After an emotionally and physically draining day mourning the death of his mother, the late monarch, King Charles III travelled back down the Royal Mile to the Scottish Parliament on Monday evening to hear condolences from members of the Scottish Parliament.
Most MSPs rose admirably to the occasion and made dignified comments. What kind of twit chooses a day of mourning to lecture a bereaved son about politics?
Poltroon Patrick Harvie MSP is just that kind of twit. The Scottish Green party co-leader used his opportunity to pay his respects to the Queen to criticise Charles, reminding him, as though he needed any reminding about the fragile nature of existence after the last few days, that: “life is not rooted in status and title”.
Harvie was not at Charles III’s proclamation yesterday, and it was reported he boycotted a debate paying tribute to the Queen in June, during the Platinum Jubilee.
Speaking on the motion of condolence in Holyrood on Monday, with the King sitting listening, Harvie said “At the last Coronation, the oath still referred to other countries as the possessions of an Empire. And here at home, human rights and equality were distant ideas; with racist discrimination remaining legal, and people treated as criminals and outcasts because of their sexuality.”
Referring to his own anti-monarchy beliefs, Harvie added “the tide of progress cannot be halted… as Charles III begins his reign, let us hope, indeed redouble our determination that he will have the opportunity to witness change just as transformational.”
Unlike most others who paid tribute, Harvie also avoided saying “God Save the King” at the end of his speech.
After the death of Prince Phillip last year, Harvie used Holyrood tributes to criticise the Duke of Edinburgh’s “extreme wealth and privilege.”
Harvie is entitled to his views. They will be shared by a significant minority. But is the time to say it really during a mourning period and to the King’s face when he is exhausted with days more of ceremonial duties ahead of him? And the man’s mother has just died.
Perhaps this is another example of the performative behaviour of that special breed of pious ultra-liberals, who seem convinced they operate on a higher moral plane but too often forget basic manners and sympathy.
If you can’t say something nice in a period of mourning, why not save it for later?
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It was Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP and First Minister, who put Harvie in government when she fell short of a majority and needed the anti-growth Greens to form a government. The price she pays for power is having to sometimes listen, or pretend to listen, to Harvie and his colleagues.
Next time they’re talking perhaps she could point out to Harvie that for all his green credentials, the man he lectured, King Charles, has been on that beat and with more global impact, a lot longer than the ridiculous co-leader of the Scottish Greens.
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