April 21, 2006

The Last of England

Filed under: Politics/News — 4fooey @ 10:46 pm

In the UK today we saw much celebration of the Queen on her 80th birthday. I guess it seems polite to wish her well, as you would do for any old lady, but for me it does bring the role and usefulness of the monarch into sharp focus. I think Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian has it about right in his article Elizabeth the Last; he suggests that the Queen has done a good job, while making virtually no mistakes, but the question of her sucsession is in doubt. I would go further in suggesting that by being so neutral, the current Queen has rendered the role of monach completely meaningless and irrelevant.

A lot of people in the UK seem to love her, but why? What do we really know about her; what does she think, what does she like/dislike, what political opinions does she have? By being so unscrupilously neutral and uncontroversial, as a person, she has all but become non-existent, she is a non-person. Perhaps this neutrality, a lack of ego, her obvious submission to duty is what people love about her. Perhaps amidst all the change in this country and the wider world she represents to people something that never changes, she is tradition itself.

Apart from some of the pluses of her reign, overall I can’t see any reason for continuing with the monarchy in Britain; it really serves no purpose. More serious is that it is a hangover from our feudal days when birth and not merit was a good guarentee of wealth, position and power. In today’s Britain, where every citizen should be as equal as the next, a head of state selected by birth alone is undemocratic and an insult to our freedom. So when the Queen dies, or steps down perhaps, this should be our last monarch.



  1. hi there! thanks for the comment….

    like your blog… will come back for further investigations…

    as for the queen, you are spot on. however, will that be how it goes? Elizabeth, barring any unforeseen complications, looks to be following in her mum’s good genes, and might make it to 100 herself. the further Charles stays from the throne, the better I think. I just have so little respect for him…

    I cannot see any good reason for anything such as a monarchy to exist, in this day and age. we must be able to step awwy from this kind of division, that one person simply by right of birth, is of another class. it coems back to the right of a country to torture, to choose who is acceptable for occupation, etc…

    and as I await Tony Blair’s exit from politics, I too wonder if Gordon Brown will really be any better…

    I woudl LOVe it if the British people could say, “Yes, this is the last monarch we need.” but can that happen?

    Comment by ipodmomma — April 22, 2006 @ 12:36 am

  2. Well, Butteray, you’ve read what I think. I don’t think we should worry about what our head of state does. That’s why we have the PM. In many European countries, the president is also just a figurehead. What bothers you, it seems, is the hereditary monarch rather than the elected president. I understand that, but then I don’t see the need to have election campaigns for figureheads. I happen to like a figurehead who provides a link to the past. Tradition is good.

    Comment by Ronan — April 22, 2006 @ 3:42 am

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