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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

Monday, 16 July 2007

Laying Siege to the Queen

MEMBERS of Parliament will no longer have to swear allegiance to the Queen under constitutional reforms put forward by one of Gordon Brown’s closest advisers.

The blueprint, produced by the Prime Minister’s special adviser Michael Jacobs, would also turn the British into “citizens,” rather than “subjects,” and could even spell the end for our national anthem.

Downing Street last night distanced itself from the controversial ideas, saying there were no plans to adopt them. A spokesman said Mr Jacobs advised the Prime Minister on environmental issues rather than constitutional affairs. But critics pointed out that Mr Brown had already moved quickly to adopt key parts of the Jacobs plan, including ending the Royal Prerogative and having the Gov­ernment’s programme laid out by the Prime Minister in the Commons rather than the Queen at the annual state opening of Parliament.

Royal sources said the Queen was already alarmed by the pace of change under the Brown regime.

Continue reading Laying Seige to the Queen

32 comments:

Matt Bondy said...

Unbelievable.

Have you any faith and Cameron's Tories to stem the tide?

M

Matt Bondy said...

Something happened to the content above. Should read:

"Have you any faith in the Cameron Tories' ability to stem the tide?"

M

Kipling said...

Crypto-Republicans Everywhere!

Neil Welton said...

"Have you any faith in the Cameron Tories' ability to stem the tide?"

No.

Are you having a laugh Matt? David Cameron said he was altering The Royal Prerogatives five months ago. I thought Gordon Brown was pinching all his ideas.

Scott said...

I think it's pretty well over, re: constitutional monarchy. The power to dissolve and recall Parliament is to be arrogated to Parliament, too.

We will have a ritual monarchy. Not my kind of thing, but there you go; "the just balance between the republican and monarchical parts of our constitution" (Locke), is finished.

Beaverbrook said...

I don't even think it would be a ritual monarchy, for they would be dispensing with the rituals. No more speech from the throne (the government would deliver it), no more pledging allegiance to the Crown (citizens not subjects), no more dissolving parliament (the speaker would do that), perhaps not even the swearing in of a new government (do Minister's at least swear allegiance of the Crown, or would they dispense of that as well?). A less ceremonious and constitutionally useless monarchy. It is the wiping out of two-thirds of Parliament in favour of an unchecked, unicameral lower chamber.

Neil Welton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Perhaps what the UK needs is a written constitution to actually protect the monarchy from politicians - after all, it seems the UK may well be on the way to implementing in a matter of months what decades of Liberal governments in Canada have yet to fully achieve - an unchecked, unicameral lower chamber headed by a prime minister who now ministers only himself.

The Constitution Acts 1867 and 1982 may well make Canada the Monarchy's refuge from constitutional regicide in the United People's Republic of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Neil Welton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

Attacks on the monarchy are very suspect and signal a deterioration in national self-respect!
The proposed changes are not needed; they are not wanted and do not benefit Britain in any way.
The only possible reason for these changes is preparation for future subservience to an EU superstate.

Scott said...

It is the latest chapter in the long history of Parliament's boisterous power grab. At times it has been justified, and tempered by the patriotism of better men, but now it is unhinged, and there is no-one to stop it. At the same time, they cede huge powers to devolved Houses and the EU. I don't get it. Perhaps they realise that what little power is left is so small, they need to destroy any other competitors to its exercise. Can't sit about twiddling thumbs, now, can you?

As Beaverbrook notes, with the Lords reforms shoved through, this marks a constitutional decimation practically unprecedented in British history (certainly unprecedented in peace time, and at a time of no national or constitutional crisis).

It is astonishing, and rips asunder the careful work and love of centuries. Who would have thought this could happen in 1997? How soon is the oldest democracy on earth destroyed from the inside out!

Dundonald said...

While a written constitution seems to be an appealing instrument in controlling the excesses of our venal political class, one must surely recognise that the guardians of such a document would, in all likelihood, be the very same individuals who are pillaging our existing institutions.

In any event, the only written constitution the UK is likely to get is this one:

http://tinyurl.com/2ulbrf

Page 26, section 7 puts it quite succinctly: “National parliaments shall contribute actively to the good functioning of the Union”

After erecting Union Flags all over Whitehall, Gordon Brown will dutifully sign the treaty that this mandate requests at the forthcoming IGC (and he has declared no intention of holding a promised referendum). One wonders to whom exactly MPs will owe their allegiance once this document becomes law.

Benjamin said...

A written Constitution is not all that bad, as an Australian I would know. It ensured the Republicans didn't get their way in 1999.

However should Britian get a written Constitution it must be one like the Australia which relies heavily on Convention.

I wonder how many British Republicans would be shocked if they read the following section in a new UK Constitution.

The executive power of the United Kingdom is vested in the Queen and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the United Kingdom.

Dundonald said...

Indeed. However, the great written constitutions of the Anglosphere were born of another age, before the abandonment of deference and adherence to tradition. One can only imagine what a written constitution born of this age would look like; one germinated by lawyers and lobbyists—dressed with impenetrable jargon. In fact, one does not have to imagine what it would look like; one merely has to read the 300 pages of verbosity produced by Mssrs Giscard d'Estaing and friends.

One wonders how Britain’s declaration of independence will read. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, women, children, and persons of indeterminate gender are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator, whomever that may be, with certain unalienable rights for as long as those rights are deemed practicable; that among these are Life (where death is not a right), Liberty (except under the provisions of article IV, section 6, paragraph 4) and the pursuit of Happiness, although happiness will be provided for you.”

Beaverbrook said...

Better a written UK Constitution than an EU one, I say. However, as Dundonald indicated, it would have been preferable that this be done in a time when there was still respect - indeed reverence - for our constitutional monarchy. Canada's updated 1982 constitution demonstrates that this was still the case 25 years ago.

While Churchill would be aghast that England's ancient liberties might be further diminished by the assertions of a written constitution, I think he would be all for it given the apalling lack of deference to convention and institutions in this day and age.

Benjamin said...

I find that the Constitutions written for the Dominions all those years ago where good because they only cofified what was absolutely needed. Everything else was left to Convention.

Many Australians are shocked to find out that the Prime Minister, nor the Cabinet, are mentioned in the Constitution. Only the Governor-General, and the Federal Executive Council.

A written UK Constitution would be very interesting indeed, however for it to occur there would be a big debate over the House of Lords and many nansy-pansy, complainers of all different sorts will converge together and try and decided how to make it more 'democratic'. The end result is something not worth imagining.

acvacaaa said...

Yes this is right why on earth should we have to swear to the queen if we are republicans that is cruel blackmail. Swear to the nation fair enough. But why should we swear to a system we do not believe in that is evil. Have a bit of tolerance to those who dissagree with your views.

ben said...

Tolerance means I only have to accept your view, not like it nor respect it. Well thats what I've been taught anyway.

El Jefe Maximo said...

The British must get themselves free of Europe, or they will end as separate regions in the continental bureaucratic maw, run by the French, the Germans, and their pet Eurocrats. No room for the Queen there.

Little Black Sambo said...

Shoot the Government. That is the only way.

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