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  1. #21
    Senior Member Adasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    I'd love to be able to relate to royalty - to have gone to private schools and to have my entire life paid for by other people just because of who my great-great-grandparents were. However, realistically, if England wants to take money from their college students, it makes no real sense to keep throwing money for expensive weddings at symbolic royals for sentimental purposes.
    It's not their fault they were born rich, so harbouring some sort of resentment towards them because of their status in the world is problematic. I've met lots of people who went to private school who are really nice people; I've met a lot who are knobs. In both cases, neither of them could've chosen the life they were born into (metaphysical questions regarding reincarnation aside).

    The mistake is that people assume that getting rid of the Monarchy will free up a lot of money that the Monarchy currently receives. Would it? Because France, for example, is a bastion of freedom and wealth redistribution? In fact, its Head of State is doing exactly what our Monarchy is doing (i.e. using, or embezzling, public funds) but in a far more insidious way: at least the Monarchy doesn't pretend it's a democratic institution.

    Frankly, the Monarchy is a symbol of the United Kingdom (and not England, as it is so often believed) whether we like it or not. For the UK to renounce the Monarchy would mean renouncing, in a way, its monarchic history, which will not happen for various reasons, be they economic or historic. I think a more pressing concern is the endemic corruption of the House of Lords which does have a manifest ability to affect the day-to-day living of people in the UK. I'd rather people got bent out of shape about that first than however many pence gets paid in tax to our nation's most well-known ambassador(s).
    That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
    Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
    Of any world where promises were kept,
    Or one could weep because another wept.

  2. #22
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    The Australia Act of 1986 amicably ended all Constitutional ties with Britain and created the Sovereign of Australia. The Queen of Britain and the Queen of Australia are two Constitutionally separate roles although held by the same person.

  3. #23
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    Smile Liberal Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    [It's] strategic to retain a powerless Monarchy.
    In the light of our aristocratic traditions we maintain a powerless, Constitutional Monarch as Queen of Australia.

    We know that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and so we maintain a liberal democracy based on the limitation of power.

    And the first power we limit is the power of the Monarch.

    And the limitation of power is maintained right throughout our Constitutional system.

    For instance, the position of the Sovereign of Australia limits the power of our Prime Minister who can never be our Head of State or our Commander-in-Chief. Our Prime Minister is not even mentioned in our Constitution and only holds power at the discretion of their Party and the discretion of Parliament.

    And our referendum of 1999 shows that our Constitutional liberal democracy is fully supported by the people of Australia.

    Of course, if we choose, we can follow the USA model, and maximise power in the person of a President who is the political leader, the Head of State and the Commander-in-Chief. But this can only be done by a free and fair referendum of the whole people of Australia. And the people of Australia rejected a Presidency in our referendum of 1999.

    But our whole aristocratic tradition is to limit power, not maximise power, and so we maintain our freedom under liberal democracy.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adasta View Post
    It's not their fault they were born rich, so harbouring some sort of resentment towards them because of their status in the world is problematic. I've met lots of people who went to private school who are really nice people; I've met a lot who are knobs. In both cases, neither of them could've chosen the life they were born into (metaphysical questions regarding reincarnation aside).

    The mistake is that people assume that getting rid of the Monarchy will free up a lot of money that the Monarchy currently receives. Would it? Because France, for example, is a bastion of freedom and wealth redistribution? In fact, its Head of State is doing exactly what our Monarchy is doing (i.e. using, or embezzling, public funds) but in a far more insidious way: at least the Monarchy doesn't pretend it's a democratic institution.

    Frankly, the Monarchy is a symbol of the United Kingdom (and not England, as it is so often believed) whether we like it or not. For the UK to renounce the Monarchy would mean renouncing, in a way, its monarchic history, which will not happen for various reasons, be they economic or historic. I think a more pressing concern is the endemic corruption of the House of Lords which does have a manifest ability to affect the day-to-day living of people in the UK. I'd rather people got bent out of shape about that first than however many pence gets paid in tax to our nation's most well-known ambassador(s).
    This is precisely why I see the validity of maintaining a monarchy, even as an American. The benefits of maintenance are far, far greater than the consequences of ruining an integral cultural phenomenon.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adasta View Post
    Frankly, the Monarchy is a symbol of the United Kingdom (and not England, as it is so often believed).
    Wow, wow, wow, slow down there, the reason it is seen as an English institution is because despite a Scottish monarch being pivotal in the creation of the united kingdom it is and has become an English institution. There used to be monarchs in Scotland, England, probably Ireland and Wales too but they where subdued and dispensed with quicker, the wars between England and Scotland where largely about seperate royal dynasties and either their independence, alliance or, eventually, a single monarchial rule of the whole British Isles. If it wherent for religious war entering into things its unlikely that a single crown would exist, the english protestants and scottish lowland protestants deciding they had more in common with one another in hating the Papacy than divided them along national boundaries.

    It was never too clear cut, the Guy Fawkes plot was used as an opportunity to expell and persecute Scots in London too, but that's pretty much how it all went, now there's still sectarianism in the UK, particularly Scotland, although its not linked with institutions of government like monarchy in the way it once was and it doesnt serve to strengthen the union with England. The conservatives in Scotland where unelectable at the last election because they where seen as pawns of an english party.

    The mad thing is that the house of windsor are a bunch of Germans, the UK is one of the few countries whose monarchy survived the first and second world wars but it survived as an English institution rather than a UK or British one, the devolved assemblies in all the regions are pretty republican in character, some of them have large seperatist parties sitting pretty much constantly.

    Good point about cost though, a presidency would cost as much probably.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Adasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The mad thing is that the house of windsor are a bunch of Germans, the UK is one of the few countries whose monarchy survived the first and second world wars but it survived as an English institution rather than a UK or British one, the devolved assemblies in all the regions are pretty republican in character, some of them have large seperatist parties sitting pretty much constantly.

    Good point about cost though, a presidency would cost as much probably.
    Whether people feel the monarchy is English or not, it is still that case that it represents the UK. I agree that the devolution of power is a step towards republican sentiment; however, the UK government is still centralised and is still dependent on the Queen for its formation and dissolution (albeit in ceremonial form). The refusal of Sinn Fein to take up their seats in Westminster and the SNP's now constant bemoaning of almost anything "English" within parliament (or the allocation of public funds) goes to show the continuing difficulty of this cultural situation. The only way round this would be devolution to the point of independence (which the SNP, for example, would still probably reject), or the dissolution of the monarchy which, as I said previously, probably won't happen.
    That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
    Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
    Of any world where promises were kept,
    Or one could weep because another wept.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adasta View Post
    Whether people feel the monarchy is English or not, it is still that case that it represents the UK. I agree that the devolution of power is a step towards republican sentiment; however, the UK government is still centralised and is still dependent on the Queen for its formation and dissolution (albeit in ceremonial form). The refusal of Sinn Fein to take up their seats in Westminster and the SNP's now constant bemoaning of almost anything "English" within parliament (or the allocation of public funds) goes to show the continuing difficulty of this cultural situation. The only way round this would be devolution to the point of independence (which the SNP, for example, would still probably reject), or the dissolution of the monarchy which, as I said previously, probably won't happen.
    Well the seperatists have screwed it up but I actually think that New Labour was trying to move the locus of power in the UK to Scotland, it would have been very interesting if it had happened, a UK controlled by Scotland could perhaps break from the slavish dictatorship of the money men in the city and things could be very different, I doubt it will happen though.

    That the monarchy has sovereignty across the whole of the UK and is identified as english will only further alienate the seperatists from any kind of union or federation with other parts of the British Isles, the present financial crisis makes it very unlikely but the SNP would like to see the EU strengthened and then for them to transfer their allegiance and trade from england to neighbouring Euro states, there's ancient historical precidents for greater east-west union than north-south which they'd probably be familiar with.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adasta View Post
    It's not their fault they were born rich, so harbouring some sort of resentment towards them because of their status in the world is problematic.
    There is nothing problematic about believing in fairness.

  9. #29
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Smile Doing and Being

    When she goes to a party, they ask her, "What do you do?".

    And she replies, "I'm an unemployed English girl".

    And they ask him, and he replies, "I'm a soldier from a welfare family".

    And of course they ask all of us, "What do you do?". They don't ask us, "What are you being?".

    And this is because 'doing' serves the economy while 'being' serves a living being.

    The Prince is a good example. We continually worry about what he does, when all the time he is being a Prince.

    And how meanly economical we are, for not one of us here can be a Prince, yet we demean someone who can. And yet in demeaning the Prince, we demean ourselves. We demean ourselves right down to cogs in the economic machine.

    All smeared and grimed with doing, the cogs look up at the Prince, and notice he does nothing, he simply is.

    And the worst thing for a cog is to do nothing, to be unemployed. It is just too embarrassing to tell them this at a party, for no girl wants an unemployed cog.

    And so in our deep ressentiment, we call the Prince 'unemployed'. And somehow this makes us feel better.

    But in the meantime we have been eviscerated by the economy, and turned from living beings to doing cogs.

    Meanwhile he continues being a Prince, and we too can be ourselves.

    While they tell us that being comes to an end but doing goes on forever. They tell us that we will find everlasting salvation in doing. Look in your wallet or purse and you will find a dollar with, "In God We Trust", written on its face. This dollar is a boot stamping on a human face forever.

    But notice, they never make jokes about money or doing, they only make jokes about being, the one magical thing we all possess - being.

  10. #30
    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    ^ i agree

    nice quote too, btw

    @ marmalade

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