Why isn’t the Royal Wedding also a day of protest?


9:05 am - April 27th 2011

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contribution by Adam Grace

In the build up to the big day even the police have designated as one only for “pageantry and joy”, the lack of even the slightest stirring of a republican protest movement is surprising.

The increasingly ferocious anti government protests in the capital and around the country have taken many by surprise in the last 8 months. There are undeniably a burgeoning number of people who have found it necessary to push at the boundaries of political dissent as they hear their democratic voice being reduced to a muffled murmur.

On Friday though, all whilst our welfare state and public sector are being slowly bled out, no expense to the public purse will be spared. Despite this, it seems the streets of London will be sadly devoid of Sex Pistols imagery and instead saturated with a depressing mass of union jacks and party hats.

Surely this would have provided the ideal opportunity for high profile, widespread protests?

Firstly for those who oppose government cuts, secondly for those latent Republicans, those who can see only vulgarity and blood money in the Windsor clan, those who love democracy more than transmissible titles; I am not so cynical as to believe that these people are a small minority. Why then have the only applications for large scale protests been made by extremist organisations who provide no reflection of wider public opinion? It feels like a rare opportunity is going to terrible waste.

Despite the apparent lack of a credible protest movement for this Friday, the Metropolitan Police have been very careful to tell us all what we should be thinking and doing for the big day.

..this is a day of celebration, joy and pageantry. It is a fantastic day for Britain. Any criminals attempting to disrupt it, be that in the guise of protest or otherwise, will be met by a robust, decisive, flexible and proportionate policing response.

It’s hard not to notice the less than surreptitious connection that Commander Jones makes between criminality and protest. The Met are seemingly so concerned with spontaneous outbreaks of dissent, that not only are such dissenters pre-ordained as likely criminals but they are furnished with the official police line on what their exact emotions should be, should they be stricken with an improper and unfitting sense of rage.

In the run up to this inglorious celebration of our ingrained democratic chasm, I suppose it is only fitting that the Met are giving increasingly illiberal press conferences.

What about those who will be sitting, guffawing in front of their televisions on Friday, marvelling at the peculiarity of it all? Will their voices be wilfully silent? What about the victims and soon-to-be victims of economic austerity?

Where will they be as millions upon millions of pounds of public money is frittered away on ‘Britain’s big day’? Why not go along with a catchy slogan and diversify the inhabitants of central London? It’s not too late.

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Reader comments


What about those who will be sitting, guffawing in front of their televisions on Friday, marvelling at the peculiarity of it all? Will their voices be wilfully silent? What about the victims and soon-to-be victims of economic austerity?

Where will they be as millions upon millions of pounds of public money is frittered away on ‘Britain’s big day’?

In a pub cos it’s a day off work

“Why isn’t the Royal Wdding also a day of protest” – perhaps because even Republicans and UKUncut realise that if they try to disrupt it they’ll just make themselves even more unpopular?

Or is that crediting them with too much sense?

If there is any protest, let me know.
I’ll be there!

4. Chaise Guevara

@ 2

Since when are republicans particularly unpopular? They might be slightly in the minority, but they (we) are hardly a focus of public hate. I think you might be mixing up public opinion with your personal opinion.

Weddings are generally seen as celebrations for the couple and a time of optimism. A protest would appear churlish and uncharitable. Besides, the Windsors are the best campaigners for repuclicanism. The time for protest is when Prince Charles takes the throne.

Of course, there’s always time for some good propaganda.

6. Torquil Macneil

Might it be because any protest, especially any disruptive protest, would be a spectacular example of foot-shooting? If you want to make absolutely sure that your protest movement loses all broad-based support, I recommend a day of action this Friday.

Since when are republicans particularly unpopular? They might be slightly in the minority, but they (we) are hardly a focus of public hate

Agreed. Unless, of course, they hijack the Royal Wedding with some sort of infantile protest.

I couldn’t possibly care less about the wedding, but I’m quite happy to have a day off. I think the public are fairly evenly split; apart from a minority of staunch Royalists, there is a minority of republicans, and a group in the middle who have some vague positive feelings towards the royal family, but think it’s all a bit overdone.

I wouldn’t go out and protest against it myself.. I just don’t think it’s that important.

9. Chaise Guevara

@ Tim J

“Agreed. Unless, of course, they hijack the Royal Wedding with some sort of infantile protest.”

My position on this is that the day of the marriage is a good time to hold a republican street party or whatever, but trying to disrupt the actual ceremony qualifies as behaving like an arse.

Basically, the event itself is someone’s wedding and should be treated as such, but there isn’t some rule that says the entire country should fall in line..

10. the a&e charge nurse

Oh dear, it looks like various unsavoury groups are already jockying for position?

Muslims against crusades call on Muslims to disrupt the wedding, describing senior members of the Royal Family as “enemies to Allah and his messenger”.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13125846

Meanwhile peeved members of the EDL said said they would hold a counter- demonstration “if permission were granted”.

Don’t forget – the royal rolls (that will take our Kate t’wedding) has already been targeted by cash-strapped student protesters.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12813268

Looks like it could get ugly unless unless are our brave lads in blue lay into anybody that doesn’t quite look right?

11. the a&e charge nurse

[11] this site definitely needs an edit facility – or I need to proof read before posting – apologies for the lamentable typos.

12. the a&e charge nurse

Christ on bike – I meant with reference to [10] – not a self referential [11] commenting about itself!!

I suspect that the police believe they will be busy enough without having to save a bunch of idiots trying to ruin a wedding from a lynch mob and are doing what they can to prevent that happening.

14. Cynical/Realist?

I’m a Republican (albeit one nervous of any alternative ending up fist-chewingly shite), and there is a fair amount of the public that is. But is it a cause that really needs protest?

Besides that though, this event really isn’t the right time or place. It would only set back the Repulican argument, helping detrators paint ‘us’ as whinging pathetic party-poopers. For every one of us determined to be up a mountain somewhere on Friday there is at least one just as excited about the ‘Big Day’ and looking forward to parties or watching it on the telly. Even people broadly supportive of a Republic may well be taking part in a street party in their community or somesuch.

This, in my humble opinion, is simply a day for us to enjoy an extra day off work, turn the telly off and get our walking boots/bike/car/whips and chains out (as is your want) and get on with it safe in the knowledge we see through it all soooo much more than anyone else.

What people don’t understand is some people are still working this coming Friday, as apposed to having the day off watching a wedding.
Ok, so he is the future king, and one day will “rule the country” but the people who work hard for this country to help it run smoothly are still working.
According to http://www.vanquotedirect.co.uk/van-insurance-blog/2011/04/royal-wedding-could-mean-van-drivers-end-up-down-a-blind-alley/
It could be a very difficult day for any van users to get around due to the chaos caused by the royal family.

Still it would of been nice to have a protest song as good as God Save The Queen, around this time. A proper chart topping sucessful single, a No.1 or No.2…oh well, just stick with what we got? WTF is LMFAO?

17. Chaise Guevara

@ Cynical/Realist

“I’m a Republican (albeit one nervous of any alternative ending up fist-chewingly shite), and there is a fair amount of the public that is. But is it a cause that really needs protest? ”

Arguably, seeing as our tax money is going on a wedding between two rich families when we’re cutting services to the poor. Frankly, that’s pretty vile.

Either way, it seems a cool time for satire. That’s why I like the idea of having a We Don’t Care About The Royal Wedding Party – it’s taking the mick out of the country for reacting so hysterically to a celebrity wedding, rather than protesting the monarchy per se. You could be a royalist and still attend.

18. Mr S. Pill

Agreed with whoever said the best advert for republicanism will be when Charlie boy takes the throne. William & Kate are very very popular, possibly as popular as the Queen herself, seperate from the instiution of the monarchy.
I’m all for subversive street parties, mind – but do it with a sense of fun, not a “let’s ruin a wedding” mentality (not that anyone is saying that here of course).

19. Torquil Macneil

“Arguably, seeing as our tax money is going on a wedding between two rich families when we’re cutting services to the poor. Frankly, that’s pretty vile.”

I think this is a silly line to take because any constitutional arrangement you choose is going to cost similar sums and to perform similar functions of political theatre.

Why isn’t the Royal Wedding also a day of protest?

because no one cares!

21. joe hill's ghost

wtf is this site doing allowing bupa to advertise on it???

Anyway, there will be no protests on that day because the media and the wealthy right have us exactly where they want us – in the pub on the drink which will then be reported in the press the next day as a big Great Britain celebrates the wedding!

The sycophant show from all corners of mainstream media (and the large corporate businesses) is entertaining enough, I’ve never seen so many vacuous careerists gushing at the same time (we could be in for a drooling tsunami).

The big question is who is keeping the royals in their castles and why do we pay for their priviliges?

Actually I’m not sure the country is in any way “hysterical”.

(Cf. the death of Diana – now that was hysteria.)

I shall be going to a party in a field on the Welsh border.

23. Torquil Macneil

“the media and the wealthy right have us exactly where they want us – in the pub on the drink”

Bastards! How did it come to this?!

24. Torquil Macneil

“I shall be going to a party in a field on the Welsh border.”

The very definition of ‘ hysteria’, if you ask me.

It’s a simple matter of PR.

Do you want republicans to look like sour-faced killjoys spoiling the party for everyone else?

If yes, then carry on.

Otherwise let the monarchists have their big day, and stage a protest on another occasion where you might actually win some sympathy for the cause.

26. Dan Factor

I’m a Republican but can’t abide with protesting alongside the “Ohh we are so much superior than the masses” “liberals”.

27. Chaise Guevara

@ 21 cjcjc

“Actually I’m not sure the country is in any way “hysterical”.”

Semantic quibbler, you! I’m not going to squabble over what qualifies as hysteria. My point is that the general reaction – bunting on high streets, politicians pretending to care, every damn advert suddenly having a Union Flag in it – is clearly over the top for the wedding of a single couple. Unless you’re into the whole royalty thing, obviously.

@18 “I think this is a silly line to take because any constitutional arrangement you choose is going to cost similar sums and to perform similar functions of political theatre.”

We wouldn’t pay for the wedding of a constitutional president.

29. Chaise Guevara

@ 18 Torquil

“I think this is a silly line to take because any constitutional arrangement you choose is going to cost similar sums and to perform similar functions of political theatre.”

We spend money out of necessity, so we should also spend it pointlessly? There is simply no need for us to help fund the wedding. The families can easily afford one.

30. joe hill's ghost

a bunting frenzy awaits

‘as the resplendent bride to be looking appropriately majestic walks down the aisle where princesses to be have walked before her , on this very special day where the whole of britain is united in celebration – why this is almost a perfect moment until some little shit changed the music and played Common People by Pulp’

We spend money out of necessity, so we should also spend it pointlessly? There is simply no need for us to help fund the wedding. The families can easily afford one.

The families are paying for the wedding. We are paying for the security.

@30…really, just the security? Oh, thats alright then…carry on.

@ 27 & 28: What’s the biggest cost we’re paying for? That would be security.

It doesn’t seem very reasonable to force them to pay for the security costs while the populous demands to be in on the action, even if that is on the sidelines.

34. Torquil Macneil

“We wouldn’t pay for the wedding of a constitutional president.”

No,but we would pay for her election. There is no reason to think that the political rituals involved in a presidency would be cheaper than those of a monarchy.

“We spend money out of necessity, so we should also spend it pointlessly?”

No, that it not what I mean. This is a state occasion,it has a point: it is about political succession, and so it is a proper state expenditure. You can order things differently, but it will still be an expensive business (see the USA for details).

35. Chaise Guevara

@ 30 Tim J

“The families are paying for the wedding. We are paying for the security.”

I am aware of that. It counts as spending money on the wedding. Yeesh.

34 – then you think that the Royals and the Middletons should (and “could easily”) pay for the policing of central London for the day? Hmmm.

@33 “No,but we would pay for her election. There is no reason to think that the political rituals involved in a presidency would be cheaper than those of a monarchy.”

Sorry, that should be the grandchild of a constitutional president. William isn’t even our head of state, he’s our future head of state.

Even so, paying for an election is far more reasonable than paying for family affairs of the head of state.

Anyway, I’m not a republican because of the cost because a president would cost us too, clearly, it’s the principle behind the matter. We should elect our head of state, it’s as simple as that.

38. joe hill's ghost

God Tax our Queen

God tax our royal queen
please tax our royal queen
god tax our queen

her accountants are notorious
the family is vainglorious
its becoming laborious
god tax our queen

Get reheresing but keep your head down near blue rinse babes with brollys

39. Chaise Guevara

@ 33 Torquil

“This is a state occasion,it has a point: it is about political succession, and so it is a proper state expenditure. ”

The only way in which it is about political succession is it means that we will call Kate a Queen and probably crown her first-born. Which would remain true if they got married on their own buck like everyone else.

Personally, I don’t think of this a state occasion, but rather a private one that the state is chipping in for. However, I accept that mileages may vary on this one.

40. Chaise Guevara

@ Tim J

“34 – then you think that the Royals and the Middletons should (and “could easily”) pay for the policing of central London for the day? Hmmm.”

If not, we have a bunch of very rich people organising a wedding that even they couldn’t afford without a state handout. Why not have a less ostentatious ceremony, instead of taking it through central London streets and thus needing all the attendant security?

If taking the ceremony through public streets means spending millions on security, perhaps the solution is “plan the ceremony differently” rather than “ask the taxpayer to cover it”.

41. Torquil Macneil

“Even so, paying for an election is far more reasonable than paying for family affairs of the head of state.”

I don’t see why. You might prefer the other system but I don’t see that it is more reasonable necessarily. The current one seems to deliver all the benefits that a presidency promises at lower cost (probably) and with much less social disruption (they won’t get married every four years) and political conflict. You can argue with all those points of that but you can’t really say it is unreasonable.

“The only way in which it is about political succession is it means that we will call Kate a Queen and probably crown her first-born. Which would remain true if they got married on their own buck like everyone else.”

You seem to be agreeing with me, Chaise, in all the essentials. This occasion is necessary to ensure political succession in our peculiar system, so it is fair to call it a state occasion. The attendance of all those other heads of state is a clue to how that works. The fact that the principals pay for most of it themselves should be a bonus.

The prestige that the wedding confers is another thing in its favour,I would say, the world really will be watching, but I doubt many other countries would notice a UK presidential election. Of course, you may not agree that national prestige is worth the candle or even meaningful, but a majority (I suspect) would think it was.

42. Torquil Macneil

“Why not have a less ostentatious ceremony, instead of taking it through central London streets and thus needing all the attendant security?”

Because the public outcry would be deafening?

43. joe hill's ghost

Queenie has six castles at her disposals and don’t most of them have their own chapels?

Why don’t they have the wedding in one of those and save a fortune on outlay.

Do we have a democratic right to see a detailed invoice?

44. Torquil Macneil

“Why don’t they have the wedding in one of those and save a fortune on outlay.”

Because it is a state occasion and they have a duty to perform it in a constitutionally dictated manner. And, of course, the public would go beserk if they didn’t (see above).

Why not have a less ostentatious ceremony, instead of taking it through central London streets and thus needing all the attendant security?

Because it’s a Royal Wedding? If this really was just another aristocratic RAF bod marrying a pretty upper-middle class girl from Buckinghamshire then it would have been at St George’s Hanover Square, or a country church in Bucks, and there would have been no need for security at all.

It isn’t, it’s the marriage of the second in line to the throne. That demands rather more public access. And given that this thread is calling for public protests against the wedding, it’s not particularly difficult to work out why security is needed.

46. Torquil Macneil

“Do we have a democratic right to see a detailed invoice?”

Yes, you have, if you bother to exercise it.

The Queen began to pay tax in 1993 so your song is rather out of date…

Not many people know this:

Westminster Abbey is a collegiate church governed by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, as established by Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1560, which created it as the Collegiate Church of St Peter Westminster and a Royal Peculiar under the personal jurisdiction of the Sovereign.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Abbey

A Royal Peculiar (or Royal Peculier) is a place of worship that falls DIRECTLY under the jurisdiction of the British monarch, rather than under a bishop. The concept dates from Anglo-Saxon times, when a church could ally itself with the monarch and therefore not be subject to the bishop of the area. Later it reflected the relationship between the Norman and Plantagenet kings and the English church. Unlike many of the ecclesiastical foundations of the medieval period the royal peculiars were not abolished in the English Reformation effected under the Tudors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Peculiar

49. joe hill's ghost

of course the queen pays tax

and she doesn’t have access to the smartest accountants who …ahem
are well informed on the amount of tax one should pay.

Torquil – how berserk would the real public (the ignored majority who have no interest in the wedding) go if they saw what the wedding cost?

I think the Queen should be made head of an estate – a large council estate like the one I grew up on.

50. abraham_funkingcoln

can the royals marry catholics now? Just asking.

51. Torquil Macneil

“Torquil – how berserk would the real public (the ignored majority who have no interest in the wedding) go if they saw what the wedding cost?”

I think the outcry would be huge. I don’t know where you get the idea that the majority of people have no interest in this wedding. My experience is the opposite, not only among people in this country but worldwide. Even dedicated republicans like yourself seem to talk of little else.

@50 Torquil

The fact that a section of the population would “go off on one” doesn’t mean that they aren’t insane, or that there aren’t as many (and probably more) who really don’t care. There is a hard core of forelock tugging royalists of course, and no doubt always will be. From what I’ve seen, there are many more who are lukewarm about the whole thing, and a fair number who are totally uninterested or hostile.

I’ve certainly seen no evidence locally of street parties, celebrations or other events, and don’t know anyone either at home or at work who plans to watch or cares in the least about the event, other than the bonus of getting a day off.

I think this is a silly line to take because any constitutional arrangement you choose is going to cost similar sums and to perform similar functions of political theatre.

Actually, my preferred constitutional arrangement (in which the Loch Ness Monster and Nellie the Elephant take alternate years as ceremonial head of state in perpetuity, or at least until we can come up with something even more obviously absurd) would be pretty fucking cheap.

@49: “can the royals marry catholics now? Just asking.”

By the Act of Settlement 1701, the monarch and whom they marry cannot be Catholic.

You need to dig deep into Britain’s long history to understand the reasons for this exclusion. It’s not a simple matter to amend the Act of Settlement because it is embedded in the constitutional statutes of (some ? 15) Commonwealth countries which recognise Britain’s monarch as head of state. All would need to be consulted and all would need to make appropriate changes in their constitutional statutes. Some – like Australia – would perhaps take the opportunity to become republics with their own presidencies instead.

Given the current public standing of the Church of Rome and the pervasive enveloping abuse scandals, I suspect there aren’t too many rooting for the right to have a catholic monarch or monarch’s spouse right now.

55. joe hill's ghost

torquil – you really believe the majority of people in this country are interested in the wedding, I mean really believe that?

I live in a typical tory area full of lamenting horse and hound folk and there’s little enthusiasm from them regards celebrating the day.

The media hype is part paranoia and part sycophancy the bbc are appallingly gushing about it all and maybe you’re being swept up by the myth of it.

The day off is all that most people are happy about the wedding is an afterthought and we the public will pay for their celebration which is fundamentally wrong and effing immoral given the background of the couple who’s marriage ceremony is being launched upon us whether we like it or not.

@52 Dunc

Actually people always trot out the tired old “oh, the alternatives would be worse and cost the same anyway” argument, which is let’s face it total bollocks.

In our system, any President is likely to be appointed or indirectly elected; there would be little appetite or constitutional support for a directly elected executive presidency along the lines of thaose in France or the US.

A constitutional figurehead would do nicely… and without a monarchy, we don’t even have to care (or foot the bill) for the grandiose frippery that goes along with the marriage of Windsor family members, or subsidising the pompous medievalism attendant on their chosen life style.

57. Chaise Guevara

@ Torquil 40 & 41

“You seem to be agreeing with me, Chaise, in all the essentials. This occasion is necessary to ensure political succession in our peculiar system, so it is fair to call it a state occasion. The attendance of all those other heads of state is a clue to how that works. The fact that the principals pay for most of it themselves should be a bonus.”

Ok, that’s a fair point, but it could still be a lot cheaper. I know the couple claimed they would cut back due to the recession, but it’s still needlessly lavish.

“Because the public outcry would be deafening?”

Would people automatically assume there must be a procession? Honestly, if Will and Kate had, from the get-go, said that the whole affair would happen inside a building (with cameras of course, and people welcome to cheer at the gates), do you think that the headlines that day would have been “Rage as Royals Do Not Include Procession In Wedding Plans”?

58. Torquil Macneil

Galen, I guess we have had different experiences but I think the media coverage is a clue to the level of interest in the wedding, not just here but around the world. Are the majority of people indifferent? Let’s see what the viewing figures are on Friday.

‘the lack of even the slightest stirring of a republican protest movement is surprising.’

Mainly because republicanism is only followed by an extremist minority in this country. The saddest and pathetic group of campaigners I can think of.

If republicans engaging in direct action were to divert media attention from the wedding I suspect most ordinary working people would hate them.

60. Chaise Guevara

@ 44 Tim J

“Because it’s a Royal Wedding […] it’s the marriage of the second in line to the throne. That demands rather more public access.”

Why, exactly? Most of the people watching the wedding will be doing so via a TV anyway. Cut the public access, cut security.

“And given that this thread is calling for public protests against the wedding, it’s not particularly difficult to work out why security is needed.”

I’m not saying the police shouldn’t show up. I’m saying it should have been organised to need less security.

61. Torquil Macneil

“In our system, any President is likely to be appointed or indirectly elected; ”

And you sincerely believe that this would not become an intensely political process? And the political costs involved in the transition from one system to the next seem to you negligible? How much is the vote on AV going to cos in total, that tiny constitutional challenge which is going to change nothing?

Actually Torquil I’m pretty sure that had Wills and Kate got married in a quiet private ceremony, then no one would have given a toss. It’s only because it’s been made into a big deal, that it now IS a big deal.

Anyway I’ll be working that day, so fuck you all!

63. Torquil Macneil

“Mainly because republicanism is only followed by an extremist minority in this country. ”

I wouldn’t call it ‘extremist’ but there is certainly nothing sexy about republicanism in the UK, there is a distinct whiff of the fish paste sandwiches about it, like those people who campaign for ‘Jerusalem’ to be the national anthem.

64. Chaise Guevara

@ 58 qwer

“Mainly because republicanism is only followed by an extremist minority in this country. The saddest and pathetic group of campaigners I can think of.”

“Extremist” does not automatically mean “any point of view that makes qwer angry”. But if you can justify your stupid claim, please go ahead (cue insane troll logic, probably involving use of words like “heritage” and “treason”).

@ 37

Here! Here!

66. Chaise Guevara

@ Torquil

“I wouldn’t call it ‘extremist’ but there is certainly nothing sexy about republicanism in the UK, there is a distinct whiff of the fish paste sandwiches about it, like those people who campaign for ‘Jerusalem’ to be the national anthem”

Ha! I’d love it if Jerusalem was the national anthem, it’s an awesome hymn (although I’m no fan of fish paste sandwiches).

Other contenders for replacing the soul-destroying dirge we currently sing at football matches include Rule Britannia and A Song Of Patriotic Prejudice.

@42 “Do we have a democratic right to see a detailed invoice?”

The FOI Act doesn’t apply to the royals, so I suspect no.

68. Torquil Macneil

I like ‘Jerusalem’ too, Chaise, I think what is odd about the campaigners is that they care enough about the national anthem to spend their spare time campaigning.

69. Chaise Guevara

@ Torquil

Agreed, especially as there are no official plans to change the anthem at present. If there were, I can imagine it becoming a matter of interesting if unimportant debate. With Facebook groups pushing for the Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen, no doubt.

70. Chopper Royal

Off with their heads…..’Thunk, plop, “Yay”.

@57

“Galen, I guess we have had different experiences but I think the media coverage is a clue to the level of interest in the wedding, not just here but around the world. Are the majority of people indifferent? Let’s see what the viewing figures are on Friday.”

The media coverage tells you little other than the fact they are over excited, pace the frenzy whipped up when Diana died. Lots of people then went slightly bonkers too… many of them probably felt a tad ashamed of it afterwards. I’d say the majority are fairly indifferent, altho no doubt many will watch.

@60
“And you sincerely believe that this would not become an intensely political process? And the political costs involved in the transition from one system to the next seem to you negligible? How much is the vote on AV going to cos in total, that tiny constitutional challenge which is going to change nothing?”

If it becomes intensely political, then fine…. rather that than ending up with the product of whichever sperm got lucky in the royal marriage bed. Nobody is that concerned who the President of Italy or Germany is.. and best of all we don’t have to pay for their children’s weddings. Sounds like a result to me.

The costs of AV have (naturally) been hyped up by the No campaign… they have an axe to gring; stun us with another! A constitutional President elected by parliament, or according to some other indirect method, would cost significantly less than what we have now, and wouldn’t represent the worst aspects of the forelock tugging class system which still holds us back as a society.

72. Cynical/Realist?

@Chaise – “do you think that the headlines that day would have been “Rage as Royals Do Not Include Procession In Wedding Plans”?”

Yep, I think a significant number of people would have gone absolutely bonkers. Not that I agree with that of course, but bonkers they would have gone. The Dail mail and the Telegraph at least would still be recovering from the fit of rage now. It would have been funny and all.

Does anyone else suspect the revenue (the whole world goes bonkers for our royals, which has always puzzeled me – even in Europe) from the wedding will outweigh the costs from the public purse?

All in all, its just drifting past me. I can’t see how it could have been done different when so many people truley do care and would have pushed for it.

If any Replican minded folk do want to do an alternative street party or somesuch they should do – but they’d be well advised to do it with the tongues firmly in their cheeks and in a self-depricating manner or they will look like fools. Which should they are entirley free to make themselves of course. Me? I can’t be arsed with the wedding, nor with putting much effort into conspicuously not caring about the wedding. a bonus day in the hills beckons.

I’m in favour of constitutional monarchy, as I believe it’s the best (or least bad) form of constitution to have, as Aristotle concluded nearly 2500 years ago in his Politics. I must admit that I like the tradition and the spectacle (though if the TV rights had been auctioned rather than handed to the BBC, the event would have been self-financing!)

And I do like the thought that the world’s eyes will be on London and the Wedding on Friday. I have friends in Germany and France whose eyes will be glued to their TV screens. I also notice that all my immigrant friends are hugely enthusiastic about the event.

These occasions are something we British do very well. (The English Church, by the way, was known for its glorious liturgical processions as far back as the 9thC.) And they act as a form of social glue. De Tocqueville observed that the centrifugal force of democracy needed to be balanced by centripetal forces; and in the UK, the Monarchy is surely a centripetal and unifying force in an increasingly diverse and democratic society. My immigrant friends tell me that they know that they can never be English, Welsh, Irish or Scots (and that they find all the nationalist parties to be racist); but that they can feel that they are British, and that the Monarchy is part of what they give their allegiance to when they acquire British citizenship.

I have travelled quite widely, and I have been impressed by the high regard in which the British Monarchy is held across the world. I have seen a photograph of the Queen alongside the national President in hotels/restaurants from Botswana to Sri Lanka — and even in non-Commonwealth countries such as Argentina and the USA.

A long, painful, 1000-year, evolutionary process has resulted in the British Constitutional Monarchy. For all its faults, it is part of who we all are, as a people; and, as such, to hate it (as opposed to questioning it, as we live in a questioning, critical culture) is, in part, to self-hate. This partly explains the emotional vehemence among some extreme republicans for the abolition of the monarchy: they are at war with themselves, and their politics is a form of therapy.

So forget the Monarchy…the most important thing is to find that form of socio-economic organisation that provides the best deal for those at the bottom of the social pyramid…ie ‘maximise the minimum’…

I would be inclined to let the couple just enjoy their day. After all it is a wedding.

The trouble is that the fascist, establishment have decided to use this event to ram their aristocratic, Hereditary , privileged clap trap down everybody’s throats. Cameron in particular, (another aristocratic piece of shit ) has used this even for political purposes. Therefore This is no longer just a marriage, but a piece of fascist propaganda.

Chief Pig ….. “this is a day of celebration, joy and pageantry. It is a fantastic day for Britain” Once again just shows how political the police are. The same police force that takes back handers from right wing newspapers and then does not properly investigate those newspapers spying. So I will take with a pinch of salt what the police think is a fantastic day for Briton.

Royal weddings aren’t what they used to be, and a republic gets closer…

http://haringeygreens.blogspot.com/2011/04/monarchy-wedding-and-shifting-public.html

76. Shatterface

As a republican I won’t be protesting against the wedding for much the same reason that, as an atheist, I couldn’t be bothered protesting against Baby Jesus during Easter either.

Why then have the only applications for large scale protests been made by extremist organisations who provide no reflection of wider public opinion?

Republicans don’t reflect wider public opinion? Sad, I know, but it’s true. And, besides, you’re forgetting that we’re a cynical people, not a hotly tempered one. Most republicans are far more likely to be lazing in the sun, giggling at the way the Monarchists apply more hair to images of William than his pate deserves.

@73 sally

“I would be inclined to let the couple just enjoy their day. After all it is a wedding. ”

OK…. who are you, and what have you done with the REAL sally?!!

(This is my nomination for a replacing God Save….)

80. Mr S. Pill

@67

It’s because anti-monarchy types aren’t the unpatriotic buffoons they’re made out to be.

Tim Jerk troll “The families are paying for the wedding. We are paying for the security.”

The families are paying for the wedding. We are paying for the security.

HA HA HA

That is what they are spinning at tory central is it? What a deluded troll.

But noting funnier than seeing fake libertarians supporting welfare for rich people.

“God save the Queen” should not be the national anthem. It says nothing of this country.

It is only about the Royal family, and they are not my country, but a useless, lazy German family. We could do so much better, but the brown shirts won’t allow it.

83. Torquil Macneil

“The media coverage tells you little other than the fact they are over excited”

No, it tells you more than that. The media is in competition for public attention, if this subject doesn’t hold the public’s attention it wouldn’t feature so highly.

“If it becomes intensely political, then fine…. rather that than ending up with the product of whichever sperm got lucky in the royal marriage bed.”

As a preference, fair enough, but you implicitly concede that the current arrangement has this advantage of, as Eric Hobsbawm says, removing political partisanship and horse trading from the question of succession.

” Nobody is that concerned who the President of Italy or Germany is.. and best of all we don’t have to pay for their children’s weddings. Sounds like a result to me.”

If you think the head of state should be of no concern. But it is of concern in those countries and it comes with large regular costs in terms of electioneering, pork barrelling and all the other paraphernalia of houses, banquets, security, posh cars etc etc.

” A constitutional President elected by parliament, or according to some other indirect method, would cost significantly less than what we have now”

But none of the actually existing ones do, do they?

“and wouldn’t represent the worst aspects of the forelock tugging class system which still holds us back as a society.”

I don’t recognise this ‘forelock tugging’ nation, but that might be because I just don’t have the deference gene,. In what substantial ways, though, does the monarchy hold us back though?

84. Mr S. Pill

I don’t see why republicans should have to defend their reasons for disliking monarchies. Surely the question should be weighted the other way around: why are monarchists (“consitutional” or otherwise) so opposed to democracy?

I’ve said it before: I’m perfectly happy with the Queen running for President/other title and if the public wants her & she gets elected then fine and dandy. But people should not be in positions of power because of a lucky sperm/egg crossover.

At least the football clubs have to pay the police for security services at football matches.

Panem et circenses. Try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWMCSnVe2iA

I’ll bet Rupert would be glad to sponsor circuses providing he got exclusive pay-per-view TV rights. Come to think on it, there was an unresolved debate about what to do with the London Olympic games stadium once the games and paralympics are over.

Let’s have hereditary airline pilots, and hereditary brain surgeons. No qualifications or training needed. Start as soon as daddy dies.

Oh wait………………………………………..

‘“Extremist” does not automatically mean “any point of view that makes qwer angry”. But if you can justify your stupid claim, please go ahead (cue insane troll logic, probably involving use of words like “heritage” and “treason”).’

Fair point but your hero Che shot unarmed men in the head for engaging in anti-communist treason. Until Prince Philip starts doing something similar I’ll take the Royal Family. Tell me how King Raul is doing? More of an absolute monarch that the Queen is. I think its called the devine right of comrades or something.

88. Chaise Guevara

@ 71 Cynical/Realist

“Yep, I think a significant number of people would have gone absolutely bonkers. Not that I agree with that of course, but bonkers they would have gone. The Dail mail and the Telegraph at least would still be recovering from the fit of rage now. It would have been funny and all.”

Really? I think the only reason people think there should be a procession is because there’s going to be one. If the subject had never been raised I doubt people would have noticed.

“Does anyone else suspect the revenue (the whole world goes bonkers for our royals, which has always puzzeled me – even in Europe) from the wedding will outweigh the costs from the public purse?”

Oh, probably, if you discount the extra bank holiday (which in fairness has its advantages for most of us).

“All in all, its just drifting past me. I can’t see how it could have been done different when so many people truley do care and would have pushed for it.

If any Replican minded folk do want to do an alternative street party or somesuch they should do – but they’d be well advised to do it with the tongues firmly in their cheeks and in a self-depricating manner or they will look like fools. Which should they are entirley free to make themselves of course. Me? I can’t be arsed with the wedding, nor with putting much effort into conspicuously not caring about the wedding. a bonus day in the hills beckons.”

Well, that’s pretty much my position as well.

89. Chaise Guevara

@ Qwer

“Fair point but your hero Che shot unarmed men in the head for engaging in anti-communist treason. Until Prince Philip starts doing something similar I’ll take the Royal Family. ”

So according to you… my hero is apparently Che Guevara, presumably because you can’t tell the difference between a reference and a declaration of support… and our options are having Che or the royal family, presumably because your brain is faulty.

Insane troll logic, as predicted!

@82 Torquil

“No, it tells you more than that. The media is in competition for public attention, if this subject doesn’t hold the public’s attention it wouldn’t feature so highly.”

I repeat, because it’s in the media, doesn’t make it important. “Some” people go mental for this sort of stuff…. so what? It sells papers, but doesn’t make them tub thumping apologists for everything royal… panem et circenses indeed…..

“As a preference, fair enough, but you implicitly concede that the current arrangement has this advantage of, as Eric Hobsbawm says, removing political partisanship and horse trading from the question of succession.”

Upto a point..but I’d also argue that the supposed politcal disinterestedness of the monarchy is outweighed by it’s function as a representation of atavistic, medieval obscurantism, and a society which is still worryingly class bound and less meritocratic than it should be, as well as less socically mobile.

“If you think the head of state should be of no concern. But it is of concern in those countries and it comes with large regular costs in terms of electioneering, pork barrelling and all the other paraphernalia of houses, banquets, security, posh cars etc etc.”

I think it would be good if we had a respected head of state, yes. One qualified for the job by more than accident of birth. I don’t accept that the costs of presidents in places like Germany and Italy would be greater than the cost of our monarchy; I fear you are exaggerating these for dramtic effect in much the same way you attempted with AV’s supposed costs above.

“But none of the actually existing ones do, do they?”

I don’t know…I can’t imagine they cost more somehow. You think the Italian or German people paid millions for the weddings of the children of their heads of state, or indeed that monarchies in saner places like the Netherlands or Scandinavia expect their people to do it?

“I don’t recognise this ‘forelock tugging’ nation, but that might be because I just don’t have the deference gene,. In what substantial ways, though, does the monarchy hold us back though?”

Plenty of people here do have the deference gene tho… perhaps your forelock was just obscuring your ability to see it? 😉 As a representation of a class ridden society which needs to increase social mobility and promote meritocracy rather than aristocracy, I’d say the monarchy is one aspect of holding us back, yes. Of course, as someone else has mentioned,ppose I suCharles could stand for president if he wants….?

91. Torquil Macneil

“I don’t see why republicans should have to defend their reasons for disliking monarchies. Surely the question should be weighted the other way around: why are monarchists (“consitutional” or otherwise) so opposed to democracy?”

The monarchy has proven itself to be not incompatible with democracy. The putative republic, not.

I recall being chided by neighbours on 21 June 1982 for taking insufficient public display of interest in the royal nuptials between Charles and Diana.

93. joe hill's ghost

I wonder if the royals had their own tv channel (oneiswealthy.tv) and then offered pay per view to watch the wedding how many ‘subjects’ would be happy to subscribe?

Yet millions of us have no say in our taxes being used for an event that a majority are not interested in.

Also when the gushing viewing figures of the event are released will there be a scientific breakdown of those figures ie

20 million tv’s were on but only 7 million people were actually in the same room as the tv; of these 7 million 4 million were under five and three million were over 80 and unable to move from their chairs.

The other 13 million were getting pissed/having sex/fighting/in the toilet/surfing for photoshopped royals/or burning themselves on the barbecue

94. Torquil Macneil

” don’t know…I can’t imagine they cost more somehow. You think the Italian or German people paid millions for the weddings of the children of their heads of state, or indeed that monarchies in saner places like the Netherlands or Scandinavia expect their people to do it?”

I am pretty sure that these figures exist somewhere and that the monarchy is fairly average in cost. If you consider the costs of a presidency which include all those of the monarchy (houses, cars, salaries, boats, planes, fancy cutlery, security etc) plus the regular elections, it doesn’t seem unlikely that they are pricier really.

‘So according to you… my hero is apparently Che Guevara, presumably because you can’t tell the difference between a reference and a declaration of support… and our options are having Che or the royal family, presumably because your brain is faulty.

Insane troll logic, as predicted!’

So you condemn his violent reprisals against people merely accused of anti-communist treason?

Good man. We’ll make a moderate liberal of you yet.

My point about King Raul stands though. With the exception of the Gulf states, Cuba is the closest thing the world has to an absolutist hereditary monarchy. I just consider it ironic the UK Raulistas would consider themselves republicans.

96. joe hill's ghost

che guavara

was an extraordinary man

only right wing apologists would think otherwise

@90 Torquil

The monarchy for the most part since the Glorious Revolution has learned the lesson that it is better not to insist on getting it’s own way all the time, just in case parliament and the people go all Cromwellian on them.

They have still for the most part had to be brought kicking and screaming into modernity, whether over Lords reform or anything else constitutional, pace their deafening silence on issues like abolishing the Act of Settlement or arranging for the first born to succeed rather than the first born male, as has happened in Sweden for example, or indeed their ham fisted reactions to the death of Diana and rapid back pedalling when the lumpen proletariat bared their teeth about flags not being at half mast.

Survivors, yes. More compatible with democracy than a presidency?…. I think not.

@93

Sounds inherently unlikely to me Torquil, altho’ I confess I’m not concerned enough to look the figures up. I’d be willing to bet they don’t have multiple palaces and the level of hangers on, support and patronage enjoyed by our royals tho.

Many of the costs will be the same whatever system you have; a state banquet will cost £X no matter who hosts it…. it’s all the rest that probably isn’t present in other systems.

99. Mr S. Pill

While I find the debate re:monachy – Yay or Nay? quite tedious, I do think there’s some important things to be discussed about certain families in general gaining power and keeping it – looking across the pond to the Kennedys or the Bush clan or the Clintons, it seems even in a democracy you can’t escape particular families having a disproportionate role in affairs of the State.
My question is – why? Is it to do with the power structure/feudal basis of most westernised countries, or what? Sorry if this is off-topic but IMO republicanism vs monarchism has been done to death…

100. Chaise Guevara

@ 94 qwer

“So you condemn his violent reprisals against people merely accused of anti-communist treason?”

Naturally. I’m the pro-democracy one here, remember?

“Good man. We’ll make a moderate liberal of you yet.”

LOL. Someone who thinks republicanism is extremist wants to make a moderate of me? Don’t worry mate, I’ll be fine.

“My point about King Raul stands though. With the exception of the Gulf states, Cuba is the closest thing the world has to an absolutist hereditary monarchy. I just consider it ironic the UK Raulistas would consider themselves republicans.”

It does stand, but it’s hardly relevant here, unless you think that your average UK republican is secretly seeking communist totalitarianism.

The exclusion of Blair and Brown from the invites, while inviting Thatcher and Major seems to have added a political element to the event. So if people want to protest, fair play.

Enthusiasts for ‘social change’ might wish to ponder the approval ratings for our constitutional monarchy…you either work with the grain, and achieve something; or you work against the grain, hoping for ‘revolutionary’ change, and achieve ‘nowt’!

Why, why, fixate on the monarchy? When there’s so much else to do?

@98

Seems like two sides of the same coin to me; access to power for “clans” whether the Kennedy, Clinton, Bush, or others less august comes down in the end more to who you know, and your network of connections, rather than what you know. Much the same goes for arguments about using unpaid or badly paid “interns”… whilst the aims may (sometimes) be laudable, often the only ones who get the opportunities are self selecting because they have the contacts and Daddy’s money to subsidise their position.

I doubt many people lose sleep about the monarchy vs. republic debate either… but it doesn’t mean it isn’t significant. I’d definitely prefer a republic, but short of that, at least a more “scandinavian” kind of monarchy rather than the comedy toffs we have to put up with at present.

104. Chaise Guevara

@ MM1970

“The exclusion of Blair and Brown from the invites, while inviting Thatcher and Major seems to have added a political element to the event.”

Isn’t that simply because the latter have titles and the former don’t? If so, that might suggest some bias in the system, but not in the wedding itself.

@101

Trying to do something about one thing (in this case the monarchy) doesn’t preclude you from agitating to change other things you may see as more important. Attitudes change. I doubt many people now actually approve of Catholics being excluded from the succession…. but I’m sure it was wildly popular when intriduced.

you only have to look at the “wobble” experienced after Diana died to see that even the Windsor family can get it wrong. I’m not advocating mounting their heads on pikes on London Bridge….. but I’d happily see them consigned to the dustbin of history.

106. Mr S. Pill

@102

“I doubt many people lose sleep about the monarchy vs. republic debate either… but it doesn’t mean it isn’t significant. ”

No, true. I just don’t think anyone has ever changed their mind on the issue when debating it here, at least…

You’re right about the “access to clans” thing – part of the reason why I think internships are (generally speaking) a barrier to social equality/harmony is exactly this point, they are by definition only available if you, say, happen to be living next door to David Cameron. The whole system is rotten to the core & IMO that probably reflects the political economy more than anything else (there always has to be a select few at the top etc).

107. the a&e charge nurse

Apart from the usual star struck hangers on and minor titled bods I am astonished, and I do mean astonished, that anybody (with an IQ that gets into double figures) is even remotely interested in this tawdry event
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KbOa_HQsF90/TZu68a12ClI/AAAAAAAAAEo/B0vLTbe6R3Y/s1600/Prince-William-and-Kate-Middleton.jpg

Can’t we simply leave the royal family, ‘muslims against crusades’, EDL and thousands of bobbies to their own insane agenda?

The whole system is rotten to the core & IMO that probably reflects the political economy

I’d probably add “and the fundamentals of primate psychology and social behaviour”, but other than that, we have a winner! 😉

Tim Jerk troll “The families are paying for the wedding. We are paying for the security.”

The families are paying for the wedding. We are paying for the security.

HA HA HA

That is what they are spinning at tory central is it? What a deluded troll.

Sally, calm down and wipe the spittle from your chin.

The costs

THE Royal Family will pay for all those aspects of the day that constitute the wedding, including the abbey service, flowers, dresses, carriage procession, reception and dinner.

Kate’s parents are also paying a portion of the bill.

The Government and other bodies will pay for other costs, including the massive security and policing surrounding the event.

That’s from that dyed-in-the-wool Tory source of the Scottish Daily Record
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/special-reports/the-royal-wedding/royal-wedding-news/2011/04/27/royal-wedding-the-big-day-86908-23089957/

110. Mr S. Pill

@Tim J

Who pays the Royals?

@108 Tim J

So what you are saying is that (since we’re all in this together after all), we’ll all be paying towards the millions security will cost, rather than tell them to calm down and get married in one of the many royal homes somewhere and spend the money on something more useful…..?

109 – Since this is not a state occasion it is unlikely to be funded out of the Civil List. I’d have thought it would come from the Queen’s private income, derived from investments and the estates of Sandringham and Balmoral, neither of which are Royal estates, but are instead the Queen’s private property.

113. Chaise Guevara

@ 111 Tim J

“neither of which are Royal estates, but are instead the Queen’s private property”

That distinction is made, then? Interesting. What about the Crown Jewels and that? (Is the clue in the name?)

@114 knuckle dragging imbecile

I don’t have any islamist friends. I’d rather not pay for the security attendant on either event.

If people are allowed to celebrate, aren’t they allowed to protest too..? If you don’t like living in a democracy, or think it should only apply to people you agree with, why not move somewhere you’d be more omfortable?

People here would probably have a whip round if it helped ensure you would never come back.

“The exclusion of Blair and Brown from the invites, while inviting Thatcher and Major seems to have added a political element to the event. ”

Which just goes to show that the Monarchy is tory to it’s core. It is a tory institution , supported by tories, for tories and paid for by everyone else.

Just more welfare for rich people.

That distinction is made, then? Interesting. What about the Crown Jewels and that? (Is the clue in the name?)

Absolutely. Buckingham Palace, Windsor, the Tower and so on are all part of the Crown Estate (as are the Crown Jewels I believe) and thus part of the sovereign’s possessions, and by extension the state’s. But the Queen also holds lands and investments in a personal capacity – including the estates of Balmoral and Sandringham, which were purchased by Victoria (I think) and left to the Queen by her father.

She also has the esates of the Duchy of Lancaster, which is a sort of halfway house between the two. As a bonus geek point, the Queen is the Duke (not Duchess) of Lancaster. What this makes the Duke of Edinburgh I’m not sure.

MM1970 @ 100 & CG @ 103:

“The exclusion of Blair and Brown from the invites, while inviting Thatcher and Major seems to have added a political element to the event. So if people want to protest, fair play.”

Thatch and Major are Knights of the Garter, so invited. Blair and Brown — who could request this honour — are not; so not invited.

My points @73 have not been addressed subsequently, and I would appreciate comments. Basically, as a luke-warm monarchist, I believe:

1. the Monarchy is a unifying force in an increasingly democratic and diverse society — particularly for immigrants, who generally adore the monarchy!

2 passionate hatred of the monarchy is more a psychological than a political problem – vehement republicans are at war with themselves, and their politics is a form of therapy.

119. Mr S. Pill

@112

“the Queen’s private income, derived from investments and the estates of Sandringham and Balmoral, neither of which are Royal estates, but are instead the Queen’s private property.”

Forgive my nit-picking, but how did the Queen come to acquire said property?

@118

1. How do you know all immigrants are pro-monarchy? If I was an immigrants I’d probably lie when asked about my feelings on the subject. The Queen herself may be a uniting figurehead – but again, she can stand for election if she wishes.

2. It’s not a passionate hatred of the Royals , it’s a passionate love of democracy. If we’re going to play amateur psychologist one could point at monarchists as expressing some severe familial issues (need for a dominant figurehead, etc) and suffering from some for of delusion that way. Why do you hate democracy so much? I’m being hyperbolic, by the way, but that is the kind of question republicans like myself have to deal with all the time.

“1. the Monarchy is a unifying force in an increasingly democratic and diverse society — particularly for immigrants, who generally adore the monarchy!”

I can’t believe most UK residents think that. They stick with a monarchy because, along with Britain’s historic heritage, it attract tourists and because no one has managed to convince them that either an executive presidency (like the US and France) or a non-executive presidency (like Germany and India) is a better option.

The Scandinavian countries (except Finland), Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain manage well with constitutional monarchies so Britain is not the only country with a lingering sentimental attachment to its historic institutions.

I’m hardly a fanatical loyalist for the monarchy but I’d need a lot of convincing before voting for a presidency in a national referendum even though governments find it convenient to wheel out circuses if the bread gets scarce.

TROLL who talks poo……”1. the Monarchy is a unifying force in an increasingly democratic and diverse society — particularly for immigrants, who generally adore the monarchy!

2 passionate hatred of the monarchy is more a psychological than a political problem – vehement republicans are at war with themselves, and their politics is a form of therapy.

You have spoken to every immigrant have you? You are a psychologist are you? The loopy right wing in all it’s idocy.

You are like that tory Royal bottom sniffer, Frederick Forsyth who I once saw on a tv show claim that the Royal family saved us in world war 2. The stupidity of that comment was matched only by the fact that he ignored the role of The English Channel. Oh, and the fact that the royals were parading on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with Chamberlin with his little piece of paper celebrating peace in are time.

Allow me to quote (again) something the late Professor Sir Geoffrey Elton said in his inaugural lecture at Cambridge: The Future of the Past (1968):

Now one of the most curious things about the English, I think . . . is that they suppose themselves to be conscious of history and to be enveloped in History. They are not. They are both indifferent and ignorant as far as history is concerned. If you want a really historically conscious country you have to go either to Central Europe, where they have too much history . . . or to the United States, where they have so little of it. I think that England could do with knowing more about its past, but that’s always been so.

Quoted in Norman Davies: The Isles (1999). Geoffrey Elton was born in Tübingen, under the name of Gottfried Ehrenberg. He fortunately managed to reach Britain in 1939 and, in due course, became Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge. He was uncle to Ben Elton.

We do have an extraordinary heritage. Karl Marx with family sought asylum here in 1848 after being hounded out of mainland Europe when Britain was the leading capitalist superpower of the time – see the Blue Plaque on the Quo Vadis Restaurant in Dean Street, Soho.

“The founder of the world’s first socialist state, Vladimir Il’ich Lenin, visited London six times between 1902 and 1911, and on at least five of these occasions found the time to call into the British Museum whose Library collections were in his view unparalleled. At the time of his 1907 visit he said:

“‘It is a remarkable institution, especially that exceptional reference section. Ask them any question, and in the very shortest space of time they’ll tell you where to look to find the material that interests you. ..Let me tell you, there is no better library than the British Museum. Here there are fewer gaps in the collections than in any other library.'”
http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelpsubject/history/history/lenin/lenin.html

“Trotsky’s escaped from Siberia and fled to London in 1902. Why London? It was a magnet for Russian exiles and other personae-non-grata. Lenin had also escaped to London . . ”
http://theforvm.org/diary/blaisep/leon-trotsky-part-second-london-1903

Perhaps one reason for the continuing sentimental attachment to the monarchy is that it remains a continuing badge of Britain’s political stability. The last time we executed a monarch, Charles I, was in 1649. By 1660, Parliament voted to restore the monarchy and invited Charles II to take the throne. When his successor James II, a catholic, fled and thereby abdicated, Parliament invited his daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange, to rule jointly as sovereigns in his place. Queen Anne, the next sovereign (1702-14), Mary’s sister, was the last monarch to refuse to give the Royal Assent an act passed by Parliament in 1707:
http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/England-History/QueenAnne.htm

“The reign of Queen Anne was a brilliant one …and one which included many exceptionally talented men – Swift, Pope, Addison and Steele were writing prose and verse, Sir Christopher Wren was finishing the building of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Locke and Newton were propounding their new theories.”

The argument that The Royal family is non political unifying force is horse manure of the worst kind . And as if by magic The Royals prove it by omitting Blair and Brown from the wedding. Of course Royal brown nose Cameron could have done something about it, but he chose to turn this event into a tory occasion.

Now I have to say that I do find it rather funny watching Blair ,who kissed up to the bankers, the Murdoch’s, and the Royals and they all gave him a shit sandwich in return. These are the tory establishment and Labour should not be sucking up to them.

But we now see laid bare the lie of Monarchy as non political. Oh the irony of it HA HA HA

125. Mr S. Pill

Let’s not forget that David Cameron is related to the Queen, either…

“But we now see laid bare the lie of Monarchy as non political. Oh the irony of it HA HA HA”

For all I know, the monarchy is acting on the advice of the current PM – and I doubt that the wedding would be going ahead anyway right now without his nod.

It’s the regular bread and circuses political prescription for when times are hard. Compare the timing of the wedding celebrations in 1982 for Prince William’s parents.

S Pill @ 119 (1):

“How do you know all immigrants are pro-monarchy?” Don’t be silly! I could never know that ALL immigrants are pro-monarchy. But I work, live and dine with a lot of educated immigrants — and they are overwhelmingly pro-monarchy. Why? I don’t know, but I sense it is something they can identify with and which (with the Commonwealth) makes them feel they are British.

(2) I’m against passionate anything, I’m afraid. Passionate is so, well, un-English, – or uneducated English at least! We do detached, understated, sceptical, thoughtful; but we save passion for the boudoir. And I do not hate democracy at all – just think that perhaps one can have too much of a good thing!…OK, perhaps some monarchists ‘need’ a figurehead; but surely many anti-monarchist, anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist (cont’d p.94) leftists are working through their adolescent rebellion against authority, too — and, incidentally, most will eventually end up as accountants in Surbiton or wherever.

Bob B @120:

“the Monarchy is a unifying force in an increasingly democratic and diverse society — particularly for immigrants, who generally adore the monarchy!”

I can’t believe most UK residents think that. They stick with a monarchy because, along with Britain’s historic heritage…”

Of course, most UK residents don’t think that! Most would have difficulty articulating a word with more than two syllables. I am giving an explanation, not a report. And, in any event, I was not reporting on ‘UK residents’ but rather ‘immigrants of my acquaintance’. Do keep up.

@127: “And, in any event, I was not reporting on ‘UK residents’ but rather ‘immigrants of my acquaintance’. Do keep up.”

Try not to be excessively pompous. Besides, I’ve lived a long time and worked in lots of different places. Overall, apart from London, immigrants are a small minority. As a nation, we aren’t wildly enthusiastic monarchists, just unconvinced about the alternatives.

And I still believe that the timing of the royal wedding is about bread and circuses.

“But I work, live and dine with a lot of educated immigrants ”

“We do detached, understated, sceptical, thoughtful; but we save passion for the boudoir. ”

“Of course, most UK residents don’t think that! Most would have difficulty articulating a word with more than two syllables.”

The bigotry , arrogance, and stupidity of the far right in all it’s glory from one of the stupidest trolls of all time.

Bob B @ 127: Pompous? Pray re-read @123, dear boy! — Quite agree that as a nation we are not wildly enthusiastic monarchists.And like you I’ve lived a long time and visited many countries. My point was that – in my experience – immigrants tend to be more pro-monarchy than the indigenous population; and I was speculating that the monarchy was an institution that provided immigrants with a refuge from potentially racist politics.Just a thought.

131. Mr S. Pill

@127

“Passionate is so, well, un-English, – or uneducated English at least! We do detached, understated, sceptical, thoughtful; but we save passion for the boudoir.”

I agree, but there’s a reason so many of us hang out here on Lib Con 😉

I thought the Daily Mail said benefit scroungers are bad, so why are the people on TV saying I should celebrate the wedding of the biggest benefit scroungers in the country?

I’m confused. 🙁

@132

Apparently according to paul ilc, they aren’t a bunch of in-bred German scroungers… they’re a “unifying force”, and people who don’t like them demonstrate psychological problems and need therapy…….

…yeah right. ‘Cos all those monarchists seem so well balanced, and their reaction to Diana’s death was quite proportionate….

134. Peter Gartshore

Some of us are not embarassed about our Republican views. What better day to challenge the mainstay establishment view so wonderfully epitomised by the BBC propaganda machine than on Friday. I would have liked to attend a protest at this outmoded, self indulgent anachronistic but powerful organistaion but unfortunately there isn’t one. Can I hear the footsteps of frightened liberals running to the hills?

Clearly the Royal family are not a unifying force if we are at each other’s throats regarding the issue.

As far as it goes, I have respect for the Queen and she normally can be relied on to do the right thing I think, but the rest and esp. the younger ‘Royals’ appear to be little more than spoilt brats. Who appear to be blissfully unaware of the the plight of millions of people who they leech of to afford their hedonistic lifestyles.

To turn up at a fancy dress in a Second World War uniform, even if it was one where your ancestors came from, just smacks of crass stupidity rather than anything more sinister, TBH.

Still, as long as there isn’t a bombing anything else will be fine in my book. If we cannot afford to look after the sick and disabled, surely this event should have been sold off to the highest bidding City? They love the Royals so much in America, why not have it in Las Vegas?

@134

If your republicanism instincts are so strong, then have at it..go protest; I’m sure many will applaud you and contribute to your court costs when the forces of medieval reaction try to have you cast into the tower.

As previously mentioned by another poster, plenty of people are opposed to the monarchy and would prefer a republic thank you very much…. but don’t particularly feel the need to picket the Abbey on Friday to make our point, any more than being an atheist makes me want to demonstrate against bishops being in the Lords.

I’m getting an increasingly worrisome feeling that some posters here could be indicted under the Treason Felony Act of 1848, which made made advocacy of republicanism punishable by transportation to Australia, later life imprisonment. The Act remains on the statute book – I joke not. Fortunately, in response to a challenge by the Guardian, the Law Lords ruled in 2003 that this law does not prohibit peaceful printed advocacy of anti-monarchy sentiments:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicanism_in_the_United_Kingdom

But beware. Perhaps the most serious recent challenge to the institution of the monarchy came from Tony Blair’s presidential ambitions, which might explain why he hasn’t been invited to the wedding.

138. Roger Mexico

I always find Republicanism one of those invaluable indicator topics. Of course some are worried about how the relics of Crown absolutism can be used oppressively by government – though presidential decree hardly has an impeccable human rights record.

However those who tend to make a thing about attacking the monarchy, especially when coupled with snidey remarks about the royal family (as if we don’t all have weird relatives), are invariably, at heart, deeply reactionary.

Let’s face it, if you claim to be progressive and yet consider the mode of deciding who is to be the nominal head of state one of the top 500 things to change about the country, then you don’t really want to change much. I’m reminded of the belief of New Labour that they had somehow abolished centuries of privilege by having the some functionary not walk backwards or wear knee-britches. What they were really interested in was jumping on the privilege train themselves.

In the same way Rupert Murdoch and his many minions attack hereditary monarchy – but yet are strangely comfortable with hereditary press barons (yea even unto the fourth generation). Or Milord Rogers and his fan club denounce royal disparagement as an unholy interference in the divine right of architects. We are merely seeing various parts of the establishment trying to corner even more power and influence for themselves.

Anyone who believes that replacing the monarchy is a priority for social change, or even worth discussing much has either just wandered in from the 18th Century or is very happy with the way things are.

@138

“However those who tend to make a thing about attacking the monarchy, especially when coupled with snidey remarks about the royal family (as if we don’t all have weird relatives), are invariably, at heart, deeply reactionary”

Arrant nonsense. Just because there are plenty of other things which may be higher in the list of “things to change” doesn’t mean anyone progressive should think getting rid of the monarchy isn’t important.

I’d agree that attitudes to the monarchy are a good indicator topic though, and it is certainly much closer to the truth that those in favour of the monarchy are likely to be reactionary than those opposed to it. The fact that many people hold the Queen in high regard doesn’t make the whole structure right, nor does it justify the expense and vestigial power the institution retains.

Still less does it excuse the fact that it is an anachronistic representation of much that is still wrong with British society; hidebound, forelock tugging, supine in the face of tradition and authority, anti-meritocratic and stubbornly resistant to the promotion of greater equality and the reduction of the disparity between the haves and the have-nots.

“Of course some are worried about how the relics of Crown absolutism can be used oppressively by government ”

In Britain, the problem is the (ab)use of the Royal Prerogative by prime ministers.

Parliament didn’t debate – and, in the event, approve – the invasion of Iraq until a couple of days before the actual invasion on 20 March 2003 after all the “military assets” had already been effectively committed. It is impossible to describe that as “democratic” in any sense. The preparations for war were carried through by use of the royal prerogative.

Parliament was “bounced” into the decision and unwilling to call Blair’s bluff, probably because Saddam Hussein was widely regarded as an evil despot whose regime had already killed thousands of Iraqis who had displayed the slightest signs of opposition. But then as the downstream result of the invasion, it is estimated that 100,000+ Iraqi civilians have been killed through ensuing sectarian and ethnic strife and al-Qaeda terrorism supposedly intended to evict the invaders.

Prior to the invasion, little thought was invested into what was likely to happen after the invasion even though American administrations had originally promoted Saddam’s rise to power back in the 1970s and early 1980s as a means of containing the sectarian and ethnic stresses within Iraq – because it had the second or third largest global oil reserves. And that was well-understood by any who knew anything about the Middle East. It was readily predictable that the removal of Saddam’s regime would unleash the sectarian and ethnic rivalries in Iraq which he had effectively but brutally suppressed.

141. Chaise Guevara

@ 118 Paul LLC

“1. the Monarchy is a unifying force in an increasingly democratic and diverse society — particularly for immigrants, who generally adore the monarchy!”

Can you point to a way in which this force exerts itself, will real-world implications beyond some people having a knees-up at every wedding and coronation? Is it the most efficient way we could use the money given to the monarchy – instead of, say, improving infrastructure or public services? How does it make up for the insult to democracy of having an unelected figurehead of whom we are all lowly subjects?

“2 passionate hatred of the monarchy is more a psychological than a political problem – vehement republicans are at war with themselves, and their politics is a form of therapy.”

That’s extremely childish: “people who disagree with me are mental! Ergo I’m right!”. If you want people to address your points, try to be a little more mature and a whole heap less insulting. And try to actually HAVE a point, rather than just a straw man mixed with an ad hom.

Forgive my nit-picking, but how did the Queen come to acquire said property?

She inherited them from her father. As I said in 116, they were originally purchased by Victoria and Albert, and are personal properties, not Royal estates.

138
Just as a matter of interest, who decided that if you support republicanism and it happens to be part of one’s personal 500 things to be changed in the country then one doesn’t want to change much.

144. abraham_funkingcoln

Ice-T ‘Thats How I’m Livin’ should be the new national anthem.

“ those who tend to make a thing about attacking the monarchy, especially when coupled with snidey remarks about the royal family ……., are invariably, at heart, deeply reactionary.

I find supporters of the Monarchy to be rather needy and inadequate people. Their need for a shinning figure to look up to. A sort a Father Christmas figure who will sprinkle gold dust on everybody. They also have a great need to be subservient, and seem to like brown nosing.

They are also usually very snidey about people who accomplish genuine great deeds of character and bravery. They seem to dismiss talent, preferring instead to worship ordinariness. Very odd. But then most are tories and they are all of the above.

I think the institution of the Royal Family is now nothing more than a luxury we can no longer afford. If we cannot look after our sick, then we cannot look after this bunch of chinless inbreds. Perhaps we should farm the fucking lot out to the private sector? Sell off the entire estates to whoever can make the biggest profits from the whole slew of it.

However, perhaps we could also get ATOS to review the ‘work’ they are capable of and hive the bastards of to do a days private sector work for a change?

147. Peter Gartshore

143,
For progressives Monarchy must be one of the most important issues at an Institutional level. The British Society(here we are referring to the English in particular) today can only be fully understood in large part to the historical role of Monarchy which has penetrated into the very DNA of it’s people. Hence, the deference/worship of monarchy can be understood. This collective worship is the kind of patriotism referred to by Samuel Johnson as the ‘refuge of the scoundrel’ and in my view inevitably leads to class division, nationalism and militarism.
‘Not that important’?-I think not!

Their need for a shinning figure to look up to.


Hush boy!
You want to get sued?

Regrettably any protests will be met with “robust” London Bobbies – all 5000 of them!
Just imagine the cost of all this.
Republic.org.uk are having ‘Not the Royal Wedding Party’ at Red Lion Square. The press and media will be there to cover the event. There are similar events up and down the country tomorrow of a similar nature.
Personally I will be displaying posters in my window for the next few days…….
“WE WANT A VOTE – NOT A WEDDING” and “I SUPPORT REPUBLIC”
Considering there are no flags, bunting or street parties where I live – this stands out quite nicely !!
It seems these flags and bunting and media frenzy is generated by the media itself.
Whatever floats your boat – but it certainly is not THE ROYAL WEDDING !!

CG @ : “Can you point to a way in which this force exerts itself, will real-world implications beyond some people having a knees-up at every wedding and coronation? Is it the most efficient way we could use the money given to the monarchy – instead of, say, improving infrastructure or public services? How does it make up for the insult to democracy of having an unelected figurehead of whom we are all lowly subjects?”

What evidence do you require exactly? My experience is that my immigrant friends rejoice in the monarchy and fear nationalist parties. Perhaps your immigrant friends are different? Do tell…Meanwhile, you mix up arguments about cost with arguments from principle in your paragraph above. The amount of public money given to the monarchy is minimal; and it arguably has huge returns to UK plc. But that is not the point if monarchy is wrong morally! As for “the insult to democracy of having an unelected figurehead”, I think I prefer an unelected, powerless, hereditary head of state to an elected one because of the continuity, because republican governance does not generally inspire confidence, because constitutional monarchies are stable, free and less corrupt, and because we find ourselves with one…Which is not to say that there are not good arguments for a republican polity…

And you said:

“2 passionate hatred of the monarchy is more a psychological than a political problem – vehement republicans are at war with themselves, and their politics is a form of therapy.”

That’s extremely childish: “people who disagree with me are mental! Ergo I’m right!”. If you want people to address your points, try to be a little more mature and a whole heap less insulting. And try to actually HAVE a point, rather than just a straw man mixed with an ad hom.

But what I said @ 73 was:
“A long, painful, 1000-year, evolutionary process has resulted in the British Constitutional Monarchy. For all its faults, it is part of who we all are, as a people; and, as such, to hate it (as opposed to questioning it, as we live in a questioning, critical culture) is, in part, to self-hate. This partly explains the emotional vehemence among some extreme republicans for the abolition of the monarchy: they are at war with themselves, and their politics is a form of therapy.”

Nothing in the above logically implies:

people who disagree with me are mental! Ergo I’m right!

You really must stop caricaturing your opponents, CG! It leads you into committing the straw man fallacy. (Please study a logic primer.) I was simply concerned with vehement republicans — and my point applies, mutatis mutandis, to vehement monarchists. (Basically, I don’t like fanatics.)

151. Chaise Guevara

@ 150 Paul llc

“What evidence do you require exactly?”

I didn’t ask for evidence. Frankly I think it’s such a vague claim that it would be impossible to gather solid evidence one way or another.

“My experience is that my immigrant friends rejoice in the monarchy and fear nationalist parties. Perhaps your immigrant friends are different? Do tell…”

They are, but we’re sliding off-topic. Even if true, the idea that most immigrants like or claim to like the monarchy does not mean said monarchy unites us as a country.

“Meanwhile, you mix up arguments about cost with arguments from principle in your paragraph above. The amount of public money given to the monarchy is minimal; and it arguably has huge returns to UK plc. But that is not the point if monarchy is wrong morally!”

It might help decide whether the monarchy, in toto, is wrong morally. For example, I might be prepared to put up with an unelected figurehead if it brought in billions to be spent on social justice. But I don’t think it does.

“As for “the insult to democracy of having an unelected figurehead”, I think I prefer an unelected, powerless, hereditary head of state to an elected one because of the continuity, because republican governance does not generally inspire confidence”

Again, sweeping statements about monarchy being better than a republican alternative (“unifies”, “inspires confidence”)… what do these things actually mean, and what are your bases for believing them?

“because constitutional monarchies are stable, free and less corrupt”

Even if true, is there reason to believe that becoming a republic would in itself make a country poorer on these metrics? Correlation =/= cause.

“and because we find ourselves with one”

Huh? That sounds to me like you’re defending the status quo on the basis that it’s the status quo, which is obviously circular. If not, can you rephrase?

“But what I said @ 73 was”

…I replied to a different post, at which you appeared to be summarising 73.

“A long, painful, 1000-year, evolutionary process has resulted in the British Constitutional Monarchy.”

So what?

“For all its faults, it is part of who we all are, as a people; and, as such, to hate it (as opposed to questioning it, as we live in a questioning, critical culture) is, in part, to self-hate.”

No it isn’t, because I am not the monarchy, nor am I Britain. I can hate things about Britain without hating either Britain or myself.

“This partly explains the emotional vehemence among some extreme republicans for the abolition of the monarchy: they are at war with themselves, and their politics is a form of therapy.”

Back to your playground ad hom.

“Nothing in the above logically implies:

people who disagree with me are mental! Ergo I’m right!”

You really must stop caricaturing your opponents, CG! It leads you into committing the straw man fallacy.”

Um, you really must not accuse me of caricuturing one of your posts by comparing it to a totally different post. And while it is admittedly a caricature, it’s still not a straw man (basically I’m saying what you said but in a way that mocks your stance, rather than misrepresenting your stance to allow me to attack a different position).

“(Please study a logic primer.) ”

LMFAO! A patronising request to study a logic primer to me (who raised the straw man concept in the first place) from you (who thinks hating part of British history makes one guilty of self-hate). Physician, heal thyself.

“I was simply concerned with vehement republicans — and my point applies, mutatis mutandis, to vehement monarchists. (Basically, I don’t like fanatics.)”

So? You’re still trying to make out that people who disagree with you (in this case vehement people) have psychological problems.

152. Peter Gartshore

150. ‘it is part of who we all are, as a people’
Presumamably you support slavery since this was part of British Society for hundreds of years and indeed provide a strong economic stream for our Country. And by the way, the abolition of slavery came about not with some sort of critical navel gazing but black slaves in Africa and the Carribean organising and withdrawing their labour so making the trade of slavery untimately unprofitable.

‘I think I prefer an unelected, powerless, hereditary head of state’
You make a great issue on the logic of an argument.
Not only is this factually untrue within our Constitution and the enormous wealth held by Monarchy, but power is also defined by influence. I don’t know about you but I have watched the television and radio this week and (in my case) appalled by the wall to wall propoganda pumped out by the BBC in particular and other broadcasters in general. If, as the BBC claim that ‘the whole World will be watching this event’ then they clearly have ‘influence’. If as you say they have no influence and you were the only viewer of this event please let me know and I will hold a street party to celebrate!

153. Billy Bob Huggie Bear

I HATE YOU FUCKING LOUSY, TRAITOROUS, SELF-LOATHING, LEFT, COMMUNIST, ISLAMIST FANBOY SCUM.

WHAT A GREAT DAY THIS WAS FOR SO MANY PEOPLE TO COME TOGETHER (OF ALL SKIN COLOURS) AND JUST CELEBRATE BEING BRITISH AND TO BE PART OF THE FINEST HISTORIC CULTURE IN THE WORLD.

ISLAMIST CUNTS AND STALIN COCK SUCKERS CAN GET ON A PAANE AND LEAVE!

WE’RE SICK TO DEATH OF YOU ALL ANYWAY.

154. Billy Bob Huggie Bear

I HATE YOU FUCKING LOUSY, TRAITOROUS, SELF-LOATHING, LEFT, COMMUNIST, ISLAMIST FANBOY SCUM.

WHAT A GREAT DAY THIS WAS FOR SO MANY PEOPLE TO COME TOGETHER (OF ALL SKIN COLOURS) AND JUST CELEBRATE BEING BRITISH AND TO BE PART OF THE FINEST HISTORIC CULTURE IN THE WORLD.

ISLAMIST CUNTS AND STALIN COCK SUCKERS CAN GET ON A PLANE AND LEAVE!

WE’RE SICK TO DEATH OF YOU ALL ANYWAY.

155. Billy Bob Huggie Bear

I HATE YOU FUCKING LOUSY, TRAITOROUS, SELF-LOATHING, LEFTY, COMMUNIST, ISLAMIST FANBOY SCUM.

WHAT A GREAT DAY THIS WAS FOR SO MANY PEOPLE TO COME TOGETHER (OF ALL SKIN COLOURS) AND JUST CELEBRATE BEING BRITISH AND TO BE PART OF THE FINEST HISTORIC CULTURE IN THE WORLD.

ISLAMIST CUNTS AND STALIN COCK SUCKERS CAN GET ON A PAANE AND LEAVE!

WE’RE SICK TO DEATH OF YOU ALL ANYWAY.

156. Billy Bob Huggie Bear

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8475290/Islamist-extremism-so-did-we-cure-the-problem.html

There is a reason why Britain, in the words of one French official, is and remains the “Pakistan of the West”, an incubator, entrepot and exporter of Islamic radicalism.

There is a reason why, according to MI6, we face a “unique” threat from home-grown extremists.

There is a reason why Britain is the only country in the Western world to have been subjected to a successful suicide terror attack by its own citizens.

These things have happened, in part, because the last government, and Britain’s security establishment, got its policy just about as wrong as it was possible to get.
We were harsh where we should have been liberal – and liberal where we should have been harsh.

157. Galen10

Are the moderators on this site asleep, or is it just that they don’t care about the trolls like Bille Bob above?


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