My old mate Jim Lunday worked with the then Prince Charles when he had a village designed some decades back. Glaswegians are not enamoured with royalty but Jim reported to me on a number of occasions that Charles has an impressive value set and understanding of what makes up a decent community.
So it was interesting to read in the Guardian last week:
King Charles has a landmark birthday today. And as one does when one lives in a palace, he will be spending it visiting a food bank.
The trip is a carefully calibrated statement of intent bringing together two of the 75-year-old monarch’s longstanding interests – environmentalism and tackling social ills – under the umbrella of his Coronation Food Project, which will distribute food that would otherwise be wasted to people living in food poverty.
Though royals will always shy away from political controversy, decisions about which gritty social issues are now uncontroversial enough for them to safely adopt are in some ways unavoidably political themselves. By choosing to campaign on food poverty, the king is saying that this is something no right-thinking person could expect him to ignore, at a time when government is reportedly plotting yet another round of welfare cuts. While royals rarely push at the boundaries of political thinking, what they can do is hold an existing line at a time when extreme political forces are pushing back against it.
it feels churlish to start kicking lumps out of anyone trying to create even the faintest glimmer of hope.
Here’s a picture of our now King on the Dance-a-mat when he visited this city after our earthquakes: