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  #201  
Old 10-29-2007, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
I don't think it will come to that, but it is worth noting that all income (from shares portfolios or savings) is payable at 40% and inheritance tax is also a staggering 40% for anyone who leaves more than £300,000 worth of property, savings or goods!
That is insane, Skydragon! I believe avoiding astronomical taxes was one of the reasons John Lennon (and other ppl of significant means) moved his residence to the US. I recall hearing something about the enormous death taxes Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto had to pay after their mother, Princess Margaret, passed away.
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  #202  
Old 10-29-2007, 04:02 PM
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although The Queen's estate will be subject to Inheritance Tax, bequests from Sovereign to Sovereign are exempt.
So anything the Queen leaves to her successor (most likely Charles) will not be taxed...Balmoral and Sandringham are saved!!
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  #203  
Old 10-29-2007, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
So what do you want people who inherit wealth and/or property to do, what do you want HM to do? Put it all in one big pot to be distributed to the 'poor and needy'? Who decides who gets what, give it to the government and they will increase their own salaries and pensions, it won't go to 'the people'.

A lot of these 'private holdings' were obtained because the good old ancestors purchased land, farmed or produced items that others wanted, this in turn gave them the money to employ/buy enough men to fight for them. It is no different today, when large companies take over smaller companies.

To your way of thinking, it would seem, that it is pointless working to improve yourself, to buy a nice house with a few acres, saving to have money and valuables to pass to your children, because a few years down the line, someone will come along and say 'it's not fair, their ancestors managed to leave more to them than mine, so lets take it away'.

This thread is starting to turn a bright shade of envy!
Do you mean the holdings acquired for the most part through exploitation (to put it mildly) of other countries? HM does not have to put it all in a pot, what's done is done. However, governments can give the "poor and needy" a break. It's not pointless at all to work and improve oneself, which is exactly what "the people" are asking. Greed does not strike me as anything to be envious about. Lord only knows how many were trampled on in order to acquire that wealth. Nope, I’m more than happy with what I have, my conscience is clear. I would roll my eyes, but that would trivialize the matter at hand.
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  #204  
Old 10-29-2007, 08:36 PM
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I think monarchy is worth keeping. In some countries it is just sign of continuity and tradition. In the mcdonaldization era it might be even more important to keep it in order not to forget roots. I'm pro democratic of course, but constitutional monarchy is OK. I would not want to eliminate monarchy if I were living in monarchic country. And of course if there were no royals, there would be no our forum.
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  #205  
Old 10-30-2007, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Chimene View Post
Do you mean the holdings acquired for the most part through exploitation (to put it mildly) of other countries? HM does not have to put it all in a pot, what's done is done. However, governments can give the "poor and needy" a break. It's not pointless at all to work and improve oneself, which is exactly what "the people" are asking. Greed does not strike me as anything to be envious about. Lord only knows how many were trampled on in order to acquire that wealth..
But that is exactly the way business works now and I don't expect to hear any shareholders complaining. Many US and UK companies sell products that have been produced in sweatshops in deprived areas or countries. Every time you 'bag a bargain', you are safe in assuming that it was made by cheap labour in an exploited country. Even the poor in China are having the little they have, taken away, to make way for production for US & UK companies.

The governments of the time may have exploited other countries, but that is in the past and one cannot be expected to pay for the sins of the fathers forever. All anyone can work for is an end to slavery which still exists in the US, UK, India etc.

Anyone who thinks a president is going to come cheap, should read this breakdown of MP's expences from last year and these do not show the 'extra perks' they get.

Overall, MPs claimed £86,779,772 in expenses and allowance between April 2005 and March 2006 compared with a figure of £80,844,465 in 2004/05.
This year’s total is higher, in part due to the fact that it includes £5,786,160 claimed in winding-up allowances by MPs who retired or lost their seats at the last general election.
Allowances and expenses claimed by MPs come on top of their basic salary - currently £59,686, but due to go up to £60,277 on November 1 - and pension entitlements, which cost a total of £38 million
cost of staff, which can include payments made to members of their own family
'Air miles Eric' is Britain's most expensive MP - Times Online

I think I will fight to keep our monarchy, thank you very much!
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  #206  
Old 10-30-2007, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
But that is exactly the way business works now and I don't expect to hear any shareholders complaining. Many US and UK companies sell products that have been produced in sweatshops in deprived areas or countries. Every time you 'bag a bargain', you are safe in assuming that it was made by cheap labour in an exploited country. Even the poor in China are having the little they have, taken away, to make way for production for US & UK companies.

The governments of the time may have exploited other countries, but that is in the past and one cannot be expected to pay for the sins of the fathers forever. All anyone can work for is an end to slavery which still exists in the US, UK, India etc.
I think I will fight to keep our monarchy, thank you very much!
Your absolute right to keep your monarchy has never been in question, at least not by me! I find the idea that this is how it works rather primitive, but I also acknowledged that’s an unfortunate reality due to our mentality.

I salute your fervor at keeping your monarchy, which is, if I understand correctly, a direct link between the past and the future. Yet, “the people” are expected to forget the part of that history that is inconvenient. One does not have pay for the sins of the father forever, but perhaps the father could teach the children so not to have history repeat itself over and over again, albeit in various different forms.

I’ll reiterate, monarchy or republic? I’m for whatever works for “the people” collectively. I’m walking away from this discussion with this quote by Albert Camus: "There is the good and the bad, the great and the low, the just and the unjust. I swear to you that all that will never change".
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  #207  
Old 10-30-2007, 07:53 PM
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The past and the present worked quite well today. HM had to entertain King Abdullah and had, at her disposal, plenty of tools on hand with which to do it. One of the glass carriages, and the troops to name a couple.
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  #208  
Old 11-02-2007, 09:56 AM
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But the troops and glass carriages don't just disappear. They'd become the state's troops and the state's carriages for use by the Head of State and his or her guests. The USA manages to host state visits quite well enough without a Queen.
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  #209  
Old 11-02-2007, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
But the troops and glass carriages don't just disappear. They'd become the state's troops and the state's carriages for use by the Head of State and his or her guests. The USA manages to host state visits quite well enough without a Queen.
Beatrixfan

I think you are under the impression that if the UK became a Republic that there would be significant change and as a practical matter I don't agree. I fully realize that appearances are quite important to the British, but substance is really what does matter.

You are still going to be dealing with fallible human beings, you are still going to be dealing with greedy human beings, you are still going to get ripped off by your government by ridiculous taxation for pomp and ceremony, it is the nature of the beast.

I promise you, waking up tomorrow morning in a Republic would not be the Paradise that you seem to be contemplating it to be.
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  #210  
Old 11-02-2007, 10:59 AM
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I agree with you - we have alot more to do than simply make ourselves more democratic but that's politics which we can't go into here. However, walking into the 21st century should be on the agenda with other reforms in more 'practical' areas. Your claim that I'll still be ripped off is to suggest that it's right and therefore I must expect it. It doesn't need to be this way and if the only reason to keep the monarchy is because its the best of a bad bunch then more needs reforming than I thought.
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  #211  
Old 11-11-2007, 02:00 AM
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{removed response to deleted post - Elspeth}

I feel that here in the U.S. there isn't the connection with history that there is in England, and I feel that the BRF offer that continuous connection.

I'm reminded of something I was taught in my psychology class....children need stability, permanence/ their lives tend to be better with it than without it. This can also apply to adults, in that humans are creatures of habit. With a President that is only around for 4-8 years....there is no permanence, whereas with a RF, you always know that there is someone there, someone constant that you can depend on, in the sense that their image will constantly be there. In a 4-8 year time span, that consistency does not have much time to set in, and new policies are being implemented...does he have enough time for this....what is he going to do about this now...etc. Yes, I know, there have been times where royals have only lasted a short while, but overall, there is someone there for a potential lifetime. Also, yes, I know that positions in Parliament do change, but there is still that constant almost reassuring presence of a Monarch that will still be there (usually) even when the next crisis is over, or the next prime minister is elected.

Does that make sense?

The Monarch is a reminder that even though there may be many an issue today, tomorrow, and even years afterward, those things are all short term, and will be resolved, or not, but no matter what (barring a decision by the British People) there will be a constant force that has come straight out of history, resides with us in the present and expectantly looks towards the future.

~QM
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  #212  
Old 11-11-2007, 02:28 AM
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You make perfect sense, QueenMaharet. The other disadvantage of the US presidency compared to the British monarchy is that the US president, by virtue of being elected, relies on the political tides. He/she needs votes to gain/keep the office. This makes the office fickle in itself because it is unstable, relying on the ever-shifting party rivalries for public opinion. More than a bit like a nuclear reaction.

The US President also has crucial responsibilities. As does the British prime minister.

I like how you put it. The royal family, indeed, stands above and beyond politics, a permanent fixture. Since The Queen has been... The Queen, there have been eleven(?)* British prime ministers and eleven US presidents. When she became Queen on her father's death, Josef Stalin was still Big Cheese of the Soviet Union, albeit practically on death's doorstep. By the time of her so-called "annus horribilus" the USSR had ceased to exist. It could go on and on.... but it all furthers the point that people come and go, as do extremist political regimes. Still standing: The British Monarchy.

*I'm counting in my head: Churchill, Eden, Macmillan, Douglas-Home, Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown (missing someone?)
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  #213  
Old 11-13-2007, 02:51 PM
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An article by Stephen Moss, published in The Guardian today, claims that the British Royals are probably the rudest of all. Mentions various examples of royal gaffes of the BRF or unappropiate responses given by them, tagged as 'rude':


Who is the rudest royal?

Stephen Moss
Tuesday November 13, 2007
The Guardian

Kings and queens once had a divine right to be obnoxious, but regal rudeness has declined in the past few centuries as monarchs have felt the pinch. So hats off to King Juan Carlos (above), who at a summit in Santiago on Saturday lost his temper with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and said: "Por qué no te callas?" ("Why don't you shut up?") Chavez had interrupted the Spanish PM's speech and called a previous holder of the post a "fascist".

This outburst will not, however, win the Spanish king the crown as rudest royal. Britain's prickly princelings, holding out against the tide of monarchical civility, still rule the waves. Prince Charles is rude about "monstrous carbuncles" and anything else more recent than, say, 1640. Prince Andrew once referred to a group of VIPs welcoming him at a school in Wales as "shiny arses". Princess Michael of Kent was said to have told a noisy table of New York diners to "go back to the colonies". Princess Anne called a woman who presented her with a basket of flowers "ridiculous", told the residents of Cumbernauld she wanted to escape from the town "as soon as possible", and berated the bailiff of Guernsey recently when he tried to help her to her feet after she had tripped. "I'm perfectly capable of getting myself up," she told him.
But even she has to bow the knee to her father, Prince Philip, a man who seems unaware the French revolution ever happened. He asked Aborigines in Australia if they "still throw spears", congratulated a student who had been trekking in Papua New Guinea on not having been eaten, said Hungarians were "pot-bellied" and Chinese "slitty-eyed", asked a driving instructor in Oban "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them past the test?", and called a parking attendant who failed to recognise him a "bloody silly fool". Majestic.
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  #214  
Old 11-13-2007, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Verde Esmeralda View Post
asked a driving instructor in Oban "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them past the test?",
I have to admit I often wondered that, having passed my test in London, until a native of Oban told me that you just make sure the examiner is as drunk as you!
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  #215  
Old 11-14-2007, 03:45 PM
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Well ... members of the Royal families are not exactly paragons of etiquette and tact. This often implies that the above individuals tend to demonstrate their human side to their subjects by offending them unintentionally, at least in case of the British Royal family.
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  #216  
Old 11-14-2007, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
Well ... members of the Royal families are not exactly paragons of etiquette and tact. This often implies that the above individuals tend to demonstrate their human side to their subjects by offending them unintentionally, at least in case of the British Royal family.
You are right, in every aspect of life, some people can take offence at the slightest thing, while others see it for the joke it was meant to be.

Some people took offence at Phillips remark, most IMO thought it was funny, as it was meant to be!
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  #217  
Old 11-14-2007, 07:28 PM
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long live the pound

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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Mind you, I'm as curious as BeatrixFan about why the world's fifth largest economy is allegedly so inconsequential.
I am glad that the UK hasn't switched to euros myself. I prefer competitive, thriving economies instead of a one world order homogeneous system. Strong US, strong UK, strong Japan and Germany--works for me. Yes, there aren't as many superpowers as there were in WWII but I still don't think any one country is that inconsequential. If you have a strong government and economy it will boost other countries as well. Think any one is not important? Let that country fail and watch the dominoes fall--recessions end up affecting us all.

As for "is the monarchy worth keeping?" I would say that is up to the taxpayers involved. I love keeping up with the traditions and goings on but as I do not pay UK taxes I can't say what is best for those of you that do. Should the monarchy be phased out I would learn to adapt as would anyone else in time.

Also note to Beatrix Fan--I may not always agree with you 100% but you are always well spoken and entertaining. Carry on!
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  #218  
Old 11-14-2007, 07:40 PM
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BeatrixFan you always come through

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
The King and Queen did nothing during the war other than look pretty. It was Churchill who did the majority of the work.
I agree--Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt basically ran the show for the allies.

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
The Duchess of York was an embarrassment who had titles and tiaras coming out of her armpits but she still didn't make as great an impact on our world than Marie Curie who had no titles.
Thank you for that image!!!!! Best laugh today
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  #219  
Old 11-15-2007, 04:46 PM
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The King and Queen did nothing during the war other than look pretty. It was Churchill who did the majority of the work.


I agree--Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt basically ran the show for the allies.
If you read Sir Alan Lascelles's memoirs which cover the war, you'll see that although Churchill, as the head of the elected government, was doing most of the work, the King was doing significant work also.

BeatrixFan, to characterise George VI's wartime contributions as nothing but looking pretty is to put ideology way ahead of established fact.
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  #220  
Old 11-15-2007, 05:50 PM
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I dare to assume that it does not really matter who did run the show during the World War II. These times have been long gone. The key question right now is that whether British Royal Family will be capable of uniting extremely diverse subjects to address current issues of high importance.
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