Friday, April 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Ma'am: The Monarchy (redux)

Well, she's now 80. Everyone is making a fuss about it, the BBC is running specials all over the place, the book(s) of the week are a series of biographies, etc. As I've covered before, I'm a convert tot eh idea of a proper, ceremonial monarch.

The current fudge, where most of the powers of the Prime Minister are really Crown Prerogative powers, and no one is really sure what she can (or cannot) do is, well, messy. Still, at least our lot get the whole point of being Head of State, not Head of Government.

Defining (and limiting) the powers of the Executive as exercised by and on behalf of the Monarch has to be a central objective of constitutional reform. But this former republican is now utterly convinced that it is reform that is needed. Besides, Starkey thinks Blair is the modern Charles II.
who "never said a foolish thing and never did a wise one". For Starkey, Blair has, "the same slipperiness, the same duplicity, the same ability to tell utterly convincing lies".
It was Charles I that got his head chopped off. Maybe we could just chop Blair?

Still, let's not be cynical. Wait, she appointed him. She could fire him as well. Ma'am? Give the nation a gift on your birthday?


Anonymous said...

I like the idea of the head of state being elected by the democraticly elected house of lords from its members.


Biodun said...

I'm not sure if anyone has addressed this but I think the problem with the House of Lords is that it is split along party lines.

The job the HoL does best is scrutinizing a lot of the rubbish legislation that comes from the House of Commons.

I'd rather have neutral crossbenchers doing this, than ex-MPs who still have an axe to grind and donors with their own political agendas.

I have no problems with having a constitutional monarchy so long as the rules as to who governs are more flexible. Remove the anti-catholic/anti-female/anti-working-class-origins/anti-divorce bias. Put in a minimum age requirement, so we have time to see the character of the person develop, let the present monarch be able to choose who comes afterwards from a list of those in line to the throne... (more exciting if you ask me).

Let future monarchs be free to marry whoever they chose (within reason), so long as its all done with the dignity of the country (and by its proxy the crown) in mind.

That to me would be a good way of modernizing, not dumb ideas like "It's a Royal Knockout!".

chris said...

A dedicated and hard working 80 year is the entire system of checks and balances in our constitution. Depressing isn't it?

Tim Neale said...

Put the whole Royal family in a house and make then do dumb ass stunts then let us vote one out one at a time. You get one vote for ever £1 donated to a political party or polititian of your choice.

Whoever wins will be the next monarch.

gavin ayling said...

The Queen's power is effectively nil since 1992....