Socialist Worker

The Troublemaker—Royal relative is slammed for making cash from sick sales

Issue No. 2624

Princess Eugenie (left)

Princess Eugenie (left) (Pic: Carfax2/creative commons)


She has St George’s Chapel for the ceremony. She has the carriage for the procession afterwards. Now Princess Eugenie has that other essential prerequisite for a royal wedding—the official range of commemorative china.

Dedicated royal fans—and they have to be dedicated considering that Eugenie is ninth in line to the throne—can buy a range of pieces to mark her forthcoming wedding to Jack Brooksbank on 12 October.

Produced by the Royal Collection Trust, the range includes a coaster costing £20 (pictured), a miniature tea cup and saucer at £25, a pillbox for £29 and a tankard at £39.

The sceptical might question who would buy such mementoes for a relatively minor royal. But the answer could be more people than one might think.

When Buckingham Palace announced that it would have a draw to join the celebrations within the grounds of Windsor Castle, 100,000 people applied.

Despite such enthusiasm, controversy over the wedding has continued.

More than 18,000 people have signed a petition demanding that no public money be spent on the imminent nuptuals.

In other royal news The Duchess of Cambridge’s mum Carole has been blasted for ­flogging a Halloween ­costume of a princess ­splattered in blood.

Those most offended included the Daily Star, The Sun and Daily Mail newspapers.

The Star made the case clear. “It has caused huge offence because of a possible gruesome link to Princess Di, who was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997,” it explained.

Diana’s close friend and psychic Simone Simmons said, “This is sicker than sick.

“I hope people boycott this site. There are plenty of other places for better Halloween costumes.

“This is really scraping the barrel. It’s twisted and warped.”

Ingrid Seward, who is editor in chief of Majesty magazine and also a royal author, added, “This is in very poor taste.”

One apparent royal fan (or subeditor padding the copy) added, “It’s outrageous for Carole to sell a costume like that with the word ‘princess’ in the title. What was she thinking?”

The outfit called The Zombie Sleeping Princess was on sale for £10.99.


Remember the Lib Dems? They’re trying to boost funds and keep activists on message with a swear box at party HQ.

Anyone who says “second referendum” instead of “people’s vote” has to pay a fine. At the BBC journalists have been instructed not to say second referendum because the first one was in 1975 and the audience would be confused.


The Treasury minister and the tax avoiders

A treasury minister has been accused of a conflict of interest over links to tax-avoider Amazon.

Mel Stride has a controlling stake in Venture Marketing Group which provides “exhibition, publication and online services” according to the register of MPs’ interests.

Current or previous clients include tax avoiding Amazon, banks HSBC and Lloyds, and City fat cats JP Morgan.

All have what could be described as an interest in tax policy, which is Stride’s responsibility as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Rules state ministers should avoid conflicts or perceived conflicts of interest. The Treasury says Stride’s role includes “strategic oversight of the tax system including direct, indirect, business, property and personal taxation”.

Documents filed with Companies House show he pocketed £59,000 from Venture Marketing last year. And in 2017 “the company was under control of the major shareholder MJ Stride”.


A Tory conference app blunder exposed Cabinet ministers’ personal details and phone numbers. It allowed anyone downloading it to log in and edit them.

Boris Johnson’s profile image was changed to pornography and his title changed to “dickhead”.

 


Global demand for British posho schools

Growing numbers of private schools are opening branches abroad, 20 years after Harrow started the trend by setting up in Bangkok.

Some 73 have opened at least one sister school abroad or have a partnership with an international school, and more are following suit.

Harrow now has five sister schools and Dulwich College has ten.

Eighteen British independent schools are due to open abroad in the next two years, mainly in China but also in Singapore, Egypt, Oman and India.

The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), which represents 250 posho fee-charging schools, says that the rate of growth is higher than ever.

Chair of HMC Shaun Fenton said, “British independent education is a force for good, both at home and abroad.”

And due to them having charitable status, it’s a profitable, tax-free force at that.


Drunk as a subsidised Lord

Lavish dining and watering holes in the House of Lords receive thousands of pounds every day in subsidies.

Eight bars and restaurants at Westminster got £1.3 million last year for meals and drinks.

The facilities clocked up a £6.6 million bill over the past five years—around £8,000 for each sitting day.

The Peers’ Dining Room spent £801,000 more than it collected for 2017-18, figures from the House of Lords administration committee show. The Barry Room lost £260,000 and the River Restaurant was in the red by £442,000.


Firms fleece customers if they are loyal

Citizens Advice said that loyalty was costing us more than £4 billion a year. The charity has lodged a complaint with the Competition and Markets Authority after finding that households pay almost £900 a year too much on average across the mobile phone, broadband, insurance, savings, and mortgage markets.

Citizens Advice said that old and vulnerable customers were most likely to be overcharged for staying loyal.

One couple in their 90s were paying nearly £1,000 a year too much on their home insurance.


Prosecuted for being a slave

The police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecuted a Vietnamese teenager whose case was dismissed when a judge said that he was probably the victim of slavery.

The boy now faces deportation.

Over 1,100 Vietnamese children suspected of having been smuggled into Britain have been arrested in the last five years.

The CPS has no data on how many were prosecuted or convicted.

The boy had been accused of being involved in the production of cannabis.

Judge Robert Trevor?Jones dismissed the case against the boy, who did not speak English.


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The Troublemaker
Tue 2 Oct 2018, 11:49 BST
Issue No. 2624
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