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The Jubilee


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#16 Neil DeMarco

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 05:50 PM


Oh please ........ Again
Didn't realize you were debating the legitimacy of the monarchy, I detected anything but a debate.


Oh please indeed... Neil has a point.


My, Mr. Waller, that seems almost like a degree of support...
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#17 suzygudgeon

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:51 PM

I've been watching this thread with interest over the last few days and although I understand there are long political thoughts/beliefs etc about the monarchy can't we just be proud and celebrate?

#18 Ed Waller

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:55 AM



Oh please ........ Again
Didn't realize you were debating the legitimacy of the monarchy, I detected anything but a debate.


Oh please indeed... Neil has a point.


My, Mr. Waller, that seems almost like a degree of support...


It was/is... But it should be "Dr" not "Mr"... but "Ed" is fine, too.
A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. - Groucho Marx

#19 Ed Waller

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:02 AM

I've been watching this thread with interest over the last few days and although I understand there are long political thoughts/beliefs etc about the monarchy can't we just be proud and celebrate?

Proud of... this?

There are many things for people in Britain to be proud of - despite everything the NHS still beats whatever is in second place; as JDC's thread on USA suggests, we do our kids a good service in schools. Enormous numbers of people give up their time voluntarily (properly voluntarily for those who read the guardian article) to make a vast range of activities possible, not least the Jubilee Celebrations. If it were really these things we were celebrating, I'd be right behind it. As it is we celebrating the longevity of the (idle) rich and famous.
A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. - Groucho Marx

#20 Neil DeMarco

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 11:46 AM

I've been watching this thread with interest over the last few days and although I understand there are long political thoughts/beliefs etc about the monarchy can't we just be proud and celebrate?


This is a bit of an open door but anyway, here goes. Would you like us to 'celebrate' that in this splendid, aspirational, monarchist Britain no Catholic, Muslim or Jew can ever be Head of State?
"Lesson planning is best undertaken when walking from the staffroom to the classroom. More detailed planning, by walking more slowly."

#21 JohnDClare

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:44 PM

There are a number of issues all going on at once when one discusses the monarchy, which is why it so rapidly gets heated.

The first one is constitutional - should the Queen be the Head of State? Personally, my thinking is that a consitutional monarchy is far better (and, ironically, more directly democratic) than a presidential system, but that I can't see (when we have the House of Lords) why we need a titular head of state at all, especially when you realise that no monarch has exercised the veto on legislation since 1707.

The second one is economic - costs versus benefits.

The third one includes the idea of community. It is fairly unarguable that, in a very diverse Britain, the Queen is one of the few unifying factors we possess - Mr Cameron, for comparison, would be a dividing factor. Moreover, the Queen's focus on the Commonwealth gives us insular islanders a very necessary international dimension. Against this, there is the equally unarguable fact that the Queen sits at the top of an elitist, classist system of privileges and honours which have embedded and continue to embed inequality into our society.

The fourth encompasses the idea of human dignity. For myself, I think - for all the faults in the system - the Queen has personally made a very good job of a bad role, and I am quite happy to applaud her for a job well done, in the same way as I might applaud a retiring colleague. What begins to gall, however, is when when people begin to speak as though she were somehow a superior being (cf Ed Miliband's paean: ""The Queen’s reign is a golden thread that links people across the country and across the generations: united in ... in the reverence she has inspired in people across this country, across the Commonwealth, and across the world.") And it is this doffing acknowledgement of our 'betters' which so often accompanies such events as the Jubilee where I draw the line - I feel it demeans people as human beings (though I have to admit that it doesn't seem to upset them ... but it should!)

My final point is that - if there is any point in celebrating the Jubilee - it is to celebrate a constitution which, whilst it has a monarch as its head, includes a freedom to say that she should not be. And it is THAT which makes our royal pageants so much better than all those parades and rallies around the world and through history where, if you weren't cheering, you were arrested.

So we can all welcome the Jubilee, if only because it gives republicans like me the opportunity to vent their opposition.




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