Further to the news that the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott flies coach, so does his future sovereign:
Weddings can be expensive occasions not just for the bride and groom - but for their guests too.
But it was perhaps surprising to learn that even Prince William can feel the pinch - this weekend he was spotted in economy class when he took an internal flight in the US after celebrating his friend Guy Pelly's marriage.
Prince William, who was in America with Prince Harry, took the American Airlines flight from Memphis to Dallas on Sunday...
The cost of the trip itself is being met privately by both the princes - Prince William is understood to have changed planes at Dallas Fort Worth to return to the UK.
On the American Airlines plane he took a window seat and is understood to have ordered water during the 1hour 30 domestic flight. A similar flight was on sale today for £250...
It is not the first time that the royals have tried to save money when attending a wedding.
In 2011 passengers were surprised to see Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge settle into seats with the rest of the public after boarding a Flybe jet in Edinburgh for their hour long journey to Manchester following the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall in Edinburgh.
Meanwhile, a hungover Prince Harry chose EasyJet to make his way home to London - he also flew to the Scottish city with the airline - checking in his green army-issue bag for £10.
During the recession the Queen urged her family to show restraint and to avoid overt displays of extravagance.
Fortunately, there's no chance of that happening in a republic of limited government by citizen representatives:
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today, it has obtained records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force revealing that President Obama's February 2014 Palm Springs, California, and March 2014 Key Largo, Florida, golf outings cost the taxpayers $2,952,278 for flight expenses alone.
Oh, don't worry. On one of those trips, the President squeezed in four hours of work before hitting the links:
Though the administration billed the President's Day weekend trip to California as an effort to highlight the state's severe water drought, the White House official schedule showed the president spent just four hours at three drought-related events on the afternoon of Friday, February 14. He then spent much of the next three days playing golf at some of Coachella Valley, California's, most exclusive golf courses, which, according to Fox News, "consume roughly 17 percent of all water there, and one quarter of the water pumped out of the region's at-risk groundwater aquifer." Each course uses nearly 1 million gallons of water a day.
During March 7 – 9, the First Family spent Spring Break at Key Largo, Florida's, exclusive Ocean Reef Club, where members must have a minimum net worth of $35 million to join. According to its website, "the Club boasts two championship 18-hole courses, a rarity in the Florida Keys … a salon and spa, more than a dozen restaurants, a 175-slip marina, a private airport, and so much more." The costly Spring Break vacation took place on the heels of Obama's State of the Union Address in which he focused on income inequality.
Mitteleuropean operetta used to have a thriving sub-genre in which some pampered princeling, chafing at the constraints of royal life, would bust out of the palace to wander among his people. One recalls the big hit of the 1902 season in Budapest, Jenő Huszka's Prince Bob, in which the eponymous Bob, a son of Queen Victoria, sneaks out of Buckingham Palace to woo a Cockney serving wench. Perhaps some enterprising impresario might like to mount Prince Barry, in which our hero, weary of courtiers pestering him with rewrites of his speech on income inequality, busts out of the Ocean Reef Club to wander among his subjects and woo a simple, homespun Windsor princess waiting by the baggage-claim at the airport.
~What could the United States Government spend taxpayers' money on if its citizen executive could be persuaded to live as humbly as Prince William, heir to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Belize, Tuvalu, etc, etc? In his musings on the brokey-broke brokeness of America, The National Post's Jonathan Kay mentions:
Exhibit A on this file is the new, planned, badly needed Detroit-Windsor bridge project, a $3.4-billion piece of infrastructure that will uncork a huge trade and traffic bottleneck. Because the state of Michigan has no money, Canada has been bankrolling virtually the whole thing — leaving the Americans with only secondary expenses, such as a $250-million U.S. customs plaza. It would be weird if Canada were paying for facilities that the United States used to protect their own sovereignty and border integrity — and just a few years ago, even the suggestion that Washington needed foreign help for this sort of thing would have been laughable.
Well, no one's laughing now: American officials now have informed Canada that they expect us to pay for the customs plaza, too.
That can't be true, can it? Oh, yes:
The Obama administration is balking at paying the $250-million needed to build its own customs plaza on U.S. soil...
Never in the long history of the Canada-U.S. border has one country not built their own border station.
But this is no ordinary bridge project. So anxious to get the vital artery built, Canada has already agreed to front or guarantee virtually all the cost, including a highway on the U.S. side.
And now the Americans apparently want Canada to pay for the U.S. customs plaza, discreetly suggesting Ottawa could pay itself back from future tolls on cars and trucks crossing the bridge. It's a little like your neighbour expecting you to pay for his new driveway, front door, doorbell and burglar alarm.
Will the Canadian donors at least get naming rights to the US border post? "The Rt Hon Stephen Harper US Customs & Border Protection Station"? "This US Department of Homeland Security post brought to you by Her Majesty's Government"? Will Prince William get to fly in coach and submit to a ceremonial first cavity search?
~Those Canadians who aren't tapped out after funding US border posts might like to consider supporting Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney's forthcoming movie about America's most prodigious serial killer Kermit Gosnell. I wrote a bit about the McAleers' crowdsourcing campaign last month. They've reached 92 per cent of their goal, but there are only five days left. You can make a relatively modest donation, but, if you want to be a little more generous, you could wind up in the movie or on a Dublin pub crawl with Phelim and Ann. (You may have to sign a liability waiver for the latter.) The media silence on Gosnell is disgusting, and these guys are the ones to end it. Full details here.
~After yesterday's SteynPosts on the state of American policing, here's a glum little footnote from my own Live Free or Die state. In New Hampshire's Lakes Region, at a Gilford School Board meeting held to discuss parental concerns at a sexually graphic book assigned to their Ninth Graders, William Baer was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after transgressing "the two-minute rule" (not a statute with which I am familiar). You can see for yourself how "disorderly" Mr Baer was:
At the end of the clip, you can glimpse Lieutenant James Leach of the Gilford PD handcuffing Mr Baer. The Binksmeister comments:
The Cop needs to be fired, the school-board needs to be held accountable, the school board woman who brought the cop into play needs to be fired, and both she and the cop and the people responsible for this fiasco civilly sued, and the full story needs to be told. Their uppance needs to come,if things happened as they appear to have done.
What's worse than the arrest? A terrible shame that the other parents sat there like obedient robots, while an armed agent of state power interfered with their neighbour's freedom & rights. At. A. School. Meeting.
The blonde lady in front of Mr Baer is the Channel Nine reporter. Why didn't she stick her microphone under the officer's nose and ask him for his name and why he was arresting the guy? I believe the commissar who issued the order is School Board chair Sue Allen. She certainly has a defective understanding of New Hampshire town government, and is thus unfit for office, but, as Binks notes, the meek, compliant herd all around Mr Baer don't seem the types to call a Special School District Meeting.
"Live Free or Die"? Live cowed or be cuffed.