Unabashed Heterophobe (paulnolan) wrote in ontd_political,
Unabashed Heterophobe

Why are we still supporting the Monarchy?

Let us consider for a moment the first two lines of Canadian band Of Montreal’s ‘My British Tour Diary’.
On my trip to England I noticed something obscene
People there still actually give a shit about the Queen
This is the reaction of a band whose singles also include ‘Vegan in Furs’, ‘Cato as a Pun’, and ‘Fun Loving Nun’, and whose lead singer has been known to arrive onstage naked astride a white horse.

Basically, outside Europe even very weird people think we’re weird.

I can understand their perspective. Britain appears in some respects to be one of the more advanced societies in the world. I believe this and I’m proud of it, but I can’t be proud of the British schizophrenia that allowed us to pay £41.5 million in taxes last year to prop up an outdated and irrelevant family whose symbolism says something very harmful about our democracy.

Whenever I argue with Americans that their system has massive flaws, they just stop, smile, and say “but you still have a queen”. Knockout. End of debate.

The arguments for a monarchy in Britain today are as follows:

She’s our queen, and having a royal family has always been a part of Britain.

Untrue. We have been ruled by French, German and (much further back) Roman monarchs/emperors. The current set are more German than anything. There is nothing less fundamentally British than the Royal Family.

The Royal Family make money from tourism, and if they were gone we would lose the massive amounts of income it provides.

Tourists love the crown jewels, the palaces, and the exhibitions of royal paraphernalia. In a republic we could still maintain these items as historical anachronisms that can be viewed through a glass cage. Of course, we all know how terribly badly off our republican neighbours do without a monarch but with all the glitzy effects that they left behind. France’s income from tourism: 66 billion €, centred on chateaux, art collections previously owned by royalty, and palaces formerly inhabited by their unfortunate aristocracy.

The Queen doesn’t have any power anyway

Symbolism is important. Look at the Catholic church. The use of icons has allowed the Catholics to put a little piece of religion into homes, schools, and workplaces in religious countries. If symbolism doesn’t matter, then presumably the whole of Britain would be content if we put a copy of the Qu’ran in every classroom in the UK? There would be uproar, of course, because objects have a symbolic afterlife. The queen’s head on a coin says “you are my subject, whether I have any real power or not”. In modern Britain today, we do not need to be the subjects of anybody. The symbolism implies that British people agree with paying for and supporting a family who make Britain look laughable in an international context.

How would we go about getting rid of them? It would be impossible.

One of the perks or flaws of our democracy, depending on how you look at it, is that a simple Act of Parliament can change anything. In 1911, many powers of the House of Lords were removed by David Lloyd George. The Lords had to vote for the abolition of their own strength, or face even more stringent penalties. The monarchy will have to sign their own (metaphorical) death warrant, and just like all unemployed people the family can of course get Jobseekers allowance (at the time of writing), return to their jobs in the military, and get on the property ladder.

Finally, when the future monarch acts like this, there is little reason to hope our situation will do anything but deteriorate.

The Government’s Emergency Budget today hurt the people who most need their help. In their careful analysis, they seem to have forgotten to address the people receiving the best benefits package in the country. If Britain wants to maintain its reputation on an international level, wants to have respect for its own democracy, and wants to minimise that deficit, there is one choice: get them out.

Source: Liberal Conspiracy
Tags: economics, royal family, uk

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