Friday 21 September 2012

CBC Archives: The Monarchy in Canada - Rare Footage

Regular readers of my blog will be aware that in recent years the Canadian Government has embarked upon a policy to reinforce the position of the Crown in Canada. This refreshing approach to Canada's oldest institution has been replicated by Canadian instiutions in numerous other areas of Canadian life. Most recently, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has created an on-line archive of royal visits to Canada. This site, which is free to access, provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of the royal family's connection with the Senior Dominion. I am pleased to recommend it. It is accessible via this link:  CBC DIGITAL ARCHIVES - THE MONARCHY: 

Thursday 20 September 2012

Brutalist Humble Pie

Earlier today I stumbled upon a photograph on Facebook of a familiar plaque that is located just off of Russell Square in London's "Bloomsbury". The plaque, as may be read on its inscription, was erected to apologise for the construction of the building on which the plaque was affixed (the Brunei Building, School of Oriental and African Studies).  

I think this is an excellent idea which should be rolled out all over London, much as the resoundingly successful Blue Plaques have been. Now that the judgement of history has found them guilty on all counts, the architects responsible for our city's numerous monstrous carbuncles should be forced to erect plaques permanently recording their abjet apologies  for desecrating our streets and cityscapes, dampening our spirits and assaulting our eyes and minds. 

Saturday 15 September 2012

Royal Lawsuit Over Topless Photos of Duchess of Cambridge -- BBC TV

I appeared on BBC News Channel and BBC World TV this evening to discuss the royal reaction to the publication of topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge and to examine the chances of success for the the royals in the French courts on the grounds of breach of privacy. The interview may be viewed below:

Monday 10 September 2012

A Separate Olympic Honours List for Olympic Medallists?

Following the Government's decision to create a separate honours list for Olympic medallists, I was asked to discuss the subject on Sky News' "Boulton & Co" programme, hosted by Adam Boulton. Do Olympic medallists deserve an honour for their achievement in addition to their Olympic medals? Or does this risk turning the honours system into a "Win one medal get one free" farce? The segment may be viewed by clicking below:

Wednesday 5 September 2012

My Autumn Public Lecture & Debating Schedule

Over the next couple of months several of my public speaking engagements will be open to the general public. My blog followers and other interested parties are welcome to attend. 

Details have already been confirmed & released for the following:

1.   28th September. University of Exeter, Devon. Debate: "This House Would Abolish the British Monarchy".  

2.   5th October. Kensington Palace Lunch & Lecture.  The title of my lecture is: "Why are we Monarchists? The Enduring Appeal and Relevance of Monarchy in the 21st Century".  This is a ticketed event arranged by the Constitutional Monarchy Association. Tickets (which include both the lunch and lecture) and further details via the Constitutional Monarchy Association.

3.   21st October. The Battle of Ideas Debate: "Monarchy in the UK".  Location: The Barbican. This is a ticketed event organised by the Institute of Ideas. Tickets and further details:

4. 27th November. The Sussex Salon Series at the Brighton Dome. Debate: "Should Britain Become a Republic". This is a ticketed event co-organised by the Brighton Festivals Office and the University of Sussex. Tickets and further details:

Sunday 2 September 2012

Crown Council of Ethiopia Statement on the Death of The Ethiopian Patriarch, His Holiness Abune Paulos, Fifth Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia

A statement from the Crown Council of Ethiopia

 On The Passing Of Our Patriarch His Holiness Abune Paulos, Fifth Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia, Ichege of the See of St. Tekle Haymanot, Archbishop of Axum and serving President of the World Council of Churches

We would like to express our condolences on the sudden and unexpected passing of our father, scholar, internationalist and tireless advocate for peace, Patriarch Abune Paulos.

As the spiritual guide of Ethiopia’s 40 million Orthodox Christians, The Patriarch suffered much spiritual and personal hardship and abuse during the 1970s in the jails of Colonel Mengistu Haile-Mariam and the Derg Communist Junta.  Having watched the Church he was devoted to being persecuted and the then Patriarch Abune Tewflos being executed, the Patriarch was released from prison in 1983.  There followed a period of exile and continuing study in the United States until his election as Patriarch in 1992-the year following the overthrow of the Communist government.

Born in Adwa, Tigray Province, Patriarch Abune Paulos was distinguished as the first member of his ethnic group to become Church Patriarch. Abune Paulos was only the fifth Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church since Emperor Haile-Selassie secured the Church’s independence in 1959 from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.

Having personally presided over the re internment of Emperor Haile-Selassie in 2000 at Addis Ababa and the subsequent burial of other members of the royal family at the Holy Trinity Church, Abune Paulos retained an unabashed and life-long fondness for and attachment to the venerable history of the Ethiopian Empire, its people and its royal family.

The Patriarch’s personal valor, international regard and tireless spiritual diplomacy resulted in his recovering substantial church properties and assets seized previously by Ethiopia’s communist regime.
These scarce and valuable resources were immediately deployed in the service of the Ethiopian people.
The Abune was also a tireless advocate for the preservation of Ethiopia’s spiritual and cultural heritages.

Abune Paulos was also the first Church leader to bravely challenge deep seated social and cultural taboos to draw awareness to our nation’s devastating HIV-AIDS rates-and the immediate and critical need for treatment and preventive education.

Through trying and at times controversial circumstances the Patriarch’s spiritual leadership and prodigious efforts on behalf of peace, pragmatic internationalism and humanitarian leadership have shepherded Our ancient and venerable Church into the 21st Century.

“No one loves Africa more than Africans,” said Abune Paulos, and only an “African asolution” will solve African problems-two of the Patriarch’s more succinctly profound dicta that Ethiopians and Africans alike should cherish and always remember.

With the passing of Our venerable spiritual leader, we must now humbly seek the divine guidance of Almighty God to secure a wise and steady hand for our precious Church and people.

God bless the Ethiopian people and the Church. The Abune’s unique blend of spirituality, pragmatism, personal humanity, scholarship and international perspective will long be remembered and surely missed.