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Royal and honours tinkering, and an odd suggestion re women – short haul for Cameron’s long haul flights

Posted on 29 October 2011 | 11:10am

Perth in Western Australia is a lovely place, but I suspect David Cameron wishes the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting could have been held in the equally lovely Scottish namesake. No matter how wonderful Australia may be, it is a long long way away, and the PM was unsurprisingly looking a bit tired I thought.

You only have to measure the column inches ratio of his earlier summit on the eurozone crisis to realise that the Commonwealth as an organisation is now much less relevant to British life than the EU – another reason eurosceptics dislike Europe.

But Cameron rather played into that idea. Look at the three things that seem to have characterised his presence there. One, the debate about Royal succession, and the agreement that if Prince William’s first child is a girl, she should become Queen ahead of any second-born male. All fine and modernising, as is the decision to remove the anti-Catholic bias in the rules of succession – but not something that fundamentally changes the lives of Commonwealth citizens in the way that the eurozone crisis management does.

Second, there was Mr Cameron’s observation that if there were more women in City boardrooms, top pay would be lower. I imagine this was one of those stories that emerged from a back of the plane chat with the travelling press pack, who would have been worrying that the CHOGM ceremonials were not going to fill the space needed to justify the 24 hour flights and fares. It may even have been planned. Mr Cameron was bound to be asked about the report showing continuing soaring pay levels for the rich. This was a way of getting him into that story without actually condemning those who were taking huge pay rises at a time of austerity for others. It may also have been thought by his advisers to have been a way of ‘connecting with women’, who seemingly find the PM much less convincing than men do.

But were I a businesswoman, the message I would get is not that he sees us as being more pragmatic, sensible and selfless, but that he assumes we would settle for less, because deep down that is what men of his ilk think women should do.

Third, we had his declaration that the so-called working class honour, the British Empire Medal, should be reinstated. Poor old John Major – he didn’t make many changes to the world, and here is one he did make, when the ‘classless society’ was his big thing, and along comes Cameron to bring it back as a way of reviving his stalling Big Society plans.

So Royal changes, an at best ambiguous suggestion re women, and a tinkering with the honours system – it was a long way to go for that. Perhaps the flight home will at least help reduce his sleep deficit.

  • Julie

    I suspect that Mr Cameron is very happy that this was said in Australia because as a sexist comment it is way ahead of the “sit down dear” storm. 

  • Whatifwhatif

    I’m revolted by this patriarchal surprise.

    Of course the change is something that should happen but why does it have the stink of shaky Dave and Sam and chats Chez #10 and a little bit of toadying to Julia Gillard?

  • Working class honours containing the word ’empire’; lower pay expectations for women; continuation of a subservient and anachronistic monarchic system – Yes he really is a man of the people, our Dave, isn’t he?

  • Olli Issakainen

    Big corporations are showing record earnings. But ordinary people in the US and Europe suffer. Real wages are down in Britain thanks to inflation which is totally out of control.
    New round of quantitative easing (QE) by the BoE asked by George Osborne will damage savings and pensions.
    More QE will be used. It will do damage to Britain´s financial system and increase inflation.
    But it has long been a goal of globalist elite to wreck the living standards of the middle class. They aim at society which consists only of super-rich and the poor.
    Small number of people have taken most of the world´s wealth, and now there is not enough demand and growth.
    Governments borrow money by issuing bonds. Pension funds, banks and mutual funds buy these bonds.
    Now banks, who created the current crisis by speculation and over-lending, are demanding austerity from governments. This means cuts and job losses.
    There has been five times more job losses in the public sector in Britain than the forecast. The Tory-led government promised 2.5m new jobs in private sector during this parliament. But only one private sector job has been created for every 2.7 jobs lost in public sector.
    As I have said before, a new IMF paper proves that plan A cannot work even in theory. Britain is now heading for a recession.
    What is needed now is a worldwide co-ordinated stimulus package – not neoliberal austerity demanded by banks.
    Top pay is increasing monumentally. But there must be a fair distribution of wealth. Inequality must end. Inequality is economically disastrous and socially unacceptable.
    A million young people in Britain are jobless. Taxpayers pay higher taxes and prices, but the super-rich hide their wealth in tax havens (a third of the world´s wealth is in tax paradises).
    Austerity is a deliberate IDEOLOGICAL choice. Growth alone would have halved the deficit in Britain without any cuts or tax rises.
    Now neoliberal austerity is only increasing the debt across Europe.
    There will not be enough growth in Britain this year, and in 2012 there will not be any.
    Plan A is a total disaster.
    Global capitalism is broken. We need a moral economy based on fairness.
    Labour must be at the forefront in this revolution towards good capitalism. Ed Miliband has already made steps in the right direction.

    Ps. The Vatican has now called for a “world authority” based on beefed-up United Nations. It also wants a “central world bank”. The Pope wants a “world political authority”. This is all part of the ongoing move towards a world government and a global IMF currency called “Bancor”. The globalists also want a one-world religion. The United Nations has launched a United Religion Initiative (URI) which is said to be a spiritual companion of the UN. UN´s Commission on Global Governance wants that the UN becomes a world government.

  • There is a word in the English language that sounds exactly as it means, that describes our PM to a T, that has always signified, to me, less-than-pleasant persons. 

    So, Dave, I award you the OMY – the Odious Man of the Year – Award for non-service to the British people. Not even the elite will argue against this one – what has the man done for any of us except de-grade all that was still good when he came into office.

    I believe Prince William has more street appeal than any of the present Government and that it is to HRcredit alone he has ensured any first-born daughter will be heir(ess) to the throne.

    In fact, I am sure he’s been working on it for quite a while.

  • MicheleB

    Oooops ’tis me, glitch an’ all!

  • MicheleB

    There have always been religions that wanted to rule the world Olli, your and our country have both developed through several lots that wanted to be universal but got overtaken by another lot that wanted the same.

    First it’s suspicions about the Bilderbergs and now about this lot :
    ………………….I don’t see any linkage to the UN.

    ………………… whoooooosh, perhaps something just flew by?

    • Olli Issakainen


  • George

    I have to say Olli, prior to stating that the ‘globalists ..want a one-world religion’ you had been doing quite well. The concept of a one-world religion is complete nonsense as the communists have discovered.

  • British Empire Medal very good idea, in its day the Empire was GREAT, so fantastic move, as for people without rank by the old system, have to give AC some award, a flunky award why NOT!!, sorry Spin Doctor!

  • Ehtch

    So what Cameron is saying then is that me,n generally, are grabbing bastards, and always chasing a pay rise or some sort of perk, a flashier car usually, which they usually saw on Top Gear the night before. As a man, I must admit, men are frivolous but manipulating with such matters, as I have found.

    And with Australia, the trade with eastern Asian countries is significant. Australian iron ore, for instance, is exported in astounding quantities to China these days. Do not know the exact figures, but it is a heck of a lot. Oz is coining it with mineral exports.

    And as for empire in gongs’ names – it is enough to make you tear your hair out, in how establishment institutions are so stuck in the past, and in the long long distant past at that.

  • Ehtch

    Futher ref. of Oz iron ore exports, at last count 60% goes to China, and a total of 98% goes to Eastern Asian major countries in total, with 2% to EU countries. Suppose, especially in the UK, we had iron refining palnts still, to make steel, left, it would have been flipping higher. Bloody Thatcher and her Adam Smith warped idea of a free-market! It would be a free-market if other countries in the World were playing to the same rules, and not paying their workers five pence an hour or something, or healthy subsidies with investment provisos. Bluddy Westminster/Whitehall government and civil servant clean wash handed numbnuts! Anyway, link about Oz iron ore;

  • MicheleB

    When you say ‘in its day the Empire was GREAT’, despite the placement of your caps the operative word is actually WAS.

    There is no empire any more, has that fact escaped your notice?

    Are you aware of the millions around the world that still complain about its ever having existed and included  (or claimed to) their own country.

    The resurrection of the word for what I’m sure must be meant to be an honour is absolute twitness and so typical of this performer.

    By all means let’s have a medal for Honourable Bloggs but please let it have a name that matters and isn’t redolent (I can think of two suitable and very different meanings of the word and both apply) of 19C. 

    We’ve all moved on, as with the best divorces.

  • MicheleB

    I’m trying to remember when this accession/succession matter has been mentioned, let alone discussed.

    Cameron said that Commonwealth members had all agreed; had members of Parliament been asked the same question?  Has it been discussed or included in manifestos?

    It seems that more than one protocol is being tipped over with this fait accompli and underlying it anyway is ‘the rights of inheritance’ ….. oooops I’ve just stumbled on Cam’s actual belief.

  • Whatifwhatif

    I’m aware that the anonymity of the net means all sorts of people can claim to be all sorts of things and also aware that .org usually denotes an establishment domain.

    But no thanks, I’m happy for uri-whatever to happy clap with itself!

    I must say that the cleric from St Paul’s who has spoken to the campers today has been an exemplary spinner (not meant with any cynicism)! 
    I only hope his good intent and that of so many of the protesters isn’t spoiled by infiltrators (speaking as someone that went on peaceful demos and marches that were).

  • Anonymous

    I like the slightly weary tone in this post.  They haven’t got a clue, have they?

  • MicheleB

    The new interest being expressed in adoptions is another example of tinkering to look busy, pretend effectiveness.

    I’m sure he’s well aware that fostering is a long-term cost to councils; adoption brings an end to that.  Cosmetic cuts?

    I doubt Cam has spent any time with social workers or really knows whether length of time since someone’s last fag is a box to be ticked or merely a part of chatty conversation.

    Some time ago I decided my career to date had been frivolous and did a very wide side-step, into social service depts.  I was exposed to information about child abuse and family breakdown and detail about horrendous paedophile gangs operating throughout the 80s/90s.  During a couple of dozen meetings I attended with families in difficulties I only heard anyone say they loved anyone in five of them.  Six months was all I could take of it. 

    Cams should try the same experience and then say these damaged children should be shoved off to the first ‘willing provider’  < that quality is becoming quite a commodity under this govt.

  • MicheleB

    it’s a shame the emperor has no clothes though isn’t it?