Sunday, November 7, 2021

Why QE II Will Be the Last British Monarch

In recent times, the British monarchy has served more than one useful purposes. 

Most importantly it has kept clowns like Boris Johnson and egomaniacs like Phony Blair from occupying the palace, which they might very well have turned into a brothel or a venue for pop concerts. Furthermore, the Monarchy prevents such oafs and fantasists as these from heading either the armed forces or the Church of England, in which capacities they would be capable of untold harm. As it is, the harm that they can do in the military or religious sphere is limited to what they can persuade the Monarch to give consent.

In addition to these restraints on the political powers that be, the Monarchy has another and more important role, which is to serve as a bastion of the British Constitution. The Monarch has this role by virtue of the fact that whatever Britain`s Parliament seeks to enact, becomes law only with the Monarch's approval. 

True, the British Monarch has given the nod to every act of Parliament since Queen Anne refused assent to the Scottish Militia Bill in the year 1708. Still the power of the Monarch to refuse passage of an act of Parliament exists and must exert a modicum of restraint on Parliament.

As is well known, Britain's constitution is unwritten and thus not generally well understood. It's essence, however, was defined by Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd marquess of Salisbury and three-times British Prime Minister during the late Nineteenth Century. It was Lord Salisbury's considered opinion that any action by Parliament that is strongly opposed by a majority of the people constitutes a breach of the Constitution. In the event that a government pursued such action, it would thus be the responsibility of the Monarch to reject the enabling legislation. 

But the Monarch would be successful in applying such restraint on the action of Parliament only if known for political neutrality and fairness of judgement, which is to say a monarch trusted by a large majority of the people. Without the authority granted by the public will, the power of the Monarch over Parliament is void. Moreover, such general public approval will never be earned by a politically active monarch. Yet, disastrously, since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, Britain`s Royal Family has turned highly and controversially political. 

Only the other day, the Queen lectured heads of state gathered in Glasgow on their responsibilities, while jet-setting Prince Charles yammers endlessly (and here, and here and etc.) about "setting ourselves on a new and more sustainable course" (i.e., a less carbon intensive and generally lower standard of living, himself and his Davos friends excepted, naturally). Meantime, Meg and Prince Harry push the same message as they jet private in pursuit of pleasure, profit, privilege, public adulation, and political influence.

Prince William, it is true, has thus far demonstrated some self-control over the expression of his political opinions* and has even taken cheap commercial flights along with the hoi polloi. But for all the sense that he and Princess Catherine can muster, his chance at the monarchy is surely doomed by his father's inane political interventionism. 

Thus the only sensible course for the Brits is to jettison the monarchy, something that the sovereign nation state of Barbados is doing this month. Out of respect for the lifelong service of Her Majesty the Queen, the transition should be deferred until the reign of QEII reaches its natural end. But the time to plan the transition is now.

With an end to monarchy, the assets of the Monarch, vast land holdings, the Crown Jewels and much else, must be nationalized. At the same time, the role of Head of State must be transferred to an appointed President who will be selected by the Government as is the practice in Canada, Australia and several other countries, including the nation of Tuvalu (Pop. 11,646).

The transition from Monarchy to Constitutional Republic will give formal recognition to the end of England's age of greatness neatly book-ended by the Queens Elizabeth. Marking this transition by an end to the Monarchy will help concentrate minds on the question of where Britain's future is to lie. 


* Sadly, William has now flunked the test of political neutrality with his recent statement that "The increasing pressure on Africa’s wildlife and wild spaces as a result of human population presents a huge challenge for conservationists, as it does the world over,” a clear expression of preference for animals over black people. True, Africa's ongoing population explosion is a matter for widespread concern. But it is not for the heir to the British throne to raise the issue. 


Maxime Bernier: Should Canada leave the Monarchy behind?

PETER HITCHENS: Our Green Queen has just made a terrible mistake by taking a side in politics

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