Robert McNeill: Not much harmony over Prince Charles’ latest tome
Prince Charles has spoken. Some of you are hiding behind your sofas, but you can come out now, as the smoke has cleared and he has gone back into his house. Recently, you may recall, the Prince sparked controversy when he claimed he wasn't a nutter. Furthermore, he positively resented the fact that folk kept saying he was loopy.
His remarks, apparently made while sober, led to questions in the House of Commons and to sporadic outbreaks of rioting in several rural areas.
Well, no sooner had that died down than he was at it again, this time complaining about capitalism and warning of the rise of the so-called “manchine”.
According to the leading Marxist, new methods of connecting the human brain to machines could create folk who won't experience real life at all. Sources say his fears were first raised after watching the boxed set of Dr Who.
The Prince makes the claim in his latest blockbuster, Harmony, co-written with someone out of Friends of the Earth. He says humanity risks losing its “inner moorings” if it doesn't come away from the computer and get out a bit more.
However, it is when he tackles the hated economic system of capitalism that the Prince really gets galloping. He says our insatiable pursuit of economic growth is “the business model of the madhouse”. Last night, leading madhouse owners condemned his comments, and issued statistics showing that they actually made a handsome profit most years.
But the Prince would not back down, claiming that the evil markets were becoming “increasingly divorced from the realities of nature”. This is a fair point and, arguably, not even loopy. When you see these ghastly folk on the Stock Exchange shouting and bawling, you'll notice that there's not even a geranium in sight. It's a sterile, clinical world that they inhabit, and quite |insane that their wretched shouting and bawling, not to mention their stupid hand-signals, should provide the basic foundations of our economy. That, truly, is nuts.
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Prince Charles concludes that capitalism is unsustainable in the long run and, while he stops short of calling for mass nationalisation of the means of production and exchange, he does say we should all try sitting in the park more often.
Last night, as massive crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace to show their support for the Prince, Prime Minister Nick Clegg, or the other one, appealed for calm.
Security sources are concerned that, with his track record of proving right about climate change, not to mention correctly calling the English National Gallery a “monstrous carbuncle” and the Millenium Dome a “blancmange”, the Prince could be facing an unexpected period of credibility and might even become a new focal point for radical discontent.
However, Charles' inflammatory language and anti-capitalist extremism have led to schisms in the Royal Family, which traditionally leans to the right politically and thinks of the environment as a place in which to shoot things.
Last night, the Queen, who is thought not to share Charles's Marxist views, was unavailable for comment, as she was watching EastEnders. However, the Duke of Edinburgh blasted: “Honestly, I don't know where the Dumbo-lugged poltroon gets it from. Not me certainly. My biggest regret in life is that we didn't beat him more as a child.”
The Duke of Edinburgh is 102.