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

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Argument 1: God is a Monarchist

God Save The Queen. What, you thought He was a republican?

The Religious Sphere: The Crown as "Defender of the Faith"
Relevant Quote: "The character of Kings is sacred; their persons are inviolable; they are the anointed of the Lord, if not with sacred oil, at least by virtue of their office. Their power is broad - based upon the Will of God, and not on the shifting sands of the people's will. They will be spoken of with becoming reverence, instead of being in public estimation fitting butts for all foul tongues. It becomes a sacrilege to violate their persons, and every indignity offered to them in word or act, becomes an indignity offered to God Himself." - Archbishop John Healy
Related Concepts: Transcendence, Reverence, Divinity, Church, Mysticism, Mythology, Legend, Sacredness, Sanctity, Hierarchy, Glory, Splendour, Wonder, Awe.
Previous Posts: The Decline of Reverence; The Joy of Order; O Magnum Mysterium

Pillar2-Supernatural-GodCreates-Man-Sistine-ChapelWE HAVE BEEN COMMANDED BY DEAR BOLINGBROKE to come up with a "modern" (gasp! horror!) set of arguments in support of our Crown and collective Queen, so that fence sitters, banal ignoramuses, preening malcontents, confused loyalists, and republicans of goodwill will know where we stand on the issue of preserving our ancient, glorious and noble monarchy. (The haters, wreckers, levellers and other disturbers of natural hierarchy we will write off, for no amount of rational argument will convince them).

Bolingbroke has ably dispensed with seven of the non-arguments, which at any rate shine light on the shallowness of modern reasoning and the depth of today's materialism when so-called royalists feel the need to defend the Crown on the grounds of the revenue it brings in from tourism! If that is the primary importance, then I suggest we dump it as soon as humanly possible, for we have completely lost sight of its transcendent value.

There is emphatic worth in keeping alive in this obtuse age something higher than ourselves. When we invoke the highest of high temple arguments, that God is a monarchist, we are really arguing in favour of the transcendent, impersonal and mythological nature of monarchy. Monarchy, after all, was not designed by man, it has no founding fathers, no articles of union, no declaration of rights. Monarchy is a natural and organic form of government, it is not an innovative or artificial construct, it is not a "system" of government. Kingdoms are not fed to us in predigested chunks of reason, for all of their obscure and inaccessible mysticism they are quite readily and intuitively understood - "super-rational", if you like, higher than reason - because they are part of our genetic make-up, part of our DNA. Conceived by the natural order, ancient monarchy derives its beginnings from the patriarchical family, that other stubborn fact and force of Mother Nature. Indeed, it is no accident that the components of the nuclear family - father, mother and obedient children - precisely mirror antiquity's yearning for king, queen and loyal subjects. Familial (i.e., monarchical) government has been with us since the dawn of time.

Republics, on the other hand, are man-made edifices. Although the best republics proudly submit to a supreme authority (i.e., "In God We Trust") and were conceived by seismic events that gave rise to their own myths and a degree of reality above the physical level, republics themselves are not divinely inspired concepts. Because legitimacy is conferred from below (the people) rather than from above (the Divine), there is less in the sacred about them, instead they tend to raise as sacrosanct an appeal to certain secular notions.

Indeed, republics go out of their way to avoid the sacred, to be banal, to take religion out of politics, to separate state from church, a phrase whose endless repetition has dulled our sense to the truth of the matter (for the state has become a church unto itself in all manner of moral teaching). Monarchies have not aped this general development to the same degree, at least not symbollically, even though many have since fathered their own constitutions in the explicitly written republican tradition. The best monarchies still have their semi-mythical unwritten constitutions, continue to recognise their state churches, maintain as part of their DNA that Christ-like function at coronation time when the monarch is lifted up above us "by the power, authority and ordinance of Almighty God".

Of course the hold of monarchy on the human imagination is substantially weaker now than at any time in history. The world has been rationalised, secularised and banalised to such an extent that it is more and more difficult for mythological expression to find the space to live and breathe. Human nature has an invidious way of destroying the good stuff. The British Crown Commonwealth may still have a shared monarchy, but people view it increasingly in utilitarian and practical terms only and have lost sight of its spiritual significance. We are, as Oliver Goldsmith would agree, in an accelerated state of decay, and have been for more than two hundred years:

As nature’s ties decay
As duty, love, and honour fail to sway,
Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,
Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe
.

The old Tory argument that God is a monarchist may be true but it no longer sways. Samuel Johnson was right, the first Whig was the devil. If I can paraphrase from John Fitzgerald's The Sleeping King, the grim forces at work since 1688 seek to reduce us to helpless cogs in a vast collective economic machine. Human beings are more than mindless consumers, and life is infinitely more than a nonsensical scramble for comfort and security. Life should be an adventure; an exercise in nobility, and it is the traditional function of monarchy to serve as role-model and exemplar in this respect. Amen and Hallelujah to that.

53 comments:

Bolingbroke said...

Praise the Lord, Beaverbrook. Against all banality.

Adrian Kidney said...

Um, I'd question appealing to religion as a 'modern' argument; secularism is ever more present in this day and age, and speaking as an atheist myself (though a solidly monarchist one), I wouldn't be using it.

Moreover, I think John Locke does a thorough job of dismantling this argument in his First Treatise.

Kris said...

And here I thought, after a very solid dismantling of poor monarchist arguments by Bolingbrooke, that we were going to see some compelling ideas come forward.

This is a shambolic effort, and if anything should have been included in the original arguments being picked apart.

First, the majority of the UK population no longer believes in any god in any truly meaningful way. Beyond this, there is clear diversity in religious beliefs here and to ascribe unjustified antiquated Christian values to everyone in a ham handed effort to be smug is an obvious recipe for discontent. As Adrian noted, even monarchists wouldn't feel comfortable with this 'argument'. Incidentally, the American republic was not created with 'in god we trust' in mind, a catch phrase that American Christians used to hijack the their traditionally secular state at a much later time.

But further, even if one were religious, your reasoning is irresponsibly misleading.

"...we are really arguing in favour of the transcendent, impersonal and mythological nature of monarchy"

And so forth. You paint a very laughable image of the origins of monarchy. Monarchy is nothing more than the rule of the despot, 'justified' traditionally via archaic religious beliefs. Those who sit with monarchical power do not do so because they are transcendent beings, granted power and status by a divine creator and created with the express purpose of leading mankind to greater good. They are in those positions because their ancestors were the more cruel, the more brutal, the more barbaric, the most willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead, to betray, to cut-throat, to wage war, to pillage, to plunder and to tear down any and all who stood in their way.

Not quite the rose-tinted romantic image of the origins of the monarchy you'd attempt to dupe people into believing.

Sir Walter Scott said...

Ah, glorious, glorious! Sometimes I truly wish the Monarchist came out as a paper; I can almost feel the joy of seeing this enormous act of erudition laid across its front page as I set it out on my breakfast table, adjusting my espresso, buttering my croissant, and setting to.

Kris, I think you are addressed in the "haters, wreckers, levellers and other disturbers of natural hierarchy". You have, unfortunately, swallowed a series of ugly lies. It is a sad fact that though they surely tasted bad to you at the time, this probably only made you swallow them more eagerly, thinking them medicine of some sort. But can you not even feel the warmth of this argument? What day was it when spirit was sucked from your world, joy was toppled from its throne, and your face turned grey?

I assume you eat copious fibre, and only like poetry if it doesn't rhyme.

Your first point is silly, because Beaverbrook is staking monarchy on something transcendental and you are opposing this with something temporary. This makes you look silly. And worse, you are not arguing anything positively, but proposing a counsel of defeat to some of the grottier facts of modernity. Again, you are missing the point. Or, in fact, you are proving it. It is precisely to avoid being blown along by the whims or laziness or wickedness of society at any given time that the "Permanent Things" are cherished.

Your second point is worse, and sadly mere pseudo-anthropological bunk, with not even the slightest of surface gestures to British (or any other nation's) history. It is you who are employing the rose-tinted spectacles here, and trying to dupe people. It would be nice, for your self-adoring politics, if it was true; but the lack of serious illustration proves it isn't.

Adrian Kidney said...

As I said, I am an atheist monarchist; many of my friends are too. And as Kris rightly points out (though the rest of their post is rather repugnant), Britain (and most of the other western Monarchies), are largely secular and multi-faith now. HRH the Prince of Wales, I hear, wishes to be Defender of Faiths when he becomes King, in recognition of this.

Appealing to God will trip us monarchists up at the next hurdle, because it's an instant switch-off for nearly everybody beyond the already converted. It's an argument I'll never, ever use. And as I said, the eminent John Locke destroyed it as an argument in his Two Treatises of Government.

I personally will be arguing for monarchy based on the constitutional functions it performs and how it does these better than an elected President, as explained in Professor Vernon Bogdanor's excellent book, 'The Monarchy and the Constitution'. If anybody has read it, I would encourage them to write a passage for this blog; otherwise, is there a way I can contribute?

I've never done it before...

Kris said...

'Sir' Walter, you strike as one of those unfortunate sorts who speaks copiously yet says so very little, and assumes too much. A man more interested in rhetorical speech than in meaningful discussion.

Ignoring your rant and concerning my first point, I suggest you search a definition of the word 'transcendental', since it is not an antonym of temporary. Further the relative 'prettiness' of my argument is also irrelevant. Objective truth is necessarily independent of subjective concepts such as beauty, and attempting to say my case is silly because it is ugly or displeasing to you, oh so defeatist in nature, is what is truly silly. In fact, you said nothing whatsoever that relates to my point. Perhaps I lost you in my attempt to be thorough, or perhaps you lost yourself as you tried so desperately to sound intelligent, but let me simplify this for you:

One cannot appeal to gods as a reason in favour for a monarchy when speaking with a person who does not accept the premise of such gods' existence. Since so many in our community do not accept said premise, and all of those who are left have starkly contrasting opinions as to the nature of said gods, one cannot therefore appeal to divine authority as a manner of convincing a general population, and it is certainly not an objective argument.

If even that went over your head, consider it akin to someone publicly saying 'Everyone should buy Marmite because I like it.'

As for my second point, once again, you say nothing that relates to it and instead opt for more rhetorical spiel.

It is pseudo-anthropological bunk, you think, that those with great monarchic power are descended from the more aggressive and brutish family lines? Then you are wrong. It is a common academic joke, in fact, that those who typically lie in adoration of royalty are blind to its history.

I could ask at what point I employed rose-tinting of any fashion, and in what manner I attempted to dupe people? The royal lineage descends from the most ruthless, it doesn't take an academic to be aware of that.

Further, you contradict yourself. If my argument is entirely non-positive and deconstructional, then I cannot possibly have envisioned anything rose-tinted, as I have proposed no alternative.

Please do not speak again with regards to me and what I say unless you have something intelligent to add next time.

Adrian, for whom I will say, based on very little experience, I have profoundly more respect than 'Sir' Walter: I can appreciate that a die-hard royalist might find the notion of the monarchs of today being descended from the villainy of yesterday entirely repugnant. Let us agree, at least, that this does not however have any bearing on the truth. Further, I would clarify that I do not present that as an argument for eliminating whatever monarchy might exist today, since the actions of the monarchs of old are hardly relevant to today's society. But it is an important response to Beaverbrook's attempts to conjure a false impression of the history and lineage of monarchy, including the British monarchy.

Sir Walter Scott said...

You are a bore.

Beaverbrook said...

The young gents who are shocked shocked! that I would be so bold as to claim the highest ground here, are absolutely right that I have not made an argument modern enough to appeal to banality. I know that Bolingbroke was asking for a set of "modern" arguments, but he also told us to reach into our inner selves, and to pore out our arguments based on genuine introspection.

So keep an open mind and understand that I'm not making a bible-thumping religious argument here. As remote as it may seem to this superficial and scoffing age, there is something awe-inspiring about the appeal to myth and legend and the ancient idea that kings serve as God's Regent, even though history is littered with its fair share of corrupt and despotic rulers. We are not seriously advocating a return to Godly rule, but we are saying that monarchy is superior because it keeps those ancient links and symbols alive. If you think this is such a silly argument, why Heavens do you think kids and adults flock to the theatre to watch Harry Potter and Lords of the Ring?

Adrian Kidney said...

Beaverbrook,

And you could also swing that round to say why Star Wars is popular, where a group of Rebels fighting to restore the Republic fight against an Empire. I don't think consideration of political values comes into it when you go to the cinemas to be entertained.

I am a liberal atheist, I should stress; I personally do not believe in God, but I am thoroughly comfortable with the religious paraphernalia that adorns my wonderful country, Britain. I am actively opposed to disestablishment of the Church. The Queen's lineage is officially by the Grace of God and the Constitution is riddled with anti-Catholic dogma, but I am totally fine with that and would not advocate its removal without it being proven that it is actively damaging. What I query here, is whether this argument, of Kingship by the Grace of God, will really pull in many crowds. I say it won't.

Sir Walter Scott said...

There are more arguments to come.

And I say, in this age of mental and spiritual squalor - and true poverty of spirit - you'd be surprised just how appealing such an argument can be.

Men are starved, and this is part of the true banquet. Only those with indigestion (who we've already met in this comments section) are wont to refuse to sit down.

Andrew said...

10 Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle [b] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day."

19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."

21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, "Listen to them and give them a king."

-- First Samuel, chapter 8 (NIV)

On the other hand, a king who only took a tenth would be a big improvement over today's governments.

Theodore said...

While I too find most of Kris's post repugnant, it's nevertheless the case that while I am now exploring Anglicanism (having become disillusioned with Roman Catholicism), I was already a monarchist even when I was an atheist/agnostic. Indeed, I suspect that some of the Catholic republicans with whom I've argued on the internet would accuse me of turning monarchism into a sort of religion. And I know several staunch monarchists whose secularism is much firmer than mine. They would never have been persuaded by religious arguments. So I must concur with Adrian that arguments for the monarchy cannot assume belief in God or Christianity, especially in contemporary Western Europe, and look forward to subsequent posts.

Neil Welton said...

A very interesting post Beavers. I have enjoyed this debate too. A most stimulating little chit chat.

The British Census of April 2001 found that 70% of people in the United Kingdom were happy to declare that they were Christian on that official Government form. When you add together all the other religions that is "a hell of a lot of people" who acknowledge or believe in a God. That sacred and mysterious entity that not only creates and brings forth a Prince or a Princess - but also subjects who will serve them too.

However, saying that, I must say I do understand and have a lot of respect for Adrian's and Kris's positions. In my time I have met with many atheists, agnostics and secularists. Some very unkind person would say that being in the company of Dr Rowan Williams was very much the same thing - but I won't be going there today!

Indeed, I once met a very dear atheist chap (not Dr Rowan Williams!) who admitted that he wanted to believe and to understand. He said when he met or saw people who believed, he wanted to believe too. He wanted to experience for himself, what it is they see and believe. He called it simply "that joy of belief". The very same can be said for republicans. They are republicans, not because they do not believe, but because they do not understand. A subtle difference, lost on all our joyless and loveless British republicans. For surely the opposite of "that joy of belief" is the "joylessness of non-belief". I am, of course, not suggesting that secularists and republicans are both joyless Beasts. However, I must admit, from my own personal viewpoint and experience that is oft the case.

You see, I have always believed, ever since my lovely perambulator, so it is very, very difficult for me to fully understand and appreciate the secularist viewpoint. Yet whether we like it or not, there be a natural hierarchy in Creation. The Monarchy does represent God (or, if you prefer, a mere random act of Mother Nature) in our Country and Constitution. For at this junction, I be reminded of my very dear and elderly School Chaplain who, when I be aged eight or nine, did oft explain to us the reasons and basis of the ordered Society (and the Creation) we had found ourselves placed in. Here it is.

1. God.
2. Queen.
3. Church.
4. Military.
5. Government.
6. Subjects.
7. Beasts.

How I would marvel at the very special and privileged position that our Queen held. I sometimes wished I could be a number two as opposed to a number six. For I would wonder about it a great deal and I was mightily impressed. Why was she The Queen? What was it about Her that made Her "The Queen"? For our parents and grandparents were not forced to attend the Coronation at gun point. On the contrary they attended in merry joyfulness and gladness - knowing full well that their very own children and grandchildren would have to be subjugated as a result. Now I not be there in 1953, but I do as a toddler recall that sort of joy and happiness of The Silver Jubilee in 1977. Why? Did Her Majesty use force? Was it the sight of a bayonet that ensured the Crown was inherited and then celebrated in 1977?

Perhaps if more people lived in a continuous state of joy and wonder, the world would be a better place. For one can't help but feel that in today's society - they be taught the number seven is number one and that number one is the new number seven. Pop pickers!

Therefore, to conclude, the hold of Monarchy on the human imagination is substantially weaker now than at any time in history. However, this is not a reason to debunk God or never to use Him in defence of all that be God given. For it is an excellent reason, not just to promote the Monarchy, but also to somehow deepen our shared collective human imagination. I often find this best be done through thoughts of the greater, the noble or the higher. Funny that, don't any of you imagine?

Now for today's reading which, I believe, is one of Her Majesty's old favourites. No doubt Her Majesty, when reading this, thinks of Her subjects and the same love they have for Her as Queen. 1 John 4 (verses 7 to 18).

David Byers said...

Beaverbrook, when I read “The haters, wreckers, levellers and other disturbers of natural hierarchy we will write off, for no amount of rational argument will convince them” I knew you were out of touch with reality. What are people supposed to use “irrational” argument?

Most every day people are not into all the history and heritage of the Crown, yes many have fond memories of a Royal Visit or singing “God Save the Queen” at school and that is about it. You cannot mould the people to think as you do about all the heritage and history, many do not have the brains or interest to do so.

Your blog is good for religious people who already support the Crown and helps to give them inspiration but beyond that it does nothing to help the Crown to maintain majority support. I believe Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, with their wonderful website, have the right balance to convince open minded people who have been bombarded by the pro-republic media.

My argument is this the “Rule Britannia” brigade will always support the Crown (as will the haters and wreckers always support a socialist republic), it is those ordinary folk who are bringing up families and going to work each day and have a life outside of the debate you must win over!

Sir Walter Scott said...

Yes, and they were once the 'Rule Britannia crowd'. And we 'Rule Britannia crowd' are also ordinary folk bringing up families, going to work each day, with lives outside the debate (but not outside loyalty, nor the cause of good, nor Christ, for they add order, coherence and richness which once many knew, and will know again).

Beaverbrook said...

Thank you for the generous comments, some more generous than others.

Surely monarchy is not just about secular and practical arguments. I realise that reverence and religion are no longer fashionable concepts, nor convenient when dealing with modernity, but I would sincerely hope that when it comes to the seven senses in favour of monarchy, we can at least spare reverence its rightful place. Or are you honestly saying that man's spiritual nature is not even one-seventh deserving of what we are talking about?

Bosh, don't give me that Mr. Byers, proud defender of Charles the Martyr!

Lord Best said...

"The British Census of April 2001 found that 70% of people in the United Kingdom were happy to declare that they were Christian on that official Government form."

You can not say things like that Mr Welton, it not politically correct. Incidentally the figure is much the same in Australia, perhap a tad lower, but god help if you mention that in public.

As it happens I am a non-religious Monarchist but I am quite fine with the religious aspects of our traditional society. I am one of those unfortunate people who seem to lack a sense of spirituality, I would dearly love to be religious, but I am not. I am not an atheist because atheism is just another dogmatic ideology advocating the opression of nay sayers. There is an adage budding archaeologists are taught which I think atheists should apply more thoroughly "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".

Having said that, we do need down to earth arguments for the retention of the Monarchy as much as we need the 'transcendental'. Particularly in Australia where even the religious minded tend to be a bit less ostentatious, if that is the right word, in their beliefs.

Monarchs may be descended from teh villainy of old (in fact, they are not. I have trouble accepting Edward the Confessor, William the Conqueror, Henry the First, Henry the Seventh, James the First, George the First etc. as villainy and I am well acquainted with their histories) but the champions of republicanism are the villains of today, they are not tempered by a milennium of tradition and duty.

Adrian Kidney said...

The census did say around 70% claimed Christianity, this is true, but I'd wager that Anglicanism in Britain has become more of a kind of folk religion in Britain than anything. Church attending is way below 70%, and nobody really holds any coherent beliefs on God, beyond thinking there's one there. And seeing as they were likely brought up taught about the Christian God, when pushed in a survey, they'll probably say that.

I'm not saying that the religious argument is completely nonsense. As a piece of poetry about the monarchy's religious roots it's wonderful. But what are we trying to do here? Are we trying to convert wavering republicans? Or are we trying to convince ourselves even firmer? If the latter, then the cause of monarchy is doomed.

A friend of mine is a firm and devout Anglican, but he has never brought up the religious aspect of the debate with republicans because he knows it just won't hold any water. I suspect he's had his fingers burnt on it from time to time.

David Byers said...

Beaverbrook (real name Michael a coward and sick excuse of a man), I am no longer a great defender of Charles the Martyr (though still admire his bravery) so you criticism is wrong. Please address the points I made rather than just resort to basic abuse.

Your problem is that you believe that supporting the Crown belongs to a small group of private school boys and not every day people. If the “arguments” you put here were used in the 1999 referendum in Australia we would be living in a republic now.

Why can’t you grow up you fuck wit and use your real name?!
You put people off the Monarchy even me!!!!

David Byers said...

Michael, look art the silly photo you use of "Beaverbrook" some old man from the past and not you! I am older than you even, and far wiser too as I know not to push the silliness you use to "promote" the Crown. Please keep out of Australia and our debates on OUR constitutional future as you only help the socilist.

But because you were in the Canadian "army" for a year or two you think you are special, your are a nothing. How strange for such a young "man" to have such backward views of the world. As for the silly religious stuff forget it and look to facts that show a greater reality and not some old superstitions.

Even when others try to moderate and educate you, you push them away.

Thank goodness you have nothing to do with Australians for Constitutional Monarchy as we would be lost.

Someone should start a new website called "The Constitutional Monarchist" to show reasoned arguments for the Crown in the Queen's realms. One in whitch silly extreme views like yours are immediately deleted.

David Byers said...

Just whilst I think of it, you probably put on a fake Pommy accent and use archaic words (eg Neil). How about trying to be a Canadian? Showing the Crown in a modern way to people in your "nation" that might one day be called upon to vote on its future?

Thank the cosmos we don't have your silly flag and weather. But that's right you’re British just living in Canada - no guts to be part of the real world just live in a fantasy.

David Byers said...

O right before you say it “Manly Restraint” there you got said it for you. Though I do wonder what the people of the Sydney suburb of Manly have to do with anything.

David Byers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sir Walter Scott said...

What... the... ?

How old are you, David?

And just how deluded and paranoid are you?

Begone, begone. I'd say "We are not amused", but it'd be too obvious. You are a disgrace to yourself and your nation.

David Byers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Byers said...

I will be 41 latter this month. Australia does not need people like Michael, he would wreak our Constitution by making those who want to get rid of it look sane in comparison. How come few of you on this website can look outside of the square you live in and see the real world? The Crown can have an exciting future but pushing all this old “Rule Britannia” stuff down peoples necks alienates everyday folk and even put me off the monarchy for a while, but then I came to understand that the madness is really just this site.

Sir Walter Scott said...

Wow. Gosh. You've converted me. Let's trash everything valuable so our opponents won't get their way in defeating... everything valuable. If the monarchy survives on a technicality, there's no point. God Save the Queen, not God Let Her Hold On With Her Finger-nails. We are quite aware the passions for the Crown and the old ways do not exist as they once did. That is why this blog seeks to stir them up again.

I don't think any of us have really gone on about Rule Britannia, however. The fact is we are all British; it is different to American, and different to European, and unites us all. It is in many respects useless to deny; the comity and unity between Australasian, Canadian and English people and governments is so profound we sometimes take it for granted, but it remains, in everything from military agreements to tourism to immigration. And what is wrong with wanting to preserve and perpetuate this? What is wrong with wanting to improve it? And what is wrong with appealing to the whole of our reality - rational as well as emotional, constitutional as well as spiritual - in doing so? *That*, and not some table-thumping, port-sodden day-dreaming is what goes on here, in any glorification of anything British.

Our ancestors were neighbours, though we are now far apart. But modern travel and communication makes us neighbours once more. This blog is evidence of that. It has sound, reasonable beliefs, united with lasting, immovable passions. One mustn't be like the republicans and have only the latter, nor like wet fish who have only the former.

If one waters the wine to assuage the teetotals, we might as well just get it over with and crack open the mineral water from the off. Game over.

Beaverbrook said...

A 41 year old child with the temperance of a 2 year old. You're a brave embarrassment, Byers, why don't you go cool off in the corner and come back when you can be civil.

David Byers said...

To the one who writes under that name Scot, you use a lot of metaphor so I get the feeling that you are from the UK, maybe not but they use it all the time to sound smart.

It is all about balance a little bit about heritage and a great deal of rational reasoned argument for the Constitutional Monarchy. All your talk about watering down “the Wine” is just flowery language and not a logical argument.

As I say go have a good hard look at the ACM website and educate yourself from people who have had to fight a real battle for the constitution. Time to grow up and live in the real world, not in a castle in the sky.

Lord Best said...

Mr Byers, calm down old boy, these flowery arguments, while interesting and rather better thought out that you seem to think, are not going to be imported into Australia so there is no need to worry. There is no harm in this kind of metaphysical theorising about Monarchy, so long as we do not lose sight of the hard constitional reasons for retaining said Monarchy.

P said...

David Byers,

As a casual observer of this site, I think you are unfair to say that Beaverbrook is resorting to basic insult.

As this blog is run by him, it is surely fair to call himself anything he pleases? The majority of people who engage in internet commentary do so anonymously.

I have visited Australia and I agree and accept some of your points about ACM being a good organisation to appeal to Australians.

However, in many countries of the shared monarchy, those who support the present system of government are always being asked to give concessions. It is always the one side that has to meet "half way". Sometimes this is progress, sometimes not.

You are perhaps correct that at times this site has postings that have elements of hyperbole and nostalgia that do not appeal to the mainstream. However, this misses the point. This is an excellent private forum for debate and is the one that seems to be asking hard questions and inviting open debate on the issues raised.

There is generally a very high quality of debate from the contributors here.

That surely can't be a bad thing?

John said...

What a bunch of nonsensical malarky.

God is a monarchist? Nonsense. Our Lord is above such petty debates about politics.

He sent his only Son for our salvation, that we may fulfil our promise as made in his image.

Does that mean that a hereditary bunch of inbreeds have a "divine right of kings"?

Christianity itself is based on the concept of the nobility of man and his absolute right to govern himself, not to live as property or a serf to monarchical fiat.

The fact that people here quote John "life, liberty, and property" as opposed to Leibnitz "life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness", highlights the level of understanding of the fundamental issue that is at question here, as it always is: the nature of man.

Anonymous said...

Adrian, your points are well taken. I think we can add Hobbes in as a reference as well. Hobbes certainly believed in a deity, but religion belongs under the control of the Monarch and not the other way round.

If one believes that from a poll 70% of the British public are practicing Christians, rather than nominal Christians, I rather think the belief is without having any personal experience in the UK.

Kris, if you hate monarchy, why are you here?

David, do you think you are advancing any of your points by what you've said?

Anonymous said...

Neil, I am quite joyful in being a non-theist.

Kris said...

I'll have to apologise for not responding properly, that is to say, a great deal has been written since last I looked, and I haven't had time to read it all. I will say the following, however:

Beaverbrook, I think you are absolutely correct when you say that there is something awe-inspiring about appeal to myth and legend and so forth. It is accepted in fact that people learn best via the telling of stories. But it is for this very reason that we should treat people and ideas with great care and utmost respect when we talk to them of such things and in such a manner. To conjure an elaborate mythology that incorrectly reflects reality, and attempt to persuade people of its veracity is irresponsible. We can surround the monarchy with as much pomp and circumstance as we wish, but that doesn't alter the fundamental nature of the power structure, whose relative merits and faults I shall not argue here.

Indeed, it has been my experience in the past, and certainly my experience here, that royalists (which evidentially I am not) rarely provide sound reasoning for the maintaining of the monarchy, and instead prefer to appeal to nostalgia and paint spectacular images of how they feel our noble, grandiose and by inference, fundamentally *superior* nation should be run. Further, it seems to me that often this view is fuelled by the fantasy that one might exist within the aristocratic class, as demonstrated by Welton.

Further still, this is demonstrated in that contained not within a single reply to my arguments (insofar as I've read) is there any direct response. All replies have centred around the theme of 'I find what Kris says repugnant', as if that is of any consequence. It seems to me that everyone is effectively saying they do not *like* the truth. Well... too bad! The truth is the truth, and none of us is god enough to change it. You can argue whether or not what I say is true, if you wish, but simply telling me it makes you squirm is hardly sound basis for establishing what is true and what's not.

This theme continues with the posting of the article itself. Bolingbroke challenged people to find meaningful, relevant arguments for the monarchy, and the first post we receive argues in favour of it because god is beautiful... Hence, my initially exclaimed disappointment.

Finally, with regard to the census, the data is sadly inaccurate. I hadn't left home in 2001, and my mum took it upon herself to put me down as 'Church of England' and sent it off without saying anything to me. If it isn't obvious, I was as staunch and atheist then as I am now, and was indeed furious with her for having misrepresented me with such flippancy.

It's akin to the Catholics' claim that there are 'one billion Catholics' in the world. This is in fact not true. In that figure they include anyone who was ever confirmed, at any age, regardless of their current beliefs. Needless to say, a great many of them are no longer Cathloic, if they are religious at all.

Sir Walter Scott said...

Miserable stuff.

"Christianity itself is based on the concept of the nobility of man".

That'd be news to Christians! It is the nobility of one man, and the depravity of all others.

And God isn't *above* anything, least of all how we organise our entire country. Everything is His; all belongs in His hand; and I think there's a better argument to be made that the King of Kings prefers, well, Kings to Presidents.

As for the inbreeding, or all monarchists wishing they were aristocrats, or the rest of it, it's nonsense, of course, and so cliched and removed from reality that one wonders if people have actually thought through some of their arguments here.

Sir Walter Scott said...

"the first post we receive argues in favour of it because [G]od is beautiful..."

If this very sentence - this very idea! - cannot move you, your very substance, it seems to me, is fatally impoverished, and we may never meet eye to eye. Even atheists can be stirred by this, I thought, but perhaps I am wrong, and they are sicker and more malnourished than we all feared.

David Byers said...

Thank goodness the views of the one using the name of Scott and Michael (Beaverbrook) are in an ever declining minority.

As I have pointed out time and time again we in Australia would be a republic now if the Crown was "defended" in the way they these two would have it.

How on earth, with everything we now know about the world and universe, can anyone realy believe in the Bible and all it silliness?

Adrian Kidney said...

Sir Walter, I am disgusted at you. There is no need to get offensive. I did not insult your belief in God, and there is absolutely no need for you to describe me as sick and malnourished.

Unfortunately atheists like I can be fascinated by the idea of religion, but we cannot be swayed by arguments for a God we don't believe in. Why can't you be civil and accept that?

Once you start slinging insults about my apparent spiritual illness you lose the argument. The fact of the matter is, religion's grasp on people is at a low. Churchgoing in Britain is at 9%. Whether it grows or declines in future is not for me to say or comment upon, but the fact of the matter is it does not work for many in the West.

Especially republicans. Many republicans are liberal and do not believe in God. Your argument, while convincing to you and others here (which is fine) will not hold water with many others. Accept it, and don't lash out at atheists like me who manage to be decent people without believing in God.

Sir Walter Scott said...

I am sorry to have disgusted you. It was meant as a friendly poke in the ribs. And it was meant sympathetically.

As for religion being useless for the monarchist cause... the Christian religion has at several times, most notably during the American revolution, been at fantastically low ebbs; but as any student of history will know, those ebbs have not ever lasted even half as long as the high tides, and the high tides have, with a glorious regularity, always come back. We are about the future, not just the past, and Christianity will return, and overcome all once more, so it is right - for both history and futurity - to establish its central place in defending the Crown. After all, the Crown defends it - and its true Protestant profession in these lands - too.

I would also ask - again - why we must surrender to the modern age, in seeking to persuade the modern age? A doctor hardly helps heal a patient by becoming sick himself.

David Byers said...

Scott, get on a blog run by one of the major newspapers, when they are debating Constitutional Monarchy vs Republic, and use your "arguments". See how you go, see how many everyday folk you win over. In fact you will put people off the Crown.

It is not about "surrendering to the modern age", it is about moving with the times as the Crown always has and keeping a little of what is good from the past - NOT living in the past!

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

As sound as the religious argument is, it will not win over secular folks, who range from the atheist to those who worship, but acknowledge that the world beyond the personal is secular in nature.

It's like arguing with a "progressive" about abortion/same sex marriage with scripture. It ain't gonna work.

John said...

One of the most, perhaps only, compelling reason for keeping the "cherished" institution of our monarchy (the institution that has given us more bloodshed in this country than any other), is that they present our last line of defence against the tyranny of a Parliamentary dicatorship.

In abdicating her responsibility as our sovereign, to defend this nation from just such a dictatorship under the Lisbon treaty, otherwise known as the European Constitution, our Queen has soundly defeated this last remaining vestige of a claim to constitutional or political authority over England.

As such, I would propose that our monarchy, such as it is, should immediately abdicate and make it clear to the British people what the true state of our Constitutional affairs and freedoms is in the country at this juncture.

I look forward to the responses of the monarchists on this site herewith.

Kris said...

So rather than a parliamentarian 'dictatorship', you favour a monarchical one? I think I'll take my chances with the people I can at least vote out of office.

As for 'Sir' Walter's notions that the atheistic are sick and malnourished, I can say exactly the same about the religious, and do a far better job of it (go rhetoric). But I hardly see the point. Whilst in personal frustration such comments made in private might be cathartic, I fail to see how it serves any productive purpose in a public debate.

John said...

Kris

Clearly you have not understood what I said.

I said that one of the reasons given for maintaining a constitutional monarchy is to prevent a dicatorship.

I favour neither a parliamentary system of government, nor a monarchy, but an American style Republic.

All political systems are prone to corruption, but those that are designed from the bottom up by principles of natural law to be "of the people, for the people, by the people" are more robust than those that rely on the whims of a permanent aristocracy.

Unfortunately, the mistakes of the past decades have given us precisely what those founders most feared - an unelected, global plutocracy.

The great American experiment is, I fear, about to expire, at about the same moment as our own ancient magna carta based system of law and government does too.

My point was simpy to highlight the fallacy in the argument that our monarchy is in some way a staunch defender of our rights and freedoms.

Anonymous said...

John-

More robust? Come now. How does one define robust as 232 years in comparison with thousands?

The "great American experiment" may well fail, and to that I say good riddance- and I say that as one who lived in the US for most of his life.

John said...

Yes, more robust. I would say that given the unconstitutional imposition of the Federal reserve on orders of the British in 1918, the US has survived remarkable well under occupation by a foreign financial power, under the circumstances.

Ofcourse, the actions by the Fed this week, again on orders of bankers allied to the city of London, not their Constitutional oaths, has put the question of the very survival of the United States in jeopardy.

The USA has always been at war with Britain, and will remain so until we free ourselves from the parasites who own this country.

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?

Lord Best said...

It will be a cold day in hell before I accept an American style of republic over our beautiful Monarchy.

John said...

If you hadn't already noticed, we are already well on the way to hell.

Largely thanks to said monarchies' actions in refusing to fulful their oaths of coronation to faithfully defend this nation.

You might also find that our Prince consort's malthusianism is not an abstract issue of debate in coming years as our civilization collapses into a dark age.

But hey, I suppose we get what we deserve really.

Lord Best said...

When one is dangling on the precipice oh Hell, one does not cut the safety rope.

A Proud Subject of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen said...

Some of you say that religious arguments are not valid. They are. the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, they are all Christian countries. Britain belongs to the British. The British are Christian.

Here is a quote from C. S. Lewis about Republicanism:
"Monarchy can easily be debunked, but watch the faces, mark well the debunkers. These are the men whose taproot in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach - men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire mere equality they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film stars instead... For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison."

God Save the Queen!

A Proud Subject of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen said...

John, I hope you read the quote. The monarch is not the one to blame for the governemt's mistakes. Blame the Labour Party and its budget cuts.