Poison Pen

The Black Spider Memos We DO Know About

A sample of some of Charles's writings

The release of Prince Charles's letters lobbying various government departments has been blocked, but the Guardian - the newspaper which filed the freedom of information request in the first place - has compiled an anthology of some of his writings that have filtered into the public domain.

He reportedly wrote to Tony Blair, then the prime minister, criticising the government for "destroying the countryside" and failing to tackle rural poverty and housing. He was reported to have relayed a comment from one farmer, who said: "If we, as a group, were black or gay, we would not be victimised or picked on." He is also alleged to have remarked that if hunting was banned, he might as well leave the country and spend the rest of his life skiing, according to the Guardian.

As far back as 1991, he complained about the way English was being used by people: " Our language has become so impoverished, so sloppy and so limited… we have arrived at a wasteland of banality, cliché and casual obscenity." In 2004, it emerged that he had criticised the modern education system, saying: "What is wrong with everyone nowadays? ... Why do they all seem to think they are all qualified to do things …? … This is all to do with the learning culture in schools that … is the result of social utopianism which believes that humanity can begin to genetically re-engineer … to contradict the lessons of history and the realities of nature."