Last September, it was reported in the press that the Prince Charles had been arranging for honours to be awarded to people who donated to his charities. 

Charles and his aide Michael Fawcett were reported to the police by by Graham Smith, the chief executive of Republic – a group which campaigns to replace the monarch with a democratically elected head of state – on suspicion of selling honours and breaching the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.  The evidence was clear, namely a letter in which Fawcett explicitly links cash donations to a knighthood.  There is a clear public interest in investigating the integrity of the honours system and the office of head of state and heir. 

And yet the Met seems reluctant to investigate the royals. The Met claims to work without fear or favour.  But that doesn’t appear to be the case; their failure to investigate Charles, despite written evidence of wrong doing, suggests that the royals are immune from prosecution.  In fact, the police seem determined to forget the cash-for-honours case.  Yet Charles – the man who shouldn’t be king – is likely to be our head of state in the next few years, and the public are still in the dark about whether he is exchanging honours for cash.

We saw something similar with the Virginia Roberts case, when she reported Prince Andrew for sex offences that were said to have been committed in London. The Met showed no interest and took no action.  

Why there has been no obvious progress on either of these matters? 

Well, I’m sorry to say it’s class, and our nation’s embarassing servility.  England is the most class-ridden country under the sun – “a land of snobbery and privilege, ruled largely by the old and silly”, according to George Orwell.  The monarchy sits at the apex of that tragic obsession.

How does the revolting societal structure relate to HR?  Believe it or not, this is not a blog about efforts to diversify the workforce along class lines; we’ve all read enough of them. 

This is actually a defence of the class system. 

I know.  Bare with me. 

I read a blistering column from Polly Toynbee in the Guardian recently about a rather cack-handed interview given by the Governor of the the Bank of England where he asked workers to reflect “on the situation we are in” before asking for a pay rise. 

“With just a few words,” she said, “Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, perfectly crystallised the state and the fate of the nation.  Tone-deaf and socially oblivious, the voice booming out from the economic seat of power captured the history of the last lost decade. ‘We do need to see restraint in pay bargaining, otherwise it will get out of control,’ Bailey told the BBC….  The governor’s Marie Antoinette-style insouciance struck a wearily familiar chord. This authentic voice of social negligence has made the British economy one of the most unequal and unproductive among its European equivalents.”  

This was forthright but not particualry controversial.  After all, the governor’s spectre of wages rising “out of control” was greeted with so much indignation that even No 10 slapped him down.

But, incredibly, our obsession with class may be benefitting the nation here.  When asked if the governor’s calls for restraint in the pay bargaining process would make a difference to them, 35 per cent of employees polled by recruiter Randstad said they would.  

This suggests Bailey’s intervention may not have been misguided. 

Victoria Short, the chief executive of Randstad UK, said: “I am, I admit, stunned by these findings.  It’s bizarre that people might willingly throw away their material aspirations because the governor of the Bank of England has asked them to.  Perhaps the age of deference is not dead?”

And there you have it.  Britain saved from the spectre of an inflation spiral by… our pathetic obsession with toadying up to people we percieve as higher up the social strata.  

Just in case that’s all too positive, the resilience of the classs system also means taxpayers will never know where the money came from for Andrew’s Virginia Giuffre settlement – which we must assume is in the millions, if not tens of millions.  So much public money ends up in royal pockets one way or another, the British public may well be paying for Andrew to avoid appearing in court.  It’s positively feudal.  And it makes me nauseous.