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The prince opines

Last week, London's Daily Mail published excerpts of Prince Charles's private letters to cabinet ministers expressing a range of controversial opinions. A royal family spokesman said, "The prince sees part of his role is highlighting issues.... Obviously correspondence is one way [to] do that."

Some of Charles's opinions:

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On a law forbidding volunteers from cooking meals at home for senior-citizen homes: "Many of these sorts of volunteers are middle-aged ladies who have cooked for their families for 40 years without poisoning anyone.... In order to protect the elderly from a tiny but theoretical risk, a whole section of volunteers is in danger of being alienated. These sort of people will not volunteer if ... regulation makes it impractical. This ... is the underlying danger of an increasingly over-regulated society."

On government plans to ban fox hunting: "If we, as a group, were black or gay, we would not be victimized or picked upon."

On Britain's human rights legislation: "[It is] only about the rights of individuals."

On Britain's "compensation culture": "Our lives are becoming ruled by a truly absurd degree of politically correct interference.... I dread the very real and growing prospect of an American-style personal injury culture.... Such a culture can only lead ... [to] an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion."