“God Save Our Gracious Thegn”: Designing a Great British Republic

DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
edited March 9 in Purgatory
This springs from the royals on the rocks thread’s tangents about how one might replace the monarchy.

I proposed to get a consensus candidate to be ceremonial head of state, you could ask the each of the party leaders to propose 2 people and allow each of them to veto upto 3 candidates from the amalgamated long list.

Then either just the commons, or the commons and the lords together to vote in a secret ballot with a single transferable vote - till someone got more than 50% of the vote.

Then your elected head of state would serve, say, 10 years unless impeached. They would then get the same functional powers as the current head of state, with a no political meddling requirement, and the equivalent of a sovereign grant.

The point of this system being to ensure fairly broad cross party support for whomever was elected, and that being elected by parliament avoids an additional expensive electoral process. Also, speakers of the lords and commons act as joint regents during interegenums.

I would propose the person be named a Thegn of Great Britain or a Thegn of Parliament. Thegn means servant, attendant or retainer - and conveniently fits into the existing national anthem.

The aim would be to transition from a monarchy disrupting as little as possible of the current constitutional settlement as possible. Governorship of the CofE could rest with the head of the house of Windsor or pass to the ABC.

Whilst there are many other constitutional reforms you might want, you’d want to avoid too much change at once to minimise unintended consequences.

What do you think - do you have a preferred post-monarch arrangement ?
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Comments

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited March 9
    Why have parliament make all the decisions? Why not just have the Thegn elected by the voters?

    EDIT: Just saw the bit about avoiding an extra election. Not sure I'd worry too much about that. It can't be THAT expensive.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    I am very happy with the current system.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Why have parliament make all the decisions? Why not just have the Thegn elected by the voters?

    EDIT: Just saw the bit about avoiding an extra election. Not sure I'd worry too much about that. It can't be THAT expensive.

    Also because you don’t want competing legitimacies. If the Thegn is directly elected it would be hard to avoid the office gradually accruing powers to itself and over-reaching. If the Thegn disagrees with a minority administration, you could see them saying - well the people elected me !
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited March 9
    Telford wrote: »
    I am very happy with the current system.

    So if, infinitely against your will, if the monarchy were to end (perhaps if they all pulled a Harry’n’Meghan thinking the personal costs too high) - what kind of Republican arrangement would you consider the least worst option ?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Posting these from the other (now closed) British republic thread.
    BroJames, Purgatory Host
    This thread is an offshoot of the Royal thread and I would like to discuss the following:

    1) Is it a good idea for the UK to become a Republic
    2) What are the reasonable prospects for the UK to become a Republic

    I think there are good and not so good arguments for republicanism. The good argument is simply that the notion of inherited rule is fundamentally at odds with the principle of democracy. The notion that one person rules simply on the basis that they are born into this role seems at odds with any principle of meritocracy.

    The not so good argument is simply that the royals are "bad people". Whether are not the royals themselves are individually good or bad people makes no difference whatsoever of whether the institution of monarchy is desirable in itself. There have been good and bad monarchs as they are good and bad presidents, but that in itself does not have to do with the institution.
    Telford wrote: »

    1) Is it a good idea for the UK to become a Republic
    No
    2) What are the reasonable prospects for the UK to become a Republic
    Very poor at the moment
    Telford wrote: »

    1) Is it a good idea for the UK to become a Republic
    No
    2) What are the reasonable prospects for the UK to become a Republic
    Very poor at the moment

    Why is it not a good idea?

    Why do you think the prospects are poor at the moment? The implication is that things may change, so how do you see that happening?

  • :lol:

    The other thread has been closed, but this one does have a jazzy title - except that I'd prefer *Thegn* to be spelt *Thane*, otherwise peeps might think it rhymes with *Meghan*...
    :innocent:

    Your system of election might work, but I wonder if the Thegn/Thane should serve for a term shorter than 10 years - say 5 or 7?

    C of E to be disestablished (the country won't notice), and the ABC could head what remains of the church post-Plague.
  • I suspect that any move towards republicanism would not be separate from broader political questions about the legitimacy of the United Kingdom itself.

    "We the People" What is this "People" we speak of? Do we mean the People of Britain, or the People of England as separate from the People of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Those who argue for a Republic of Great Britain may invoke the "Succession of States" theory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succession_of_states, which is that any British republic should succeed the British kingdom with its territorial integrity intact. That of course would be questioned by Scottish and Welsh nationalists who would argue that any dissolution of the current monarchy must be accompanied by a debate regarding the legitimacy of Britain itself.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    . . . Then either just the commons, or the commons and the lords together to vote in a secret ballot with a single transferable vote - till someone got more than 50% of the vote. . . .

    The aim would be to transition from a monarchy disrupting as little as possible of the current constitutional settlement as possible. Governorship of the CofE could rest with the head of the house of Windsor or pass to the ABC.

    Whilst there are many other constitutional reforms you might want, you’d want to avoid too much change at once to minimise unintended consequences. . . .
    Mindful of the latter part quoted, would it be consistent to abolish the monarchy on the grounds that it’s undemocratic but leave the House of Lords in place? It would seem to me that the two go hand in hand, but maybe that’s my outsider’s ignorance showing.

    Or if the desire is to avoid too much change at once, does it make more sense to reform the upper house of Parliament first and then abolish the monarchy? I do recognize that hereditary peers are now a minority in the house and life peers are the majority, so maybe that would lessen the immediate need for reform.

    Just curious, quite possibly with insufficiently informed curiosity.

  • I must admit that my first thought on reading this thread - despite seeing Great British in the title! - was the vision of an English republic.

    With the other 3 countries of the (dis)Union angling for freedom in various ways, I doubt if territorial integrity could be maintained. At the very least, Scotland is quite possibly going to be an independent state in a few years' time.

    Maybe the English Republic will have to wait until the others have found their destiny...
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Mindful of the latter part quoted, would it be consistent to abolish the monarchy on the grounds that it’s undemocratic but leave the House of Lords in place? It would seem to me that the two go hand in hand, but maybe that’s my outsider’s ignorance showing.

    Or if the desire is to avoid too much change at once, does it make more sense to reform the upper house of Parliament first and then abolish the monarchy? I do recognize that hereditary peers are now a minority in the house and life peers are the majority, so maybe that would lessen the immediate need for reform.

    Just curious, quite possibly with insufficiently informed curiosity.

    Beat me to it. Both should be done away with asap.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited March 9
    Personally I’d favour federating the U.K. plus any remaining vestiges of colonial territories - but I do think that is a separate issue.

    Lords or monarch first ? I think switching to my Thegn/Thane system might make it easier to reform the lords. I think it’s also easier because the lords remains a political contest with a potentially real impact on legislation - whereas a ceremonial apolitical head of state should not be involved in real politik in that way. Any changes to the lords impacts the political balance of power in way a parliamentarilly elected Thegn should not.

    Also, constitutionally, I’d have thought changing the way we choose the head of state shouldn’t by default change the makeup of the state. For example, when the law was changes to appoint the line of succession to the eldest child rather than eldest boy, it did not.
  • I agree that if reform should happen, it must include the House of Lords as well. The question here is whether to reform/recreate or to do away with an Upper House altogether. I am in two minds about this. I would probably prefer a completely new kind of Upper House, so long as the system of appointing people to it was distinctly different from the way that the Lower House was elected. This is probably worthy of a separate thread of its own.

    If the monarch is to be replaced, I would much prefer an elected Head of State, rather than someone installed by the members of the Lower House. Again, though, the key would be the method of election. If it were up to me, I would have a rule that no-one who had served in Parliament in the last 5 years would be eligible. There would also need to be a very definition of the role of such a Head of State, to avoid the danger of them taking on powers over and against the elected parliament.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited March 9
    In someways, the biggest non-political issue is land ownership - how much would the current royals keep and how much would go to state property. I think there would be an argument for some kind of divorce/abdication settlement for the current royal family - and either tenant farmers etc being just given free holds or some thing similar to the projects the Scottish government has been doing re land reform https://www.gov.scot/policies/land-reform/community-right-to-buy/ .
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    . There would also need to be a very definition of the role of such a Head of State, to avoid the danger of them taking on powers over and against the elected parliament.

    I think direct election is a hostage to fortune regarding this danger. If Parliament is to be preserved sovereign, then the appointment of the Thegn must in someway be gatekept by them.
  • If the monarch is to be replaced, I would much prefer an elected Head of State, rather than someone installed by the members of the Lower House. Again, though, the key would be the method of election. If it were up to me, I would have a rule that no-one who had served in Parliament in the last 5 years would be eligible. There would also need to be a very definition of the role of such a Head of State, to avoid the danger of them taking on powers over and against the elected parliament.

    But that leads to the million dollar question regarding presidential republics. If the President is elected, as opposed to the current system in the UK, why should we assume that parliament is sovereign since both the President and the legislature derive their legitimacy from the people?

    If one wants to assert a sovereign parliament, for me, the only option is to not make the President directly elected, either have him or her elected by Parliament or by regional governments.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited March 9
    If you are trying for a gradual change so as not to cause the country to creak at the seams, my order of operations would be:

    First switch to a Thegn elected by Parliament - wait a decade or so for everyone to calm down (with associated land reform it would probably take a good decade to work through).

    Second devolve an English Parliament, (or 7 regional assemblies along the traditional lines of the regions across England so the populations covered are roughly the same as Scotland, NI and Wales) - wait for a decade or so for everyone to calm down.

    Third, federate the Union and dependent territories - wait a decade for everyone to calm down.

    Fourth, change Thegn election be a function of the regional governments and reform the lords at that point - perhaps to be partially appointees from the federal Parliament, part from the the regional governments and part jury selected.

    A generational plan if you like.
  • But why should Parliament be sovereign? Tyranny of the legislature!

    I would like to take the chance to introduce some separation of powers.

    So a written consistitution please. I think the role of the Thegn would be as "guardian of the constitution". Supreme Court advises Thegn on whether executive or legislature is acting unconstitutionally at which point Thegn strikes their actions down.

    Thegn gets current monarchical powers to invite prospective Prime Minister to form a government, and to dissolve Parliament.

    Replace House of Lords with chamber of 500 selected by lot ("House of the People? National Jury?"). This has delaying powers of current Lords. Consitutional change requires supermajority in Commons & National Jury.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    I like the idea of the Speaker as head of state of each of the re-emerging British Isles nations.
  • If one wants to assert a sovereign parliament, for me, the only option is to not make the President directly elected, either have him or her elected by Parliament or by regional governments.

    To which the obvious response is "this is just another stitch up by the political classes, who are so often wildly out of step with the rest of the country." If politicians could genuinely come from any part of the population, then perhaps this wouldn't be a problem. But as long as most politicians (and especially this current government) come from predominantly wealthy, middle-class, privately educated groups of people, the suspicion will always be that any nominees that they put forward will reflect a similar background.

    To be blunt, the problem with the UK is not so much the Royal Family per se as it is that far too many leading politicians come from such a narrow (and pretty exclusive) background. The UK needs to fix its politicians before it fixes the Royal Family.
  • Absolutely not. Any change to an elected head of state snacks of being too American and thus defeats the ultimate purpose of the Monarchy in Canada: it isn't t American.

    If pushed, I propose our head of state be changed to a Maple Tree. Still based on genetic inheritance but much less fuss with genetic testing. The Governor General can be replaced with a suitable stick made from said tree.

    Hand formations of government to the speaker or Dean of the House.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited March 9
    @Rufus T Firefly The problem with that, is the very existence of a hereditary monarchy reinforces the idea that is is perfectly alright for your leadership to come from a small self selecting elite.

    As all political authority, honours, and the idea of a noble class essentially have their origin in the divine right of kings.

    I feel if you laid down the monarchy, these things would become less acceptable over time as outwith the vestiges of the feudal system they make no sense.
  • demasdemas Shipmate
    This thread is a good example of how hard this change would be. There are a million different models, and every Tom, Dick and Harry will be pushing their own political viewpoint under the cover of the change to a Republic. I would recommend you all talk to the Aussies on this one. There's barely a single Australian who has an emotional connection to the Royals and yet the 1999 Referendum still couldn't pass. And that's from a starting point of a written constitution that already partially sets out the role of the Governor-General (as Queen's viceroy) and the executive...




  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    Absolutely not. Any change to an elected head of state snacks of being too American and thus defeats the ultimate purpose of the Monarchy in Canada: it isn't t American.

    If pushed, I propose our head of state be changed to a Maple Tree. Still based on genetic inheritance but much less fuss with genetic testing. The Governor General can be replaced with a suitable stick made from said tree.

    Hand formations of government to the speaker or Dean of the House.

    Well I suppose all countries who currently retain British monarch as head of state have the same problem. But at least if we went with Thegn, it wouldn’t *sound* like president ...
  • Interesting thought experiment, Doublethink.

    I'm going to be awkward and suggest that Thegn is too Anglo-Saxon and therefore suitable only for England and not for other parts of the UK - notwithstanding the 'Thane of Cawdor' in 'The Scottish Play.'

    What if a newly independent Scotland wanted to restore a Scottish monarchy?

    What would a Welsh ruler be called? 'Brenin' or would there be Princes like Llewellyn and all?

    Where would it all end?

    Federalism is one thing but to what level? The county where I grew up used to be a Welsh kingdom at one time. It was 15 miles wide by 30 miles or so north to south.

    Are we talking microlevels?

    The last time we experimented with a Republic we effectively ended up with the army in charge. What checks and balances would there be to stop that this time round?
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited March 9
    demas wrote: »
    This thread is a good example of how hard this change would be. There are a million different models, and every Tom, Dick and Harry will be pushing their own political viewpoint under the cover of the change to a Republic. I would recommend you all talk to the Aussies on this one. There's barely a single Australian who has an emotional connection to the Royals and yet the 1999 Referendum still couldn't pass. And that's from a starting point of a written constitution that already partially sets out the role of the Governor-General (as Queen's viceroy) and the executive...

    That’s why I think trying to switch to an apolitical elected leader alone, without other reforms, is more likely to be successful.

    You are in effect just saying; we won’t change much, it’ll be cheaper, and it says how you are just as important as folk named Windsor and you are in charge of your country rather than some random person.

    @Gamma Gamaliel - that’s why my suggestion is just switch out the monarchy at this point. Then if folk want to campaign for lords reform or federation etc etc, they can do that via the ordinary political processes.
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    If the current royal family must be replaced, I propose that we replace them with me. I’ll do the job. For life. With a generous measure of the attendant wealth and flunkies, of course.

    An even better solution would be for me to be King, but with real power. Nobody likes politicians, the lying, self-serving gits. Let’s get rid of the Mad Mophead and his posh bastard friends and have a proper person in charge. I’ll just make all the decisions, and I’ll be completely honest about why I’m making them. Job done. Boom. Anyone for golf?

    The good part is, once I’ve got absolute unquestioned power over the whole country there will be no reason for me not to introduce some incredibly socialist policies. After all, just so long as I’m rich as Croesus and answerable to no man I’m perfectly happy for everyone else to be made as equal as possible.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    Thanks Nero, I think we’ll pass on the offer.
  • Surely an 'apolitical elected leader' is an oxymoron?

    How can anyone elected by a political process not be 'political?

    It's a bit like churches which claim to be 'non-denominational.'

    A claim to be 'apolitical' is in itself a political claim.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited March 9
    Cross bench if you prefer to call it that. The process I suggest in the op should avoid the ragingly partisan.

    I suppose I mean, not able to constitutionally counter the will Parliament, not able to rule by decree and primarily fulfilling a role as a ceremonial figure / diplomat under government instructions.
  • demasdemas Shipmate
    apolitical elected leader

    A contradiction in terms...

    In any case, I think most of this is just larping revolution. The true revolutionaries, the Whigs and Puritans of yesteryear, have already succeeded - I forget the quote, but they left the institutions in place but rendered them meaningless. The UK is a crowned republic. The Queen reigns without ruling based on the consent of the people expressed through parliament. Getting rid of the Windsors is a tricky technical issue, but doesn't require a revolution, because the revolution has already happened.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    Maybe, but I’d prefer we march no more children behind a coffin through our capital and drive less folk to suicidal despair for the sake of putting on a good show.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    The country of which I am a citizen has a perfectly good President. I feel considerably more respect for Michael D Higgins than for all or any of the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    Telford wrote: »
    I am very happy with the current system.

    So if, infinitely against your will, if the monarchy were to end (perhaps if they all pulled a Harry’n’Meghan thinking the personal costs too high) - what kind of Republican arrangement would you consider the least worst option ?

    A Presedential head of state same as in Ireland. Nominations from all parties or individuals represented in the Upper house. Up for election every 5 years. 6 months after Upper house elections

    Lower house....same as house of commons. FPTP. Prime Minister to be chosen as at present.

    Upper House....500 people elected by the people living in areas about the same size of those used for MEP election. Elected by PR. Powers the same as current House of Lords. UP for election every 5 years

    God save the Queen.

  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    Maybe, but I’d prefer we march no more children behind a coffin through our capital and drive less folk to suicidal despair for the sake of putting on a good show.
    They didn't march. It was a slow walk and in years to come they may well be proud of the moment.

    As for your second comment, those with issues need to seek help from a professional rather than a talk show host

  • Absolutely not. Any change to an elected head of state snacks of being too American and thus defeats the ultimate purpose of the Monarchy in Canada: it isn't t American.

    Is there a chance you could stop taking whacks at America? I mean, we get it, you think we suck. That's fine, you're entitled to think tht way. But it's getting distracting.

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Absolutely not. Any change to an elected head of state snacks of being too American and thus defeats the ultimate purpose of the Monarchy in Canada: it isn't t American.

    Is there a chance you could stop taking whacks at America? I mean, we get it, you think we suck. That's fine, you're entitled to think tht way. But it's getting distracting.

    I didn't take SPK to be saying that was their belief, but rather reporting on a widespread feeling in Canuckistan.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    demas wrote: »
    . I would recommend you all talk to the Aussies on this one. There's barely a single Australian who has an emotional connection to the Royals and yet the 1999 Referendum still couldn't pass. And that's from a starting point of a written constitution that already partially sets out the role of the Governor-General (as Queen's viceroy) and the executive...

    It failed to pass because of a dirty trick by the then Prime Minister, and arch-monarchist.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited March 10
    Gee D wrote: »
    demas wrote: »
    . I would recommend you all talk to the Aussies on this one. There's barely a single Australian who has an emotional connection to the Royals and yet the 1999 Referendum still couldn't pass. And that's from a starting point of a written constitution that already partially sets out the role of the Governor-General (as Queen's viceroy) and the executive...

    It failed to pass because of a dirty trick by the then Prime Minister, and arch-monarchist.
    I took that be at least part of the point @demas was making—it failed to pass because the then Prime Minister exploited the reality that a majority desire to not have a monarch wasn’t coupled with a majority consensus on what to have in place of a monarch.

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I took that be at least part of the point @demas was making—it failed to pass because the then Prime Minister exploited the reality that a majority desire to not have a monarch wasn’t coupled with a majority consensus on what to have in place of a monarch.

    Not even that - it was the method by which the president was to be elected. Some wanted it to be by a vote of the entire population, others wanted what was called the minimalist approach of election by Federal Parliament. Others still wanted something along the German lines. The Prime Minister was an arch-monarchist and so made the minimalist approach part of the referendum question itself. That led to those wanting a more radical change voting against the proposal put forward.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I took that be at least part of the point @demas was making—it failed to pass because the then Prime Minister exploited the reality that a majority desire to not have a monarch wasn’t coupled with a majority consensus on what to have in place of a monarch.

    Not even that - it was the method by which the president was to be elected. Some wanted it to be by a vote of the entire population, others wanted what was called the minimalist approach of election by Federal Parliament. Others still wanted something along the German lines. The Prime Minister was an arch-monarchist and so made the minimalist approach part of the referendum question itself. That led to those wanting a more radical change voting against the proposal put forward.
    Right, and sorry I wasn’t more clear—when I said “what to have in place of a monarch,” I meant that to encompass how to choose such a person. The basic point is that without adequate consensus on what things should look after the monarchy was abolished, majority desire not to be a monarchy was insufficient alone to move Australia to being a republic. Howard’s exploitation of that lack of consensus led to defeat of the proposal.

  • What if a newly independent Scotland wanted to restore a Scottish monarchy?

    Apparently according to this article, Scotland would still end up with a German monarch
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/286277/The-rightful-heir-to-the-Scottish-throne
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I'm not going to participate in this thread, as I will probably only post with male fides. I will limit my comment to recommending most strongly that a British Republic should call itself the Kingdom of Great Britain and use the hereditary Monarch as window dressing.

    The party that openly proposes the abolition of the Monarchy and takes steps to do it in government will lose power quicker than you can say Sex Pistols.

    Tangent:

    That is actually an OK song. They are spot on when they sing "God save the Queen. We mean it man. We love our Queen." They were right to identify their generation as the future, but not as "no future", and their future was the right wing greed machine presently in charge.
  • Pangolin GuerrePangolin Guerre Shipmate
    edited March 10
    Canadian sidebar #1: @Lamb Chopped SPK wasn't taking a whack at Americans. To speak for SPK (preemptive apology to SPK if I'm putting words in his mouth), Canadians often suffer from an anxiety regarding the US and de facto absorption - the US is, after all, 10x the population of Canada. It not only predates our Confederation, that anxiety was in large part the motivation for our Confederation. Canadians often (lazily, IMO - SPK can speak on that judgement himself) define themselves vis-à-vis Americans by an awkward via negativa; a habit that reflects well on no one.

    Canadian sidebar #2: Without boring the congregation with the finer points of the Canadian constitution, while there is a mechanism for making a structural change at the top that could change the role of the Queen and/or the Governor General (The Constitution Act, 1982, V.41, 41 (a)), it is, in practical terms, Gordian. Further, after our near death experience in the Quebec referendum in 1995 and the battle over the subsequent clarity act, a change in the monarchy in the UK would invite a crisis in Canada - not merely political, but potentially existential - that no reasonable person would happily greet. A constitutional assembly in Canada would be a pig's all-day all-you-can-eat buffet of every province and territory bringing an infinite list of grievances and wishes.

    God save The Queen. (And God help us all.)
  • Parliamentary sovereignty equals dictatorship with decorative elections. More fundamental change is urgently required.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Thanks Nick Tamen - understood.
  • I feel if you laid down the monarchy, these things would become less acceptable over time as outwith the vestiges of the feudal system they make no sense.

    I have to say that I find this far too optimistic. Removing the monarchy is unlikely to have much impact upon the "ruling class" which has a life of its own quite separate from the royals and lords. Those who hold real power will continue to do so, as the system favours them. Unless there is radical reform, the likes of the Old Etonians et al will continue to control power, influence and money.

  • Telford wrote: »
    Maybe, but I’d prefer we march no more children behind a coffin through our capital and drive less folk to suicidal despair for the sake of putting on a good show.
    They didn't march. It was a slow walk and in years to come they may well be proud of the moment.

    As for your second comment, those with issues need to seek help from a professional rather than a talk show host

    Coping with something terrible may be a source of pride, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should have been put in that situation in the first place. As to your second comment, an institution that repeatedly trashes the mental health of certain of its members is a problem - regardless of how they subsequently seek help.

    The history of our monarchy is a history people destroyed, both by the institution itself and by the way its powers have been used.

    In the twentieth century alone, we have the abdication - cos God forbid Edward marry for love. Then we have him unforgiven by the queen mother - not just for his nazi sympathies - but also because becoming king screwed up his brothers life. We have our queen raised in such a way she can not contemplate retirement even at the age of 94. We have the queen mother fucking up Charles and Diana’s lives by interfering to prevent his marriage to Camilla in the first place - cos God forbid Charles marry for love either. And we have the damage done by the tabloids. We have the massive absentee landhoarding, the reinforcement of a class system that mutilates lives on an industrial scale. We have the lack of personal freedom and agency inflicted on the “working” royals - perhaps William’s children won’t all be obliged to join the army but who knows.

    I could go on.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Add Princess Margaret to the "God forbid they should marry for love" list.
  • Fawkes CatFawkes Cat Shipmate
    Telford wrote: »
    Maybe, but I’d prefer we march no more children behind a coffin through our capital and drive less folk to suicidal despair for the sake of putting on a good show.
    They didn't march. It was a slow walk and in years to come they may well be proud of the moment.

    As for your second comment, those with issues need to seek help from a professional rather than a talk show host

    Coping with something terrible may be a source of pride, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should have been put in that situation in the first place. As to your second comment, an institution that repeatedly trashes the mental health of certain of its members is a problem - regardless of how they subsequently seek help.

    The history of our monarchy is a history people destroyed, both by the institution itself and by the way its powers have been used.

    In the twentieth century alone, we have the abdication - cos God forbid Edward marry for love. Then we have him unforgiven by the queen mother - not just for his nazi sympathies - but also because becoming king screwed up his brothers life. We have our queen raised in such a way she can not contemplate retirement even at the age of 94. We have the queen mother fucking up Charles and Diana’s lives by interfering to prevent his marriage to Camilla in the first place - cos God forbid Charles marry for love either. And we have the damage done by the tabloids. We have the massive absentee landhoarding, the reinforcement of a class system that mutilates lives on an industrial scale. We have the lack of personal freedom and agency inflicted on the “working” royals - perhaps William’s children won’t all be obliged to join the army but who knows.

    I could go on.

    And this is why I would prefer us not to have a hereditary monarchy. Quite simply, it's not fair that anyone should be born into being a character in the national soap opera without the option to leave and live their lives in the obscurity the rest of us are blessed with. If someone chooses to seek national prominence through election, then it's (arguably) reasonable to assume that they have done so with their eyes open and accept everything that comes with the job.
  • I feel if you laid down the monarchy, these things would become less acceptable over time as outwith the vestiges of the feudal system they make no sense.

    I have to say that I find this far too optimistic. Removing the monarchy is unlikely to have much impact upon the "ruling class" which has a life of its own quite separate from the royals and lords. Those who hold real power will continue to do so, as the system favours them. Unless there is radical reform, the likes of the Old Etonians et al will continue to control power, influence and money.

    This seems obvious. The royal family are at the apex of privilege and hierarchy, and this has been the target of republicanism in many countries. However, removing a monarchy does not remove privilege, God knows how you do that, maybe it's impossible. See the nomenklatura in communist countries.
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