Another post confirming the general popularity of the monarchy in the UK. There is a small republican movement, but it doesn’t get much attention because a) their arguments don’t add up and b) at the end of the day, removing the monarchy won’t improve people’s lives much.
The Queen is personally popular, and the institution itself is generally respected too. Charles’ image has improved a lot lately, and I remember a poll shortly after the Diamond Jubilee indicating 60% of the country would be happy with him as King. And William is arguably as popular as his gran.
I respect republicans as exercising their right to free speech, but I have no respect for the organisation known as Republic. I find it to be an organisation dedicated to misinformation and willful misinterpretation of facts and events to satisfy its preconceived notions. I don’t find it to have much credibility as a fact-providing organisation.
(and add to it by adding that Andrew’s missions in the Falklands, or at least a considerable number of them, were to act as a missile target by flying his helicopter super close to ships to confuse Exocets)
You do need to be very clear about the difference between Britain as a monarchy, and the house of Windsor. If there was some sort of strange disaster, where a wormhole opened up and devoured Balmoral whilst the entire extended Windsor clan were there, Britain would still be a monarchy. Parliament, in consultation with some Commonwealth countries, would have to look back to find the appropriate heir, and they would be offered the job. In reasonably quick time a new king or queen would be crowned, and things would go on much as before. It isn’t as if this is a new problem. If the entire family tree of the Windsors was gone, looking back would go a long way, and it would be likely that the new monarch would not be entitled to the estate of the Windsors, but they would be the new crown.
As to moving Britain to become a republic, well that is a whole different question, and one that is not obvious as to how it would be done. So much of the legal system and mechanisms of government, not to mention the Church or England, are bound up in the existence of a monarchy. Yelling at the current incumbent is about as useful as yelling at the POTUS as a protest about the US constitution’s articles on the powers of the president.
I’ve got nothing against any particular King, but every now and then you have to teach their sort a lesson and shorten a couple of them so the rest get their minds right.
Although I’ve sometimes agreed with the anarchist notion that we’ll finally acheive utopia on the day when the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. Still, as long as they know their place they aren’t so bad, although you wouldn’t want your sister to marry one.
In other countries with a a parliament but no monarchy, the head of state is usually elected. France, of course, has to be different and give the president real power. Israel and Italy come to mind as places where “used politicians” have been elected president, a somewhat ceremonial post, only to be investigated for criminal activity. There’s something to be said for a purely decorative, ceremonial “head of state” with no partisan involvement - but, she’s still a sharp cookie at 80+ and has the theoretical power to straighten out a really serious mess…
Which explains, of course, how Cromwell acted after the Civil War, and when Charles was no longer about the place, having been convicted in an extremely dubious manner on a charge that basically amounted to “We’re going to come up with some excuse to behead you, damn it”.
[nitpick]Actually, most ceremonial presidencies are not elected, but selected by the Government or by a majority of one or both chambers of Parliament. I suppose it’s indirect election, in a way, but I don’t see much of a link.
The only one I can think of is Ireland, that directly elects a ceremonial president.
I think the problem with assessing Cromwell’s record is that people impose modern values on his time: Cromwell and Parliament were not fighting for democracy in any way, shape or form - they were fighting for the supremacy of Parliament.
I don’t have much sympathy for Cromwell, but when the Army (which looked up to him) radicalised, purged Parliament and broke the constitution, Cromwell kind of got swept up in it. I don’t think he set out to be a tyrant, but after they had killed the King, they hadn’t really thought of what to do next, and so inevitably he became a tyrant, particularly as killing the King was unpopular with the country.
Belgium had a monarchy crisis in the 1950s. The king wasn’t particularly well liked in the first place, he hadn’t been exactly a hero in World War Two, and people didn’‘t want him back. Anyway a large part of the public expressed clear unhappiness with him as a King. There even was a referendum and a nation wide strike, and a civil war loomed. (not just over the King, but along the lines that still divide Belgium, the old French against Flemish. Why they just don’‘t split up already, I don’'t know)
Things quieted down when his more popular son stepped up as King.
So there you have an example of a modern European country where the people were unhappy with their King, and what happened.
Well, which is it? Do they drop their political ideals or steadfastly hold to them?
Although it’s useful to be reminded every so often that anti-Irish feeling is alive and well in Britain in 2012, maybe you’ll find a more receptive audience for this kind of commentary in your local pub than in GQ.
For the same reason that there isn’t any howling or hissing whenever a member of the U.S. electoral college goes to a tennis match – because even if you think it’s a weird outdated institution, it’s not something most people get excited about.
I think it’s not so much anti-Irish as anti those who don’t want to follow the principles of the country that they move to. Much like if I wanted to move to the Irish Republic and loudly denounce my neighbours as fools and traitors for 1916, and then scream “Anti-British feeling is alive and well!” if I got called on it.