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  #81  
Old 06-24-2007, 03:24 PM
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That applies to all the parties though. We had the Lib Dems with their rent boys, Labour had among many others, Prescot and his PA, ().
On your other point, if a marriage is solid, then nobody can break it up, except the two people who are married!
How true. At the end of the day the elected party members represent society and they have more or less the same problems that some of us have to deal with, the only difference is you can read about it in the papers

Brown is a pretty boring guy and we'll probably miss out on a lot of little scandals as he doesn't have a Cherie, who used to upset the party from time to time eg by taking on clients who fought the same law in court that her husband had just legislated
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  #82  
Old 06-24-2007, 03:36 PM
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For those who are interested;

Gordon Brown is now Leader of the Labour Party. Tony Blair resigns on Wednesday and goes to see the Queen. Almost on a reviving door, Gordon Brown goes in and the Queen offers him the opportunity to form the next Government. He becomes Prime Minister.

Now, he is apparantly keen for there to be no Deputy Prime Minister but the Lord Chancellor's Office has specified that there has to be one so that if Brown is out of the country, we have some leadership. This means therefore that Harriet Harman will be his Deputy Prime Minister.

The Foreign Secretary is likely to continue being Margaret Beckett. She's been a good Foreign Secretary and he's likely to keep her own, especially as she's seen to be half way through the job.

The Home Secretary will probably not be John Reid who told us he was stepping down. If he does leave the scene in England, he'll go up to Scotland where he apparantly has his eye on First Minister.

The Health Secretary might be Patricia Hewitt again but she's come under a lot of flak recently and he may take this opportunity to change her.

So, where does this stand in relation to the Queen? Well, Margaret Beckett respects the Queen alot and seems to be a monarchist. Gordon Brown seems to have a good relationship with the Prince of Wales but whether he can have that with the Queen remains to be seen. Patricia Hewitt and Harriet Harman apparantly like the Queen and are also monarchists. As for John Reid, he's probably going anyway. The verdict - this Cabinet will pose very little threat to the monarchy. Gordon Brown does however, want a British constitution but as he has no public mandate, he can't just introduce one. It has to be voted upon through a referendum or he'd have to wait till after an election which it's possible he could win.

But the future of the monarchy looks pretty safe.....for now.
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  #83  
Old 06-25-2007, 07:48 PM
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I Agree I Dont see it going anywhere Personally for 2oo years (of course im being optimistic) I Saw him accept the Partys Election He seems clever enough Im not as Negative about him as I Was.
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  #84  
Old 06-27-2007, 11:46 AM
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The Queen today accepted the resignation of Tony Blair. She then asked Gordon Brown to form a government and he accepted. The new Prime Minister is Gordon Brown.
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  #85  
Old 06-27-2007, 02:24 PM
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Brown is as you say now PM, after an amazing 58 minutes with the queen. Although some members of the cabinet have stepped down, unfortunately they are still MP's, at least until the next general election, when HM will have to go through it all again. It must get incredibly boring for her!
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  #86  
Old 06-27-2007, 03:39 PM
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Indeed. And sadly Margaret Beckett and Patricia Hewitt have been dropped from Cabinet because they are "too old". I wonder if he thinks the same of the Queen.
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  #87  
Old 06-27-2007, 04:05 PM
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Any men been dropped because they're too old, or is it just women who have that little problem?

Wonder if he thinks Charles is too old.
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  #88  
Old 06-27-2007, 04:23 PM
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Patricia Hewitt, who had been expected to remain in the cabinet, announced she was leaving government "for personal reasons".

Beckett of course was a Blairite and was expected to resign or be sacked, now all we need is for Ruth Kelly to go!

story
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  #89  
Old 06-27-2007, 04:31 PM
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I was quite shocked to see Margaret Beckett go though. I wonder if she'll go the Lords now? I really liked her and was very fond of her. I thought she was an excellent Foreign Secretary and besides that; she's a caravanner. How can you not like someone who takes their holidays in Filey? I think Ruth Kelly will stay and I'm shocked that Hewitt has gone and a little dissapointed but I think in reality, she wouldn't want to continue. It does mean that we'll have brand new faces to scrutinise especially in their relation to the monarchy. At least we knew we could trust Margaret and Patricia.
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  #90  
Old 06-27-2007, 04:37 PM
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She should have gone if only for the fact that she has a bl**dy caravan!
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  #91  
Old 06-28-2007, 05:32 PM
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I do wonder when we'll get a decent "First Lady". Cherie was ghastly and Sarah Brown looks her husband in drag. Lady Campbell seems to be good people though. And she adores the Queen so bring her on.
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  #92  
Old 06-30-2007, 05:22 AM
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I do wonder when we'll get a decent "First Lady"... Lady Campbell seems to be good people... so bring her on.
Do you mean Lady Colin Campbell?
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  #93  
Old 06-30-2007, 12:05 PM
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He means the wife of the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Elspeth Campbell, who, if nothing else, has her name to recommend her.

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  #94  
Old 06-30-2007, 02:46 PM
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That's a shame. Since BeatrixFan mentioned husbands in drag, I wondered if he was suggesting more radical changes in Downing Street.
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  #95  
Old 06-30-2007, 02:54 PM
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Please don't call the Prime Minister's wife 'First Lady'. Queen Elizabeth is the Head of State, and First Lady!

HM was in Edinburgh today for the opening of the 3rd Session of the Scottish Parliament. She looked very elegant in a pale green dress, and pale green wide brimmed hat with a pink crown. She was welcomed by the new Scottish First Minister as Queen of Scots - which, of course, she is. Her beautiful Scottish Crown was on display - much older than the one she wears in England. It was carried by the Duke of Hamilton, Scotland's premier duke. His family has the right to this ceremonial job - and they have now carried it out 3 times in the past 8 years, after nearly 300 years of being in abeyance.
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  #96  
Old 06-30-2007, 03:40 PM
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LOL. Not that I wouldn't like to see Lady Colin as our First Lady but Elspeth does carry off a hat extremely well.

Alison20, I know that the Queen is Head of State but she isn't the first lady. We need something to call the PM's wife apart from 'very ugly' so I figured 'First Lady' was more polite.
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  #97  
Old 06-30-2007, 04:09 PM
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It would be more appropriate to call her the 15th lady, as that's about where she ranks. There was a time when royal females would be described as the "nth lady in the land."
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  #98  
Old 07-03-2007, 02:24 PM
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Would someone explain to me what they think happened in 1957 (or '56?) what happened with Eden's resignation and Macmillan's appointment by the Queen? this is something that I have just been reading about in Dr. Ben Pimlott's bio. for Her Majesty. He discusses this event in Chapter 12, Wiley publishers, New York 1996, pp 252-261.
It's a fascinating event and I am trying to understand everything that happened. I am unclear, however, on many points. I am curious if there are other ideas about what happened.
Pimlott draws on many sources, to name a few: Macmillan's memoirs (Riding the Storm, 1971); Sampson's authorized bio. of Macmillan; Eden's memoirs, Full Circle; Memoirs of Lord Butler, Hamish Hamilton pub. London 1971. Also he interviewed Lord Charteris and Sir Edward Ford, former private secretaries of the Queen. He credits many other sources with various aspects of his account of this event, but the long and skinny seems to be that the Queen chose Macmillan based on back doors Tory advice rather than exercising her own royal prerogative.
As many of you no doubt already know, but in case a few haven't read this book, Pimlott goes at pains in many parts of this book to stress how much he believes Her Majesty's entire life and reign (especially reign, but he also applies this thesis to her pre-reign life) has been manipulated entirely by the prerogative of others' agendas, be they political or in the media sectors. He uses this event to support his idea that the Queen (once again, he says) made a passive decision rather than an active one.

My questions are generally:
1) Does anyone have contra ideas about this event?
2) Am I understanding his thesis correctly?
3) Does anyone think she made a good choice, that she acted appropriately? (She was so young and rather "new" to the job still to have such a decision to make!)

My curiosity is many-fold about this. I would like to know as much as possible about this event in her reign. Any "light" to shed on this event?
Any recommended further readings besides what might be gleaned from Pimlott's notes? Just ask if anyone wants to know more about sources. I will be happy to elaborate there. This is all very fascinating.
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  #99  
Old 07-03-2007, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CasiraghiTrio View Post
Would someone explain to me what they think happened in 1957 (or '56?) what happened with Eden's resignation and Macmillan's appointment by the Queen? this is something that I have just been reading about in Dr. Ben Pimlott's bio. for Her Majesty. He discusses this event in Chapter 12, Wiley publishers, New York 1996, pp 252-261.
It's a fascinating event and I am trying to understand everything that happened. I am unclear, however, on many points. I am curious if there are other ideas about what happened.
Pimlott draws on many sources, to name a few: Macmillan's memoirs (Riding the Storm, 1971); Sampson's authorized bio. of Macmillan; Eden's memoirs, Full Circle; Memoirs of Lord Butler, Hamish Hamilton pub. London 1971. Also he interviewed Lord Charteris and Sir Edward Ford, former private secretaries of the Queen. He credits many other sources with various aspects of his account of this event, but the long and skinny seems to be that the Queen chose Macmillan based on back doors Tory advice rather than exercising her own royal prerogative.
As many of you no doubt already know, but in case a few haven't read this book, Pimlott goes at pains in many parts of this book to stress how much he believes Her Majesty's entire life and reign (especially reign, but he also applies this thesis to her pre-reign life) has been manipulated entirely by the prerogative of others' agendas, be they political or in the media sectors. He uses this event to support his idea that the Queen (once again, he says) made a passive decision rather than an active one.

My questions are generally:
1) Does anyone have contra ideas about this event?
2) Am I understanding his thesis correctly?
3) Does anyone think she made a good choice, that she acted appropriately? (She was so young and rather "new" to the job still to have such a decision to make!)

My curiosity is many-fold about this. I would like to know as much as possible about this event in her reign. Any "light" to shed on this event?
Any recommended further readings besides what might be gleaned from Pimlott's notes? Just ask if anyone wants to know more about sources. I will be happy to elaborate there. This is all very fascinating.
Well, she was always going to act on advice. There was never any question of her "exercising her own royal prerogative" unilaterally. The problem was that the Conservative party had no clear-cut leadership progression in place. The situation at the time you are commenting on and again later when Macmillan resigned brought this awkward truth to the fore, and it was not long after that the party put in place formal elections to clarify leadership. I believe the Queen and all her advisors found this to be a great relief because they felt she had been put into a very very awkward predicament when there was not an obvious successor. The points that have been made since in regard to the Macmillan and Douglas-Home selections don't necessarily bring into doubt the wiseness of the Queen's decisions but rather they question whether the sources polled for advice were wide enough and thorough enough.

I've read the Pimlott biography a couple of times. Have your read Elizabeth Longford's biography of the Queen? I'd recommend that as well for political insights to her reign.
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  #100  
Old 07-03-2007, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by selrahc4 View Post
Well, she was always going to act on advice. There was never any question of her "exercising her own royal prerogative" unilaterally. The problem was that the Conservative party had no clear-cut leadership progression in place. The situation at the time you are commenting on and again later when Macmillan resigned brought this awkward truth to the fore, and it was not long after that the party put in place formal elections to clarify leadership. I believe the Queen and all her advisors found this to be a great relief because they felt she had been put into a very very awkward predicament when there was not an obvious successor. The points that have been made since in regard to the Macmillan and Douglas-Home selections don't necessarily bring into doubt the wiseness of the Queen's decisions but rather they question whether the sources polled for advice were wide enough and thorough enough.

I've read the Pimlott biography a couple of times. Have your read Elizabeth Longford's biography of the Queen? I'd recommend that as well for political insights to her reign.
I have not gotten to Longford's book yet, but it's on my 'to do' because it is cited quite a lot in Dr. P's book. Taking in my post again and reading yours, I see that you 'hit the nail on the head' with your point about the advice coming from too small and questionable a source, and in pointing that out, said much more eloquently what I, with three times the word count, only scratched the surface of. I think so far Dr. Pimlott did a phenomenal job of this account of Her Majesty's reign, but did expect a 30-year-old woman, this fresh and wide-eyed Queen of only some five years, to feel up to making a choice like this without totally relying on whatever she was told? I realize that I don't have the kind of training she had even then, but speaking as someone who is now 30, I can say that I imagine in the same situation I would have done whatever the 'elders' told me to do on that decision. In fairness, Dr. P does concede that with old man Churchill giving his backing for Macmillan, there was surely no chance of HM going against the endorsement of so formidable a statesman, regardless of how the endorsements were being formed.

Re-reading part of this section of P's book, I see that his argument here is closer to what you said than to what I suggested before. It seems that (if I am understanding both him and you, finally), in the absence of Conservative Party protocol for assigning a Leader, they in theory had only to rely on the royal prerogative for choosing Eden's replacement. However, none of them wishing to have the Queen decide (unilaterally, as you say) on this matter, the Cabinet ministers huddled together, and when they had their preference decided (Macmillan) they procured Churchill (no doubt from a deep sleep) for his very critical endorsement. (What would be fascinating to know is if the Queen would have so willingly gone with Macmillan if Churchill had given his endorsement for Butler! Yet surely, as Pimlott did concede, Churchill was just going along with what had already been "decided", for what did he care in his retirement?)

Apparently (Pimlott cites Eden's memoirs here) the Queen "enabled" Eden to "unequivocally recommend", but not "constitutionally advise" Butler. (Pimlott p.259). So without the Cabinet ministers and Churchill making their endorsement known to the royal household, would the Queen have chosen Butler? It's a very interesting question. Going on your statement, I would say that she would have chosen Butler in such a hypothetical case, but is it possible that she would have sought another "unequivocal recommendation"?
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