What does good does the Monarchy really do ? Watch

Midlander
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#201
(Original post by barnetlad)
He would have been in say 2000 or so.
It is 2015 now and he is widely hated for his role in the Iraq war. What makes Prince Charles a more appealing candidate than a commoner?
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barnetlad
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(Original post by Midlander)
It is 2015 now and he is widely hated for his role in the Iraq war. What makes Prince Charles a more appealing candidate than a commoner?
No politics, the tradition, tourism and that he will be succeeded by Prince William for whom there is a lot of affection.
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gladders
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(Original post by zippity.doodah)
would it really need to be a chamber in the legislature, as opposed to a committee? if a government that represents the people (let's say we have PR hypothetically so I can say this) and this body of intelligent lords/senators disagrees with the government's action/bill, e.g. to legalise something, or to criminalise something - how does intelligence means that democracy will occur? does it mean that democracy can and should be blocked if a certain amount of wisemen disagree?
Of course not. It can have the same powers as the present House of Lords, which is to offer amendments and appeal to the Commons to think again based on what was raised in debates in the Lords. It can delay for up to a year, but if the Commons remains determined, it can overrule.

Basically, the dynamic between the two chambers is that the Commons always gets it way, but the Commons will also concede to good arguments and persuasion if they are waved in its face.

It would be wonderful if simply a committee would advice, but experience of the Commons committees is, while they do good work, the Government's majority there means inconvenient arguments get ignored and overruled. The Lords at least forces such warnings into the limelight in a way a committee simply cannot do.
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gladders
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(Original post by Onde)
The issue isn't about whether the hereditary monarchy does its job well. It's more about how it is unfit for a modern democracy and how an alternative head of state would be accountable, and ideally, better.
All of these things are merely assertions on your part, and not demonstrably true. 'Unfit for a modern democracy' is in the eye of the beholder. I think it is, and many others do, too.

'An alternative head of state would be accountable' is an statement not obviously true, as a monarch can be removed for far less severe sins than a president could do, and it being 'better' isn't either - the best you can say is that they are as good as each other.
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Midlander
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(Original post by barnetlad)
No politics, the tradition, tourism and that he will be succeeded by Prince William for whom there is a lot of affection.
The tourism is a myth, tradition does not make something better and he has been lobbying ministers behind the scenes. Prince William is a toff who charges the repairs for his estate to the taxpayer. He has nothing in common with the average member of the public.
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Lady Comstock
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It gives Britain a distinct identity that is beneficial in terms of tourism, investment, etc. So many republics blur into greyness, and I doubt many people can name many republican heads of state in Europe. People (both domestic and abroad) are drawn to the quaint traditions of the monarchy, its vibrancy and majesty. Britain is not like Japan or Italy - it does not enjoy an effortlessly distinctive culture. Get rid of the monarchy and you get rid of a huge chunk of our identity that appeals to foreigners, whether you like it or not.

A common argument is that Versailles attracts as many tourists as British palaces. However, Versailles is a wonder of the world in its own right due to its design and majesty. There are numerous palace across Europe in republics that are much more beautiful than Buckingham Palace, but do not attract the same numbers as Versailles. Would people be more likely to visit palaces in Poland if there was a Polish King again? I think they would, compared to now. Tourists are drawn to Buckingham Palace because it is a working palace (with ceremonies such as the Changing of the Guard), and one of the last palaces with an actual Queen inside it. Artefacts and museum pieces are much more appealing if they are actually in use. Why are the British Crown Jewels the most famous? The Austrian and Russian counterparts are just as grand.

People also make the assumption that an elected British Head of State would automatically be more democratic, but fail to appreciate that all it will do is open the job up to a non-royal family. This will be a family, not necessary blood related, of Oxbridge career politicians. Working class Sharon from a council estate will have no more chance of becoming the British Head of State under a republic than she would under a monarchy. I would much rather a monarchy that is honest about its exclusivity than a republic that hides the fact that the same sort of people get the same sort of roles.

Finally, a higher degree of voting (for things or people) is not always good. We don't let people vote to bring back the death penalty or ban religious freedoms, even though that's probably what a majority would want and is much more important to them than whether the monarchy is here or not. So why do people demand this for the monarchy? Democracy in the form of public voting is fantastic and obligatory when it could result in something you want, but dangerous and unnecessary when the result is something you don't want.
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gladders
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We should create a poll and see whether people would prefer to be royalty or continue with their existing jobs. Why would someone relying on a food bank not want to exchange places with someone who can count banquets as work?
This is beside the point. Someone on a food bank wouldn’t be elected to Head of State anyway, and they don’t get elected to be MPs, either. And argument by opinion poll is just pathetic. Fact is, statecrafters recognise the job as necessary, and the best you can say is that, from your inferior vantage point, you don’t agree with them. Guess what, nobody cares what you think!

The Germans do a lot of things well and keeping their head of state recycled every 5 or so years, and not keeping it within one family, is a fairer set-up. Not the one I'd want but, and once more I have to emphasise it, I do not want a ceremonial head of state either.
‘Fairer’ only in the broadest of senses, as another rich person is chosen for the job, rather than inherited. I care not for cosmetic changes which don’t affect how fair actual society, the real world, is. I’d rather a Scandinavian monarchy than a French or American republic.

They are removed by these things called elections.
Loooong after they’ve made a bad decision. A monarchy would be removed in days.

The cat comes out of the bag, gladders thinks commoners are unfit to be head of state. Does the Duke's thinly veiled racism clinch it for you?
Commoners can do the job, but they wouldn’t be as good as the monarchy. Why try to assign views to me I don’t hold? It only makes you look petty.

Yes people choosing the person who leads the country is a hideous form of democracy. Executive presidents must perform the tasks of ceremonial ones but with the added responsibility of enacting change in their country. Deciding whether it should go to war, deciding how to manage the economy, and so on and so on.
Read the scholar and professor Juan Linz for how sucky presidentialism really is. If all you can say is that election is always and forever, in every circumstance, an automatic good, then when will you start advocating for elected binmen?

It is light years ahead of a ceremonial office in terms of workload.
Nope, it simply moves the workload of the PM into the Head of State. You’ve simply moving the deckchairs.

If David Cameron openly refuted the Queen it would be a PR disaster from which he would do well to recover. The Tories have always been staunch supporters of royalty and the elite, that is surely no secret.
They are monarchist, sure, but then so are many Labourites and Liberals. The fact is that the Tories know they don’t have to make a song and dance about their monarchism – it’s taken as a given. So when they tell the monarchy in private to suck it, they are more willing to do it.

But then, you’re ignorant, so what do I know?
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Lady Comstock
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#208
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(Original post by Onde)
In what sense is honouring a hereditary head of state a good thing for children to aspire to?

I'm in favour of abolishing the monarchy and all hangers-on, not necessarily replacing it with a new office. I think the office of Prime Minister is sufficient for 'head of state', and I know from studies that it is no mere assertion that democratic states are better than aristocratic or tyrannical ones.
Are you suggesting Britain is not a democratic state as a constitutional monarchy?
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gladders
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(Original post by Onde)
In what sense is honouring a hereditary head of state a good thing for children to aspire to?
Well, we're in a free country, so they don't have to. But it is a national symbol, a historic one. You may disagree, but you can't speak for the majority who do see it that way.

I'm in favour of abolishing the monarchy and all hangers-on, not necessarily replacing it with a new office. I think the office of Prime Minister is sufficient for 'head of state', and I know from studies that it is no mere assertion that democratic states are better than aristocratic or tyrannical ones.
Britain is a democratic state. Parliament, in particular the Commons, holds all the power. Removing the monarchy wouldn't change that.
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Lady Comstock
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(Original post by Pro Crastination)
They don't. To me they represent this country's grudging acceptance of class hierarchy, which has lead to a tolerance of one of the worst inter-generational rates of social mobility in the developed world. It's embarrassing that people can proclaim to feel warm and fuzzy about celebrating hereditary rule, how that has any place in a modern, democratic world is beyond me and I think, if said people gave it enough thought, beyond most others, too.
You do realise that the office of an elected British head of state would be as exclusive as the current one? I would rather a family who are well-trained in diplomacy and hugely popular with the people than an exclusive brotherhood of Oxbridge career politicians. Even if Britain reached the lower levels of class division as the United States, even they restrict their office of head of state to a small class of, often familial-related, people.

Hereditary rule has no place in a modern, democratic world. However, I believe that there is still a place for hereditary figureheads where their advantages outweigh their disadvantages.
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SBKA
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One of the major arguments I often come across against the monarchy is that it is unfair that someone should be born into privilege. This argument is ultimately flawed. The world is not equal. Everyday there are children born into privileged positions. Children that will receive a better education because their ancestors made their money from slavery. The world is a hugely unequal place.

There will always be 'monarchies'. One could argue that the Bush and Kennedy families are America's version of a monarchy.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Onde)
I've been advocating in this thread against the favoured status of the nobility...I am not going to be especially sympathetic if the hard-working George VI died 10 or more years than the average dockworker.

Not quite sure what you're trying to say...
But the point still stands, you're looking at the wrong figures since even today the national life expectancy is very different for the different socio-economic groups, and it would have been even more so before the NHS and the likes. What's our life expectancy, something like 80? Well, if you're part of the poorest 20% you can take a few years off that, part of the richest 20% add a few on, part of the richest 1% and you can add a few more years on. It has always been and still is the case that the richest live longer, they have safer jobs/sources of income, generally better sanitation, although for different reasons and to a lesser extent now, and most importantly, particularly a century ago before the NHS they can afford much better medical care. The life expectancy for the common man may have gone up a lot over the last century, doubt it's gone up much for the 1% in the same time, I can be pretty confident in saying that George VI died young.

It is very much true that he was drinking and smoking himself to death, he had all sorts of severe smoking related illnesses after all. But let's further observe this possibility of dying young. Let's see, father, born 30 years earlier, died at 70; brother, born the year before, died at 77; eldest sister, died at 67; second brother, died age 74 having had multiple strokes in his life; third brother is somewhat anomalous, dying age 39, although that was in a plane crash; oh, I suppose the fourth brother is also anomalous in dying at 13 having been seriously ill much of his life.

We could step back another generation and see that 60s is common, despite being born early 19th century. Especially so far back, using the life expectancy of the peasantry to say that a royal death a decade past that date isn't an early death is foolish.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by SBKA)
One of the major arguments I often come across against the monarchy is that it is unfair that someone should be born into privilege. This argument is ultimately flawed. The world is not equal. Everyday there are children born into privileged positions. Children that will receive a better education because their ancestors made their money from slavery. The world is a hugely unequal place.

There will always be 'monarchies'. One could argue that the Bush and Kennedy families are America's version of a monarchy.
You don't even have to bother considering money from slavery. ALL OF US in this country are born into privilege, we all have access to "free" education, and world class healthcare free at the point of use, we all have access to clean water and the vast majority can easily get enough food to get fat. Of course the irony is that many of the people who hate the monarchy for the reasons described are going to be the ones that go on about the starving and the dying in Africa, those in the Indian and South American slums etc.
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SBKA
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
You don't even have to bother considering money from slavery. ALL OF US in this country are born into privilege, we all have access to "free" education, and world class healthcare free at the point of use, we all have access to clean water and the vast majority can easily get enough food to get fat. Of course the irony is that many of the people who hate the monarchy for the reasons described are going to be the ones that go on about the starving and the dying in Africa, those in the Indian and South American slums etc.
Of course what you described is all true, I was just hoping the slavery point would hammer it home even more. I get so annoyed when I see idiots complaining about how tough their lives are or burning the flag. They do not appreciate how lucky they are to be born into a country such as Britain and how many people have died to protect this way of life.
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Vav Sartrean Po
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'What does good does the monarchy really do?' You've used 'does' twice.
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Pro Crastination
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(Original post by Lady Comstock)
You do realise that the office of an elected British head of state would be as exclusive as the current one? I would rather a family who are well-trained in diplomacy and hugely popular with the people than an exclusive brotherhood of Oxbridge career politicians. Even if Britain reached the lower levels of class division as the United States, even they restrict their office of head of state to a small class of, often familial-related, people.

Hereditary rule has no place in a modern, democratic world. However, I believe that there is still a place for hereditary figureheads where their advantages outweigh their disadvantages.
I'd much rather President Cameron or Miliband, even though I'd never vote for either, the point is, they wouldn't be there simply because they were born - Also they would still be running for PM, anyway. Even if that costs us some brownie points with foreign delegations - which I'd question - some things come before popularity with Saudi Arabia or CNN Royal Correspondents.

I find your unease with an 'Exclusive brotherhood of Oxbridge career politicians' a little contradictory to the point you are arguing. The Royal family is as exclusive as it gets.

The US is one of the worst alongside us in the developed world for inter-generational inequality, that's why it would appear that only Clintons and Bushes seem to win the Presidency. This isn't an executive decision from a higher power, it's just the outcome of a naturally unfair game and a public balking at any reasonable re-distributive measures. That said, I do not believe Obama is of that ilk, so the rule does not apply 100% of the time, and surely anything below 100% means your argument that the US and the UK head of state systems are the same is invalid.

Hereditary rule still exists. The Royals, and certainly one individual in particular (no point even naming names), like a bit of political dabbling here and there. It doesn't matter how minimal this dabbling is - and it would appear to be greater than the odd dabble - that is still an individual exercising authority because they happened to win a lottery of birth.

Finally, outline all of the advantages that you think the Royal family provide the UK. I worry that a great deal of people would agree with you on your final point because they just aren't aware of how easy it is to rebuke some of the 'key' arguments for the continuation of hereditary rule.
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Pro Crastination
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(Original post by SBKA)
One of the major arguments I often come across against the monarchy is that it is unfair that someone should be born into privilege. This argument is ultimately flawed. The world is not equal. Everyday there are children born into privileged positions. Children that will receive a better education because their ancestors made their money from slavery. The world is a hugely unequal place.

There will always be 'monarchies'. One could argue that the Bush and Kennedy families are America's version of a monarchy.
**** it. Let's just do away with progressive taxation and welfare whilst we're at it. If that's the natural state of things then let's not even bother trying to change that, even if doing so appeals to our moral convictions.

Fantastic defeatist logic, I'm sure the great philosophers would be applauding you were they here reading this.
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Midlander
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(Original post by gladders)
This is beside the point. Someone on a food bank wouldn’t be elected to Head of State anyway, and they don’t get elected to be MPs, either. And argument by opinion poll is just pathetic. Fact is, statecrafters recognise the job as necessary, and the best you can say is that, from your inferior vantage point, you don’t agree with them. Guess what, nobody cares what you think!
It isn't beside the point, just because you know a lot of struggling people, and a hefty chunk of ones doing alright, would prefer the royal lifestyle. The German statecrafters saw no reason to continue with the Kaiser and installed an elected leader in his place in the mess that was post-WWI Germany, and again after the mad dictator. A president with executive power would probably create too many reminders of the last German leader to have had it to be palateable for the German public. But even if that were not the case, they still do not rely on the accident of birth for this role. This discussion is not on ceremonial/executive presidents but on the monarchy, and Germany ain't got one.

‘Fairer’ only in the broadest of senses, as another rich person is chosen for the job, rather than inherited. I care not for cosmetic changes which don’t affect how fair actual society, the real world, is. I’d rather a Scandinavian monarchy than a French or American republic.

Yes why bother anything if it doesn't solve all the problems at once.


Loooong after they’ve made a bad decision. A monarchy would be removed in days.
This wouldn't happen and you know it.

Commoners can do the job, but they wouldn’t be as good as the monarchy. Why try to assign views to me I don’t hold? It only makes you look petty.

Why is a commoner less capable than a Windsor?

Read the scholar and professor Juan Linz for how sucky presidentialism really is. If all you can say is that election is always and forever, in every circumstance, an automatic good, then when will you start advocating for elected binmen?

He complains of words being put in his mouth then does it to someone else. Binmen are hired on the basis of some degree of competency that they need to do their job. The British monarchy's 'qualification' is birth, which is the problem most republicans have with it.


Nope, it simply moves the workload of the PM into the Head of State. You’ve simply moving the deckchairs.

So the head of state has to take on more work and there is one less salary for the taxpayer.

They are monarchist, sure, but then so are many Labourites and Liberals. The fact is that the Tories know they don’t have to make a song and dance about their monarchism – it’s taken as a given. So when they tell the monarchy in private to suck it, they are more willing to do it.

But then, you’re ignorant, so what do I know?
How many Tory MPs are outspoken republicans compared to Labour ones? Though yes what do I know, the Windsors toil harder than anyone at a coal face ever has.
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Lady Comstock
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(Original post by Pro Crastination)
I'd much rather President Cameron or Miliband, even though I'd never vote for either, the point is, they wouldn't be there simply because they were born - Also they would still be running for PM, anyway. Even if that costs us some brownie points with foreign delegations - which I'd question - some things come before popularity with Saudi Arabia or CNN Royal Correspondents.
But they would be there because of the birth lottery. It may not be as direct and overt as the monarchy, but the office would largely be confined to people born into privileged, political families. My point is that a woman on a council estate is no more likely to become the British head of state in a republic than she is a monarchy. So I disagree with the ideologically-driven notion that a republic would be a momentous event for democracy and the people. In practice, it would involve the same exclusivity, and I prefer the current type of exclusivity.

Also, is this about things being subject to public vote for you or just the fact that it's hereditary? So many public roles in the West are appointed, and not always through merit. Is appointing a donor to a powerful position somehow better than an hereditary figurehead because?

I find your unease with an 'Exclusive brotherhood of Oxbridge career politicians' a little contradictory to the point you are arguing. The Royal family is as exclusive as it gets.
I admit that the monarchy is exclusive. My point is that I prefer that exclusivity to the one that would inevitably result if it was abolished.

The US is one of the worst alongside us in the developed world for inter-generational inequality, that's why it would appear that only Clintons and Bushes seem to win the Presidency. This isn't an executive decision from a higher power, it's just the outcome of a naturally unfair game and a public balking at any reasonable re-distributive measures. That said, I do not believe Obama is of that ilk, so the rule does not apply 100% of the time, and surely anything below 100% means your argument that the US and the UK head of state systems are the same is invalid.
I am not saying that republican heads of state are as exclusive as an hereditary monarchy; that is a given. However, my point is that people think abolishing the monarchy opens the office of head of state up to all and sundry, and somehow empowers ordinary people. You're just replacing one overtly exclusive system with a more subtle one.

Hereditary rule still exists. The Royals, and certainly one individual in particular (no point even naming names), like a bit of political dabbling here and there. It doesn't matter how minimal this dabbling is - and it would appear to be greater than the odd dabble - that is still an individual exercising authority because they happened to win a lottery of birth.
That is not 'ruling'; any ministers who receive such communications are free to exercise their powers as they see fit. It's more inappropriate because the royal family are not supposed to get involved in political affairs.

Finally, outline all of the advantages that you think the Royal family provide the UK. I worry that a great deal of people would agree with you on your final point because they just aren't aware of how easy it is to rebuke some of the 'key' arguments for the continuation of hereditary rule.
I have outlined some in another post, and most have already been expressed in the thread. Are there any you are strongly against?
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Midlander
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
You don't even have to bother considering money from slavery. ALL OF US in this country are born into privilege, we all have access to "free" education, and world class healthcare free at the point of use, we all have access to clean water and the vast majority can easily get enough food to get fat. Of course the irony is that many of the people who hate the monarchy for the reasons described are going to be the ones that go on about the starving and the dying in Africa, those in the Indian and South American slums etc.
Using inequality elsewhere in the world to deflect criticism of it on our doorsteps, well played.
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