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Constitutional monarchy or republic?

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Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by witchfinder on Fri May 25, 2012 10:17 am

First topic message reminder :

This topic or subject is actualy about the head of state of the United KIngdom and 15 other independent sovereign nations including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

If this particular thread was about the head of state of say France or the United States, then instead of been slotted into "General Discussion", it would have been more appropriate to put the topic into "Politics", but of course our head of state is above politics and represents no political party, and in my view thats what makes the constitutional monarchy a superior system.

In 1981 this question was put to me: "are you a true and loyal supporter of the British Crown and constitution", and my reply was "yes" I am, and in doing so I actualy made an oath of loyalty not to any politician, but to The Crown, the people and the nation.

The Crown and the monarchy are not democratic in the sense that no one ever elects them, but then again what system, or which sytem of government is truly fair and democratic ?, in the United States 45% of serving soldiers, airforce staff and sailors voted Republican in 2008, yet they have to swear alliegence to President Obama, in many unstable nations this situation is a recipe for civil war.

Today ( 25th May 2012 ) the latest opinion poll has been published in the UK on the subject of the monarchy, the findings have been released just prior to nationwide celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II.

The first thing to point out about this opinion poll is that the monarchy enjoys solid support amongst Labour voters and supporters, the Queen and the institution of the monarchy has never been so popular.
Support is strong in Scotland, Wales, all areas of England and in every age group and social class, but the findings are not good reading for Charlie, most people feel the line of succession should jump a generation and go to William.

Should TRUE Labour supporters be embaressed about been a supporter of the Queen and the monarchy ?, I say absolutely not, it is clearly obvious that to go down the path of republicanism would lose both support and votes, just as it did to the SNP in Scotland.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/may/24/queen-diamond-jubilee-record-support

And so as my next door neighbour who is chairman of the local Conservative club puts out his flags for the celebrations, so shall I, and as a Labour supporter and voter we are both equal in one nation under one Crown.

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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:23 pm

"Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough", said Groucho Marx. On the day when the obsequious BBC is preoccupied with celebrating 63 years and 7 months of benefit scrounging by one of the world's richest women, it might be worth thinking, with some trepidation, of the monster who will follow her one of these days:-

After a four-day visit to Saudi Arabia, Charles Windsor
Secures an arms deal for British Aerospace.
It’s worth $8 billion for 70 Typhoon fighter aircraft.
Charles then leaves with a smirk on his face.

But his warplanes will be used in Bahrain and the Yemen
To strafe and to suppress secessionists.
Their bodies will be left to rot in desert sand
Thanks to the royal environmentalist.

He celebrates the sale by joining a sword dance in Riyadh
Which his PA describes as “a cultural nicety”,
But Saudi swords aren’t used for combat in the region,
They’re used for executions of astounding brutality.


http://stopwar.org.uk/images/news2015/saudi_prince_charles_sword_dance_460.jpg

The prince poses for photographs waving a Saudi sword
Which is drawn just as it’d be for a beheading
And, pandering to his hosts, he reminds King Abdullah
How he once gave him such a sword for his wedding.


There's much more of it here:-
http://stopwar.org.uk/news/heathcote-williams/prince-charles-arms-dealer-by-royal-appointment-to-middle-east-tyrants

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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Phil Hornby on Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:47 pm

Given the chance, who would you currently vote for as a President of Britain ( assuming that person would stand for election) ?

How long would the term of office ideally be?
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:59 pm

Phil. As oftenwrong posted on another board, there is a desperate need for Britain to have a written constitution. If we were going to start electing a head of state, the process involved would have to be part of such a document, along with the powers (if any) of the president. Personally, I wouldn’t want a president like the USA and France, maybe something more along the lines of Germany or the Republic of Ireland. The German president is chosen by the Bundestag, the Irish president is elected directly by the voters, and both have largely ceremonial duties.

There’s no reason why a written constitution, if we had one, couldn’t bar anyone who has been a member of the House of Commons or House of Lords from standing, in order to safeguard the independence of the role. You could even go further and bar anyone who has ever been a member of a political party. That would certainly ensure that we didn’t end up with John Major, as you speculated on this thread on 4 June 2012!

I suspect that right-wingers would nominate successful businessmen, maybe someone like Richard Branson, for the role. I would have no problem with an eminent scientist or physician, or perhaps a ‘national treasure’ like Judi Dench. Others might suggest someone like David Beckham, a nice bloke by all accounts if not particularly intelligent – but then neither is Charles Windsor, and he's not very nice.

Who would I like to see as president? Off the top of my head, J.K.Rowling. I really admire that woman (but not her fiction!); she was forced to live on benefits when she was younger, but now that she’s wealthy she wants to pay her taxes here, rather than move abroad and shove her money in an off-shore tax haven. What a refreshing and patriotic attitude, something to admire much more than accident of birth.

How long in office? I’d say four years (and that’s more than enough for a government as well), and no more than two terms, as in the USA. Then we get to choose our head of state, and if we get a dud (as Charles Windsor most certainly will be), we can remove them after four years - and in any event they won’t be around for longer than eight. Doesn’t that sound like a better recipe for a supposedly mature 21st century democracy?
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:58 pm

I might be more exercised about the Monarchy if I thought for one moment that a change to being a Republic would save any money or provide a better standard of living for us Commoners.

"Better the Devil you know"
1539 Collection of proverbs by R. Taverner.
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:04 pm

oftenwrong. But do we know the devil? After 63 years and 7 months, do you know Liz Windsor's views on anything, other than that she 'purred' when the Scots voted to stay in the UK? Do we know just how obnoxious Charles Windsor will be when he inherits the throne and meddles even more in the running of the country?

A change from a monarchy to a republic could save a hell of a lot of money. For a start, we could either stop paying for the upkeep of Sandringham, Balmoral and Holyrood or open them up to tourists. If Buckingham Palace wasn’t occupied, tourists could go over the whole property. We wouldn’t need to keep scavengers like Charles in Clarence House, or William in whatever abode he currently resides. We could have the income from the Duchy of Cornwall, which consists of estates mostly acquired by evicting people from their land and enclosing it.

I believe you’ve quoted previously how expensive the French presidency is, with a fleet of twelve limousines, but that's hardly an argument for not having a republic. There are Dutch and Scandinavian monarchies which don’t squander money in the way that the Windsors do, but that's not a justification for having a hereditary head of state. A republic doesn’t have to be expensive; I would guess that the Irish presidency costs only a fraction of what is spent on our so-called ‘royal’ parasites.

The bottom line in all of this is that if you really believe in democracy, there's no place for a hereditary head of state and the ‘born to rule’ assumptions which accompany it.
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:35 pm

But one has to admit that was a neat trick to get the Saudis to keep on pumping until the price of North Sea Oil fell to not much more than the price of North Sea water.

Spiked that Salmond-fellow's Republican plans for a splinter-group!

It's not only what you know ......
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:34 pm

Prince Charles: 15-page contract reveals how the Prince of Wales tries to control the media

From an article by Ian Burrell:-

Prince Charles is demanding 'North Korean-style' pre-conditions in television interviews, including advance knowledge of precise questions, the right to oversee editing and even to block a broadcast if he does not approve of the final product. He will only speak to broadcasters on the condition they have signed a 15-page contract, demanding that Clarence House attends both the “rough cut” and “fine cut” edits of films and, if it is unhappy with the final product, can “remove the contribution in its entirety from the programme”.

The degree of censorship led to the cancellation of an interview with Prince Charles due to be conducted by Jon Snow of Channel 4 News on Sunday at the British ambassador’s residence in Paris, on the eve of the Paris climate change talks. Channel 4 News was not prepared to conduct the interview under the conditions demanded.


For the whole article:-
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/prince-charles-the-15-page-contract-that-reveals-how-the-prince-of-wales-tries-to-control-the-media-a6756541.html
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by marcolucco on Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:24 pm

Ivan wrote:Prince Charles is demanding 'North Korean-style' pre-conditions in television interviews, including advance knowledge of precise questions

Yes, yes - from time to time we get amusing tales about our eccentric Prince and his amiable father. There is no doubt at all - none whatsoever - that we are better off with our scrupulously tactful Queen. An eccentric Charles would be a million times better than some politico shoved into a top republican position. Take a look at the creatures that have been ennobled in our brand new House of Lords. Voltaire said he'd rather be ruled by one lion than a thousand rats. Why would we want to be overseen by one rat, regardless of which outfit it came from? It would probably have the face of a Stalin. In Scotland we might have the nightmare of Caligula Salmond if we ever broke away from the UK.

As oftenwrong said, we are better with what we have experienced. It works.
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:29 pm

It doesn’t work. The monarchy is absolutely useless when it comes to stopping sociopaths like Duncan Smith from causing the deaths of hundreds of people, or for holding Cameron to account for breaking endless promises made to the electorate.

You may find it “amusing” when the halfwitted, inbred heir to the throne meddles in politics, or when his racist and bigoted father insults people, but I certainly don’t. And the friend of paedophiles like Jimmy Savile and Peter Ball is certainly not “a million times better than some politico”, who could if necessary be voted out after a few years in the job.

As I’ve argued previously, we could have a largely ceremonial but elected head of state, and a condition could be that candidates for the role have never been politicians. I suppose it all comes down to whether or not you place concepts such as democracy and meritocracy before inherited entitlement.
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by marcolucco on Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:24 am

Ivan wrote:It doesn’t work. The monarchy is absolutely useless when it comes to stopping sociopaths like Duncan Smith from causing the deaths of hundreds of people, or for holding Cameron to account for breaking endless promises made to the electorate.

It does work in the way it is supposed to, Ivan. Were it to interfere in what Labour or Conservative politicians do, it would NOT be working properly- as you know. We are stretching arguments a few metres by introducing Savile to the Queen's merits and demerits. This is a misleading tactic of the media that you condemn.
Nope - we are fine as we are. We don't need Lenin to change things

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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:22 pm

William Counsels Kate...


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CgPca3PW8AAdNBC.jpg

" It's your own fault, dear - you should never have asked the chef if you could look at the size of his poppadoms..."
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:34 pm

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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by boatlady on Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:48 am

I always used to see the monarchy as a bit of frill on the edge of real life - not necessary or relevant, but largely harmless - these days, it reminds me rather of a leech drawing our life blood, or a vigorous ivy plant pulling down our structures - my garden is so much more vigorous since I got rid of the ivy
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:21 am

In what some might see as the traditional bumbling British manner, we seem to have given ourselves the worst possible combination of a symbolic showbiz-styled Royalty which costs a fortune to run, alongside a civil government which enjoys those tricky Royal Prerogatives like Statutory Instruments and Orders in Council that combine with no written Constitution to enable a Prime Minister to rule rather as Henry VIII would have regarded as his divine right.

But did Tony Benn mean to imply that if we freed ourselves of the Monarchy, "all the privilege and patronage that corrupts our society" would promptly disappear?



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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:05 pm

Heaven preserve us from a President.

The sort of people who would put themselves forward should automatically be barred from standing... Very Happy
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:48 pm

I agree entirely.  Anybody who actually wants that sort of job is clearly unsuitable.

Right now though, who might consider themselves to be the ideal candidate???

Boris - Blair - Dave - Farage - Gideon - Goldsmith - Gove - Hunt - Miliband (D) - Salmond, or that MEP clown Hannan ?
                                                                                                                                                             

Who have I underestimated?
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:56 pm

A toe-curling possibility could be President Major.

He is the sort of man who would be 'unwillingly persuaded' to take the role - purely in the interests of the nation, naturally... Shocked
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A view of the Royal Family written by myself and a friend who wishes to remain anon'.

Post by Ivanhoe on Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:02 am

Why are people in this country celebrating the Queens birthday ?.  When she's in her "castle", we have other people her age in hostels or without any food having to eat tins of beans from food banks, not able to afford any heating.

Why should we celebrate her birthday when other elderly people are dying on the street, or freezing in their homes because they are having to choose between heating their homes, or buying food, and where is the BBC, why aren’t they broadcasting this. ?.

Why should someone be recognised because they have been born into a privileged family ?

Why should someone be recognised just because they are seen as an "important figure" ?.  The Queen of England has over £275 million worth of wealth!

At the same time down the road we have elderly people in care homes who have all their money taken away so their "low level" of care can be paid for. These people have worked all their life, and have paid taxes into a system which is not there for them now.  Why isn’t it there for them now ?

I won't be celebrating St George's day either. And it's nothing to do with St George.

Why would I celebrate being "English" ?,  and why would I celebrate this country when we have a 30% rise in the number who are homeless, more people in poverty than ever before, disabled people dying because of this governments evil cuts and the list goes on. Don't blame me for my decision blame the government for their awful treatment of Britain’s most vulnerable people.

Like it or not, I have to see myself as a subject of her Majesty, I cannot see myself as a citizen of my own country that I was born and raised in, because England’s  “class” structures define us..Money and wealth define us, privilege defines us.  Our Honours system defines us.

Royalists might say to me that the Queen and the Royals bring immense wealth into this country from tourism and such like,  I would challenge that and ask, but where does that money go, ?, the answer, ? into the pockets of the already rich, just as our free market system already does, by giving tax cuts to the already rich, while the non privileged many, ie us in the lower orders have to endure being means tested for handouts.

This is the 21st Century!, and England at its crux, remains a subservient, class entrenched,  nation!

Ivanhoe and a friend.
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:11 am

by Phil Hornby on Mon 4 Jun 2012 - 21:12
If it's a President or the Queen, give me the latter every time.

Can you just imagine what we could end up with - for example: President John Major.  

Now that's what real nausea is made of...!
by Phil Hornby on Thu 21 Apr 2016 - 21:56
A toe-curling possibility could be President Major.

He is the sort of man who would be 'unwillingly persuaded' to take the role - purely in the interests of the nation, naturally...
Déjà vu all over again……

Why is it assumed that a president needs to be a politician? We could have a written constitution which says that anyone standing for that role must never have been a member of a political party.

Why do those trying to justify a hereditary monarchy in a so-called democracy always drag up the worst examples of presidents, such as Mugabe (or John Major)? That’s hardly a reason for leaving the role of head of state to the accident of birth, with all the signals which it sends out about heredity and entitlement. It doesn’t matter how good, intelligent and popular you might be, you can never become your country’s head of state. Conversely, it doesn't matter how dull, useless or even mad that a royal heir might be, the role goes to him or her as a birthright.

According to ‘Republic’, the estimated total annual cost of the monarchy to taxpayers is around £334 million, eight times the official figure published by the royal household. The official figure excludes the cost of round-the-clock security, lavish royal visits and lost revenue from the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall. The British monarchy is 112 times as expensive as the Irish president and more than twice as expensive as the French president. Everyone seems to accept that Britain has the most expensive monarchy in Europe, but ‘The Independent’ uses the official figure of £40 million to claim that the French presidency at £103.5 million is more expensive:-

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/queens-birthday-how-much-does-elizabeth-ii-cost-the-uk-compared-to-other-european-monarchs-a6994106.html
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:16 pm

Denver Post

Any such discussions take place in the certain knowledge that Queen Elizabeth's popularity with the British public is unassailable.

The interesting part begins when there is a changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:49 pm

I found this post from someone calling herself ‘Angel Blue’ amongst the reader comments underneath a ‘Guardian’ article. In order not to breach copyright laws, I will only post 15 lines from it:-

The British denigrate their own politicians who they themselves have voted for, while at the same time lauding an unelected head of state whose only achievement has been to navigate the birth canal. Incomprehensible! If they have ineffectual politicians whose fault is that? They have the second largest unelected legislative assembly in the world - the Lords - in which you can actually buy yourself a seat depending on how much dosh you throw at a political party, and a newly-elected MP swears an Oath of Allegiance to a hereditary family, its heirs and successors - not to the people who elected him/her, not to democracy, not even to the country.

The British system still carries the imprint of its origins in monarchy: officially it remains ‘‘Her Majesty’s Government’’, not the people’s. Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition; Her Majesty's Ministers - like a medieval fiefdom. Power still emanates from the top and flows downward, with the public allowed a peek only when the state chooses. It means that Brits can be quite resigned toward the level of government power over, and intrusion into, their lives — because they don’t really see government as their servant in the first place. Britons remain subjects, not citizens. And until they muster some confidence, some sense of accountability and responsibility for themselves and their governance, it will always remain so. The obsession with royalty aptly illustrates a country and a people "not quite grown up".


http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/24/queen-pro-monarchism-politicians
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:31 pm

The repeating of the horrible prospect of the likes of John Major becoming a President simply mirrors the endless posing of the question about whether we should dismantle the monarchy.

If we were to deny politicians the chance to be elected to the position what would that say about the advance of democracy and 'freedom' which the republicans seem value so highly?

I can understand the worth of the royal family being nebulous to many - but so might be the point of spending large sums of money saving examples of masterpieces of fine art or priceless antiquities for the nation. We could probably safely lose both if we had to, but wouldn't we be that little bit diminished in the overall scheme of things if we did?

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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:15 am

Phil. I don’t think that’s a very good analogy. If we spent £334 million in one year on fine art or antiquities, it would only be for one year; the cost of the security to look after them in future years would only be a fraction of the cost. They would also be an investment which might accrue in value, and of course we could charge people to see them. They might even be good for tourism.

Ah, but isn’t the monarchy good for tourism? I don’t think so. If the royal palaces weren’t used as homes, visitors could go all over them, instead of being confined to selected areas. Anyone who believes that tourists decide to visit, rather than not visit, the UK simply because a monarch might be in one of those palaces at any time (and who they are most unlikely to see) is being naïve. And of course the most popular tourist attraction in Europe is the Palace of Versailles, which Louis XIV vacated in 1715.

An opinion poll last year said that support in the UK for the monarchy was 68%. (In the 1960s it was at 96%). After Mary Robinson was elected as Ireland’s first female president in 1990, she had approval ratings of 93%. But I suppose after the pollsters ended up with egg on their faces over last year’s general election, how much notice should we take of any of that?

It seems ironic that monarchists like to quote "public opinion" as a justification for supporting such an anachronism, yet they never want to put it to the test. If we can have a referendum on the EU and its place in our so-called democracy, maybe we should have one on whether we want to continue to have an unelected head of state after the present incumbent pops her clogs, especially as someone who was a close friend of Jimmy Savile will automatically get the job? And no, the monarchy won’t skip a generation, it doesn’t get to work like that, nobody is given the chance to pick and choose who comes next.

Russia had to suffer the maniac Ivan the Terrible from 1547 until 1584, who committed mass murder, most notably in Novgorod, and even killed his son and his cousin. Carlos II, who was king of Spain from 1665 until 1700 was mentally unstable. The historian J.H.Elliott described him as “the last stunted sprig of a degenerate line”. Britain later had the pleasure of the insane George III. That’s all history, you might say, but the principle remains the same today. As Marina Hyde has written: “Even if he or she is gibbering, has a chin that meets their nose, and wets the throne aged 59, they are the monarch”.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/22/her-majesty-queen-royals-monarch
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:38 pm

I expect that those who feel the queen has done a pretty good job over 60 years tend to believe that the institution has served Britain well, while those who are staunch republicans will see no good in her at any price.

On another level, it just mirrors how folk react to Blair in many ways...
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:08 am

often wrong quoted:-
"Better the Devil you know"
Phil Hornby wrote:-
………those who feel the queen has done a pretty good job over 60 years
But do we know Mrs Windsor, and what exactly has she done? Much of her life is kept secret. She doesn’t express her views in public, but of course she has her opinions. The myth that she is impartial is held together by state secrecy. Secrecy makes it easier for a head of state to interfere (as the next one most certainly will), and to pursue his or her own agenda without any scrutiny or challenge. We don’t know if the monarch interferes in the business of government, or what she says in her weekly meetings with the PM. Thatcher told us that those meetings were not “a mere formality” or “confined to social niceties”. Call that democracy?

Mrs Windsor may have toured the country cutting ribbons, but what real leadership has she shown? Did she speak for the country after tragedies like Aberfan, Lockerbie, Hillsborough and the 7/7 bombings? No. She has spent 60+ years effectively saying and doing nothing, so as not to upset people and make them start to question the legitimacy of her position. An elected head of state could have contributed to the national mood and, on occasions, spoken for the country above the political fray.
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:16 am

The debate over Monarchy or Republic is unlikely to resolve matters to the satisfaction of everybody, since a change would in all probability result in no real change. The apparatus required by an elected Presidency as in e.g. France or the USA is essentially the same, costs the same and is mainly a change of nomenclature. In both those cases the role of a Prime Minister is diminished in favour of the President.

Cui bono? Who gains, from a costly game of musical chairs?


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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:39 am

Presented with the need to become the Queen at a relatively young age- or risk a constitutional crisis in the very different days of 1952 - one not unreasonably imagines that she has carried out the role in the way 'expected of her'.

To me, she has provided a dignified figurehead who has had little real choice but to display a patient welcome to endless visiting heads of state and sit through interminable banquets and ceremonies etc., at home and abroad, many of which she may not , in truth, have chosen to attend. To many - though not for me - she is a rallying point beyond the generally-disreputable political arena.

Doubtless she is not perfect - and no President would be either - but she has dutifully done the job she was asked to do, under not inconsiderable scrutiny, and delivered a performance which can be held to have been largely beyond reproach. Not bad for someone who is now 90 years old.

I am not sure that any successor will be as successful or as admired by so many, but I feel confident that any move to a President would all too soon be seen as just another part of the seedy political establishment.

I can see why the monarchy could be seen as an unwelcome presence, but when I have my slippers on and feet up watching TV during an evening, I am mighty glad I don't have placed on me the expectations which rest upon 'Mrs Windsor'. At the very least, those who disparage her should give her some credit for sticking at the role convention demanded of her by accident of birth.
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by boatlady on Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:27 pm

For me, the monarchy becomes problematical when I look at the succession - I don't think Charles will command the same respect his mother has and over the years he has surely shown himself more than once as a very foolish man who lacks the dignity and self control that she appears to have demonstrated over the years - and furthermore appears to want a strong voice in the government of the country way beyond the constitutional powers he will be allowed.

I am in sympathy with the opinion that, following Mrs Windsor's demise, there ought to be a referendum to ascertain the mood of the country - perhaps we do still need and want a monarchy - but I think maybe the time has come when we should be asked
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:57 pm

I can't quite see the opportunity arising for a vote on the monarchy's future when Elizabeth II dies - the nation will be too tied up with what will be a momentous sad event and occasion and Charles will slip onto the throne nem con ( or what will pass for it in polite society).

The problem would then be to be able pick a decent moment to raise the thorny question and the possible reluctance of a government to give air time to what might be a very contentious issue.

Even if by default, the Royal Family's employment prospects might be safe for quite some time yet...
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Wed May 25, 2016 12:13 am

We should be less concerned about a crazed sociopath climbing into royal palaces than one of the residents climbing out..........  Rolling Eyes



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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by boatlady on Wed May 25, 2016 8:26 am

They are a weird looking bunch, aren't they?
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:23 pm

Judging by the number of of his medals, Edward Windsor's fortnight in the marines must have been pretty eventful. Shocked


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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:56 pm

Uniform of the First Foot and Mouth Regiment unless I'm very much mistaken.
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:05 pm

"Unemployed man declared 'Londoner of the decade'. Father an immigrant, mother lived all her life on state benefits." (Billy Bragg)


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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:25 pm

Londoner of the Decade probably thinks he's entitled to a holiday somewhere nicer now.
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm

Our Tory government is backing a private member’s bill to make it an offence to wear medals which you’re not entitled to wear. The saddos who do so will be liable to fines and/or up to six months’ imprisonment, even though our prisons are bursting at the seams. I trust there will be no exceptions to this new law, and that the Tories intend to prosecute everyone who wears medals which they haven't earned……..


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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:50 am

I can't get excited by all the royals' goings-on. Given the accident of birth they are simply doing what convention ( up to this point, anyway) requires of them. Some may not enjoy it too much.

The prospect of a President fills me with more concern. If Britain can willingly vote for a Tory Government and for Brexit, who might we end up with at the top of the tree as a republic?

I am not sure I could stomach President Farage... Shocked
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:30 pm

What makes people more respectful of the Royal Family than they are of Parliamentarians?

Answers on the back of a plastic fiver, please.
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Ivan on Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:57 am

Phil Hornby wrote:I am not sure I could stomach President Farage...
People voting in Tory governments which do their best to wreck the NHS (as we now learn Thatcher was trying to do thirty years ago), 17.4 million people voting for Brexit, and around 60 million Americans voting for Trump, does make me question my faith in democracy, what H L Mencken described as “a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance”. Winston Churchill once said that “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”.

The former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has argued that we can’t just blame the media for this collective stupidity, but that it has more to do with people getting tired of the status quo because it’s hurting them. He says "democracy can offer change which will in the end bite people, like Brexit or Trump, or it can offer progressive change". Maybe it’s the fault of the education system, which nowadays seems to be all about creating automotons rather than thinking individuals.

It’s not much of an argument for keeping the monarchy to cite the possibility of awful alternatives. The Irish president has a role which is not dissimilar to that of Mrs Windsor. The official duties and powers of the role are limited, but the president does have the power to refer a bill to the supreme court to test whether it is unconstitutional. Best of all, he or she hasn’t inherited the role but is elected.

I couldn’t stomach a President Farage either, but then I feel the same about a King Charles III (even if he does intend to call himself George VII). But the big difference is that Farage could be voted out after a few years (or only allowed to serve for a limited term, as in the USA), while we’ll be stuck with Charles (or George) for the rest of his life. I also can’t stomach the idea that some saddos who wear medals to which they’re not entitled could be sent to jail, while the privileged few will continue to make a mockery of such honours.


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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:19 pm

I do often wonder about those who are given 'Honorary Degrees' , too!

I assume some MPs ( even Labour ones) may have allowed themselves to accept such honours ? What are we to make of that as part of the debate about such 'unearned privileges' for the undeserving...?
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:30 pm

For me, the point of an "Honorary Degree" was adequately and perfectly defined when the Oxford Universities declined to afford one to the late Margaret Thatcher when she was expecting it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/29/newsid_2506000/2506019.stm
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Re: Constitutional monarchy or republic?

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