Monarchy (value of)

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Re: Monarchy (value of)

Postby Paul » 31 Jul 2013, 09:06

Thanks Grant. It seems unlikely you are for changing your mind (and why should you so easily?) and I suppose, said grudgingly, that is fair enough.

Some of your statements regarding privelege and equality unfortunately sound like they have been lifted straight from communistic doctrine. I've never seen you express any such view on any other subject on the forum. Maybe the subject of royalty is your only repository of leftyism and so - hmm, well, ok then. You've been 'got at' ..... but only a little bit.

I would be tempted to say your words are uncomfortably like those of the colonially (and perpetually) aggrieved. It's just the kind of thing I imagine many a person from Scotland might say. They would also revert quite swiftly to atrocities of seven centuries ago and use them to justify their argument. We the English (well many of us, though diminishing - for all the wrong reasons) are fed up with hearing it and we see an attack on our Queen as an attack upon us as a people. Because in a strange way, the Queen is ourselves and attacks upon her sovereignty are attacks upon England and are linked to all the other stuff that would expunge England from existence. If you were British and you said those things, you would almost certainly be a full-blown lefty and also support feminism, multi-culti and benefit cultures. It's almost a given.

My difficulty is that you aren't English and so I can never really understand your perspective and shouldn't presume to. By the same token .........

You were however talking about Australia having an English Queen, not about me having one (though your words about privelege, etc, still hold in my scenario) and again, that's not for me to say. Maybe you are correct. I'm mindful of what Caleb has said however - though I'm bound to be, mainly because I like it.

I suppose I was harsh and swiftly reactionary about Mark Twain, but obviously I was irritated. I do think he was a worthy chap on many fronts, but, in my most aggrieved English mood, he would have done well not to presume upon our royalty. I don't know that his words you quoted were aimed at the British crown - more likely they were general philosophy, but it's the sort of thing to prick an Englishman's ears, whether he might like that or not.

He was no doubt somewhat ebullient about his own country and the relatively new principles of the Constitution and the American republic and had the optimism and anti-European outlook of the emergent Americans.

Mind you, he lived through a ghastly civil war, all about preserving a Union. I do recall he was quite supportive of black rights, women's rights and labour and trade union movements, though I accept within the context of the times when reforms were (probably) needed.
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Re: Monarchy (value of)

Postby Paul » 31 Jul 2013, 09:34

I cannot comment upon or give credence to the 'Disney' analogy, because it's just too irritating. I'm disappointed you've said it. If you were British and you had said that, you would likely be a born malcontent, probably a woman, a baby-boomer and possibly an old, flakey hippy. It's just the kind of thing I hear from those kind of people.

I accept you were having a rant however and are in no way that kind of person. But, you know Grant - it's just not cricket. It's an English thing.

You can surely see the value the Queen has (for Britain) in the matter of diplomacy and foreign relations. She isn't there just to be 'looked at and waved at' and you will know this. You wouldn't decry the need for diplomacy in the modern (or ancient) world.

As regards the ambulance stories, then they mean both those things you speak of. It did touch a chord of the people that the young princess (as she was then) would chip in and do war service alongside them. At the same time it was a physical skill of sorts. I'm not saying nobody else, or you or I couldn't have done it, but it wouldn't have been a walk in the park. If there was any hype or exaggeration to the stories, then that's to be expected, for the sake of morale in a time of war. Nonetheless, she did actually do this service, in bomb-torn London. We've never had to do that.

I drove a 1940s five-tonne Bedford truck, for a few months actually, back in the 1990s. Complete bone-shaker, even on good roads, with no power-steering and a 'crash' gearbox and I disbelieved that any woman I knew would, at the time, have been able to drive it. Maybe the stories are untrue!

Garbage men are ten a penny. Worthy as individuals in their world (we hope) but we couldn't elevate all offspring of all garbage men. Everyone would be King in a short time and there would be no magic. We would all the the same. We would in fact then be communists. You can only have one King or Queen, and if it happens not to be you or I or the local garbage man, then so be it.
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Re: Monarchy (value of)

Postby Gavin » 31 Jul 2013, 10:47

I think if Grant's feeling is widespread in Australia they should disassociate themselves from the British monarchy (though, as I say, they may in time regret it). It's not as if we would care! I still haven't heard much of a reply to the following though:

How does having this ancestral Queen in England "diminish" Australia? Didn't a lot of Australians come from here? Does she have any executive power over Australia?


Nor much of a response to the point that we are all privileged to varying degrees.

I think the royals do a good job as carriers of tradition and ambassadors and bring all the other benefits mentioned (for example as alternative figureheads to politicians). I have not seen a cost benefit analysis but it may well be they make money for the country too, given the massive amount of foreign interest in our monarchy. Perhaps even if they cost money they'd still be worth it because of the other gains.
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Re: Monarchy (value of)

Postby Grant » 31 Jul 2013, 11:48

Gavin, I refer you to my symbolism post. I can't imagine England would consent to having a queen or king as its nominal head, who was living on the other side of the world. Symbols mean a tremendous amount to nations. Yours invests much in your royal family. That's the point. It's your royal family, not mine or my country's, or it shouldn't be. Much of the discussion on this intellectually stimulating site is taken up with the significance of symbols, be they religious, national or even the ones scrawled on skin, and their effect on individual and collective thinking. I want my head of state to never again defer, ask permission from or bow to a another country's sovereign. While thankful for many things passed on to us from Britain, it's time to go it alone, proud to be who we are and stop looking to the mother country for approval.
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Re: Monarchy (value of)

Postby Elliott » 31 Jul 2013, 11:56

I want my head of state to never again defer, ask permission from or bow to a another country's sovereign.


FWIW, although I disagree with most of the things that Grant has said in this thread, I think the above post makes a convincing case as to why one (advanced) country could justifiably resent being represented by another advanced country. It's understandable.
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Re: Monarchy (value of)

Postby Grant » 01 Aug 2013, 10:34

Elliott, I don't know if your Scottish location may influence your thoughts but it's nice to know someone over there understands my feelings. Being an anti-monarchist doesn't mean I'm a radical left-winger. Our most conservative broadsheet "The Australian", owned by Rupert Murdoch, has led the campaign for many years for us to become a republic. I subscribe to this publication and fervently pray its campaign may eventually achieve its objective.
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Re: Monarchy (value of)

Postby Caleb » 02 Aug 2013, 07:20

Grant: That's not how the government works though. The Governor General (the Queen's representative) gets nominated by the PM. See this. The Queen rubber stamps everything. It's not like she puts a guy on a sailing ship from Portsmouth and he arrives six months later to see what the colonials are up to, rah rah.

You also still need to explain what you'd replace it with. Would you still have the position of GG, but without the rubber stamp from the Queen?
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Re: Monarchy (value of)

Postby Grant » 02 Aug 2013, 08:25

Caleb - It's all about symbolism! Having the Queen approve, rubber stamp, give the nod to, still rankles and ranks us below that of independent countries who don't have to tug the forelock to a nation on the other side of the planet. There's a line from Hilaire Belloc that reflects your timid thinking - "Always keep tight hold of nurse for fear of finding something worse." It's time to grow up and do what the overwhelming majority of nations do around the world. Fear and timidity did not make Great Britain great. They would never be beholden to another country. Let's follow their lead. Regarding a model, there are many succesful ones we could use. Ireland springs to mind.
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Re: Monarchy (value of)

Postby Caleb » 03 Aug 2013, 06:04

If she is the Queen of Australia, the Queen of the U.K., and so on, then we're not ranked below the U.K. That's like saying that because Kevin Rudd is from Queensland that Victoria is somehow subordinate to Queensland.

I really couldn't care less about the symbolism. My main criterion for any politician or person with power is that he or she leaves me the hell alone. In that respect, Queen Elizabeth will do more for me than either Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott or any of the other weasel contenders for the top job.

I don't want "progress" in politics because that's usually a euphemism for someone sticking his big beak where it doesn't belong. Here's a line to counter yours: to the man with a hammer, the whole world resembles a nail.
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Re: Monarchy (value of)

Postby Elliott » 16 Aug 2013, 10:24

This is what I meant earlier about people, in the absence of monarchy, investing too much faith in politicians:
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Re: Monarchy (value of)

Postby Paul » 16 Aug 2013, 23:49

What a ghastly video Elliott.

Here's a better one. In the spirit of supreme irony, the lead role is played by an Australian.

What a great Queen was Bess Tudor, so it seems. Take note however of the blond fellow to her left, at 1.02. There's an Englishman defending his Queen. I quite like that bit.

Marvellous film and isn't Cate Blanchett wonderful?

No offence to Spain I would hope. It was hundreds of years ago.

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