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Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
11-01-2011, 01:30 AM,
#1
Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
Quote:Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation

Robert Booth
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 30 October 2011 21.00 GMT

From the London Olympics and gambling to children's rights and shipwrecks, the list of draft bills scrutinised by the Prince of Wales and his officials reads like the busiest Whitehall portfolio imaginable.

The 62-year-old prince isn't a minister, an MP or even a lord; in constitutional terms, he is a subject of the crown like any other. But it has emerged that he has a far more formal role in shaping our laws than many people – legislators and civil servants included – ever knew.

Prince Charles is routinely asked to give his consent to pieces of new legislation in what is effectively a power of veto. Since 2005, ministers from six departments have sought his approval for a dozen bills.

With 650 MPs and 826 lords already raking through the fine print of legislation on behalf of British citizens, the puzzle is: why does the prince have this power and how is he using it?

Is it, as one former government lawyer has described it, the "nuclear button" that gives meaning to the prince's already controversial lobbying of ministers on his pet interests, both directly and through his network of charities? And why is it shrouded in secrecy and lacking accountability?

Lord Berkeley, an Old Etonian Labour peer, is one of those seeking answers.

Berkeley is also harbour commissioner at the port of Fowey in Cornwall and he ran up against the prince's powers last month when he sponsored a private members' bill on marine navigation. On 6 September, a blunt letter from a clerk in the House of Lords bill office arrived on his desk.

"Dear Lord Berkeley," it began. "The marine navigation bill that you introduced on 5 July would affect the Prince of Wales' interests and so will require the Prince of Wales' consent for its consideration by parliament … The government whips office in the Lords and the parliamentary branch of the Department of Transport are aware of what is required." Berkeley was told it was a matter of "if" not when the prince would grant consent.

"It was extremely vague about why [it affected the prince's interests]," Berkeley recalled. "It will be one of those things which nobody here [in the Lords] will want to rock the boat about, but I think it is worth rocking. He shouldn't be able to do this. I basically think it has nothing to do with him."

Downing Street officials say part of the reason the prince has the right to consent is because, through his position as the Prince of Wales, he is the beneficiary of the Duchy of Cornwall – a private landholding set up as a kind of trust fund for the son of Edward III, known as "the Black Prince" who became Prince of Wales in 1343. The crown has an interest in the duchy, which funds Charles's multi-millionaire lifestyle, and in the same way that legislation that affects the crown's interest must receive the Queen's consent, bills that affect the Duchy of Cornwall's interests must be agreed by the prince, who is also the Duke of Cornwall.

Where a bill affects the "hereditary revenues, personal property or other interests" of the Duchy of Cornwall, then "the consent of … the Prince of Wales must be signified in both houses [of parliament] before the bill is passed," Cabinet Office guidance states.

A minister's private secretary must write to the prince's private secretary, enclosing two copies of the draft bill, to "explain the purpose of the bill and how it would affect the crown, and asking for consent". Copies should be send to the secretary of the Crown Estate Commissioners and Farrer & Co, a legal firm that advises the crown, "who will advise the secretary of the Duchy of Cornwall of the nature of the legislation and the potential impact it may have on Duchy operations and\or privileges".

Convoluted perhaps, but the effect is clear: in 2011 a private individual enjoys a veto on public legislation because he is responsible for, and enjoys the benefit of, a huge private estate.

The Duchy of Cornwall is no sleepy backwater unaffected by changes to legislation. It is a target-oriented investment portfolio, headed by the prince with a £200,000-a-year chief executive, Bertie Ross, who oversees the equivalent of 91 full-time staff. While investors everywhere have been buffeted by financial turmoil in recent years, the value of the Duchy portfolio has risen from £618m in 2006-7, to £712m in 2010-11. The prince's annual income from the duchy has risen over the same period from £15.2m to £17.8m.

Its biggest housing development is Poundbury, a mock-Georgian new town in Dorset, but it also owns substantial commercial properties such as the Franklin Wilkins building leased to Kings College London, more than 2,000 hectares of woodland, holiday cottages in Cornwall, and the Oval cricket ground also in London. It even owns the freehold of most of the land of the Isles of Scilly and a third of the residential buildings in the archipelago.

But the duchy's business practices have not always been popular. Duchy tenants in the village of Newton St Loe, outside Bath, this year complained to the prince that they had been "fobbed off", "patronised", "misled" and "dealt with in an overly aggressive manner" by duchy representatives who handled their complaints about its plans to build 2,000 homes on neighbouring farmland. Some were afraid to speak their minds for fear of finding the terms of their tenancies changed.

It is this organisation that is the key to the prince's power of consent and ultimately veto. But attempts to gain access to official papers detailing its application have largely failed, with most government departments and ministers questioned reserving the right to keep communications with the royals private.

Fragments have emerged. In September 2008, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills consulted the prince on the apprenticeship, skills, children and learning bill. An email released under the Freedom of Information Act from a legal adviser at the department to an official at the Ministry of Justice was titled: "Apprenticeships bill: application to the royal household and the Duchy of Cornwall". The officials were concerned to know whether the royals, as employers, were happy with the creation of a statutory basis for apprenticeships.

Adam Tomkins, professor of constitutional law at Glasgow University, said it would be right for ministers to consult the prince on legislation that directly affected the duchy in a peculiar way, such as proposed alterations to its unique tax status. But he could not understand why the duchy was being granted the right to consent or dissent over issues such as apprenticeships.

"Thousands of other organisations are also employers, but they are not asked to clear legislation that affects them," he said, adding that it was difficult to see where Charles' interests lie in some of the matters on which he is being consulted.

"This builds on allegations that Charles is a meddling prince and is yet another example of how the government willfully kowtows and defers to this individual," he said. "Yet again it raises the informed suspicion that this is a prince who is seeking to maximise his influence over government policy."

Andrew George, the Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives in Cornwall, has pressed ministers to illuminate the process of Charles' consent, without success. When asked about the consultation with the duchy on the children's rights bill, the education minister, Sarah Teather, confirmed it had happened, but said: "We do not disclose the contents of correspondence with members of the royal family." When George asked if the duchy made any amendments to the Coroners and Justice Act, justice minister Crispin Blunt repeated the line.

The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, which oversees the drafting of legislation, has refused to publish internal guidance on how Whitehall determines whether the prince and the Duchy of Cornwall should be granted the right to consent to new legislation. It said the guidance was a matter of "legal professional privilege".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/30/prince-of-wales-veto-legislation

Quote:Prince Charles's legislation veto shows the duchy is no ordinary private estate

David Gollancz
guardian.co.uk, Monday 31 October 2011 15.30 GMT

Until it emerged on Sunday that Prince Charles was offered a veto on 12 government bills, few people would have wasted a thought on the Duchy of Cornwall. If you've thought about the Duchy of Cornwall at all, you've probably thought "organic biscuits". And if you think about the present Prince of Wales you may well think, among other things, "environmentalist". If you visit duchyofcornwall.org, you will learn:

"The Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate which funds the public, charitable and private activities of the Prince of Wales and his family. The Duchy consists of around 54,090 hectares [that's 133,650 acres] of land in 23 counties, mostly in the south-west of England."

If you delve deeper into the website, you may think that it's a bit more than just a "private estate". The duchy exercises a unique range of legal powers, which elsewhere are reserved for the crown (in other words, the government). If you die domiciled in Cornwall and there is no one entitled to your estate, the duchy takes it. If a company with a registered office in Cornwall is dissolved leaving assets, the duchy takes the assets. The Duke of Cornwall is the competent harbour authority for the Port of St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly. As such, he has the power to impose regulations for the management of vessels in the harbour, backed up by the power to impose fines. He has the right to appoint Church of England priests within the duchy.

Besides these functions, the duke enjoys a variety of legal immunities, which otherwise are reserved to the government. If it is proposed to include any land belonging to the duchy in a national park, the duke's consent is required; an order designating an environmentally sensitive area cannot be made without the duke's agreement; laws that enable utilities to compulsorily acquire land and go on to land to carry out repairs without the owner's consent do not apply to duchy lands. The duke is not required to pay income tax on income from the duchy (over £20m in 2009/10).

These are not the attributes typical of a "private estate". They look more like the powers and immunities conferred on government bodies – and, indeed, the relevant statutes generally operate by providing that the duchy is to be treated as though it were part of the crown. But the Duchy generally insists that it is not part of the crown, is not part of the government and is not a public body or public authority at all (on one occasion it conceded that it was a public body, but only for the purposes of a particular court hearing – one must suppose the concession was made so as to avoid the court making any ruling on the issue, leaving the duchy free to revert to denial in future).

So what? It might seem a bit odd, in the 21st century, that all this should stem from a royal charter of 1337 – but perhaps no odder than hereditary monarchy itself. The duchy is not some malign, secretive and oppressive organisation operating in the shadows; it publishes its accounts online, Prince Charles voluntarily pays an amount equivalent to income tax on his revenues and contributes a good deal of income to charitable objects. He and his family do not receive any allowance from the civil list. What does it matter whether the duchy is defined as a public authority or not?

Well, one consequence of not being a public authority is that the duchy is immune to the legislation governing freedom of information: the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the environmental information regulations 2004, which confer on the public the right to require public authorities to disclose information about their environmental planning and performance.

That does matter. In at least one case (currently under appeal), the information commissioner has agreed with the duchy that it is not caught by the regulations, with the result that information about the farming of non-native oysters in the Helford river remains unavailable to inspection. On a more general view, the duchy has very significant powers and responsibilities for the management of the land and marine environment.

It seems odd that Prince Charles, who has made environmental concerns such a priority, should want to avoid the application of legislation expressly intended to secure the protection of the natural environment. It seems anomalous, and worrying, that such a huge estate, created and conferred by law and exercising significant legal powers, should be able to escape public scrutiny by calling itself a private estate.

Above all, it surely cannot be right that the duchy's management of its 1,700 hectares of woodland, 2,580km of coastline, of the riverbeds of most rivers in Cornwall and Devon and of the foreshore – all gifted to it by law – are immune from direct scrutiny by the public.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/31/prince-charles-legislation-veto-duchy-of-cornwall?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

Quote:Tamar Bridge Act 1998

41 Crown rights

(1)Nothing in this Act affects prejudicially any estate, right, power, privilege, authority or exemption of the Crown including (without prejudice to the general law concerning the applicability of statutes to the Duchy of Cornwall) the Duchy of Cornwall and, in particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, nothing in this Act authorises the Authorities to take, use, enter upon or in any manner interfere with any land or hereditaments or any rights of whatsoever description—

(a)belonging to Her Majesty in right of Her Crown and under the management of the Crown Estate Commissioners, without the consent in writing of those commissioners; or

(b)belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall or enjoyed by the possessor for the time being of the Duchy of Cornwall, without the consent of the Duke of Cornwall testified in writing under the seal of the said Duchy or, as the case may be, the consent in writing of two or more of such of the regular officers of the said Duchy or of such other persons as may be authorised under section 39 of the [1863 c. 49.] Duchy of Cornwall Management Act 1863; or

©belonging to a government department, or held in trust for Her Majesty for the purposes of a government department, without the consent in writing of that government department.

(2)A consent under this section may be given unconditionally or subject to conditions.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukla/1998/4/section/41/enacted

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Cornwall
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11-01-2011, 08:50 AM,
#2
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
fuck that jug eared twat.
No wonder there's a movement to Free Kernow(Cornwall) ..lol
[Image: siolflag.gif]
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11-01-2011, 07:43 PM,
#3
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
my folks have land bordering on his estate. you may aswell go back to antiquity when dealing with his underlings. they all think they are talking for the prince. if they are, hes a bit of a dick.
Reply
11-02-2011, 01:08 AM,
#4
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
pax681 Wrote:fuck that jug eared twat.

LOL
Reply
11-02-2011, 01:56 AM,
#5
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
Interesting the power of Monarchy is showing some of it's hand as far as power goes. Now how's this for veto power..

Any 'sovereign' commonwealth nation (like Canada, India, Australia - a total of 54 countries) is required to submit any law passed for Royal Assent, almost always by an appointed representative of the Queen such as a Governor General. It's quite a power but no House of Commons, Legislature, Parliament or Senate has done anything to provoke a royal veto ... yet. At least as far as I know.

The members have a combined population of 2.1 billion people, almost a third of the world population.. The land area of the Commonwealth nations is about 31,500,000 km2 (12,200,000 sq mi), or about 21% of the total world land area.~wiki

Another angle is UN veto rights and the fact that the Crown basically has 54 votes in tow is a significant fact not to be overlooked, check the voting history on anything of stake to royal holdings.

The Crown own a lot of stuff including the largest bank in the world but I'll report more on that in a few weeks.

Related:

Misc, stuff on The City of London (for FastTadpole)
http://concen.org/tracker/torrents-details.php?id=26042

The Royal Family is getting quite a PR push, a royal wedding, a whirlwind tour and the 2012 Olympics.

"The arbitrary rule of a just and enlightened prince is always bad. His virtues are the most dangerous and the surest form of seduction: they lull a people imperceptibly into the habit of loving, respecting, and serving his successor, whoever that successor may be, no matter how wicked or stupid."
~ Denis Diderot [5 October 1713 - 31 July 1784]

Quote:fuck that jug eared twat.
LOLLOL
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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11-02-2011, 05:24 AM,
#6
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
Yes FT I couldn't believe that shit, was on the info pack for Oz citizenship. But nevermind the monarchy, WTF is this house of Lords having a say in politics in so-called democracies? As we know there are no democracies in the Western world, you just vote in the dictator and that dictator takes their orders from the hidden/shadow rulers.
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11-02-2011, 04:50 PM,
#7
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
So, in reality the break up of the "Empire" was just a bluff, all about appearance, rather than actuality.

Charles himself confuses me. He's not your typical Royal, heavily supports organic farming, has spoken well of Gerson Therapy and alternative health options, and yet slams climate sceptics and pulls this sort of crap.
"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." -- 1 John 2:6
"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly... This is the interrelated structure of reality." -- Martin Luther King Jr.
"He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." -- Proverbs 18:13
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." -- Leo Tolstoy
"To love is to be vulnerable" -- C.S Lewis

The Kingdom of God is within you! -- Luke 17:20-21

https://duckduckgo.com/
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11-02-2011, 05:23 PM,
#8
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
Strange days indeed (Nobody Told Me)


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11-02-2011, 08:29 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-02-2011, 08:29 PM by Swordfish.)
#9
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
Quote:Charles himself confuses me. He's not your typical Royal, heavily supports organic farming, has spoken well of Gerson Therapy and alternative health options,
Re alternative health and complementary therapies, Charles was actually at the forefront of REGULATING this through one of his foundations, not as many believe to make it accessible but in order to control it by other means.
Remember you are unique
...just like everyone else.
Reply
11-03-2011, 08:17 AM,
#10
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
Yes Dunamis I thought the exact same thing and Swordfish if that is true then explains a lot.
Reply
11-03-2011, 08:28 PM,
#11
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
That makes a lot of sense Swordfish, thanks, will have to look into that further. Any sources you'd recommend I check out?
"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." -- 1 John 2:6
"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly... This is the interrelated structure of reality." -- Martin Luther King Jr.
"He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." -- Proverbs 18:13
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." -- Leo Tolstoy
"To love is to be vulnerable" -- C.S Lewis

The Kingdom of God is within you! -- Luke 17:20-21

https://duckduckgo.com/
Reply
11-04-2011, 12:01 PM,
#12
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
Charles had a foundation which was driving regulation in this area called the Princes foundation for integrated health. This was formed in conjuction with a house of lords science and tech committee report on CAM in 1999 and government response in 2000.

I had a very personal involvement with this up to its demise so dont want to contribute too much publicly.

There is a summary here which actually is quite good and confirms my recollections http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prince%27s_Foundation_for_Integrated_Health

As an aside, on occasions when I met HRH, (and before I woke up to all the off the wall stuff about royals and conspiracy), the thing which struck me most was how very unhuman / artificial he looked, almost like his features were like poorly applied makeup over a waxwork dummy....
Remember you are unique
...just like everyone else.
Reply
11-04-2011, 03:36 PM,
#13
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
Cheers for the info, it's much appreciated. I'm going to have good read up later and follow the leads you've given me. As I have conversed about this enough times over the past year or so, it's about time I delved a little deeper. Feel free to PM me anything you feel may be relevant but would rather not post.

Cheers again Swordfish!
"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." -- 1 John 2:6
"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly... This is the interrelated structure of reality." -- Martin Luther King Jr.
"He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." -- Proverbs 18:13
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." -- Leo Tolstoy
"To love is to be vulnerable" -- C.S Lewis

The Kingdom of God is within you! -- Luke 17:20-21

https://duckduckgo.com/
Reply
11-04-2011, 04:53 PM,
#14
RE: Prince of Wales: a private individual's effective veto over public legislation
Just in case you hadn't seen it.

Prince Charles as a Hologram Preaching at the World Energy Summit in 2008.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFVnaY4GJVA

It was mentioned in a recent Steel on Steel broadcast that the royals, across the board, are buying up and establishing lots of wind and solar farms now, subsidized by taxpayer dollars. Charles et al have long been proponents of the Green Hell movement.
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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