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  #241  
Old 11-20-2007, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
England wasn't multi-cultural in the 30s and 40s. Indeed, anti-semitism and racism were rife. For example, when internees were freed from Japanese PoW camps after the war, the British government gave them all an allowance whilst they were being re-patriated. But the order ensuring they'd get that allowance contained a line that said "Monies paid to non-white Britons may be lowered at the officer's discretion". That was a Government policy. England was extremely Aryan and proud of it - it's only now that we're multi-faith and multi-cultural and society is learning to accept it. In those days, alot of people would actually have been quite agreeable to the idea of giving preference to Aryans. But remember, this was of the time. The institutionalised racism that we shun today was just natural for that era and so the King certainly wouldn't have been out of the ordinary to support the idea of a strictly Aryan race, whether he did or he didn't we don't know.

The point I'm making (badly) is that England is ethnically diverse now but back then, it certainly wasn't and the majority were opposed to it being so. As Russophile said, the King sanctioned war because the Third Reich was a threat to natural resources and world power. Remember, Britain had a flourishing relationship with the USSR and turned a blind eye to the gross human rights abuses, anti-semitism and ethnic cleansing that went on. Why? Because Stalin played ball and didn't encroach on our dominions whereas Hitler did. That's why we went to war and that's why the King was happy to be used as a propaganda tool - because it secured his personal situation.
Okay, I understand better the situation but I do think that without the help of USA, Canada and the UK, France as well as all the occupied Europe would have been lost. Agreeing or disagreeing with the nazi ideology, they totally saved us.
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  #242  
Old 11-20-2007, 06:18 PM
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But Britain, France, Canada, the USA and the UK had been very welcoming to the Nazi regime. It was only when they threatened the British dominance (which of course was convenient to the countries you mention) that the 'allies' decided to take action. What the King did was to allow himself to become a brand. The Royal Family were painted as terribly patriotic, very proper and very passionate about doing things the right way. We heard tales of the Queen Mother saying she could look London in the face, that she'd learned to use a pistol, that she'd never leave without the King. We saw the King in a uniform promoting an ideology that was enhanced by the amazing speeches of Churchill, by the poster campaigns and by the BBC. Our reason for being at war was actually to protect our own interests economically, the Holocaust and other atrocities became a handy excuse to validate what was blatant colonialist battle. Do you really think Britain gave a damn about Poland? The British knew that if Hitler took Poland, he'd start on our territories next and so a brilliant PR campaign was launched with the Royal Family at the top. It was very clever but it became evident that we couldn't do it alone and so the USA became vital - but again, they only became involved when it was financially beneficial. Europe was lost - to various oppressive regimes. The difference was that they weren't a threat to British dominance and that's why we haven't seen a war like the Second World War again. Yet. But I've no doubt that Britain would do the same again.

The argument that the monarchy protects Britain from bad regimes is actually quite ridiculous because the monarchy was the rubber stamp when Britain was a bad regime. Britain carried out atrocities throughout the world, Britain continues to turn a blind eye to all kinds of horrors today - does the Queen stand up and say, "Oi, sort it out?". No she doesn't. She listens to the Prime Minister who listens to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Thousands could be massacred in Albania tomorrow and unless it was financially viable or a financial threat to us, we wouldn't get involved.

Similarly, I've no doubt that if we were ever subject to an extremist regime the Queen would stand against it. She'd be a fool to. She'd go along with it for as long as it was personally advantageous. She's only human after all. Monarchies do what keeps them in stockings and gin, there's no room for morals within that.
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  #243  
Old 11-20-2007, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
People battled on the Home Front because they had to. It was a matter of survival, not a matter of a man in a uniform telling them he'd get his jollies if they kept their chins up.
People battled on the home front to preserve the freedoms you now enjoy, such as disparaging their endeavours. Yes there were conscripts but most young men and women fought proudly for their King and Country and all that they held dear.

Although I have to admit when they look at the state of the country today, they cringe. I am priviliged to know and have known many of the Chelsea pensioners and they would be horrified to hear that they or England were extremely aryan, used in the same context as Nazi's.

Half of the East End was inhabited by the Jews and fair to say, some were not as welcoming as they could have been, for many of the reasons anti immigration crowds are chanting today.

BBC - Legacies - Immigration and Emigration - England - London - The world in a city - Article Page 2
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  #244  
Old 11-20-2007, 07:00 PM
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The majority were conscripts though - who didn't have a choice. Fight or be shot for cowardice. Simple. I agree with you that in pockets, some Londoners were certainly not racist - the handbagging of Mosely when he went hammer and tongs at the Jewish community etc, but surely you can't deny that Britain was officially racist in the 1940s?

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People battled on the home front to preserve the freedoms you now enjoy, such as disparaging their endeavours.
That's what the propaganda would have us believe. I'm not disaparaging anyone, I'm just saying that going without sugar for a week doesn't exactly constitute standing up against facism.
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  #245  
Old 11-20-2007, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Thousands could be massacred in Albania tomorrow and unless it was financially viable or a financial threat to us, we wouldn't get involved.

Similarly, I've no doubt that if we were ever subject to an extremist regime the Queen would stand against it. She'd be a fool to. She'd go along with it for as long as it was personally advantageous. She's only human after all. Monarchies do what keeps them in stockings and gin, there's no room for morals within that.
Just out of curiosity, but why should England, France, The Netherlands or any other sovereign nation stick their nose in another countries business? Frankly I think that we all have enough problems in our own home countries without going around trying to peace keep or police the rest of the world.
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  #246  
Old 11-20-2007, 07:09 PM
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Oh I totally agree with you Empress - Britain can't jump in and tell people what to do because they find the German President a bit of a sod. I'm just saying that we do stick our noses into other country's business but it's never for the right reasons and I think that the Second World War is a good example of that. We didn't declare war when Hitler started exterminating Jews, Gays and the disabled but we did when it looked like he might rank above the British in the power stakes.
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  #247  
Old 11-20-2007, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
The majority were conscripts though - who didn't have a choice. Fight or be shot for cowardice. Simple. I agree with you that in pockets, some Londoners were certainly not racist - the handbagging of Mosely when he went hammer and tongs at the Jewish community etc, but surely you can't deny that Britain was officially racist in the 1940s?
Yes they were conscripts, but I think it speaks volumes that only 60,000 applied for concientious objector status. I don't think Britain was any more racist than perhaps America or any of the European countries. It is certainly nothing to be proud of, after all it was Britain in the Boer war that introduced concentration camps.
Quote:
That's what the propaganda would have us believe. I'm not disaparaging anyone, I'm just saying that going without sugar for a week doesn't exactly constitute standing up against facism.
But many of them were proud that they 'managed', that they stood up to the enemy. Managing throughout rationing, helping one another throughout these terrible times did unite the nation and it united the majority right behind the King. Politicians come and go, the monarchy is still seen, by many IMO, as a stabilizing factor.

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Originally Posted by Empress View Post
Just out of curiosity, but why should England, France, The Netherlands or any other sovereign nation stick their nose in another countries business? Frankly I think that we all have enough problems in our own home countries without going around trying to peace keep or police the rest of the world.
I also agree but apparently not for the same reasons as BeatrixFan.
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  #248  
Old 11-20-2007, 07:55 PM
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i am not british so i dont want to sound stupid but imo as long the Queen is alive I believe the monarchy is worthy. she is my favorite queen since ages. when i was in high school the international studies teacher asked us to make a paper about our favorite international leader/regent/king/president and i chose queen elizabeth. my oral presentation was so emotional that the teacher asked me if i had someone british in the family
i wish your monarchy many years to come
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  #249  
Old 11-20-2007, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
Yes they were conscripts, but I think it speaks volumes that only 60,000 applied for concientious objector status. I don't think Britain was any more racist than perhaps America or any of the European countries. It is certainly nothing to be proud of, after all it was Britain in the Boer war that introduced concentration camps.
May i add something to your post? As an Israeli i can tell that several members of my family have Britain in their heart cause your nation had many brave people who dared to help jews when they most need it. One great example is Frank Foley Peace to him.
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  #250  
Old 11-21-2007, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
But Britain, France, Canada, the USA and the UK had been very welcoming to the Nazi regime.
Cuz they were paying off the war debt from WWI. Money talks. . . .
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  #251  
Old 12-05-2007, 03:48 PM
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I Belive The Monarchy today is worthwhule You say England first thing I Think of Her Majesty
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  #252  
Old 12-08-2007, 06:13 PM
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Well, my dear BeatrixFan, I must disabuse you of certain notions. Do you, for instance, really believe that the United States of America is a democracy??? And having seen the pathetic messes democratic systems have made of things, can one call this dispensation an unmitigated blessing. Permit me to express my skepticism. That does not mean that any other system is necessarily any better. It is just that people need to be a lot more careful and a lot more cautious than they ususally are. Which is why I am so cynical about all these people who are debating and wishing to denigrate the institution of monarchy, particulary in its British manifestation. You have in the British royal family an extrordinary dedication to duty, decency and service, failures, pecadillos and stupidities included, that is remarkable. As we say in South Carolina, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Do I really need to go into all the "fixes" that one could list on this forum that have turned out to be monstrous nightmares vastly worse that the situations they tried to correct. I would remind you that 1/4, yes that is ONE Fourth of the entire male population of England died during the English Civil Wars during and after the reign of the if not totally stupid certainly ineptCharles I. There are cures worse than diseases, believe me.

As for meritocracy and equality, fond as I am of you and value your opinions highly, surely you jest. The United States is by no means the nirvana of merit and virtue that you might seem to thinkand I am suspicious of any country that proclaims such. Here we just have different rules of the game and different forms of hypocrisy to justify them. Money and power and greed still have their day. So by all means let the Queen reign, the royal family proceed on their way and I for one would be more than happy to allow the cost of a cup of hot chocolate to subsidise the whoe glorious and wonderful lot, foibles, tiaras, palaces and all. If only she were here. Cheers.
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  #253  
Old 12-09-2007, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas Parkman View Post
Well, my dear BeatrixFan, I must disabuse you of certain notions. Do you, for instance, really believe that the United States of America is a democracy??? And having seen the pathetic messes democratic systems have made of things, can one call this dispensation an unmitigated blessing. Permit me to express my skepticism. That does not mean that any other system is necessarily any better. It is just that people need to be a lot more careful and a lot more cautious than they ususally are. Which is why I am so cynical about all these people who are debating and wishing to denigrate the institution of monarchy, particulary in its British manifestation. You have in the British royal family an extrordinary dedication to duty, decency and service, failures, pecadillos and stupidities included, that is remarkable. As we say in South Carolina, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Do I really need to go into all the "fixes" that one could list on this forum that have turned out to be monstrous nightmares vastly worse that the situations they tried to correct. I would remind you that 1/4, yes that is ONE Fourth of the entire male population of England died during the English Civil Wars during and after the reign of the if not totally stupid certainly ineptCharles I. There are cures worse than diseases, believe me.

As for meritocracy and equality, fond as I am of you and value your opinions highly, surely you jest. The United States is by no means the nirvana of merit and virtue that you might seem to thinkand I am suspicious of any country that proclaims such. Here we just have different rules of the game and different forms of hypocrisy to justify them. Money and power and greed still have their day. So by all means let the Queen reign, the royal family proceed on their way and I for one would be more than happy to allow the cost of a cup of hot chocolate to subsidise the whoe glorious and wonderful lot, foibles, tiaras, palaces and all. If only she were here. Cheers.
Unaccustomed as I am to forum speaking,

Thomas, if you can find me one democracy on the face of this earth I shall show you several Greeks who have stopped spinning in their graves. There is no democracy in this world of ours but there are degrees of democracy and so though the United States of America isn't a beacon of hope on the every vote, every voice front, it is a darn site more democratic than Britain. You say the Royal Family are dedicated, are dutiful but if they were anything other than that then they know it'd be immediate goodbyesville. It's not only their job to wave at the commoners but they know it's in their best interests to play the part well because if they don't, it's a council estate in Epping.

It's interesting that you bring up the Civil War which was one fought on this very issue. We simply exchanged an absolute monarch for a religious dictator, at no point did we benefit from a direct impact on a more democratic Britain. What feeble attempts were made to democratise us came later and even then it was the politicians making the changes whilst Old Roly played leapfrog with Nell Gwynn and had a jolly good laugh. Meritocracy and equality aren't ridiculous ideals but I agree with you that in this modern age they are unachievable unless you go the Maoist route and I can't see that happening in Britain. (And I hope it doesn't. I couldn't wear a boiler suit and ride a bike, could you?).

The knub of it is influence. The Queen doesn't reign, she looks pretty on stamps and occassionally throws a hissy fit when she's asked to dress up for a piccie or two. It's people like the Lord Chancellor and Cabinet Secretary who run Britain, parliament and all that silly gubbins is just a nice play for the plebs to watch. Said plebs are then convinced that they have democracy when what they actually have is a giant con trick. Betty's a lovely old girl but I really think the whole monarchy thing has had it's day. I'd like a President who can express opinions, who we vote for and who really represents the people. I'd like a First Lady who can focus on homely issues. Some people might argue that we have that in the Royal Family but if we do, why do we have to have so much of it? How can we justify Princes and Princesses by the dozen when we've got people who can't afford to take the first step on the housing ladder?

Don't get me wrong, in the old days the Royal Family earned their bread and do an extent they do today but William and Harry? Beatrice and Eugenie? How are they different from the tired old Z listers getting slaughtered every night in modern day gin palaces and falling out for an eager press to photograph? Bow to that shower, I don't think so. They're no different than you or I and that's where the magics gone and why eventually, the monarchy will haemorrage support.
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  #254  
Old 12-09-2007, 01:01 PM
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You, Beatrix Fan, have hit the nail on the head. Very astute. All countries, including "democracies" have problems. Racism is one of them. But our leaders come and go. Hopefully, this one will be gone soon. The ribbon cutting, waving and opening of meat markets are all well and good, but in any society there are those who do things ceremonial things with panache, too. Your are right, what makes this younger generation anyone you would revere. The magic is gone. Daylight has shown us the side they cannot hide from the public any more.
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  #255  
Old 12-09-2007, 01:19 PM
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BeatrixFan,

This will be my first post here.

I have read numerous pages regarding this topic and feel that your opinion is valid yet maybe mis-informed.
What purpose would an elected President have than someone who inherits the Crown?
If the functions of both are the same then why change the format we have now?
In all fairness, who would want to be a constitutional monarch or elected as such?
The role has limited power and is just used for figurehead and appearance purposes. Of course, there is power. The Queen can refuse a law if it affects the constitution, can in fact fire a Prime Minister and because she is above the law can of course keep all those who aren't like Her Majesty's Government in check.

Your comments on a fascist regime being in power and HM not doing anything to intervene seems like a stupid answer because it is her constitutional duty to protect and uphold the law of the United Kingdom of which she reigns. The current political mess, should constitute a governmental sacking WITHOUT the advice of a minister, because the ministers she is advised by are corrupt and overzealous with their greed for power. I should hope that if Prince Charles were King right now that I know deep down he would do something about this. An elected president in a parliamentary government/monarchy such as the UK's is pointless and completely hypothetical and rhetoric.
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  #256  
Old 12-09-2007, 01:26 PM
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An elected President can have two purposes - to serve as a ceremonial head of state, or to serve as a political entity that is also head of state. The key is he or she being an elected head of state as opposed to the enforced family system we have now. The functions of Heads of State rarely change between monarch and president but the point is - we'd elect our head of state. That's the important point here, we get to decide.

The Queen doesn't uphold the law of the United Kingdom, her militaria and politicians do (which are only hers in name of course). When was the last time the Queen made a real difference to Britain politics wise? When was the last time she upheld the law openly? When was the last time she challenged her government? She doesn't, so what's the point in paying an 80 year old to cut ribbons and take poseys from school girls? Let's have a Head of State whom we choose and whom can actually do something to change Britain. Charles can't lay a hand on any Government minister because they're ours, not his. We pay for them, we elect them - he doesn't. They're elected - he isn't. Face it, the Royal Family really are just a glorified meet and greet party.

I disagree that it's rhetoric, it's actually a very real school of thought that seems to have caught on in the modern world. Hypothetical yes, pointless, I don't think so.
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  #257  
Old 12-09-2007, 01:40 PM
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Hmm, you make interesting points but if the President can do no better than the Monarch then what really is the point in changing a system that works just to be politically correct?
The search and conquest for democracy all around the world is subconsciously the purpose to gain power and abuse it.
The Queen may not do anything now as she is far too old I think anyway. No disrespect. Prince Charles, as King, is the head of state. He CAN do what he wants with regards to changing the face of government. If no one keeps the PM in check then how are we living in a democracy. This is the real purpose for constitutional monarchy. To be of national focus, to be continuous as governments come and go, and to keep the PM and HM's ministers in check. If this wasn't the case, the powers would not be there.
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  #258  
Old 12-09-2007, 01:46 PM
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There's much more to it than being politically correct. Electing your representatives isn't political correctness, it's a right borne of a desire for democracy rather than being someone's subject.

The Queen hasn't done anything, she won't do anything and neither will Charles. They know that the moment they do, they've over stepped the mark and they're out. A ceremonial President such as the Latvian model could be just the replacement we need, enabling an elected Head of State and a figurehead to represent us as well as keeping governments in check.
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  #259  
Old 12-09-2007, 01:51 PM
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So, are you telling me that this constitutional monarchy we have is pointless?

I'd like to know of the powers of our monarchy today from your own understanding and the model of the Latvian presidency?

And, wouldn't it be easier to have the monarchy perform the duties of your desired democracy anyway?
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  #260  
Old 12-09-2007, 02:08 PM
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Of course it's pointless. We've got a wealthy family pretending they make a difference when they don't. There's nothing the Queen does that a President couldn't do and indeed we've seen many Presidents do it elsewhere. Vaira Vike-Freiberga was a superb Head of State for Latvia - elected and free of politics. On the other side of the coin, Tarja Halonen has been a brilliant Head of State for Finland - elected and party political. It can work, it does work and I don't see why it shouldn't work in Britain.

I think you're missing the fundamental point here - not being allowed to elect your own Head of State is ridiculous in the 21st century. It is outdated and hypocritical, especially when we Brits talk of exporting democracy to the Middle East, North Korea etc. How can we do that when we're still subservient to a family who happened to roll out of the right womb?
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