God Save the Queen?

I’m not a royalist. I don’t believe monarchy has any great value as a political principle and I won’t defend it in and of itself as an institution. However, this weekend has made me just a little sad and just a little angry. You see, I’m not a republican either. I would vote against Britain becoming a republic in any referendum, firstly on the grounds that if England kicks out the monarchy we give 15 other countries a constitutional crisis. We have no business forcing our political decisions on the Commonwealth, therefore we should be the last country to become a republic, when all the others have made that leap. Secondly, I believe that, right now, monarchy is better than the alternative.

You see, becoming an MP is now a closed system. Young MP’s tend to have come up from interning as researchers to established MP’s. They work their way up in the party and never get any real experience of what the rest of the country deals with. All that matters is the party. The parties have the advertising and the fact that we tend to vote for party rather than candidate behind them. Independent MP’s tend to come on the back of very localised public anger; they’re not about to shake the system. If you don’t want to intern with a party, then you can do what Councillor Brigid Jones has done, and work your way through student politics before campaigning in a student ward off the back of your position in the local Student Union. All ways up, what we’re seeing is a self-perpetuating political class. This is an new aristocracy dressed in democracy’s clothing.

So do you trust these people, whose incompetence grows along with their self-serving tendencies, to reform the House of Lords? The House needs reform, yes, but not to become another chamber of party-listers with longer terms of office. And would you really trust a president elected out of this new bunch of leeches?

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has dedicated her life to the country. She fulfils her role admirably as head of state, and she gives her knowledge and experience as advice to Prime Ministers. I’d take her over any of these slimeballs we’ve elected into government “democratically”. But feel free to ask me this question again when Charles has been on the throne a few years. I view his accession with trepidation because he throws his weight around too much.

So the reason I’m sad and angry is, despite the fact that even the leading lights of British republicanism admit that they are a minority (20% tops, incidentally), I have seen a parade of anti-monarchist facebook statuses this weekend. I fly my flag because I admire the current incumbent. Why exactly can’t I be allowed to enjoy my home country’s political continuity? An American wouldn’t dream of using Independence Day as an anti-constitutional forum, now, would they? They’d probably be lynched…

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~ by Scary Rob on 5 June, 2012.

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