Thursday, 25 July 2013

Arise Lord Quango....

It was a valiant effort in defense of the Monarchy yesterday by BQ, but it is not going to wash with me:

No, no and no again to Consitutional Monarchy.

A nice try Bill but I am not falling for it. My argument is not about money as I entirely agree with you that the cost/benefit of Monarchy vs some sort of Presidency will probably work out better for the Monarchy.

My belief rests on the social impacts and thus, sadly, I am even for once of Mark Wadsworth's side even though I am a committed Home Owener.
The biggest issue today in the UK is social mobility. Poor people struggle to get on and one of the key reasons behind this is the built into our social structure. The people at the top are born into wealth and power and literally cannot be removed. It's a terrible incentive for the people in the Country and creates and feeds the terrible obsession with class that blights our nation.

The US simply does not have this. The Kardahsians are royalty today, for five minutes, the Clintons were too, it will be someone else next week. Also the kardashians are no marks, I think this is a good thing. They will be replaced, it is not some dynasty that will last 1000 years.
Finally, we need a president to have some power, where the Queen has none the Prime Minister is too powerful, a President could have powers to block, legitimately, unjust legislation should it ever be attempted by future extreme Governments of any colour.
Finally, to the comments, people say imagine President Blair! OK but imagine President Boris or even President Sugar. Surely more useful than someone who goes to the Races and opens the odd school. I would even vote one day for a President  Prince George, why not, as long as we can vote and he has to campaign.

26 comments:

DtP said...

I have always supposed that a consitutional monarchy acts as a bulwark against a military coup - unlikely, to be sure, but always a possibility and a constitution that is malleable and flexible is a major benefit. That the troops work for HM and not the PM (even though they do) offers an esoteric distinction between where authority lies. The triangulation between the executive, the monarch and the army all responsive in their various fashion to the ultimate sovereign (the bloody mob) is an evolved yet utterly insane manifestation of historic fudge: but it works. We can see it works. Whereas other countries toy with extremism, Blighty has never so much considered it.

We are therefore engaging in value judgements based, perhaps, on those 2 countries which are perhaps our closest cultural relatives - the French & the Yanks. I absolutely despise American politics - it's a sobering realisation to acknowledge the value of our Liberal Democrat Party in that we have, you know, more than 2 choices. I have a feeling too that whilst Monsieur Le President may have more executive authority than any other dude of similar rank - much of the admin authority is restricted to departments.

I'm rather ambivalent about the whole thing but as i'm from Yaaaarkshire, there's the massive restriction of if it ain't broke, don't fix it and I really can't see how messing about at such top level would make the slightest bit of difference, would leave the constitution available to opportunistic meddling (I re-wrote our local gov constitution when we held power and popped some proper time bombs in there) and, frankly, would just make the lawyers rich.

Am able to be persuaded but not yet!

DtP said...

Plus - and here's a doozy - how would it be changed?

1) Privvy Council
2) Ad hoc select committee
3) Royal Commission?
4) Primary Legislation
5) Referendum
6) Royal Perogative?

It's like the Scotland Bill - whenever you get near it, you want to run away. ++Cranmer would shit the bed!

Bill Quango MP said...

DTP:++Cranmer would shit the bed!

Tea-nose-keyboard incident recorded in accidents in the workplace book.

Ryan said...

"The US simply does not have this."

Bullshit. The Bush family is a dynasty. The Kennedy family is a dynasty. There are plenty more examples when you care to take a look under the rock. You are a victim of American propaganda.

One of the benefits of the British class system is that rich families content themsleves with being posh and don't meddle too much with the lives of the hoi-polloi.

Britain is a great country but let down by its politicians mainly because it politicians ARE politicians and not leaders. Most of them are upper middle class ex-public schoolboys trained only to climb the greasy pole and with no vision. Our best approach is to start getting together ourselves to make a better Britain without the politicians getting in the way - this is what the Victorians did and Britain was better for it. We have become infected by the Socialists nonsense that the state should lead everything.

Jim said...

Yes, because what this country needs right now is MORE POLITICIANS!!!!!

/sarc

Personally I reckon we should abolish the House of Commons, and go back to being governed by the Monarch, with the government formed from the House of Lords (hereditaries only of course). We've had 100+ years of this democratically elected politicians lark, and look where its got us. From an empire that spanned the globe to a tin pot country thats stony broke.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Ta for the mention, but please note that I am also a "committed home owner".

It's lovely owning your own house to decorate and sell as and when you please. Call me old fashioned (and evidence shows home ownership is bad for the economy, but so what).

Problem is that a too small group own too many homes, as a result of which there have to be a lot of tenants and a lot of people with very big mortgages who end up losing huge amounts of money over their lifetimes.

And evidence from earlier happier days - the 1950s and 1960s - tells us exactly how to achieve high rates of owner-occupation.

None of which has much to do with president vs royal family debate. My preference would be "neither" like in Switzerland where nobody even knows or cares who the prime minister is.

visc said...

Ryan, agree with much of what you said ... which reminede me of Disreali:

"The world is weary of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians."

Jan said...

The test comes when the monarchy falls out of favour....at the moment they're on a high and can do no wrong. I think they would be wise to downsize a bit and sell off some of their assets giving away some of their vast wealth (help pay off some of the national debt perhaps?) before the day of reckoning comes. They should remember what happened in France and Russia to their monarchies.

dearieme said...

"The biggest issue today in the UK is social mobility" because, in large part, the republican-inclined Labour Party set out to destroy the grammar schools.

"... giving away some of their vast wealth": I'm puzzled to know how you know how much wealth the Windsor family has.

CityUnslicker said...

Dearieme - where do I say givien away some of their vast wealth?? I have no interest in their wealth, purely the position.

DtP - Many of your roles are directly transferable or reformable with a President. Not buying that as an issue not to do it.

Ryan - OK, happy to agree here we need less politicians, starting by no MEP's and about 500 MP's. Agree, less politicians. But the Queen has a role which because it is powerless allows Politicians to interfere more in people lives than would happen under a president, which would provide more blockage to the system.

Blue Eyes said...

Sorry CU, I find your argument has a huge gaping (flawed) assumption in it. You assume that having someone else as head we would suddenly have a more socially mobile society. Not true. We would just have the same political class sitting in rearrange deckchairs, IF we did not make some other changes.

The key reason Britain is currently going backwards in social mobility has absolutely nothing to do with the monarchy. It has to do with education, vested interests (see the professions in particular, but not exclusively) and a pervasive attitude of "meh".

David Beckham and Cherie Blair did not push themselves because they thought that one day they might be president. Alan Sugar doesn't think to himself "hey, only one item left to tick off my list of ambitions, let's go for a republic!".

Nah. I think you've mixed up several issues into one.

dearieme said...

CU, I wasn't addressing you about wealth, but (unsurprisingly?) the commenter who remarked on it.

DtP said...

@CU - I respectfully disagree. Any process of transference would inherently require paper work, stipulations, procedures, conventions and a whole host of any other shite that can be slipped in there. I've never been sold on a constitution or a bill of rights for much the same reason - it become limited as soon as regulated. The class system in Britain, if anything, is a method of etiquette.

I'm 38 now and remember doing essays on George Soros killing the Bank of England with £7 billion as gambling cash and a rainy morning, a whinging missus and a chip on his shoulder. Scroll on 20 years and none of us round these parts shudder much at a couple of hundred billion. Balls was pushing the line that the US has got 3X more growth but same goes QE, the tit.

As soon as you put any arguments about retention of the monarchy - it looks like waffle. However, they're good people, they're nice people. By their lineage they prevent execution - there's always another one. You do that with elections and, fuck me, John Presott could still be there.

It ain't maths, logic's got fuck all to do with any of it. It kinda works. One of my top drinking dudettes was the Mayor of our borough and it's all glad handing, kiddy plays and meet the fucking pensioners. Politics isn't really about opinion at all, mainly, there's shed loads of admin to get through.

An office is still a person and the Windsors have quite a decent rule book available to all.

CityUnslicker said...

I have worked in ltos of large organisations BE. Whilst I agree this is not a panacea and was never meant to come across as one; I have learned that behaviours go top down far more than bottom up. We have to do a hug range of things to improve social mobility - this is just one of them.

DtP said...

Wot BE said.

1 word - Chavez!!!

Blue Eyes said...

Leaving aside the very important points that DtP makes, which are basically that as soon as you start quickly replacing one role you find that the whole house of cards starts crashing down, there are about a million things to fix first before richarding about with the Monarchy.

And sorry your main thrust still doesn't really work. You say the PM has too much power. Surely more people would be vying for that power than some kind of ceremonial Posh Spice role? How would anything be more aspirational by creating a new non-job?

The Royal Family seems very good at what it does. We would soon get bored of President Unslicker cutting ribbons and giving out gongs and probably President Unslicker would get bored too.

Sorry, I just don't buy it. The tone from the top is very much NOT set by Her Maj. Her Maj has presided over enormous changes, most of which have bubbled up from the bottom, the middle and near the top. She has not resisted any of them.

Nick Drew said...

watch the White Queen, or any of the all-too-many progs on the Tudors, to see what happens when it's known to be open season on the Top Job

stable & undisputed succession at the Very Top is vital, from here to N.Korea - either that, or genuine allegiance to something abstract

the latter is rare - the USA in days gone by (perhaps), or a supreme religious representative (Iran)

Blue Eyes said...

ND agreed as always.

The Americans ++HAD++ an allegiance to the principles of their strictly limited government, free republic. I don't know when they started forgetting about it, but these days they pick the GWB's and European-style democratic socialists so I don't think they can argue that their system is significantly different from ours.

What *is* a community organiser, anyway?

Blue Eyes said...

Aaargh errant apostrophe. Send me to the Tower.

CityUnslicker said...

As an irish passport holder I could never be President Unslicker...

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"as long as we can vote and he has to campaign"

What, vote like we do for a government? Several completely indistinguishable candidates, all of them fully paid-up members of the untouchable political class?

All of them in favour of a bigger state, higher taxes, windmills, and the EU?

No thanks.

One of the great things about the royals is that they are not, have never been, and never will be politicians.

Getting rid of the monarchy wouldn't remove the current ruling class: they are not those people any more.

visc said...

Tangentially: Talking of voting for a President - who would get to vote - only Uk passport holders? It seems to me teh franchise has some how expanded beyond those whop hold a British or Irish passport in the last 20 - 30 years.

Anonymous said...

@visc,
Commonwealth citizens have always been able to vote for MPs in the UK, as they used to be British subjects. EU citizens can't vote for MPs (except Cypriots and Maltese as they are also Commonwealth, and Irish as they were British until the 1920s anyway)

Anonymous said...

And then you get a President like Obummer or Chavez - no thank you.

They make the case for a constitutional monarchy.

Anonymous said...

And then you get a President like Obummer or Chavez - no thank you.

They make the case for a constitutional monarchy.

James Higham said...

I want Lord Quango in charge - now.