Home > General > Monarchy: arguments against

Monarchy: arguments against

A continuation of Cuprum’s discussion.

As I have already said, I would keep the monarchy, albeit in a much-diminished form, because I prefer it, however bumbling, to some self-promoted megalomaniac.

But as some of you have complained that no-one has laid out the arguments for abolishing the monarchy, I have quickly cobbled them together for you.

A hereditary monarchy is unfair and elitist. In a modern and democratic society no one should be expected to defer to another simply because of their birth.

Monarchy contradicts democracy. It denies the people a basic right to elect an accountable head of state and for every citizen to be eligible to hold that office. It also devalues a parliamentary system. its prerogative powers can be used to circumvent normal democratic process with no accountability.

Monarchy is ethnic-discrimination by virtue of its narrow breeding mechanisms.

Monarchy is gender-discriminative. The British Royal Family uses male primogeniture.

It devalues intellect and achievement. Members of the royal family bolster their position with unearned symbols of achievement such as honorary military titles.

It harms the monarchs themselves. It condemns each heir to the throne to an abnormal childhood.

Monarchs are not impartial, and lack accountability but harbour their own opinions, motives, and wish to protect their interests.

The monarchy is expensive. The total costs to taxpayers including hidden elements (e.g., the Royal Protection security bill) of the monarchy are over £100 million per annum. Moreover,  the Royal finances, which are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, are shrouded in secrecy.

The monarchy makes the UK appear ‘backwards’. The concept  is archaic. While the UK has a hereditary head of state it cannot claim to be a modern nation.

The monarchy no longer commands the respect or support of the British people. Only 12% of the public believe that the monarchy should continue in its present form.

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Categories: General
  1. April 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Maybe the Moral Maze can help in looking at the pros and cons?
    Tonight at 8pm in UK

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010mrzr

  2. April 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you, Pseu. Must listen.

  3. April 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Nice cut and paste. Mostly complete chatterati BS.

  4. christinaosborne
    April 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Ah but!

    The greatest pro argument in the world.
    It is OUR monarchy.
    WASP to the core and quintessentially anachronistic and seminal to our national psyche.
    Untouched by the EUSSR, the BBC, AlQauda or however they spell themselves, the assorted wogs, commies and fellow travellers who would destroy our Queen and our country.
    God damn them all and
    LONG LIVE THE QUEEN.

    The monarchy cannot be rationalised in your paltry, penny pinching, mean spirited, pittance doling, jealous kind of way.

  5. sheona
    April 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Your arguments seem to me no more valid than Cuprum’s. Can you give an example of the “royal prerogative” circumventing normal democratic processes?

    Not sure why everyone seems so concerned about the cost of royal protection. Would Britain not bother protecting an elected president? Certainly if it turned out to be Blair, I could understand! Wonder what the bill is for POTUS and all the bullet-proof limousines that get ferried around.

    You are the only person I’ve ever come across in any country who thinks having a monarchy makes the UK appear “backwards”. Some facts and figures available? And I bet if the UK had a referendum tomorrow, you would get a lot more than 12% – where did that figure come from? – in favour of retaining the monarchy. The Royal Family creates a link with every family element in the country, as we see that it has the same ups and downs as every other family. You don’t get the same continuity in a president who has a limited term of office – or else makes himself a dictator. Wonder why Franco chose to revive the Spanish monarchy?

    Now for the constitutional arguments. Oh, you don’t seem to have any.

  6. tocino
    April 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I’m a monachist, always have been and always will be. Perhaps it is an age thing (I’m 68)? I just followed on from what my parents believed in. I lived in Nigeria in the 50’s when the Queen visited, the Queen was revered by the locals and were proud that their Queen was visiting them. It would appear that many ex Commonwealth countries feel the same today.

    I can’t really see what is wrong with monarchy. It has worked for the UK for centuries and we should be proud of our heritage. Not many countries can say the same. I would hazard a guess, that most opposed to the monarchy are very much younger than I am. It has always been the way, the young wan’t to change the world whilst at the same time knowing nothing of the world or, our own history.

    Rather than do a C&P, this says it all for me.

    http://www.sovereignty.org.uk/features/articles/casemon.html

    P.S. Some of the minor Royals do at times, piss me off.

  7. April 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Like I said Sheona, C&P chatteriti BS. From wikipedia, btw.

  8. sheona
    April 27, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    All I want, she said pathetically, is for someone who’s agin the monarchy to say: “Britain is a constitutional monarchy. Constitutional monarchies are bad because…” and give solid constitutional reasons, not all this “chatterati bs” as you so rightly call it, bravo.

  9. Boadicea
    April 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    If you would keep the monarchy – what role would you assign it if you don’t like the fact that it is ‘hereditary’, undemocratic, race, gender and religiously specific and that most heinous of all crimes ‘unfair and elitist’…?

  10. Boadicea
    April 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I have a bit of a problem countering some of your arguments since when people complain that something is ‘unfair’ I tend to switch off from their arguments, in much the same way as I do when they yell ‘racist’, sexist’ or ‘undemocratic’.

    The world is not fair, it never has been and never will be… I look at the attempts to make it ‘fair’ and despair: all those wonderful Socialist regimes like Russia and China, all those Socialist policies that, started with the best of intentions, have lead to millions sitting around doing nothing and have wrecked a formerly excellent education system… should I go on? So please do not ask me to support any argument that starts with the notion that ‘It isn’t fair’… it may not be – but that’s life.

    I was born with privileges that others were not – and so were you – and thanks very much, but I want to hang on to those privileges and not have them taken away from me on the grounds that ‘it’s not fair’…

    As to it being undemocratic – as it happens I think that the constitutional monarchy is democratic. It has evolved as part of the unique democratic process in the UK. What is not democratic is the way that the Commons has usurped the former Power of the Crown and now has no checks on its use and misuse.

  11. April 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Why does anybody think that life should be or ever could be fair? It is so damn foolish to think that it can be. Bill Gates is a self made billionaire. Is it fair that his children are going to inherit more than your average Ethiopian? Many men really fancy Angelina Jolie. Is it fair that she prefers to be married to Brad Pitt and is it fair that he is so good looking. What about those who get ill or are born with deformities who are born foreign or are ugly, fat, stupid, poor, etc. For goodness sake, stop bloody well suggesting that life should be fair. Quite frankly such a view is, as I said, foolish.

    The monarchy represents an ideal. It is largely an abstract concept that epitomises much of what we value with regards to national/community pride. The monarchy is like a flag or a national anthem. It is a rallying point behind which we can unite, work and live together as a nation and when necessary, fight together too. The Queen is a figurehead. Who she is largely irrelevant. What she is important. When she dies we will say ‘The Queen is dead, God save the King’. And that is how it should be.

    If you want to be completely practical then, almost nothing is important. Certainly my, or anybody else’s giving a toss about the welfare of those who have no direct impact on our lives is irrelevant. The monarchy is a part of society just as the WI or the Salvation Army or the FA or the Chelsea Flower Show is part of society.

    As for democracy, are you really so sure it is worth having? Democracy gave us Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg. It gave us George Bush (x2) and Barack Obama. It gave us Julia Gillard and Sarkozy and Berlusconi. And my own favourites, it gave us Jacob Zuma and Robert F**ing Mugabe. I do wish people would stop thinking that democracy in its current format is so wonderful. It is not.

    As for being elitist, what the heck is the point of having any form of ambition if it does not culminate in elitism? We train hard, we study hard, we work hard just so that we can be the best – elite. It was Kate Middleton’s grandmother’s ambition that took that family from impoverished working class into being the toast of the town. Are you saying that is a bad thing. Are you saying that people should not try to improve themselves? If we do not strive to be elite, we settle for being average, and average is just not good enough.

    Right, I have probably had a drink or two too many, but this roughly reflects the gist of what I wanted to say to those who dismiss the monarchy. Oh and I forgot to mention envy. Most people who are anti the monarchy are simply envious, and envy is a very unattractive trait. Nothing in life is perfect, but the monarchy is a pretty good system that works.

  12. Boadicea
    April 27, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Don’t often say this Sipu – but three cheers for your answer. :-)

    I am privileged that I was born where I was and when I was – and not in some rat-infested hovel in Calcutta. All the brains in the world would not have allowed me to achieve what I have… People do not look at what they have – only what they do not have – your comment on envy is spot on.

    As, indeed, are your comments on democracy – a ‘sop’ to keep the masses quiet…

  13. April 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Sipu.

    I started to compose a response to this post, but decided you have covered most of the points I would have raised.

    Bloody brilliant comment. :)

  14. April 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Hi Julie.

    I’m not sure about your personal preference for a much diminished monarchy. I think I understand what you mean, but I’m not sure what you would want to change.

    As far as I can see, the monarchy does adapt, albeit slowly, but you either have a constitutional monarchy or you don’t.

  15. tocino
    April 27, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Boadicea :

    Don’t often say this Sipu – but three cheers for your answer. :-)

    I am privileged that I was born where I was and when I was – and not in some rat-infested hovel in Calcutta. All the brains in the world would not have allowed me to achieve what I have… People do not look at what they have – only what they do not have – your comment on envy is spot on.

    As, indeed, are your comments on democracy – a ‘sop’ to keep the masses quiet…

    Dead on Sipu. Have a double dop on me. :-)

    Spelling corrected ;)
    Soutie

  16. April 28, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I am surprised at these answers. In my circles, opinions about the monarchy range from it being a charming curio to it being intolerable. So I had expected a more balanced debate. I was especially surprised by the attitudes towards fairness and democracy, which I had thought were both universally accepted in the West.

    Araminta, as far as I can see, other European Monarchies seem to manage on a budget that is about a tenth of the UK’s.

  17. April 28, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Thank you, Bearsy. Where did your post go?

  18. O Zangado
    April 28, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Wot Sipu said.

    OZ

  19. April 28, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Wot Regan said.

    Don
    :-)

  20. Boadicea
    April 28, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I suspect, Julie, from some of your statements that your circles are rather more left-wing than people here. :-)

    I think most of us are in favour of fairness when it comes to equality of opportunity, but we are not in favour of the notion that those who are willing and able to strive to better themselves and, thereby, their children should be penalised so that everyone ends up the same. That, in my mind, is patently unfair.

    As to the idea of democracy – yes I’m in favour of democracy. But what we have at the moment doesn’t seem to me me to be at all democratic. We vote in a bunch of tyrants who are never made accountable for their actions – but swan off on fat pensions and other highly paid jobs. Frankly I’d rather have a monarch who doesn’t need to fiddle her expenses than that mob in the Commons who have their noses continually in the tax-payers’ pockets…

    As to the Queen’s budget – I note that you did not comment on the fact that she puts one hell of a lot of her money into the Exchequer (sure she still has a lot that she doesn’t) and most of what she gets back is spent on national events like entertaining other heads of State – or do you expect her to pay for those out of her own pocket?

  21. April 28, 2011 at 9:32 am

    G’day Julie.
    Like you, I had hoped for a more balanced debate. However, it was naive of me to lampoon the culprits and expect to receive reasonable comments, so I removed my post to prevent further conflagration. :-(

  22. April 28, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Before we replace the monarchy we need to think long and hard on the ‘what with?” question. Here are a couple of thoughts.

    1- Somebody intelligent and honourable enough to appreciate and protect this country and its values. (The Queen doesn’t measure up)

    2- They should be appointed for a fixed (long?) term to protect them as far as possible from political pressures.

  23. Boadicea
    April 28, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Jazz

    Bearsy and I were discussing your first point earlier today – needless to say from different points of view. I did have to agree with him that the Queen has seriously failed to protect the country from loss of sovereignty to Europe, and has reneged on her position as the Head of the Church in England.

    As to point 2 – it’s always been my contention that the second chamber should consist of people elected / appointed for life for precisely the reason that you give – to protect us from a politicised House of Review.

    And while I’m in favour of a constitutional monarch at the moment – I would not be opposed to change if (and that seems to be the problem) someone can come up with something that will work better…

  24. April 28, 2011 at 10:11 am

    ““Those who can lose the most usually do the least to change that.”” – Ronald Regan

    Truth is that Democracy …. real democracy! … is not for Britain, they are too afraid of change and cannot fathom a future without a nanny! — Donald
    :-)

  25. April 28, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Donald :
    ““Those who can lose the most usually do the least to change that.”” – Ronald Regan
    Truth is that Democracy …. real democracy! … is not for Britain, they are too afraid of change and cannot fathom a future without a nanny! — Donald

    Complete bullshit.

    If there is any country in the world that’s proved it doesn’t need a nanny it’s the UK. Unlike the Australians we’ve never been offered a referendum on the subject. And how did the Aussies vote? Oh yes they kept the Queen.

    BTW the Queen would have made a pretty lousy nanny when you see how her offspring turned out.

  26. cuprum426
    April 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Bearsy – disappointed in you for such self censoring! But well done for getting concessions from Boadicea!

    Shame on me – I take the defeatist attitude of knowing what battles I can and cannot win – the crowd here is not for turning! Fortunately in virtually everything else there’s a good spread of views. At least it’s being debated ….ish. :D

    Thank you Julie for trying too.

    Jazz- I suspect you may get an aussie backlash with that comment! The choice they were offered was utter politico crap, hence they said know as a mature and informed nation. At least they had the balls to ask the question.

    By the way – I have discovered the reason for my grumpiness – a huge abcess on my upper right jaw – emergency dentist appointment in 1 hour . Gulp.

  27. cuprum426
    April 28, 2011 at 10:33 am

    or even, “no”, not “know”

  28. April 28, 2011 at 10:35 am

    “If there is any country in the world that’s proved it doesn’t need a nanny it’s the UK.”

    And when was the last time you didn’t have a nanny? As I recall you guys go around pretending to be big and brave but when the shit turns to crud it’s Australia that gets the call, it ain’t your Queen that helps you pull your pants back up, it is always America or Australia … both of them Democratic Nations. :-(

    That’s why you need a change in your system, so you can stand on your own two feet :-)

  29. Boadicea
    April 28, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Cuprum & Julie

    Tell me that the whole system of Government needs changing – and I’ll almost certainly agree. But picking on one small bit to change is not going to produce a more democratic system as I understand democracy.

    Cuprum

    I shall use a similar excuse for my grumpiness – I finally got to a dentist and a doctor yesterday after over week of agony… Lets’ agree to ban all public holidays that shut down medical services!

    Donald

    You obviously have a death wish! :-)

  30. April 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

    You can’t even stand up to the commissars of the EUSSR, or keep your immigrants in check.

    London is acknowledged as the home of extremism, your universities are riddled with it and you prosecute persecute women who are bullied by ‘travellers’, taking their licensed firearms away. Three examples plucked from today’s UK newspapers.

    You don’t need a nanny, you need a full squad of RMNs [Registered Mental Nurses].
     


    Best of luck, Cuprum; Boadicea has been suffering similarly since Good Friday, but with visits yesterday and today she’s slowly returning to health and (hopefully) reason. :-)

  31. Four-eyed English Genius
    April 28, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Most of the above are not arguments but opinions. I still think the monarchy is the best way to have a Head of State as long is it titular only, when you think of the dreadful alternatives that appear round the world, but I would like to see the Civil List shortened considerable so there are not so many hangers on.

  32. April 28, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Are we no longer allowed to have opinions, FFS? :???:

  33. Boadicea
    April 28, 2011 at 11:34 am

    FEEG

    Indeed on both sides they are only opinions.

    But it seems to me that both sides (including me!) want to get reasoned arguments in response to mere opinions… possibly a little unreasonable on both sides… :-)

  34. April 28, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Aha, there’s my sensible, balanced, fair-minded Boadicea back again! :lol: :cool:

  35. April 28, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Well said, Sipu. Fairness, an idealistic concept, loved by socialists.

  36. April 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Which I am not!

  37. April 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Excuse me, can I come through please, mover over, make way, I want to buy Sipu a drink. Cheers Sipu, you have expressed my thoughts, but you made a better job.

  38. April 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    …. Edited by Boadicea I’m having a little bet with myself to see how long this post remains before you delete it. That’s what you normally do when you don’t like the way the argument is going. Feel free to chuck me off your site.

  39. April 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Gosh how hard is it to get thrown off here??

  40. April 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Just to keep on topic …

    I became a true blue Aussie when I endured the secret men’s initiation of magic mushies and Forster’ Brew followed by a skinny dip in the northern parts of the Ore River during croc mating season :-)

    How does a Brit become a true Brit? Does he fight for his country, collect the dole or does he go about defending immigrants?

    What makes a Brit a Brit?

  41. April 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Well I was born British, and of course you have to thump the occasional Aussie when they get too annoying.

  42. April 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    JAzz – Fair enough ….. but it begs the question …

    Which retirement village in Australia allowed you to bash it oldest citizen? :-(

    And who tied him up first? :-)

    :-)

  43. Four-eyed English Genius
    April 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Bearsy :

    Are we no longer allowed to have opinions, FFS? :???:

    Of course you are, as long as they are not presented as fact. :-)

  44. April 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Every one keeps going on about the queen being the head of state, but she has no powers whatsoever. She cannot do a thing unless the government wants her to, so taking this into account she and her family are like household ornaments sitting on the mantle piece, they look nice but are totally useless.
    Every now and then queenie goes off on a jaunt (at our expense) and says “look here I am, now buy some guns from the UK, or big ears rants off about global warming and how everyone should follow his example and compost their sewage at the bottom of their garden (if we had millions of pounds and acres of land we would) as for the rest of them they resemble the Graeae but instead of a tooth it is a brain cell.
    Primogeniture, well if we keep the monarchy then why change this after all it is historic, then we come to Catholics becoming monarch, once again it cannot be permitted because Catholics answer to the Pope first and he is head of a foreign state (Vatican)
    As for replacing them, I don’t think a president is the answer, but then do we need a figure head?

    I was in the sauna this morning with 5 other people, male and female ages between 30 and 64 when up came the subject of the monarchy and only one person said they would keep the monarchy beyond the queen.

  45. O Zangado
    April 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Rick – I always thought that HM still has oodles of constitutional powers, but chooses in the interests of modern ‘democracy’ not to exert them. For example, she was criticised and worse for signing the Lisbon Treaty into UK law, but imagine the uproar if she had refused. Damned if you do – damned if you don’t.

    OZ

  46. April 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Oz as far as I know if the government says sign she has to sign, she does not have a veto against parliament and now the EU I suppose.

    If she was to say no to anything I think it would be “Off with her head”

  47. O Zangado
    April 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    By the way, I am a rabid monarchist and all republicans can kiss my hairy, frizzy tail.

    OZ

  48. O Zangado
    April 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    The last time I looked, all Acts of Parliament still need the Royal Assent before passing onto the statute book. It would be interesting constitutionally if Her Maj suddently thought “F**k it, I’m not going to sign this piece of merde”, which she still could, technically.

    OZ

  49. April 28, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Oz I know I can tell, but you can keep your tail. If the monarchy had powers to do things then things may be different. I often wondered what the queen thought of the way that Bliar sold the country out to Europe, was she sitting in front of the fire kicking the corgis and saying “It’s my bloody country, my namesake (QE1) would have had that jumped up litle twerp in the tower.”

  50. O Zangado
    April 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Rick – That would be politically incorrect these days, which was the point I was trying to make. She stll can legally and constitutionally, but she doesn’t. :-D

    OZ

  51. April 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Oz is that really the case, that she has the power but does not wield it? Therefore she is not looking after her people if she allows the government to sign away authority to Europe when the people do not want it, and if she is not listening to her people she is no better than a jumped up politician.

  52. April 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    O Zangado :

    all Acts of Parliament still need the Royal Assent before passing onto the statute book.

    OZ

    Yes, OZ. Our Monarchy is not so benign as people here are making out. Let’s make no mistake: the Queen gets the final say. That she does makes a mockery of the parliamentary machine.

    BTW, did you get an invite to the wedding? Are you going?

  53. O Zangado
    April 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Rick – I suspect vaguely republican sentiments from you. No mztter – damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.

    Julietee – The cross of St. George will be flying over The Cave tomorrow. I assume the invite is stil in the post.

    OZ

  54. Boadicea
    April 28, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    jazz606 :

    Gosh how hard is it to get thrown off here??

    I’m the only person who tells anyone to ‘fuck off’ – and, to date, I have thrown no one off.

  55. April 28, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    For more information as to the powers or otherwise of the monarchy today, this may be of interest:

    http://www.centreforcitizenship.org/monarchy/mon2.html

  56. Boadicea
    April 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Julie

    What on earth are you talking about… the Queen does not get the final say. She may, theoretically, have the right to refuse to sign Acts of Parliament – but were she ever to do so there would be a Constitutional Crisis that would sweep her off the throne.

    It’s quite a good idea to get one’s facts straight before criticising things that do not and will not never happen.

  57. April 28, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Or rather it will probably be of interest to Julie and those who would like to abolish the monarchy. It makes interesting reading.

  58. Boadicea
    April 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Araminta

    I looked at the link – interesting.

    Julie doesn’t seem to want to abolish the monarchy itself, rather remove its role from the Government – and down-scale it to just above a Duke or something. I think Cuprum wants to abolish the whole concept.

  59. April 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Yes, you are right, Boadicea, but given her objections it doesn’t seem that she really wants the monarchy to play any part in the constitution. My link does give some rather more valid reasons which support Cuprum and Julie’s argument.

    Not that I agree with the interpretation.

    In a monarchy, the king or queen is head of state. The UK is a ‘constitutional monarchy’, meaning that a king or queen reigns, with limits to their power, alongside a governing body, Parliament.

    As I said earlier, you dismantle the whole thing or leave it be; the cost element is minimal, the chances of the Queen ever exercising her prerogative is practically zero, it would, as you rightly point out create a constructional crisis of immense proportions.

  60. Boadicea
    April 28, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Araminta

    I agree with your last paragraph absolutely.

    The problem, in my opinion, does not lie with the Power of the Monarch which is purely theoretical, but with the Power of the Commons… who are not accountable in any way other than, as I said earlier, to be slung out after five years with a big fat pension.

    Politicians are voted in on “Golden Promises'”, and don’t even suffer the same penalties as Street Traders who sell their wares under false pretences.

    The whole thing needs scrapping and starting again – starting by defining exactly what is meant by democracy. Do we vote people into Parliament as Representatives or Leaders?

    Sort that out and then start changing to system to fit the objectives.

  61. April 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    I largely agree with your thoughts on the Power of the Commons, but it must be remembered that the under Blair’s leadership, the House of Commons was largely bypassed in the decision making process, not to mention the Cabinet as a whole. Blair and a handful of “advisors” and a few selected cabinet ministers made most of the decisions.

    This made a mockery of democracy.

  62. Boadicea
    April 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Araminta

    I wasn’t really aware of that. The problem, of course, is that once that has been done it will be done again. That’s the main difficulty with a Constitution which is the product of evolution rather than one set in concrete like ours … It can evolve in ways that are very anti-democratic and obviously under Blair it did.

  63. April 28, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    It was referred to as the “sofa cabinet”, with good reason.

    This is fairly mild but it gives you the flavour of his style:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/3895921.stm

    Yes, it is not a written constitution and this can be a weakness as well as a strength, I agree Boadicea.

  64. April 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Araminta :
    Yes, you are right, Boadicea, but given her objections it doesn’t seem that she really wants the monarchy to play any part in the constitution. My link does give some rather more valid reasons which support Cuprum and Julie’s argument.
    …….. it would, as you rightly point out create a constructional crisis of immense proportions.

    Yes but it would be great fun.

  65. April 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Somewhat suicidal, Jazz, but yes, it could indeed be fun.

  66. April 28, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I think you meant constitutional crisis although I suppose it would be constructional in some sense. But great fun either way. The pundits would all have nervous breakdowns!

  67. April 28, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Oh, thank you, I hadn’t noticed the typo. :)

  68. April 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I think Boa said it all, the queen theoretically can say “no” but she would be ousted at the same time. therefore she has no authority whatsoever other than as a figure head and someone on stamps and coins.

    I make no bones about my thoughts, the monarchy should end with the current monarch, no charlie boy and no william. It is out dated and too expensive, please don’t say it brings in tourism that is rubbish.

  69. Boadicea
    April 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Rick

    please don’t say it brings in tourism that is rubbish.

    If that’s the case – why is this wedding being broadcast all around the world? I’m sure that the BBC will be making a fortune today (tomorrow for you!)

    Bludy ‘ell – they’re even selling wedding memorabilia here in Oz! Even the Chinese will be making a fat profit out of it :-)

  70. April 29, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Can I claim “Prima Note” with the princess? :-)

  71. April 29, 2011 at 2:58 am

    I fear that droit de seigneur does not encompass inhabitants of The ‘Gong. :-(

  72. April 29, 2011 at 3:09 am

    But surely … there must be some entitlement …. perhaps an obscure law? :-(

  73. April 29, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Perhaps if you ask her nicely … ?

  74. oldmovieguy
    April 29, 2011 at 7:49 am

    If anyone has any doubts about the value of a British Monarchy just switch the telly on now.

  75. April 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Julie,

    Try posting opinions of your own if you want people to discuss them.

    A bunch of socialist sputum borrowed word for word from Wiki simply will not cut it.

  76. April 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I’ve just watched the wedding. Believe it or not Mrs J had a hairdresser’s appointment at 11am today, and even more unbelievably the hairdressers was open (I got her to phone up to make sure). So I watched it by myself. As a piece of theatre it was superb I doubt whether any other country could have done it as well. Whether we should have done is another question.

  77. April 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Thank you for the link, Araminta.

    Boadicea :

    the Queen may, theoretically, have the right to refuse to sign Acts of Parliament – but were she ever to do so there would be a Constitutional Crisis that would sweep her off the throne.

    Boadicea, didn’t the Queen’s representative in Australia overrule a parliamentary decision not long ago?

  78. Boadicea
    April 29, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Julie

    … Erm! Yes he did! It was a while ago – 1975 to be precise. And he should NOT have done what he did.

    Like so many people, John Kerr did not understand that the ‘Reserve Powers’ that he held from the Queen by virtue of his Office as Australian Governor General were not to be used. It is fairly well documented that he got a blast from her Maj for over-stepping his authority. It certainly has led to the Governor General here being nothing more than a figure head…

    The Queen understands the limitations of her power – the problem is that not many others do. :-)

  79. April 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    That decision by Kerr is what finally did it for Australia, now the Governor General has nothing but the name and any power the Queen might have had over us was removed. Australia only tolerates her, but we still treat her well

    Mind you, we had no idea the mining companies had the same power as a Governor-General :-(

  80. April 30, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Donald

    After yesterday I think you’ll have to wait a while before being able to replace the Queen as Head of State.

    The Romans were right it’s ‘beer and circuses'; and yesterday was some circus.

  81. April 30, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Jazz, you’re right. It will be a while.

    Ferret, I made no pretence that I was writing an original essay. As I said, I quickly cobbled the arguments together, as some people had requested them. To be fair, I should have stated my sources, but I hadn’t realised that posts on charioteers were in the same league as academic papers.

  82. cuprum426
    April 30, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Ne’er mind Julie! They are a very well educated bunch in here! I thought I was quite intelligent and well educated before I joined in. I feel the better for it though.

    I think actually despite the counter-arguments you posted, the best points I have heard are from B & B – the queen has effectively endorsed the loss of sovreignty to the EUSSR and has seemingly not held true her “head of the C of E” position. Quite significant failings I should say.

    The ruling class have cleverly ensured the public opinion has strengthened in favour of the status quo which should last another 20 years or so. Thus preventing any possible changes, revolution or reform.

    How short people’s memories are…remember the outcry AGAINST the monarchy after the death of the attention seeking selfish publicity seeking princess Di? It was Blair who got the monarchy back in favour then. Not that anyone remembers that now.

    How odd it is to be British!

  83. cuprum426
    April 30, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Mrs C has pointed out that I have no need to shock to get a debate or reaction. I withdraw my Diana comments, no offence meant. It was merely another opinion, one which I know is an extreme minority.

    Wind my neck in dear boy. :D

  84. April 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Julie,

    You miss my point, I expect you to at least argue your own beliefs not some one elses which you just happen to have ‘cobbled together’. I would not do any of those idiotic rants the dignity of a response they are so ridiculous and untrue.

  85. April 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Cuprum,

    I personally believe Di was far from the hard done by, poor little princess she made herself out to be. That of course will entitle me to a whole can of whupass but hey, at least it’s my opinion and I stand by it.

  86. cuprum426
    April 30, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Ferret, careful!

    Just look at Prince Harry and you can see Di was no saint!

    Then there’s the conspiracy theory over the day that Di and Dodi died…….

  87. April 30, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    You’re right Cuprum,

    This is a whole other argument which should not derail the point of this post.

  88. cuprum426
    April 30, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Roger!

  89. Boadicea
    April 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Oh Dear Cuprum!

    On your #83 you will find that I, along with Ferret, am firmly of your opinion about the Sainted **, strenuously opposed by the Bear. :-)

    P.S. My mother-in-law was of the same opinion…

    Julie

    Good to see that you are not deterred by contrary opinions! :-)

  90. sheona
    April 30, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Cuprum, I don’t think you are in an extreme minority about the late Princess of Wales. After the initial public sobfest, which was rather self-centred and took no account of two young boys who had very suddenly lost their mother and should have been left in peace with their father and grandparents at Balmoral, I think the shine began to wear off. I feel very sorry for Diana; an unhappy childhood and a disastrous marriage; the bulimia and mental fragility, demonstrated by throwing herself downstairs, that drove Charles back to Camilla, followed by her growing manipulativeness, particularly of the media. An unhappy girl. She did at least manage to get to know her mother again, but the latter disapproved of her daughter’s behaviour with so many different men. Yes, she did a great job with her two sons, but it is their father who has completed that work.

  91. April 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    cuprum426 :
    Ferret, careful!
    Just look at Prince Harry and you can see Di was no saint!
    Then there’s the conspiracy theory over the day that Di and Dodi died…….

    I’m sure Harry’s dad watched his son’s performance with (justifiable) pride.

  92. April 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Cuprum. I don’t think you’re in an extreme miority re the sainted girl either.

  93. cuprum426
    April 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I feel back in the fold already :D

  94. April 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Never out of it as far as I was concerned – as I pointed out on Bearsy’s withdrawn post.

  95. tocino
    April 30, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    bravo22c :

    Never out of it as far as I was concerned – as I pointed out on Bearsy’s withdrawn post.

    Spot on Bravo.

  96. April 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Never saw the withdrawn post, but you know where I stand Cuprum.

  97. May 7, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Hi Julie

    As Ferret says, thon’s a fine piece of C&P that you’ve got here. I feel myself that you have been very selective in said C&P.

    So far, this is the most complete source of your C&P that I have found –

    http://www.stoa.org.uk/topics/monarchy/republicanism-pros-and-cons.pdf

    Don’t necessarily agree with their arguments for a constitutional monarchy but do feel that they are more compelling than the pile of keech advanced against such a monarchy.

    Tracking back, one finds that the source for this particular article is:-

    ‘Faversham Stoa is a pub philosophy discussion group. We meet the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7.30 to 9.30pm in the The Bull in Tanners Street. There’s no charge for membership and everyone is welcome to drop in. Just bring your brain and some beer money!’

    So, that’ll be major intellectual rigour then!

    Moving on:-

    ‘A hereditary monarchy is unfair and elitist. In a modern and democratic society no one should be expected to defer to another simply because of their birth.’

    Keech. When an hereditary manarchy is accepted, they are the monarchs and we are the subjects. Both of us are happy with that arrangement and know our respective places. Who cares what a disaffected bunch of miserable killjoy (© Christina) Republicans believe until they are in the majority, which will, in my opinion, never happen here.

    ‘Monarchy contradicts democracy. It denies the people a basic right to elect an accountable head of state and for every citizen to be eligible to hold that office. It also devalues a parliamentary system. its prerogative powers can be used to circumvent normal democratic process with no accountability.

    Keech. Why does a Head of State have to be ‘accountable’ or even elected? If the majority of citizens/subjects/people of any particular nation accept the legitimacy of their Head of State why should you feel that you have the right to tell them that they are deluded? Added to which, I personally have no desire to hold the office of Queen and feel no sense of loss that I never will.

    In the case of our Monarchy, the crud about ‘prerogative powers’ circumventing democratic process (I choose to omit the weasel words of ‘normal’ and ‘accountability’ as specious flannel) is, I repeat, crud. Never has happened since the Glorious Revolution and never will happen, in my opinion.

    ‘Monarchy is ethnic-discrimination by virtue of its narrow breeding mechanisms.’

    To be fair, this one is not in the Faversham Debates. The most complete example that I could find and from which I presume you took your inspiration is:-

    ‘Monarchy is ethnic-discrimination 
    By virtue of their narrow breeding mechanisms, most monarchs belong to a clearly identifiable ethnic group. Thus, members of other ethnic groups are forever denied a head of state they can directly relate to. This phenomenon produces divided societies where one ethnic group can, openly or discreetly, boast about their ethnic link to the royal family and derive from it a sense of superiority.’

    I can see why you trimmed it because it is, of course, in its unexpurgated form, utter and total keech which does not deserve any comment of any sort.

    ‘Monarchy is gender-discriminative. The British Royal Family uses male primogeniture.’

    Ok, not keech. An open door which should be gone through as soon as possible. ‘ Male primogeniture is an anachronism which served its time but has no place today.

    ‘It devalues intellect and achievement. Members of the royal family bolster their position with unearned symbols of achievement such as honorary military titles.’

    Offensive keech. My own experience is that members of the Royal Family who undertake any office discharge the duties of that office conscientiously and with dignity. Please provide me with evidence to the contrary?

    ‘It harms the monarchs themselves. It condemns each heir to the throne to an abnormal childhood.’

    Keech. Our present Monarch had, by all accounts, a happy childhood and, when she took her Oath at her Coronation, she willingly dedicated herself to her people for her lifetime. She has not let me down so far. Charles and William will, I am sure do the same, having been prepared from birth. Their upbringing was, of course, different from ours but ‘abnormal’ is. I believe, a pejorative distortion.

    ‘Monarchs are not impartial, and lack accountability but harbour their own opinions, motives, and wish to protect their interests.’

    Keech. It matters not one whit whether or not they are impartial. We will never know. They are totally accountable for never ever having the right to harbour any sort of opinion or motive. Lizzie has, I think, had 13 Prime Ministers, including Wislon twice which has to have been a trial, and she has signally failed to be caught out protecting her own interests by any of them.

    ‘The monarchy is expensive. The total costs to taxpayers including hidden elements (e.g., the Royal Protection security bill) of the monarchy are over £100 million per annum. Moreover,  the Royal finances, which are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, are shrouded in secrecy.’

    Major keech. Population of the UK in excess of 60,000,000? So, less than £2 a head a year? We are forced to pay the BBC a lot more than that every year. £3,493 million in 2009. Which is better value?

    ‘The monarchy makes the UK appear ‘backwards’. The concept  is archaic. While the UK has a hereditary head of state it cannot claim to be a modern nation.’

    Keech. I’m happy being part of a nation that has a history of which I can feel proud and I am confident that said nation will survive and prosper in the future. Why would I aspire to be part of a ‘modern’ nation. What does that mean?

    ‘The monarchy no longer commands the respect or support of the British people. Only 12% of the public believe that the monarchy should continue in its present form.

    Old and unsubstantiated keech. First surfaced in 2001, so far as I have been able to google, and I am still unable to find the actual poll concerned.

    The plain and unpalatable truth for Republicans is that most of us are happy with our Monarchy and will continue to be happy with it however much they choose to whinge on about it.

  98. May 7, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Keech – This is defined by Webster’s as “A mass or lump of fat rolled up by the butcher”, and by the Urban Dictionary as “shite”. A Glaswegian dictionary called it “excrement” and thoughtfully provided a photograph for those who might not understand big words. Keech is used eleven times in comment #97 as a pejorative.

    A fine example of monarchist dialectic.

  99. sheona
    May 7, 2011 at 10:21 am

    What’s pejorative about a statement of fact, Bearsy? This is JM’s opinion. If he finds this bit of c&p a load of bullsh*t, to quote Bravo, then that is his right. He has done a far better job of demolishing it, with painstaking research, than I could have done. I’m not sure you can describe it as dialectic either.

  100. May 7, 2011 at 11:53 am

    JM clearly has more patience in dealing with unsupported, PC, C&P bull-poopoo than I.

  101. May 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I’m entirely certain that it can’t be described as dialectic, Sheona.

    Perhaps I could ask why you, Bravo and Mackie have decided to be so bloody rude? It does none of you any credit, it degrades the Chariot, bringing it down to the level of MyT. Is that your objective?

    If so, perhaps one of you will have the decency – if you have any left – to explain why.

  102. Boadicea
    May 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I think, Sheona and Bravo, that you have missed Bearsy’s point, which is quite simply that he (and I) do not find dismissing people’s genuine beliefs as “Keech”, “Shit”, “Bullshit” or “Poo-Poo” as furthering a discussion in any way. It’s rather similar to the use of “racist”, “bigot” and all the other such terms that most of us here find offensively designed to shut up opposition.

    I am a Constitutional Monarchist, but I’m more than happy to listen to Republican’s objections without dismissing their views as a piece of excrement – eleven times – even if it is written in Scots dialect.

  103. May 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Viva la Republica Monarchista de Londonistan! :-(

    (Just stirring) :-)

  104. May 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Let’s be quite clear about this. What I describe as ‘unsupported, PC, C&P bull-poopoo’ is exactly what it is. It was not anyone’s ‘genuine belief, as was noted. That’s all.

  105. tocino
    May 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Isn’t time to put this whole thing to bed? I have lost count, but hasn’t this run over three blogs? Everyone must have had their say by now. Time to shake hands and call it a day. :-)

  106. May 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Boadicea :

    I think, Sheona and Bravo, that you have missed Bearsy’s point, which is quite simply that he (and I) do not find dismissing people’s genuine beliefs as “Keech”, “Shit”, “Bullshit” or “Poo-Poo” as furthering a discussion in any way. It’s rather similar to the use of “racist”, “bigot” and all the other such terms that most of us here find offensively designed to shut up opposition.

    I am a Constitutional Monarchist, but I’m more than happy to listen to Republican’s objections without dismissing their views as a piece of excrement – eleven times – even if it is written in Scots dialect.

    Hi, Boa.

    Fair enough. Your site and your rules. Please feel free to delete the word which has so offended Bearsy, once he had looked it up to see what it meant.

    In mitigation, I offer the ‘Bastard’ defence which is often advanced hereon. Whatever the dictionary meaning may or may not be, I assure you that, in Jock-slang, the word simply means ‘rubbish’ and did not bring the blush of shame to the cheeks of my sainted Auntie Dolly who often used it to describe a panting which had not turned our as she wished. I rather think that Julie is a Jockess herself, if I have made the connection to the correct MyT Julie. If she is, I would not expect her to be offended by its use. I apologise to her if she is not a Scot or has been offended.

    I have no desire to shut anyone up and believe that my comment is a tempered and considered attempt to answer the arguments advanced in Julie’s post, point by point. I am sorry that you do not see it in the same way.

    She is, of course, free to tell me that my counter-arguments are a pile of fetid pigeons’ doings or whatever she wishes. I personally will not take offence and will not form the opinion that she is trying to shut me up.

  107. May 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I’m with you Jay Em,

    Keech (pronounced keek-h) is a mild expletive used to mean nonsense or rubbish. The urban dictionary is hardly an authority on anything. Strine has its own peculiarities which we accept, for example ‘bastard’ is a term of endearment there but an insult here.

    Bearsy,

    Julie T put up a bunch of arguments against which invited argument for. I declined the invitation because it was obvious that firstly the opinions were not her own and secondly they are so untrue they did not deserve a response. Bravo shares my opinion that they did not dignify a response. Jay Em is more patient and does JulieT the service of accepting her argument and presenting some very detailed counterpoint. He has been very far from rude. To use another jockular vernacular Bearsy, yer knickers are full o’ mince. :)

  108. christinaosborne
    May 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Good for you JM, very well put.
    Ferret I do like the ‘knickers full of mince’ crack, must pigeon hole for further use.

  109. May 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Thank you Mrs O,

    It was used frequently when I resided in the Kingdom of Fyfe. It basically translates as ‘Excuse me old bean, but I do believe you are talking nonsense’.

    They have a language all their own up there and it only sounds right when spoken in the native tongue. Drookit was a personal favourite meaning drenched through. If you told tales about others you would ‘clype’ on them. I really should do a Johnson on all the terms and phrases which flew about the various crew rooms. :)

  110. christinaosborne
    May 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Ferret, stottin down is another I still use. Worked in Aberdeen for a couple of years, raining so hard it bounces off the pavements and creates a miasmic haze two feet above ground level, drenches your skirts within 50 yards! I used to wear long boots and a midi raincoat to the ankles, (looked like something off the Kremlin Wall) and STILL managed to get soaked to the thighs.

  111. christinaosborne
    May 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I just bothered to reread the original blog.
    Bearsy you can hardly defend the indefensible, it really is the most utter rot ever written.
    Abnormal childhoods and 12% in favour of the monarchy!
    Total Tommy rot which got what it deserved, shot down in flames and patently not personal opinion but the distillation of a set of rabid lefties and somewhat oddballs culled from some nutter website.
    Interestingly jt herself does not seem to wish to defend her position with any degree of conviction. So why you should get quite so upset over this is curious to say the least.
    Neither does it strike me as more singularly rude than many other ‘discussions’ on here.

  112. sheona
    May 7, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Bearsy, are we to assume that your phrase “A fine example of monarchist dialectic” is ironic then? I can’t comprehend your second statement: “I’m entirely certain it can’t be described as dialectic” otherwise.

    Boadicea, I think the point Bravo first made was that what julietee produced was not in fact her own work. So criticism of all those points is not directed at her personally.

  113. Boadicea
    May 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    tocino :

    Isn’t time to put this whole thing to bed? I have lost count, but hasn’t this run over three blogs? Everyone must have had their say by now. Time to shake hands and call it a day. :-)

    I couldn’t agree more.

  114. May 8, 2011 at 1:06 am

    OK, I give up.

    It doesn’t matter how many times I clarify my position, you’re going to refuse to read what I’ve written and to persist in attacking me for what I haven’t said.

    Edited by Boadicea. This remainder of this comment was perfectly acceptable and reasonable. I’ve edited it simply to draw a line under what is becoming a futile argument.

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