Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Equality be damned

This is the second attempt at continuing the debate with Lewis Holden (President of The Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand). In the way of all reconstructed posts, this has not the oratorical fire of the last one, but it will have to do.

Lewis's response to my last post kindly skates over a number of incoherencies and leaps in logic; the inevitable result of choosing too wide a scope and too short a space. I will try and fill in what I meant over the next few weeks. Let us begin with Mr. Holden's notion of "equality":

Republicans believe in political equality, and so reject the notion that the Crown, or any individual who gains their political office by genetic lottery, personifies New Zealand. But a nation is not an individual; republicans view all citizens as politically equal. Indeed, this is really the view of the wider New Zealand community - why else does a good number of New Zealanders bemoan the Maori seats? Political equality, that's why.
There are two forms of legitimate equality, which spring from the intrinsic dignity of all human beings. One is equality before a just Magistrate, and the other is the Last Judgment, where Emperor and beggar will alike give account to the Almighty. We are all under the law, not excepting Elizabeth Windsor, who, as a private person, pays taxes, and is subject to the law. Of course, as she is Elizabeth Regina, she also administers the law and collects the taxes; such are the prerogatives of Princes, who have two bodies, a private body and act as head of the body politic. As Bernard Woolley would say, it's all a matter of hats, Minister.

The Maori seats are targeted for abolition by some because they are viewed as conferring special privileges on one section of the population on the basis of their race, that is, they breach the principle of equality under the law, by dragging in race to the political equation. National calls this, rather crudely, "One law for all" for that reason. It is simply a question of whether race should be a determining factor in the allocation of political clout.

There is a flat difference between this sort of legal equality, and the social equality of Mr. Holden, which objects to hierarchies in principle.

The impulse of Republicanism is a levelling impulse, one which rejects being subject to anything, rejects what Hayek calls (disparagingly) "traditional frames of meaning". Hence the rallying cry of El Presidente and his cohorts: "Citizens, not subjects", which decorates the masthead of the Holden Republic at intervals. Mr. Holden has obviously not heard of "the rights of free subjects" so insisted upon by our ancestors, and thinks "citizen" and "subject" contradictory. What do they teach them in these schools?

Republicanism is another example of what C. S. Lewis called "pseudo-democracy", which says "I'm as good as you" and "what right have you got to tell me what to do?" and "I'll soon show you!" It's an attractive impulse. "Let us break their cords asunder, and cast aside their yokes from us".

But despite the ideology of Mr. Holden, a desire for reverence, for hierarchy, is deep in the human psyche. Hierarchies are found in every human and animal society. Talents and strengths are not equal. It is inevitable that some will rise above others, and Mr. Holden would probably not disagree that they should. After all, even the Communist League are Blairites now. I am not talking about the sort of meritocracy that we all agree upon. I am talking about the sort of natural hierarchy which makes people admire, reverence, respect, adhere, and love, sometimes very ordinary people, because of what they represent, what they are. Not because they are useful, or beautiful, or particularly talented, but because they are themselves.

It is natural to love our parents, whether they are talented and useful or not, and we continue to do so, even after we outgrow them. It is natural to respect our teachers, and our priests, even if they are flawed. It was a beautiful thing watching those Roman Catholics who knelt to the late Holy Father, even when he was so weak he had to be carried. It is beautiful to watch soldiers salute their Queen, or Scouts salute their flag, because by them we are reminded that we are part of some greater whole, part of a natural and organic order. How absurd to shoe-horn equality between a mother and her child, or a husband and his wife. How joyless is it for a family, for a church, for a society, to always be insisting upon equality! There is no insistence on equality in relationships like these. Even when it exists, it is irrelevant. There is only love, and service, and reverence, and a glad joining together in a greater whole.

These might be "useless friperies" to Mr. Holden. Thank God, I do not live in the starched and scrubbed world which calls a woman merely an animal, a bishop merely a man, or the Sovereign merely an anachronistic add-on.

Troilus and Cressida puts it "Shake degree, and Strength will rule imbecility... rude son will strike his father dead". The conventions which remind us we are not atomised robots, but holisitc human beings, are precious to us. Lewis chafes that a "genetic accident" puts the Queen above him. But these hierarchies, these solidarities which we do not choose, are the most important of all. For by them we are reminded that there are things above equality, some things more important than insisting on autonomy. There is what C. S. Lewis calls "a unity of place", a uniting influence which is precious precisely because it transcends talent and merit and use, and it is simply human. Mr. Holden does not recognise this. I challenge him to watch the funeral of Her Majesty the Queen Mother, and he will see it.

The choice is not, as Mr. Holden seems to think, between hierarchy and an egalitarian society. Let him pipe down with his panagerics on Our Better Britain and its egalitarian tradition. It is simply a choice of hierarchies. If we are denied our Queen, and taught not to honour our past, we will have film stars, and gansta rappers. We will gush over Britney Spears, and palpitate over JFK Junior. A "genetic accident" makes him an idol, from a famous family of psuedo royalty, but does Mr. Holden complain? We will invent myth about cherry trees and George Washington, we'll faint at the feet of Matthew Ridge and Nicki Watson, we'll reverence and construct new hierarchies to replace the old, and some new and worse oligarchy will usurp our allegiance. As Gilray put it, he who wishes to shake the crown is already measuring it for his own head.

So which will you have? The hierarchy based upon false and transitory values, or the one which identifies a simple human truth, and is a product of the transcendent?

I say "Equality be damned". I serve a God whose Service is perfect freedom, and I kneel to a Queen who commands allegiance. I am confident enough, as a free subject, not to be blathering about equality.

Let us serve God, honour Her Majesty our Queen, and have done with it.

Cross Posted at The Kiwi Examiner

32 comments:

BaronVonServers said...

I love this posting!

May I copy it and repost it on our web site?

James said...

Beautiful words! - able to capture the emotional side of monarchy, our monarchy, I should specify, in a way I could never properly articulate.

Of course, focusing on the more pragmatic, as I usually do, I can add that Mr. Holden demonstrates a belief in fantasy when he talks about this thing called "political equality." I think anyone not trying to hijack the word "equality" in the name of republicanism would see that politics is fundamentally opposed to equality - there can be no politics without contest, and there can be no contest amongst absolute equals. And, of course, in a contest, at least a political one, there is always a winner and a loser, between whom there is clearly a hierarchy established - which is where, I suppose, I link back to the subject of Swift's blog entry.

The point that our sovereign is chosen not through political contest is precisely why the office is non-partisan, unbiased, and why a monarch can say "my people" more honestly than a president. And if Mr. Holden thinks a president can be chosen without some sort of political contest (isn't any vote such a thing?), then he's dreaming.

James said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James said...

Sorry for the double post! A glitch in the internet connection. I hope one can be deleted...

J.J. said...

I don't think I've ever read a post that says so much while saying so little. The point, once again, more or less just boils down to "the monarchy is magical and I like it."

I don't know how one can reasonably call this a "debate" since the monarchist side seems to not only reject rational logic, but actively embrace the irrational. And they seem to deeply resent even having to do THAT.

This is a nice blog for celebrating white pride and Anglophilia, but as a political discourse on an important discussion it is sadly lacking.

Beaverbrook said...

I don't know about the monopoly that the other side has in the way of rational purity and restrained emotions, but I do know its takes a considerable measure of Irish or republican hate to reduce a thousand years of cultural history into little more than "white pride". There's political discourse for you. Nothing sadly lacking about that crude synthesis at all, is there.

Christ, what part of the reasoning above did you not understand? Monarchy represents the triumph of nature over political manoeuvre, over social and financial interests, which is a hell of a lot closer to human equality than the alternative. You may not like that reality, but it is a valid point of debate.

James said...

How well JJ has demonstrated the republican ability to close their eyes to anything that does not conform to their definition of what is "logical" and what is not.

Of course, it's pretty clear that to them republicanism is infallibly logical (though, how they can say this while hypocritically pushing illogical notions like "political equality" is beyond me) while monarchism is all whim and fancy. But, in the end, their slavish devotion to using equality, freedom, etc., as simple catchphrases (thin window-dressing to advertise the cause, so to speak) leaves them with no substantive argument against the points that not only are republics themselves dependent on inequality to operate, but to transform from a monarchy into a republic is simply replacing one elitism (based more on human and familial notions) with one based on selfish aspiration and competition.

Choosing which one of those two options sits better with the populace will never be a matter of simple, unemotional logic.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as "political equality" when you are talking about heirarchy. You either look up to a Queen, or you look up to the office of a president. To go from monarchy to republic, all you are adding is a dimension of political opportunity, that was otherwise not there before.

Tweedsmuir

Kenneth Gardner said...

I'd like to say I appreciate posts like this. They're food for thought. I'm a republican living in the U.S. (though not a Republican). It's not often that I find a formidable argument from other political views, and I appreciate them when they come.

I just thought I'd peep in and say that as a republican. Not all of us are unable to recognize when others have strong arguments.

Swift said...

JJ

1. Your definition of reason is stuffed and overly narrow. I deliberately began with a few posts like this to expose the fact.

2. There are any number of pragmatic cases for the Monarchy, and I'll exegete Disraeli's one of these days.

3. Pride in our common-wealth of heritage has zilch to do with white pride. It embraces all races and creeds. India's Anglophilia is an example, but by no means the only one.

4. We're proud of our long and honourable history, history which includes all creeds, races, colours and political persuasions. Indeed, that diversity in union is one of the reasons we are proud. Pride in culture and heritage is nothing to be ashamed of, whether it is Bangladeshi Independence Day or Victoria Day. I suggest you get over it.

Neil Welton said...

Well, I am deeply offended by the quite irrational and unmagical remarks of JJ.

A good number of monarchists that I know come from ethnic minorities. Are they guilty of "white pride" too? Is this an example of your rational logic in action, JJ?

So what if the Monarchy is magical to those who are fortunate enough to gaze upon it and who are mature enough to appreciate it and to love it. Much better than a cold, calculating and sneering politician whose only magic is in the black arts - lies, corruption and deceit.

J.J. said...

Some responses:

1) Monarchists often pay a lot of lip service to the fact that their Commonwealth/empire contains "all creeds, races, colours" but the fact remains that in practice they are profoundly disinterested in anything that occurs outside of the white realms. Just look at the crest at the top of this very blog. United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand in big font, all the lesser brown countries in a smaller font. Yes yes, they’re in historical order, I know, but this blog never misses an opportunity to place those three at the top of the imperial hierarchy- grossly exaggerating the relevance of tiny New Zealand (a country smaller than Papua New Guinea and the collective Caribbean) in the process, by the way.

2) Likewise, I don't think I've ever seen this blog offer any serious attempt to cover any of the politics, history, anniversaries, or cultures of any countries other than the white dominions. And even in the cases of the “big four” the focus is always exclusively on the most Anglocentric aspects of said countries, Empire this-or-that, loyalist such-and-such. What about the cultures and traditions of the non Ethnically-British who occupy such countries as well? Immigrants, natives, etc are/have been just as much a driving force in the evolution and society of these nations. To focus exclusively on the history of the Empire as the history of the white men with top hats does, in fact, suggest an unhealthy (though however benign) level of bigotry.

3) Beaverbrook’s use of the Lord’s name in vain notwithstanding, I will admit yes, I did not “understand” the sweet flowery nothings posted above. I just re-read it again now and I still do not get it. From what I can tell, the main thesis is basically this: “Monarchy is good because it’s based on hierarchy, and we all have an irrational ‘reverence’ for the concept of hierarchy, even when those who occupy our positions of adoration are unqualified idiots.” I think this is a very subjective point to make. I believe in today’s day and age more of us believe in the universal application of meritocracy in all walks of life, believing no institution or individual to be above criticism or re-examination simply because of the position or status held. Certainly parents, children, priests, soldiers, and even entire nations should not be afforded blind allegiance in all circumstances, and I would certainly hope we can all think of examples in which a subversion of allegiance to such figures would be justified. Love and loyalty can be beautiful things indeed, but I believe in almost all cases the love we hold for a “superior” stems from a sort of rational admiration- a combination of positive personal experiences, envy, and respect for success that all stem from measurable, concrete occurrences. Even monarchists admire the Queen more on the basis of who she is as a person- a kind, polite, dignified, grandmotherly, loving matriarch- than the political/historic office she holds. If say, the Queen was some drunken, foul-mouthed, child-beating adulteress I doubt even monarchists would fall over each other to offer her praise and allegiance, despite her status in the mythical hierarchy.

Beaverbrook said...

It would appear our preening malcontent has a racial bone to pick, even to the extent of measuring our font size. Look at the United Kingdom in big bold capital letters, and poor tiny Tuvalu reduced to an embarrassing subscript. Are you for real, "white realms"?? Have you not been to London, Toronto, Vancouver or Sydney? I'd really like to debate you, but if race baiting is your pleasure, then kindly go fishing somewhere else. Humbug!

Scott said...

Superb, Swift, genuinely superb. And correct in every regard. Thank God in these times of terrible politicians that we still have a head of state above it all. I can't believe people would honestly prefer the ilk of M. Chirac to the House of Windsor.

Scott said...

Superb, Swift, genuinely superb. And correct in every regard. Thank God in these times of terrible politicians that we still have a head of state above it all. I can't believe people would honestly prefer the ilk of M. Chirac to the House of Windsor.

Neil Welton said...

Time to stop digging, JJ? Your comments are very offensive to me as a monarchist. Here is why -

1. Monarchists are "profoundly disinterested in anything that occurs outside of the white realms". Isn't this a bit sweeping? Just the other day in my latest entry here I mentioned Hong Kong, South Korea, Romania and the Lebanon. Some of these are not even monarchies!

2. Why should this blog cover "any of the politics, history, anniversaries, or cultures of any countries"? This blog is supportive of monarchy and the British Monarchy in particular. If you want to establish your own blog about China or Iran - be our guest. Similarly if you want a blog about the "cultures and traditions of the non ethnically-British" then go ahead and set up a dedicated blog yourself. I will be the first to salute your passion and I'm sure your efforts will be admired and appreciated by us and others. Forgive me though if I choose to celebrate our collective loyalty and the history of our Empire via this blog. If this great celebration is nothing more than "benign bigotry", then please explain your peculiar reasoning to my racially diverse friends.

3. "Monarchy is good because it’s based on hierarchy, and we all have an irrational ‘reverence’ for the concept of hierarchy, even when those who occupy our positions of adoration are unqualified idiots." Considering that the mystery and majesty of birth is the qualification and that each Monarch is educated and trained not to be an idiot, I fail to see the point you are trying to make. Meritocracy is all well and good, even if it is based upon "envy", but be warned - you will only end up with President Bush, President Thatcher or President Blair as the reward for your fake new god.

I agree with you JJ that "no institution or individual should be above criticism or re-examination simply because of the position or status held". Nobody has suggested otherwise. Yet surely there is one individual or institution who is above criticism - God. The same God who creates and brings forth a baby Prince. Yet I feel you would judge yourself fit to criticise even Him. Attack He who made you and breathed life into you too.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Like Mr. Gardner, I am in the U.S. My father's side is English, but our family has been in the U.S. for 250 years. I love reading your blog; it makes me wish I was a subject of Her Majesty, the Queen. Still, I can keep her in my prayers.

God Bless,
Mrs. L

J.J. said...

Neil,

Please do not feign ignorance. You know exactly what I was talking about when I made reference to "the politics, history, anniversaries, or cultures" or other countries. I specifically meant the histories, etc, of those Commonwealth nations and Commonwealth realms which are not over 80% ethnically white.

Jamaica is a country enormously rich in culture and history, yet I don't believe I have ever seen mention of it on this blog. Ditto for the other nations of the Caribbean, Papua New Guinea, Belize, and so on. All monarchies, all conspicuously ignored. As I said before, the history of the empire and culture of the Empire is not exclusively the history and culture of white men in top hats, yet this is the impression one gets from reading this blog. I don't honestly believe any of you are racists, but I do think one can still be guilty of a sort of "racism by omission," especially when it is so blatant. Imagine any other site that was nominally dedicated to covering the affairs of an organization that had at least a 40% minority population. And imagine that same site focused exclusively on the affairs of the white majority, to the point where one was barely aware the significant minority population even existed. What kind of conclusions would be drawn?

As far as you latter points go, I am reminded of Tony Blair's line in the wonderful film "The Queen"- let's leave God out of this, shall we?

Neil Welton said...

Let me get this right. You want to debate monarchy but you also want to ignore "the guiding principle" and the very basis of its foundation - God. I'm not surprised you're a cartoonist. For surely cartoonists do what cartoonists have always done. Simplify, stereotype and then ridicule. Cheap shots, little of substance - as your posts demonstrate. For "racism by omission" is no better than "history by omission" - something you'd do by scrapping the Crown.

J.J. said...

I'm more interested in hearing a response to some of the specific points I raised, and don't want to get side-tracked on some discussion about God that you'd rather have.

I am to infer you still strongly believe in the divine right of kings, which is your right. But if this is not really a sensible grounds for debate, in my mind. If your entire root of support for the monarchy is based on presuming to understand God's will... then that is well beyond the realm of rational, political discourse and certainly beyond my will to contest.

adams said...

JJ

The following is part of an earlier post on this blog defending the idea that a hereditary head of state can be part of a rational political ststem. See if this makes you happier.

"As a republican, a defender of mixed and balanced government, I believe that there are several rational arguments to be made in favor of a constitutionally limited monarchy. I believe that when (to steal a line) in the course of human events a group of people must frame a government, there are reasons to consider a limited monarch.

First a hereditary head of state keeps the top job out of the hands of politicians. No mater the nobility of their intentions, all politicians want power. It is questionable weather it is a good idea to give the largest amount of state power and the prestige of Head of State to the same person and one who has fought hard to get it.

Second as you have noted, there is a definite (presumably natural) inequality among people. As many political observers have noticed, an aristocracy, hereditary or natural, is the repository of a great deal of talent and wisdom the tapping of which is in the interests of the republic, but an aristocracy is also the reservoir of a great deal of ambition which can provoke serious and destructive rivalry. [An example of the later is the last presidential election where two members of the American aristocracy (such as it is) squared off against each other. Both men are descended from the early British settlers and are something like 14th cousins twice removed.] A monarch lessens this rivalry because the top spot is filled.

Third the Monarch can serve as check on the elected legislature and executive. Just because the majority wants something it does not always follow that they should get it. Further elected legislators and executive officers do not always act in their constituent’s interests. Powers such as: a limited veto, the chairmanship of a committee to nominate judges, and the presidency of the upper house of the legislature can be safely vested in a hereditary head of state.

Fourth, a hereditary head of State is trained from birth to fulfill this roll. This obviously has many advantages over having a Head of State who is trained to win elections.

Fifth, a hereditary head of state has the advantage of a life term of office to gather a huge amount of experience. The difference in experience between say President Ronald Reagan President 1980-1988 and H.M. Elisabeth II (1952-to the present) is simply incalculable. Her reign has already spanned 10 presidencies and if her mom is any indication it will span at least four more. She knows everyone of importance. A monarch is able to use this experience to advise the elected head of government.

Sixth, a Hereditary Head of State has a longer term view of the interests of the nation than an elected politician. Though an elected head of state may have the best of intentions for the long run health of the nation, he has no interest beyond his term of office. A Hereditary Head of State has an interest not only in the nation prospering during his or her reign, but for the reigns of his or her children and grand children.

Seventh, in countries where monarchism is already established, it’s a tradition. The idea that a Hereditary Head of State is old fashioned is just a way of saying it is traditional. The only justification for changing a tradition is that it is a positive evil or that it obstructs a positive good. Changing the form of government because it is unstylish is silly. Habits are a powerful force in everything and politics is no exception. Why does the loser of an election accept the results? Because that is what we (democratic peoples) do.

Eighth, is a closely allied reason to the forgoing, sentiment. People feel a sentimental attraction to the Royal Family, because they are a family. They are people and the public knows about them, their triumphs and their foibles. The late Queen Mum is an example of the power of sentiment. Her death was front page news even here in the states. I am one of many Americans who were saddened by her death. Who can forget how she and her husband helped inspire the British People in freedom’s darkest hour. Some might argue that sentiment is no basis for a political system, but sentiment is a powerful political force. The U.S. veneration of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence is a similar phenomena.

Some may think it strange for a republican (and a libertarian one at that) to write a defense of the idea of a Hereditary Head of State, which leads me to the last point I want make, the United Kingdom is a republic. It has been a republic for several hundred years. A republic, res publica, the public thing, is a government not controlled solely by the one, the few, or the many. It is not a monarchy, an aristocracy, or a democracy, but a blend of all three. This has described Britain since magna carta.

If it were true that monarchism could only be defended by reference to some realm of experience beyond rational human understanding than I would be an anti monarchist. Because this is far from the case, I hold that properly constrained (as all government must be constrained) a monarch can be part of a rational system of government.

Neil Welton said...

Quite - why not answer all that as well, JJ? For I have already more than adequately responded to all the original points you made. It would appear that it is you who is refusing to properly engage with any of your original arguments on this blog entry. What was it you said earlier? This blog is nothing more than "a nice blog for celebrating white pride and Anglophilia" and not at all a blog for "political discourse on an important discussion". It would appear you have now been proven wrong - on both counts. To suggest otherwise is surely blog "history by omission".

Swift said...

JJ

First, you moan because we're exaggerating the importance of little New Zealand, then moan because we don't pay enough attention to little countries like the Grenadines. Be consistent, please.

Second, the realms of Canada, Australia, the UK and New Zealand have the highest number of English speaking people. They also happen to be the most technologically literate. It makes sense, therefore, that the majority on a blog in English would be from those countries. To sustain your accusation of racism, you would have to demonstrate that we are somehow prejudiced against Tuvalu or PNG, something which is not true. I do not speak for my Lord Beaverbrook, but I dare say we would all be delighted to hear from any Belizians, or from the Falkland Islands, or the British Indian Ocean Territory. But we simply haven't had anyone from Saint Kitts or Nevis around lately to ask them what they think.

It is only the race-conscious who go about measuring font size and making assumptions, JJ. Likewise, what makes you think we are all white? Did you ask? In my immediate family, I have Maori and Pacific Islanders, all of whom are strong supporters of the Queen.

This blog is focused upon our common heritage, and that heritage is, in large part, European, albeit adapted for our diverse local conditions. It is that basic commonality we are celebrating. On individual blogs, you will find, I am sure, opinions upon local and indigenous issues. Your question is like coming to the Scots Festival and asking why there are so many kilts, and can't we see what everyone wears at home. It's nonsensical.

J.J. said...

Well I'm at least happy to hear an open admission that this site is focused on "European heritage." That's fine and dandy, buy my argument was that it's rather superficial and unrepresentative for any blog that claims to be pre-occupied with the affairs of the Imperial Commonwealth to focus exclusively on the four European-dominated realms at the expense of all others. Or even to exclusively focus on the culture and traditions of ethnically European subjects within the "big four" themselves. It amounts to a racial-centric focus in practice, since, as has been previously noted, the "big four" are hardly racially homogeneous states in the first place.

Even from these replies I sense a great deal of smug indifference to the non-white realms, as if they are just trivial decorations tacked onto the Queen's crown for some exotic flavor. It's likewise the easiest thing in the world to simply blame a lack of coverage on the other realms as a byproduct of the fact that you have no authors from said realms. I strongly doubt your Kiwi authors are oblivious about the affairs of the United Kingdom, or your Canadian authors oblivious to what's going on in Australia. It's a conscious choice to ignore the rest of the Commonwealth.

And it's certainly does no service to the imperial history you supposedly strive to honor. Romantic coverage of the foreign and unfamiliar have always been a key competent of the British imperial experience. Celebrating the diversity and color of the monarch's varied subjects and nations. That Hitchens article about Toryism was great, and I am forced to make a similar lament here- is this what passes for imperial pride in the 21st Century?

Neil Welton said...

Buzz. What! Still here, JJ? Buzz. Buzz off.

Carl Sommerfeld said...

Okay, I agree with JJ, especially on the 'subtle rascism' point. I mean what is wrong with you people? You're obviously Anglophiles (yet for some reason I see nothing about anything English on this site other then the monarchy)...why not just come out and say it on your website instead of having all this crap about "Commenwealth realms"? I mean seriously...how many people in Papua New Guinea will ever meet the Queen in their lifetime? Maybe then you wouldn't be accused of being rascists. Past that...learn to type like normal people! Either you're all over the age of 75 or you somehow think it's the year 1907. I found it hard to read half of what you guys wrote because of the language. If you want to be taken seriously, communicate in a way that EVERYONE can understand...not just your little elitist club.
Second Point: Now I am all for traditional values and remembering our heritage (I live in the USA and am a proud republican party supporter and I think what the liberals want to do in both the USA and Europe is awful and a threat to our society and our values.) But frankly I don't understand how having a monarchy helps preserve those values at all. In fact all it does in my eyes is cost the taxpayers loads of money...but high taxes would make you liberals...and we all know what you think of them.

Neil Welton said...

"Cost the taxpayers loads of money." How much is that war in Iraq costing again and how much does it cost to keep your lovely president safe from the consequences of his own actions? Please do tell. Is this language easier for you to understand, dear American, or should I use just three words per sentence. Forgive me then if I find taking lectures on "costing the taxpayers" a bit hard to swallow. After all, your whole argument is based upon sand. For monarchists come from all works life - as the Conservatives, just like Liberals, have all failed. Failing "the people" as they all have now done. So be in fear, Republican. People have rumbled your fake god. Now do tell - what is the turnout at your presidential election?

Wellington said...

There is no evidence that the monarchy costs the taxpayer one net cent. It would seem more plausible to me that the monarchy is a tourist revenue generating cash cow for the government.

J.J. said...

Neil, honestly, is there anyone you won't insult? Your snide remarks and patronizing smugness is hardly becoming, and does very little for your argument. I'm sure you'll say that I'm just as bad, but I thought your side was supposed to be the "highbrow" one.

Also I'm increasingly captivated by your obvious left-wing leanings. I eagerly anticipate a lengthy article denouncing Lady Thatcher after she passes on.

Neil Welton said...

I just speak as I find JJ. I don't believe in pussy footing around or being "highbrow" or clever just because I can. I believe in speaking to the public directly and clearly in a language they will grasp and understand for the age they live in.

Everything I have said here is factual - that is why you haven't challenged a word of it and instead resorted to personal remarks. The first signs of a loser in a debate. For you play "the man" rather than "the ball" as you would do in your political games. Yet this tactic fails here because I am not personally standing for elected office. You are therefore forced to play "the ball". As everyone here has seen in these circumstances you are out of your intellectual depth. I'm therefore sorry if you find my intellectual certainty patronizing and smug. I feel it is your problem and one you need to address.

For I hold no brief for Left or Right. Some monarchists do, some monarchists don't. I don't. Instead I am a floating voter in a key marginal constituency. I decide who forms the Government. Far more important than being Left or Right. Indeed, I would suggest to you that it is very unwise to insult the intelligence and reasoning of floating voters. You will only pay for it at the ballot box. Thus my own view of Thatcher is based upon this more impartial viewpoint. For she had a rather mixed record in office. Some of it good, some of it bad. I would therefore not denounce her, nor would I praise her to high heaven and worship her. This is because I have not been politically indoctrinated. A subtle difference. Indeed, to read a more impartial, independent and balanced assessment of Margaret Thatcher's record in Britain just read this account: http://dragonsfire.welshblogs.co.uk/2007/01/

J.J. said...
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Neil Welton said...
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