Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Looking at Leveson

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  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    The British royals whole existence is "unreasonable and over the top".

    Charles insists that everyone he meets, including senior people that he works with everyday, call him "sir". When they came here, rather than (like all our elected politicians) travelling on Air NZ's perfectly comfortable services, we had to lay on personal flights for them. They extract billions of dollars from UK and commonwealth taxpayers (in cash, unpaid taxes and use of vast estates usurped from the state). And they seek to influence without accountability - when, some years ago, the Guardian wanted to interview a royal, they got to the 66th in line before anyone would talk to them. But they're happy to secretly interfere in everything from town planning to defence.

    They aren't prisoners, you know: if William, for instance, doesn't like the job, he has a simple course. Abdicate from the line of succession, work as an ordinary Air Force pilot (or go off to Switzerland or Belize with his billions). The publicity and intrusion would die off (as it has done for the Hohenzollerns and Hapsburgs).

    If they all did that until the line of succession dropped down to some obscure mitteleuropean with broken English, we'd get a republic by default and be a lot better off.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4413 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    There's a hell of a difference between opposing the institution of the monarchy and extending the individual members of the royal family the same basic respect we expect to be treated with ourselves.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2003 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The British royals whole existence is “unreasonable and over the top”.

    And pretty much always has been. So if your point is they should just get over themselves and put up with the paparazzi then, maybe. At what point do you think William was told if he didn't like it he could leave? I doubt that was part of his upbringing. Yes, I agree they are snobs, and they don't float my boat but there are many snobs in the world, many from places like Britain and they all make me queasy but in my view it still doesn't make ill treatment for pranks acceptable either.
    Doesn't the Queen pay taxes now? I suspect like so many others there are very good accountants handling their finances. Just like John Key, only Key aspires to be royal and never will be.
    Anyway Rich, I do understand your point that they are not on your invite list forever. ;) I'm going outside to check out the sunshine, it's too nice to quibble about that lot. eh?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5971 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan,

    I was planning on posting a link to this anyway – a well thought out pro-Leveson view from an insider, but the royals link makes it all the more apposite.

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 144 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Malice Springs?

    …the same basic respect we expect
    to be treated with ourselves.

    The more I think about it, the less I like this whole schadenfreude (taking joy at others' misfortune) entertainment sector.
    This isn’t simply passive pratfall-based schadenfreude the callers were engaged in, it was actively set up, entrapment if you will, and malice is at the heart of that spectrum. I thought there were laws about using telecommunication devices for malicious purposes?
    These Australians (DJs / Management) have dug their own hole by wittingly (or by being badly advised) not persevering in at least getting the proper clearances.
    One assumes they have the phone records to show how many times they tried to call the hospital, to seek their approval to humiliate one of their staff, for the amusement of some crassly insensitive antipodeans.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4627 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I thought there were laws about using telecommunication devices for malicious purposes?

    Most such laws are restricted by national borders. When the perpetrator and victim are in different countries it requires two sets of laws to work in cooperation (like extraditing Kim Dotcom requires NZ and US laws to cooperate). Internationally they're more likely to cover terrorism, possibly financial crimes, rather than harassment I suspect.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    There’s a hell of a difference between opposing the institution of the monarchy and extending the individual members of the royal family the same basic respect we expect to be treated with ourselves.

    There really, really is.

    The central fact here is that there's a young woman suffering a distressing condition as a consequence of pregnancy. Everyone -- the British papers, the Australian radio dickheads and anyone inclined to make politics of it -- would do well to STFU and let her get through it.

    Not that there's much chance of that, sadly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18663 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I thought there were laws about using telecommunication devices for malicious purposes?

    A tv story I saw said that Australian broadcasting/surveillance laws offer relevant protections for recording without knowledge or broadcasting without consent. Guess that's why the station manager has made such a deal of how many times they phoned the hospital for permission.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16433 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Not that there’s much chance of that, sadly.

    The worst that could happen is maybe a diplomatic incident, but even then, it'd be on the milder end of the scale.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4140 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    And pretty much always has been. So if your point is they should just get over themselves and put up with the paparazzi then, maybe.

    Quite - you know what, you many not like an unelected hereditary monarch who has to meet a religious qualification being New Zealand's head of state. I don't. But my republicanism doesn't extend to the idea that a woman sunbaking topless on private property should just STFU and accept that being stalked and perved on is the quid pro quo for those nice loaners from Alexander McQueen and the digs in Kensington Palace. The way some folks were carrying on, you'd think she was doing nude cartwheels around Trafalgar Square at lunch time. She wasn't/

    Oh, and I also happen to believe everyone is entitled to medical privacy, Rich. You. Me. Nelson Mandela. Kate Middleton Windsor. EVERYONE.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11855 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and Rich, you do think Nelson Mandela also somehow "asked" for crap like this?

    FFS, pardon me for not being entirely shocked at the idea that a man in his mid-90's might not be in the best of health - but where's the legitimate public interest in violating his medical privacy. Yeah, I know he's an "icon" blah blah blah but where's the legitimate public interest in staking out the hosptial bed of a man who left public office thirteen years ago? Really?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11855 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Al Gore has just http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/gore-went-to-bat-for-al-jazeera-and-himself/sold his Current TV network to Al-Jazeera. Up until recently we were able to get Al-Jazeera in NZ via Stratos/Triangle.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4140 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to DeepRed,

    I fixed that dodgy link above...
    and to think if he'd just changed the name to The Gore Channel - he'd probably have made an even bigger killing!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4627 posts Report Reply

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