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  #101  
Old 10-26-2007, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by diamondBrg View Post
It has a small military and most assuredly could not defend itself against a large scale attack by a major power. All these circumstances make it's economy very vulnerable to outside sources. The GBP is at an all time high rate of exchange because of inflation and the trend is expected to continue, if that proves to be the case there is no doubt the British economy and the overall standard of living will fall further.
Our military might be small in comparrison to the US, but our men and women tend to be highly trained, there are very few blue on blue incidents involving anyone but the US. Our troops also survive without the burger bars that US troops seem unable to deploy without! The US would, IMO, be struggling in Iraq and Afghanistan without our help and that of the commonwealth nations.
The GBP is up against the dollar because of it's poor performance, at the moment - Beware the falling dollar

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As to how the US contributes to the UK, like most of the rest of the Western world, we have provided the actual military defense, let's get honest here, the UK did not allow Pershing II and Cruise Missiles during the 80s on it's territory out of the goodness of it's heart.
Provided it to who, it was widely seen by many in the UK as the US attempting to contain a nuclear war in Europe, rather than it's own soil! The US maintain bases here (for which they pay rent), not out of the kindness of it's heart or to benefit the UK, but because it puts them closer to possible theatres of war and allows refuelling of it's planes.

So as you should realise, all this is done for the US, not to benefit the UK.

If and when Britain decides to do away with the monarchy, I am sure they will manage to survive the changes and even welcome them. We can always send the Yorks and Wessex out to the US, to join Fergie, the Beckhams and Heather Mills!
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  #102  
Old 10-26-2007, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
If and when Britain decides to do away with the monarchy, I am sure they will manage to survive the changes and even welcome them. We can always send the Yorks and Wessex out to the US, to join Fergie, the Beckhams and Heather Mills!

Brilliant, Skydragon. Thanks for making me laugh
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  #103  
Old 10-26-2007, 06:26 AM
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We can always send the Yorks and Wessex out to the US, to join Fergie, the Beckhams and Heather Mills!
Lay off the Wessexes! We'll take David Beckham in Australia, but the US can keep Heather Mills.
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  #104  
Old 10-26-2007, 09:43 AM
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Lay off the Wessexes! We'll take David Beckham in Australia, but the US can keep Heather Mills.
We don't want Heather Mills!!! And please take that Victoria Beckham too!!!!!
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  #105  
Old 10-26-2007, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post

As for the monarchy being important because of history, history doesn't go away. It's always there whether you have a King or a President but the future is open to change and what worked in the past doesn't always work in the present. In this case, the monarchy worked in the past, it doesn't really make sense now and so why not have a republican future?
So why doesn't the monarchy make sense now?
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  #106  
Old 10-26-2007, 10:10 AM
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Sorry, but we have plenty of history and with presidents. Many far more noble and intelligent than the likes of Henry VIII, William IV, George IV, etc. Queen Anne was a dolt. I'll pit Washington, Lincoln, Adams, Jefferson and Roosevelt, both Teddy and Franklin against that lot any day. Americans have a long history, obviously not as long as English history. As far as Washington D.C., look around at the marvelous buildings, not the politicians, London has plenty of sleazy politcians, too. Our real history is in New England and Virginia and the like. Every nation has history, good and bad. The monachy as history goes has a checkered past. It is interesting and sometimes dazzling, but no better than ours.
We have history but we don't have a living tie to history because our nation was built on the ability to re-invent ourselves. History gets in the way of being able to recreate your identity over and over again.

A nation's history is still your history regardless of whether individual rulers were dolts or saints, or sleazy politicians. A Thomas Jefferson compared to a Queen Anne may be favorable to Thomas Jefferson but a comparison between Henry VIII and Warren Harding or Herbert Hoover would hardly make Henry VIII look bad. I think all countries have had their share of sleazy politicians and idiots. Sometimes the rulers who were dolts were more important in determining the course of history than the saints. By all accounts, King John was a worthless King but his ineptitude encouraged the barons to force the Magna Carta on him which was the beginning of British common law as we know it (and this is what the US inherited from England).

I did not say that the British system is better than ours, nor do I believe that our system is better than the British. When George Washington was around, some people wanted to make him King but that was rather silly. We didn't have a family-based nobility on which a monarchial system rested and besides that, Washington had had mumps and couldn't father children. Its pretty hard to start a hereditary monarchy if the Father of Your Country can't produce children! As Elspeth said, a hereditary monarchy wouldn't work in our country because our history is different but it doesn't necessarily mean that because it doesn't work here that it doesn't work in England.
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  #107  
Old 10-26-2007, 10:14 AM
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If and when Britain decides to do away with the monarchy, I am sure they will manage to survive the changes and even welcome them. We can always send the Yorks and Wessex out to the US, to join Fergie, the Beckhams and Heather Mills!
Now that's just mean Skydragon! Though the Wessex' aren't so bad, be nice or we'll ship the rest of that lot back to you!

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  #108  
Old 10-26-2007, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ysbel View Post
When George Washington was around, some people wanted to make him King but that was rather silly. We didn't have a family-based nobility on which a monarchial system rested and besides that, Washington had had mumps and couldn't father children. Its pretty hard to start a hereditary monarchy if the Father of Your Country can't produce children!
Well, he could do like the Romans and opted for adoption, preferably Pres. Martin van Buren . It worked for Augustus and Tiberius, so why not in the Pax Americanum? But you are right of course, the monarchy would not work nowadays if it isn't rooted in a country.

I don't think the US is alone in re-inventing its history, I think most countries do that, albeit maybe in a smaller scale. At the moment there is a reinvention thing going on in my own country as we seem to have lost our identity somewhere along the way...
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  #109  
Old 10-26-2007, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ysbel View Post
So why doesn't the monarchy make sense now?
Someone ruling over us because they land the right side of the bed sheets when they're spawned? Deference given because of an accident of birth? Surely meritocracy is the way to go?
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  #110  
Old 10-26-2007, 02:19 PM
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Someone ruling over us because they land the right side of the bed sheets when they're spawned? Deference given because of an accident of birth? Surely meritocracy is the way to go?
You are, of course, again, right on the money.

By the way, in answer to another post, Washinton hated the idea of a monarchy for the same reson Beatrix Fan stated. His lack of progeny was not his concern. His distaste for monarchy was because he felt birth gave you no right to rule.

The real crux of the matter should be that all nations have aright to determine, by the mjaority of their subjects the style of government they wish.
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  #111  
Old 10-26-2007, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Someone ruling over us because they land the right side of the bed sheets when they're spawned? Deference given because of an accident of birth? Surely meritocracy is the way to go?
So why wait till the end of Charles's reign? Why not do away with the monarchy right now? The same arguments that apply to William also apply to the Queen if it's just an "accident of birth" argument.
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  #112  
Old 10-26-2007, 03:25 PM
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Well, because I find it a bit unfair that his life should have been wasted. He's trained to do a job that in reality he'll only do for a short time. I believe letting him have his turn is a perfect way to bring it all to an end thus saving training William for something he doesn't want.
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  #113  
Old 10-26-2007, 03:36 PM
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Well, because I find it a bit unfair that his life should have been wasted. He's trained to do a job that in reality he'll only do for a short time.
But didn't you just get through saying the monarchy was simply a matter of an accident of birth? So what's all this stuff about training, then? Doesn't sound very accidental.
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  #114  
Old 10-26-2007, 03:45 PM
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Well of course those born into the firm are taught the ways of Royalty but Charles has been taught the whole red box thing. Essentially, he's been bred to reign and just as it'd be deeply unfair for a Doctor who trains for 10 years to never get the job he's trained for, it'd be unfair for Charles to miss out when it's only going to be a short reign anyway. Yes it's still archaic but it gives us a bit longer to get the hand over sorted, a new constitution prepared etc without Lizzie II grinning all over the place trying to convince people she's a sweet old lady.

It's an accident of birth that Charles is there but since he is, let him do the job and then end it. Why start the cycle all over again with William? I don't want a monarchy but I do accept that it's been good to us in the past and like any dead thing it deserves an honourable burial.
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  #115  
Old 10-26-2007, 03:50 PM
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But didn't you just get through saying the monarchy was simply a matter of an accident of birth? So what's all this stuff about training, then? Doesn't sound very accidental.
If a monkey is born in the right circumstances, it might be trained to do something other monkeys are not trained to do, because of where they were born. The training is on purpose, the person being trained is not there because of any partiuclar merit, that is where and to whom he happened to be born. Beatrix Fan, I believes, means just that. Although, I do not mean to put words in his mouth. There have been total dullards, who have been trained to do a job, that is not to say that they execute it well. Some have, some haven't.
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  #116  
Old 10-26-2007, 03:51 PM
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It's an accident of birth that Charles is there but since he is, let him do the job and then end it. Why start the cycle all over again with William?
Because, as you say, it's worked in the past. No reason why it can't carry on working - we've had worse kings than William over the centuries, but the system has survived them. These days a bad president can do a lot more damage than a bad king - maybe it has something to do with the lack of training.
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  #117  
Old 10-26-2007, 03:59 PM
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I don't want a monarchy but I do accept that it's been good to us in the past and like any dead thing it deserves an honourable burial.
I have to ask, then, if you don't want a monarchy, why are you hanging out on a Forum that celebrates all things Royal?


(Playing a lot of devil's advocate today, no offense meant. )
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  #118  
Old 10-26-2007, 03:59 PM
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But why do we need a King? What can a King do that a President can't and why should our elected officials be subservient to a non-elected chinless wonder who lives a life of luxury and does very little to justify his lifestyle. A purely ceremonial President can do no damage - indeed, most ceremonial Presidents have been amazingly impartial whilst steering things in the right direction. For example, Vaira Vike-Freiberga was completely non-political but she did speak out about discrimination regularly thus getting the best of both worlds. A bad King can't do much damage because he can't really do anything. I just don't see the point in having a monarch who does nothing. Let's be honest, the Queen does what the ministers tell her to do so why not cut out the middle crown?
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  #119  
Old 10-26-2007, 04:00 PM
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I have to ask, then, if you don't want a monarchy, why are you hanging out on a Forum that celebrates all things Royal?


(Playing a lot of devil's advocate today, no offense meant. )
As a gay man I have a duty to keep an eye on Royal fashion. Whilst I've got 'em they may as well pass my criteria for looking good.
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  #120  
Old 10-26-2007, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
If a monkey is born in the right circumstances, it might be trained to do something other monkeys are not trained to do, because of where they were born. The training is on purpose, the person being trained is not there because of any partiuclar merit, that is where and to whom he happened to be born. Beatrix Fan, I believes, means just that.
BeatrixFan said the system has worked well in the past, which I think is true. I'm still not clear why things have changed to the point where all of a sudden the system won't work in the future, and I think in this particular case it has quite a bit to do with the fact that BeatrixFan doesn't think much of William as a person.

I think it's idealistic in the extreme to look at some of these small Baltic states as good role models for a presidency since those countries and Britain seem to have very different values. In Britain education isn't valued all that highly and you aren't going to find philosophers and intellectuals in the presidency, you're going to find far more the calibre of person you find in the USA - rich people who know how to play the party politics game. I'd far prefer to keep the system we have at the moment than risk introducing something like the US system, largely because some people aren't impressed by William at his current stage of development.
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