Amol Rajan: The media is a propaganda outlet for Royal Family

FreeView from the editors at i

Share
Related Topics

No subject in the history of journalism has generated as much stupidity and sycophancy as the British Royal family. The whole point of journalism is to be a sceptical observer; to ask "What is really going on here?" and "Is that true"? And yet, when it comes to our absurd monarchy, journalists are so bamboozled by aristocratic wealth that they can only portray a confected picture to their audience. In other words, they substitute propaganda where journalism should be.

For instance, have you noticed that you never, ever see a picture of Catherine Middleton on the front pages when she isn't smiling and looking gorgeous, in some delightful floral print dress, at a charity polo match or some such? Now Mrs Wales – spare us from the "Duchess of Cambridge" – is a beautiful lady, and does noble work. But like the rest of us she is prone to bad moods and bad breath, and doesn't look her best on a hangover. You wouldn't know that from media coverage of her. What you get is an idol, not a person.

There is a sub-species of this journalistic failing, which involves intelligent people writing silly things. Peter Oborne scolded Prince Harry in The Daily Telegraph yesterday.

"He knows how to behave. He went to Sandhurst… Furthermore, the Royal Family has spent time and money [some of it ours]… providing him and his brother with very serious advisers".

Hilarious! I fell off my chair laughing. Peter went on to argue that Harry had violated his duty to both the Army and the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas, or Windsors, as they renamed themselves out of embarrassment at their Teutonic roots.

Does anything capture the absurdity of a hereditary monarchy quite like a telling off in the Telegraph for a posh aristo who stripped off in Vegas at a pool party – on the grounds that as a product of Eton, Sandhurst, and the marriage of Charles Windsor and Diana Spencer, with expensive advisers, he knows how to behave ?

I have absolutely nothing against Prince Harry, or Prince William, or Catherine Middleton, or the Queen. Other royals, particularly Prince Philip and the scientifically illiterate Prince Charles, who champions policies that would lead to the murder by starvation of millions of Africans, I dislike. I also have great and growing respect for the Armed Forces.

But scolding posh aristos for partaking in strip billiards is a sign of the emotional infancy of a people too cowardly to vote for their head of state.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: Every privatised corner of the NHS would be taken back into public ownership

Philip Pullman
 

Errors & Omissions: Magna Carta, sexing bishops and ministerial aides

John Rentoul
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links