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, 19 September 2008

Argument 5: Armed Forces

Republicanism would destroy the regimental heritage and traditional esprit-de-corps of our armed forces. We must not let that happen.

Military Sphere: Her Majesty as "Commander-in-Chief"
Relevant Quote: "But what are kings, when regiment is gone, But perfect shadows in a sunshine day?" - Christopher Marlowe
Related Concepts: The Queen's Regiments, Her Majesty's Ships, King and Country

guard-cds2WE SHALL FIGHT THEM ON THE BEACHES. What's honestly better, the Tasmanian Republican Guard or the Royal Australian Regiment? 'Soldiers Canada' or the famed Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry? Numbered British battalions of the European Rapid Reaction Force or the King’s Royal Hussars and the Prince of Wales Royal Lancers? How about Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles in New Zealand, the Royal Canadian Dragoons, the Queen's York Rangers and the Duke of Connaught's Own? Is it really goodbye to the Blues and Royals, the Royal Horse Artillery, the King's Own Calgary Regiment and the Queensland Mounted Infantry?... Get real, republicanos, regiment is family sacred to the serving soldier. Our royal heritage and regimental system is the whole basis and backbone of military pride and morale.

Removing the Crown from the armed forces may seem like a simple enough task, so long as you don't give a flying fig about military morale. So long as you don't give one piddle whiff for the esprit-de-corps of our fighting men and women, sure go ahead and dispense with the Queen's commission, decommission Her Majesty's Ships, retire the Queen's colours and surrender every regiment's battle honours. Don't worry that some regiments go back hundreds of years, they won't mind the blow torch, good soldiers will always do what they are told.

Many regiments do have very long histories, often going back for centuries; the oldest British regiment still in existence is the Honourable Artillery Company, established in 1537. The Royal Scots, formed in 1633, was the oldest infantry regiment until just recently when it was folded into the Royal Regiment of Scotland, now the Black Watch and all of the historical Highland regiments are combined under one amalgamated family. Talk about a terrible, terrible blow to regimental pride. Mind you, that's probably a relatively minor reform compared to what waits in store if the republicans ever get hold of the keys to the local armouries.

Commonwealth-style regiments have proven their worth throughout history in war and through lengthy and difficult policing missions. Regiments recruited from areas of political ferment (such as Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Quebec, India, etc.), tend to perform particularly well because of the loyalty their members exhibit to the regiments.

It is worth noting that in countries where regimental loyalty thrives - the core Anglosphere nations predominantly - those nations have never suffered a military coup, or even seriously faced the prospect of one, which can be attributed in part to the "tribal" nature of the regimental system, which makes it nearly impossible for a charismatic leader to command the loyalty of the entire army. History shows it is healthier to develop soldiers' loyalty to their regiment, than to the military in general. It is usually Her Majesty's position as regimental colonel-in-chief that engenders the closest loyalty, rather than the Queen's high station as overall commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

So hands off our regiments. OUT OF OUR COLD DEAD HANDS.

9 comments:

Kris said...

Damn, you're right. If we had real democracy the names of military regiments might have to change. Guess we're stuck then.

Lord Best said...

Incidentally, in Australia I have heard that the military is against the republic as they fear it will destroy the history of the regiments which helps create the 'esprit de corps' that is so important in maintaining morale and discipline.
My source for this is a apolitical friend who is an ex-serving NCO in the Royal Australian Army.

Lord Best said...

Sorry to double post, but Kris, you are such a damned fool. I was going to write a longer response, but to be quite honest you are not worth it.

Kris said...

Besty, don't be an idiot.

Neil Welton said...

"Our royal heritage and regimental system is the whole basis and backbone of military pride and morale."

"Regiments recruited from areas of political ferment (such as Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Quebec, India, etc.), tend to perform particularly well because of the loyalty their members exhibit to the regiments."

"...those nations have never suffered a military coup, or even seriously faced the prospect of one, which can be attributed in part to the "tribal" nature of the regimental system, which makes it nearly impossible for a charismatic leader to command the loyalty of the entire army."

Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

What a marvellous post Beavers. You've hit the nail on the head with these historical, accurate observations. For it be impossible for a tribe to go against a Queen.

Now for today's reading - used often in the military.

1 Peter 2 (verse 13 to 25)

Kris said...

Seriously? This is the same tired argument of tradition, devoid of any real pragmatism.

First, it begs the question, assuming a necessary transformation of the military system.

Second, it assumes without knowledge that even if such a transformation were to occur, no military force could function without a Queen. I would have thought the fact that a great many armies operate without a monarch at the head would be sufficient to discount this.

In short, if you're trying to say that the army can't work without the Queen, you're once again convincing no-one but the already initiated.

Neil Welton said...

What be this? Surely if thee axe a King or a Queen, you do create a "transformation of the military system". For surely there be no "mystery" in "pragmatism" or practical matters alone. For mystery only breathes in ancient and archaic traditions. Like Colours, Queen and, dare I say, God.

For the military not just be about merely "functioning", "operating" and also being "pragmatic". It be about far greater and deeper passions than that. Passions that inspire each and every human instinct, each and every generation - that has been called to serve. For these human instincts of loyalty, duty, obedience, devotion and sacrifice, should not be taken for granted. They be inspired by this history. Given meaning by the rituals. Given life by this one great tribe of our forefathers.

I therefore do suggest that this great Army does not fully function without a Queen or King - for without a King or Queen it be without its proper history. For the history is tradition and tradition is the soul. Indeed, ye oft find in life that most beings without a soul be surely dead. You see Krust, it be like that old door chime. If it rings, it rings. If it doesn't ring for you (or there be no answer at the door), ye be best placed to ring once again. Rather than demanding that the bell, the door frame, and the entire door, be changed just for you.

Beaverbrook said...

And the same tired and callous indifference exhibited by Kris, who obviously didn't serve a day in the military, and couldn't care less what happens to our historic regiments.

I did not say that our profession of arms would be disfunctional without a Queen. I'm quite sure the military could function admirably no matter who nominally heads it.

All I said was that republicans would destroy our regimental heritage, and that troop morale would suffer as a result. Not that you care, not that you even need to care. But please don't sit there and pretend that nothing would change the day, the weeks, the months and the years after we became a republic. Your type would be all over it in due course. The royal this and the royal that, the Queen's Own Rifles and the King's Troops would be gone in no time. And you know it.

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

Back in 1960-whatever when the Canadian military was "unified", we lost the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the Royal Canadian Air Force, yet we retained our regimental system. Even so, "unification" destroyed morale in our military overnight, and many officers and NCO's resigned in disgust.

Obliterating the monarchy (and the regimental system by default) in Canada would have the same effect on the soul of the Army, in my humble opinion.