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

Friday, 2 November 2007

The House of Sod

The soddy houses of the wild and savage frontier are all gone now, except for one. I may be a traditional monarchist and a fervent defender of the House of Windsor, but I am no supporter of the overly powerful, overly priced and overly Princed House of Saud. We can be thankful that the Kingdom's 10,000 princes not all flew to Great Britain during the recent state visit, and kindly restricted their royal entourage to a meagre five jumbo jets, lest the number of planes embarrassingly exceed the number of Windsors available to greet each one on the official tarmac.

Above: Her Majesty photographed in the company of King "Sugar Daddy" Abdullah. Surprisingly, not a single member of the vast Saudi official entourage was a woman. Below: The Grand Old Duke in top hat and frock coat follows behind the absolutist monarch and beheader-in-chief on a review of the Welsh Guards during the Horse Guards Parade at Whitehall. The visit reflected the triumph of Western politics over Western principle.

Quote of the Year by a public official: "I just long for the day I wake up and find that the Saudi royal family are swinging from the lamp-posts and they've got a proper government that represents the people of Saudi Arabia." —Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, June 19, 2007, upon finally discovering the merits of the death penalty.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where is the Duke of Edinburgh's Foot In Mouth Syndrome when you want it, eh? The sheer scope for hillarious but diplomatically disastrous faux-pas with the Sa'udis in the Banqueting Hall just boggles the mind...

Cato

J.K. Baltzersen said...

I do not endorse the House of Saud. Nor do I endorse the Saudi Arabian system as such. There are reasons for why I live in the West and not Saudi Arabia.

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn would say that this is outside Christendom.

I regret the demise of monarch's power in the West. I am not comparing the Saudi monarchy to monarchies of old of the West. Nor am I suggesting "Lord Tweedsmuir" is.

We have seen what "transition" has brought both in the West and elsewhere. It is by no means a certainty that popular government in Saudi Arabia will be better than the present regime, which it seems the Mayor of London hopes for.

An American said...

Kudos to HRH for wearing a top hat! I can't recall having seen a modern wear one.

Neil Welton said...

Hello there American - welcome aboard.

As the resident in-house "style guru" at The Monarchist, I can't help but agree with you. First we had Princes William and Harry in their bowlers. Now we have the Duke in his top hat - yet this not be Ascot.

Mark my words all you fashionistas - for I be a leading British trend setter. By 2010 the streets of Britain will be like 1910 again. Come, come, mock me not. For it was me who first predicted the return of waistcoats, tank tops and carpet slippers. Who be laughing now?

Beaverbrook said...

I agree with J.K.B. I too favour strengthening the residual powers of the monarch

Neil Welton said...

Baltzers does make interesting points - I kid you not. His calm, measured and realistic assessment of the situation makes for most refreshing reading after the hysteria in the United Kingdom over recent days. Baltzers would surely make an excellent diplomat for his Sovereign.

Like Baltzers and Beavers I too agree with the strengthening of the powers of the Monarchy.

For surely those who are fortunate enough to gaze upon a Queen should know that they be subjects for real.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

Thank you, "Lord Beaverbrook" and Mr. Welton, for your support.

For those interested, I have previously commented on the Saudi Arabian monarchy here, in a response to this.

As for diplomacy, under the modern regime, if I were ever to make it to the ranks of diplomats, and if I then were to make my paleo views known – at least when on official business –, I would be sent out of office at express speed, rubber-stamped by His Majesty.

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

Hmmm!

Methinks you can seperate professional views from your own personal private views. Diplomats and politicians do it all the time. With great effect.

Please call me Neil. Welton is an English name. Using it too much could result in my Welsh home being blown up. :-)

Dundonald said...

For me, te highlight of this visit was the music the Grenadier Guards were playing on the King's arrival.

Priceless...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD38SQ8srXw

Anonymous said...

I am British, a monarchist and have lived in Saudi Arabia for just over nineteen years.

King Abdullah is generally liked here in the country and also is regarded as a reformer though as this is a deeply conservative country reform is slow. Slow reform is a lot more stable because the biggest fear they have is what happened to the Shah when he tried to 'westernise' the country too quickly. Saudi Arabia was a lot more liberal before the 1979 revolution.

All six of the Gulf countries (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman) are monarchies and all slowly starting down the road to democracy.

All though by no means perfect at all there is a lot to see for the oil money such as an excellent infrastructure, good economies, free education, health, etc.

The one advantage of powerful monarchies in the developing world is that they treat the running of the country almost like a family business so it is important for them not to mess it up for their future generations.

I know this is a huge generalisation and there are exceptions but if you compare the Gulf countries with say Nigeria where there is very little to show for the oil they export. Having talked to many Nigerians one of the problems with their republican system is that their leaders whether elected or there because of coup is that they know they are only in power for a short period of time and they want make as much money as they can before the next coup or election.

Neil Welton said...

Very interesting points Anonymous. I'd just like to say how much I appreciate your measured and realistic assessment. Don't often get that in the United Kingdom.

Yet, as you know full well, if you actually live in a country you have a much better understanding and knowledge than those who don't. Therefore, thank you for sharing that with us. For the hysteria in the United Kingdom during the recent visit was quite bizarre.

Like most public events organised by the Left - I think the majority were quite at a loss to fully understand it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comments Neil.

I often find it very frustrating about people's thoughts of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in general.

King Abdullah designed, for example, and put forward the Arab Peace Plan which would give full recognition, trading relations, etc to Israel by all the Arab countries in exchange for the land captured in 1967.

Another point with the monarchy here, and I think elsewhere in the area, is that any citizen can go to the King personally and tell him about a grievance or problem he has. The Sultan of Oman spends a few months a year driving around his country. Some years ago when visiting a very remote village where he set up a meeting tent he asked one of the villagers if there were any problems. The villager said he had a problem with his well. The sultan turned around to his minister and said 'Fix it'. Can you imagine anything like that happening in the west!

On another point would love to know if Ken Livingstone has similar thought towards Fidel Castro and having a government that represents the people of Cuba.

Neil Welton said...

Hee! Hee! I think I can guess what Ken Livingstone would say in reply.

If only our Prime Minister would turn around to the ministers and The Civil Service and say "Fix It!".

One can but dream.

Anyway, I can't resist...

...any tabloids in Saudi Arabia victimising the King? :-)

Younghusband said...

Her Majesty personally welcomed the ruler of a state that yesterday ordered a rape victim to be lashed 200 times. News on our site just gets more depressing...

J.K. Baltzersen said...

(Guardian article for reference.)

Her Majesty personally welcomed the ruler of a state that yesterday ordered a rape victim to be lashed 200 times. News on our site just gets more depressing...

Indeed true. Very true!

Saudi Arabia is not a showcase in this matter, and that is putting it very mildly indeed.

Of course, the question still stands whether Saudi Arabia will get better if the monarchy is replaced by a democratic republic or a figurehead monarchy.

Methinks not!

Krys said...

Apologies for this late comment to this topic, but I have only just found this website.

I do not think it is fair to judge the House of Saud so harshly. Whilst the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may not be a beacon of western liberalism and has some serious issues (particularly domestic abuse and the treatment of foreign workers) running Saudi Arabia is like juggling swords. It seems easy for someone watching to see "what should be done" but actually doing it is a different matter.

Saudi Arabia's problems lie in it's history. The House of Saud come to the rule the nation through an alliance with various other factions, some very fundamentalist. These factions are still present in society there now. King Abdullah could just decree that we will now do X Y and Z and not do A B and C any more. He has that power, and could use it. It would almost certainly cause a mostly peaceful and reasonably unified society to shatter back into the constituent factions from which it emerged, however.

Saudi Arabia may be "screwed up" but the region it is in is far more so. It's a credit to the House of Saud that they have held the country in one piece and kept it peaceful and prosperous. First of all you make sure your people are safe, then fed and housed. Only then can you address the rest. In the Middle East getting the first one done is hard enough.

There is a lot of work to be done, but I think we should give the House of Saud the benefit of the doubt here. After all, you don't intentionally screw up the inheritance of your own sons. I think they know that things need to be done, but carefully and with foresight, and as part of a gradual process that won’t strain the potential cracks in the nation. I doubt King Abdullah wants to create a nation that is just dying for a chance to rip his throat out any more than any sane person would. Only politicians get that option, they won't be there when it all hits the fan ;-)

And in either case, whether we agree or not, we were the hosts and were right to extend hospitality. To insult your own guests is most uncivilized.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

The late commenter makes some very good points.

We in the West tend to want to form the world in our image, either through brute force or with other means. This is what we call hard and soft Wilsonianism respectively. I do not recommend either.

I agree, as stated before, with "Sir Francis Younghusband" in his statement on the depressing character of the visit.

However, if the alternative is not having normal diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, it is far from certain that this alternative would be the right approach.

If state visits were declined, it is doubtful whether one could say there are normal diplomatic relations. If Her Britannic Majesty did not meet visiting foreign heads of state, one could most certainly say normal diplomatic relations are not reigning.

Thank you to our latecomer for shedding new light on the debate.

My monarch does not reside in Buckingham Palace, so I am an outsider in this issue in any case.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

Her Majesty personally welcomed the ruler of a state that yesterday ordered a rape victim to be lashed 200 times. News on our site just gets more depressing...

Apparently, that same ruler just issued a pardon.