Posted on 10th December 2022

The view of Slane Castle from the hill

The mornings are crisp.  There is a heavy frost on the ground and bar unsettling memories of the Beast from the East there is a reassuring sense of some return to normality.  Thoughts of climate change for once are not to the fore, that was until I opened my newspapers on Thursday morning.  Michael Gove, the UK Levelling-up Secretary has approved a deep coal mine in Cumbria, the first in 30 years.  The justification for this is the production of coking coal for the steel industry.  However, British Steel says it won’t use the coal because of its sulphur content and it seems that 85% of its production will be exported.  In fairness to Boris Johnson he really got the issue of climate change and together with Tory MP Alok Sharma, who was President of COP26, showed they understood the dangers to the planet.  Frankly this decision is extraordinary, particularly in a country like the UK which should be providing leadership.  Rishi Sunak made a very public U-turn to attend COP27 in Egypt but one has to agree in this instance with Ed Miliband, Labour’s Climate spokesperson, who described him as “ a Fossil Fuel Prime Minister in a renewable age”.  Our government should express its strong disapproval through whatever channels it deems appropriate.  As far as I’m concerned, Rishi Sunak shame on you.

So the Duke and Duchess of Netflix, their coffers filled to the tune of $100 million, have unleashed their carefully crafted love story to a supposedly enthusiastic public.  I listened to former BBC Royal correspondent, Jennie Bond, on Ray D’Arcy on Thursday.  She said she was “underwhelmed”.  Good, save me watching it.  To be honest I am tired of their supposed grievances against the media and the Royal Family, and their drive to monetise it all looks increasingly grubby.

Well, if you are underwhelmed by Prince Harry, how about Prince Heinrich X111 of Reuss.  This week it transpired he was head of an extremist group that wanted to overthrow the German government and replace it with a new administration with him as King. Amazing as it may seem, the Germans were taking this disgruntled Prince and his followers seriously.  On Wednesday around 3,000 police raided dozens of properties and arrested 26 suspects, including the Prince.  The Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the group was “ Driven by violent coup fantasies and conspiracy ideologies”.  It is thought that they drew inspiration from the storming of the US Capitol on January 6th and that there were links with the QAnon movement in the US.  Now there is some fantastic but true facts for a Netflix documentary about a disgruntled Prince.

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