What does good does the Monarchy really do ? Watch

Midlander
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#101
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#101
(Original post by clh_hilary)
Before: Lots of money + honours
After: Lots of money + no honours

If you do anything sufficiently 'bad' to have your honours withdrawn you probably aren't too bothered about them being withdrawn.

Whilst honours could be arbitrarily awarded, they are not commonly perceived this way, and most of them aren't awarded randomly anyhow.

It takes more work to get knighthood or lordship then getting a doctorates. How many people have a doctorate? How many people have a knighthood or lordship? Do you think Sir Elton got his knighthood 'arbitrarily' instead of it being a result of decades of impact on the industry, his struggle with sexuality and discrimination, 200 million records sold world-wide, and having the biggest-selling single of all-time? Is it easier to achieve what Sir Elton has than getting a doctorate from a random university?

You're also forgetting that lots of doctorates could be purchased, and honorary doctorates, which many people care about, exist. If titles don't worth anything, you won't be seeing billionaires buying their way into a knighthood, a doctorate, or sultanship. Even the people who decline an honour often shows that people actually care about them - Prof Stephen Hawking declined one as a protest against the government's plans to cut science funding. If he doesn't think it's a major thing, declining it won't mean anything to anyone.

Now you see fit to denigrate people with PhDs as well as those with enough medical training to call themselves 'Dr'. It takes supreme intelligence and dedication to get that title. Knighthoods, MBEs, OBEs, CBEs and so on are awarded for political convenience and are recommended to the Queen. Gary Barlow gets a knighthood for arselicking Her Majesty in 2012? Seems pretty arbitrary to me.

Have you lived outside of the UK for an extended period of time? As someone who's from outside of the UK, I can tell you most parts of the world, especially East Asia, adores the monarchy. Even France at one point wanted The Queen to be their head of state.

When did the French want a return to the monarchy? The Far East is home to nations where the monarch was, and in some places still is, revered as a God-like figure. I find it of little surprise that you idolise our own one.

Irrelevant. Not only did I already say I disagree with the costs, but this also doesn't contribute to this particular discussion.

Apart from America and Germany, who else? Sure, the Japanese Emperor is technically not the head of state due to historical reasons, but even they have a monarchy.

Germany is a prime example of why having a ceremonial president is silly. But of course that's neither here nor there, as not having a monarch doesn't mean there needs to be someone in place of that ceremonial position.

Well I would prefer only a President who serves a clear practical role in the governance of the country, so I don't favour an elected ceremonial leader over the system they have in the US or France. France has managed without a monarchy, as have other nations like South Korea, Brazil, Ireland and Switzerland.

They do, and I mentioned nothing about democracy.

And actually, having The Queen saved Canada some trouble in the past - two of their Prime Ministers refused to leave their office after they've lost the election, and the governor-general made it easy to dismiss them. Things would be a lot more uncertain if for example the first George Bush refused to leave.

Which is why countries must legislate for such events to prevent any uncertainty. No reason why we couldn't.

You misinterpreted my argument. The world doesn't associate the monarchy with colonial exploitation but with the country/Empire itself. Just like how no-one associates WWII in East Asia with the Japanese Emperor himself.

If you think Victoria had actual powers over colonial exploitation, I think either you need to retake your history classes, or the education system has failed. She was influential, but she was determined to be the moral symbol of the nation (which remains today) instead of an actual ruler, partly due to the influence of Prince Albert, and partly due to the fact that the monarch at that point already had very limited power.

The monarch didn't just become ceremonial overnight. It was a long and gradual process - Henry VIII needed support from parliament to an extent with his troubles with The Pope, Mary totally needed the parliament as Henry's son chose Lady Jane Grey and the only claim she had would be with the Act of Parliament (and support from The Pope), same went to Elizabeth I. Charles didn't end well without the support of parliament, and Charles II reversed the power a little due to parliament realising that the people wanted a king. But James II showed that the king didn't have absolute power, and William The Conqueror couldn't have power in England without parliamentary support. As time goes by, powers of the monarch become weaker and weaker especially with the need to get money from parliament. By the time Victoria ascended to the throne, the time of the monarch had already passed.

She was given the title Empress of India not really for her personal amusement, but rather an entirely political decision made by the parliament. There were many monarchs in India so by making the British monarch the Empress of India, Britain gained the 'legitimacy' to 'inherent' the 'thrones' from them. In fact, if it was for her personal amusement, she wouldn't have been made an Empress, but rather a Queen - it was inappropriate for her to be made an Empress outside of the UK, for it is convention to use the highest title to address someone (thus 'Professor' over 'Dr', 'Prince of Wales' over 'Duke of Cornwall', 'Queen' over 'Duke of Normandy', etc) but at the same time if she was an Empress, it'd technically mean GB would be in an inferior, subsidiary/subordinary position (as Emperors/Empresses rule over Kingdoms - the Japanese 'Emperor' is the only notable exception to this). This is why she's called the Queen-Empress, not Empress Victoria.
British India, an exercise in colonialism and blunt racism rolled into one. The fact that the Queen is our HoS does not reduce any aggression or dislike felt towards us by nations we have fought with or otherwise wronged in the past. The nation that oppressed its people is still that same nation whether Lizzie is on the throne or 'President Blair' (ugh) is on the platform. The question I will put to you is: why is a commoner any less fit to be head of state than a Windsor? If we must have a ceremonial leader (for argument's sake), why not allow the people to choose who it is?
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Midlander
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#102
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#102
(Original post by Onde)
An elected head of state would be less problematic. Having a Queen descended from an Emperor of India or from Plantagenet kings who conquered Ireland as our head of state merely because of her father being a king has a huge damaging effect on the image of the UK.
The government pulled out all of the stops over the last few years to stop the moron-in-waiting from public embarrassment. Thankfully, common sense prevailed and more people will see the damage of hereditary power. David Cameron said today he was disappointed by the news. Why does that not surprise me from a fellow toff?
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Baron of Sealand
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#103
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#103
(Original post by Midlander)
British India, an exercise in colonialism and blunt racism rolled into one. The fact that the Queen is our HoS does not reduce any aggression or dislike felt towards us by nations we have fought with or otherwise wronged in the past. The nation that oppressed its people is still that same nation whether Lizzie is on the throne or 'President Blair' (ugh) is on the platform.
That supports my view, if anything. People don't hold Lizzy personally accountable for it, and no-one associates her personally with colonial suppression. And it'd be unreasonable to as she indeed had very little to do with it.

(Original post by Midlander)
The question I will put to you is: why is a commoner any less fit to be head of state than a Windsor? If we must have a ceremonial leader (for argument's sake), why not allow the people to choose who it is?
No countries that I'm aware of has an elected ceremonial leader who is actually treated as a big deal. We either keep Lizzy or don't have one in place of her. Why must we have a ceremonial position?
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Midlander
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#104
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#104
(Original post by clh_hilary)
That supports my view, if anything. People don't hold Lizzy personally accountable for it, and no-one associates her personally with colonial suppression. And it'd be unreasonable to as she indeed had very little to do with it.

No countries that I'm aware of has an elected ceremonial leader who is actually treated as a big deal. We either keep Lizzy or don't have one in place of her. Why must we have a ceremonial position?
HM is head of the Commonwealth which is a weird celebration of our colonial exploits, so she is not entirely removed from this association. She has largely overseen the Empire's decline though, I accept that. I don't favour a ceremonial position at all but I was arguing on the basis that if we had to have one, I'd want them elected.
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Baron of Sealand
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#105
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(Original post by Midlander)
HM is head of the Commonwealth which is a weird celebration of our colonial exploits, so she is not entirely removed from this association. She has largely overseen the Empire's decline though, I accept that. I don't favour a ceremonial position at all but I was arguing on the basis that if we had to have one, I'd want them elected.
If we have to have one, it's better to be someone who people actually care about (EIIR) than whoever the Germany president is. The latter is a complete waste of money.

Liz being the head of CM is irrelevant. What I said was the people are not associating her with colonial exploitation. In fact, many places have nostalgic feelings towards colonial rule, including my home country Hong Kong.
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gladders
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#106
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(Original post by Onde)
My view has been that our head of state should be chosen on the basis of merit, and that we shouldn't respect titles given to those who inherited them.
Well, that's a view, and you're entitled to it, but it's one I simply disagree with.

(and election is not a meritocratic means of appointment)
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gladders
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#107
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#107
(Original post by Midlander)
1. I was being facetious about the Treasury declining extra funds. The '70s were bleak, bleak times and a sympathetic monarch would at least have added to the public purse or shown more solidarity with her people.
By adding pittance? Why? Why not expect the same of the Prime Minister, or my grandad who was working at the time?

At the end of the day, such an act would have been a political one, and would have been harmful.

2. Do you think he is popular with those he offends? How is our popularity in the Middle East?
I dunno, is our popularity there because of the monarchy or because of how our elected officials offended the people there?

3. He was head of the CoE which didn't fancy its leader marrying a divorcée, I suspect that has more to do with it. Doesn't stop the man being demonised even now.
Stanley Baldwin, the Prime Minister, constitutionally advised him that he had two options: marry and abdicate, or stay as King as ditch the divorcée. That's the long and short of it.

4. The post being elected offers several things. It makes the position of head of state open to every British citizen rather than an exclusive family.
Big deal. I know that in actual fact it'll be open only to the select few who have money and contacts to become remotely electable.

It makes the person in this position accountable to the electorate.
Not necessarily. If they intend to stand down, they won't particularly care. If they are seeking re-election, that merely indicates political preference for left or right, not necessarily opinions on their conduct. And the idea that you have to be elected to be accountable is just hilarious.

It makes the public more involved in how their country is run and/or represented.
Nope. There's something you should be aware of called electoral fatigue. And how are elections for police commissioners and free hospitals going, by the way?

The Royals may be very popular in the USA, but note how there is no appetite there for an unelected President.
That's irrelevant. You insisted that the monarchy is popular because of some conspiracy among the press to shut out republican debate in this country, which is patently false.

5. Tell me, what taxing things does the Queen do for her life of privilege and luxury? Hosting a banquet is one, cutting ribbons another, shaking hands and waving a third. The average person would give a lot for that kind of 'work'.
Before I answer this, do you consider the President of Germany to be having a doss job?

6. If a position you wanted was denied to you because of nepotism you'd be fine with it?
If it was a position that I recognised functioned because of that nature, I'd be fine with it.

7. The most popular stance on the monarchy is actually ambivalence, with support for and against roughly equal. There is only one notable republican newspaper and no republican leaning TV coverage, hardly a balanced media.
'Balanced' does not mean that two views get equal exposure. It means exposure corresponds to public interest. If it's niche, it's only occasionally addressed. Pretty simple.

You're entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to be taken seriously.

And honestly, in this age of the internet, do you honestly believe that it's hard for people to acquire information negative to the monarchy? The reason republicans get short shrift here is because their arguments and facts are sloppy.

You only have to watch the BBC whenever it reports royal news, it's less reporting and more sycophantic garbage. It is not a matter of trust, it's a matter of people being given a one-sided viewpoint their whole lives.
That's just your perspective because you are biased.

8. Wrong, we had an SNP politician at last year's Republic annual meeting who said they were opposed to the monarchy since it was a symbol of British nationalism, but they couldn't openly oppose it because it would cost them Yes votes from undecideds in the referendum. Besides, there are several 'under the radar' Labour MPs and more outspoken ones like Dennis Skinner.
Indeed, and they won't discuss it much because being republican is in general a vote-harmer with the public. That's not some top-down conspiracy: that's the public spontaneously having little patience with your views *shrug* sucks to be you.

9. Our numbers were limited by the size of location we were allocated. Still, why would foreign news give us the time of day if we were so insignificant?
Because they were curious? I saw a BBC item on it too, if that's what you mean.

Say what you want about me, I at least have the conviction to go out and demonstrate in support of something I'm passionate about.
Good for you - seriously, I mean it. But your lack of success isn't due to the BBC or the monarchy's PR department. The plain fact is, republican arguments on the whole are based on misunderstandings, sloppy facts and stale arguments. I used to be one myself, and am still friends with some republicans, and as much as we disagree, they agree with me that the lack of success of republicanism is due to its lack of imagination and its fossilisation.

Not easy when you are accused of being 'anti British' by morons in the street but there we are.
Yeah, well, the number of people I've seen accusing me of being a 'sycophant' (remember that from earlier, buster?) makes up for your hurt feelings.
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MaxReid
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#108
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#108
(Original post by Midlander)
How can someone who has been gifted their livelihood act as a role model for those struggling for work/an income? She can't.


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I never said role model, just figurehead
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MaxReid
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#109
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#109
(Original post by Onde)
Do you think Charles would be able to achieve this?
I'm not sure
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gladders
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#110
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#110
(Original post by Midlander)
HM is head of the Commonwealth which is a weird celebration of our colonial exploits, so she is not entirely removed from this association.
No, that's your personal slant, and another revelation of your bias.

She has largely overseen the Empire's decline though, I accept that. I don't favour a ceremonial position at all but I was arguing on the basis that if we had to have one, I'd want them elected.
That make doesn't sense. An elected position can be ceremonial, too: look at Ireland. What exactly are you after here? keeping the same job but electing it, or do you want the position to have executive power, like France or the US?

If we did the latter, I would agree it must be elected, but it's a proposal neither popular nor realistic. If you mean electing the present ceremonial role, than I can only say that's an enormous waste of time.
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gladders
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#111
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#111
(Original post by Onde)
Apparently the Queen pays £1362 in council tax for Buckingham Palace, and the government pays for repairs.
The Government also pays for repairs to Downing Street as well. You are under the misunderstanding that Buckingham Palace is some kind of private residence, and the Queen is the homeowner. That's incorrect. It's much more like an office block and conference centre, like the Palais d'Elysee or the Quirinale. Those as well are maintained by the taxpayer.
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gladders
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#112
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#112
(Original post by Onde)
An elected head of state would be less problematic. Having a Queen descended from an Emperor of India or from Plantagenet kings who conquered Ireland as our head of state merely because of her father being a king has a huge damaging effect on the image of the UK.
And yet our relations to both Ireland and India are pretty good. Ireland in particular had a royal visit a few years back which was enormously successful and healed wounds. The grievances that remain are rightly targeted towards our elected government.
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Midlander
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#113
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(Original post by gladders)
No, that's your personal slant, and another revelation of your bias.

OK the Commonwealth isn't neo-colonial, what is it then?


That make doesn't sense.
Witty!

An elected position can be ceremonial, too: look at Ireland. What exactly are you after here? keeping the same job but electing it, or do you want the position to have executive power, like France or the US?

If we did the latter, I would agree it must be elected, but it's a proposal neither popular nor realistic. If you mean electing the present ceremonial role, than I can only say that's an enormous waste of time.
My preference is for a HoS with executive powers. However if we must have a ceremonial leader my preference is for this to be an elected position so we aren't dependent on the lottery of birth for a position of status, wealth and privilege. There is a big difference between someone (and their family) ruling the country for life, and one individual running it for a specified term.
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jammy4041
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#114
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#114
(Original post by Maz93)
I'm a staunch republican and I get a lot of hatred from the vast majority of people when I say that I am - they seem to think I'm attacking our national values or something. What I would really like to know if you are a monarchist what good do you think they have done our country ? because I can't think of anything, but then again I'm biased
I can't really think of anything either. I'm a proud republican and long for the day that Britain is freed of its chains of monarchy.
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Midlander
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#115
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#115
(Original post by gladders)
By adding pittance? Why? Why not expect the same of the Prime Minister, or my grandad who was working at the time?

At the end of the day, such an act would have been a political one, and would have been harmful.

Because our beloved Queen is a figurehead and source of inspiration in difficult times, and more sympathetic to the public than any elected politician could hope to aspire to be. It would be a symbol of HM recognising the problems her people were facing. No Three Day Week at the Palace I presume? The PM, or your grandad for that matter, were nowhere near as wealthy as HM (unless I am mistaken?). Doing real jobs may also be a factor.


I dunno, is our popularity there because of the monarchy or because of how our elected officials offended the people there?

But the Queen is loved worldwide right? Why would jihadists want to attack a country with Lizzie Windsor in it? If politicians are so disastrous for PR that the Royals make no difference (and note Prince Andrew's recent scandals in the US working the opposite way), what is the point of using them as a PR tool?


Stanley Baldwin, the Prime Minister, constitutionally advised him that he had two options: marry and abdicate, or stay as King as ditch the divorcée. That's the long and short of it.

So if he married her and stayed King they'd have done what?

Big deal. I know that in actual fact it'll be open only to the select few who have money and contacts to become remotely electable.

Not if you set aside funds for people with sufficient popularity to run. In the age of the Internet this popularity wouldn't be difficult to build.


Not necessarily. If they intend to stand down, they won't particularly care. If they are seeking re-election, that merely indicates political preference for left or right, not necessarily opinions on their conduct. And the idea that you have to be elected to be accountable is just hilarious.

Which is why you make it possible for particularly incompetent and/or otherwise unpopular figures to be removed from office ahead of re-election. Also, the Tory back-stabbing of Lady Thatcher shows that a party can do this themselves if they think the leader is harmful to their election prospects. Though for ceremonial positions where the President is supposed to be apolitical this does not apply.


Nope. There's something you should be aware of called electoral fatigue. And how are elections for police commissioners and free hospitals going, by the way?

Police commissioner elections are comparable to elections for head of state, got it.

That's irrelevant. You insisted that the monarchy is popular because of some conspiracy among the press to shut out republican debate in this country, which is patently false.

It is part accusing republican views of being 'anti British', and part just overwhelmingly sycophantic coverage of the family. Take a glance at the Royal section of the Telegraph for instance:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily

Republicanism is usually shouted down as unpatriotic and opposed to British values, as any right-leaning media source is happy to state.

Before I answer this, do you consider the President of Germany to be having a doss job?

If his responsibilities stretch to shaking hands and eating Michelin star food then yes I do. At least he isn't treated as a God-like figure for carrying out these taxing jobs though. Germany is a country which doesn't quite have the same obsession with class that the UK does, which may be a contributing factor.


If it was a position that I recognised functioned because of that nature, I'd be fine with it.

Why does the role of head of state only function because of it being inherited?


'Balanced' does not mean that two views get equal exposure. It means exposure corresponds to public interest. If it's niche, it's only occasionally addressed. Pretty simple.

If only mainstream opinions are presented then it ensures the preservation of the status-quo. Opposing views not being given a platform prevents them from reaching the numbers needed to no longer be 'niche', although I'd argue 1 in 5 isn't that.


You're entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to be taken seriously.

And honestly, in this age of the internet, do you honestly believe that it's hard for people to acquire information negative to the monarchy? The reason republicans get short shrift here is because their arguments and facts are sloppy.

Why not ask the Guardian if it's hard for people to acquire such information. The government openly stated its opposition to publishing just a series of letters, and has since closed the loophole that allowed even that. The British establishment does not want people publicising things against the monarchy's interests.


That's just your perspective because you are biased. Indeed, and they won't discuss it much because being republican is in general a vote-harmer with the public. That's not some top-down conspiracy: that's the public spontaneously having little patience with your views *shrug* sucks to be you.

A public that has been given a one-sided impression of the monarchy by the press which ties it in with British identity and patriotism. Still, Dennis Skinner's annual bashing of Black Rod doesn't do him harm in his constituency.


Because they were curious? I saw a BBC item on it too, if that's what you mean. Good for you - seriously, I mean it. But your lack of success isn't due to the BBC or the monarchy's PR department. The plain fact is, republican arguments on the whole are based on misunderstandings, sloppy facts and stale arguments. I used to be one myself, and am still friends with some republicans, and as much as we disagree, they agree with me that the lack of success of republicanism is due to its lack of imagination and its fossilisation.

I would in fact argue that what you're saying applies exactly to the monarchist argument, which is based on sentiment first and rationality second. Lazy arguments of them being good for tourism, 'President Blair', them not really having any power anyway, only costing £40m and so on. The idea that a commoner is not fit to rule shows a lack of imagination, not the other way round.


Yeah, well, the number of people I've seen accusing me of being a 'sycophant' (remember that from earlier, buster?) makes up for your hurt feelings.
It is not an accusation, it is correct.
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Midlander
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#116
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#116
(Original post by MaxReid)
I never said role model, just figurehead
In other words someone people look up to, right? So how does that apply to someone who lives a life of luxury and privilege that was handed to them when the majority of people in the country are not so fortunate?
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Midlander
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#117
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#117
(Original post by Onde)
If Sinn Fein politicians are 'unable' to sit in the House of Commons because they are obliged to swear an oath to the Queen, isn't this unnecessarily damaging? (of course, if they were unwilling to swear an oath not involving the queen, this is a moot point).
I'd say it's also damaging that the Windsors cannot be criticised in the Commons.
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The Dictator
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#118
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#118
(Original post by MatureStudent36)
An elected president could do this
It would be much harder for an elected President to do! That's the whole point, and one reason why we need a written constitution.

But oh no, saintly tradition...
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MatureStudent36
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#119
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#119
(Original post by The Dictator)
It would be much harder for an elected President to do! That's the whole point, and one reason why we need a written constitution.

But oh no, saintly tradition...
Why do we need a written constitution?
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Comeback
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#120
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#120
(Original post by gladders)
Well, as a firm monarchist, I hope I can tell you that you won't get hatred from me as long as the debate is respectful




Well, for the reasons I have put above, but also because the monarchy is fun. It makes this country unique, and we have a living, breathing link to this country's past and origins. It's an enormously powerful tool for national cohesion but also in helping reconcile people to change - a social constant in a changing world.

Vivat! Vivat Regina!
1. The monarchy does not make our country unique in any respect that a President would not also. Other countries have monarchies, the difference being the details in the system and the monarch/royal family (as the differences between presidential families).

2. A living, breathing link to our country's past and origins? How exactly? The Queen is old, but elderly people would be able to run for President to. How would they have less of a link to the past?

3. It is a powerful tool for national cohesion but so is any leader/figure - elected or unelected.

4. A social constant in an ever-changing world? Our royal family is constantly changing. People are dying and others are being born, and everyone within it is growing older and with age comes altered views/interests/appearances.


I respect your opinion and interest in the subject but can't help feel that you are trying to find the positives in a truly outdated and odd system.

I respect our royal family as people - I'm sure they're very nice - and can see the novelty element in what they do (like celebrities). However, I don't see why they are still here and what purpose they serve that could not be served by an elected figure or body.
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