In recent years I have been convinced that the Royal Family is an anchronism, with no place for a monarch in the twenty-first century. In recent months I've been similarly wondering about republics. I've also been considering how dry and functional modern life is becoming with work and money being the be all and end all, inevitable I suppose as Labour dragged us into the new puritan era. No room for fripperies, pure functionality is the order of the day.
Then today I read that the campaign against the Alternative Vote are launching a campaign using 'President Clegg' to scare people from voting yes in May. That really has scared me. Not against voting for AV, which I intend to do but remain open to persuasion, but at the prospect of Clegg one day becoming President of the British Republic. The only prospect more frightening is President Blair.
Wherever I look in the world presidents seem to be particularly grey and bureaucratic, or mad. The prospect of Sarah Palin becoming President of the USA is particularly scary. So maybe a constitutonal monarchy is the best option. They have little power but add a splash of colour in an otherwise grey and arid landscape and yes, they provide a link to our great history. And I do agree with dedicated monarchists, and always have, that in the scheme of things they cost very little.
So if I'm asked whether I would prefer Queen Elizabeth II or Tony Blair as head of state, I have no hesitation in answering. I suppose that makes me a monarchist again!