Sunday, April 23, 2006


I have never understood the veneration of monarchy by (most of) the British public. We have just had another bout of bowing and scraping with the Queen’s 80th birthday. I’m with Jack Dromey (the same) who said on Any Questions last Friday that the Queen stands at the apex of a system of “privilege, class and deference” which is ill-fitting in a democratic society at the beginning of the twenty-first century (I wonder if Mrs. Dromey ever expressed that opinion in Cabinet). Yet, sadly, the opinion polls show only around 20% favour the (return of) the British Republic. It’s amusing to look again at Bagehot. Monarchy, he wrote, provides “a visible symbol of unity to those still so imperfectly educated as to need a symbol”. Which roughly translates as: the great unwashed are half-wits and the monarchy is there to keep the poor sods transfixed. But to judge by the incontinent gushing of BBC types it isn’t just the poor serfs who are addicted to forelock-tugging. Still, on the up side, 20% is a lot more than back in the bad old days when Willie Hamilton M.P. was seen as utterly eccentric for advocating a Republic. The argument for a Republic has made some headway…


Blogger skipper said...

Yes, it has. And recall only a few years ago the Guardian devoted a whole issue to elaborating the republican case- maybe that's why only 20% support it. I tend to agree with your line on the monarchy and just cannot, cannot understand why apparently perfectly nice people can behave like morons and queue up for hours just to grab a glimpse of a short old lady in frumpy clothes. Most other European countries managed to eliminate their monarchies some time ago but we stillhave ours to fill the airwaves in slow news weeks.

11:44 pm  
Blogger dreadnought said...

Forelock Tugging. It always seems to conjour up some amusement in my mind. That, and cap rimming (I think that is what it is called). Anyway, long live The Republic!

3:52 pm  

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