Once upon a time, brother would happily have murdered brother to wear the crown. Families were ripped asunder in pursuit of it, pretenders to the throne routinely met grisly ends, and even marrying into the proximity of royalty could be lethal.
How puzzled Prince Harry s ancestors would be, then, by the interview he has just given in America explaining that nobody really wants to be king any more. The royals are, he explained, only still in business now for the greater good of the people , not because they actually enjoy the gig. Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time, he told the US edition of Newsweek. Like celebrities who tire of fame, or titled families moaning about the cost of maintaining the ancestral pile, princes gloomy about one day having to be king do not exactly invite instant sympathy. After all, if the burden of all that unearned wealth and privilege is so terrible then they could always give it up. Renounce the throne, hand back the keys to Kensington Palace, and see if the life of a commoner forced to earn your own living but free to wander down the street on a sunny day without trailing clouds of close protection officers and paparazzi really is as appealing from the inside as it must sometimes look. Hell, why not go the whole hog and come out for an elected president instead of a monarchy? Let the cursed burden fall to someone who actively wants it although, as ever, the glaring flaw in this argument is imagining the sort of person who might want it. (President Blair? President Richard Branson? God help us, President Farage?)
But constitutional implications aside, there is a human story here that will be recognisable to many distinctly un-regal families, and that s the creeping renunciation of what previous generations have unquestioningly assumed work should be. William and Harry are certainly not alone among millennials in not wanting to slog their guts out as their parents did, and choosing to allow more space for relationships and families. And instead of dismissing them as spoilt brats, older generations might usefully reflect on what it could possibly be about their burnt-out, grumpy, professionally insecure parents that they don t wish to emulate.
It s true that the vast majority of young people can t afford to be so picky. Thousands would be grateful for a job full stop, let alone a crown; others are busy stringing together several precarious half-livings to make the rent, and the great whoosh of twentysomething rage unleashed at the last election is testament to how very far from professionally secure they feel. But it s precisely that insecurity and anxiety, rather than laziness, that seems to be increasingly shaping attitudes to work. If the payoff for doing well at school and slogging through a good degree is a pile of debt, a starter job that could have been done by a school leaver and zero chance of ever having a mortgage, then why pour every ounce of energy into work that seems to offer so little back? Exposure does have consequences; it changes the nature of any job, and who is likely to be attracted to it
Even among those lucky enough to be on relatively secure career paths, something is clearly changing.
Only a third of trainee GPs, according to a survey carried out recently for the King s Fund, plan to be working full-time even straight after qualifying. They ve seen the stress older doctors are working under, taking life or death decisions, back to back, all day and then catching up with paperwork late into the night, and they re afraid of burning out if they do the same. Further up the career ladder, the NHS is struggling in some parts of the country to find hospital chief executives because of the pressure that comes with the top job; the knowledge that you ll be held very publicly accountable if anything goes wrong, in a funding climate where things may be increasingly likely to go wrong. Stay one rung below the top, and at least you ll sleep at nights. Governors looking to recruit headteachers, especially in challenging neighbourhoods, report similar problems in getting junior teachers to step up. Why take the professional risk of trying to turn schools with deeply entrenched problems around, when it will be your head on the block if Ofsted deems you to have failed? All this may be horrifying to older doctors and headteachers, driven by a strong sense of public service and self-sacrifice and a desire to put something back. But younger professionals who want to work like this aren t necessarily shirking their duty to those they serve, so much as interpreting that duty differently; wanting to be rested enough to take good decisions rather than lurching into sleep-deprived mistakes for which they could find themselves in court. It s failure they may fear, more than hard work.
Obviously, the job the young royals are so gloomily contemplating a bit of light ribbon-cutting, plaque-unveiling and Christmas message-filming, rather than anything life or death is infinitely less demanding by comparison. But again it s the intense public scrutiny to which the princes seem to object, rather than the workload; the daily intrusion into their private lives that is the price now paid for privilege, but which didn t apply in the same way to a previous generation of royal babies. And before dismissing that as whingeing, it s worth remembering that their mother blamed anxiety induced by marrying into the spotlight for fuelling her bulimia, that she died in a car crash while being chased by paparazzi, and that as bereaved children they were expected to walk behind her coffin under the open gaze of millions of strangers. It would be more alarming in the circumstances if William hadn t chosen to hide his children away in rural Norfolk, if Harry hadn t grown up with deeply conflicting feelings about the family business.
There s no going back to a time before public servants were held publicly accountable for their mistakes, any more than it is possible for the royals to retreat to an era when all we expected them to do was smile and wave. But exposure does have consequences; it changes the nature of any job, and who is likely to be attracted to it. Princes William and Harry have a perfect right to grapple with these questions, publicly as well as privately. Even if they would be wise to expect precious little sympathy for doing so.
- ^ interview (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ unleashed at the last election (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ survey carried out recently for the King s Fund (www.kingsfund.org.uk)
- ^ to recruit headteachers (www.nfer.ac.uk)
- ^ intense public scrutiny (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ daily intrusion (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ expected to walk behind her coffin under the open gaze of millions of strangers (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ hide his children away in rural Norfolk (www.theguardian.com)
Update, June 20:
It appears Wisconsin will become the 28th state to begin using electronic poll books. The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Tuesday voted to have its staff develop the software and offer it to municipalities. A spokesman earlier told WUWM that the state’s paper poll books and decentralized voting system likely made Wisconsin elections less appealing to Russian hackers. The state has used paper poll books until now. They are printouts of all registered voters in the ward and their addresses. There are companies that sell the software for e-poll books, but Wisconsin is opting to create its own and save money, in doing so. Any municipalities interested in using the program would have to purchase the hardware needed – laptops and printers.
Original story: June 12, 2017
WEC’s Reid Magney talks about safeguards to Wisconsin’s voting system. While there are reports that Russia attempted to disrupt last year s U.S. presidential election, including by penetrating a Florida company that provides some communities with software for their electronic poll books, Wisconsin did not notice anything suspicious, according to Reid Magney, spokesman for the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Wisconsin does not have electronic poll books. All of our poll books are printed on paper. What happened in Florida is that the Russians somehow were able to steal identities or credentials for this voting company, and then (the hackers) sent emails to local elections officials in Florida and to some other states where the company does business – trying to get people to click on malicious links or open word documents that contained malicious software, Magney says.
Is Wisconsin moving toward electronic polls books, and if so, how do you (plan to secure them)?
We are moving toward electronic polls books the commission is meeting on June 20 and will get a presentation about electronic poll books. Do we want to build our own system, or do we want to essentially set standards and let vendors meet those standards and then sell their products to clerks in Wisconsin, the way we now do with voting equipment. But any system that gets approved will have to have very strong security, Magney says. What types of protections are in place in Wisconsin to guard against a (cyber) attack or to detect one, if it is taking place?
We have 1,853 municipal clerks and 72 county clerks whom we partner with in running elections in Wisconsin. We have a statewide voter registration system, which keeps the names and addresses of all the people who are registered to vote and information about the election (such as) where the polling places are, who the poll workers are, who the candidates are, etc. We have a very sophisticated system set up and one that we just essentially rebuilt and re-launched last year. We have excellent security associated with that.
Now the issue is, if someone were to trick somebody who has access to that system into giving up their credentials, it is possible someone could get access to that system. But again, if you are a clerk in a city, that clerk only has access to that city s records, not the whole state s,” Magney says. Magney says Wisconsin has other safeguards in place to identify if a hacker had entered the system and was doing something malicious. While WEC leaders have not seen or heard evidence of anything like that happening, he says they are reminding clerks to be careful, in light of Russian attempts to attack voting systems.
In Wisconsin, almost 90 percent of ballots are cast on paper, either optical scan paper ballots or hand-counted paper ballots. There are about 10 percent that are cast on touch- screen voting machines and even those have a paper trail to them. So these machines are not connected to the internet and the system is very decentralized. There is no one place that holds the programing to all the machines, so there is no one place where the system is vulnerable it is all very distributed, Magney says.
Mali attack: ‘Two dead’ as suspected jihadists open fire on tourist resort Le Campement and ‘take hostages’
- Suspected terrorist attack on tourist resort in Mali
- Two dead, one of whom is French-Gabonese
- Malian forces fighting three or four attackers
- 32 hostages freed
“The first victim was a French-Gabonese citizen. We are in the process of confirming the other’s nationality,” said Baba Cisse, security ministry spokesman. The attackers took dozens of people hostage, with security forces in Mali saying that 32 had been freed. It was unclear how many remained in captivity. Modibo Traore, a spokesman for the Malian special forces in the former French colony, said there were three or four attackers.
The resort, popular with expats on the weekend, features a hotel and restaurant with three small swimming pools. Bicycles and kayaks can be rented, and the site includes football and volleyball pitches. A UN official said those at the resort when the attack began included people affiliated with the French military mission, as well as the UN. Mali is currently home to 1,600 French soldiers, stationed in the north of the country on the largest French military base outside of France.
I heard gunfire coming from the camp and I saw people running out of the tourist site, said Modibo Diarra, who lives nearby.
I learned that it was a terrorist attack.
Over an hour after the first reports of the incident, helicopters hovered over the site and a large black plume of smoke billowed into the sky.
“The US Embassy informs US citizens of a possible increased threat of attacks against Western diplomatic missions, places of worship, and other locations in Bamako where Westerners frequent,” they said on June 9. Americans, currently advised to avoid all travel to Mali, were told: “Avoid vulnerable locations with poor security measures in place, including hotels, restaurants, and churches.”
A state department spokesman told The Telegraph that they could not say whether the updated advice was in relation to any specific threat.
The Foreign Office, unlike the state department, does not advise against all travel to the country instead issuing the milder advice that Britons should avoid all but essential travel to the African nation.
Britons are, however, told not to go at all to the areas of Timbuktu, Kidal, Gao and Mopti, and parts of other provinces.
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Mali, including kidnaps,” the Foreign Office said in its advice, updated on Saturday.
“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.”
A Foreign Office spokesman told The Telegraph they were monitoring the situation closely. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, visited the northern city of Gao last month, at the end of his first week in office, to discuss fighting terrorism with his Malian counterpart, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. France intervened in its former colony in January 2013 to drive out al-Qaeda-linked groups that hijacked a rebellion in 2012 by ethnic Tuaregs, and attempted to take control of the central government in Bamako.
In November 2015 Islamist militants took 170 hostages and killed 20 of them in a mass shooting at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako. Auto update
Mali no stranger to jihadi attacks
Religious extremism in Mali once was limited to northern areas, prompting the French military in 2013 to lead a military operation to oust jihadists from power in the major towns. But the militants have continued targeting Malian forces and peacekeepers, making it the deadliest UN mission in the world.
A French foreign legion paratrooper (L) standing beside a Malian soldier near Sevare Credit: AFP
In March 2015, five people died when militants hit a popular restaurant in the capital.
A devastating attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako later that year, in November, left 20 dead – six Malians and 14 foreigners. That attack was jointly claimed by both the regional al-Qaeda affiliate and a group known as Al Mourabitoun, which was founded by Moktar Belmoktar after he fell out with al-Qaeda leaders. In a video released in March, jihadists said those two were joining together along with two Mali-based terror groups.
“Explosions still being heard” – local journalist
32 hostages rescued
SECURITY FORCES HAVE RESCUED 32 GUESTS FROM MALI RESORT UNDER ATTACK BY GUNMEN – SECURITY MINISTRY SPOKESMAN
Emmanuel Macron being kept informed
Mali is home to the largest French military base outside of France, with 1,600 soldiers stationed in the north. President Emmanuel Macron travelled to Mali last month, in his first week as president.
Emmanuel Macron, the French president
The Elys e has issued a statement:
“The president has been informed of the attack on a holiday village on the outskirts of Bamako.
“With his teams, he is following events very closely.”
Two dead in attack
At least two people were killed in the attack, which began around 4:30pm at Le Campement, half an hour southeast of Bamako.
Baba Cisse, security ministry spokesman, said:
“The first victim was a French-Gabonese citizen. We are in the process of confirming the other’s nationality.”
’20 hostages freed’ – local media
A spokesman for Algeria’s security ministry has told local news outlet Studio Tamani that 20 hostages have been freed.
Avoid area, locals told
Hostages taken, casualties – reports
There are reports of casualties in this attack, and of hostages being taken, but there is no further detail, according to a spokesman for Mali’s UN mission
First images of scene
Photographs of the scene show a huge armed police presence, as tourists in their swimsuits look on.
Foreign Office: Terror attacks ‘very likely in Mali’
The Foreign Office noted the updated US warning, but stopped short of advising all Britons against travel to the entire country. Instead, they are told to avoid the areas of Timbuktu, Kidal, Gao and Mopti, and parts of other provinces.
Le Campement resort in Dougourakoro
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Mali.
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Mali, including kidnaps,” the Foreign Office said in its advice, updated on Saturday. “Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.”
US warned of increased threat of attack in Bamako
The attack came a little over a week after the US state department warned its citizens of an increased threat of attack in Bamako. On June 9 they said: “The US Embassy informs US citizens of a possible increased threat of attacks against Western diplomatic missions, places of worship, and other locations in Bamako where Westerners frequent.”
Americans, currently advised to avoid all travel to Mali, were told: “Avoid vulnerable locations with poor security measures in place, including hotels, restaurants, and churches.”
Gunshots started at 4.30pm
Mohamed Salaha, a journalist based in Mali, said the first shots were heard around 4:30pm local time (5:30pm UK).
“A lot of black smoke coming from the Kangaba area,” he tweeted at 6pm local time.
“Helicopters overhead. The operation continues.”
‘Suspected jihadists’ behind attack
The government of Mali says that “suspected jihadists” are carrying out the attack.
“There is an attack by presumed jihadists on the Kangaba camp,” one official told AFP.
- ^ Mali (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ half an hour southeast of Bamako. (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ the US state department updated its travel advice (ml.usembassy.gov)
- ^ “Avoid vulnerable locations with poor security measures in place, including hotels, restaurants, and churches.” (ml.usembassy.gov)
- ^ #Mali (twitter.com)
- ^ pic.twitter.com/8MOKt9T7WO (t.co)
- ^ June 18, 2017 (twitter.com)
- ^ Britons should avoid all but essential travel to the African nation. (www.gov.uk)
- ^ 9:44PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ 9:18PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ #Mali (twitter.com)
- ^ #Kangaba (twitter.com)
- ^ June 18, 2017 (twitter.com)
- ^ 9:13PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ 9:06PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ 8:53PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ 8:17PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ 8:08PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ #Bamako (twitter.com)
- ^ #Mali (twitter.com)
- ^ pic.twitter.com/leIqP65Pmy (t.co)
- ^ June 18, 2017 (twitter.com)
- ^ 7:58PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ 7:56PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ #Mali (twitter.com)
- ^ pic.twitter.com/mCYabtueyH (t.co)
- ^ June 18, 2017 (twitter.com)
- ^ 7:38PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ 7:36PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ 7:28PM (www.news4security.co.uk)
- ^ 7:24PM (www.news4security.co.uk)