Freedom of expression

The next image has made a big splash today in Spain:


It’s a satire about our Prince and Princess being extremely happy about the new 2500 euro per newborn the government has announced, because it will be the closest thing to a real salary/job they’ll ever get. The magazine where it’s been published has been censured and retired from the market, charged with “offenses to the Crown”.

I find the mere concept of actually having a King in the 21st century ludicrous, being of the opinion that the system, even being as benign as it is, should be simply dismantled to enlarge the scope of human freedom. What is totally unacceptable is that the existence of the Crown is in fact limiting one of the fundamental rights of every person, freedom of expression. I sincerely hope this will trigger a massive reaction in the Spanish society that will finally put the Royal family where it belongs: the exile.

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10 Responses to Freedom of expression

  1. Giacomo says:

    You should be thankful that your royal family is presentable:

  2. Michaël says:

    Wouldn’t exile limit the fundamental freedoms of the people that are exiled?

  3. xan says:

    They can live in the country as common citizens if they choose to do so, but AFAIK no Royal family has ever done that. Oh, and questions based on obviously captious interpretations are not as cool as you think they are.

  4. Eugenia says:

    While I agree with you that Kinghood has no place in a 21st Century country, I think that none of these people deserve exile. Just because they were born who they were born, does not make them criminals.

    In Greece the ex-King and his family was forced to leave in 1974 and at some point he was not allowed to return, even if that was not exactly official policy. While the ex-King had his fingers in many plates and was guilty for some bad decisions he made in the ’60s, I don’t find him more or less “guilty” than *any* of the politicians that ruled Greece from 1981 onwards. In other words, I am not happy with the political situation in my country for the last 25 years no matter if it involves, princes, kings, prime ministers, ministers and… priests. But as none of them got exiled, I think that asking for exile for the Spanish King is a bit too over the top and maybe a bit unfair for him — given that most other ruling figures won’t get the same treatment.

    Just remove his power, and get him a job at MacDonalds and we are all good. 🙂

  5. less politics more webkit! =)

  6. Nacho says:

    more webkit, I agree with that.

    By the way:

    Queremos un pisito, como el del principito.

  7. Jeff says:


    I read planet gnome at work and this post. The picture is NSFW (Not Safe For Work). Because of this, you should not have posts like this be syndicated on planet gnome.


    – a happy gnome user.

  8. Quim says:

    > I sincerely hope this will trigger a massive reaction in the Spanish society

    Xan is an idealist. I was like him years ago. I ended up in the exile myself.

    Jeff, fyi at least in Spain is Safe At Work. It is a weekly magazine of massive circulation (500.000 copies or so) with no age/legal restriction. It’s in all the kiosks, upfront. Something like The Onion.

    If this number got censored wasn’t because of the nudity (they had covers like this in the past) but because of the monarchy, explicitly protected by law in Spain (i.e. the Spanish version of Spitting Image parodied all the celebrities but never could show a member of the royal family).

    Xan’s post is not about software but it’s not about politics either: it’s about freedom.

  9. I know fairly little of the governmental system of Spain, but isn’t it in Spain the case too that the prime-minister is in fact responsible for the royal family? In other words, aren’t it the politicians that have enforced this censorship, and not the royal family itself?

    In my country (The Netherlands), there is a vibrant and flourishing culture of ridiculing the royal family – both its function as well as its members. Comedians and other public figures now fulfill the role previously filled by the jester.

    What I’m trying to say is: there is most likely no need to abolish the monarchy because of this very issue. Why simply not remove the protection offered by the law in Spain, and let the monarchy evolve into a more modern one, as seen in, for instance, The Netherlands.

  10. pmarin says:

    Hi, I’m spanish 😉

    First of all sorry for my english.

    so you start speaking about freedom and end speaking about exile. very good .

    I think that your don´t know nothing about my monarchy.
    My King had been the most important key for the freedom that I actually have. He turn a military dictatorship in to a democracy ( and his international relationship whith the arabic leaders is very important for my country.
    The goverment (the goverment`s prosecutor office and the judge) censured the magazine whitout the opinion of the Crown so lets put my goverment in to the exile not my King.

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