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  #61  
Old 10-24-2007, 10:48 PM
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Beatrixfan wrote:

"What you're suggesting here is that the UK should dominate the world. Well, you're about 100 years too late but it's a sentiment that is common and one that seems to shape most ideas about the monarchy. This idea that Britain had an Empire therefore we should have the best of everything and spend nothing in the way of finances or labour is quite archaic and it's what actually holds us back in the internation arena. One of the most common arguments I hear for keeping the monarchy is that it somehow puts us above other nations - well, that's actually quite a ridiculous goal"

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QUITE THE CONTRARY, I am saying without the Monarchy there is absolutely NOTHING, politically, economically or even culturally that so differentiates the British from other peoples that it would be considered even "special" much less as you put it "dominate."

You live in a small country with an inconsequential economy, no large and major exports that would make your nation an important player on the world stage. The UK of today could not justify itself as a permanent member of the UN Security Council on any basis whatsoever, we both know that.
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  #62  
Old 10-24-2007, 11:05 PM
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I respectfully disagree. There are smaller countries with even more inconsequential economies and with absolutely no large or major exports that the world depends on them for - but they're republics and culturally, socially and politically, they are stable and their people enjoy a good quality of life. Surely thats more important? But what has this got to do with the Royal Family? We aren't UN Security Council members because we have a Royal Family. By your logic, only countries with monarchies are important and we know that isn't true, especially in Europe where countries without monarchies are truly doing better than Britain is. The Royal Family isn't what sets us apart - but for that matter, why must we be set apart? Why can't we take part in international co-operation? Unity? Or is that communist thought again?
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  #63  
Old 10-24-2007, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
I respectfully disagree. There are smaller countries with even more inconsequential economies and with absolutely no large or major exports that the world depends on them for - but they're republics and culturally, socially and politically, they are stable and their people enjoy a good quality of life. Surely thats more important? But what has this got to do with the Royal Family? We aren't UN Security Council members because we have a Royal Family. By your logic, only countries with monarchies are important and we know that isn't true, especially in Europe where countries without monarchies are truly doing better than Britain is. The Royal Family isn't what sets us apart - but for that matter, why must we be set apart? Why can't we take part in international co-operation? Unity? Or is that communist thought again?
What do you think sets the UK apart if it is not your Monarchy with it's long tradition and customs in the modern world? You are on the UN Security Council because the US demanded that you be on it, in fact you exist today in your present form because the US joined WWII and before the formal alliance did massive merchant marine shipping to your country and lend lease. But that is really not the point, what we are discussing is whether or not your Monarchy positively contributes to your world status and I think the evidence is overwhelming that it does.
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  #64  
Old 10-24-2007, 11:20 PM
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Does the Queen or any member of the Royal Family sit on the UN Security Council? No, our Government ministers do. You say there's overwhelming evidence that our monarchy is responsible for us being...well, what exactly? We're not a super-power, we're a nation. We're not the best, we have problems but we're not third world. Why does our monarchy save us from being third world? Where is this overwhelming evidence? I really don't understand what you're saying which seems to be that without the monarchy Britain is nothing. There's alot more to Britain than one family. Germany doesn't have a monarchy, the USA doesn't have a monarchy, Italy doesn't and the list is endless - is Russia insignificant because it has a President? I'd really suggest you substantiate these claims with some facts and figures because at the moment, it all sounds very far fetched and slightly surreal.
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  #65  
Old 10-24-2007, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Does the Queen or any member of the Royal Family sit on the UN Security Council? No, our Government ministers do. You say there's overwhelming evidence that our monarchy is responsible for us being...well, what exactly? We're not a super-power, we're a nation. We're not the best, we have problems but we're not third world. Why does our monarchy save us from being third world? Where is this overwhelming evidence? I really don't understand what you're saying which seems to be that without the monarchy Britain is nothing. There's alot more to Britain than one family. Germany doesn't have a monarchy, the USA doesn't have a monarchy, Italy doesn't and the list is endless - is Russia insignificant because it has a President? I'd really suggest you substantiate these claims with some facts and figures because at the moment, it all sounds very far fetched and slightly surreal.
The United States of America IS THE WORLD POWER TODAY, the US sneezes and the world catches a cold, China will be THE WORLD POWER OF TOMORROW if current trends continue, Germany is an economic POWERHOUSE, Russia is a WORLD POWER because of it's nuclear arsenal, population and geographic location, the Arab states of the Middle East are a strategic center of geopolitics because of oil. You are right, Italy is insignificant and it's only real claim to world attention is the Vatican and Pope and that is fast losing it's impetus. The UK without the Monarchy and the psychological sway it holds in the world is just an island nation that is incapable of sustaining itself.
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  #66  
Old 10-24-2007, 11:37 PM
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Please read my post carefully. I agree with you that the USA is a world power. I agree with you that China is a world power. I agree with you that Russia and Germany are world powers. And they are all republics. So my question is, why should we keep the monarchy when by the logic that republics are huge world powers, the monarchy actually sets us back? We're getting nowhere with this debate because you seem to be confused as to what I'm saying so I'll try and make it simple as I tend to over complicate.

1. Where is your evidence that without a monarchy, Britain cannot sustain itself?

2. Where is your evidence that without a monarchy, Britain will be insignificant?

3. Where is your evidence that everything in Britain is linked to the monarchy and therefore without it, the world will crush us?

4. Where is your evidence that the monarchy holds psychological sway over the British people and the world?
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  #67  
Old 10-24-2007, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkie40 View Post
When you think of the monarchy continuing he in the 21st century there are some very valid issues raised. The most interesting one works on a very basic level where an individual wants to be known as a subject or a citizen.
We're citizens, not subjects. Have a look at a British passport sometime.
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  #68  
Old 10-24-2007, 11:47 PM
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We're EU citizens if not British ones.
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  #69  
Old 10-24-2007, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Please read my post carefully. I agree with you that the USA is a world power. I agree with you that China is a world power. I agree with you that Russia and Germany are world powers. And they are all republics. So my question is, why should we keep the monarchy when by the logic that republics are huge world powers, the monarchy actually sets us back? We're getting nowhere with this debate because you seem to be confused as to what I'm saying so I'll try and make it simple as I tend to over complicate.

1. Where is your evidence that without a monarchy, Britain cannot sustain itself?

2. Where is your evidence that without a monarchy, Britain will be insignificant?

3. Where is your evidence that everything in Britain is linked to the monarchy and therefore without it, the world will crush us?

4. Where is your evidence that the monarchy holds psychological sway over the British people and the world?
1) I never said that without the Monarchy Britain could not sustain itself, it is not NOW sustaining itself independently on it's own. It is part of the EU. With the Monarchy, it's influence is most certainly greater on the world stage.

2) I never said that without the Monarchy Britain would be insignificant on the world stage, it is NOW insignificant on the world stage, it's prestigate and influence is however greatly enhanced by the Monarchy and the deference that is paid to it by the rest of the world.

3) You are being melodramtic, I never said the world would crush Britain without the Monarchy, but I most assuredly do believe without it the world will pay much less attention to the UK and it's goals and aspirations. To be perfectly honest, the UK military is second rate and very small and economically it has little to no clot to exercise.

4) Heads of State receive the Queen as a head of state, the same as your Prime Minister is received and HM has yet to be refused an audience with any world leader, at her asking and is fawned over excessively wherever she travels and by the respective peoples visited as well as their government heads.
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  #70  
Old 10-25-2007, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by diamondBrg View Post
1) I never said that without the Monarchy Britain could not sustain itself, it is not NOW sustaining itself independently on it's own. It is part of the EU. With the Monarchy, it's influence is most certainly greater on the world stage.
1. You said, "The UK without the Monarchy and the psychological sway it holds in the world is just an island nation that is incapable of sustaining itself". I took this to mean that without the monarchy the UK is incapable of sustaining itself. You have now said that the EU sustains Britain. Well, if that is the case (which it isn't) then why do we need the monarchy? Surely if the EU is keeping us afloat then having a monarchy or a president is immaterial because the EU rules us? If that's what you're suggesting I'd recommend a visit to Europa - The European Union On-Line where you'll see the role Britain plays in the EU and you'll also see that your claim that the EU supports us is quite untrue.

Quote:
2) I never said that without the Monarchy Britain would be insignificant on the world stage, it is NOW insignificant on the world stage, it's prestigate and influence is however greatly enhanced by the Monarchy and the deference that is paid to it by the rest of the world.
2) Pardon me but you did say that. I'm afraid I don't see the deference you speak of. World leaders would be charming to a President - they're in the business of diplomacy and if being deferential will secure the latest deal or loan then they'd be deferential to a farting duck.

Quote:
3) You are being melodramtic, I never said the world would crush Britain without the Monarchy, but I most assuredly do believe without it the world will pay much less attention to the UK and it's goals and aspirations. To be perfectly honest, the UK military is second rate and very small and economically it has little to no clot to exercise.
3)With respect, you were the one who suggested that without the monarchy Britain would become some wierd nuclear target. You say that the world will pay less attention to the UK - should it? As you rightly pointed out, we don't have an Empire anymore. We're not aiming to dominate the world and it's only if we were that your arguments would hold water. The military has nothing to do with this, neither does economy.

Quote:
4) Heads of State receive the Queen as a head of state, the same as your Prime Minister is received and HM has yet to be refused an audience with any world leader, at her asking and is fawned over excessively wherever she travels and by the respective peoples visited as well as their government heads.
Heads of State recieved Vaira Vike-Freiberga, George W.Bush, Silvio Berlusconi, Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy and Lech Walesa as heads of state. Prime Ministers of Britain have recieved Heads of State. The Queen isn't the only one who handles dinner diplomacy and a President could do it with ease. You say the Queen has yet to be refused an audience with a world leader - can you name me an instance when Angela Merkel has been? Or Tony Blair for that matter? People can fawn over a ceremonial President too but why fawn over anyone? In this age of equality, fawning because of an accident of birth is really quite silly don't you think?
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  #71  
Old 10-25-2007, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
1. You said, "The UK without the Monarchy and the psychological sway it holds in the world is just an island nation that is incapable of sustaining itself". I took this to mean that without the monarchy the UK is incapable of sustaining itself. You have now said that the EU sustains Britain. Well, if that is the case (which it isn't) then why do we need the monarchy? Surely if the EU is keeping us afloat then having a monarchy or a president is immaterial because the EU rules us? If that's what you're suggesting I'd recommend a visit to Europa - The European Union On-Line where you'll see the role Britain plays in the EU and you'll also see that your claim that the EU supports us is quite untrue.



2) Pardon me but you did say that. I'm afraid I don't see the deference you speak of. World leaders would be charming to a President - they're in the business of diplomacy and if being deferential will secure the latest deal or loan then they'd be deferential to a farting duck.



3)With respect, you were the one who suggested that without the monarchy Britain would become some wierd nuclear target. You say that the world will pay less attention to the UK - should it? As you rightly pointed out, we don't have an Empire anymore. We're not aiming to dominate the world and it's only if we were that your arguments would hold water. The military has nothing to do with this, neither does economy.



Heads of State recieved Vaira Vike-Freiberga, George W.Bush, Silvio Berlusconi, Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy and Lech Walesa as heads of state. Prime Ministers of Britain have recieved Heads of State. The Queen isn't the only one who handles dinner diplomacy and a President could do it with ease. You say the Queen has yet to be refused an audience with a world leader - can you name me an instance when Angela Merkel has been? Or Tony Blair for that matter? People can fawn over a ceremonial President too but why fawn over anyone? In this age of equality, fawning because of an accident of birth is really quite silly don't you think?
{personal comment deleted - Elspeth} It is your country, along with every other citizen of the UK to do with as you like and see fit. I would simply suggest to you that for the cost of a candy bar per year and some ideological label, it would be foolish to voluntarily surrender an ace in the hole that has for generations benefited your people, but it is your hand to play.

Edited to add: Make no mistake about it, the current generations that occupy the USA ARE NOT the generation of World War II and before. We are much more self involved and self centered. In fact we are tending to be more isolationist in our politics and world views as time progresses. IF push ever comes to shove and the people of the US feel that the cost is burdensome much less overwhelming, we will ABANDON the UK in a heartbeat, traditional ties or not. The people of the UK should CAREFULLY consider the course they plot for their future. DO NOT depend on the US, it's people, it's economy or it's military to sustain your country.
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  #72  
Old 10-25-2007, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by diamondBrg View Post
DO NOT depend on the US, it's people, it's economy or it's military to sustain your country.
I thought you said we were dependant on the EU which sustained our country? And then you said we were dependant on the monarchy which sustained our country. The truth is, Britain is dependant on the British people and the British people sustain Britain.
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  #73  
Old 10-25-2007, 01:47 AM
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I've just deleted a bunch of posts that had descended into an exchange of personal insults and a bunch of off-topic assertions.

Let's please keep this thread on topic and avoid the insults.

Mind you, I'm as curious as BeatrixFan about why the world's fifth largest economy is allegedly so inconsequential.
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  #74  
Old 10-25-2007, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondBrg
it is NOW insignificant on the world stage,
Could you explain why Blair travelled around to try to gather support for the invasion of Iraq, in that case?
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Originally Posted by diamondBrg View Post
Edited to add: Make no mistake about it, the current generations that occupy the USA ARE NOT the generation of World War II and before. We are much more self involved and self centered. In fact we are tending to be more isolationist in our politics and world views as time progresses. IF push ever comes to shove and the people of the US feel that the cost is burdensome much less overwhelming, we will ABANDON the UK in a heartbeat, traditional ties or not. The people of the UK should CAREFULLY consider the course they plot for their future. DO NOT depend on the US, it's people, it's economy or it's military to sustain your country.
Possibly you ought to recheck your history books, the US were very reluctant to join in WW2, it was only after Pearl Harbour that they actually became involved. Russia, among others, engaged long before the US.

I don't see how you think the US is supporting Britain in any way. Britain has finally 'paid' the US for it's lend lease agreement from WW2. As I see it the US has always concentrated on going it's own way.
Britain may no longer have an empire, but it seems the US is now copying Britain in it's bid for world domination.

We have closer ties to Europe nowadays, but we will always be an island.

Back on track -
Is the monarchy worth keeping, I don't know, many tourists to London enjoy seeing them. Charles and Anne do help raise a lot of money for charity which would probably not happen if they were not 'royals'. The minor royals, the Yorks and Wessex are a waste of space and unfortunately William and Harry are following in their footsteps.

Do we need them is a different matter, because basically we don't. However I would rather my 62p went to this ancient institution than to a President Blair.
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  #75  
Old 10-25-2007, 08:01 AM
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I think both Britain and the US have always wanted to do their own thing and not be bothered by anybody else. It works as long as you're not a world power but when a country starts to have prevailing influence not only over other countries but other continents, then the other countries get justifiably upset when their destinies are being controlled by a foreign power that just wants to do its own thing and not be bothered by foreigners.

There are some differences between the U.S. and Britain however. The Americans have always wanted to prove that they could measure up to the old powers and cultures of Europe and that is why Americans sought to buy titles by marrying into noble families in the 19th century. Thus we tend to toot our own horn so to speak and we are our own biggest fans. The Brits historically have always been there and so have not seen the same need to prove themselves. They have historically just had the quiet self-confidence that the British way of life is the fairest and the most civilized in the world. The British are also not ordinately concerned of what other nations think of them whereas Americans tend to be concerned with whether other people like them. Not liking Americans even has its own term - anti-Americanism which has no equivalent of other countries. Up until recently one never heard the Brits talk about an anti-Britishism. There has been anti-German, anti-Russian, anti-French sentiment throughout history but you generally never hear about them because the Germans, French, and Russians don't generally care what other nations think of them. America thus is a country of people who continually seek to re-invent themselves to become the people and country they want to be. Americans don't want to be tied to the past if the ties to the past hold them to a not very good opinion of themselves.The city I live in, New York, is an example of this. Its hard to find buildings from 50 years ago much less anything from a couple hundred years ago. For Americans, the past weighs us down like old chains.

Britain traditionally though has had more faith in their past and faith in a fair, just, orderly society which is where the class society comes in. If everyone has equal opportunity and everyone can re-invent themselves at whim, then its hard to know who the person sitting beside you is. Are they honorable, are they trustworthy? Can you believe what they say? If they can re-invent themselves at will, then the short answer is that you really can't tell. This was the function of the class society to put some order into a chaotic world. People didn't move, sons tended to follow the business of their fathers, and you knew who everybody was because you knew who their families were.

Orderliness, good government, fair play, were the British exports to the world and with these qualities was the stiff upper lip, for if one lived in the fairest, best governed and most orderly society in the world, what need was there for the lip to quiver? Any heartache was just momentary.

However, I think some of these differences are changing. Ten years ago I read an article in the BBC about the class society and the correspondent thought it was quaint that many Americans called themselves middle class when they were of the profession that in Britain would put them in the working class and proud to be working class. But a recent Have Your Say poll in the BBC showed that most people who answered didn't know what class they were in.

One thing I've noticed in Britain though is that they do a lot more complaining now which they never used to do and you hear talk of how the rest of Europe is against us. This sounds so un-British that it almost sounds American.

So it may be that British society is starting to copy some elements of American society and I imagine that at some point if the pattern continues that the Royal Family would be superfluous to Britain as a Royal Family would be to the United States. One cannot imagine a family whose sole purpose is to provide a link to the past reigning over a country that wants to continually re-invent what it means to be itself. But as of now, I don't see in Britain the same need to re-invent its society that has always been present in the U.S. That may change though in the years to come.
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  #76  
Old 10-25-2007, 03:00 PM
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I think it's been generally accepted that Tony Blair was very American-orientated. In many ways, he had to be because having George W.Bush on his side gave him more stature than he other wise would have had but that pro-American outlook has actually damaged us in Europe which should have been our priority and so what we're seeing with Gordon Brown is a much more EU-directed foreign policy. British society should have been becoming more European but instead we've become more American with consumerism, with celebrity-driven culture and with a much more outspoken nature. I think this has an impact on the future of the monarchy because even if we become more European, the over riding idea is one of federalism, modernity, republic and democracy - and in the debate over what form the EU should take for this age, I think we'll see a stronger debate over how Britain should change. For example, as the EU have debated the Lisbon Treaty the Government here have begun work on a constitution which one MP said today we'll have to vote on. It's when we have to vote on a constitution that questions about the Royal Family, the Lords etc will begin to be asked and I think that for the first time, we're being prompted to begin making a choice about these things that will come to a referendum soon.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:20 PM
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You are right on point, again, Beatrix Fan. What always amazes me is that the people who seem to be the most vocal on the "value" of the monarchy in Britain, are often American, like myself, who want no part of a monarchy for themselves, but it is so quaint for others. I have never had a problem with the Birtish having a monarchy, if that is what works for them.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:08 PM
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What always amazes me is that the people who seem to be the most vocal on the "value" of the monarchy in Britain, are often American, like myself, who want no part of a monarchy for themselves, but it is so quaint for others.
I'll be as vocal as you like about the value of the monarchy, and I'm British.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:54 PM
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I'll be as vocal as you like about the value of the monarchy, and I'm British.
And you live in a Republic so you get the best of both worlds.
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:46 PM
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I think it's a grand piece of history and I surely enjoy watching the pomp and circumstance and always will!
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