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Further Reflections and The  Best Article on the Oprah/Meghan and Harry Show

Further Reflections and The  Best Article on the Oprah/Meghan and Harry Show

There are so many ongoing lessons to learn from the Oprah/Meghan/Harry saga.  So many lessons to be learned.  One of which is that life, situations and human beings are complex.    So we need to avoid the simple binaries.  I find it fascinating that Twitter has permitted considerable abuse against me – but flags my article as potentially offensive and hidden!

There are lots of other things that are coming out which back up what I have said in both articles.  For example the stage management of the media is shown in two examples – Meghan Markle contacted ITV to complain about Piers Morgan.  He’s now gone.  Secondly her team (yes she does have one to manage her publicity manipulation) warned the BBC about who they should have on shows discussing the interview!  Ie.  Don’t use old white men…

And the money aspect.  CBS paid over $10 million to air the show.  Harry and Meghan are big box office in the US now.  They will be raking it in.

There is a pattern here in the Western world – the powerful get to control the narrative.  Freedom of the press is becoming an endangered thing.  Another example of this is in Germany where a childrens book on Covid has been pulped because the Chinese government objected to the fact that it referred to the fact that Covid originated in China.   Numerous bots inspired tweets in German attacking the book, and as a result it has been pulped, with an abject apology and a promise of correction in the new edition.  Again, truth and freedom don’t matter – just money and power.

Meanwhile in my own situation I was intrigued to come across this excellent Premier article from this month by Heather Tomlinson in which she argued against cancel culture.  She wrote “This magazine is an important platform for the Christian community in the UK, and all the editors I have worked under have tried to fairly represent people across the theological spectrum, including more liberal, charismatic and conservative views, as well as different political opinions. Yet there are always letters of complaint. Many of these demand that certain voices are ‘cancelled’.” It appears that Premier has ignored her warning and has now itself bowed to the cancel culture.  Sam Hailes the editor was quite happy to accept my article until he got push back by people who were ‘hurt’.  So I am cancelled.  Ironically the Chinese Communist Party used the same weapon when seeking to get the German childrens book cancel – they had lots of people write in and say they were ‘hurt’.

I will write further about racism and mental health – both important issues which should be taken seriously.  But because they have been weaponised I think that ultimately the use of these issues to attack others, and justify yourself, runs the enormous risk of trivialising and politicising them.    In that regard can I refer to this article in the Australian by the wonderful journalist and foreign editor of The Australian, Greg Sheridan. (it’s worth subscribing to The Australian just for his articles alone!).  It is by far the best analysis I have yet read. I  don’t often share full articles but this is really outstanding.   By the way I note that he writes “Harry and Meghan deployed the two most lethal weapons of personal testimony — mental health and race.”  I was cancelled by Premier because I used the phrase ‘played the race card’.

Royal ‘celebs’ Harry and Meghan add to toxic assault on the West

You can cavil at the ubiquity of television, or its intrusiveness, or superficiality. But it is powerful and relentless in bringing the underprivileged into our living rooms, our head space. Suffering Rohingya in Myanmar, slum dwellers in Kolkata, Ebola victims in Africa, even the chronically unemployed and drug-addicted in the worst inner-city blight spots of the big Western metropolises, from Detroit to Marseilles.

Rarely have the sensitive viewer’s withers been rung so much as by the heartbreaking spectacle of disadvantage, persecution and suffering revealed by the ace investigative journalist Oprah Winfrey this week. There, in the slums of Santa Barbara, is a family forced to cower in their miserable nine-bedroom house, worth only a handful of royal dust at $US15m (nearly $20m in our money), trapped in the Montecito ghetto, where more than 90 per cent of the wealthy residents are white.

Harry and Meghan splashed $US15 million on this California home.

Credit: Sotheby’s International Realty

And such rough neighbours — Oprah, Ellen De Generis, Kevin Costner. What a neighbourhood. The suffering young couple have been forced on to the bare bones of a rough-and-tumble existence, down to a communications team, security detachment, domestic staff of nannies and cooks and housekeepers and what have you. Harry and Meghan — just two ­ordinary kids doing it tough.

And, Harry told us, he has to live on the inheritance from his mum, which when he got it was some tens of millions of dollars, no doubt shrewdly invested since. And there is allegedly a similar-sized inheritance from the Queen Mother. But they are a wonderfully unaffected couple. Theirs is not the artificial life of contrived gesture and showbiz nonsense. Look at their generous if tiny pen for chickens rescued from battery farms — these lucky poultry occupy surely the most expensive real estate of their species.

That Harry and Meghan succeeded in garnering overwhelming sympathy from the US public — and warm messages of support from the Joe Biden White House and the likes of Hillary Clinton — shows how perfectly they have mastered the dynamics of celebrity culture.

There is a serious dimension to this. Celebrity dynamics now dominate Western culture, and increasingly Western politics, in new and increasingly destructive ways. Harry and Meghan deployed the two most lethal weapons of personal testimony — mental health and race. It goes without saying that if Meghan ­really felt suicidal she was entitled to proper medical and emotional help. She and Harry blame the palace for refusing it to her. But surely if Harry failed to summon medical assistance in a life-threatening situation for his wife, he is not quite as heroic as billed. Of course, it’s silly to invade the emotionalism of celebrity strip poker with either logic or facts.

The recent Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is “just another episode of the soap opera,” says The Australian’s Foreign Editor Greg Sheridan. “The way that the dynamics of celebrity dominate everything in our public consciousness now is disturbing,” Mr Sheridan said. “Because it’s essentially the inverse of reality,” he told Sky News. Mr Sheridan’s comments come after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a series of bombshell claims during the recent tell-all interview. Discussing the fallout of the interview, Mr Sheridan said, “I don’t think it really hurts the Royal family”. “This kind of insane soap opera has been what the Royal Family has been doing for at least the last 50 or 60 years”.

Now they protect their privacy with tell-all television interviews. This one was watched at first cut by 60 million people. Their earning power in the US will now be stratospheric.

If, in her time as a royal, Meghan was truly exposed to racist sentiment, that too is completely, absolutely unacceptable. Racism is a profound human evil. It ­deserves to be called out and ­opposed wherever it exists. But identifying racism where it doesn’t really exist is corrosively damaging. The media criticism that seemed in their royal days to exercise Harry and Meghan the most had nothing to do with race. The couple famously preach the most oleaginous, moralistic version of opposition to global warming, yet took multiple private jets on numerous holidays. That’s a standard hypocrisy among celebrities.

How Meghan’s shocking claims stack up

In the wake of Meghan and Harry’s bombshell TV interview, some details are already being questioned.

Meghan’s view:The Palace went against protocol to deny her mixed-race son the title of prince and subsequent security.

What we know: Archie wasn’t entitled to become a prince at birth – but can take that title when his grandfather Charles takes the throne.Long-established Royal rules limit the title of prince and princess to the monarch’s children and grandchildren and those in the direct line of succession.But even with the title, taxpayer-funded security isn’t guaranteed – as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie can attest.

Nowhere To Turn

Meghan’s view: There was no support from the “institution” when Meghan struggled with her mental health and, in the end, Megxit was the only way she and Harry could protect themselves.Harry also struggled. “I had no idea what to do. I wasn’t prepared for that. I went to a very dark place as well,” he said of his wife’s plight.

What we know:Meghan’s revelations about feeling suicidal while pregnant were among the most shocking of the interview, especially as she said she was denied help when she explicitly asked for it.

Prince Harry has previously been candid about his own mental health, revealing Prince William convinced him to get counseling after he was “very close to a complete breakdown”. Harry, Meghan, William and Kate have all been vocal in campaigning for mental health support and work with charities in the field, so it has surprised some commentators that Harry and Meghan weren’t able to access the help needed directly if others failed to step up.

Secret ‘Wedding’

Meghan’s view:”Three days before our wedding, we got married … just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

What we know: There are some pretty strict rules around weddings, such as needing witnesses. The private ceremony would have been a wonderful way for the couple to celebrate their love and exchange personal vows before the televised extravaganza at Windsor Castle, but, as has since been acknowledged, it wasn’t legally binding.

Crying Foul

Meghan’s view -Amid preparations for the real wedding, there was a clash with future sister-in-law Kate, and Meghan was left in tears. Kate apologised, but when a false narrative emerged in the media that it was Meghan who made Kate cry, the Firm failed to protect Meghan and correct it.

What we know: There are two very different sides to the story, and no one expects the Duchess of Cambridge to front the media about it any time soon, so it’s hard to know the exact truth.

However, the counterclaims keep coming. Reports in The Times have since claimed Meghan slammed the door in Kate’s face when she took flowers to the Sussexes’ home in an attempt to mend fences.

Gilded Cage

Meghan’s view: “When I joined that family, that was the last time I saw my passport, my driving licence, my keys – all of that gets turned over.”

What we know:Much of Meghan’s interview detailed how she felt both trapped and unsupported in her new role, and having official documents taken away would only highlight her loss of agency.On a practical level, we know many royals happily drive themselves around – Prince Philip only stopped in 2019, aged 97, after a headline-making crash.The Australian also notes Meghan went overseas regularly “including to her ostentatious baby shower in New York”.

Blind Date

Meghan’s view: She hadn’t googled Harry or his family before they got together and was totally taken aback by Royal protocol, such as having to curtsy to the Queen even in a family meeting behind closed doors.

What we know:Previous reports from the favourable biography Finding Freedom, would suggest both Harry and Meghan were a bit more clued up about each other before they first met. Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote: “Naturally, both participants in this blind date did their homework with a thorough Google search. Harry, who scoped out Meghan on social media, was interested.”

Less convincingly, Meghan’s half-sister Samantha has suggested a famous photo of a teenage Meghan outside Buckingham Palace indicates a stronger interest in the royal family than she cares to admit.

Pointing it out, no matter how gracelessly, is scarcely racism. Similarly, Meghan dropped the “bombshell” that she didn’t make Kate cry over the flower girls’ dresses, but Kate made her cry. And the palace would not correct the record. Plainly, this is a shocking assault on human rights, and surely it should be referred to the International Criminal Court, but it’s not necessarily racist.

Meghan strongly implied young Archie didn’t get to be a prince at birth because he is of mixed race. This is preposterous but important because it sustains the allegation of racism. The convention is that for grandchildren of the monarch, only the direct heir’s children are princes and princesses at birth. The cousins become princes and princesses when granddad, in this case Charles, gets the throne. Nor does Scotland Yard’s police protection depend on having a title — Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie don’t have Scotland Yard police protection despite being princesses.

The Queen and monarchy will outlive ‘the cult of Meghan’

Queen and the monarchy she leads will outlast the shallow celebrity “cult” surrounding Meghan Markle, according to Fox News contributor, Mark Steyn. Buckingham Palace has issued a statement in response to the Prince Harry and Meghan interview, saying race issues it brought up are “concerning” and “will be addressed”. Following the explosive Oprah Winfrey interview airing in full on UK television last night, the statement on behalf of the Queen said: “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. Pressure had been mounting on the Palace to respond to accusations of racism in the Royal Family following the programme, which was first broadcast in the US on Sunday night

All this is a matter of supreme indifference to any sensible human being, important only because Harry and Meghan used it to make the charge that British society generally is racist. And that is the nub of celebrity’s increasing assault on Western societies.

Harry and Meghan also said that some senior royal questioned how dark Archie’s skin would be. This seems so grotesque as to be even beyond the normal tone-deaf nuttiness of British royals. Not only that, it’s inconsistent with everything else that happened. Meghan was lavishly ­welcomed by the whole royal establishment. Her wedding could not have been grander. She was the first royal divorcee given a full church wedding. She was welcomed to holidays with the royals well before her marriage.

The Queen, in her response to the interview, noted that “recollections may vary”, which seems a polite way of casting doubt on the context of this story. It might be as harmless as someone saying to Harry: I hope your baby resembles your wife and not you. Or it might be something worse.

This is all in many ways meaningless falderol. And I have no desire to defend the royal family, apart from the Queen herself, the only member who always behaves with dignity and discipline. But as one member of the British public said in a vox pop: “They (Harry and Meghan) are not having a shot at the Queen, they’re having a shot at my country.”

Britain surely has its faults. As an Australian insanely proud of my Irish heritage I can enumerate these at length. But there would hardly be a society anywhere in the world less racist than contemporary Britain. Racial inter-­marriage rates are very high, the government is ethnically diverse, the mayor of London is a Muslim, and so on. Show me a notably less racist society.

But the dynamics of celebrity have now embraced the truly toxic doctrine that all Western ­societies, especially the US and Britain, are irredeemably racist.

So Harry and Meghan, against all expectations, have actually done something politically significant, and wholly destructive: they’ve helped turn celebrity culture against the Western project.

Here are my earlier articles:

Harry, Meghan and Oprah: An interview fit for a kingless society

Why was I Cancelled and Repented for by Premier Christianity?

This comment from the Irish journalist Melanie McDonagh was insightful.“Really, it was apt that the couple bared their inmost selves to Oprah Winfrey, the woman who, like some Mies Van Der Rohe building, turns people’s insides out and privileges inner feelings over objective truth. Meghan was reflecting Oprah’s philosophy back to the satisfaction of them both. She and Harry… what a pair.”

 

 

16 comments

  1. Please don’t stop, David, and please don’t ever resign from anything under pressure from the woke, even from within the Church.

    Keep your eyes on the invisible army…….those who are with you are more than those who are against you….2 Kings 6:16

    The lord will judge all of this and all of us should fear his Name and his judgment………….on that day, there will be no hiding for anyone….and no PR team to pump out nonsense to distort the truth

  2. I think Sam Hailes needs to reconsider in the light of that previous editorial about cancel culture and having a wide embrace in Christianity Today. I subscribe and without reading David Robertson’s invited contribution on the theme of reasons not to watch ‘the interview’ I had no interest in that interview. You always get the main points in headlines later. We must be less combative (all of us) and yet we must trust and defend one another in the faith! If we get it wrong we know the route through – personal discussion, discussion with others present to help us tackle a difficult subject, apology, forgiveness granted whether asked for or not, and if asked for, then reconciliation. It’s all mapped out for us. I am really saddened, almost disheartened, by the change of heart that Sam Hailes has undergone and the apparent failure to even admit he commissioned a blog on the topic. But there is still a way back. We always have a way back. An art group in our church pondered both the parable of the lost son and the Rembrand painting the return of the prodigal. Both brothers were lost. The Father holds the door open whatever sin we fall into, whatever fears we fall prey to, whenever we overstep the mark in any way. Let’s support one another in prayer – Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Amen!

    1. I did not dismiss them – they are no more important than my next door neighbours. My commentary is on a celebrity culture that thinks they are.

  3. Hello Pastor

    I hope you are feeling better now. I will pray for you.

    The Sheridan interview was very good indeed in pointing out possible inconsistencies betwen Meghan’s views and what we know. Here are a few more:

    1. “… it has surprised some commentators that Harry and Meghan weren’t able to access the help needed directly if others failed to step up.”

    Further to this, as her husband, why didn’t Harry take responsibility for his wife’s welfare and take her to a mental health specialist himself?

    2. If Meghan was thrown in the deep end without any training on royal protocol and just expected to cope, that is very disappointing. (If there us truth to this, I find it more troubling than the racial issue because I can relate to it having been there in jobs myself.)

    Nevertheless, Kate seems to have adapted just fine as, apparently, have lesser royals like Eugenie’s husband.

    Also, why did Meghan make a big fuss out of having to learn “God Save the Queen”? The words are very simple and she is an actress so memorising the lines would have been a snap to her!

    3. “Less convincingly, Meghan’s half-sister Samantha has suggested a famous photo of a teenage Meghan outside Buckingham Palace indicates a stronger interest in the royal family than she cares to admit.”

    Some people are alleging she always had a strong interest in the royals and had her own copy of Andrew Merton’s Diana book which can be seen on her bookcase in old photographs.

    4. I just heard today a rumour – and I want to stress it is only a rumour – that Meghan allegedly threw a cup of tea at someone in Australia. Apparently this story has been circulating for a long time but as I am not a royal watcher, I am probably the last person in the world to hear about it. If there is ttuth, that may lend credence to the other stories about Meghan bullying staff and making Kate cry, etc, if there is a pattern of prima donna behaviour there.

    With all of these stories, though, there is obviously a true and false version, so I pray that whoever us fabricating a teisted version, whether it be Meghan, journalists or other parties, that they repent of their sin of bearing false witness.

    5. “Not only that, it’s inconsistent with everything else that happened. Meghan was lavishly ­welcomed by the whole royal establishment. Her wedding could not have been grander. She was the first royal divorcee given a full church wedding. She was welcomed to holidays with the royals well before her marriage.”

    Agreed, although I am sure there are a lot of petty jealousies, factions and politics at play, as has ever bern the case in royal courts so, fairly or unfairly, some people probably disliked her from.the start anyway irrespective of what she did. That said, she and Harry certainly have a knack of isolating people if even someone as genial as Charles is fed up with Harry and not even talking to him and if he is now at least somewhat estranged from the elder brother with whom he formerly seemed so close.

    6. Finally, your own point, Pastor. “There is a pattern here in the Western world – the powerful get to control the narrative. Freedom of the press is becoming an endangered thing. ”

    I totally agree and it is frightening. The working class is losing its voice as the opinions and values of the eoke middle and upper classes are the only ones valued. Ironically, given the freedom the internet was supposed to bring, we seem yo be going back to the era before the invention of the printing press, when only the establishment elites had a voice. These are very troubling times.

  4. It seems that the worst crime imaginable in our new woke society is to hurt someone’s feelings. On the other hand, if someone transgresses one of the many social dogmas of woke culture, it seems that protection will be swiftly removed and they must be punished with complete and utter social and psychological destruction.

    It’s a playground for narcissists and anyone else who knows how to manipulate well-meaning people and doesn’t care whether something is actually true or false.

    It’s also exactly what I’d expect to see in a society which has abandoned God and no longer has any reason to tell the truth or show mercy to its enemies. Those who hated Christianity for restricting their freedoms do not appear to have realised it was also restricting the freedoms of those far more powerful and predatory than themselves.

    1. If I am allowed to share a naughty joke I saw online, someone suggested if he were Prince Charles, he’d much rather talk to his plants than to a whining Prince Harry, too.

      😀

  5. FWIW, breaking news: William says he hasn’t spoken to Harry since the interview yet but denies the racism accusation:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/prince-william-says-royals-very-much-not-a-racist-family-1.4507577

    As we said the other day, what could be more racist than Harry venturing into Afghanistan as part of a neo-imperialist war and killing third-worlders anyway (or wearing a Nazi uniform to a party for that matter either)?

  6. Thank you for a very balanced view. I am not of your denomination but I admire your Christianity.
    Your views are not always in agreement with mine but in this case they are spot on.
    I do look forward to reading your articles and I despair of the abuse that you and others receive. No doubt you bin a lot of filth. It takes courage.
    Thank you.

  7. OK without revealing the contacts I have, a medical GP friend of mine knows the person responsible for the medical provision for the royals. So no names, no pack drill but I have some insider knowledge that according to this source Megan would have been provided help if she needed it. His medical opinion is that Megan is not and has not been suffering with her mental heath but there were environmental issues that led to her not wanting to be here any more that could have been addressed with the support available. Another person in one of my circles wiht mental health expertise believes Megan to be lying about having or having had a mental health issue.

    On the issue of race, a couple of my friends have different ethnic backgrounds. When my friend from South America was pregnant she wondered how her child would turn out, what colour their skin would be among other things and this being part of the joy of the pregnancy.

    Megan’s father doesn’t believe the royal family is racist. And again it is interesting that Oprah was curious about who in the royal family made to comment about the colour of Harry and Megan’s child’s skin and their relationship with the royals but not about their relationship with Megan’s father.

    Piers Morgan can indeed be bullish and this is how he is reported as being in the press. I doubt if many would be in his position without being disagreeable to a greater or lesser degree. Another person that comes to mind that has made a successful career not dissimilarly is Cathy Newman. And Moran was wise to walk away. If not being welcomed or listened to then that is a better option.

    And so the Harry and Megan show is popular… for now. But it is a castle built on sinking sand and the cracks are beginning to show. I wish them well and I hope that Harry will get his wish with relationships healing wiht the royals. But it may require a serving of humble pie to be eaten by team Megan and/or Harry distancing himself from the celebrity limelight for healing to come. It might be unlikely to happen while courting the press and media while airing private matters.

  8. Meghan has been toxic for Harry and the royal family. If her intention was to roar and make herself heard, then that was achieved. Whether we believe her or not is another matter. Here I sit in my tiny home, no staff, no pool and no specially raised chickens. Yet, I am content. There is a Scripture that says that we are to be content in whatever state we find ourselves. Meghan is too entitled to be content. She hadn’t been on the front page for too long, so she decided to remedy that. God bless the Queen, who as you said has always approached matters with dignity.

  9. Hi Brother David

    I have been a missionary in Peru for 23 years, and presently a Pastor serving a church here in Arequipa. I read with disbelief at how you were treated by Premier Radio. What made my righteous blood boil was the spineless and despicable way in which a professing christian would bow down to the world and join with the idolatrous cacophony of voices , throwing a fellow believer under the world´s bus. But you will not be crushed, but rather upheld by Sovereign Grace, and I pray that you will even find that place of joy and rest in the Lord, having the privilege of taking some whips and stripes for your Saviour, and having your reputation sullied in the eyes of the spiritually blind. But you could´nt be in better company, dwelling with the most high who suffered more for us. I always find in your writings an echo of my own heart; I am sure you can handle by Grace all this world will throw in your direction, but I don´t think I have ever read such a vile capitulation to the false gods of this world, by such a cowardly and spineless so-called christian Premier radio. But such just exposes the increasing Apostacy and worldliness in the church. I understand that you have to read and listen to things that other believers would´nt give the time of day. I also said that i´d rather watch paint dry than give any time to watching such interviews. I do read the papers online, and even the so-called comments of the colour of the baby was most probably just curiosity. Many babies can be born darker than the parents; so I do not believe such was a racist comment. But the race card puts her in good books with the black lives matter movement! Keep writing, keep exposing, and keep rejoicing!

  10. Hi David,

    I don’t claim to agree with absolutely everything you write nor read it to comfort myself with finding YOU agree with ME. You often provide a different perspective to the popular and the unquestioning, and my own sometimes narrow and less informed view. I find this essential if I am to avoid blinkered vision. Please keep it going, for all our sakes.

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