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Arrogant Andy a victim.

Byline: PAUL FULFORD A different view of life in Birmingham

THE purpose of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, fifth in line to the throne, has long been hard to discern. He seems neither witty nor especially intelligent, neither charming nor notoriously industrious.

Yet this pampered man lives a charmed life funded in part by us taxpayers, travelling the globe in between carrying out those few duties that are expected of a son of the monarch.

'All of undermines claims forelock-that the Family Whilst many of us were looking forward to a frugal January, the worst-off wondering whether we could afford to heat our homes as the winter kicks in, the Prince was enjoying a skiing holiday in a Swiss chalet that cost PS22,000 a week to rent.

Alas, that particular break was cut short as he found himself embroiled in a scandal concerning a teenager with whom he is alleged to have had sex.

Let me make clear that I form no view and make no comment on that particular claim.

But, at the very least, this affair throws into question the kind of people who Andrew counts - or counted - amongst his friends.

this the of the tuggers Royal add Centre-stage is Jeffrey Epstein, an American investment banker, who is a convicted sex offender and is claimed in court documents to have paid the girl, now a woman, to have sex with the Duke.

Nor is this the first scandal to have ensnared Andrew.

In 2012, he clocked up PS378,000 bill on taxpayer-funded flights in his last few months as a trade ambassador.

The year before he was claimed to have used a complicated tax avoidance scheme to save up to PS6 million in tax on the profit he made on sale of his home to a Kazahk billionaire for PS15 million.

All of which sleaze rather undermines the claims of the forelock-tuggers that the Royal Family add prestige to our nation.

Rather, I think, it demonstrates that the Windsors are a dysfunctional family and that the monarchy is an outdated institution that causes the superstitious to revere those unworthy of respect and the Royal Family's idlers to live unproductive, wasteful and perhaps dissolute lives.

In this, I have a degree of sympathy for Andrew - mitigated, it is true, by a certain repulsion for his apparent arrogance.

But he and the other hangerson are, like us, victims of a system that has no place in the 21st century.

man to a people - or his the girl, 'All of this undermines the claims of the forelock-tuggers that the Royal Family add prestige...'

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 6, 2015
Words:437
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