If My Nan Could See This Post, She’d Be So Happy!

31 May

One See’s One

You have an opinion. You express it. Your mate has a differing opinion, they express it. Something they say, or maybe something completely unrelated that you discover later, gets you thinking: maybe there’s more to this issue? You look into it, maybe on-line, read a book or 2, speak to a couple of other friends. Your opinion changes. When you tell your friend, they are at best smug, at worst they say something along the lines of  “…but you said you thought jaffa cakes were a biscuit, not a cake!”

Isn’t the point of having these conversations with people to evolve, to widen your perception?  So why is it such a crime when you admit you were wrong, or misinformed, and change your opinion? You’re a dude, damnit! You have an open mind, and the more you learn, the more you change. You incorporate new information into your world view.

I am quite anti-establishment. I think generally, money and power lead to corruption, and i don’t trust 80% of politicians. I don’t respect people just because they are a policeman or a soldier. You’ve gotta earn it.

But i do love the queen.

My friend does not understand this. She says it opposes everything else i believe in.

It wasn’t always this way, when i was an opinionated, passionate teenager, i was an anti-royalist. But then i did some research.

The royal family generates a ton of cash monies for Britain every year. Tourists love that shit. Buckingham Palace, The Crown Jewels and The Tower of London are just a few of numerous real royal earners. The argument that the Royal Family cost too much really is redundant. It’s hard for us in the UK to understand why people from all over the world, particularly The USA and Australia are so in love with our Royal Family. When did you last see thousands of people lining the street to catch a glimpse of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel (who is she?)? The royal family bring the crowds in, and the crowds spend their money on our hotels, our historical landmarks, shops, taxis, restaurants etc. The royal family costs each person in the UK 69 pence per year, if you consider it a tax on tourism revenue, it’s a bloody bargain, mate.

What would be one of the most compelling argument against the monarchy is the fact that they are not elected, and this is supposed to be a democratic society. Except, the monarchy has no real power anymore. Yes, technically every act passed by parliament must be signed by The Queen, and technically she does have the power to veto them. BUT (see those capital letters? that means  i really mean it!) it would NEVER happen, because the power is only a courtesy, the Queen would never use it. For the sake of argument, lets imagine she does go mental one day (dons a Nike tracksuit, eats only jelly-babies and begins every public address with “yo, my biatches!”), and decides she does want to veto an act. I imagine parliament would dissolve the monarchy, or revoke the power of veto. Either way, it all adds up to the same fact: the monarchy have no real political power. It’s all pomp and ceremony, and us Brits love a bit of that.

The Queen is amazing for diplomatic relations. When Queenie visits abroad, everyone takes notice, there is a real sense of occasion and it does a lot of good keeping things ticking over nicely in terms of the delicate semi-peace balance we’ve got in this world. It saves the politicians time, which (theoretically) is better spent doing stuff like…erm, running the country?

The Queen is 86 years old. But she is no ordinary pensioner. Her official titles include Head of State, Head of the Commonwealth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Head of the British Armed Forces, and she is the patron of over 600 charities. Last year, the Queens average working week was about 54 hours. At 86 years old, ffs! What The Queen actually does is so vast and varied, i won’t bore you with it here, but if you’re interested, go here . Safe to say, girlfriend be earnin’ her 69p a year fee!

The Queen offers something presidents can’t, because of the nature of the role, and that is contingency. Our current Queen has reigned for nearly 60 years. She’s seen the comings and goings of 12 US presidents, and 12 British Prime Ministers (one that got re-elected again!). She’s seen good times, recessions, the birth of the internet, the rise and fall of various property markets, financial scandals and natural disasters. She offers us security and consistency that elected folk don’t. She also doesn’t need to lie to get our votes. She just kinda is.

I have a few personal reasons for liking the royal family. Prince Phillip is one. He literally has me in stitches sometimes. I imagine him with a dry humour, i think he know’s what he’s saying (see here, if you’ve been living under a rock). He’s a funny, cantankerous old man! I like Charles sort of too, i imagine he’d be a proper hippy had he been born somewhere else. He grows lemon grass around the palace cos he likes the smell of it under his feet! 😉 He does tons for charity and i think he’s a bit of a closet new-age scientist! He’s well into sustainability and eco-stuffs. Harry’s turning into quite a character, and William and Kate, well….i’m sure they’re really aspirational to a certain type of young person. Plus, it was a pretty decent bash back in April, no? Good for the morale of the country, despite the cynics. The Brits: any excuse for Pimms and cake.

It irritates me when people go on about how good the Queen has it, when she never asked for it. She was born into it and she has trained for it her entire life. What about all the responsibility that goes with it? Tis as likely to be a hellish prison as it is to be an opulent dream.

I don’t mind people who are aware of these things, but still don’t appreciate the monarchy, or people who buy into all the shape-changing-lizzard-new-world-order conspiracy stuffs (which i might, by the way, i just reckon if it is real, it won’t be the ones you can see on your TV). That’s fair enough, it’s just a matter of opinion, after all. It’s the people who ignore these facts and hate the monarchy out of principle, that i don’t understand.

If you’re interested in the person-queen, go here. Enjoy!

Congratulations for your Diamond Jubilee, Ma’m. I salute you.

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13 Responses to “If My Nan Could See This Post, She’d Be So Happy!”

  1. roughseasinthemed May 31, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Er, it would be a more valid comparison to use sofia or juan carlos rather than a spanish prime minister. There is still a royal family in spain too.

    Or you could compare Cameron with a spanish prime minister (Rajoy at the moment).

    • fringewalk May 31, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

      Yes, it would! To be honest i don’t really know much about spain :s

    • fringewalk May 31, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

      EDIT: have chosen German equiv to Prime Minister, think that comparison makes my point nicely 😉 Thanks 😀

      • roughseasinthemed May 31, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

        I don’t. You need to compare like with like.
        Pero, me da igual.

      • fringewalk May 31, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

        I am saying that other national figure heads (especially Presidents/Prime Ministers) don’t attract the attention she does, partly because she is The Queen, part of the longstanding monarchy, and not a temporary fixture 🙂

      • fringewalk May 31, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

        Ive just re-read that bit and i do see what you mean. If i was talking about just the attention she gets, i’d agree that another monarch that gets less attention would be a better comparison. But i’m also trying to say (albeit, not very gracefully!) that in comparison to the alternative to a monarch (ie an elected figurehead) is more useful cos of the attention she generates :s

  2. Ajay Kaul May 31, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    I like your premise that people have to earn respect – and I totally agree with it. And by and large, I don’t have any issue with the royal family, except 2.
    1- When someone gets knighted, they are supposed to bow to the Queen – and that seems archaic in the modern era. If she’s the queen only in title, then she should not be treated as one with a divine position of power.
    2- There has to be a retirement age. Even though she is figurative, the opinion of the royal family still counts. So the succession should be more in line with the era. Prince William seems to be very much in line with the modern times – humble yet assertive. It would be great to hear more from him, than having to wait 2 generations.

    • fringewalk May 31, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

      I just take the bowing thing as part of the pomp and ceremony, and i guess people don’t have to accept the knighthood; thereby rejecting the ‘autonomy’ of the monarch?
      I might agree with you on the Make Willsy King bit, accept i think he’d do better to grow and develop as a person and husband before he takes on such a huge responsibility…so much to experience that might make him a better monarch.
      Never know, maybe Queenie’s just holding out for the diamond thingy 😉
      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. jayne ayres June 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    I watched the tribute on BBC yesterday. It seemed to be a holiday that joined everyone in spirit. It was sweet. I can’t think of anythone we Americans could celebrate or “rely on” in the same manner – ever. Rain -on a day of such preparation and length – didn’t make anyone complain (on TV) – even the painters were mellow. Seriously – the poor Queen had to stand outside like that to watch every single boat and ship go by…! Maybe I have no attention span but I think that was a feat in itself even if it IS in her honor. I would have had to be having a party as i did that – IF I were the Queen. Anyway, I think what you said about consistency is a big part of what your monarchy provides. Perhaps it’s like parents at the home you were raised in – a sense of security. Afterwards, on TV, I saw the Royal Weddings piece and (RIP) – The Queen Mother’s Love story was so romantic – you can’t write better than that, and the Queen Elizabeth’s love story was sweet too. Family has good and bad and if i were Brit – I’d be happy to have a Royal Family.

    • fringewalk June 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      YEs i watched it too for a bit, looked like a good jolly 😉 Couldn’t believe how long she was standing either! Perfect example of her sense of duty. I doubt anyone was complaining cos of the rain – very British attitude! 😉 Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. socialassassin June 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Nice to see that not everyone under the age of fifty in this country sees Her Majesty as unnecessary!! Whilst having been known myself as somewhat of an anti-establishment man at times, I agree with you on the matter of the Queen. As Jayne quite rightly highlighted above, one major appeal of our monarchy is the stability of image it grants us. We may or may not agree with whatever political party is in government, but the Royal Family are a reliable constant that shows continuity of leadership to the rest of the world. And if I may be so bold as to ammend something you said, the Queen is far from a powerless political figurehead there for ceremonial purposes. Even were she to go bananas on us, Parliament have no rights to remove her or her powers over them, since this would constitute an act of treason (which, unknown to most people, still carries the death penalty in the UK). She also sits on the sessions of the Privy Council, the oldest and highest political body overseeing both Houses of Parliament, she has final veto rights over any law passed and as such reads and reviews all new laws passed in this country and although Parliament has no power over her, she can suspend, remove or even disband and remove altogether our Parliament at any time.
    I like the bit about her costing us 69p a year too – not bad when you consider she brought in 1bn pounds in revenue last year alone! When you add in the fact that the monarch has final and ultimate control of the Armed Forces, and is Governor of the national church, it comes as a surprise to most to realise that what most mistake as a sweet old granny cutting a few ribbons and opening the odd hospital is, in fact, the most powerful woman in the country – the fact that she doesn’t exercise her powers doesn’t mean they aren’t there!! She may seem archaic and out-of-touch to some of the younger generation, but until someone shows me someone modern society has created who stands more worthy of the position, I’ll remain steadfast in my support of my Queen. Great read Fringewalk!!!

    • fringewalk June 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      Thankyou! Yaaaaay! I’m not the only one! I fear our club is a lonely one though…
      Totally agree with you about the consistency – a precious commodity in this world.

      I dunno if i agree with you bout the powers though….i mean yup she does have those powers technically, but i think if she ever tried to use them, they would be revoked = powerless. It’s part of the pomp and ceremony. I very much doubt the monarchy could dissolve parliament (in reality, not just on paper), because we’ve come so far from the days when monarchy was government – i don’t think there’s any way of going back.
      She knows not to use em, we know she’s not gonna use em, so it’s ok for her to have em, technically, but not in reality 🙂
      The real power is with the unseen unelected 😉
      Its one of those things we’ll never know though, cos it’ll never happen, so we’re free to speculate! 😉
      She never even tries to use these powers – i think cos she understands her role these days is not one of government, and that they are gestures, rather than hactual powers.

      When it comes to inequality, injustice, corruption and systematic treading on the weak, i reckon there are much bigger, more important battles to be fought. I’m conserving my energy for a fight that really matters. The monarchy is not it – in fact its almost a distraction from the real shit we should be protesting!
      Thank you for your response – have enjoyed having a good old go at this topic with you lot! 😉 x

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