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  #301  
Old 12-13-2007, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Quinto View Post
The Royal Treasure in the Tower of London is worth in excess of 50 billion so I think the Royal family of Great Britain could be considered to be very rich indeed. I should think the interest on that sum which is probably controlled by the Bank of England (controlled by the British Government since 1949), is a princely sum.

Not quite. The Crown Jewels belong to us, the people. But to take care of that, British subjects have to pay 15 to go in and see what is theres so don't worry - the Queen still gets her dues.
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  #302  
Old 12-14-2007, 03:04 PM
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How would an admittedly powerless figurehead help the people to have their voice heard? The voice of the people is pointless where it can do nothing to help them.

If you want a "democratic" president, at least give them power to execute the peoples' will. If they can't do that, why does it matter how they get the job?

The latter is justified because the monarch is a figurehead. An elected figurehead, to me, is more of an injustice to the people. They give the illusion of assisting and aiding the peoples' will when in reality they cannot do anything.

I would never accept a completely powerless democratically-elected person being on the state payroll. If someone is going to be full enough of themselves to think that they deserve my vote, they'd better have a pretty good amount of power to make my day better. Unfortunately, they'd never use it for that, but the potential had better be there.

I want elections to have real meaning, not just be stupid shows of pretend power. That's what an elected figurehead provides, an expensive lie for the people. The Queen may be expensive (I wouldn't really say so, though), but she is not a lie.

The only good thing to come out of a UK republic would be that the Queen and her family could move into Rideau Hall and become a resident Canadian monarchy.
A much needed response I feel. I thought I was alone with my opinions but apparently not.

I truly respect your opinions and your beliefs Beatrix Fan as I have read a few of your articles online. (I do my research).
I understand you were once a monarchist and now you are a republican and you have that right to be whatever you feel is right.

However, my point is not necessarily about the political correctness and relevance of the British Monarchy in today's society but the fact that your solution to a 1000 year old aristocracy is to implement the same type of office that Her Majesty The Queen holds, with someone who is elected to do exactly the same job as herself.

I do not see the point of holding elections to elect an official who will cost the country just as much, if not more, to serve the same purpose that The Queen and, eventually, Prince Charles & William will. It makes no sense to bang on about democracy when the country is democratic. The fact that The Queen is a CONSTITUTIONAL head of state, makes the monarchy viable. Your only option in response to this office is to establish a 'new' one which does exactly the same thing. I see no purpose to do such a thing and given the chance to vote, I don't think the British people would want to exchange one system of government for another one which is clearly the same.
Sure, the principle of a hereditary monarch is perhaps un-fair in your opinion but why change a system which works perfectly well.

By the way, I have been doing my research and some of the world's most democratic countries in the world are monarchies.
Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Holland and Belgium are all within the top 20 countries. And as a matter of fact, monarchies take up half the top 20.
Maybe these facts would shed a bit more light and what it means to be a democratic country.
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  #303  
Old 12-14-2007, 04:39 PM
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However, my point is not necessarily about the political correctness and relevance of the British Monarchy in today's society but the fact that your solution to a 1000 year old aristocracy is to implement the same type of office that Her Majesty The Queen holds, with someone who is elected to do exactly the same job as herself.
You see, this is where the problem lies. You believe that electing a Head of State is somehow a priveledge and a political correct whim, whereas I believe that it's a right and an integral part of a free society. The aristocracy you speak of is dead, the monarch you claim to have lasted 1000 years has actually been around for a much shorter time and the history of the individuals are far less glittering than the history of our country - which was formed by the people, not the monarchy. When you think about it, the Royal Family itself can't claim the glory won by their subjects and it's for that reason that they've become surplus to requirements. History is history and living in the past means we're destined to repeat old mistakes. Just because the monarchy worked in 1800, doesn't mean it works in 2007 or that it will still be working in 2077. That's what the human condition is all about - evolving with time. If we stick to old institutions because of warm and fuzzy nostalgia, then we're throwing away sensibility and practicality and that can never lead to anything positive.

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I do not see the point of holding elections to elect an official who will cost the country just as much, if not more, to serve the same purpose that The Queen and, eventually, Prince Charles & William will. It makes no sense to bang on about democracy when the country is democratic.
On that point we can't agree. Where is your factual evidence that a President would cost more than a monarchy? Bear in mind that the British people pay for the Queen and her entire family. There's all that guff about only paying for the Queen with the civil list and that it only costs us all 61p but do you honestly believe that? With a republic, we pay for the President and the First Lady. And thats it. We won't have a Prince Andrew zipping off for a round of golf, or the Michaels paying a peppercorn rent whilst the working classes struggle on to pay the basics. It's about fairness. A President is one of the people, elected by the people, to serve the people - that is true democracy. Britain is nowhere near democratic. How can it be when we have men and women who have either been born into the Lords or have bought their way into the Lords, sitting above the elected representatives of the people? How can we be democratic if a woman simply born in the right bed has the right to overturn the laws passed through the people's chamber? Simply put - Britain is no democracy.

Quote:
The fact that The Queen is a CONSTITUTIONAL head of state, makes the monarchy viable. Your only option in response to this office is to establish a 'new' one which does exactly the same thing. I see no purpose to do such a thing and given the chance to vote, I don't think the British people would want to exchange one system of government for another one which is clearly the same.
What constitution? Where is it? We don't have one. With a republic, we'd have a constitution and a bill of rights (which Gordon Brown has already promised us). Until that time, the Queen is not a constitutional monarch. A republic is not at all the same. The republic would mean an end to the Lords, an end to hereditary priveledge and an end to the people being limited in what impact they have on their government. We get to elect a Prime Minister but what's the point when the Queen doesn't have to give him the job? Our word should be final and that's what a republic means.

Quote:
Sure, the principle of a hereditary monarch is perhaps un-fair in your opinion but why change a system which works perfectly well.
Does it work well? The slave trade was financially viable for Britain, unfair in my opinion but boy am I glad the system that worked perfectly well for a few aristos has ended. You get my point?

Quote:
By the way, I have been doing my research and some of the world's most democratic countries in the world are monarchies.
Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Holland and Belgium are all within the top 20 countries. And as a matter of fact, monarchies take up half the top 20.
Maybe these facts would shed a bit more light and what it means to be a democratic country.
Canada, Australia and New Zealand are all preparing to ditch the Queen. I'd say once the Queen has departed, there'll be 3 new republics and Australia could become one even sooner. The countries you name aren't democratic, they're perhaps more stable but this is to do with their governments, not their monarchies. In the case of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Belgium - they have the EU to prevent collapse (although Belgium's not doing a bad job of falling to pieces under Albert) and Canada, Australia and New Zealand don't have a resident monarch. Stability doesn't depend on a monarchy, when it comes to it, nor does democracy. Thailand has a monarchy and is neither stable or democratic. It isn't about crowns, it's about principles and the principle that has always been at the heart of progress is a man standing up and making his voice heard. How can he when his voice is stifled by a fanfare for an unelected overlord?
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  #304  
Old 12-14-2007, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Canada, Australia and New Zealand are all preparing to ditch the Queen. I'd say once the Queen has departed, there'll be 3 new republics and Australia could become one even sooner.
Do you have a citation for the Canada one? It's extremely hard to remove the monarchy in Canada. It requires the federal Parliament and all 10 Provincial Legislatures to approve.
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  #305  
Old 12-14-2007, 06:02 PM
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Can you think of any other way to ...

Can you think of any other way to avoid turning into a communist state?
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  #306  
Old 12-14-2007, 06:10 PM
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Not a citation no but from what I hear from Canadian chums, it seems a possibility once Australia ditches the Queen.

Quinto, a republic doesn't equal communism at all. Though I won't say it hasn't crossed my mind...
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  #307  
Old 12-14-2007, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
You see, this is where the problem lies. You believe that electing a Head of State is somehow a priveledge and a political correct whim, whereas I believe that it's a right and an integral part of a free society.
Why is it a "right and an integral part of free society" to have a popular vote for everyone and anyone? Parliament can remove the monarch if they choose so to do. Nobody is stopped from forming a republican party and running in an election with a platform of removing the monarchy. The monarch is a de facto elected president, in that in every election a party is elected that does not wish to remove her.

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Bear in mind that the British people pay for the Queen and her entire family.
The "entire family" apart from the Queen, Prince Philip, and the Waleses, is paid by revenue from the Duchy of Lancaster, which is the Queen's private money (apart from the Crown Estates). If she ceased to be Queen, she'd still get all of that money.

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
A President is one of the people, elected by the people, to serve the people - that is true democracy.
So if a democratically-elected House of Commons chooses not to remove the monarchy, they aren't democratic?

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Britain is nowhere near democratic.
So if a democratically-elected House of Commons chooses not to remove the monarchy, they aren't democratic?

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Simply put - Britain is no democracy.
So if a democratically-elected House of Commons chooses not to remove the monarchy, they aren't democratic?

Forgive me for repeating myself, but you make a claim that strikes me as "If I don't like the results, it's not a democracy."

If the people wished it and voted in representatives who wanted the monarchy gone, it would go. That is democracy.

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
What constitution? Where is it?
Wrong. Constitutions do not need to be one concise document or even written at all. Without a constitution of some kind there'd be no government at all.

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Until that time, the Queen is not a constitutional monarch.
Making ridiculous statements doesn't advance your cause. The Queen operates solely on the advice of the elected government. That is the definition of a constitutional monarch.

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
A republic is not at all the same. The republic would mean an end to the Lords, an end to hereditary priveledge and an end to the people being limited in what impact they have on their government.
There could easily be an appointed upper house in a republic.

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
We get to elect a Prime Minister but what's the point when the Queen doesn't have to give him the job? Our word should be final and that's what a republic means.
The word of the people is final. Name one time when the Queen (or any of her recent predecessors) has gone over the heads of the elected government in order to subvert democracy.

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Does it work well? The slave trade was financially viable for Britain, unfair in my opinion but boy am I glad the system that worked perfectly well for a few aristos has ended. You get my point?
I get your point and think it's ridiculous. Slavery took rights away from people. The monarchy doesn't. You are still free to run for Parliament on the platform of removing the monarchy. Until you aren't, you are being incredibly rude and condescending to the rest of the British people by telling them that since they don't elect people with your opinions, they aren't democratic.

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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
How can he when his voice is stifled by a fanfare for an unelected overlord?
Enumerate in detail the persons who have been stifled by an "unelected overlord." If you cannot do that, do the honourable thing and retract your statement.
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  #308  
Old 12-14-2007, 06:12 PM
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Not a citation no but from what I hear from Canadian chums, it seems a possibility once Australia ditches the Queen.
It's not a possibility right now. So long as even one province says no, a republic is a constitutional impossibility.
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  #309  
Old 12-14-2007, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Not a citation no but from what I hear from Canadian chums, it seems a possibility once Australia ditches the Queen.

Quinto, a republic doesn't equal communism at all. Though I won't say it hasn't crossed my mind...
An anarchist republic like France; they executed their Royal family in the French Revolution and have regretted it ever since. Now they don't know who they are any more and have a cumulatively arrogant identity crises as a nation. They need a new King! Descendents of the French royal family are still out there somewhere waiting to be crowned again. The same goes for the Russian royal family. Waiting in line to be next in line to the throne.

The Australians are too busy swilling beer in their budgie smugglers to notice anything about our Royal family.
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  #310  
Old 12-14-2007, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Not quite. The Crown Jewels belong to us, the people. But to take care of that, British subjects have to pay 15 to go in and see what is theres so don't worry - the Queen still gets her dues.
How can the Crown Jewels belong to the "people" - Do you have a share in them then, and if so, how much do you think you own.

Were you around in the days of King Henry VIII for instance when he ordered jewels to be made for his six Queens in a line? Or in the days of King Charles I when his cap badge was stolen at the Battle of Naseby by Oliver Cromwell and ended up in a little glass cabinet at the Sir John Soanes Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London (surely it is a crown jewel and belonged to King Charles I and should be inherited by the Royal Family of Great Britain as he was their ancestor? Or do you mean that because Oliver Cromwell beheaded King Charles I that the people owned everything at that point and that it should stay that way now?

There was a commemorative plaque in the John Soanes Museum as well which belonged to the Duke of Marlborough depicting the Battle of Bleinham, does that belong to the people or to the Duke of Marlborough and his descendents? Or does it belong to you?

Correct me if I'm wrong but the Queen does not receive any revenue from the Tower of London admission proceeds because the Tower of London is a National Trust property. Eh? Royal Museums!
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  #311  
Old 12-15-2007, 01:17 AM
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An anarchist republic like France; they executed their Royal family in the French Revolution and have regretted it ever since.
I don't see any evidence of the French people as a whole regretting having done away with the monarchy.

Quote:
Now they don't know who they are any more and have a cumulatively arrogant identity crises as a nation. They need a new King! Descendents of the French royal family are still out there somewhere waiting to be crowned again. The same goes for the Russian royal family. Waiting in line to be next in line to the throne.
And the people don't seem to want the monarchy back in France or in Russia, so they'll be waiting a long time.

{deleted insult in original post - Elspeth}
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  #312  
Old 12-15-2007, 01:29 AM
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The Royal Treasure in the Tower of London is worth in excess of 50 billion so I think the Royal family of Great Britain could be considered to be very rich indeed. I should think the interest on that sum which is probably controlled by the Bank of England (controlled by the British Government since 1949), is a princely sum.

The Royal Treasure in the Tower of London is not the Queen's personal property or the property of the royal family. From the royal family website:

"The Crown Jewels are part of the national heritage and held by The Queen as Sovereign."

The Monarchy Today > Ceremony and symbol > Symbols > The Crown Jewels

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Originally Posted by Quinto View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong but the Queen does not receive any revenue from the Tower of London admission proceeds because the Tower of London is a National Trust property. Eh? Royal Museums!

According to the Royal Family website:

"The Tower remains the storehouse of the Crown Jewels and regalia, as it has done for nearly 700 years. Today the Tower is under the management of the Historic Royal Palaces Trust."

The Royal Residences > Historic residences

So, no, it isn't a National Trust property.
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  #313  
Old 12-15-2007, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
The Royal Treasure in the Tower of London is not the Queen's personal property or the property of the royal family. From the royal family website:

"The Crown Jewels are part of the national heritage and held by The Queen as Sovereign."

The Monarchy Today > Ceremony and symbol > Symbols > The Crown Jewels




According to the Royal Family website:

"The Tower remains the storehouse of the Crown Jewels and regalia, as it has done for nearly 700 years. Today the Tower is under the management of the Historic Royal Palaces Trust."

The Royal Residences > Historic residences

So, no, it isn't a National Trust property.
Eh - Blah, Blah, Blah ... National heritage insomuch as history belongs to its nation ... but that does not mean that Joe Bloggs owns Anne Boleyn's rings and necklaces does it?

No-one, including me, said the Royal Treasure belonged to the National Trust. The Tower of London is run by the National Trust of Great Britain. I said the Queen does not receive the income from National Trust properties.

It would be so, so nice if people would read words in the manner in which they are conveyed and not twist and turn them to suit the ideal of the mind of the reader.

This topic is off-topic for the title of the thread which is, Are the Royal Family worth keeping, and by the way, it is Treason to plot the downfall of the Monarchy.

eh?
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  #314  
Old 12-15-2007, 05:28 AM
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Exclamation Quotes from The Tower of London book ...

I have a book which I bought at the Tower of London [Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London by Peter Hammond, giving details of why the Royal treasure is stored at the Tower of London: (and the Queen of England has to eat her breakfast out of a Tupperware bowl, according to the press in the UK, (The Sun newspaper) and I would dare to suppose that she would prefer a nice gold bowl that belonged to one of her ancestors, from which to eat her shredded wheat or Rice Crispies, and quite rightly so; as members of the public tramp past her closed living room door, snooping and peeping into her private life to raise revenue for the Treasury...

"Arsenal, Treasury and Mint"

The Royal Mint is now, by the way not at Tower Hill but in Llantrisant in South Wales. (aside) ahem!

William Duke of Normandy was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey, some two months after his victory over the Saxon King Harold at Hastings in 1066. He was the conqueror who built the Tower of London. It used to be a Royal palace and residence:

"A medieval castle, as well as being the stronghold and resident of its lord, was also the place that held his treasure, armoury and prisoners. The Tower, as a great royal castle adjoining London, the commercial capital, and near Westminster, which had become the seat of government, was a major centre of the power and wealth of English monarchs.

Following Edward I's expansion of the Tower, it soon came to contain one of the main royal treasuries, a storehouse for official documents, the largest of
the royal mints and the only one coining in gold as well as silver, and the chief arsenal in the kingdom, storing and assembling armaments for the royal armies and fleets. To speed the movement of supplies and afford storage and working space, the wharf was extended along the entire river front.

... From the later years of King Henry VIII's reign (1509-47) the Tower gradually went out of use as a royal palace as Whitehall became the monarch's usual London residence and the Tower's defences were allowed to decay ..."

The Crown Jewels ...

"The Tower of London was one of the chief treasuries of the medieval kings, and some of the Crown Jewels were always kept there. The coronation regalia, however, which were regarded as the relics of St Edward (King Edward the Confessor, who ruled before the Norman Conquest) were kept at Westminster Abbey, where the royal saint was buried and coronations took place.

Following the execution of Charles I in 1649, Parliament ordered the coronation ornaments to be brought to the Tower, the precious metals to be melted down for coinage, and the gems sold off. Nevertheless, several of the old regalia, or parts of them, reappeared and were refashioned for use at Charles II's coronation in 1661. The lower half at least of the coronation crown itself was made up of a medieval crown, perhaps the crown of Edward the Confessor.

Later monarchs added to the regalia, most notably the Jewelled State Sword made for the coronation of George IV in 1821, and the Imperial State Crown with which Queen Victoria was crowned in 1837. The major gemstones set in the crown, however, had a much longer history, including a sapphire taken from the ring said to have been buried with Edward the Confessor in 1066, and the balas ruby presented to the Black Prince of Bordeaux in 1367.

As well as the coronation ornaments and robes, a number of historic crowns are displayed, including the Crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, which holds the legendary Koh-i-noor diamond.

The Jewel House also contains banqueting and church plate, state swords, processional maces and trumpets, the robes and insignia of the orders of chivalry, and decorations and medals.

[An illustrated guidebook to the Crown Jewels is on sale in the Tower shops]

The body of the eagle Ampulla is used to contain the holy oil with which the new monarch is anointed, and was made for Charles II's coronation in 1661, but the head can be dated to the fourteenth century ... etc.

Who owns the Crown Jewels then? Cromwellian people and their Government who no longer exist or do the Crown Jewels rightfully belong to the Royal family through inheritance as reigning monarchs?

I must need a brain transplant if I am going to be forced to believe the people own the crown jewels - how and why? Why aren't there law suits being made by those who claim to have a claim to them then? May be the Ravens own all the Jewels now since they have been resident at the Tower of London since it was first built by William Duke of Normandy who was crowned on Christmas Day in 1066.

,

End of history lesson part I.
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  #315  
Old 12-15-2007, 05:44 AM
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My Dear Beatrix Fan,

How you contradict yourself on so many occasions throughout this debate. It makes me wonder whether you are actually a republican or a monarchist, at all?
One minute you acknowledge HM as a figurehead and a constitutional monarch and then you say there is no written constitution and that it's unfair that The Queen can choose not to appoint a PM due to her own political beliefs.

Fact is, Britain is a constitutional monarchy and works perfectly well on a whole. The Queen's constitutional duty when appointing a Prime Minister is to appoint the person who will have the most support in the House of Commons. This appointment is always delegated by the people, for the people.
The whole 'kissing hands' ceremony is simply that, a piece of official ceremony.
If the monarch were allowed to appoint any minister they liked then, in theory, the King or Queen of the day would be the executive authority in the land, of which they are not.
This makes them constitutional because even though the title King/Queen strikes the imagination with images of a huge amount of power and beautiful palaces and wealth, the real power lies with an elected Commons.
The Sovereign has emergency reserve powers known as, 'Royal Prerogative'.
These powers are:

1. the power to dismiss a Prime Minister and the Cabinet
2. the right to refuse the dissolution of parliament
3. the right to refuse an act of parliament which stops the act from becoming law and is known as, 'reserving the Bill for Her Majesty's pleasure'.

These powers are quite powerful within themselves, however public pressure and convention would make sure these powers were used accordingly and justly.
For example, if the Queen were to sack Gordon Brown right now, which I think she has every right to with the scandals his party has accumulated and the EU Treaty which the PM has signed illegally. I think the people would get behind the Queen. If the Queen feels that the PM is a tyrant, there is just cause. If the Queen feels the country is in meltdown, refusing to dissolve parliament is just cause also. And, if a law is seen to be un-orthodox the Queen can refuse it which is just cause also, however if it was un-orthodox it wouldn't get to the monarch anyway because it would be refused in parliament.

Even though these powers are hereditary and un-elected. There are things in place to keep the monarchy within their limits and the monarch is there to keep the government in check. Name one monarch who has gone against their government or done something against the wishes of the people since the UK has been a constitutional monarchy...I DIDN'T THINK SO EITHER.
The system works and is a good thing for Britain.

How you can say that other monarchies are un-democratic I dont know?
The only point you made about my points about constitutional monarchies being democratic is that Australia wishes to be a republic. In my opinion, I think they have every right. Their points are just. They want a native head of state and because Australia is a self ruling country now, I don't see why there should be any objections. However, using this fact about Australia in a demonstration to belittle the monarchy is a sure sign in the amount of holes in your argument.

What reasons would the British have for ousting their own monarchy?

You mentioned that a President would not cost more than a monarchy. How can you be so sure? You think just because a president is elected, he or she is going to have less work to do? Sure, you mention about the family but there are many things you may or may not know about the rest of the Royal family.
Prince Charles has his own organic food company called 'Duchy Originals'.
Prince William is the President of the Football Association.

I think the Royal's are more pro-active in their own business affairs, rather than being made out to be ponces like you seem to believe BeatrixFan.
I think they do alot of work which they perhaps don't want to do, and the money they receive from the taxpayer is divided and worked out by the government anyway so are the Royal's to blame at all? I don't think so.

I think it's easy to place a blame on The Queen and her family about money because they are the most famous people in the land. Why not focus your attention on the fact that our government gives the EU over 10BN a year and gets about 3.5BN back from them. How about the taxpayer's money spent on a pointless war in Iraq and Afghanistan?

There are a lot of things that the government spends on which are doing nothing but harm to the country, it's just a shame that people feel the need to attack such a fantastic institution as the monarchy which does nothing but good for the country.
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  #316  
Old 12-15-2007, 05:51 AM
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The National Trust and Historic Royal Palaces

Cough cough, ahem ... Hampton Court and the Tower of London are not owned by the National Trust the President of which is HRH The Prince of Wales, but Historic Royal Palaces Historic Royal Palaces > Home, which administrates these properties - but that still does not mean that her majesty the Queen of England receives the revenue from the viewing public ... end or is it, I ponder on the question of whether Historic Royal Palaces who run the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace (what would Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry VIII think of that by the way (in an aside to the ghost standing beside me, who guides me through a sleepless night)), do they then, own the Crown Jewels and are they the British Government as a body of people for the people then? As in the days of Oliver Cromwell I mean ... (shove over!)

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  #317  
Old 12-15-2007, 08:30 AM
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and by the way, it is Treason to plot the downfall of the Monarchy. eh?
That's a great way to shut up the opposing view, and is that not the type of tactics that occur in non-democracies.

Is the monarchy worth keeping? I read a lot of arguments expressing the pros and cons.
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  #318  
Old 12-16-2007, 08:58 AM
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I'm away for five minutes getting legless on gin and dancing with a student nurse and the thread explodes. Where to begin? Firstly, I'd like to point out that I'm neither; naive, stupid, thoughtless, ridiculous etc etc. Secondly, I should like to invoke dear Eliza;

"They can still rule the land without you,
Windsor Castle will stand without you,
And without much ado, we can all muddle through without you".

And this is the knub of my point. We can do without the monarchy. However, in expressing that I've been mistaken for an anarchist and a communist so I think I better start at the beginning. I used to be a monarchist. I shuddered at the thought of a President Blair who ruled us Bush stylee. Then I discovered that republics don't have to follow one set of guidelines. This is something that a few people in this debate haven't quite grasped. When you look at the world, countries are unique and therefore they have unique systems of government. Britain happens to have a monarchy and so does Denmark but the two monarchies are very different. The United States and Poland are both republics but again, the two republics are very different. If Britain became a republic, it would have to be a national decision to decide which we form of republic would work best for us. I put forward my ideal republic which some people seem to have taken as the be all and end all. I was asked what I'd like to see in a Presidency and I put that forward as my answer. I apologise if it's made people dribble.

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One minute you acknowledge HM as a figurehead and a constitutional monarch and then you say there is no written constitution and that it's unfair that The Queen can choose not to appoint a PM due to her own political beliefs.
Not having glaucoma, I can see that we have a Queen. I'm acknowledging the Queen as a figurehead because thats what she is. I may not like it but she's the Head of State at this precise moment in time. Not to ackowledge her in a debate of this nature would be ridiculous. I'll also acknowledge that she's a constitutional monarch but when I say that, I am hasty to point out that IN MY VIEW, the establishment are wrong to call her that. I don't believe she can be a constitutional monarch when we don't have a constitution but to please the masses, I'll go along with the idea that she's a constitutional monarch. Now, what you're talking about is theory. Theoretically, the Queen can choose not to appoint a PM. She doesn't do that, she's never done it, she never will. However, she still can. It's rather like me having the right to poke a baby in the eye. I may not do it but it'd still hurt if I did so why give me the right in the first place? The Queen supposedly has the right to dismiss a Prime Minister but she won't because she knows, I know, we all know, that it's totally undemocratic for her to do so. She'd be villified for it and rightly so. She may not have done it but I still don't like the idea of some unelected granny having the right to do away with my government because she's in an Annie Leibovitz-induced strop one day.

I've suggested giving that right to a President but there's a difference. A Queen with that right hasn't been given that right by the people. A President with that right has been elected and therefore has the power by consent of the people. If a President dismissed a Prime Minister thus triggering an immediate election, that safeguard against extremism is still there yet it's one the people have actively had a say in.

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Fact is, Britain is a constitutional monarchy and works perfectly well on a whole. The Queen's constitutional duty when appointing a Prime Minister is to appoint the person who will have the most support in the House of Commons. This appointment is always delegated by the people, for the people.
The whole 'kissing hands' ceremony is simply that, a piece of official ceremony. If the monarch were allowed to appoint any minister they liked then, in theory, the King or Queen of the day would be the executive authority in the land, of which they are not. This makes them constitutional because even though the title King/Queen strikes the imagination with images of a huge amount of power and beautiful palaces and wealth, the real power lies with an elected Commons.
I am aware that Britain is a constitutional monarchy. I'm also aware that at the moment, it works fairly well. Hitler's Germany worked fairly well for a while. Every system of governance hits a peak followed by a complete lack of authority and the younger generation of the Royal Family have begun that. I'm going to give you two line ups, one of which happened and one of which hasn't happened;

1. Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, Cesar Romero, Brigitte Bardot, Sylvia Sims.

2. Amy Winehouse, Pete Docherty, Britney Spears, Jade Goody.

When the Queen met line-up number 1, she was still very much an Empire monarch. She inspired patriotism, she inspired loyalty and even meeting the great and the good of her day, she was unrivalled. The showbiz world couldn't compete because she was still a Queen (no jokes about Cesar Romero please). If William met line-up number 2, he's just another c lister. He's fallen out of nightclubs, he's made an ass of himself with the press. He has no standing above any of those people and if he hasn't got that standing over the supposed cream of the crop (Jade Goody not with-standing) then how can he have it over the working man? Why call Harry a Royal Highness when the only high thing he's done is weed? You see my point? The old guard of Betty, Phil, Charlie and Milla may work well but look a bit furthur and what have you got? You do have to wonder whether some of the Royal Family were grown on Fraggle Rock.

Princess Anne is a treasure. A real asset to Britain. But it's not her Royal status that makes her the asset she is, it's her hard work and very genuine ethic that she should earn the luxury she lives in. If we did become a republic tomorrow, I'd certainly vote for her as a President. So that's Anne. But look at Andrew - what has this man ever done? Ok he served in the Falklands but so did plenty of others and they still had to come home and get a job. He seems to have done his bit and then laid back. He whizzes off to places in helicopters that cost the earth, he spends most of his time playing golf and he's let his god awful ex turn his daughters into some kind of hideous Grey Gardens spoof. Princess Michael's good for a laugh, she's pretty to look at and every now and then she'll do a Zsa Zsa and it's amusing. As a gay man, I thrive on people like that but that doesn't mean that I'd fancy Princess Michael as Queen Marie-Christine.
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:59 AM
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Which brings me onto a part of the monarchy that truly baffles me. The Catholic ban goes against every ideal Britain has pledged itself to. People have gone to the European Court of Human Rights because they've been denied something on the grounds on religion and yet Britain still has this ridiculous idea that Catholics eat old ladies and dress up as the Pope at weekends. That in itself shows not only how archaic the monarchy is but it also shows how utterly unfair the system is. The monarchy is tied to the Church and at important occassions, the whole clan turns out and sits in front of a Bishop who reads drivel which they all ignore. If the Royal Family were really Christians, they wouldn't have had the divorces, the adultery, the drug taking, the drinking and the dodgy finances. All that makes for a fabulous soap opera but when you consider that if a bomb went off and wiped out the top few, we'd end up with Prince Edward as Queen. I mean King.

More importantly, the Church of England no longer represents the British people spiritually. It represents those who are in it's communion but it doesn't represent the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Orthodox or Catholic faiths. When Britain is extremely multi-faith, it makes sense that we should have a secular Head of State who practises his or her own religion privately whilst leaving the state religion idea firmly behind us. It makes no sense, it's divisive and it's a contradiction to have it. Yet it stays because it's part of the parcel of monarchy. So you see, though you can say it works well, the monarchy has gaping holes in it's account of usefullness and they never seem to get patched up or addressed.

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the real power lies with an elected Commons
So cut out the middle man. If I employ a housekeeper, I don't want her popping next door to see if it's all right that she cleans my living room. It's the same principle here, if the power lies with the Commons then get rid of the Queen and the House of Lords which serves to slow down it's work.

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For example, if the Queen were to sack Gordon Brown right now, which I think she has every right to with the scandals his party has accumulated and the EU Treaty which the PM has signed illegally. I think the people would get behind the Queen.
We elected the Labour administration - we didn't elect one person. There's been scandals in every party and both Tories and Labour have signed EU treaties without asking the people first so if the Queen wants Brown out over cash for honours and Lisbon, she'd have to show Cameron the door over cash for honours and Maastricht. You can't tell me the Queen wasn't aware that the gongs she was pinning on had a price tag, she isn't a fool and it's been going on for years. This lot are the ones who have been caught. Simple as. If you're so sure of the Queen getting public support, then let her stand as an MP and see how far she gets.

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How you can say that other monarchies are un-democratic I dont know?
Well, I can say it because by definition all monarchies are undemocratic. They are born, they reign, they die. They face no elections and they only know when the people have had enough when the people shoot them in a basement. If you don't elect someone to represent you in a free ballot, then you don't have a democracy.

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You mentioned that a President would not cost more than a monarchy. How can you be so sure? You think just because a president is elected, he or she is going to have less work to do? Sure, you mention about the family but there are many things you may or may not know about the rest of the Royal family. Prince Charles has his own organic food company called 'Duchy Originals'. Prince William is the President of the Football Association.
So shall we ask Michael Owen or Mr Custard Cream to be King? Hail King Beckham, Hail Queen Garibaldi. Come on, they're not exactly glittering qualifications for the job of Head of State are they? I don't know how much a President would cost but this I do know - the Royal train, Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, Sandringham, Balmoral etc would be opened up to the public. And I mean all of it. That in itself would bring in huge revenue. With the Lords gone, thats another huge chunk of revenue given back to the state. When you're only paying for a husband and wife team, you're not spending as much as you do on a whole tribe. It stands to reason.
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:00 AM
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Why not focus your attention on the fact that our government gives the EU over 10BN a year and gets about 3.5BN back from them. How about the taxpayer's money spent on a pointless war in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Whats that got to do with the price of fish? Thats a government matter, not a matter for a President unless you go the American way which I said I'd prefer not to see.

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I think they do alot of work which they perhaps don't want to do, and the money they receive from the taxpayer is divided and worked out by the government anyway so are the Royal's to blame at all?
And I don't blame them. Listen, I'm sure they're all lovely people. I wouldn't fancy a lunch with Katherine Kent or David Linley but I'm sure that as individuals they're very pleasant and they have a laugh at Easter. I have nothing against them personally, they're in a position they didn't ask to be in but unlike yesteryear, the odds are now on that they won't be earning their keep as they did. But if this money from the taxpayer is such a burden, they can give it back. The Queen's a billionairess, I'm sure she could cope without my 61p which could go towards a gin and tonic. I don't mind paying a President, I've asked him to do it but I didn't ask the Royal Family to lord it over me so I object to paying them for the priveledge.

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How can the Crown Jewels belong to the "people" - Do you have a share in them then, and if so, how much do you think you own.
Were the Crown Jewels to be sold, I'm sure they'd raise quite a bit. It's not about sharing it out to everyone, it's about the state as a whole. They sit in the Tower of London, once a year Liz pops it on to go down the road and thats it. But she didn't pay for them, we did. We paid to have them made and altered etc, so they belong to us. Not 'us' the individuals, but 'us' the people and just as I wouldn't pay to use my own kettle, I don't like the idea of paying to see something that belongs to the British.

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Why is it a "right and an integral part of free society" to have a popular vote for everyone and anyone? Parliament can remove the monarch if they choose so to do. Nobody is stopped from forming a republican party and running in an election with a platform of removing the monarchy. The monarch is a de facto elected president, in that in every election a party is elected that does not wish to remove her.
Thats arse gravy and we both know it. No party has stuck it's head over the parapet on the issue because they can't make it a priority cause when so much else needs doing and it's most definately a right of a human being to elect their Head of State, to elect anyone who represents them come to that. We have seen Lords reform so why not monarchy reform/republicanism? It has been spoken about, it is a possibility and I'm sure in time we see either a republican party or a republican policy that will gather more support as the younger specimens of the Buckingham Hillbillies take over.

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The "entire family" apart from the Queen, Prince Philip, and the Waleses, is paid by revenue from the Duchy of Lancaster, which is the Queen's private money (apart from the Crown Estates). If she ceased to be Queen, she'd still get all of that money.
I see, so the 61p game isn't enough for her? The 'Duchy of Lancaster' is another one of those things that grates on me, the same with Cornwall. Just think that the country could do with that money - it's rightfully ours. And if she ceased to be Queen, I'll bet you my stocking tops that that money would most certainly not go in her handbag but in the Bank of the British people where it belongs. You know it and I know it, it's a total fudge.

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So if a democratically-elected House of Commons chooses not to remove the monarchy, they aren't democratic?
Who's chosen not remove it? How can they when there's an old boys club set up nationally to prevent it. The Lords, the Church, all that guff. The Labour Party have taken small steps to an eventual change but it's difficult. They've reformed the Lords and over the next few years I'm sure Mr Brown will be doing some more pruning until it's eventually gone. The arguments put forward by politicians in getting rid of the Lords are identical to the reasons put forward by republicans who want to get rid of the monarchy. It's not undemocratic, it's just that the Labout administration has had more important things to deal with before turning their thoughts to republicanism. The small matter of Britain being on it's knees when they came to power. And of course, Blair had alot to thank the Royal Family for because Diana was a good tool for public support in the early days of his premiership.

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Constitutions do not need to be one concise document or even written at all. Without a constitution of some kind there'd be no government at all.
I disagree. Look at the fiasco over the Charles and Camilla wedding. Flunkies up and down the country were panicking and running around looking through old books and documents to have a vague guess at how legal it was. As it stands, our "constitution" includes a law that lets the Queen keep beached whales for her corsets and a law that lets local wierdos walk their sheep across bridges - what a fabulous document.

A proper constitution means that we all know where we stand and so when Mr Brown introduces it to us, as he said he would, I'll be supporting the idea very firmly.

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There could easily be an appointed upper house in a republic.
Of course there could but I'm sure that we wouldn't want to swap another bunch of sponges for another lot would we? If we do get rid of the Lords, I can't see us going in for an appointed Senate/elected House set up. I certainly wouldn't fancy the idea.

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I get your point and think it's ridiculous. Slavery took rights away from people. The monarchy doesn't. You are still free to run for Parliament on the platform of removing the monarchy. Until you aren't, you are being incredibly rude and condescending to the rest of the British people by telling them that since they don't elect people with your opinions, they aren't democratic.
The monarchy does take away rights from the people. It takes away their right to elect their Head of State. It takes away their right to have direct control over their government. Thats undemocratic. At no point have I said everyone has to agree with me or to elect people with my opinions. That would make me rude and condescending wouldn't it?

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Enumerate in detail the persons who have been stifled by an "unelected overlord." If you cannot do that, do the honourable thing and retract your statement.
I'm not honourable so I shan't be retracting a thing but I'll enumerate (lovely word). A Prime Minister promises to do something. An unelected person has the right to stop him acting on it. Thats a person being stifled. Hope that helps.

Well that was a long one (as the chorus girl said to the Bishop), so I'll end by saying that I'm neither a republican or a monarchist. I'm British. I want the best for my country and in my mind, the best is democracy. It just so happens that that democracy can only be served to the people when there isn't a monarchy involved. So technically that does make me a republican. But I'm also a human being and therefore if I was a Barbara Cartland type I might get rather grand and pine for the days when the King of Belgians got rather touchy and deeded me a duchy but I'm not. I'm someone who has to get by. Ok, so the Government takes almost all of what I earn but it niggles me to think that that 61p (if thats to be believed) is being whipped away and given to the wealthiest family in the country. They don't need it, I most certainly do. It isn't jealousy, it's fairness. I've no designs on the job, I'm enough of a Queen already without adding a tiara to the package. I don't even want to be President. I simply want to be represented by someone I have elected. And is that really too much to ask?
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