Saturday, 18 August 2018

No Longer Taking Us For A Carriage Ride

I almost feel sorry for Princess Eugenie. The monarchy keeps sweet a lot of people who need to be kept sweet. But I am entirely at a loss as to why it has that effect on them, and it looks as if it is no longer doing so. 

Either the Queen or her equally revered father has signed off on every nationalisation, every aspect of the Welfare State, every retreat from Empire, every loosening of Commonwealth ties, every social liberalisation, every constitutional change, and every EU treaty. If they could not have done otherwise, then why bother having a monarchy? What is it for? 

Is it the job of a monarch, if not to acquire territory and subjects, then at least to hold them? If so, then George VI was by far the worst ever British monarch, and quite possibly the worst monarch that the world has ever seen. And is it the job of a British monarch to maintain a Protestant society and culture in the United Kingdom? If so, then no predecessor has ever begun to approach the abject failure of Elizabeth II, a failure so complete that no successor will ever be able to equal it. 

For all her undoubted personal piety, I am utterly baffled by the cult of the present Queen among Evangelical Protestants and among those who cleave to a more-or-less 1950s vision of Anglicanism, Presbyterianism or Methodism. What has either the monarchy or the Queen ever done for them? During the present reign, Britain has become history’s most secular country ever to have given up religion without the use of armed force, and the White British have become history’s most secular ethnic group, a trend that has been even more marked among those with Protestant backgrounds than it has been among us Catholics.

Look at the Windrush debate. With nine Commonwealth Realms in or on the Caribbean, a fat lot of good being the Queen’s loyal subject has done anyone there. Or look at much of the debate around the Brexit that I have always supported. If you wanted to preserve and restore a Christian culture in this country, then you would welcome very large numbers of immigrants from the Caribbean, from Africa, and from Eastern Europe. 

All non-ceremonial exercises of the Royal Prerogative, including Royal Assent, should be transferred to six, seven, eight or nine of nine Co-Presidents, with each of us voting for one candidate, and with the top nine elected to hold office for eight years. That would enfranchise those who inexplicably looked to the monarchy to protect them from social democracy, or from social liberalism, or from European federalism, or what have you. 

The Royal Family might relocate to the Canada of Justin Trudeau, who is their kind of politician in a way that neither Theresa May nor Jeremy Corbyn ever could be. But the monarchy could continue to exist in Britain, too. If it kept sweet the people who needed to be kept sweet. In a word, liberals.

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