Post by cheerypeabrain on Apr 6, 2020 18:02:52 GMT
There are other kings and queens around the world, princes and emperors too. I'm probably being wildly biased when I say that by 'the monarcy' I tend to mean 'the British monarchy'.
I suppose that I have a certain amount of grudging respect for our current Queen, but at the same time I really don't understand why we still have such an outdated system as the aristocracy still in place in the 21st century. My Mother taught us to respect authority figures...so I do respect teachers, doctors, the police and judges etc...but I don't understand why I am expected to curtsey to somebody who just happens to have been born into a particular family.
I know that the Queen serves a purpose as head of state, that she is (in theory) impartial and outside politics...but most monarchs have been terrible..Elizabeth II is a one off imo, she has been unusually dedicated and takes her role as 'the servant of the people' very seriously...can't help but feeling that she's the exception rather than the rule. (!)
After the current monarch dies I think we should call it a day. However so many British traditions and institutions have significant ties with the monarchy it would be nigh on impossible. The whole political system needs reforming...I mean why should there be hereditary peers in the house of lords? Why do we allow governments to appoint their allies and retired cabinet members to the Lords? It doesnt seem very democratic...I'm just interested in hearing your views and suggestions.
Well, just as my very first thought (I will have others obviously), I would say that the House of Lords should be eliminated as soon as possible. As to whether it should be replaced by some sort of Senate, I am not really in favour of that either, since I am most familiar with the American and the French Senates, and both of them are a load of crap. Strangely enough, for once I will say that the American Senate is better than the French Senate because at least the American one is elected by universal suffrage, whereas the French one uses an electoral college. But frankly, a think that I unicameral legislature is sufficient. Factoid: there is only one American state that has adopted this system: Nebraska, a state of very little national importance.
Just kidding, but I agree totally with you, Cheery. I think all monarchies should be abolished, especially when they only serve as figureheads, living off the public purse while they have enormous assets of their own. I can't comment on Betty, but I think that all that inbreeding over the centuries has produced an awful lot of duds, not just in Britain but all over Europe and elsewhere. At least you don't have the crime of lèse-majesté like in Thailand, where you can be put in prison for simply criticizing a useless guy like the current king.
Living in a country without a monarch, I think that retired polticians should not be elected to the Senate or given influential positions on various committees.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Apr 6, 2020 19:06:07 GMT
I think I agree with both of you Lugg and Kerouac. The House of Lords are supposed to hold the elected house to account but not sure that happens, it's an expense the country can ill afford and serves no purpose imo. The best thing about the HoL is the whisky of that name produced by the Edradour distillery for the HoL bar. My Dad got us a bottle when he visited the distillery and it was lush...
The Canadian Senate is a colonial take on the House of Lords as well, and an utter waste of our tax dollars. Attractive chamber, though - could be put to some other purpose. It used to be fusty old pols too. Still is, though there are also people of various backgrounds with a range of achievements.
Québec abolished the upper house of its Assemblée nationale decades ago. That chamber is used for ceremonies.
The monarchy was abolished in Italy in 1948, but this was largely due to their assent to Mussolini's rule which later became something far worse; collaboration with Hitler.
I think the relatively good behaviour of the British and Dutch monarchies contributed to some of their continued postwar support. Perhaps whatagain will have more to say about the Belgian monarch - who is "le Roi des Belges"...
I'm not a monarchist but do have a grudging appreciation for some monarchs and members of royal houses. Not for the evil Saudi prince, though.
I know that the UK is proud not to have a constitution for some reason ("We don't need one; We have the Magna Carta.") but now it turns out that there is no really official written provision for who replaces an incapacitated Prime Minister so they just sort of improvise it. This is all well and good, and I haven't seen any protests about the current situation, but what happens if that next person were to become incapacitated as well?
Some politician would muscle his way to the top, but I expect there is a protocol in place which will produce a leader as now. As for the house of lords, I have to agree that the hereditary duffers should be swept away, but i do think a more effective second house is a good thing to hold the others in check if they get ideas above their station.
As for the Monarchy, that is a whole different kettle of fish. Our present Queen has done a tremendous job and has shown a devotion to public duty above and beyond, but I am not too sure of the calibre of those to come. Some are absolute wasters. One must not forget that people of my generation were brought up to believe that the Monarch was some sort of god, with absolute authority. The example set by the present Queens family during the war was an inspiration to many, and reinforced their position in peoples eyes. The present situation is somewhat similar to a wartime scenario and need s similar leadership by example, not go scuttling off to America, in thrall to a bit of fluff, as one member of the family has done.
I think our situation here is better than say, Russia, with a Tsar wielding ultimate power, or USA where money is king. Perhaps there is no ideal system and countries get what they deserve, and bad leaders are swept away by revolution.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
Wise observations, Mossie, and it is quite true that in the 21st century the "new" royals have not been very inspirational, even poor old Charles who would do his best but who inspires nobody. So perhaps it is time to move on, but how? I did not completely read every bit of this interesting Wikipedia article but it looks like just about the only way to end monarchy is through revolution or overthrow during a crisis.
I wonder if a (new) British sovereign would have the right to announce "this has gone on long enough; time to change the system."
Didn't Charles mention something about pruning away some of the deadwood and reducing the numbers of the royals?
Perhaps a referendum could be held, although I really doubt whether enough Brits would choose to get rid of the royals.
I also don't understand why so many people, like Mossie, are so annoyed that Harry called it quits. He is 6th in line to the throne, meaning that he would never be king, or never hold an influential position. He is in his 30s. Is he supposed to hang around and open charity balls or whatever role as second, or sixth, fiddle is assigned to him?
I was going to start a new thread about today's major news subject in the UK, but I think that this one will do.
I fully understand that a great many British people prefer to look at the carpet right now and pretend that the interview never happened and that everyone will forget it soon. That is quite possible... but maybe not. I think that in all of our countries there have been events or revelations that do not actually shower us with glory.
And so in spite of the energetic proclamations of Piers Morgan, I propose that we revive the debate about this family and the entire institution. Even French television is showing the recording of the debate tonight. I won't be watching because these people do not fascinate me, and anyway I'm pretty sure that I have already seen enough excerpts on the news today (not to mention tomorrow and the next day and the day after that).
Kerouac, when you say “recording of the debate tonight” do you mean the Harry/Meg interview with Oprah?
Though I don’t care much about the British Monarchy, I actually watched all of the interview. I came away with very mixed feelings and one question: is the British tabloid press as bad, and as powerful, as has been reported? Actually, I do have a couple other questions, but will save them for later.
I have not watched it yet of course - it is on UK TV a little later tonight, I think around 9pm GMT . Will I watch it ? - probably but not in the next few days and only when I have nothing better to do. Of course I've read some of the reports in the press today.
Reading back to the top of this thread, I see Mossie says "I do think a more effective second house is a good thing to hold the others in check if they get ideas above their station."
As long as people believe that everyone has a station in life and that some are entitled to be above it because of an accident of birth, then the monarchy and its spoiled members will not be abolished.
I've read the bullet points and won't watch the interview at all. Some is believable, some not. Some seems to attribute an effect to a cause whereby the facts may be true but the reasoning behind it is probably not - e.g. the was a conversation between Megan and Kate about bridesmaids dresses(?) and it brought Megan to tears, or something like that. The inference is that Kate was nasty to Megan causing the crying episode. The facts seem to be the two talked about the dresses, the reason Megan was so upset may well have been not Kate being nasty but that Megan didn't get her own way. But that's not how it's being spun.
Also, someone has shown the Royal family are all racists by asking about the colour of the child then to come (not the Queen or Philip apparently). The whole circumstances surrounding that question either a) determine if it is racist or not, or b) is it that any mention of colour at all is deemed by some to be racist no matter the circumstances? If you look at everything through the lens of racism, you'll always see it no matter what. The difficulty is where do you draw the line, and that can only be a personal opinion as to where it is.
For me, considering the whole chronology from their first meeting until now and all the events that have occurred to and with them I feel on balance Megan is more playing up to being the victim than really is the victim. Harry is just being led round by his knob end. He's too soft a lad by far. Unfortunately both seem to be full of contradictions and hypocrisy.
(This thing they are playing up to about Charles cutting off their income from the Crown - it sounds as though he made the decision about it, either without consultation or if there was, he wouldn't listen to their arguments and be reasonable - not that they agreed that if they left the Monarchy, they wouldn't be eligible to anything from the Privy Purse.)
Megan could have been the proverbial breath of fresh air for the royalty. She's turned into halitosis.
I've just been reading a little more this morning and I think I need to stop. Things like, "Prince Harry said that in January last year the couple had an invitation to visit the Queen at Sandringham suddenly withdrawn by her private secretary, who said she was "busy all week". - jeez, you had an appointment cancelled, a regular event in real life, and attributing it to being shunned by the Queen and now, as it is the policy not to comment on these petty things, it's another brick in their wall of hurtful events and victimisation.
Regarding the press - "Meghan said there had been an "obsession about anything in my world"....." Oh dear, what a surprise.
"He (Harry) said that "sadly" no-one in the family had said they were sorry that the couple felt they had to move away from royal life because they did not feel supported. The feeling is that this was our decision, therefore the consequences are on us."
Yeah, well, it got hard for Megan. Expectations and reality widely differed. It was your decision. You wanted to leave the Monarchy, you did. So yes, the consequences are on you (e.g. you pay for your own Protection. I think Canada eventually refused to(?) and that was an element in the move to the USA). You were supported but with a element of pull yourself together and stop feeling slights at every turn and corner. Interpreting everything as an affront on being female, American and of mixed race. And it was easier to run away to a safe space - no matter that again they feel they are the victims for not having an apology supplied to them for something that didn't warrant it - a single mother in a damp and mould infested apartment with no job, no money and no hope in central Birmingham knows what hard is and would love the chance to be able to run away when things got a little difficult, not be assured of a roof over the head, security, bills paid and not worrying where the next meal was coming from.
On balance I prefer having a Monarchy than not, they do have their problems though and on balance I'd rather have a free press than not, they do have their problems though. The whole thing boils down to it wasn't what she thought it would be, it got hard, she decided she'd be a victim rather than own up to her own mistake(s), saw attacks from all sides and completely passed over all the outpourings of support and good press in the early stages, all the good tidings and open arms and is now lashing out and sending accusations shot gun fashion everywhere, accusations that may have some merit from some quarters, but are blatant exaggerations and truth twisting designed to play along with her victim stance - "Mummy, they're being nasty to me. I'm going to run away and live with the fairies".
(When the accusations become factual rather than exaggerations and truth twisting, they start to have problems in verification, e.g. the incident regarding the colour of the baby happened either before they were married or when she was pregnant and after marriage, she says one thing, he says another - but you'd think with something as monumental as they are making it out to be, they'd know for sure. It'd be etched in stone in their memory.)
"Compassion" my arse. "One act at a time". It comes across to me as calculating and completely missing the fact of just think what could be achieved with the power of the Monarchy behind them. The doors that would and could be opened. Also, they can't pick and choose what they want to keep and seem affronted that certain things have been taken away from them because they decided to leave. In or out, that's the two options, not out but retain certain benefits, pick and choose, and they/she feels they should be entitled to more than they are due and are kicking up a fuss because they can't have what they want - like Harry not being able to retain his military status as head of whatever, etc. Being 'victimised'.
They/she refuses to accept the consequences of their actions. That'll do from me.
In 1999 Australia held a referendum to gauge the support of becoming a Republic and having our own Australian Head of state. Polls and surveys showed that about 60% of the population from all walks of life wanted to cut free of the old colonial arrangement, especially as our census showed that 1 in 5 citizens were born overseas and had no connection with a British Monarch. So...the committee running the referendum was already running around in all directions to come up with a suitable question to have people vote on. It seems that 1) "Do you want a monarchy..YES or NO "
2) "Which model do you prefer...followed by 3 models" was too easily understood so the Monarchists made sure they could obfuscate the voters with this beauty...
" To alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament."
Like kangaroos with their eyes dazzled in the headlights, the voters returned a No vote. Since then a collection of young Royals have kept the magazines covered and other more important issues (like everything) to the nation's attention. One day the Reign of Elizabeth the Dutiful will come to an end and Australia just might have the courage to try again.
I recognise this is not about the UK and her struggle for equality, but what the heck!
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
Questa, I just finished reading an article in the Guardian about how this current kerfuffle is encouraging thoughts of a republic in Australia again. Some monarchist said Australians are not interested because they only care about the covid crisis and their daily lives. That argument doesn't actually work -- if nobody cares about the monarchy, why should Australia have it as their head of state?
The mention of Betty came up too -- she has respect from many but that won't carry on to whoever happens to take over.
I can't watch that interview because I would burst into tears. Poor little Meghan, she expected to become Chief Princess, but instead wash pushed into being a dowdy old Duchess, so she stamped her little foot and took her toys home.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
One thing I forgot, as an illustration - Archie is refused being a made a prince because of his colour, that is the message they are putting out - and it is wrong. It's all down to the royalty laws/regulations as to who can and can't be. Another example of a conclusion being drawn from the wrong reasoning. Currently the lad can't be made a prince, factually true. The 'why', the reason why they are saying, is false. Unfortunately, getting their story in first often leads to the belief in that narrative and any denials or evidence to the contrary gets dismissed and/or buried in all the other stuff. The concern is, do they really believe their reason is valid for so many of the bad things said/done and are just naïve, or do they know the real reasons and are just being manipulative to get sympathy on their side, with a hint of vindictiveness.
As with Mossie, she threw her toys out the pram because she didn't get what she wanted and now she's picked up her ball and took it home. I get the impression there are two sides in that the general feeling in the US is she's been hard done to and believe without exception, what she is declaring. Stuffing it to the Royals sort of thing though there are some voices in opposition to that.
As far as naming Archie a prince goes -- I read that only William's first born is officially a prince, but the Queen issued "letters of patent" to make his siblings princes and princesses. So she could have done the same for Archie, no?
As for Meghan, she had a life before she married Harry. She was a professional woman earning her own living and also brought up in the States, where ideas are different. You don't have to curtsey to your grandmother-in-law because she is the queen. I don't know what she wanted, but I'm sure she had no idea what life in the royal family would be like. Blaming her for everything, like leading Harry around by the "knob" does neither of them justice. He was a professional soldier for 10 years, did charity work in Lesotho. Would he have managed to do that if he was such a wet rag as he is being depicted by the royal family defenders?
I remember reading that William took his time when it came to asking Kate to marry him, simply because he wanted her to be absolutely 100% sure she could manage the job. Today they seem the elegant happy parents who are above all the Harry & Magan mellarky. I'm hoping nothing discolours their apparent dedication to being Royal with a capital R.
And then there is the camp of which I am a part. "Who gives a shit?"
Meanwhile, I read that Harry and Meghan's deal with Netflix could be worth US$ 100 million. Perhaps the British should thank them for not sucking more tax money out of the country to prop up the House of Windsor.
As for who or who is not a prince/princess, can't they change the rules whenever they feel like it? If I am not mistaken, that is what the delightful Grimaldis of Monaco did about 20 years ago to allow a princess to become head of state if necessary. (They may have had to ask permission from France, though. )
What about the question that nobody dares to ask in Britain, though? Will Harry and Meghan attend grandpa's funeral?
I don't get the 'colour' thing. First i dare hope i am not racist, second how can one say Meghan is black ? She is as white as most Spaniards or some French on the Riviera ! Third, who cares ? And the ones who do should be locked up.
It's the amazing 'one drop' rule so popular in the United States. If you have any black ancestry at all, you are supposed to call yourself an African-American. That's why mixed race Barack Obama or Kamala Harris are considered black instead of mixed.