Sunday, February 27, 2011

Royal Family or President?

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!


Guthrum said...

As a life long republican, even I am having doubts !

Gregg said...

There's a lot of potential for prattery with a president. Apart from occasional acts of stupidity the Royal Family tend to be pretty harmless with great comedy value.

Gregg said...

We could make Bellowhead the new royal family. So glad you Tweeted about them, love 'em.

Jim said...

With a monarchy you're at the mercy of genetics as to whether you get a 'good' head of State or not. The Queen has been an exemplary example. Charlie boy may be a bit of a disaster I fear. I have hopes for William though.

But with politicians you know what you're going to get.

Greedy, conniving, lying b@stards the lot of them.

Give me Monarchy every time.

e.f. bartlam said...

You know in the 1770's support for independence in The South was lukewarm at best...most thought it was probably just a scheme by New England yankees involving money. It wasn't til some the English generals got a little too frisky in the area that folks got their backs up.

I think it's gotten to the point that a lot of down here would welcome an infallible that was incapable of violating the Elizabeth and her attempted tax on cards or whatever.

It's becoming clear that democracy and inalienable rights can't share the same space.

Besides...who wouldn't want a spectacle like the Trooping of Color every year?

Mark Wadsworth said...

1. AV is a splendid idea.

2. "Anachronism"

3. Having a 'royal family' to add a splash of colour is of course better than having a boring elected president (and probably cheaper).

But there is no need for the 'royal family' to be a hereditary thing, as they merely serve to add a gloss to the landowning 'gentry' (who are anything but gentle). So why not just pick (for example) Posh and Becks to be the new Royal Couple, and then after five or ten years, when we get bored with them, choose a new 'royal couple' from the pages of the celebrity magazines?

WV: retro

Gregg said...

It's so easy to take things for granted Erik, and I think we do with our constitution, especially the constitutional monarch.