Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Any excuse for a party

197 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 8 Newer→ Last

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The Civil List costs the British taxpayer £37 million annually, but the royals, by some estimates, bring in about half a billion pounds a year in “royalty tourism” revenues

    I realize that that kind of economics (hey, we spent a few million, but it’ll bring in billions in tourism, and all the people who work in tourism will spend dollars, and all the people they spend money with will spend dollars and it’ll sprinkle all over the country in showers of gold) is a bit of an article of faith here, but there are those that disagree.

    The Herald seems (unusually) to have uncovered a few slight overestimates around the Rugby World Cup (TM) for instance.

    As regards the Saxe-Coburg Gothas, I’d be happy for them to continue to refer to themselves as Kings of England or any other title they like after their inevitable deposition. But the various palaces and land (5000 acres of Windsor Great Park for instance, worth perhaps GBP10bln) are clearly the property of the UK taxpayer, and should either revert or be paid for.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4422 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It's been particularly amusing watching the American media lose their collective tiny minds over the Middleton/Mountbatten-Windsor nuptials. It's like that Revolution thingy never happened...

    the last-minute restraint of The Chaser’s planned alternative commentary on the wedding

    Would have been nice, though, if they'd actually stuck to the issue (the BBC acted remarkably stupidly) rather than going off into some rather bizarre "stop being a haterz, Clarence House" territory. Really, not much evidence that anyone in the Royal Family knows, let alone cares, about a pack of Aussie shock jocks.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The Herald seems (unusually) to have uncovered a few slight overestimates around the Rugby World Cup (TM) for instance.

    As Hamish Keith has rather acidly noted elsewhere, what a delightful change from the time when the mildest question about the assumption these kinds of figures are always riddled with was tantamount to treason. Too little, far too late.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Middleton/Mountbatten-Windsor nuptials

    Middleton/Wales, I thought?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I agree Russell. I'm not a monarchist at all, but that doesn't mean there isn't a sense of occasion around a royal wedding. It's still a wedding, and it's between famous people, and it's going to be a massive affair. That's watchworthy by itself. It doesn't hurt that, at least to my mind, there is a real sense of romance between these two that was very much lacking in the Charles/Diana one. It's like this is one of the only good outcomes of that union.

    It's rather like appreciating a grand finale in a soap - I'm not into soaps but finales are often worth the time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8318 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I realize that that kind of economics … is a bit of an article of faith here, but there are those that disagree.

    The Herald seems (unusually) to have uncovered a few slight overestimates around the Rugby World Cup (TM) for instance.

    It’s not a projection. A VisitBritain study found that tourists spent more than £500 million visiting attractions associated with the British monarchy and its history in 2009. There were nearly a million visits to Windsor Castle alone. I don’t think there’s any doubt that royal tourism is a major earner for Britain.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker,

    I'd go into town for the spectacle, if only I wasn't allergic to bunting. Oh well.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ethan Tucker,

    I’d go into town for the spectacle, if only I wasn’t allergic to bunting. Oh well.

    To the pub with you then, sir!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It's not a projection. A VisitBritain study found that tourists spent tourists spent more than £500 million visiting attractions associated with the British monarchy and its history in 2009. There were nearly a million visits to Windsor Castle alone. I don't think there's any doubt that royal tourism is a major earner for Britain.

    A relevant question would be what fraction of that money would still be spent in the absence of the monarchy? People still visit the palace at Versailles, after all.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    I won’t be watching tonight as my lukewarm republicanism overrides my desire to consume royal kitsch or watch British eccentricity mediated by the terrible presenters on TV1 and 3. Seeing Springtime London in glorious Hi Def certainly has appeal though so I may take a sneak peek between sporting events. As far as NZ becoming republic goes, whose side would you be on in battle between Good King William and the prospect of the Evil President Brash/Banks etc?

    Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • anth,

    There has been at least one survey where most of the tourists said they'd have visited those castles etc regardless of whether the royal family were still treated as such. For at least some of those sites getting rid of the royals would be an improvement from a tourist point of view, allowing greater access.

    Since Nov 2006 • 75 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Robert Fox,

    whose side would you be on in battle between Good King William and the prospect of the Evil President Brash/Banks etc?

    Ooooo hard one. I doubt a King would be into selling off the family silver, that's what makes him King.

    Edit: King Billy is hardly going to sell off all our hydro, right?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8318 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Butler,

    A relevant question would be what fraction of that money would still be spent in the absence of the monarchy? People still visit the palace at Versailles, after all.

    Correct, and they'd still visit the Tower of London. But look at the ubiquity of the British royal family in the media. Having a living monarchy is good for the franchise.

    This isn't an argument for keeping the monarchy in Britain, just noting that the public investment in running it is relatively modest when you take into account the commercial return -- and thus isn't, in itself, a great argument for abolishing the monarchy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robert Fox,

    I won’t be watching tonight as my lukewarm republicanism overrides my desire to consume royal kitsch or watch British eccentricity mediated by the terrible presenters on TV1 and 3.

    Fortunately, the actual coverage will be direct from the BBC (on TVNZ) and ITV (TV3).

    Seeing Springtime London in glorious Hi Def certainly has appeal though so I may take a sneak peek between sporting events.

    The proper coverage doesn't start until after the sport finishes. It's all terribly convenient.

    As far as NZ becoming republic goes, whose side would you be on in battle between Good King William and the prospect of the Evil President Brash/Banks etc

    You're freaking me out now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I won’t be watching tonight as my lukewarm republicanism overrides my desire to consume royal kitsch or watch British eccentricity mediated by the terrible presenters on TV1 and 3.

    More practical reason for giving it a miss – birthday brunch, which will be so much more enjoyable if I'm awake and in a good mood. :) Probably will hang in long enough to bitch the couture – and I’m most disappointed Bronagh won’t be pulling a Cheryl West instead going for super-safe and mega-boring Trelise Cooper. FFS, Camilla got a wee bit edgy and fashion-forward on her big day in Philip Treacy

    Please please please Sarah Burton is doing the wedding dress, and in the true Alexander McQueen spirit has cooked up something so OTT even Lady Gaga would stop and stare.

    Well, a fashion queen can dream…

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I shall be watching, because I enjoy my own poorly informed snarky commentary on frocks and hats.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to anth,

    There has been at least one survey where most of the tourists said they’d have visited those castles etc regardless of whether the royal family were still treated as such. For at least some of those sites getting rid of the royals would be an improvement from a tourist point of view, allowing greater access.

    You'd still have to maintain Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, though.The £37m Civil List is basically the cost of running the royal households.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danielle,

    I shall be watching, because I enjoy my own poorly informed snarky commentary on frocks and hats.

    Tell me you'll tweet those.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    More practical reason for giving it a miss – birthday brunch

    Happy birthday, Craig. Enjoy!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    And yet tonight, we'll be having a few friends over for a curry (proper British), a few drinks...

    Served from this, presumably.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to 3410,

    Served from this, presumably.

    That's fucking horrifying.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    My work is done.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    and thus isn't, in itself, a great argument for abolishing the monarchy.

    Word...That's neolib thinking, abolishing it entirely on a cost/benefit calc. Surely the reason would be much deeper than that? Something to do with self-determination, multiculturalism etc. The great irony for NZ is that Maori leadership would most likely be opposed to republicanism, since the Treaty is a deal with the Crown. Unless they were able to extract Tino Rangatiratanga from the rest of NZ, which seems highly unlikely.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8318 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    Fortunately, the actual coverage will be direct from the BBC

    Might be worth watching to see Prince Charles’ favourite BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell manages to endear himself to the Heir of Sorrows again. Or you could just watch this piece of Morrisey\ Derek Jarman 80’s brilliance one more time instead.

    Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 8 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.