The Maori King's son is being given a raw deal, perhaps being judged by the standards of unfairly minded people rather than by the common-sense standards applied in the Grumble household.
Let's revise that. "Common" is not the word to be applied here, because the Grumbles are monarchists and apply monarchic standards to the behaviour of those with royal blood pumping through their privileged veins.
By this standard, there's nothing untoward in Prince Karotangi Paki's Facebook page containing racist comments.
The fuss about the hapless lad's language erupted just a day after he was discharged without conviction for his part in a burglary and a drink driving charge.
But Alf is keen to come to the defence of the Price, pointing out the the Daily Mail has just published a letter written by the fellow who became Edward VIII.
It exposes him as an ungrateful, sexist and racist prince.
The Prince of Wales, who later abdicated to marry an American divorcee, told of the ‘miserable and loathsome’ time he was having on a Caribbean cruise.
He visited Barbados in 1920 in what was supposed to be a diplomatic trip of the British Empire but he described the tropical paradise as a ‘bum place’.
The Royal reported the local scenery as being ‘ugly’ and he found the ‘coloured population’ to be ‘revolting’.
The account of his travels was included in a love letter to his then mistress, Freda Dudley Ward, in which he bleated about how much he was missing her.
His name, before he was crowned, was David.
‘How I loathe being separated from you like this and it all seems so unnatural sweetie mine; how I want you tonight to tell you how madly I love you. Oh! My darling darling precious beloved little Fredie life is absolute hell for your little David. Without you I’m oh so miserable. I just don’t feel I can live these seven months of this sordid lonely existence without my Fredie.’
‘I can’t or shan’t be able to raise the least enthusiasm about anything [on] this trip; it all seems to me so terribly artificial and organised somehow tho [sic].’
The Prince of Wales went on to complain:
‘I can’t and shan’t be able to raise the least enthusiasm about anything on this trip.
‘It looks a proper bum island this Barbados. It’s a unique sort of scenery very ugly and I don’t take much to the coloured population who are revolting.
‘I’m sorry for the colonial office people who have to live there tho (sic).’
The letter is being sold by a private collector at auction with a pre-sale estimate of £1,200.
After he abdicated, as it happens, Edward went on to become the governor of the Bahamas.
Sadly, some of the young Maori prince’s more fascinating observations on life, the universe and everything have disappeared into the ether.
Like much too much that is written nowadays, they were posted on a Facebook page that has subsequently been taken down.
We are left not with primary source material but with this account in the Waikato Times:
The Maori King has been left shocked and disappointed by revelations his second-eldest son posted racist slurs on his Facebook page.
The Waikato Times understands the King let his son know of his displeasure after a December 2013 Facebook post emerged of a queue of Asian people with the accompanying comment: “All these chingy eyed c..ts.”
The Facebook scribblings came to light a day after the young prince had been in court on drink-driving, theft and burglary charges to which he had pleaded guilty.
But it was his dad who apologised for the colourful Facebook prose.
The media-shy King did not respond to the Times’ request for an interview, but a Kingitanga spokesman said King Tuheitia apologised “unreservedly for any offence that the comments have caused”.
“King Tuheitia does not condone racism in any shape or form and the ill-advised use of gang-related slogans can perhaps best be put down to the ignorance of youth,” the spokesman said.
Radio Live apparently posted images from Paki’s Facebook page where he used the Nazi salute phrase “sieg heil”, made racist slurs about a group of Asians, dressed in drag and used the shaka symbol at a backyard booze-up.
This material has been associated with the Mongrel Mob but…
The spokesman said Paki was not a gang member or associated with gangs but Canterbury University sociologist Dr Jarrod Gilbert said the use of sieg heil and the shaka was an indication of influence.
“These symbols are not just associated with the Mongrel Mob, they are the Mongrel Mob,” he said.
“If you are associating that [shaka] with sieg heil, the chances of it not being gang related are near nil.”
The Waikato Times recalled that in 2011 a Mongrel Mob member, Fabian Hungahunga, told a Napier District Court judge that sieg heil was “another way to say hi to the bros”.
But Tukoroirangi Morgan, a spokesman for the King, brushed aside allegations of racism and gang association, saying only that Paki had to change.
“That Facebook page has been shut down because it needed to be shut down,” he said. “Clearly there are hard lessons that need to be learned and there are a number of people around him now who will keep him accountable for his actions.
“That is a major consequence for the rest of his life,” said Morgan.
“The whakama [shame] that comes with the results of his actions is a huge responsibility to carry.”
He said Paki was full of remorse that he brought embarrassment on his father and his whanau and the Kingitanga.
One thing that puzzles Alf is why the prince finished up on a drink-driving rap.
Surely he is entitled to a chauffeur-driven car.
After all, as an indigenous person he should be accorded special treatment, and as a possible future King his treatment as a special person should be that much more special.