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Get Rid of Monarchy Watch

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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    The problem with this argument, which many republicans have fallen prey to and which has been exploited by monarchists, is to present the issue in isolation rather than part of a broader reform.

    Take for example, the issue of ceremonial presidents in other countries, which monarchists often point to to suggest that the cost won't change. Yet many republicans would like to see the ceremonial role done away with altogether.
    Fair enough, but why? Removing the ceremonial just makes life boring. Ceremonies are a natural human expression. If we abolished them, they'd just gradually evolve back again anyway.
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    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    Clearly not. There's nothing to indicate a President would cost more. In fact, considering we wouldn't be having to make civil list payments and provide protection to members of the President's "heir" and extended family, as we do for the Royal Family, it should cost considerably less.
    You would be providing protection to the President's family. We already provide protection to the family of the Prime Minister, so...

    And the Civil List payments would remain, just under a different name. The Civil List funds the salaries of the staff of the Head of State, and the President would have his own staff.

    The very best you can argue is that a President would cost the same. That's about it.

    Also, why would they need more power? The President could be given the exact same powers the Queen currently has.
    Depends on how the President is chosen. If he's chosen by Parliament and therefore not directly elected, than he may remain with the Queen's present powers. But a directly elected President may be tempted to use his democratic credentials to move from constitutional umpire to a political player.

    Utter nonsense. The Queen has immense de jure powers, which she tends not to exercise other than on advice of her ministers, but equally exercises considerable informal power, both as the Head of State, head of the premier family in the realm and one of the richest people in the country.

    I would quote Prince Charles' former press secretary, Mark Bolland



    Nuff said.
    The problem with Bolland's statement however is that the monarch does the same approximate functions as a ceremonial President, so he must be claiming that they are in some kind of scam too.

    The other side of it is that the royals do not get public money unless they are carrying out a public duty on behalf of the Queen (and even then, the Queen pays back how much it cost the Treasury to pay them). So in essence what they are all doing is sharing the same job, at no extra cost to us. A president, however, would be doing all the job himself.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    Fair enough, but why? Removing the ceremonial just makes life boring. Ceremonies are a natural human expression. If we abolished them, they'd just gradually evolve back again anyway.
    I don't have a problem with ceremonies, I have a problem with them being handled by the state. Culture should be a participatory, bottom up thing, rather than being directed from the top by a centralised state.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    I don't have a problem with ceremonies, I have a problem with them being handled by the state. Culture should be a participatory, bottom up thing, rather than being directed from the top by a centralised state.
    Depends on the ceremony, surely? If it's a national ceremony relating to a national figure and a national Parliament, I think it's quite natural for it to be handled by the State. Culture can come from above and below and it's unwise to just chisel off one end of it.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    Depends on the ceremony, surely? If it's a national ceremony relating to a national figure and a national Parliament, I think it's quite natural for it to be handled by the State. Culture can come from above and below and it's unwise to just chisel off one end of it.
    Actually, I'd argue that the rise of nationalism, especially state-promoted nationalism, since the late 19th century has in general been a very bad thing.

    I'm not really talking about fascism here - that's the extreme but I appreciate it's hardly the norm - but more about the more minor things, e.g the restrictions on the freedom of movement and habitation that was the norm before WW1 due to passports and border controls, as well as giving an increased legitimacy to xenophobia.
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    I don't disagree with you, but to claim that the state ceremonies we currently have equate to some of the frenzied whipping-up militarised ceremonies of some places is a different order. In fact I'd argue our present ceremonies which tend to focus on a monarch rather than the nation in particular are somewhat of a better idea.
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    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    The tourism argument is both fallacious and injurious to the dignity of the state. We should be deciding our form of government based on what is best for this country, not on what form of government foreigners like best.

    And did the explusion of the Bourbon monarchy mean that France gets less tourism? Do people give Versailles a miss simply because there's no longer a king there?



    Eh? What are you talking about? What money does the Queen give to the government? I think you're under a grave misapprehension.



    Clearly not. There's nothing to indicate a President would cost more. In fact, considering we wouldn't be having to make civil list payments and provide protection to members of the President's "heir" and extended family, as we do for the Royal Family, it should cost considerably less.

    Also, why would they need more power? The President could be given the exact same powers the Queen currently has.



    Utter nonsense. The Queen has immense de jure powers, which she tends not to exercise other than on advice of her ministers, but equally exercises considerable informal power, both as the Head of State, head of the premier family in the realm and one of the richest people in the country.

    I would quote Prince Charles' former press secretary, Mark Bolland



    Nuff said.
    The Monarchy signed an agreement which gave all the profits of there estates etc. to the government in return for the civil list. This is STILL the monarchy's land etc. so if a presidental system was put in place the queen would get to keep it as otherwise it is steeling. A president would require security for family etc .
    If the monarchy disbanded tourists wouldn't appreciate things like town of London or Buckingham palace as much as it is real and active.
    For all of these for mentioned things please see : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhyYgnhhKFw
    The Royal Family works incredibly hard, They barely have a day off.
    A presidential role would be more powerful as unlike the queen they wouldn't give assent to everything so they will become a barrier to laws if someone they didn't like was in power.
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    Arguments of austerity are invalidated by the fact that the Queen and Royal Family pay back into the economy through taxes and such like what they take out. Added to which, the benefits from tourism and heritage that they bring to the UK is invaluable. The Queen opens her palace to the British public, and the revenue generated from that not only keeps hundreds of people in work, but also completely covers the upkeep of the palace. And the Queen and members of the Royal Family are paid an income, but all money they earn is subject to tax and as mentioned earlier, what they take from the economy, they put back in 10 fold.

    Great Britain/the UK has the greatest heritage and history of any country in the world, and monarchy is the single biggest aspect of that. By abolishing it, not only would we be devaluing our history, but we would be doing the UK an injustice. The UK NEEDS a monarchy, constitutional or otherwise - more importantly, the UK needs the sense of solidarity that can only be given by the current Queen. I am not worried about the monarchy's future -thankfully, opinion polls show a growing desire to keep the monarchy and the invalided opinions shown by Republicans will continue to be shot down. What worries me is that the current Queen is so magnificent and such a strong, powerful monarch that when she does finally die [because she won't abdicate, I don't think], what will we do without her?

    She's the epitome of so much good. The UK NEEDS a monarchy.
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    Also, how is the tourism argument fallacious? The Queen has no formal political power - yes she has to agree to her parliament, but there has been no precedent in which she has failed to authorise a parliament, and I would doubt that there will ever be a case where should invalidate parliament by failing to give her assent. Therefore, the argument that we shouldn't be pandering to foreign tourists when deciding our political structure is fallacious in itself, as the monarchy is a separate institution and has been for hundreds of years now.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    I don't disagree with you, but to claim that the state ceremonies we currently have equate to some of the frenzied whipping-up militarised ceremonies of some places is a different order. In fact I'd argue our present ceremonies which tend to focus on a monarch rather than the nation in particular are somewhat of a better idea.
    Well, I'd say there's different degrees. There is some militarised ceremony; royal symbols and language (plus more rarely the Queen as ceremonial C-in-C and William and Harry) are used to glorify the military to a degree. Admittedly many countries have this, but as I said in an earlier post, my opposition to that is general, not just in the UK.

    On another level the monarchy and royalty have a social conservatism that is increasingly removed from what's accepted in everyday society. For example, it's fine for the average Brit on the street to be gay or atheist, or for a couple to say they'd rather not get married because it's not to their personal tastes; I'd suspect it's very different for the royal family.

    On the least opposable level there's stuff like the jubilee. It doesn't particularly do any harm or (with the obvious exception of being pro-monarchy) have any political or social agenda, but I do feel it's still state-directed and counter to participatory culture.
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    Well, we'll have to politely disagree, I guess. It's a matter of your and my personal taste.
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    (Original post by astrojg)
    The Monarchy signed an agreement which gave all the profits of there estates etc. to the government in return for the civil list. This is STILL the monarchy's land etc. so if a presidental system was put in place the queen would get to keep it as otherwise it is steeling.
    Well, there's two lines of argument to this.

    Firstly, there is a decent level of confusion and debate as to which estates and properties belong to the person who is monarch and which belong to the monarch ex officio, as many if not most of them were acquired before such a distinction was made.

    Secondly, it's stolen already - do you think the monarchs got the stuff by building it themselves? Most countries that have abolished their monarchies have had no truck with expropriating them too.
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    (Original post by astrojg)
    The Monarchy signed an agreement which gave all the profits of there estates etc. to the government in return for the civil list
    Correct.

    This is STILL the monarchy's land etc.
    Actually not really true. The land belongs to the crown, not the monarch personally. Hence the distinction between the crown estate and the monarch's private property. The crown estate belongs to whoever parliament deems is sovereign. It would be entirely legitimate and totally in line with existing legal thinking to vest the crown estate into parliamentary control and ownership.

    And even if we decided to generously gift the land of the crown to the Windsor family personally, as a "divorce" settlement, it's £7 billion of assets. Not going to break the bank exactly.

    so if a presidental system was put in place the queen would get to keep it as otherwise it is steeling.
    Stealing? Err, no. For the reasons I just described above. There is a fundamental difference between the crown as a legal entity, and the biological entity of Elizabeth Windsor.

    A president would require security for family etc .
    We wouldn't be providing palaces, salaries, security, for cousins and grandchildren of the President. For example, there would be no reason to pay a £300,000 per year salary to the consort of the President, or to the second son of the President's first son. Or to the dodgy second wife of the President's first-born son. As we currently do.

    If the monarchy disbanded tourists wouldn't appreciate things like town of London or Buckingham palace as much as it is real and active.
    Ah, so that's why Versailles is a ghost town? And excepting the Tower of London, what does the City of London have to do with the monarchy? Everything about that city reeks of what the monarchy is not about; low church Anglicanism and St Pauls, thrift, parliamentary democracy, trade and naval power, the rule of law and the bar, rather than armies, Westminster Abbey, degenerate royals and high-church tendency.

    The Royal Family works incredibly hard, They barely have a day off.
    Except that they do. Regularly. In fact, for large parts of the year there are few engagements. Are you aware of the Queen's itinerary?

    A presidential role would be more powerful as unlike the queen they wouldn't give assent to everything so they will become a barrier to laws if someone they didn't like was in power.
    Except that it wouldn't, depending on how the President was elected. Other countries like Germany and India manage just fine to have an apolitical head of state.
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    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    Except that they do. Regularly. In fact, for large parts of the year there are few engagements. Are you aware of the Queen's itinerary?
    .
    Engagements she may only have a few a week but everyday except Christmas day she gets her red box and has to read through and approve every act of parliament, keep up with current affairs and plan engagements and more.

    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    We wouldn't be providing palaces, salaries, security, for cousins and grandchildren of the President. For example, there would be no reason to pay a £300,000 per year salary to the consort of the President, or to the second son of the President's first son. Or to the dodgy second wife of the President's first-born son. As we currently do.
    .
    We don't pay for Prince of Edinburgh . We give the queen money, The queen 'sub contracts' out and pays the other members of the royal family to promote Britain etc.
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    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    Actually not really true. The land belongs to the crown, not the monarch personally. Hence the distinction between the crown estate and the monarch's private property. The crown estate belongs to whoever parliament deems is sovereign. It would be entirely legitimate and totally in line with existing legal thinking to vest the crown estate into parliamentary control and ownership.
    The Crown is the monarchy , this isn't based on Parliament , parliament has no control over who is monarch.
    The rules of succession which decide the crown and thus the fate of the crown estate and the duchy of Lancaster will be incredibly difficult to changed and can technically vetoed by the monarch.
    "The relationship between the Commonwealth realms is such that any change to the laws governing succession to the shared throne requires the unanimous consent of all the realms. Succession is governed by statutes such as the Bill of Rights 1689, the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Acts of Union 1707. The rules of succession may only be changed by an Act of Parliament; it is not possible for an individual to renounce his or her right of succession. "

    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    or to the second son of the President's first son. Or to the dodgy second wife of the President's first-born son. As we currently do.
    The tax payer does not pay the prince of wales or his dependents. They are paid for by some of the income from the duchy of Cornwall. (A lot of it goes to charities).
    Anyway we would have to pay for advisors, chief of staff, spokesman, business ambassadors, negotiators etc. that are currently covered by the extended royal family and the upkeep of the royal palaces that is paid for from the civil list which has stayed constant in cash terms for ages so in real terms has reduced.

    Also is it nicer for tourists that these are the crown jewels that are the queens used for ceremonial purpose. Or these are some jewels that once had a meaning once upon a time. This is a palace where the monarch of 16 realms lives and works from or this is an old building that is not used any more that people just walk around? I know which I prefer.
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    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    We wouldn't be providing palaces, salaries, security, for cousins and grandchildren of the President.
    Actually, the security assigned for members of the royal family is based on the security threat assessed against them. Personally, I think the security assigned to anybody should be dealt with in this way. It's not their fault if they're targets.

    If we lived in a republic, and the president's cousin was under threat, I'd be absolutely okay with them receiving heightened security coverage.

    For example, there would be no reason to pay a £300,000 per year salary to the consort of the President, or to the second son of the President's first son. Or to the dodgy second wife of the President's first-born son. As we currently do
    No we do not.

    Ah, so that's why Versailles is a ghost town? And excepting the Tower of London, what does the City of London have to do with the monarchy? Everything about that city reeks of what the monarchy is not about; low church Anglicanism and St Pauls, thrift, parliamentary democracy, trade and naval power, the rule of law and the bar, rather than armies, Westminster Abbey, degenerate royals and high-church tendency.
    That's missing the point. He's not arguing that people only come to the UK for the monarchy. It would be equally ludicrous to say people visit France because it's a republic. But the monarchical associations of many British landmarks is bound to be a pull to some people. Maybe only a few people, but still some.

    Except that they do. Regularly. In fact, for large parts of the year there are few engagements. Are you aware of the Queen's itinerary?
    Depends on who you're talking about. The itinerary of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh is pretty much constant, as is that of the Prince of Wales. The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry are being eased into the 'public' side of the monarchy as they are also in the military - but they don't get taxpayer's money.

    The rest, naturally, will kick their heels until they're required to do something on the Queen's behalf. But they don't get any money until they fulfil this requirement - and the Queen pays back how much they cost.

    Except that it wouldn't, depending on how the President was elected. Other countries like Germany and India manage just fine to have an apolitical head of state.
    Yes, but having a Parliament-appointed Head of State isn't quite the imagination-catcher as directly elected, and that's where the appeal of a parliamentary republic fizzles out for republicans.
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    (Original post by astrojg)
    The Crown is the monarchy , this isn't based on Parliament , parliament has no control over who is monarch.
    Err, actually it does. This is why throughout English history, parliament has been able to anoint kings at will, whether Henry IV, Edward IV, Henry VII, William & Mary, Charles II, George I or George VI; each time overriding the succession rules.

    If you don't believe parliament is sovereign and situated to designate the crown on whose head it chooses, then you're both entirely ignorant of English history and law, and are also fundamentally anti-democratic.

    Succession is governed by statutes such as the Bill of Rights 1689, the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Acts of Union 1707. The rules of succession may only be changed by an Act of Parliament
    So you basically just contradicted yourself.

    The tax payer does not pay the prince of wales or his dependents. They are paid for by some of the income from the duchy of Cornwall. (A lot of it goes to charities).
    Except that it does. The Duchy of Cornwall is ultimately the property of the taxpayer. It belongs to Charles Windsor ex officio, not by right of inheritance.

    that are currently covered by the extended royal family and the upkeep of the royal palaces that is paid for from the civil list which has stayed constant in cash terms for ages so in real terms has reduced.
    Really? You seem to be unaware that, in fact, the "Civil List" no longer exists and has been replaced by an annuity derived from the crown estate. If you're ignorant of such basic facts, why should anything else you say have any credibility?

    This is a palace where the monarch of 16 realms lives and works from or this is an old building that is not used any more that people just walk around? I know which I prefer.
    Your personal opinion is irrelevant. As are those of all these foreigners/tourists whose opinions you seem to value as paramount in choosing our head of state.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    It would be equally ludicrous to say people visit France because it's a republic.
    My point exactly. Thank you for making it for me. No-one asserts we should be a Republic based on tourism considerations. In fact, that is the most pathetic, self-abasing, absurd basis to decide our constitution; "What do foreigners prefer? We better do what they want".

    The rest, naturally, will kick their heels until they're required to do something on the Queen's behalf. But they don't get any money until they fulfil this requirement - and the Queen pays back how much they cost.
    Actually, she refunds it to the Exchequer but all these payments offset her income tax. So parliament does pay for them.

    Yes, but having a Parliament-appointed Head of State isn't quite the imagination-catcher as directly elected, and that's where the appeal of a parliamentary republic fizzles out for republicans.
    Except that the head of state is appointed by parliament. The Act of Settlement is the basis for the current monarch's legitimacy; therefore, her legitimacy comes from parliament.

    And you're rather young, you've never lived with any other monarchy other than the current one. Views will change violently when Charles Windsor ascends the throne. People forget that Republicanism has been considerably stronger in the past (the 1830s, the 1890s, the 1930s) than it is now. And it will be so again.
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    (Original post by astrojg)
    Engagements she may only have a few a week but everyday except Christmas day she gets her red box and has to read through and approve every act of parliament, keep up with current affairs and plan engagements and more
    Not a bad gig for £30 million a year, along with a family monopoly over exercise of the executive function.

    We don't pay for Prince of Edinburgh . We give the queen money, The queen 'sub contracts' out and pays the other members of the royal family to promote Britain etc.
    Again, your knowledge of royal finances is woeful. The *Duke* of Edinburgh (not "Prince of Edinburgh") received a parliamentary annuity, which the Queen refunded to the Exchequer in exchange for an equal offset in her income tax. Essentially, revenue neutral and a parliamentary expense.

    I think you've rather handily demonstrated your lack of knowledge of royal finances (not to mention the actual title of the royal consort)
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    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    My point exactly. Thank you for making it for me. No-one asserts we should be a Republic based on tourism considerations. In fact, that is the most pathetic, self-abasing, absurd basis to decide our constitution; "What do foreigners prefer? We better do what they want".
    Who's arguing that? Nobody is saying tourism is the primary concern of what type of Head of State we have. But in the long list of pros and cons, it can be put on there.

    Actually, she refunds it to the Exchequer but all these payments offset her income tax. So parliament does pay for them.
    I haven't seen this corroborated anywhere, and seeing as you believed we salary obscure minor royals I have no reason to believe it's true.

    Except that the head of state is appointed by parliament. The Act of Settlement is the basis for the current monarch's legitimacy; therefore, her legitimacy comes from parliament.
    I agree. So why should we change that to a president?

    And you're rather young, you've never lived with any other monarchy other than the current one. Views will change violently when Charles Windsor ascends the throne. People forget that Republicanism has been considerably stronger in the past (the 1830s, the 1890s, the 1930s) than it is now. And it will be so again.
    And it's also had its lows before - and will so again. I hardly believe they'll change 'violently'. Sure, some people will turn republican. But those people are dumb. You don't approve of a system based on who is in office, you base it on how the system has functioned over time. The hopes of republicans that somehow Charles will turn the country into a republican are massively overblown, and strike me as a little bit desperate.
 
 
 
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