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Why exactly do we have a Royal Family...

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    (Original post by gladders)
    They have exactly as much right to what land their own as any other landowner in this country. If you take the land from the royal family you threaten property rights for every British citizen.
    Good, I oppose property rights in land.

    Even supposing I didn't though, it's a landowning left over from feudalism. It was taken by robbery. I'm not proposing that the land is taken in the normal sense, rather that it is invalid.

    When feudalism was abolished in the French Revolution, the land was not simply given to the feudal lords of it. Their entire right of any kind to the land was rightfully considered never valid, and so became the land of the peasants who farmed it (or sometimes the state auctioned it off).

    Why? Why not celebrate it?
    Why on earth would we want to celebrate a vestige of such a horrible thing as absolute monarchy?

    They are an apolitical figurehead, the human face of the British state and nation. Fealty to the monarch is equivalent to fealty to the nation.
    Nation =/= state. The nation is the people. The monarch is part of the state.

    Depends what you mean here: if you mean the oath that officeholders are meant to take on taking office, I think it still has a purpose; if you mean the daily recitation of the pledge in schools, then I'm with you.
    It makes no sense for officeholders to swear allegiance to the state - they are the state.

    A symbolic enforcer of the laws as Head of State.
    You can declare anyone 'symbolic enforcer'. Especially considering UK constitutional law is mostly custom, the actual enforcer is what matters.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    The literature and speeches of many periods, particularly pre-civil war, would disagree with you: they were asserting existing rights, perhaps interpreting them in a broader sense than before, but there was little innovation, really.

    The rights were defended through struggle.
    A right is a relation between people. Therefore it cannot objectively exist. If it did, it would be a fact, not a right.
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    Money from tourism; part of our culture (like, foreign tourists will be like "omg lets go see the Queen, its our only chance). And...... erm, not sure. Although I'm not loosing sleep over the fact that we have one so I don't see it being a problem.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Yes. I don't support automatic inheritance. And certainly not in the case of land owned simply by state proclamation. The ancestors only owned the land in the first place by forcibly taking it.
    Not historically strictly true.

    Regardless of your views on inheritance, it is nonetheless the law of the land here, monarch or citizen, and until that changes, your call for its abolition is about equivalent to calling for the abolition of gravity.

    I appreciate it's only wording and wouldn't change much, but I don't see why it should be kept simply due to being the status quo if it was technically wrong.
    I don't see it as technically right or wrong - it's an acknowledgement of history.

    That is exactly what they're doing. The Queen is the head of state and the oath involves the swearing of allegiance to the Queen.
    The Queen is the law, and in swearing allegiance to her they are pledging to uphold the law.

    No, it's rather more than that. MPs are supposed to represent the wishes of the people, not the monarch.
    And they do. But it is tempered by their required respect of the law. Now, they are entitled to change the law, and even push for a republic if they wish, but until then, the law is the Queen's law.

    No, they swear allegiance 'to the republic'. The state should exist for the people, not vice versa.
    And 'republic' is American shorthand for the same thing - the Sovereignty of the country: there it is vested in a constitution, here it is vested in a constitutional monarch.

    No she can't. Since the UK has an uncodified constitution, it's agreed that she can't. Saying 'she could theoretically' means nothing because she only could do so with the support of parliament and or the people, so realistically it would not genuinely be her doing so.
    I don't want to overdo the point, but if the government did seek to do something anticonstitutional (such as abolish the need for elections), the Queen would be entitled, nay duty-bound, to oppose it.

    Did she or the Governor-General step in to stop apartheid?
    Hardly fair. South Africa became a Republic in 1960 - and its republican movement was largely motivated by disgust for the multiracial Commonwealth, and their dismay that the monarchy was associated with it.

    In Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), the Governor-General refused to recognize Ian Smith's unilateral declaration of independence and refused to vacate the Governor's Palace, in case it legitimize Smith's seizure of power. Smith was later forced to declare Rhodesia a republic (he'd have rather had a monarchy, but the Queen refused to be Queen of such a country).

    Did Victor Emmanuel III (a monarch with more realistic power than the Queen) step in to stop Mussolini?
    Victor Emmanuel II let his people down, and got what he deserved. I don't think we can say that any system is absolutely airtight here - look at the failure of republics to prevent dictators from taking over - but in normal, day-to-day terms the monarchy is generally more stable, in my view.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    A right is a relation between people. Therefore it cannot objectively exist. If it did, it would be a fact, not a right.
    And those rights came about through common law interpretations and age-old customs. I don't get your point?
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    Seriously have we not outgrown this?

    since when is being born into power part of a democratic system? It's counterintuitive.

    There's really no justification for having them. It's all very half arsed. The country should be in the hands of the capable, not the lineal.
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    (Original post by Harolinho)
    Seriously have we not outgrown this?

    since when is being born into power part of a democratic system? It's counterintuitive.

    There's really no justification for having them. It's all very half arsed. The country should be in the hands of the capable, not the lineal.
    You want a meritocratic system? Definitely not election then.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    X
    Gladders answered this better than I could, and I can't think of anything more to add.
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    From a financial perspective, if they cost more than they create, get rid of them.

    On the other hand, if they create more revenue than it costs, keep them.

    In fact, go one better and start a second, third, etc royal family to boost income!
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    (Original post by smileatyourself)
    From a financial perspective, if they cost more than they create, get rid of them.

    On the other hand, if they create more revenue than it costs, keep them.

    In fact, go one better and start a second, third, etc royal family to boost income!
    So, it's only okay if they generate a profit. :rolleyes:

    'The greatest carver does the least carving.'

    It doesn't matter that they've been part and at the centre of the British culture and way of life for the past 1500 years?
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    (Original post by Harolinho)
    Seriously have we not outgrown this?

    since when is being born into power part of a democratic system? It's counterintuitive.

    There's really no justification for having them. It's all very half arsed. The country should be in the hands of the capable, not the lineal.
    You must have missed out that bit called 'Constitutional Monarchy' then. What is there to outgrow?
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    (Original post by Laozi)
    So, it's only okay if they generate a profit. :rolleyes:

    'The greatest carver does the least carving.'

    It doesn't matter that they've been part and at the centre of the British culture and way of life for the past 1500 years?
    Smileatyourself said from a financial perspective .....

    Didn't say that was THE only reason.

    Besides, just because the Royal Family have been around for 1500 years, is that a good enough reason?

    Prostitution has been around far longer. Can't see that being legalised and accepted!
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    I love the Republican vs Monarchy debates.

    I think we need to get with the times and become a Republican. The Monarchy is symbolized by an undemocratic Marxist era defined by nationalism and blind patriotism. It gives out the impression of state control and the protection of cultural and historical values has led to so much conflict and blood shed in the past.

    The world has also become more globalized and the idea of the nation state is out of date. Britain now has relationships with America and the US. Public opinion polls from Roger Mortimore's MORI poll put the monarchy at still being extremely stable, but these polls can be misleading and are generally supported by the older, more Conservative middle class population.

    As these people die, I fear for the monarchy and it seems like public opinion polls show people doubt the viability of the Monarchy in the future. You have this third person effect where individuals who back the monarchy think others view it in a negative light, this means they will fight less hard to campaign for the monarchy's survival.

    Hope the post is to your tastes.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    Not historically strictly true.
    Yes, it is.

    http://www.mutualist.org/id4.html
    There's a lot of irrelevant stuff in there, mostly about capitalism, but it covers the rise of feudalism in England pretty well.

    Regardless of your views on inheritance, it is nonetheless the law of the land here, monarch or citizen, and until that changes, your call for its abolition is about equivalent to calling for the abolition of gravity.
    So, currently, is the monarchy. But we are not here to debate what is, but our opinions on it.

    And again I refer to the French example. Between the Storming of the Bastille and the fall of the Girondins, France had pretty strong private property law, but it still didn't recognise feudal rights as valid and ex-feudal land was either sold off by the state or left to the peasants. What's quite important here is the perception; you're still seeing it as the 'taking' of land. I'm seeing it as an acknowledgement that the land was never rightfully theirs.

    I don't see it as technically right or wrong - it's an acknowledgement of history.
    We're not in history, we're in the present.

    The Queen is the law, and in swearing allegiance to her they are pledging to uphold the law.
    The Queen is not the law, the Queen is part of the state.

    And they do. But it is tempered by their required respect of the law. Now, they are entitled to change the law, and even push for a republic if they wish, but until then, the law is the Queen's law.
    Since they make the law, the law is also the people's.

    And 'republic' is American shorthand for the same thing - the Sovereignty of the country: there it is vested in a constitution, here it is vested in a constitutional monarch.
    But the principle remains - they are swearing allegiance to the state, and not the people who the state supposedly exists to serve.

    I don't want to overdo the point, but if the government did seek to do something anticonstitutional (such as abolish the need for elections), the Queen would be entitled, nay duty-bound, to oppose it.
    If the government could abolish elections without popular action against it from below, then it would have enough power to abolish the monarchy. It might not want to, but if they didn't they'd only keep it as long as it stayed quiet.

    Hardly fair. South Africa became a Republic in 1960 - and its republican movement was largely motivated by disgust for the multiracial Commonwealth, and their dismay that the monarchy was associated with it.

    In Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), the Governor-General refused to recognize Ian Smith's unilateral declaration of independence and refused to vacate the Governor's Palace, in case it legitimize Smith's seizure of power. Smith was later forced to declare Rhodesia a republic (he'd have rather had a monarchy, but the Queen refused to be Queen of such a country).
    Exactly. So the supposed power of intervention had ultimately no effect.

    Victor Emmanuel II let his people down, and got what he deserved. I don't think we can say that any system is absolutely airtight here - look at the failure of republics to prevent dictators from taking over - but in normal, day-to-day terms the monarchy is generally more stable, in my view.
    Well, as well as Victor Emmanuel, we could point out the Kings of Romania and Bulgaria's failures to stop the takeover of the Stalinists after WW2.

    Yes, of course republics don't stop dictators taking over either, but that's my point - this has nothing to do with monarchy and far more to do with the characteristics of the potential dictatorial regime.

    In what way is a monarchy 'more stable'?
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    (Original post by lotsofq)
    Smileatyourself said from a financial perspective .....

    Didn't say that was THE only reason.

    Besides, just because the Royal Family have been around for 1500 years, is that a good enough reason?

    Prostitution has been around far longer. Can't see that being legalised and accepted!
    Well, has prostitution; made laws and customs, fought wars and expanded frontiers, built towns and cities, created alliances, built a large empire and inspired millions?

    Those who know don't talk.
    Those who talk don't know.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Yes, it is.

    http://www.mutualist.org/id4.html
    There's a lot of irrelevant stuff in there, mostly about capitalism, but it covers the rise of feudalism in England pretty well.
    A 'Market anti-capitalism' website? Rather neutral indeed.

    So, currently, is the monarchy. But we are not here to debate what is, but our opinions on it.

    And again I refer to the French example. Between the Storming of the Bastille and the fall of the Girondins, France had pretty strong private property law, but it still didn't recognise feudal rights as valid and ex-feudal land was either sold off by the state or left to the peasants. What's quite important here is the perception; you're still seeing it as the 'taking' of land. I'm seeing it as an acknowledgement that the land was never rightfully theirs.
    Then we have to disagree here, I guess. Britain managed the transfer of land rather peacefully, on the whole. I don't see what feudal land rights have to do with the monarchy today.

    We're not in history, we're in the present.
    And the present is the sum total of history.

    The Queen is not the law, the Queen is part of the state.
    Both. The state has evolved into a popular one, but the tradition of the Queen being the enforcer of the law and the found of justice remains.

    Since they make the law, the law is also the people's.
    Quite so. It can be both, and I'm comfortable with that statement.

    But the principle remains - they are swearing allegiance to the state, and not the people who the state supposedly exists to serve.
    The problem is, what is 'the people'? That's why, I think, attempts to bring about an oath to 'the people' have come a cropper: it can be twisted in definition to mean 'the people who happen to agree with me', or 'the people I am making up as the silent majority', or 'the people with white skin only'.

    If an MP said he had an oath to the people and claimed that the people wanted him to drop a bomb in 10 Downing Street, I don't think that Oath is terribly sound. It's a slippery, demagogic escape clause. But an Oath to the state, merely that they will work within the state and change the state through the law, is much healthier for democratic decisionmaking.

    If the government could abolish elections without popular action against it from below, then it would have enough power to abolish the monarchy. It might not want to, but if they didn't they'd only keep it as long as it stayed quiet.

    Exactly. So the supposed power of intervention had ultimately no effect.
    As I said earlier - there's no such institution that will be 100% guaranteed to block such efforts. But monarchy has a better chance of trying, I think, than that of a president, for the nature of the monarchy's esteem and their separation from day to day politics.

    Well, as well as Victor Emmanuel, we could point out the Kings of Romania and Bulgaria's failures to stop the takeover of the Stalinists after WW2.

    Yes, of course republics don't stop dictators taking over either, but that's my point - this has nothing to do with monarchy and far more to do with the characteristics of the potential dictatorial regime.
    I don't think anything could have resisted the Soviets at the end of WW2 with the Red Army on their turf!

    In what way is a monarchy 'more stable'?
    In the normal day to day running of the state, the monarch does not and will not get involved (in terms of speeches or political activities, refusing to sign laws or making appointments independently). Instead all activities are done by the government which is accountable to Parliament.

    There have been occasions in presidencies where the President has gone beyond day to day conventional activities and gotten involved in politics, which threatens to destabilise the State. If the Head of State gets involved and displays their political colours, any attempts to resolve constitutional gridlocks by them will be distrusted by at least one side, meaning their ability at conflict resolution is undermined.
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    Seems to me that they're more decorative than anything.

    I think that Queen does have some power but it's negligable...and they are kind symbolic, I guess. It would be cool if they were as badass as the king of Spain. He took what was supposed to continue Franco's dictatorship and turned it into a parlementary (?) monarchy.
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    (Original post by Laozi)
    Well, has prostitution; made laws and customs, fought wars and expanded frontiers, built towns and cities, created alliances, built a large empire and inspired millions?

    Those who know don't talk.
    Those who talk don't know.
    No prostitution hasn't done any of that.

    But prostitutes do work for a living.

    They also don't raid other countries and inbreed.

    William got ABC from Eton when the average is around AAA. Harry a B and a D. Waste of two places in a prestigious schhol that could have gone to deserving kids.

    They're parasites.
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    While i agree that sometimes they are inbred twits (see harry for proof) so are many toffs who are born into money, unless you overhaul inheritence law for everyone, we keep the monachy..

    and trust me on this, quite a few of our armed forces would not take lightly to her maj being removed from office... and neither would i
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    We always had the Monarchy, for Centuries. Since the English Civil War it has become a Constitutional Monarchy. In recent times the Monarchy has to adapt to survive.

    If the Monarch refuses to sign a Bill then there would be a Constitutional Crisis.

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