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It’s the Queen or tyranny Progressive calls to abolish the monarchy forget the sinister alternative

She acts as a kind of inoculation against real tyranny (Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

She acts as a kind of inoculation against real tyranny (Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)


April 21, 2021   6 mins

At my step-grandfather’s funeral, after decades of marriage, my grandma looked tiny and fragile. But she didn’t shed a single tear. Afterwards, she spent three days in bed with a migraine; but for the public event, she kept it together.

I was reminded of her iron self-control and bird-like fragility watching our Queen enter St George’s Chapel for the funeral of Prince Philip on Saturday. She stumbled momentarily as she approached the chapel door; inside, she sat alone. Born 12 years after my grandmother, she has been our Queen since 1952 and remains so today, her 95th birthday.

And yet despite the dignified pathos of last Saturday, we can be sure that some will celebrate the Queen’s birthday by calling for her deposition. For many progressives view the Queen as an unacceptable relic of the past. Never mind personal travails; monarchy, they say, is undemocratic, even if the Queen never wields her power. We should have an elected head of state.

But far from being a relic of despotism, constitutional monarchy is our best protection against its reappearance. The story we like to recall traces a thousand years of royal continuity — the same deep history which progressives say demonstrates the obsolescence of our monarchy. But in truth this story skates over a profound rupture: the end of absolute kingship.

Medieval England was broadly Catholic, ruled spiritually from the Vatican by a Pope whose word was officially infallible. It was Henry VIII’s break from Rome in 1534 that signalled England’s secession from this absolute spiritual rule. But Henry retained absolute rule in the temporal world: he was not just a symbolic but an executive head of state, who believed his right to be obeyed came direct from God.

School history today doesn’t often dwell on England’s transition from the absolutism of Henry VIII’s day to the modern settlement. France had its Revolution, America had its Founding, but the significance of Britain’s “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 is under-discussed, despite its importance.

Perhaps it’s still too much of a sore point. After all, it was also the moment that completed the rupture with Rome begun by Henry VIII. Over a few tumultuous months, the Catholic James II was challenged and then deposed by a cabal of senior English statesmen, in favour of the Protestant William of Orange. Certainly, relations between Catholics and Protestants in the British Isles have been uneasy since, a fact that still drives political unrest in Ireland today.

Just as the Reformation represented England’s secession from spiritual absolutism, the Glorious Revolution represented something similar in the political sphere. Having got rid of one absolute monarch, the statesmen who defenestrated James II set about making sure their new monarch, William, knew his place. A 1689 Bill of Rights set out constitutional principles we have to this day, including regular Parliaments, open elections and freedom of speech. The Bill also limited and specified the monarch’s powers.

The Reformation and Glorious Revolution produced an England in which both spiritual and temporal rule had the same figurehead: a head of both Church and Parliament. The change was subtle but profound, as the authority of England’s priest-kings now theoretically extended across moral and political domains. But in practice, they wielded no direct power.

This homeopathic dilution of theocratic tyranny proved exceptionally liberating. The new settlement drove the emergence of our parliamentary system, our two main political parties, and — as the monarchy sought a new role — many of the High Victorian institutions such as the Royal Societies, whose grand buildings form the majestic backbone of London today.

The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were an age of public enquiry, noisy debate, scientific discoveries, imperial expansion and a fair few atrocities — but also of a bouncing, self-confident conviction that Britain’s destiny was in British hands, not those of fate, or of a despot or even God.

Two world wars, one collapsed empire and a de-industrialised North later, things look rather different. Today, younger adults widely believe the world has been getting worse throughout their lives, and are pessimistic about the capacity of science, government or their own agency to change this. In parallel, the freedom of speech first guaranteed in the 1689 Bill of Rights is increasingly regarded as a stalking-horse for hatred. Growing numbers believe that what’s right and wrong — especially where it concerns the rights of marginalised groups — are sufficiently self-evident they shouldn’t be up for debate.

But who decides on the exceptions to our post-Glorious Revolution norm of debate? It’s been nearly half a millennium since Henry VIII ended England’s official embrace of the Pope in this role. Progressives have yet to offer a clear alternative to either the Pope or the Defender of the Faith, though many assert that no hereditary ruler should be allowed such spiritual clout.

Unsurprisingly, then, progressives (such as Jeremy Corbyn) who support abolishing the monarchy, often also argue for disestablishment of the Church of England. Meanwhile a growing chorus of other progressive voices calls for a lengthening list of often self-contradictory articles of faith to be excluded from legitimate debate — a move that bears comparison with the religious ordinances of England’s Catholic and Anglican eras.

But what if the progressives are wrong and power can never truly be democratised? This was the argument advanced by political theorist Carl Schmitt. Schmitt argued that democracy is always compromised by absolutism, because no matter how flawless a set of rules you devise, and no matter how fair your electoral system, sooner or later a situation will crop up that doesn’t fit the rules.

When that happens, you have to break the rules: a situation Schmitt called the “state of exception”. Coronavirus lockdowns are a good example: of the past year, countless ordinary freedoms were abruptly suspended in the name of virus control. Schmitt argued that you can tell who’s really in charge by who gets to implement such a state: “Sovereign is he who decides the exception”.

Carl Schmitt was, of course, a Nazi. For him, exposing the traces of arbitrary rule that persist even in democratic government was part of a wider argument in favour of strongman rule.

Critics might argue that quoting a Nazi in defence of the Queen isn’t likely to make the monarchy seem more progressive. But if we accept Schmitt’s argument that even democracies can’t avoid the odd despotic moment, it’s far easier to understand why constitutional monarchies are so often more egalitarian than republics. For even if Schmitt is right, it doesn’t follow that because someone has to decide the exception, that decision-maker has to be a dictator. It wasn’t the Queen who decided to suspend our ordinary liberties for the pandemic, but Parliament, which is made up of our elected representatives.

The role of our Queen is to symbolise that tyrannical twitch we can’t wholly eradicate even in democracies, lest such twitches break out more regularly among our elected leaders. And she must do so without availing herself of actual power. As such, she acts as a kind of inoculation against real tyranny.

Our Queen has two birthdays: her actual birthdate, which is today, and her “official” birthday on the second weekend in June. This aptly reflects her double existence. On the one hand she’s a human individual with a family, a birthday and a recent, terrible bereavement. On the other, she’s an interchangeable cipher, a part not just replaceable but designed to be replaced by her heir apparent when the time comes. Her role is to act, with total self-effacement, as the fulcrum between tyranny and democracy. It’s a position that, once understood, is rightly seen as profoundly sacred.

That understanding feels fainter than ever today. It wasn’t just our monarch who seemed fragile and bird-like in mourning for Prince Philip. A whole world feels as though it’s wearing thin, and that with the death of Philip yet another of its underpinnings has sheared away: the world of enquiry, debate and optimism; one that felt liberated by having only a titular head of Church and State and responded with two centuries of flourishing culture.

Increasingly, I fear that a new generation feels less liberated than abandoned by such light-touch authorities, and yearns — under the banner of progress itself — for something closer to the moral and political strongmen envisaged by Carl Schmitt.

For ultimately, progressive calls to abolish the monarchy — whether as head of Church or state — amount not to a democratisation of power, but a removal of the principal safeguard we have against a return of the political and moral absolutism that preceded England’s Reformation and Glorious Revolution. Should the mounting demands for authority over the moral exception merge with similar calls for authority over the political one, the relative freedom guaranteed for us by our ceremonial priest-kings may be replaced by something far more direct and assertive.

If there’s any hope, it lies in the despised rural and post-industrial backwaters: Deep England. Perhaps only outside the bubble of elite discourse, our nation’s instinctive appreciation for the paradox of constitutional monarchy is robust enough to survive the progressives who seek to tear down its moral and political dimensions.

Never mind heaven on earth. On the whole, Deep England would just like to be left in peace. On this difficult birthday for Her Majesty, we can only pray that the destructive forces of progress accord her the same courtesy.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago

The Queen represents virtues in the best possible sense. Duty, honour, discretion, public service, respect, commitment and many others. When I see the Queen, more than an individual I see the symbol of an idea. She also puts in sharp relief the squalid nature of our politicians.
The fact that her existence angers so many Guardian readers and make them foam at the mouth is an added extra.
Long may she reign.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

What the Royals give is a sense of continuity, even as governments come and go. Whereas presidents, even constitutional ones as Israel has, are inevitably partisan and when they are changed there is no continuity.
I must confess that in 2019 when Parliament was tearing itself apart over Brexit I rather wished that the Queen could step in and say “the adults are in charge now”.
Constitutional presidents – elected or appointed with no significant power – are pointless.
Head-of-party presidents – as in South Africa – are a disaster waiting to happen because wrong uns are so hard to remove (compared to the way that in the UK partliament can get rid of an incompetent PM).

Last edited 3 years ago by Mark H
Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Definitely wished she stepped in more. 2019, MPs expenses scandal, grooming gangs. So much to take our MPs to task for.

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
3 years ago
Reply to  Vivek Rajkhowa

It’s not her job. She is barred from “stepping in” to perform any political act. If she did she would soon be gone.

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Only barred from stepping in by precedent, nothing more. If she was to be removed for preventing MPs from lying and defrauding the public, then perhaps the public is not worth saving.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Quite right but none the less she is and has been a very good influence. MP’s struggle for power but she is at rest in the role she has and doesn’t need to struggle about it.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Princes Harry,Wills &me Again ,Prince Charles are All Climate devotees,but princess Anne not so..

Janet G
Janet G
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

The governor-general of Australia, the Queen’s representative, dismissed our elected government in 1975. It is only recently that we, the people, have been allowed to read some of the correspondence of the time. It shows that “the palace” was quite involved in the whole process. Seems lots of influence goes on out of public view.

Declan Hoare
Declan Hoare
3 years ago
Reply to  Janet G

Not quite. The letters released showed the correspondence was by and large one way. That is from the GG Sir John Kerr to the palace. Aside from the political causes of crises, the GG was acting as something of a rouge operator and it unsurprisingly ended badly for him as it should have.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Vivek Rajkhowa

Grooming gangs under Labour councils prospered for years and they still exist today in many of our larger cities. The political correctness about this stinks.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

The Queen should have stepped in when UK sovereignty started to be leached away, with the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.
She has always been more interested in dogs and horses, however.

Simon Cooper
Simon Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Even monarchs need hobbies. When the day to day talk of ruling has been taken away by the parliaments who serve them. Should have and could have are the key words in this situation, should she? Maybe. Could she? No.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Cooper

The throne is supposed to be the apolitical guarantor of the constitution. One of the key tenets of our constitution is that no administration may commit another to anything irreversible. The throne should therefore have questioned how Maastricht, which conceded sovereignty irrevocably unless Brexit, was in any way constitutional. Juan Major should have been summoned to the Palace and required to explain this and to produce the legal advice. She wholly failed to notice this or to do anything about this.
She also failed in the matter of Charles. She has had nothing to say about the small matter of Charles becoming a divorcee when in her own lifetime a king had to resign over marrying, never mind being one. Did she point out to Charles before he married Diana that he could not expect to 5hag around, get divorced and still accede? Did she warn Diana that no divorce would ever be allowed her? If not, why not – did she take legal advice on the matter? Do we now allow divorcees to ascend the throne? When did the law on that change? Where exactly was the throne in all this?
The throne, in the person of EiiR, has apparently made no contribution in respect of these matters greater than could have been made by a plank of wood. It’s a myth that her role is to wave, open things and own ponies, but it’s a myth she herself appears to have bought into. We still need a throne but we need more than a bag of sand occupying it.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I believe that the real reason for the abdication to which you refer was not the king marrying the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson, but rather that the monarch had strong Nazi sympathies.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Krehbiel

Read ‘Operation willi” & ”Operation marburg” Where Anthony blunt’s Communist Chums got their hands on Files,Proving Edward v111 Was feeding information on Dunkirk to nazis.like von Ribbentrop..Also I believe Wallis simpson,was A member of American nazi party under Tyler kent

Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Krehbiel

I find it hard to believe that Prince Edward (VIII?) was effectual enough to threaten much of anything, whatever his dubious sympathies. Especially given how easily he was bewitched by that gargoyle.

William Harvey
William Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Walsh

History has repeated itself with Harry and Meg has it not?

Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

You need to google ‘Privy Council’!

And leaving the EU Treaties has always been a Sovereign option.

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Bitter man

Waldo Warbler
Waldo Warbler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Not her role. However, per my comment elsewhere in the responses to this article, if we had a constitution that properly constrained governments, the outrages that were Maastricht and (even worse) the EU Constitution/Lisbon would not have been foisted on the British people.

Sheelagh Hopkins
Sheelagh Hopkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

How would you or any of us know?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Probably but Prince Charles Was legible for Common Agricultural subsidies,as per michael heseltine,David Cameron father in law etc..etc..

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Why is a constitutional preseidnet any more pointless than a constituional monarch?

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Because they are ex-politicians and therefore cannot be an effective unifier. Plus they have zero economic value as a tourist magnet.
A constitutional monarch can be a repository of national identity. I was reminded of this by the recent death of King Goodwill Zwelithini. He may have been a controversial figure due to his stanch traditionalism, but I can remember _nothing_ about any of South African’s ceremonial presidents except how the long walk past the president’s house & grounds in Pretoria.

Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

There will be no serious movement to abolish the Monarchy during the lifetime of the Queen. When the male heir takes over things will change. England only likes female monarchs: Elizabeth I, Victoria, Elizabeth II. As for your 3 arguments, Mark H
Ex-politicians: Eisenhower and De Gaulle were not really politicians, nor Mary Robinson in Ireland. Its up to voters. who are not kids, to vote in someone with talent, which is not inherited via a Monarchy btw.
Tourism: no sensible Founding Father organising the UK would say “First thing we need is a tourism Magnet!” What – the White House + Presidents draw no tourists? Really?
Repository of National ID: so the rest of the world knows less than the Brits about what National ID really is?
Phew, the sooner Wales calls a Constitutional Convention and goes down the Ireland route the better. Non-violently, unless Anglo-Brits oppose, that is.

David Platzer
David Platzer
3 years ago

Charles II, Edward VII, George V and George VI didn’t do so badly.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  David Platzer

Charles was a Traitor, as the ‘Secret’ Treaty of Dover showed.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago

And a philanderer.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

On an epic scale, it must be said.

tiggs95
tiggs95
3 years ago

I would rather take my chances with a Monarchy than a succession of party creatures being greased into the top job thank you.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  tiggs95

The Royal power has to be clipped but also too much is not good. A little bit of power might be helpful.

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago

Edward I, Edward iii, Alexander ii, Alexander iii, David I, William the lion, james I, Charles I, Charles ii, james I, james iv, james ii, Robert the Bruce, james ii and VII, Edward VII, george V ane george vi, Henry IV, Henry V, Edward IV, Richard III, Henry VII, would suggest otherwise

Dudden Hall
Dudden Hall
3 years ago

The Monarchy cannot be dissolved as the cost would be far too high financially. The Queen gives the government ÂŁ211 million per year.
Plus the Duchy of Cornwall brings in ÂŁ18.3 million million per year. And the Duchy of Lancaster ÂŁ16 million per year. The Queen owns all beaches and offshore coastal waters. Rent from wind-farms bring in millions more per year. So even without tourism, we could not afford to live without the Queen giving us all that money.
All together the Queen earns over ÂŁ300 million per year, and gives most of it to us so that we don’t have to pay so much tax.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Dudden Hall

I understand that the income into the Treasury from the land is more like 2 billion of which one quarter goes back to the monarch for what used to be the Civil List.

Henry Whitford
Henry Whitford
3 years ago
Reply to  Dudden Hall

The total taxes collected in uk in a year are 820 Billion. Of which 300 million are 0.00036%.
Numeral literacy is important to judge these issues without being fooled by those (mostly tabloids, let us be honest) with a political agenda.ï»ż

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Good reply Mark.

Mike Wylde
Mike Wylde
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Because they are politicians or they wouldn’t want to be elected.
I’d rather have the UK armed forces owing loyalty to the non-political monarch than to a political president. Much less chance of them being used to enforce unwanted change or political decisions.
It’ll never be used but, in the UK at least, the government knows that there are limits to their powers. There was talk that Trump would use the armed forces, of whom he was the Commander in Chief, to overturn the election and the Chiefs of Staff may have been on dubious ground if they’d refused a direct order from their commander; in the UK the Prime Minister doesn’t have the authority to demand the armed forces do anything.

Derek M
Derek M
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

talk was all it ever was

michael swinn
michael swinn
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

My teen friends and I debated whether the monarchy was useful in the fifties. We came to the same conclusion that having the military and police owe allegiance to the Monarch. This was demonstrated when Juan Carlos persuaded the army back to baraks.
Through the daily briefings she receives the Queen also provides an important guide to prime ministers

Monty Marsh
Monty Marsh
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Or maybe President Galloway…..

Waldo Warbler
Waldo Warbler
3 years ago
Reply to  Monty Marsh

Well done. I just literally laughed out loud. 🙂

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

A UK President would almost certainly be more like the German or Irish model than the French or US version (because the PM isn’t going to ceded their powers) – a pointless ceremonial role filled by failed, past-it politicians. So more likely to be President-for-life John Prescott than Blair.

tiggs95
tiggs95
3 years ago
Reply to  Quentin Vole

Which increases the power of the Government, this is to be avoided at all costs as the last year has demonstrated. The Monarchy may be powerless in one sense but it commands the loyalty and respect of millions of citizens in a way that Westminster never could. I have sworn two oaths in my life, one to my Wife and one to the Crown, I don’t remember swearing one to bumbling Boris, well in a roundabout way I did but only as being a subordinate of the Queen.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  tiggs95

Another thing; the armed forces do not owe their loyalty formally to the government of the day, but to the monarch, which is a big potential obstacle to any government which decides to follow the example of, say, Turkey.

Paul Savage
Paul Savage
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Because in the vast majority of cases presidents are self serving whereas the principle of a British constitutional monarch is to serve the people. One can debate whether a particular monarch has done a good or bad job of that, but I would argue that recent history (the Queen and her father) mitigates strongly in favour of a constitutional monarchy over a political Presidency.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Savage

The Queen has shown an absolute commitment to serve as has Phillip.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Only Remainers showed their contempt ,with A theresa Mayhem Coup d’etat …they conspired with Mainstream media to try to keep globalist Cabal on board,they NOW use Climate nonsense as another authoritarian bloc

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Unfortunately it looks like her grandson & wife wish to take down our monarchy & have been directed towards this since 2016. They knew her reign would end soon and her successor is not popular so have been arranging everything (with various leading democrat supporters ) towards the demise of royalty. Why would the Prince fly back on the eve of his Grandmother’s 95th birthday other than to be part of the celebration of the guilty verdict of this trial? He & his wife are employed ( very handsomely) to break up the institution-the interview being the ‘big moment’.Biden actually made a public statement in support of Meghan ( ie against the Queen ) just as he has made a statement before this verdict. America was also one of last countries to send sympathy on Prince Philip’s death and have done little to mark his funeral. If the monarchy wishes to survive it will have to show some of that toughness that kept them there for 1000 years ( other than 17th century blip)

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

You are according the “spare” now 6th in line and the failed actress much more influence than they are ever likely to possess .
The interview was hardly the “big moment” . It showed the two of them to be whinging liars. Biden put his foot in it by supporting the z list actress and why should America be expected to mark the death of Prince Philip?

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

They just seem to be linked with too many influential people who have a political agenda, best friend daughter-in-law of former Prime Minister , in with the Soho crowd,linked with top democrat media etc. Harry has a certain cache being the son of Princess Diana-whose name is still well-known around the world 23 years after her death, but other than interviews recalling how lovely she was, what else has he got to say & hes hardly the brightest person is he ? Ms Markle would never feature on the Oprah Show in her own right , yet suddenly the cream of democrat society want to throw million pound baby showers for her and include her in their crowd and she is not even a significant royal?Plus why else would Netflix ( which seems to be the conduit of choice for the democrat voice ) wish to throw millions at them, as what can they say except banal generalities about saving the planet, unless this is a favour to their more significant contributors?

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

It remains to be seen how long their connection with “influential” people lasts. Neither of them have anything to offer.

Terry Mushroom
Terry Mushroom
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

The 1936 abdication aroused much argument, passion and anger between those pro and anti the Duke & Duchess of Windsor. Now they’re almost forgotten.
Princess Diana too is passing into history. And so will Harry and his wife with their absurd, unfounded, easily disproved allegations.

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Muckle is a nothing, it would take someone with immeasurable superiority and brains to even scratch the surface of the monarchy. She wouldn’t dare show her face back in Britain for fear of being stoned, nothing less than she deserves.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

Biden is practically a communist and we know what communists do to Royals.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Biden is A Senile old Fraud,especially postal ..he will either die in white house or be made to step down for Kamel harris &her st,George of floyd acolytes

htoller
htoller
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

I don’t think you know what real Communists are!

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Not British royals, they won’t be brought down by a dementia patient.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

More people watched the funeral than the interview.

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

The other day a former PM of Australia was interviewed on the radio. There were, he suggested, far more Elizabethans than monarchists in Australia, and many other places. That is, they think the present monarch has done as good a job as possible, but have serious doubts about the institution itself. I think it likely that the same applies here.

Terry Mushroom
Terry Mushroom
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

The argument about the monarchy in Australia is also about national identity. Understandable when, e.g., many Australians have no historical connection with Europe, let alone the U.K.
There’s also the matter of what replaces it. And what to do if any State wants to keep it.

Derek M
Derek M
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Mushroom

Of course many ‘Britons’ have no historical connection with Europe, let alone the U.K.

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
3 years ago
Reply to  Derek M

However, they live here.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Mushroom

An Australian said to me “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, which I suspect is quite a common opinion in countries which, for all their faults, are both more stable and more desirable places to live than are many republics.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Charles’ agreement with Klaus Schab of the World Economic Forum and the secret Bildeburgers conferences is frightening. These are the globalists who have invented a new world currency and have ideas about everyone not owning anything (who will own it?). There will surely no place for Charles in this. Charles has not shown much sense here and should be more informed.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

The difference between the royals with their understanding of their privilege and responsibility and the modern elites who accuse the rest of us of privilege and have a lack of noblesse oblige is stunning.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

The arguments in the article and in the comments here are very poor. The only case for the monarchy seems to be that an elected politician doing the job would be worse, and I’m sure a majority will agree.
What the monarch actually does remains a mystery to me. We are told that she remains political neutral but I fail to see how anybody can claim that. We have absolutely no idea what she thinks about anything or what takes place between her and the PM, although she apparently can purr like a cat according to one PM. What is the point of having her read out words written by the government if she does not agree with them? It is no way to run the country. VS in a comment below says she should have stepped in over the EU, contradicting the impartiality she claims.If she does want a say, she should do it through the ballot box like the rest of us.
I have come to the conclusion that it suits the governments to have a compliant Head of State and I am convinced this is why Edward VIII was forced to abdicate. It was nothing to do with marrying a divorcee. He was further discredited because he supported appeasement, but so did many MPs. He was criticising the government over the poverty he saw on his trips round the country and they could not accept that. He was closer to the people than the government and saw the nonsense of an impartial Head of State. I suspect Harry thinks the same way, but his boss is leading him in the wrong direction.
Charles has made his views known on almost everything so what is going to happen when the government has him say something we know he does not believe? However, we now have a government that has completely lost the plot on a none existent climate emergency and how to deal with a virus that is harmless to a majority of the country, so it probably will not matter since they seem set on a course to destroy the country.
During most election campaigns it is common to hear people talking about electing a Prime Minister. We do not elect the PM, or agree to any of the people the PM appoints to the government. Perhaps the fact that we do not elect the people who have most power over us is the problem. We elect a representative to the Commons but our representatives then takes instructions from the political party they belong to and we do not matter. Gaining power is the objective of political parties, not serving us. They gain power by using the tax system to buy the votes through welfare. All parties are now the same and ultimately there will be no money left.
Before we get rid of the monarchy, we need to get rid of the political parties which create the power base for politicians, and also the House of Lords that they pack with their cronies. Our MPs should represent us and until that happens everything else is irrelevant. We should retain first past the post voting and nobody should be elected without gaining at least 50% of the vote based on the electoral register. That way the candidates would have to work hard to convince us that they were fit to represent us, rather than impressing the party elite.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Her existence mildly amuses this Guardian reader. I don’t think most Guardian readers do much foaming, generally. Poor old Telegraph readers, which I am also, seem to be in a state of permanent foaming about remainers, traitors, junior Royals and Union Jacks. Though some, of late, have been placated by the paper giving over a large chunk of it’s ‘news’ to coverage of Royal Family shenanigans.

Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

We seem to be reading different versions of the Guardian. There is more venom and toxicity in the BTL comments in the Guardian than all the other papers combined.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Quite so.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

I gave up on the Guardian some years ago.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

I sometimes pop in to have an incredulous laugh at the worldview expressed there. It’s also fun to keep up with the various vituperative columnists with their outpourings of irrational hatred, who then get cancelled themselves.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

A lot of the shoutiness and even venom BTL at the Grauniad is from migrating Telegraph and Mail readers — though, to be fair, some native Guardianistas can hold their own in this respect.
My point is that there are cranks, ranters and crackpots on both sides of the aisle – and it is a disservice to the debate to pretend otherwise.

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

The Guardian, BBC in print

Eloise Burke
Eloise Burke
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Yes, I quite agree. But you and I probably think that is what a monarch is like. Which of the Royals could have navigated the disastrous nineties as well as she did? Do we trust Charles to handle the next onslaught of bad luck and trouble? William seems like a nice boy, and he has a smart wife, but can he match his grandmother? I hope Britain has a long stretch of calm and the Progressives turn their attention elsewhere.
This post is written in response to Vikram Shamra’s post beginning “The Queen represents virtues in the best possible sense.” which was written ten hours ago. No wonder I cannot make sense of so many responses here.

Last edited 3 years ago by Eloise Burke
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Eloise Burke

William & Catherine are a safer bet than Charles and Camilla who have a murky family history that doesn’t befit Royalty.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Historically royalty has very much been about murky family history.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Well said, as always.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

The Powerlessness in the everyday sense that has a power within it is a very cool concept… tbh over the half the best Sci Films , probably more, beloved by people today have the exercise of prudently deployed, unsuspected power from someone as a *thing* in their narrative.
So I think the weirdly unarticulated part of the constitution in Britain works really well, and far from out dated in any way is superbly suited to the modern digital society and world…
Look at the alternatives…the UK has come through a hell of a difficult time with Brexit and various separatisms, trials and tests in the last few years in decent shape, and without any tyrannical regime assuming power.
And, let’s remember, the alternatives are not only tyrants like Putin, Erdogan or the CCP..it could be even worse, we might even end up with our own Macron.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Mary’s point has been made many times, but there is no harm in making it again. And I like the phrase Deep England. Just the other day we saw Deep England throw a politician out of a pub with very good reason. But whether or not Deep England can hold on remains to be seen.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The reason why I don’t give up on our society completely, in spite of all its symptoms of terminal decline, is that I perceive a dynamism still operative in its people which has been part of our DNA for centuries.
It is not a mere accident that the Royal Society and big scientific advances – theoretical, practical – began here; likewise the Industrial Revolution which those engendered.
With the Credit Crunch of 2007 and the near failure of most banks a year later, millions lost their jobs in the United Kingdom (as elsewhere). Yet huge numbers refused simply to sit at home on the dole, staring at the wall or TV and eating crisps.
First 3 million and then eventually (all told) 5 million Britons set up their own one- and two-person businesses; and made a success of them. In an adult population of c. 50 millions that actually is a lot – when one considers how demoralizing it is to find oneself suddenly out of work (and in many cases out of the kind of work that has been one’s choice and aim).
On the one hand I think (a) we are heading for – not the very end of the world, the ultimate Day of Judgement which the Germans rather beautifully call ‘the Youngest Day’ – but nevertheless a grand dress rehearsal, what the Lord Jesus termed ‘one of the days of the Son of Man’; and (b) that there is life in the old dog yet.

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Well said.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Now, huge numbers are being paid to sit at home doing nothing. The Royal Society is a totally discredited organisation. It’s 2020 Christmas lecture claimed that temperature of a candle flame outside a tube of gas would vary depending on the gas in the tube. They were of course brainwashing children into believing that there is a climate crisis. The Royal Society and most of of universities left science behind a long time ago.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Fair points; but the Royal Society TODAY and the corrupted Natural Sciences (let alone the Humanities faculties of most universities) are not the People of the realm at large about whom I was writing.
Across the world currently there is a dreadful Ruling Caste, awful elites; but that is not the sum total of the human capital in existence.
In a few places, like the United Kingdom, there remains a substratum of virtue, get-up-and-go.
(Surprisingly, I admit.)

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

That’s encouraging. I wish they were represented in parliament.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Global Warming is one of the big deceptions of our time in my view. We don’t need Richard Attenborough to save our planet. It’s still going to be here when Jesus returns.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Faith is not necessarily against reason or evidence, or even science. What are your reasons for disbelieving in Global Warming? There does seem to be quite a bit of evidence for it, whatever its cause.
There is also evidence that suggests it is man made. But that’s not the bit you seemed to be objecting to.

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Yes science is a thing of the past, as are most valuable subjects, the only thing taught in universities now is “wokeness” and how to turn yourself into an insufferable prat, passed with honours of course, by almost 100%

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Lol excellent.

Al M
Al M
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I would imagine, and very much hope, that when full opening of public houses is bestowed upon us, the landlord enjoys the uptick in custom he richly deserves.

Richard Lord
Richard Lord
3 years ago

If we were to replace The Queen with an elected president, where in the world would we look to for an example of how this would be an improvement in our democracy? America, France, Russia, South Africa, the various basket cases in South America? All of these seem to prove that presidents are little better than dictators, with the slight irritation of a national parliament to subdue or ignore. None are beacons of hope in this strange world. The UK is not perfect by any means but recent history, aside from the pandemic, shows that politicians can be held to account and that The Queen is a stabilising moderator in the national debate. Whether or not her heirs can achieve the same remains to be seen, but for now ….. God save The Queen.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lord

A monarchy is the best idea of a bad bunch but the Queen’s own children are all such abject duds that, were the rather dim William and Kate not as well-liked as they are, there would probably be some pressure to find a different house to occupy the throne.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Who the monarch is is irrelevant. That William & Kate should be ‘duds’ matters not one whit (even accepting the term). The important thing is that impersonally-specified succession on hereditary lines will always be preferable to selection on the basis of dubiously-valuable ‘personal’ qualities or pre-designed criteria of ‘merit’.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

I’m not suggesting William and Kate are duds, but that Charles, Andrew, and to a lesser extent Anne and Edward all are. If the next generation along were as vacant as these four – if Andrew were Charles’ direct heir, rather than his half-brother – then the frequent calls we hear now for Charles to step aside in favour of his heir would probably instead be calls for him just to step aside.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

In what way does it matter that those you mention are ‘duds’? The Royals are not in charge of anything.

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

They are supposed to defend the constitution, a task in which the Queen has conspicuously failed. If they are conspicuously not up to the job they should expect, like the rest of us, to be hoofed out of it, to be replaced by someone else.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

If you think that the Queen has conspicuously failed, then there’s no arguing with you.

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Must be a jealous American with no history to be proud of.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

It just shows what an excellent Queen we have.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Prince Charles should step down-he could use his divorce as reason can’t become king. Tough on W & K as have young children. Andrew & his ‘wife’ should go to America & sort out his problems & vacate the Royal Lodge. Only working royals to have titles & state homes etc and should concentrate on sensible national things not ‘save the whale’ stuff and should stop trying to be friendly & ‘ordinary’ and instead try to create the ‘mystique’ which separates them from other aristocrats.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

You seem to be subscribing to the nonsensical idea that the heir to the throne should step down but “divorce” is not a reason. Why should he step down? The idea of a monarchy is continuity.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

Well he could claim poor health-he does not seem to be as robust as his parents. Henry 8th started getting divorced only after he became king. Charles could remain Prince of Wales and support the young couple. I presume noone believes in the divine principle of monarchy & we have got rid of enough unsuitable monarchs-James 2nd and Edward 8th ( as is now apparent when released papers from 1936)for it not to happen again

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

??? If Charles stepped down William would be king.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

It occurs to me that YOU are the rather dim dud.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Anne is known to do her charitable work without any fuss. Likewise Edward and Sophie of Wessex. Describing them as vacant and duds seems to be a rather desperate attempt to discredit them merely because they are members of a family which you seem to dislike.
How are Charles and Andrew “half brothers” ?

Last edited 3 years ago by Giulia Khawaja
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

Edward has a very wise wife though. That would be a big asset.

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

I think that’s just another pathetic attempt on his behalf to cast doubt on the royal family, he’s trying to say” they’re not even of the same father, wink wink” as in a tasteless pub joke. And he calls members of the royal family duds, lol.

Kate Melton
Kate Melton
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Why is Andrew Charles’ half brother?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Kate Melton

Different fathers. Look at the Queen, Princess Margaret, Charles, Anne and Edward. Same face.
Then look at Andrew.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Who is his father then if he is Charles half brother? I cannot see that he would be the Queen’s illegitimate son.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Lord Porchester.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Ridiculous idea. My mother remembered a royal of a previous generation (c1920) who she said, Andrew resembled.
I think it’s quite appalling that you should accuse the Queen of adultery.

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Even negative comments about you are probably better than you being totally ignored altogether. Such attention seeking is usually confined to slightly disturbed little children.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Anne is one down to Earth Royal I admire 1) She refused to be cowered when nearly Shot in 1974 incident 2) She Knows Climate change is Sh**** 3) She refused titles for her two Children 4) She refused Security for her children…she is No dud..

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Quite so. We don’t want them competing on Who’s got Talent.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

It has become fashionable to disregard or sneer at Charles. I think this is a mistake. We should reserve judgement and allow history to assess his reign.

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lord

Finland.

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Safe suggestion, as nobody knows anything about Finland, apart from its cold, they seem both happy and more inclined to suicide than the average and they seem to good at rally driving and throwing javelins. Maybe suggest a country where someone in the UK can tell you who their president actually is.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

They are also more resistant to internet-based fake news and conspiracy theories. Not sure whether that would make them more or less popular here at UnHerd.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lord

Presumably the president would be a figurehead. Like Germany.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago

How is that an improvement? I can’t even remember his or her name.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lord

How about Ireland? You can hardly claim that America is a bad example considering the wealth their political system has generated. I think the system is starting to fail because the Democrats are intent on destroying the Constitution which is the basis of American success.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Yes indeed, and a good start will be to prosecute the homicidal policeman who shot Ms Alisha Babbitt at point blank range in the Capitol Building.
Currently, unbelievably, no charges are pending and the wretch has been given total anonymity! Simply incredible!

Richard Woollaston
Richard Woollaston
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lord

I’m afraid her likely successors – Charles and William – seem to be far less impartial on political issues. Charles, for goodness’ sake, is a poster boy for The Great Reset and both are blindly green. Things will not improve with Her Majesty’s successors.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago

The constitutional monarchy serves a simple purpose. It serves as a constant reminder that there is a nation and a state above and around any politician or civil servant, that they are part of something bigger and more important. And that which lasts for generations and generations, before and beyond all of our lifetimes.
As Mary alludes to, the list of countries with this government system reads like a list of countries people would want to live in.
The monarchy is also interesting in that it really does expose republicans as petty and envious. They simply detest the idea that someone inherited the wealth and power of royalty by accident of birth. They never for one minute seem to contemplate the other side of that same coin; the duty, servitude and responsibility.
The last of all is a concept that is alien to too many across all of society.

Last edited 3 years ago by A Spetzari
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Try telling that to all the people in the North and other industrial areas that saw their jobs and their livelihoods vanish.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Telling what? Are you making the ludicrous suggestion that everybody in these areas blames the monarchy for their situation?

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

That was Thatcher and the Tories . Nothing to do with the monarchy.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

So what is the point of the monarchy if they do not care what the government does?

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

I don’t think it’s the monarchy’s fault that our steel workers’ jobs are now done by Chinese companies with 4x times the number of employees at a fraction of the cost (with a fraction of the job security and general safety also).
Have I missed something? Unless HRH has as yet undiscovered shares in Baosteel dating from 1980, I’m not so sure.

Last edited 3 years ago by A Spetzari
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

You talk about to telling them. Why not ASK them?

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

I’m from the north and never heard anyone blame the monarchy, everyone just got on with it and either turned their hands to something else or started their own businesses. I suppose you would have cried into your horlicks.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

There is a New Culture Form video on YouTube in which a historian puts a very similar reason for the popularity of our monarchy.
Many countries have an Independence Day for the people to identify with and come together as a nation. Britain can identify as a nation around the monarch, particularly in times of trouble or national pride. Replacing the monarchy with a “republic day” is not an enticing prospect to most.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

It doesn’t have to be only about constitutional rights and wrongs, important as they are. It seems to me that people actually enjoy having the monarchy, and to have ceremonies which actually still mean something.

joycebrette
joycebrette
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Exactly, that’s why royal occasions are keenly watched around the world.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago

One of the things which make me feel that either our nation’s elites and ‘meritocrats’ are completely stupid or riddled with mean-spirited envy or completely self-serving is their regular opposition to the British monarchy.
Anyone desiring its abolition automatically has to answer the question, What would replace it? And one certainty follows: that whether we had an elected head of state, or the Crown were put into a commission, the Establishment, the Ruling Caste in our culture, would grant us a choice of only the sort of person they puff for senior roles in politics and bureaucracy, e.g. quango-heads.
HOW would we be better off with some such individual as the omni-incompetent Dido Harding for our national representative to the world and constitutional referee of last resort?
HOW would we enjoy having a Peter Mandelson or Chris Patten, Teresa May or Cherie Blair as our chieftain?
The Royal Family have accumulated so much celebrity and wealth that its most senior members – the occupant of the throne and the heir to it – are effectually unbribeable. They have everything to lose and nothing to gain by being politically partisan. Would that be true of the above-named I have mentioned?
Two-thirds of all Australians saw these considerations clearly and voted to retain the monarchy at the turn of this present new century.
Why are our elites, like theirs, so silly as not to share that perception?
The answer has to be either that they are STOOPID or they are riddled with mean-spirited resentment of anyone with more celebrity and prestige than themselves; or they want yet another quango-job for one of their own. – All of which impulses are disqualifications for their getting their way.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Yes. Douglas Murray’s question “compared to what?” applies here. Ok, so the monarchy isn’t perfect. But what system of government are you really comparing it to and why is that so much better? The list of constitutional monarchies is a list of the best countries on earth, even if you wish to ignore the UK (I don’t). And even the list of actual monarchies (compared to similar countries in the same regions) are for the most part better off (Morocco, Jordan etc)

Last edited 3 years ago by A Spetzari
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

I believe Churchill said something like he trusted the British people to make the right decision when voting. So perhaps you should do the same and see who we vote for. Perhaps we could start by voting for a Prime Minister.

Terry Mushroom
Terry Mushroom
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Our Prime Minister isn’t a presidential office. The Prime Minister is an MP appointed by the monarch. The monarch’s appointment of the Prime Minister is guided by constitutional conventions.
The political party that wins the most seats in the House of Commons at a general election usually forms the new government. Its leader becomes Prime Minister.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Mushroom

I know all that and I was making an entirely different point. But look how many people say they vote for the PM. This is why we get such dreadful MPs.

Last edited 3 years ago by Alan Thorpe
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Churchill had to ‘eat’ those words on his election defeat in 1945 did he not?

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
3 years ago

Who knows? A little chagrined at first but he seems to have recovered quite rapidly and had quite a good post-war few years. Time for more relaxed thought. Some quite memorable speeches. He seems to have recharged his batteries and made quite a good comeback until age caught up with him.
I suspect his respect for the British voter never wavered much.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

So you put a value on Churchill’s opinions?

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

The anti-monarchists never seem to offer any post-monarchy arguments. They never explain what affliction would be remedied or what advancement would be realized once the monarchy was eliminated.
It seems to be change just for the sake of change.
As far as I’m concerned Megxit and the passing of Prince Philip have strengthened the case for the monarchy, not weakened it, because a clear case has been made that it is actually duty and dedication that endure, without which celebrity and fame are mere fireworks, dazzling and fleeting.
In theory we are supposed to resent the Royals and their privileged ‘free ride’ of wealth, fame and celebrity – it’s all so ‘unjust’, but what the anti-monarchists don’t get is that it’s quite easy for a nurse, a banker or a binman to identify with duty.
When you have a job to go to, a business to run or a family to raise and you have one of those days when you just want to stay in bed you get up anyway because like it or not it’s what you have to do. Aside from the obvious perks much of Royal life is like that – doing what you have to do – not just what you’d like.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

I keep going through phases of half-hearted republicanism…but after Saturday’s lovely service I’m back on the side of the monarchists again. That was a display and a reminder of real, lifelong public service. A monarchy might be undemocratic but what is really the alternative? A president would be elected from the fetid pool of self-serving fools that populate political life. Even if you could get rid of them after a term in office – who’s to say the next incumbent won’t be just as bad, using the position as a springboard for personal gain? Modernisation might just mean you go from the frying pan into the fire, chucking away a precious and unique cultural tradition while you’re at it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

By doing nothing the Queen has avoid criticism. Where would we be if the politicians did nothing? People doing things inevitably make mistakes.

Last edited 3 years ago by Alan Thorpe
Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Yes, the Queen didn’t send ‘poor little me’ tweets sharing her feelings and gainsaying that her awful day was much worse than anyone else’s awful day nor did she set up an internet panhandling page.
The world could do with a lot more of that kind of ‘nothing’.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Where would we be if the politicians did nothing?
I pray for the day!
Apart from emergencies like COVID, it says little about recent politicians if there are still laws to be passed when a new lot is elected.
Competent monitoring of the public service is what I mainly expect. Careful minding of the shop has a lot going for it.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I don’t know what is so wonderful about democracy anyway. It hasn’t guaranteed us free speech or liberty.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

You would prefer a dictatorship?

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

Certainly – if I am the Dictator
The point was “democracy” covers a whole range of conditions and evils.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jos Haynes
Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

An unlikely scenario I imagine! My daughter thinks the country would be much better if she ran it, that is equally unlikely!

Last edited 3 years ago by Giulia Khawaja
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

So a lack of democracy is better at guaranteeing free speech? Give us some examples.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

The UK in 2021?

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago

God save the Queen. That is all.

Johanna Louw
Johanna Louw
3 years ago
Reply to  Vivek Rajkhowa

God save the English Republic!

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Johanna Louw

It doesn’t show much sign of existing in order to be saved. The support for it never gets to more than a very small percentage of the population.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Johanna Louw

We tried that under the ‘blessed’ Oliver Cromwell and it didn’t work.

Johanna Louw
Johanna Louw
3 years ago

Do you seriously think that is the only possible manifestation of a republic? Never heard of Germany or the United States – both highly successful modern republics, and richer than the UK.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
3 years ago
Reply to  Johanna Louw

…and the hundreds which are poorer?

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

The queen actually holds a very important role in our constitution. She asks someone to form a government, she controls the dissolution of parliament and most importantly she is someone the PM of the country can trust totally (probably the only person they can trust totally).
If we get rid of the monarchy you have to find someone else to take up the roles. If the person is a political figure the role of trusted confident and sounding board will be lost forever.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Agreed. I tried to up vote but it didn’t work. Again.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

I think it’s good for a leader of the country to have to explain themselves regularly to the monarch – especially when the Queen is as experienced as she is in international relations.
And the PM having to defer to someone else (the PM is rather lower in precedence than the Queen) is an excellent thing.
Can you imagine how insufferable World King Boris would be if he wasn’t accountable – and in second place – to someone?

Spiro Spero
Spiro Spero
3 years ago

I am a proud Irish republican. Whether you agree with the system or not (I don’t, unsurprisingly, well certainly not with current setup), the British monarchy has generally throughout history and continues to be an effective fulcrum of unity for the nation. Also, the current queen is a v. admirable person. She embodies the role well. Current thinking on this is flawed IMHO. Ideally, monarchs, like popes, should be ‘occasionally seen and even less heard’. That’s the key to their objectivity, mystique and durability.

The problems (as seen from ‘outside’, if one may be so bold) is not the queen or her ‘line’ per se. It is (i) the wider family issue, which appears more and more as a ‘soap’, fuelled constantly by a fairly guttery press. This I suspect is perhaps one of the most serious current threats to the monarchy.

(ii) the hangers-on, the honours, etc. which reenforces an already deeply divided class system. This is very obvious in the UK, in great state events, education and popular culture. Those at the ‘bottom’ are resigned from birth to their place perennially v. much at the bottom. Those at the top are (as far as I can discern) completely ‘untouchable’. The changes, troubles, etc. such as they are, within English society always appear to come from the ‘middle’, part of whose motivation appear to be a desperation for acceptance by their ‘betters’. This conservativism is one reason I think why England is the only modern European state that has never had a real revolution … Which also helps explain a lot of other things it would be too long to go into here.

(iii) related closely to (ii) above (and the reason I believe why many have and continue to oppose monarchy, is the habitual tendency to cover ‘a multitude of sins’ (especially by people at ‘the top’) with recourse to the excuse that if you criticize, attempt to reform, deal with a damaging individual, you are attacking, the system, you’re attacking the queen, etc. This was the trigger for most European revolutions.

As an aside, the monarchy suits the English people, clearly, and therefore should be defended. If I was English, I would support it. The English are however (and no offence is meant) a deeply conservative (stubborn even!) people, when it comes to all matters socio-political. This can be a strength or a weakness, depending on the given situation. For example, and this is only an opinion, a certain amount of creative constitutional thinking, fresh thinking perhaps on the monarchy’s relations re the ‘Celtic fringe’ over the last few years could well have gone a long way to ameliorating growing crises in Scotland and N. Ireland. Indeed, even a new relationship could have (albeit gradually) evolved that could well bring about a genuinely new unity between all the peoples in these great islands. Irish (Catholic) views of monarchy and indeed of the British monarchy have always been more diverse than may be assumed in Britain. If the British monarchy ever is brought to an end, it will be that unquestioning, unyielding-ness, on the part of a class using it as ‘cover’, that will be it’s downfall. It’s the people, not republics or monarchies that make tyrannies.

Last edited 3 years ago by Spiro Spero
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Spiro Spero

Yes, there are far too many ‘royal’ and hangers-on on the payroll and, as you say, the whole honours system is a corrupt racket. Nor do I understand why they need so many homes, castles and palaces etc. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want these places sold off to various oligarchs or Saudi princes.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The homes and palaces are not all owned by the RF. The country owns BP and Windsor, Sandringham and Balmoral are owned by the Queen and various other members of the family own others. Those who live in KP pay rent.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Spiro Spero

Yes and No. As an Irishman you will have heard of Cromwell who executed our king and ruled as a despot until his own death. Our Civil War predates those in other European states and the American one by centuries. And even after that one, we had major constituional changes with just the threat of force – as when James II was forced out and William of Orange invited in with strict curbs on his powers. We just had our revolutions so long ago that everyone has forgotten them. They were also less bloody.

Steve Edwards
Steve Edwards
3 years ago
Reply to  Spiro Spero

Thank you for this insightful and refreshing analysis of the monarchy in the UK. You have hit the nail on the head in identifying the conservative nature of the English and also many of the Scottish, Welsh and definitely the Northern Irish (which the Labour Party is finding out to it’s cost). For me, if we accept that a “Head of State” is needed or is a good thing, then I want one which can represent the nation outside of party politics, which an hereditary monarch can do.In addition, they represent for good or ill, the many major examples of constitutional and social change and history which they have contributed to (George V support for the Parliament Act 1911 for example). Conservative but not unquestioning! I recall a visit to the EU instituions many years ago and an American and French aquaintance bragging about their respective revolutions of 1776 and 1789. They turned to me and sneered “What did the British do”? I replied “We cut the head off a king long before that practice became popular elsewhere”! That shut them up!

Spiro Spero
Spiro Spero
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Edwards

I think you’re right in many ways. Perhaps, in these islands we all need to lower our shields a bit, but we ALL must do it together. I am currently reading Desmond Seward’s new book on the Jacobite phenomenon. Readable and refreshing, an era which sadly is now forgotten about in Ireland, or is more ‘selectively’ remembered. It is a master class in the unforseen consequences of closed minds and religious and cultural intolerance. Ironically, it was the last great cause that united a whole smasgabord of people across these islands, who have since sadly been divided: Irish Catholics, Anglican Tories, Scottish Covenanters, English Quakers, even the Welsh and Manx. A remarkable insight into the great potential of monarchy, but also it’s vulnerabilities in the face people solely moved by intolerance or hard cash!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Edwards

Thank you for that, but as I recall it was the English who cut off the Scotch King’s head.
The British had yet to be invented.

Steve Edwards
Steve Edwards
3 years ago

You are right, of course, Charles; I was trying to be inclusive! In any case, I think the English/British distinction would have been lost on my aquaintances!

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
3 years ago
Reply to  Spiro Spero

Excellent comment thank you. The honours system in particular is a disgrace as are the bishops and hereditary peers in the Lords

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Agreed, the whole thing is an embarrassing cesspit of mediocrity and should be consigned to the dustbin of history immediately.
However, sadly, the PM uses it as a form of patronage for the useless, difficult or otherwise redundant members of the parasitical political class (PPC). Even if ‘they’ demure, their wives adore the fact that they can book a table at say ‘La Gavroche’ as “Lady Muck” or whatever.

Drew Rodger
Drew Rodger
3 years ago
Reply to  Spiro Spero

An interesting comment. I was beginning to worry about this piece’s Anglo-centricity. Granted, the separation from Rome was an English (Welsh) manoeuvre but, in 1603, so far as the monarchy was concerned, it ceased to be a solely English (Welsh) matter and in 1707 and the union of the parliaments cemented the situation politically. I am used to hearing some Americans referring to the “Queen of England” but not native writers of the more thoughtful kind, unless they have a point to make.
I was surprised to hear a popular broadcaster admit last year that he was not sure if Northern Ireland is part of “Britain” and I fear confusion about our national identity abounds. H.M. Queen Elizabeth II is — in the short version — the current monarch of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but this does not seem to feature in the thinking of the BBC and some sporting bodies who continually shout about “Team GB”, when they seem to mean to say “Team UK”. Commonly and thoughtlessly used expressions which exclude Northern Ireland and Scotland exacerbate tensions and may make some of Her Majesty’s subjects feel resentful.

michael harris
michael harris
3 years ago

An elected head of state? In an old democracy? A guarantee that half the nation would always hate its own figurehead. See the USA lately.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
3 years ago

What I like about having the Queen is that if I defer to her I don’t have to defer to anybody else. It’s very liberating.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

What I like about having presidents is that deferring to them confers absolutely no benefit!

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

And yet your president lives in a palace and your elected representatives are all plutocrats! Go figure as you say in the land of the free….

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

I’m sorry I don’t mean to be facetious. The point I’m making is that I used to see the monarchy as an affront to a certain egalitarian spirit whereas now I see it as a guarantor of it. The Queen is a sort of embodiment of the spirit of the nation – once I accept her spiritual authority everyone else becomes my equal regardless of whether they went to a posher school, have a bigger house or more money. But hey, maybe that’s all bollocks?

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Precisely. The Queen had as much say as we do. And it’s something bigger than you or I or her and will outlast it all.
It’s the nation, our society, all. And the monarch represents a part of it at the top.

Last edited 3 years ago by A Spetzari
Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

The Queen probably has a little more influence than you or me, and one thing you perhaps overlook is the existence of the ‘black spider letters’. If Prince Charles’s letters were treated with the respect they deserved (and he deserves – ‘heir to the throne’ does not, I believe warrant political power greater than that of any other citizen), the replies he received would have been from a junior clerk, saying “You letter has been forwarded to the Minister and will be dealt with in due course.”

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago

Not only does the Queen probably have more influence than you or me, she warrants it, given her experience.
Reflect on the fact that when, say, Trump or Obama meets the Queen, he meets someone who has met many more POTUSs than they have, and of course a great number of other leaders too.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

The Land of the Free…hur hur..

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Better than the wretched USA where a white policeman deliberately shoots a white woman protestor at point blank range and gets away with it.

As case of “blue murder” if ever there was one.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Please see my second post – sorry I didn’t mean to be rude!

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

That probably depends on if they like the person deferring to them.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

I’d like the Queen more if she occasionally donated an MRI scanner to the odd hospital, or hosted injured servicemen at Sandringham.
Let’s not be too starry-eyed about how hard it is to wave beatifically from the back of a car on the way to or from opening things. Boring yes, hard no.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Fair enough – I personally would love to be able to see more of the artworks she owns but that’s another matter

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Ever heard of doing good by stealth? If they were contributing to such things as you describe do you think we would be told?

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

You might not be impressed, but much of the rest of this nation is thrilled to have the chance of waving back at her, and I expect that compares extremely favourably with most nations lacking a monarch. Most people don’t even know who the head of state is of republics other than the USA.

Last edited 3 years ago by Colin Elliott
Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Injured servicemen are very well cared for and rehabilitated at Tedworth House. Harry used to visit them before he went away.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

“if I defer to her I don’t have to defer to anybody else.”

I am afraid you are deluding yourself. There are whole tiers of people to whom you have to defer – and whose existence is defined by their relative deference to each other and their expectation of being deferred to by you.

I don’t know who first said it, but there is a certain truth in the saying that the only person in the country who is not really a snob is the Queen, because to her everyone is merely a subject.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
3 years ago

Ok maybe defer is the wrong word and yes I’m certainly deluded

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

Well Spain got rid of the King for Franco 1939, and that was a problematic thing. The king of Greece removed in 1973, not good, King of Iran, 1979, really bad, king of Afghanistan also 1979, really bad. King of Iraq, I think 1973, bad deal, king of Syria and Libya 1960s – 70s, bad ideas… king of Egypt removed 1953? Cannot remember, did not work well. Balkans, Russia, Caucasuss, not good losing the kings, Even the Dowager Empress of China beats Mao by a mile.

Remaining Kings of Morocco, Jordan, good deals, hereditary leaders in Kuwait, KSA (obviously), and the different Gulf states, worked well. Spain got its king back in 1978 after finally getting rid of Franco.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I totally agree with your argument and I want to keep our (Australian) Queen, but simple use of the most basic references would have helped you.
Spain got rid of its king in 1931, then had a Civil War. Franco won that war, had a referendum on the monarchy in 1947, and died in 1975, when Spain got a king again.
Afghanistan 1973.
Syria 1920.
Libya 1969.
Iraq 1958.
Good on you for Greece and Iran.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Maurice Austin

I did it from memory, and my memory around late 1970’s got a bit of a pounding, although I know Afghanistan and I think 63 was when the Communists took lots of power, 1973 the Republic formed (The Kings commie Cousin) and the king exiled, and 1979 was the Russian invasion –

And was trying to make the point how Kings are Stability, and thus mostly a good thing.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

This ignores some important factors. For example Russia:

1) Tzar Nicholas was an ineffective and ineffectual leader, whose blind fealty to a mad monk and innabilty to run a country was the reason for his overthrow, rather than a comparatively better alternative to what replaced him. That the regime that took the monarchy’s place was worse is ultimately his fault for not being capable of holding his country together. Much the same can be said of many of the monarch you reference. The regimes were not working to begin with, and we’re overthrown by worse regimes they could not stave off.

2) the king of Egypt was overthrown by Alexander The Great in 332 BC. After which they built a cool lighthouse, and a pretty great library.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

OK, forced to google;

“King of Egypt was the title used by the ruler of Egypt between 1922 and 1951. When the United Kingdom issued the Unilateral Declaration of Egyptian Independence on 28 February 1922, thereby ending its protectorate over Egypt, Egypt’s Sultan Fouad I issued a decree on 15 March 1922 whereby he adopted the title of King of Egypt” wiki

I forget the hole chain but the downfall of the Egyptian King led to the Pan Arabism and the 6 day war, and all kinds of bad things, I need to have dinner so will not try to remember how his downfall helped lead to the current mess.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

Part of the reason Nicolas was killed is because he WAS Liberalizing, modernizing, and the Commies had to get him before he made things too good for the post-serfs.. Like the shot heard around the world, the Francis Ferdinand killing starting WWI was because the Monarchy was Liberalizing so the radicals killed him because many were getting what they wanted, and thus were not so angry with the monarchy, and thus not so eager for rebellion. He was shot to force a rebellion he was stopping by liberalizing. Ironic. And so the cascading alliances, and so WWI.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

He built a railway across Siberia out of cheap low grade steel that fractured in subzero temperatures. Whatever he may have been trying to accomplish, he couldn’t execute it correctly. Maybe if he had the people would have seen the obvious benefits of modernization.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

On that reasoning, if the U.K. got a republic and it was a disaster it would be the fault of the deposed royals.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

If they got it because the monarchy wasn’t working, then yes.

This is not a zero sum game. Cuba would not have turned communist were not the previous regime hopelessly corrupt. This does not make Castro’s Cuba good, nor does Castro’s oppression justify the previous regime. Revolutions often (perhaps more often than not) result in worse governments than those they replace. But they don’t happen when the existing government works.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

Then the fact that very few want a republic proves the monarchy is working.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

When Alexander conquered Egypt it was a satrapy, part of the Persian Empire. The ‘kings’ of Egypt, whom I presume you mean the Pharoahs, were long gone. That was in 331. One of Alexander’s generals, Ptolemy, annexed the satrapy of Egypt in the anarchy following Alexander’s death. His dynasty was responsible for the various innovations you mention.
before sneering at other contributors historical perspective, maybe get hold of a few facts of your own?

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Even across the Channel, get rid of the dreadful monarchy and you get……Robespierre, Napoleon, a succession of short lived republics. Plus a string of petty and larger intrusions on French life, such as the attempt to crush French linguistic diversity. Everyone must speak French. The obsolete regional tongues must perish, even if an overall majority speak them.

Even in modern Bavaria, the Wittelbachs are fondly remembered. The Bavarians lived with them for hundreds of years and they were hardly worse than the Communists or Adolf H. Even Ludwig’s lunatic 19th century extravagance on fairy tale castles produced a collection of tourist attractions.

David Jory
David Jory
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Silly sausage! You looked at the evidence not ideology.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

George III kicked out by America to create one of the most successful countries on Earth.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Give it time, and remember ‘self praise is no recommendation’.

Incidentally the scandalous failure to prosecute the murderer of Ms Alisa Babbitt is an appalling example of the US Justice system at its nadir.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Would you say that the USA is more successful than Canada?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

It WAS Lord North …dummy

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

They may well continue, so long as America can resist the urge of a hereditary presidency, rotated between dynasties from the two main parties.

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul N
Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

But having got its King back, Spain forced him out because of his wrongdoings

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Hopwood

Not the whole royal family though.

Last edited 3 years ago by Giulia Khawaja
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I often thank of Haile Selassie. OK, he was no model ruler, but how has Ethiopia fared since then? At least monarchies have often evolved into constitutional monarchies, and found that it works, despite abstract theory.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
3 years ago

All you have to do is imagine Jeremy Corbyn elected by 50% plus one vote on a low turnout to dismiss the idea of an elected head of state.

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

Like the vote to implement the London Mayor or the Welsh Assembly.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 years ago

“For ultimately, progressive calls to abolish the monarchy — whether as head of Church or state — amount not to a democratisation of power, but a removal of the principal safeguard we have against a return of the political and moral absolutism that preceded England’s Reformation and Glorious Revolution. Should the mounting demands for authority over the moral exception merge with similar calls for authority over the political one, the relative freedom guaranteed for us by our ceremonial priest-kings may be replaced by something far more direct and assertive.”

I’ve been saying this for some time myself, and it’s not just the Monarchy, but also the various other institutions that separate Church and State which are under attack. All forms of these attacks have one thing in common: they would lead to the fusion of moral and political power in a single monstrous regiment. It would not have to become concentrated in the hands of single dictator, it would be enough for it to be a single political party which would then ensure it became the government of a single party State. We are being dragged towards this danger at an increasing rate it seems, towards a form of government that is intemperate, intolerant, morally tyrannical and yet devoid of any of the various forms of intelligence required to understand the likely consequences of its own actions.

I would in times past have argued that this danger is only coming from the political Left, but the attitude displayed by the Tory Party to the principles of liberty over the past year have left me aghast, so I can’t do that any more. The danger is real, it’s just all around us.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Riordan
eugene power
eugene power
3 years ago

As her maj reduces to gruanidads to foaming at the mouth, we must organise weekly state visits to islington until they all choke on their own bile.
Well said Vik !

Stephen Crossley
Stephen Crossley
3 years ago

The monarchy and its associated pomp and ceremony are one of the main reasons tourists want to come to our country in their millions, spending billions in the process. In cash terms the value of such a world-renowned brand, established over millennia is beyond calculation.
Only a complete idiot or the worst kind of ideologue would want to dispense with such a golden goose without good reason. And no, jealousy of people who are born rich when you aren’t doesn’t cut the mustard.  

Johanna Louw
Johanna Louw
3 years ago

Utter nonsense. Legoland Windsor receives more visitors annually than Windsor Castle. People come to the UK for many different reasons, not just the monarchy. In any case, France has the greatest number of visitors in the world and they haven’t had any kind of monarchy since 1871.

Terry Mushroom
Terry Mushroom
3 years ago
Reply to  Johanna Louw

The Queen is probably the most famous woman in the world. Head of State of 16 independent, sovereign countries, her image on the coinage of some 30. She regularly travels all these countries, meeting rulers and small children alike. The monarch’s soft power reach is enormous.

Johanna Louw
Johanna Louw
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Mushroom

The end does not justify the means.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago

Tourism is the least of reasons for retaining the monarchy. In fact, it’s not a reason at all. The monarchy stands for something much higher than sordid foreign exchange earnings.

Stephen Crossley
Stephen Crossley
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

I agree it is the least of reasons. Others here have written much more eloquently on the main ones. It remains a reason nevertheless.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 years ago

Long live the Queen.

Johanna Louw
Johanna Louw
3 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

And all who sail in her.

Simon Cooper
Simon Cooper
3 years ago

it does make you wonder what kind of ‘progress’ the progressives are seeking. It’s mainly the left, as they want to change the most, and as we saw in the case of Portland once they get their way the future is not bright.