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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 1/7/22

Internal Exile

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Message BK Faunce

Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts
Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts
(Image by The Sun)
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Words can be tricky sometimes, can't they?

Case in point: a recent article in The Times suggests Prince Andrew, nicknamed "Randy Andy" for his libertine lifestyle, his royal pretentiousness and his keen interest in porn stars, might suffer "internal exile" if he's found guilty of having sex with a minor. It's not entirely clear what the phrase actually means. But the case against Andy is awaiting a judge's ruling on whether or not he will be compelled to respond under oath.*

Here's what we know.

On 9 August 2021, Virginia Giuffre filed a civil lawsuit against the prince, claiming she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell to have sex with him when she was 17 years old. Andy publicly denied ever meeting the Ms Giuffre. But there was that photo of him, at Maxwell's house, with his arm around Ms Giuffre's unclad, 17-year-old waist. The prince suggested the photo had been doctored. Experts said it was authentic. A nasty storm was gathering.

To counter the narrative, Andy insisted on doing a nationally-televised interview during which he denied having any inappropriate contact with Ms Giuffre. He denied having sex with her. He denied dancing with her at a swanky nightclub. He swore he couldn't have been "sweating profusely," as Giuffre claimed, because of a medical condition. He swore he was with his daughter at the Pizza Express the night in question. Arrogant, condescending, dismissive. The interview was a disaster.

As Ms Giuffre's lawyers continued to press her case, Andy declared he had nothing to hide and promised to cooperate fully with the investigation. Damn straight. Sex with a child? You would think anyone wrongly accused of this kind of appalling behavior would be bristling to go to court and clear their name. Not Andy. He spent the next two and a half weeks playing duck-and-dodge at every attempt to serve him or his reps with legal papers. Meanwhile, London Metro Police gave Andy a helping hand, on orders from the Queen, no doubt, by refusing to investigate Ms Giuffre's claims and therefore shielding Elizabeth's profligate second son from the criminal prosecution he so richly deserves. How's that for British justice?

Finally, on 27 August, Andy's reps were ordered to accept an official "court notice" delivered to his residence in Winsor. They promised to pass the papers along. Then, last week, Andy's close friend Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking and suddenly the lights shone a little more brightly on the pampered royal.

One can only dream of what would happen if Ms Giuffre's case is allowed to proceed. A privileged, pompous mountebank forced to admit to his crimes publicly? The indictment and collapse of UK elites, perhaps, one rotted aristocrat at a time? Which is precisely why the case will never see the inside of a courtroom. The British ruling class cannot allow a serious challenge to their authority. There's too much at stake. Ask Julian Assange.

"Internal exile."

To be exiled internally? Within oneself? Like dissociative personality or schizophrenia? Or more like punishing yourself? Something one does to one's self? Like Andy suffering inside? A self-imposed suffering? Chastised by conscience?

Whichever, none of it sounds good. Poor Andy. Thrown out, removed, banishà d, like Romeo to Padua. An outcast. Who would want that?

Well, lots of folks, apparently.

Look again. The phrase appears to give the prince a way to admit his crime without actually having to suffer any consequences for committing it. The worst he could expect is something like house arrest, where the house would be the entire UK. No prison time for raping a child. Randy Andy would then be free to defile at his leisure, protected by the walls of his family's tax-payer-funded estates, from Balmoral to Tamarisk, abetted by a house of charlatans. Maybe internal exile ain't so bad after all.

In fact, the phrase applies quite nicely to a number of US elites who are currently enjoying a similar fate. These are former high-ranking gov't officials who are guilty of serious war crimes and yet who are allowed to walk around free as canaries, welcomed by tv personalities, honored at sporting events, feted by billionaires and celebrated by corporate media as "voices of reason." Ironically, their crimes are much worse than Andy's. The prince only raped children. These monsters murder them.

There's W, former US president, murderous sociopath and war criminal of the first tier, guilty of lying the US into a war of aggression with Iraq; tried in absentia and convicted of war crimes;

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BK Faunce is a retired Associate Professor of English (UMW / UCSC) specializing in British Romantic Literature, Film Theory and Writing. His recent work examines the use of state power and its impact on visual culture.

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