Government Lawyers Ask Appeal Court to Hush Up Windsor Letters Scandal
It may not be possible to fool all of the people all of the time. But the British government thinks it can fool most of the people for much of the time.
In an unusually frank attempt to do so government lawyers told the appeal court on Wednesday that the British people should not be allowed to know even the dates on which Charles Windsor has written to government ministers, nor the names of the ministers he has written to.
Mr. Windsor takes more than £19m a year from the pockets of the people for his ill-defined services as son of the head of state. But the government says he what he does for this money should be kept from the people who pay it. It says this because the truth would undercut the monarchist claim that monarchy is a benign and uniting institution.
The lawyers’ claims were made in an attempt to suppress the letters that are believed to confirm Windsor’s interference in the government of his country. The Guardian newspaper is appealing against a government veto of an information tribunal ruling that the letters should be published.
The information freedom tribunal had said that the letters expressed Windsor’s “most deeply held personal views and beliefs” and are “particularly frank”. They show “Prince Charles’ strong belief that certain action on the part of government is needed”.
Attorney-General Dominic Grieve effectively admitted to an earlier High Court hearing that publication of the letters would confirm that Windsor is a politically partisan actor in government affairs who tried to influence the policies of the last Labour government. He also admitted that public confirmation of this “would be seriously damaging to his role as future monarch because if he forfeits his position of political neutrality as heir to the throne he cannot easily recover it when he is king.”
The three judges hearing the government’s application to fool the people of Britain include John Dyson the second most senior judge in England and Wales, who is “Master of the Rolls”.