Saturday, January 27, 2007

Catching up with the Windsors

Its been a long time since I posted here, sorry about that. Lets catch up.

In the last year, there has been a cinema film about the Queen and Tony Blair during the week after Diana's death, Charles has had rows and court cases with the media, I lost track of the never ending Diana enquires and Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall has become almost a candidate for Queen but is facing fearce competition from Kate Middleton, Prince William's very public girlfriend.

Today, Prince Charles and Camilla visited Philadelphia, ironically enough the same place where the monarchy was abolished in America through the declaration of Independence.


Mr. Driver said...

And look what a grotty country America is. Most tasteless things around these days originated in America.

Baseball caps, chewing gum, MacDonalds etc etc etc etc

Anonymous said...

I thought I wouldn't like this blogsite! It's all in the negative.
If you wish to abolish the British Monarchy, what do you replace it with as Head of State?
Tony Blair, or some other redundant politician? Or an archaic intellectual, with no sense of style?
I've lived in republics, and they had just as many problems with their heads of state.

Anonymous said...

I think they want to replace it with someone that is elected by the people and can be held accountable? I'm from America, and I can readily admit our many many faults, but at least we don't have a monarchy. Talk about a ridiculous, archaic and historically oppressive institution.

Anonymous said...

The Dutch Situation

To make a good argument for the Republic in the Netherlands we first have to tackle down the standard arguments that monarchists give in defence of the monarchy and then present some good arguments in favour of the republic. (and thus en passant against a monarchy). It’s amazing how much emotion amongst people it brings when you attack the usefulness of the monarchy as a system. You are directly stigmatized as a traitor, not patriotic, a communist or what so ever. Also your job can be at stake, especially when you are working for the government that represents the monarchy system. Critic at the monarchy may also be, if you don’t watch out, interpretated as ‘majesty insult’ on which there is a prison punishment of 5 (!) years. It’s therefore an institute that comes with remarkable practises. So, why do we think we need a monarchy then? In Dutch constitutional law literature, you find mainly the following five arguments.

The King or Queen is impartial.

The monarch has no political colour and therefore she or he is independent. In this way, as a head of the state ‘the monarch’ can stand above the parties. There is something wrong with this argument. First of all, all people have preferences and opinions. That’s human. It’s highly reasonable that the Dutch Queen has sympathy for the conservative Christian democrats, since they represent her own religious preferences in a political arena. Second, in case that the monarch was not into chasing interests that would be defined as public interests (clear political preferences) he is then chasing his self-interest. That means, using his power to stay in power, getting as much as possible money out of the State etc. His self-interest to enrich himself isn’t impartial either. The fiction that the monarchy stands above the parties will be discussed more in detail further on.

The Queen/ King serves a symbol function.

The Royals are supposed to incorporate symbols that represent the Nation. In the Netherlands these symbols are the colour “orange,” – interesting enough the name of a principality in France – as to be seen in the ‘Prinsenvlag’ (Flag of the Prince). The question is, how does the Royal House represent the nation these days? First there is a theoretical argument. The Netherlands is a democracy and the principle of formal equality is a part of the daily reality. A Monarchy is based on succession, members of this family gain power and wealth because of birth. A modern democracy based on the fruits of the Enlightment is not well presented by an old fashioned institute that stems from the medieval idea of feudality. Second there is the practise argument. The Netherlands is a fast growing multicultural society. We are not the ethnically uniform nation as we were 180 years ago. The Royal family misrepresents this multi-ethnic character. It’s a family of white elites, -- although you can argue that Princess Maxima from Argentine gives the Royals a semi ‘multi-culti outlook.’ The question remains, whether the people, especially those living at the edge of poverty as well those newcomer cultures living in the margins of society, feel them selves being represented by a royal head of the State. It can be argued that in a presidential system a president doesn’t represent the multi-cultural aspect of the nation neither. A country needs to sell it self as a wealthy country in international relations, therefore a head of the State may cost some money. However, a monarchy costs more than a presidential system. (see below)

The Monarchy provides unity.

This is a classic argument in favour of the monarchy. First of all, if the argument was to make sense, it should be stated as “the monarchy provides unity in a more effective way than….” Then you could compare. But it’s simply taken for granted. As if France, The USA and other Republics have no unity. When we read about this argument we find arguments like “Orange keeps us all together,” “Orange binds the

Anonymous said...

I don't mind having a crumby head of state - as long as I get to choose them. I like to take responsibility for my own country and way of life - not just bow to the (symbolic) authority of a particular family.

Anonymous said...

The only justification I ever hear these days for retaining the monarchy is that they are wonderful for generating tourism.

But are they really?

After all everything relating to the monarchy that tourists see would still be there - like castles, ceremonial changing of the guard, etc. etc. For example, the Palace of Versailles in France attracts way more tourists every year than Buckingham Palace yet there is no resident monarch to be found there.

And are tourists not attracted to national symbols of monarchy for their historical interest? So wouldn't Britain's tourism industry just continue as normal anyway? All the indicators elsewhere would suggest yes.

In fact France, a comparable country to Britain in size and population, are streets ahead of Britain in tourism figures, yet they have no monarchy.

So isn't that whole argument a terribly unconvincing one when examined closely?

Monarchy is an anomaly in any modern society, a parasitical entity which serves no useful purpose other than to conserve the status quo of a divided society.

What kind of society chooses to retain a monarchy in favour of its own progression towards an egalitarian existence for its citizens? Perhaps only a society of subjects rather than citizens? Scary.

Abdi Mohamed said...

The Queen had initiated some positive effects for example bringing tourists to Britain to visit Buckingham palace which brings more money into the country. But those who argue that British publics money is being wasted on funding one of the richest families in Britain, do not feel that the Queen spend the whole money for aid toward the tuition fees for students in universities and secondary schools

tins2011 said...

Hey! We have the equivalent of the British Royals here in America! You can see them in Disneyland 7 days a week including holidays! Also generates tourism! Annual pass available!

Ovi said...

I just wonder if the founder of this blog is still alive

Dianna said...

As much as I hate having a monarchy, it's still a better option than a presidency