002, who told him that “if we, as a group, were black or gay, we would not be victimised or picked upon”.

If those are the ones we’re allowed to see, what about the rest? In the main, we’re in the dark. But last week, the Court of Appeal dared to affront the monarchists with a decision of refreshing common sense that brings us a step closer to knowing what at least some of those letters say. The Guardian’s Rob Evans has been trying to get access to the letters for years, not unreasonably arguing that if Charles is exerting an influence on policy then in a democratic country we ought to know about it. So far he has been thwarted; in October 2012, the attorney-general Dominic Grieve overruled a court’s decision to allow access. But last week, Grieve lost an important battle. Now, barring a successful appeal to the Supreme Court, Charles’s correspondence will be revealed at last.

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New Zealand: Maori king snubs British royals claiming he’s “not a carnival act”

From Descrier:

New Zealand Maori ceremonyNew Zealand’s Maori King Tuheitia has refused to meet Prince William and Catherine during their royal tour of the country next month, saying that he is “not some carnival act to be rolled out at the beck and call of anyone”.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be visiting New Zealand on 7-16 April with their young son George, but King Tuheitia’s office rejected the offer to meet with them, arguing the 90 minutes allotted is not long enough to observe the proper protocols.

Prime Minister John Key said he was disappointed by the snub, but King Tuheitia’s office blamed it on the inflexibility of “faceless bureaucrats” who organised the trip, and that they were not prepared to compromise their customs to fit into a predetermined schedule.

Freemasonry: ‘The firm within the firm’

Britain's Prince Michael of Kent, Provincial Grand Master for Middlesex and Grand Master for The Mark Mason (an additional order of masonry) arrives at St Paul's Cathedral in central London, June 18, 2002 (Reuters)

Britain’s Prince Michael of Kent (Credit: Reuters)

Tony Gosling writes for RT:

Is there a vaster chasm than that between ‘worthy charitable giving’ and ‘swindlers at the top of society’? This is par for the course though when you do an internet search for the Freemasons. Last week brought more hard evidence of the latter (and darker), with the second leaked report from UK criminal justice authorities in as many years to conclude that mobsters use Freemasonry to freely recruit corrupt detectives, being one of ‘the most difficult aspects of organized crime corruption to proof against.’

Scotland Yard’s Operation Tiberius report was written over a decade ago but has only this week been made public by The Independent’s investigations editor, Tom Harper. It follows on from Project Riverside, revealed by Channel 4 News’ Andy Davies in March 2012 from the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA), which also describes Freemasonry in round terms as ‘a firm within a firm’. Incredible though it may seem, although paid for with public money, both these reports have taken nearly a decade to surface, and then only as partial press leaks.

So why did the authors of Scotland Yard’s Operation Tiberius’ find Freemasons so difficult to winkle out? Most know Freemasonry sits somewhere between a religious cult and a pyramid selling scheme but have no idea where ‘The Craft’ came from, or what makes Masons tick. It’s the oath of secrecy, similar to the Mafia’s Omertà, on pain of death, which, in theory, makes any revelation about ‘The Craft’ a slip of the tongue you can die for.

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Pepe Escobar: Warning, Saudi mayhem ahead

Pepe Escobar writes for Asia Times:

Move over, Peter O’ Toole. It’s Charles of Arabia time. Prince Charles switched to Lawrence mode when he went schmoozing and dancing in Riyadh this past Tuesday with the natives. And just like clockwork, the next day BAE Systems – Europe’s number one weapons peddler – announced that the UK and the House of Saud had agreed on “new pricing” for an extremely juicy deal; 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets.

The Eurofighter is a direct competitor of the spectacularly unsalable French Rafale and the very expensive American F-35s and F-16s. The Associated Press duly included in its dispatch – reproduced by virtually every newspaper around the world – the Washington-enforced meme “Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are fortifying their military capabilities to counter a perceived threat from regional rivals, particularly Iran.” As if Tehran was going to bomb the House of Saud tomorrow.

The Eurofighter, on the other hand, has already been employed against fellow Arabs – as in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s humanitarian bombing of Libya back to failed-state status. It’s open to debate whether the House of Saud might be tempted to employ it against the enemy within: aspiring Saudi women drivers.

Brandishing the official excuse that near-nonagenarian King Abdullah was not able to receive him, Charles of Arabia declined to discuss with the House of Saud the absolutely appalling women’s rights, migrant workers’ rights and for that matter the full human rights situation in the kingdom. Of course not; this is only brought up when demonizing Russia, China and/or Iran.

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Prince Charles’ dance of shame

Sarah Waldron writes for CAAT:

This week Prince Charles flew to Saudi Arabia and danced for its autocratic rulers. The next day Saudi Arabia and arms company BAE Systems announced they had finalised their latest multi-billion pound weapons deal. Charles was in Saudi Arabia at the request of the UK government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. BAE’s share price was set to fall this week unless agreement could be reached on its latest sales of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, so the UK government sent in the royals to seal the deal. As a Buckingham Palace spokesperson has said “Middle East potentates like meeting princes.”

Human rights organisations had highlighted Saudi Arabia’s appalling record on human rights and urged Charles to use his visit to promote reform. Instead he has sent a clear signal of support for repression. This is just the latest instalment in a shameful record of UK governments pulling out all the stops to help secure BAE’s weapons deals ‐ and of the royal family helping.

Prince Charles last visited Saudi Arabia only 11 months ago: the trip was explicitly requested by the UK government to help ‘enhance military links’. Just last month, Prince Andrew was promoting BAE’s jets to Saudi ally Bahrain – despite its own ongoing crackdown. The royal family claim to be apolitical – but these are not apolitical actions. They are political actions which put the interests of private weapons companies before human rights – and they are a shameful international representation of the UK.

Please add your voice to our petition to the Foreign Office and Buckingham Palace to say that the royal family should not be promoting arms sales. The media are reporting Charles’ ‘sword dance’ with glee, but very few outlets are focusing on the wider message he is sending.  This morning, campaigners were threatened with arrest for unveiling a banner at Buckingham Palace to expose the royal family’s support for arms sales and human rights abuse. This message shouldn’t be hushed up. Please help to expose it!

Prince William ‘calls for Buckingham Palace ivory to be destroyed’

From The Guardian:

The Duke of Cambridge wants all ivory in the royal collection at Buckingham Palace to be removed and destroyed, it is reported.

Days after the duke gave his backing to a campaign against elephant poaching, the leading primatologist Jane Goodall told the Independent on Sunday (IoS) Prince William had told her he would “like to see all the ivory owned by Buckingham Palace destroyed”.

The royal collection contains about 1,200 artefacts dating back hundreds of years. During the past few years, Prince Charles has reportedly asked for all ivory items at his Clarence House and Highgrove homes to be removed from sight.

[…] Illegal trade in animal parts such as rhino horn and elephant tusks is worth more than an estimated £11.5bn each year.

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Prince William goes hunting a day before wildlife plea

The Queen (centre) and Prince Philip (left)

From BBC News:

Prince William has gone hunting deer and wild boar in Spain – just a day before he was due to make a public plea to end the illegal wildlife trade. In a message due to be broadcast later, the Duke of Cambridge and his father, Prince Charles, will call on people to act now to save endangered animals like rhinos, elephants and tigers. There is no suggestion the hunt in Spain was in any way illegal.

A royal spokesman said the duke was a “passionate advocate” for wildlife. Speaking about Prince William going hunting in Spain, BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said: “Such a trip is a world away from shooting endangered species for profit, but some may feel that to go hunting himself just as he launches a high-profile campaign is, at the very least, ill-timed.” The duke was joined on the hunting trip by his brother Prince Harry.

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Spain’s Princess Cristina in court over corruption case

Swedish gangster who claimed he had pictures of the king in compromising sexual situations shot dead in his car

From The Daily Mail:

Notorious Serbian-Swedish gangster Milo ‘Mille’ Markovic has been found dead with four bullet wounds to his head in Stockholm.

The 52-year-old was shot dead while sitting in a car outside his home in Ulvsunda, in the western part of the Swedish capital, just after 6pm last night, the engine still running.

Markovic was unofficially credited as one of the sources for the controversial 2010 biography about the King of Sweden in which the monarch was accused of attending strip clubs and having extramarital affairs.

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David Cameron reveals his chats to the Queen are ‘very useful’

From ITV News:

Queen Elizabeth ll is greeted by Prime Minister David Cameron

The Prime Minister has revealed that he finds talking politics with the Queen very useful as she is “always” up to speed and has “heard it all before”.

Discussing his weekly Buckingham Palace audiences with the monarch, David Cameron divulged that he was very aware the Queen has worked with 11 Prime Ministers before him.

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Queen ‘down to her last million’

Photo: Andrew WinningFrom The Age:

The Queen’s finances are at a “historic low” with just £1 million ($1.9 million) left in reserve, British MPs have been told.

Her courtiers have been advised to take money-saving tips from the Treasury.

A report by the Public Accounts Committee found that the Queen’s advisers were failing to control her finances while the royal palaces were “crumbling”.

MPs said her advisers had overspent to such an extent that her reserve fund had fallen from £35 million in 2001 to just £1 million today.

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Queen hands over the reigns to Prince Charles – historic step closer to a new king

Royal Visit to India 2013From The Mirror:

It is being dubbed the “gentle succession” – as the Queen gradually begins to relinquish some of her traditional duties as monarch.

As she approaches her 88th birthday in April after almost 62 years on the throne, she has agreed to hand over part of her workload in a historic “job-share” arrangement with Prince Charles.

In a royal first, he will be taking on more head of state-style responsibilities as
the Palace starts to make tentative plans for his eventual succession.

Courtiers yesterday described the softly-softly move as “wise” – and “just plain common sense”.

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Cambridge University backlash at Duke of Cambridge’s ‘free pass’ to study there

From The Telegraph:

If he was expecting a hero’s welcome from fellow students when he begins a course at Cambridge University next week, the Duke of Cambridge may have to think again.

The news that the Duke will spend a term studying a “bespoke” course in agriculture has prompted a backlash from other students who resent him being given a “free pass” when they had to work so hard to get there.

In its report on the Duke’s imminent arrival, the university student newspaper The Tab pointed out that: “Normally students need A*AA at A-level to gain entry to Cambridge University, whilst the Prince only achieved a mediocre ABC.

“Conveniently though for Will, he is the registered benefactor of the department he will be studying at.”

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‘I’m experiencing austerity as well’, says Princess Michael of Kent

From The Independent:

Princess Michael of Kent has explained how she and her husband have been hit by austerity; meaning they can no longer dine out as it’s “too extravagant”.

The Princess, who is an interior designer and author, told The Times in an interview to promote her debut novel: “I am in very austere economic times too, thank you very much!”

“We’ve cut back dramatically. I mean we never go out to dinner unless we go to somebody’s house. We never go to restaurants. That’s too extravagant.”

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Morrissey backs Russell Brand’s no vote call in tirade against British establishment

From The Independent:

Morrissey has given his public support of Russell Brand’s call to abstain from voting in rebellion against the ‘broken political system’.

The singer said he agreed with the comedian that “the most powerful vote you can give is No Vote”.

In a 2,000 word tirade ranging from the monarchy to Sarah Palin, the singer said: “Thank you to Russell Brand for standing up and speaking out in recent weeks.

“Like Russell, I believe that the most powerful vote you can give is No Vote; for the days of Prime Ministers have gone, and it’s time for a form of change that is far more meaningful than simply switching blue to red.”

In a typically impassioned rant that spared no member of the British establishment, Morrissey railed against David Cameron, Princess Anne, Pippa Middleton, PJ Harvey, Jamie Oliver, the Queen, David Beckham, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William.

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Queen branded ‘benefits scrounger who should pay Bedroom Tax on her 700 spare rooms’ in BBC comedy

Mocked: The Queen and her familyFrom The Mirror:

The Queen is branded a benefits scrounger and Prince Philip a racist in a new BBC comedy tonight.

The Revolution Will Be Televised says the monarch should pay the Bedroom Tax because Buckingham Palace has “700 spare rooms”.

The jibes risk plunging the BBC into a new row with Tory MPs, who have already blasted the Corporation’s coverage of welfare cuts.

The BBC3 satire show’s presenters, Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein, tell viewers: “There’s one taxpayer-funded family which has loads of spare rooms but won’t be ­downsizing any time soon.”

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