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A cast of characters: The Monarchy (part 17)

By Dr George Venturini

Not only does the Queen receive tips from British financiers, but she also has access to all the state secrets, through the ‘boxes’ she receives daily. Thus, if the Queen learns from among all public and private intelligence and economic warfare entities reporting to her, for example, that a country is about to be destabilised – Libya, for instance, or Iraq, she can immediately call her broker. Under the secrecy laws which protect the monarchy, it would be unthinkable for anyone to consider pressing charges of insider trading and conflict of interest against the sovereign. That would be the ultimate lèse majesté!

There have been seven monarchs between George III and Elizabeth II. While George III considered himself, was proclaimed and regarded as the owner of entire countries, not only Britain as it then was, but also Australia and Canada, for instance, the situation has changed, albeit in the usual muddling through way.

Thus, while initially George III became the owner the whole of Australia, even though at successive times, the Crown still has title on the continent. Nothing of it is as clear as one would think: in Australia, public lands are referred to as Crown land, which is described as being held in the ‘right of the Crown’ of either an individual State or the Commonwealth of Australia. There is not a single ‘Crown’ – as a legal governmental entity – in Australia. Most Crown lands in Australia are held by the Crown in the right of a State. The only Crown land held by the Commonwealth consists of land in the Northern Territory – surrendered by South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Jervis Bay Territory, and small areas acquired for airports, defence and other government purposes.

Each jurisdiction has its own policies towards the sale and use of Crown lands within the State.

Thus, for instance, in Victoria there is a number of Acts of Parliament and regulations relating to land dealings. See: Transfer of Land Act 1958; Sale of Land Act 1962; Property Law Act 1958; Subdivision Act 1988; Subdivision (Procedures) Regulations) 2011; Subdivision (Registrar’s Requirements) Regulations 2011; Subdivision (Body Corporate) Regulations 2001; and Subdivision (Registrar’s Fees) Regulations 2004.

The Registrar of Titles is responsible for managing land titles in Victoria and has roles and responsibilities covering more than 200 Acts of Parliament, including the Transfer of Land Act 1958 and the Subdivision Act 1988.

Crown land is land owned by the government. Approximately one-third of Victoria is Crown land and is used by a range of people, from families who visit local parks and reserves, to developers who use it for major projects such as freeways.

As for general law titles, this type of title came about from land sold by the Crown (State of Victoria) prior to the introduction of the Torrens system in 1862.

General Law titles are based on a common law system, which originated in England. The General law title system relies on a ‘chain of deeds’ to prove ownership. This ‘chain’ is made up of all documents since the land was sold by the Crown, and is still valid proof of ownership.

What remains to be decided – if possible – is where the Crown ends and the Queen’s rights – and wealth – begin. The confusion is exacerbated by the fact that, ordinarily, one may ‘own’ the land, but not what is under it – a limitation which does not belong to Royal property.

Restitution to the original inhabitants and lawful owners of the land began after the Mabo case of 1992, and laboriously with the Native Title Act of 1993.

There was a precedent, and one can only guess how alarmed the largest land-owner in the world might have been with the solemn conclusion of the Wave Hill walk-off and of the Gurindji strike.

Briefly, in the late 1800s the lands of many Indigenous people in the Northern Territory and Western Australia had been invaded by pastoralists eager to exploit the large areas of grazing land the Indigenous peoples had called home for thousands of years. The land of the Gurindji was taken, and Wave Hill Cattle Station was established with huge numbers of cattle brought into the area. A police station was built and one of the functions of the police constable was that of killing the Indigenous people who dared to stand up against the invasion.

In 1914 the Vestey Brothers, now Vestey Group Ltd. – a privately held United Kingdom group of companies, comprising an international food product business and significant cattle ranching and sugar cane farming interests around the world – took over the Wave Hill Station and employed Indigenous labour to increase the size and capacity of the station. The Indigenous workers were paid – when they were paid – less than a quarter of the minimum wage of non-Indigenous workers and sometimes only received salt, beef, bread, tobacco, flour, sugar and tea instead of a salary. They were just part of the land.

Over the next fifty years the Gurindji were treated appallingly, the women often used as prostitutes, the men who would not bow to the command of the landowners beaten or killed. The place was isolated and managed in a dictatorial manner. Still, through contact with visiting anthropologists, union officials and other Indigenous people, the Gurindji began formulating their plan to free themselves from Vesteys.

After the second world war and the collapse of centuries of colonialism the fight for independence, civil rights and rights to traditional lands was well under way for people around the world. Gandhi in India, Mandela in South Africa, Martin Luther King in the United States and many, many more took their fight for justice and equality to the streets and the courts.

In Australia in 1965 Charles Perkins led a group of activists on a bus trip around New South Wales. It was called ‘The freedom ride’. Inspired by the ‘Freedom riders’ of the American Civil Rights Movement, students from the University of Sydney formed a group called the Student Action for Aborigines. They travelled into country towns on what some of them considered a fact-finding mission. What they encountered was de facto segregation. At the time Indigenous people were counted separately in the census. They counted for nothing in public life. Only in 1967, through a referendum which was approved by 90.77 per cent of the voters certain discriminatory provisions of the Australian Constitution were removed.

The main focus of the ride was to protest against the discrimination Indigenous people suffered in rural and regional New South Wales, but the protest became a driving force for awareness and a campaign for Indigenous rights across Australia.

On 23 August 1966, led by their organiser Vincent Lingiari, the workers and their families walked off Wave Hill Station and began their strike. A report by the Northern Territory government had found about Vesteys: “It was obvious that they had been… quite ruthless in denying their Aboriginal labour proper access to basic human rights.” This said Billy Bunter Jampijinpa, who worked on Wave Hill Station. “We were treated just like dogs. We were lucky to get paid the 50 quid a month we were due, and we lived in tin humpies you had to crawl in and out on your knees. There was no running water. The food was bad – just flour, tea, sugar and bits of beef like the head or feet of a bullock. The Vesteys mob were hard men. They didn’t care about blackfellas.”

Vincent Lingiari, the Gurindji and other Indigenous people from the area left the station and formed a new grouping at nearby Wattie Creek – at a place they named Daguragu. Many believed that the action by the Indigenous people would not last and was simply an attempt to gain slightly-improved workers’ rights. There were many cynical attempts by Vesteys, other pastoralist companies and also the territorial government to convince the people to return back to work. But the workers would not be moved; the price they sought was and would be nothing more than the rightful return of their lands. During those years the conditions were not easy for the Indigenous people, but they did not waver. Vincent Lingiari, Billy Bunter Jampijinpa and others toured Australia with the assistance of a number of workers unions to inform the broader Australian community on the issues they faced and to lobby politicians for changes which would improve the lives of all Indigenous people. So impressed by a speech given by Vincent Lingiari was one man who had never met an Indigenous person before, that he was moved to give $500 to the cause. This was a very sizeable donation at the time, that donor was a young Dr. Fredrick Cossom Hollows, a New Zealand-Australian ophthalmologist who became known for his work in restoring eyesight for countless thousands of people in Australia and many other countries – all told more than one million persons can see today because of his work.

During the period of the strike the cause of Indigenous People was becoming, for the first time in the nation, an issue of national significance in politics – for many, anyway. In time, it is now clear, the overwhelming majority of Australians would not be prepared to go beyond the formal recognition of the Indigenous people as … people!

There was the 1967 referendum in which 90.77 per cent of all votes cast were in favour of the question on Aboriginal people, while the other question on the ballot raising issues on the composition of parliament was soundly defeated. Indigenous People and many students, unions and other groups began large protests in the southern states, not only to raise awareness of the strike in the north, but on broader issues facing Indigenous people. (M. Hodgson, ‘Lingiari’s legacy: from little things big things grow).

Many in the political establishment would ignore or go out of their way to sabotage these efforts and heavy-handed police tactics were used.

This condition of basic indifference, when not of straightforward plain hostility, changed with the election of the Whitlam government in December 1972.

For the first time since the invasion of their land, Indigenous people would see an Australian prime minister interested in their cause and willing to make changes.

Justice Edward Woodward was appointed as Aboriginal Land Rights Commissioner in February 1973 to inquire into appropriate ways to recognise Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory. The Northern Land Council and Central Land Council were established in the same year to assist with the work of the Commission. The Aboriginal Land Rights Commission worked from 1973 to 1974.

There had been court cases, such as the Gove land rights case in which the Yolngu people fought the mining of their land through the courts and finally the passing of the 1976 Aboriginal Land Rights Act.

But it was only on 16 August 1975 that victory for the Gurindji arrived by the hand of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. After nearly a decade of strike action, facing down one of the world’s largest landowners at the time, police brutality, government interference and the ignorance of much of the broader community on the issue, the Gurindji had obtained justice.

The Australian government had struck a deal with Vesteys to return the Gurindji a portion of their land and in front of a crowd at Kalkaringi Prime Minister Whitlam rose to speak. He said:

“On this great day, I, prime minister of Australia, speak to you on behalf of all Australian people – all those who honour and love this land we live in. For them I want to say to you: I want this to acknowledge that we Australians have still much to do to redress the injustice and oppression that has for so long been the lot of Black Australians.

Vincent Lingiari and Gough Whitlam (http://keithlyons.files.wordpress.com)

Vincent Lingiari, I solemnly hand to you these deeds as proof, in Australian law, that these lands belong to the Gurindji people and I put into your hands part of the Earth itself as a sign that this land will be the possession of you and your children forever.”

Nothing so serious and solemn has occurred since.

The land ‘owners’ – wherever residing – have been reassured by the ‘return to normalcy’, and the reassertion of the provincial version of the ‘Westminster system’ after the ‘Whitlam (ever-so-polite) experience’! For if Whitlam could do that to the Vesteys, who are often guests of the Windsor-Battenberg, what would some ‘uncouth socialist’ do to the Queen’s patrimony?

One could indeed very well wonder whether such ‘radical’ event as Whitlam’s restitution was not the cause of much concern at ‘The Palace’, and of anxiety on the part of Kerr as loyal courtier to the Queen. Would there be something to that effect in that famous, and yet un-visible, correspondence?

One wonders. So 1992 was not only an annus horribilis with the beginning of ‘voluntary as well as optional’ taxation ‘at home’, but also with that dreadful Whitlam folly down-under!

Things did not improve much when the New Statesman – admittedly ‘a socialist sheet’ – attempted to establish how much land does the Queen owns.

It came out on 10 March 2011 with a ‘Preview: who owns the world?’ Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of the New Statesman used this jarring opening: “Today we have two kinds of feudal state,” to announce a special investigation into land ownership.

‘From the Queen of England to the Kidmans of Australia, from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to the media tycoon Ted Turner’, the New Statesman’s piece [would reveal] the globe’s biggest landowners.

The two kinds of feudal state are “the inherited state, usually with a monarch at its head, such as the UK; and the state that claims ownership of all land and is feudal in its conception and often totalitarian, such as China. But the core surviving feudal structure in the modern world is inherited, transnational and covers many countries. It has no formal name. It is, in fact, the British crown and its wearer, Elizabeth II. Her legal title runs thus: ‘by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith’. [Emphasis added]

This constitutional statement includes some vast territories where the Queen is quite separately the sovereign head of state and legal owner. First among these is Australia, which, if its Antarctic territories are included, is the second-largest country on earth. And the Queen, in effect, owns it. She also owns the third-largest country, Canada. [Emphasis added]

When the Queen’s territories are added together, the Russian Federation ceases to be the largest single political entity on earth. Like the Queen’s realms, the Russian Federation is dramatically underpopulated and immensely rich in mineral wealth of all kinds.” (‘Preview: who owns the world?’New Statesman, 10 March 2011).

The world’s total land mass consists of 36.8 billion acres of inhabitable land. An incredible 21 per cent of this land is owned by a short list of landowners.

Out of the world’s biggest landowners, Queen Elizabeth II comes first with 6.6 billion acres of land worldwide including Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia and a few other spots here and there. Also, the all-important Falkland Islands.

With her 6.6 billion acres, Elizabeth II is far and away the world’s largest landowner, with the closest runner-up (King Abdullah) holding control over a mere 547 million, or about 12 per cent of the lands owned by Her Majesty, The Queen. (‘The World’s 15 Biggest Landowners, Business Insider, 19 March 2011).

In 1976 the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in hearings chaired by Frank Church (D-Idaho), and attended by Attorney General Edward H. Levi, found that an international cartel, of which R.T.Z. was a major partner, had been formed in 1971 to fix the world’s uranium prices. A federal grand jury found corroborating evidence of R.T.Z.’s role. Also discovered to be part of the cartel was Mary Kathleen Uranium of Australia, which had been encouraging Indigenous People’s agitation to occupy large uranium-bearing lands, taking them out of production.

When, in May 1976, power companies brought charges against the U.S. Westinghouse Electric Corp., claiming that it failed to supply uranium according to contract, Westinghouse responded with the allegation that R.T.Z. and other corporations had formed a cartel which was forcing up world prices, preventing Westinghouse from meeting its contracts. Lord Denning and the Law Lords quashed Westinghouse’s ability to take depositions in the United Kingdom, even under grant of immunity from self-incrimination, in order to protect R.T.Z.’s directors and their shareholder, the Queen, from exposure. But, on 16 June 1976, in hearings in the U.S. House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Jerry McAfee, chairman of the Gulf Oil Corp., admitted that the cartel in which R.T.Z. was his partner had, in fact, increased the world price of uranium. (W. Lichacz, Famous moments in FoE history: ‘Exposing the Uranium Cartel in 1976’, The National Times, August 16-21, 1976; see also: E. Jones, (reviewing) Venturini, George, 1982, Partners in Ecocide: Australia’s complicity in the uranium cartel, Victoria, Rigamarole Books., at tinyurl.com/u-cartel).

When the Tennesee Valley Authority tried to sue R.T.Z., Gulf released new documents inculpating R.T.Z. and its Rio Algom subsidiary in Canada, at which point, the U.S. Attorney General demanded immunised testimony. However, the directors of R.T.Z. and the Queen were once again protected by the Law Lords, who claimed that the R.T.Z. directors did not have to appear before an American court, as this was “an unacceptable invasion of British sovereignty.” So, despite the fact that a cartel involving H.M. Queen Elizabeth II was hampering nuclear energy development in the United States, the ‘free-trader’ Queen was protected by her appointees among the Law Lords.

The Queen was embroiled in a tax row after it emerged her private estate is among the ranks of the mega-rich secretly investing cash in offshore tax havens.

More than 13 million leaked financial documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, alleged that the Duchy of Lancaster, which handles the Queen’s £ 500 million estate and investments, has held funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

Around £10 million of the Queen’s private cash is said to have been tied up in offshore portfolios, the B.B.C. reported.

There is nothing to suggest that any investments are illegal, the broadcaster added.

The estate also had small investments in the controversial rent-to-buy retailer BrightHouse and the Threshers chain of off-licences, which went bust owing £17.5 million in tax and costing almost 6,000 people their livelihood.

BrightHouse was ordered to pay £14.8 million pounds to 249,000 customers after the financial watchdog found it had treated them unfairly.

The Duchy told the B.B.C. it was not involved in decisions made by funds and there is no suggestion the Queen had any knowledge of the specific investments made on her behalf. Of course! (L. Harding, ‘What are the Panama Papers? A guide to history’s biggest data leak, The Guardian, 5 April 2016).

At the end of June 2018 The Irish Sun returned to the question: “What is the Queen’s net worth and how much does Queen Elizabeth II earn every year?”

The reader should be cautioned about the source: The Sun is a tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. As a broadsheet, it was founded in 1964 as a successor to the Daily Herald; it became a tabloid in 1969 after it was purchased by its current owners. It is published by the News Group Newspapers division of News U.K., itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

The answer to question of how rich is the Queen was simple: 370 million pounds.

According to Forbes, it would be US$ 550 million. The same source estimated in November 2017 that the entire “Royal Family’ would be worth US$ 88 billion (C. Rodriguez, ‘The British Royal Family Is Worth $88 Billion’, Forbes, 23 November 2017).

How such estimates were arrived to was not said. What was certain is that “The Queen’s income is set to increase by eight per cent from £76 million in 2017-18 to £82.2 million the following year.”

The Queen was to receive a £6.2 million funding increase thanks to a record performance by the Crown Estate.

It comes after another boost in taxpayer cash to cover the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace.

Increased revenues from the Estate, which owns properties and land across Britain, will see the Queen’s sovereign grant rise by eight per cent.

The Queen’s funding is based on a percentage of the Estate’s profits, which rose £24 million to a record £329 million in the financial year 2016-17. (S. Roberts, ‘What is the Queen’s net worth and how much does Queen Elizabeth earn each year?, 28 June 2018).

Continued Saturday – A conga line of bludgers (part 1)

Previous instalment – A cast of characters: The Monarchy (part 16)

Dr. Venturino Giorgio Venturini devoted some seventy years to study, practice, teach, write and administer law at different places in four continents. He may be reached at George.venturini@bigpond.com.au.


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  1. Karen Kyle

    Crown Land in Australia is owned by either State of Federal Government. Ditto for Canada.

  2. Lambert Simpleton


    How can you conjure with a mind capable of researching and pulling often obscured information together to present a coherent picture and understanding of who runs things, their obscured wealth, constructive development of mechanism that defy investigation, the underlying mentality and sublime secretiveness. Never truly left the Middle Ages.

    The opening sentence:

    “Not only does the Queen receive tips from financiers but has access to …state secrets through the “boxes” (remember Yes Minister) she receives daily”.

    From here we are guided through an investigation not on lf the Queen but a complete apparatus of which she is only a component. It all involving the City of London and other large groups, entities like off shore banks, participation of collaborative wealth emanating from Saudi Arabia Wall St and Switzerland,say and other obscenely wealthy locations and those involved

    All designed to avoid scrutiny and regulation regarding issues like social human and planetary well being , as the few single mindedly pursue their myopic fantasies of wealth power and control

  3. Phil

    Lambert Simpleton
    July 17, 2019 at 9:12 pm


    Well done.

    There was an expose some years ago of the personal wealth of certain London families when the Discovery Channel got a look at the personal security boxes in a London bank.

    The treasures they contained was mind boggling, of particular interest to me being an X mariner were the gold ‘ Candilabrer ‘ from the Spanish main, these had been passed down through the family from the times of Drake. They were obviously stolen from the Spanish by English pirates. The boxes contained millions in ilgotten booty. All of this btw sanctioned by Queen Elizabeth. Who later had Drake executed to placate the Spanish. Of course it is not so much gold they trade in now but arms sales to anyone with the cash to buy them. Friend or Foe matters not. London is the financial capital of the world and for good reason.

  4. Lambert Simpleton

    Phil,. that emerged in the previous Venturini thread. Here, a a certain individual claimed that examination of who actually owns and controls wealth was some how indicative of malice rather than some thing involving an objective attempt of understanding of the phenomena and its implication for the world in an era of wars, dictatorship global warming and mass poverty.

    In a secretive world, if only the real facts could be presented to allow people to make up their own minds, but as the whistleblower thread elsewhere shows, the opposite happens and I , with my misanthropic mind, can’t help wondering why. Silly me.

  5. Phil

    Lambert Simpleton
    July 17, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Indeed. Agree with all the above. I always think, the fact I’m the caring sharing Shmuck makes me something less than human.

  6. king1394

    A lot was happening in that period leading up to the blocking of supply and the crippling and then dismissal of the Whitlam Government. I had not before connected the granting of land rights to the Aborigines at Wave Hill to the Gurindji but it certainly seems likely that it was another insult to the propertied class.

  7. Lambert Simpleton

    Probably more another insult from the propertied class.

  8. Karen Kyle

    That State and Federal Governments own Crown Land in Australia and governments in Canada own crown and is a FACT. It has nothing to do with the Queen. She does not own it. She can’t sell it. And Central Banks are overwhelmingly owned by their National Governments. And the so called conspiracy by the wealthy to manipulate wealth etc through Central Banks has not been going on for centuries. Most Central Banks came into existence in the early to mid last century for the purpose oof stabilising domestic and the world economy. Get over it.

  9. Karen Kyle

    The Queen gets the red boxes every day with Cabinet Papers, etc,because she is the monarch. She has to be kept informed of the actions of her government Charles also gets red boxes every day, because he is the monarch in waiting and he has to be prepared for the role.Even Prince William gets some red boxes because he is the junior monarch in waiting and he must be trained and prepared.

    The penny dropped for me when the Royal Yatcht Britannica was decommissioned. There was a lot of hoo haa about the Royal Yatcht’s capaciity to be turned into a hospital ship in time of war. But some years after the Cold War had ended information became available about the real purpose of the Royal Yatcht.

    If in the advent of nuclear war or other disaster, it would be the job of the Monarch to provide interim government. The Yatch was designed as a prpoer Navy ship with a crew from the Royal Navy whose job it would be to hide among the Lochs of Scotland and the Fiords of Norway, safe from attack. Meanwhile governmet would continue. Thats how it went in theory. How it would work in practise I don’t know. It was part of a contingency plan which all governments have including Australia. Anyway a few years after the Cold War the Royal Yatcht was mothballed. There was no longer a need for it.

  10. Karen Kyle

    Floating Bunker to help The Queen escape Nuclear Attack……..based on a book written by Profesor Peter Hennessy who got hold of the secret plan. Article in the Telegraph. It does explain more about the contingency plan.

  11. Phil

    Floating Bunker to help The Queen escape Nuclear Attack……..based on a book written by Profesor Peter Hennessy who got hold of the secret plan. Article in the Telegraph. It does explain more about the contingency plan.

    Oh my God the stories flow like caca off of a wet shovel.

    The Britannica. You can’t even get the name right it was the Britannia. Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    The Britannia was a ‘ Gin Palace ‘ I know that because I have had tea on her many times. She was tied up on Whale Island the English Navies Gunnery School. I was in the cadets there. My dad was a watchman on it as a second job. She was painted Royal Blue and White hardly camouflage colours. In the sailors mess there was a turd from the Queen in Formaldehyde. Captured by some sailors with a sense of humour no doubt. Portsmouth Harbour adjacent to Whale Island is a major Royal Navy port. In any attack on England by the people you love to hate, Portsmouth would have been the first hit. She was de commissioned because she was due for a refit the cost of which was astronomical. But you go right ahead and give us more of your worldly experience. Some of my family still work in the dock yard she would have no doubt been serviced in.

  12. Karen Kyle

    You don’t think there was a contingency plan? And if I get the name wrong it’s because I don’t really care. Any pictures I have seen of the Yatch she has a black hull, but maybe I am colour blind.

    Why wouldshe be painted blue and white? And what the hell is a gin palace,and what does a gin palace have to do with anything. And I am positive you have had tea on the yatcht just as I am positive your father worked on it as a second job. Did they run out of Naval volunteers and have to hire civillians on a part time basis? That sounds a bit far fetched. Too many of your experieces are suspiciously linked to whatever topic is under discussion like the fellow who claimed to have thirty years experience as an intelligence analyst. Yeah right.

  13. Karen Kyle

    I found photos. Mostly a black hull……but at one point blue. It looked better blue.

  14. Phil

    You got the name wrong because you don’t really care. Jesus H Christ Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    That’s a good one.

    The dockyard in Portsmouth is full of civilians.

    Karen you are full of it. She was painted Royal Navy blue and white because that is the colour of the British Navy uniforms. The ship was tied up in the town I was born in. The fact you don’t know what a ‘ Gin Palace ‘ is tells me you are as thick as two short planks. You have been around haven’t you? Not. As for my good self being on it you are now calling me a liar. My father was in the Royal Navy . She was still tied up during the Cuban missile crisis she didn’t put to sea with the Queen of England or for that matter the Queen of Sheba on board. I have not made any claims. You are a bullshit artist and nothing more than a troll. Now go back to sleep thinking is obviously getting you confused. The only thing you got right was the fact she was crewed by the Royal Navy ( In service)

  15. Kaye Lee


    You know what might be helpful? Rather than arguing about history and genetics and the influence of third parties, perhaps you could submit an article about your thoughts on what needs to be done to help the people of the middle east find peace.

    Perhaps you could examine the consequences of sales of arms to Saudi Arabia.

    You might even investigate the role that education can play in the peace process. Or what role poverty plays. Or how renewable energy might change power structures.

    It would be great to get together youth leaders from Palestine and Israel and Egypt and ask them what they think. Perhaps the young people can show us what working collaboratively looks like.

    Hashing over ancient history is like ripping scabs off wounds. While we focus on who to blame for the past, we hinder those who are trying to forge a peaceful future.

  16. Joseph Carli

    Awww…K-Lee…MUST you!!??….she enjoys the argy-bargy…WE enjoy the argy-bargy…it’s a win-win…with no losers…stop being the “rescuer”…Karen Kyle is a strong swimmer….

  17. Karen Kyle

    So how come they painted her black? And no I don’t know what a gin palace is……I suppse it is some sort of drinking den. And I don’t care what a gin palace is either. What I really can’t cope with are lies, being taken by the hand metaphorically and led gently down the garden path into a patch of rank weeds. And it all starts with the Queens red boxes and her proclivity to ring up her stockbroker depending on the content of the red boxes. Those papers are government papers, and nothing to do with business or corporations. And for all I know she may get intelligence reports but I think it is entirely possible that she doesn’t. I don’t know. Neither does Venturini. He is speculating in the most negative, objectionable and downright dirty way. I have no respect for people who deliberately mislead.and falsify.

    I have a suspicion the Queen does not ring up stockbrokers. I have a suspicion she does not write private memos to figures in government or the Bank of England.. She has a large staff and elaborate protocols to run the firm. If it doesn’t pretty much run itself by this time it ought to.

  18. Rossleigh

    Gee, Karen I can guarantee that the Queen wouldn’t ring stockbrokers; I can’t guarantee that she’s ever made a phone call.

  19. Lambert Simpleton

    Sir Evelyn de Rothschild is Queen Elizabeth’s long term personal financial adviser.

    Wonder if they talk about the parliamentary boxes contents?

  20. Phil

    The Britannia has probably been painted when I saw her last she was Royal Blue and White. If you can’t get the name right I’ll leave it there. Karen you be a land lubber don’t excite yourself.

  21. Phil

    Wonder if they talk about the parliamentary boxes contents?

    Those boxes are full of Earl Grey Tea. OHMS. Of course.

    She takes two lumps in her morning Tiffen. She also shares her Shortbread buscuits with the Corgi’s.

  22. Phil

    If she is black I will get my eyes tested. There she is and what a Grand Gin Palace she is.

  23. Karen Kyle

    Kaye Lee……….If I knew how to bring peace to the ME I would be head of the UN and win the Nobel Peace Prize. The ME has defeated everyone. The Canadian singer songwriter poet prophet and orthodox Jew Leonard Cohen donated a million dollars to an orgnisation in Israel that got Palestinian and Israeli kids together for social and sporting activities. That was a good idea. It didn’t work. The money was wasted. But it might work at another time…..maybe.

    Putin said that the biggest geo-political catastrophe in modern times was the collapse of the Soviet Union. It wasn’t. The biggest geo political catastrophe of modern times is the ME. And it is likely to continue until the peoples are exhausted by war. It could take a long time and an even longer recovery time. I keep thinking of the kids, scarred by war,starving hurt and not in school.

    The Americans finally woke up during President Obama’s admnistration. They realised that our notions of Western Democracy can’t be imposed on them, just as the Soviets couldn’t impose Communism.

    If we do nothing the Americans said the situation gets worse. If we do something anything, the situation gets worse. Obama came to the conclusion that the only thing to do was get out. The people of the ME have to devise their own way of government and their own way of doing things and it will take a long long time. We can stand by to help Obama said if they ask for it, but we can’t interfere.

    I think he is right. We can help with technology and stuff, we can bring their young people to the West for education.but we have to be careful about how we help.

    There are more and more Arab voices coming forth like green shoots, the Arab voices only too aware of the problems and speaking up in the face of their own totalitarian governments. In the early days of the state of Israel the Lebonese Prime Minister visited. He was hugely impressed by what he saw and in despair at the backwardness of the ME. The Jews,he said can show us how they can help the ME free itself from stagnation and what looks like terminal decline. And of course that thinking didn’t last. But still…..thats what the Jews could do. It is an intergral part of their religious faith. They believe themselves to have a holy mission to make the world a better place, to repair the broken face of god.according to Leonard Cohen. And given half a chance they will do it with alacrity…

    Meanwhile the Americans are finding it hard to get out of the ME. If they pulled out of Syria it woud have meant abandoning the Kurds……good people who should not be abandoned.It isn’t just hard. It’s damned near impossible…

  24. Karen Kyle

    The Jewish belief that their mission in the world is to repair the world is called Tikkun Olam.

  25. Phil

    He who repeats what he/she doesn’t understand is, no better than an Ass loaded with books.


  26. Kaye Lee


    I am not trying to be a rescuer. Karen knows a lot about the area. I am genuinely interested in hearing ideas.

  27. Jack Cade

    Karen Kyle’s posts, before I stopped reading them, reminded me of the tirades I used to
    provoke from a DLP stalwart I used to work with.
    That particular person became…agitated…whenever I pointed out that the Old Testament was not a true history of the world and that Abraham was not an an ancestor of Celts or Anglo-Saxons.

  28. Karen Kyle

    Kaye Lee……It isn’t a matter of tearing scabs off wounds and blaming third parties. We need a clear understanding of what has gone so wrong, when it went wrong and why. And why were the Ottomans in such a steep decline, so much so they were dubbed “The Sick Man of Europe”

    The Diplomats get it only too well and can speak about it only in the careful neutral language of diplomacy and academia. Which is a relief. I am not so sure of some of the Foreign Policy bods. One thing I am sure about is that the language surrounding the whole Arab Israeli situation which is marred by the language of violence, hate contempt, blame and acusation is adding fuel to the fire and says more about the character of those voicing these opinions than it does about Arabs or Isrelis.

  29. Kaye Lee


    That has been the approach we have used for thousands of years. Asking what has gone wrong and when will get very different answers depending who you talk to, and all of them have truth in them.

    The only way forward, IMO, is to draw a line in the sand. They have all slapped each other. It’s time to stop. Their children deserve a future without violence.

    When my kids argued, I would not listen to who did what. I would confiscate whatever they were arguing about. Until they learned to sort things out and take turns, to share, nobody played.

    That’s the reason I mentioned young people. They make friends easier. They are hopeful. They don’t carry as much baggage. They are more connected than their parents were.

    It shouldn’t be impossible to draw a border, or to look on each other as people with the same needs for a safe place to raise children.

    It’s the past that stops them from having a future. So pointless. So sad.

  30. Lambert Simpleton

    It is a pity the essay was derailed to Arab Israeli stuff when the issue was initially about power and economics/ pol economics.

    There is nothing anti zionist about saying there are oligarchies and Jewish formations within oligarchies,
    as with Wall St and City of London, if this is a fact.

    It has been unfortunate that a single person has derailed the thread into something to unrelated to its actual content. Venturini was only offering up a snapshot with how the oligarchy of this era has evolved, stands and operates at the moment, raising the question of whether capitalism ( Venturini’s article itself is unrelated to the separate issue of anti semitism which belongs in a completely different category of issue) is viable for the majority of its long suffering subjects, including the victims of colonialist actions, which may be driven or justified also by racist “culture war” considerations.

    it was wrong headed and represents contempt prior to investigation.. a little thought beforehand would have avoided a serious jumping of the Noah’s Ark and instead led people to historical perspectives of how the phenomena of capitalism has formed in the particular way it was, including from the Middle Ages.

    Here, Jewish minorities were urbanised, ghettoised and turned to the traditional and underrated, in a miltary culture, unmanly pursuits of finance and other mercantile activities. How it produced a class skilled in a certain field yet alienated from a wider community, and what link this has to the oddly psychotic approach of modern capitalists remains to be seen, since we could also have to retire to consider Weber- Tawney and the rise of Protestant capitalism ( think Morrison, for an idea of what s meant) and from there consider the origins of patriarchy, alienation and capitalism and component attitudes, from the perspective of what constitutes the unexamined issue of mentality.

  31. Lambert Simpleton

    For a closer look at these things, read John Lord’s latest, on the perhaps incestuous relationship between politics and ideologised religion.

    The parallels are with history since the Dark Ages and go to the development of the nation state from which today’s power structures also eventually derive.

  32. Karen Kyle

    Weber and Tawney’s theories on protestant capitalism are outdated old hat and debunked. Jews were forced into finance and mercantile persuits because they were locked out of other ways of making a living. And I don’t think that made them psychotic, there were much better and more violent reasons for that. And the unexamined issue of mentality?????????. And how capitalism developed. What?

    Jewish formations within oligarchies, interesting. Can you give examples? Because you sound like an antisemite to me, and there was that crack about a Rothschild being a financial adviser to the Queen. I thought you were joking. Were you?

    As for Jews living a life that was not part of the broader community, on the one hand ghettos took care of that and on the other hand the dietry laws, marriage customs and religious observance contributed to the rest.

  33. Karen Kyle

    Weber and Tawney’s theories on protestant capitalism are outdated old hat and debunked. Jews were forced into finance and mercantile persuits because they were locked out of other ways of making a living. And I don’t think that made them psychotic, there were much better and more violent reasons for that. And the unexamined issue of mentality?????????. And how capitalism developed. What?

    Jewish formations within oligarchies, interesting. Can you give examples? Because you sound like an antisemite to me, and there was that crack about a Rothschild being a financial adviser to the Queen. I thought you were joking. Were you?

    As for Jews living a life that was not part of the broader community, on the one hand ghettos took care of that and on the other hand the dietry laws, marriage customs and religious observance contributed to the rest.

    These days Jews are thankfully very much part of the broader community. We don’t force them to live in ghettos any more. And they make a contribution far disproportionate to their numbers. Good and valuable citizens.

  34. Joseph Carli

    Thankfully, not all of the radical left has been sleepwalking through history. We have to be grateful that those heavy-hitters like Marx/Engels, Lenin, Mao Zedong and their many comrades and fellow travellers have taken what those of privileged background considered their sole right of ownership, and delivered to the world a different political outlook and possibility.

    Those scholars and revolutionaries were students of history, both contemporary and ancient and within those tomes of archived wisdom and hard lessons they could filter out, like a calculating alchemist, that which was the objective lesson to be scrutinised and salubriously applied, and what was the most destructive exemplar to be avoided like poison … They weighed one period of history against the other and studied that and those which could be called a “perennial truth” .. ; a truism that could be applied down through any age, any culture .. as familiar to ancient and modern, as commonly felt in pain and pleasure by any peoples .. as grist to all as jealousy and love or fire and water .. yet used in many differing applications by all and the generic knowledge amongst any nation which has learned to value and scorn the solid truth of what gold is to iron pyrites.

    “It is true that the history of past centuries ought to be the instructress of the present; but not in the vulgar sense, as if one could simply by turning over the leaves discover the conjunctures of the present in the records of the past, and collect from these the symptoms for a political diagnosis and the specifics for a prescription; it is instructive only so far as the observation of older forms of culture reveals the organic conditions of civilization generally– the fundamental forces everywhere alike, and the manner of their combination everywhere different–and leads and encourages men, not to unreflecting imitation, but to independent reproduction.” (Mommsen ; History of Rome, chap 11, bk 5.).

    So only in a general sense we can claim that : “History repeats”. But in an “organic” sense, we can clearly see the familiarity of behaviours, the continuity and habits … Jealousy remains a constant .. as does hate and greed and covetous desire … and many more .. there is a constant in so many things human.

    (On the ancient royal Celt clan families of Gaul).

    “These great families combined in their hands financial, warlike, and political ascendency. They monopolized the leases of the profitable rights of the state. They compelled the free commons, who were oppressed by the burden of taxation, to borrow from them, and to surrender their freedom first de facto as debtors, then de jure as bondmen. They developed the system of retainers, that is, the privilege of the nobility to surround themselves with a number of hired mounted servants– the –“ambacti”- as they were called (mercenaries)–and thereby to form a state within the state; and, resting on the support of these troops of their own, they defied the legal authorities and the common levy and practically broke up the commonwealth.” (Mommen ; History of Rome; bk 5 chap 7.)

    What have we been missing in these lessons complete from history? .. Is it example? .. no! .. there are legion of those .. Is it precedence of situation matched to current conditions .. no! .. the base behaviours are similar, the organic nature the same .. Is it an unwillingness to confront the inevitable on the chance that it just may not happen? .. “it will be different this time … ” THAT, I believe is the uncertainty that restrains the action. The chance, the possibility that perhaps … perhaps things WILL be different this time around .. the corporate memory lost, the battered person syndrome, history forgotten.

    But Mao didn’t forget, nor Marx or Lenin … The history was there, in bold archival print, recorded in ghastly blood, in cruel reality .. all the characters played out again and again in life and theatre, in brutal abuse or florid, Shakespearian tongue. Again and again the people are beaten, flogged and robbed and still we come back for more .. EXACTLY like the battered woman who in protecting her children, hoping, trusting , that things this time will be different ..

  35. Karen Kyle

    Oh Jesus Christ Joseph……do give it up. How is it that the historians you read know so much about history in the Dark Ages while other historians don’t and are stuggling to put it together owning to lack of much in the way of concrete evidence. It sounds as if Marxist idealogy is just filling in all the blanks with self interested speculation as usual.

    And in all that verbose waffle the only thing that emerges is “perennial truths”. Human nature in other words And, once again, the loud sound of one hand clapping. Love and kindness, generosity, co-operation, love of justice etc are also perennial truths. And these characteristics built civilizations, the others pull civilizations down.

    Marx’s view of human nature was so bleak he got it badly wrong.. He believed human nature had to change and he knew how to do it, sort of. You know re education camps, the Gulag, prison , torture mass murder of propertied people and the like, a permanent state of state sanctioned terror in other words. The history of the Soviet Union and China. Marxism is a carefully construced falsity, and that falsity contnues today. Mr Venturini is an example…..not a first rate example to be sure he is simply not skilled enough as a propagandist. But then propagandists always have to lie and the lies can be callled out..

  36. Kaye Lee

    The capitalist system was sustained, Marx said, by the power of the state to maintain the ill-gotten material gains of the handful of property owners – the “one percent” – against revolution; the sustainability of the system also relied upon those capitalists perpetrating a “false consciousness” on the mass of the workers through their control of the media and education that indoctrinated them to accept their exploitation as both “just” and in the “natural order” of things.

    Whilst it might be bleak, it pretty accurately describes the way the capitalist world works.

  37. Joseph Carli

    Karen..why you get it SOOOO wrong when you talk “history” and the structured evolution of ideas, is because YOU are from and continue to reside in a cocoon of NON-PRODUCERS….ie; you NEVER have been part of the construction of society and so you have NO IDEA of the physicality of HOW an empire or civilisation IS CONSTRUCTED…hence you back these false propagandered idealisms of Zionism and American imperial aspirations over concrete evidence of historical realities…
    Marx/Engels based their progressive theories on historical FACT…as does Dr. Venturini…as did Chairman Mao…and those facts have delivered for many billions of people a better life than what YOUR adored aristocrats or oligarchical opportunists EVER did for the average citizen and which now promises more poverty, more killing, more of the same that they have been delivering over many millenia…and if this Earth is to be saved, YOUR perceived ideals have to be destroyed…with extreme prejudice!
    You may “read history”, Karen …but by hell….you don’t KNOW history…

  38. Joseph Carli

    For an instance and a simplification of the required complexities of researched understanding of the evolution of Marxism etc…Marx and Engles studied and researched the evolution of tribal cooking and storage of such everyday things as cooking and food carrying utensils in ancient societies..including the American Indian and even the Australian Aborigines…the fact that the American natives had perfected the fireing of clay pots and storage implements where the Australian Aborigines..to their estimation…were on the point of moving from woven cane or reed storage and cooking materials to fired clay when their society was so crudely and brutally interrupted by European invasion…, told of the natural developement of societies toward a new ideal and practicality of social interaction…ie; less time could be spent with continuous hunting of food when storage was improved..and therefore dialogue between tribal members would have increased.

    These reseaches are the “background noise” of their developement of major thesis as is every researcher’s toil..the final tome being a filtering of accrued knowledge succinctly worded to leave the reader PRESUME that there is a wealth of understanding of the base principles of evolution of the thesis behind the thesis..: the “background noise” of knowing one’s history….

    You should try it sometime, Karen…………….before you scribble out your anger.

  39. Kaye Lee

    I am extremely uncomfortable with the use of the phrase with extreme prejudice.

  40. Joseph Carli

    ” I am extremely uncomfortable with the use of the phrase with extreme prejudice.”…take a Bex and have a nice lie down…

  41. Michael Taylor

    That’s a bit below the belt, Joe.

  42. Matters Not


    Marx’s view of human nature was so bleak he got it badly wrong

    Not really. He believed that ‘human nature’ was not fixed and unchanging (what we see is the result of socialisation) as did so many others in that era (and currently) including the American John Dewey whose works are still being studied today in teacher education courses across the world. (Indeed it might be argued that the (opposing) views of Dewey and Plato still represent the bounds or opposite ends of the continuum of educational philosophy.)

    On the Russian scene after WW1 the thoughts of Anton Makarenko (the father of soviet education) reigned supreme. His mission was to create the new Soviet man – a democratic view:

    Soviet establishment eventually came to hail his colonies as a grand success in communist education and rehabilitation. Among his key ideas were “as much exigence towards the person as possible and as much respect for him as possible”, the use of positive peer pressure on the individual by the collective, and institutionalized self-government and self-management of that collective.

    Studies in comparative education will include reference to Makarenko as a matter of course. When I went to Moscow, I visited his grave at the Novodevichy Cemetery – which remains a tourist attraction of some note.

    KK, you have time on your hands so visit Russia. It’s worthwhile – eye-opening and all that and the locals don’t bite.



  43. Joseph Carli

    ” That’s a bit below the belt, Joe.”…….no….I mean it..in a metaphorical way…forget the Bex (do they still sell them?)…just chill out..it’s just a common phrase these days….ie; take it easy…chill out..don’t get so fussed!…

  44. Karen Kyle

    It Matters Not. Thank you for the informtion.It is interesting.I have great respect for those who take orphaned kids off the streets and educate them. Saints of a kind. And I don’t doubt the potential of the Russian people. But they seem to have been in permanent trouble for a many years. Maybe another fifty years will see big changes for the better.

  45. Kaye Lee

    I assure you Joseph, I am very chilled. There are just some phrases that have a certain significance. Considering the number of nutters out there, IMO that is one to be avoided. No big deal. Just a comment.

  46. Lambert Simpleton.

    Karen Kyle, it a relief that you share your advanced understanding of Weber Tawney when so many others here following seem to fail to understand it to your ripened level. Must be heavy going, for an educated mind to attempt communication with bumpkins.

  47. Karen Kyle

    Lambert Simpleton. Try “Was Weber Wrong” Harvard University. I don’t think Weber and Tawney are taught much these days. When I was at University over thirty years ago their work was dismissed and ignored.And Weber did publish in ninetten o four. Bit archaic now with modern scholarship etc.

  48. Matters Not

    KK, Weber, as a founder of sociology, is still studied I believe (and hope). As Wiki points out:

    Weber is often cited, with Émile Durkheim and Karl Marx, as among the three founders of sociology.

    Then again – it might be possible to study Christianity without mentioning Jesus Christ. Or studying Marxism without mentioning Marx. But probably not.

  49. Karen Kyle

    It Matters Not……..OK, thanks again. Not studied in History classes except as a mild interest.. Someone said, bad history, bad economics and bad theology. I guess that if it is true and no doubt it is would be enough to kill it..But his name will live on as a founder. Fair enough.

  50. Matters Not

    KK, – Webber, Marx, Dewey, Plato, Kuhn, Popper … et al (the list is almost endless) remain important because of their thinking, broadly defined. It’s their concepts (mental constructs etc) that we continue to consider/study today. Yes some of their ideas have been rejected, superseded (or modified etc) but the reasons for acceptance (or rejection) will probably remain valid for the foreseeable future.

    It’s always useful to consider where we’ve been intellectually speaking (and reflect on that) if we want to make better choices for the future I believe.

  51. Karen Kyle

    Matters Not……Agreed.

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