Republic launch crusade against Queen… and get showered with abuse

Back on Republic watch again today. Republic thought they’d take the opportunity of the Scottish agenda to push their unpopular agenda more than usual today.

As part of this, they decided to launch their own ‘crusade’ against The Queen for her comments on the Scottish referendum, which were… she hoped people would “think very carefully about the future”. Amazing.

Rather pleasingly however, Twitter reacted in its own inimitable fashion to this opportunistic outburst. Here are some choice extracts.

And there’s more…

Their big chance in the spotlight…

Some choice extracts from Republic’s semi-literate Twitter outburst

Republic were kind enough to treat us to one of their semi-literate Twitter outbursts today as part of what they’re calling an effort to ‘step up the game’. The armchair revolutionaries are out in force today!

I thought I’d share a few choice extracts with you and my immediate responses to them. Feel free to add your own in the comments…

Republic clearly forgetting about their own unelected lobbyingRemind me again, how do we get rid of them if we don’t agree?

Another blind spot! Wanting to replace an independent Monarch with a member of one of the cosy political clubs in Westminster in order to ‘show the establishment what-for’. Unlimited access to power, allowing political dominance of an office that’s supposed to unite all, letting the political parties choose candidates, That’ll really show them

Umm… don’t buy it then?!

All quiet on the western front

The summer news drought is now in its mid-stages and is hitting particularly hard this year, hence the lack of commentary on anything on this blog… and anywhere!

Hopefully things will start to pick up from here with Prince Harry’s Invictus Games coming up as well as the likely reinvoking of Republic’s Twitter account once the Royal Family return so they can lambaste them for breathing again [they work like gannets] and other sundry dramas ahead.

Lots more of this still to come though…

folks

The Courtier snoozes, but with one eye open…

 

Short musings for republicans

This short list of musings is for republicans, just to remind you of the nature of your argument…

  • The official Republic Facebook page, started in 2007, has just over 20,000 likes. The British Monarchist League Facebook page, begun in 2010, has over 85,000 likes.
  • The Monarchy costs each person in Britain 56p per year. To be a member of Republic for a year will cost you a minimum of £8.
  • Support for a British republic was higher in 1969 than it is now.
  • Eight of the ten most prosperous nations in the world are Monarchies.
  • 69% of people think the UK would be worse off without the Monarchy.
  • 74% of Brits think the Monarchy actually defines Britishness.
  • A large number of people who say they’re republican support the abolition of the Head of State altogether rather than explicitly removing the Monarchy.
  • The largest republican protest in British history was at the Thames Jubilee river pageant. Under 100 people attended.

Still think you’re winning?

Republic hypocrisy reaches unprecedented level

Perusing Republic’s website as one does, I was quite staggered to come across this open admission (highlighted) on their donations page

hipos

Regular followers of the pitchfork and whinging brigade will know they make a big thing about Prince Charles supposedly ‘lobbying’ ministers with his ideas and how wrong it is that an unelected person can do this.

Nonetheless, with not even a shred of irony, they shamelessly flaunt their own unelected lobbying (presumably unelected lobbying about “unelected lobbying”?).

Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

Republic share their ideas for their politician-president

Republic decided they’d start pushing their agenda again today after what I can only assume was some kind of brief summer break. Among the usual babel, they tweeted their outline for what they thought a president in a British republic they’re pining for so much would be like. (You can see here).

Unfortunately however, the plans are every bit as ill-thought and effete as you would expect.

Firstly, Republic seem to think that an elected head of state could in some way be politically neutral. I’d like to know how. The only conceivable way to run election would be to have political parties choosing, sponsoring and funding candidates – aside from creating a plutocracy, there is no conceivable way for political parties to be removed from this process.

By their very nature, parties will put forward their most loyal and staunch supporters to get the easiest ride and reap the greatest benefits.

Republic use Ireland as an example of a good presidential system, purely because the last few presidents have been popular during their time in office. They state people would be willing to vote for independent candidates in presidential elections because they do in local elections. Really? How many independent candidates get into Westminster I wonder? And how many independent presidents has Ireland elected? (The answer is none).

Additionally, some of you may be aware there are serious calls in Ireland for the presidency to be abolished because many people feel the so called ‘checks and balances’ (which Republic say the president can provide) are almost non-existent.

A Monarchy, where the head of state owes no loyalty to any one political party, ensures a truly independent head of state. You might ‘prescribe’ a president’s neutrality by law, but just remember who they rely on come election time for funding and support… Still neutral?

Even more calamitously, Republic suggest this new politican-president should preside over proceedings on the occasion of a Hung Parliament to choose the Prime Minister.

Their proposal for stopping the government simply ejecting a president they don’t like? Make the majority high enough to ensure cross-party support. Genius. So while a president tramples on the minority parties, so long as they keep the big two/three happy, everything’s fine. Another problem with elected HoSs: promotes, encourages and nurtures majoritarian rule and disregard of smaller parties. Monarchy protects space for minority interests by not taking a side in the first place.

I’ll update this post as I peruse through other sections of their proposals when I have more time, for now I think I need to go and lie down in a darkened room..

The Courtier thinks Republic have truly excelled themselves in vacuity in their latest missive.

What has Prince Charles ever done?

large_14226496274Several detractors have come forward in the last few days to criticise Prince Charles for never having achieved anything. The Courtier is in complete agreement with these astute analysts – after all, the only thing he’s ever done is…

  • Set up the Prince’s Trust in 1976 to help young people into employment and improve their life prospects (since 1976 the Trust has helped more than 750,000 young people to turn their lives around),
  • Given over five years’ active service in the Armed Forces,
  • Saved the historic Dumfries House for the nation by leading a consortium to by the estate in 2007, preventing the estate being broken up and retaining it for posterity,
  • Started the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation, giving funding to a wide range of charitable organisations, in 1979 (now one of the UK’s largest independent charitable foundations) raising over £100m annually,
  • Founded the Prince’s Drawing School in 2000 to allow graduate and amateur artists to improve drawing skills and raise the profile of drawing through teaching and practice,
  • In March 2014, arranged for five million measles-rubella vaccinations for children in the Philippines on the outbreak of measles in South-East Asia,
  • Used his position to promote inter-faith cohesion and peaceful relations between religious groups,
  • Independently carrying out over 600 engagements annually, travelling around the country visiting local communities and meeting individuals whose work may often go unacknowledged,
  • Personally answered over 1,959 items of correspondence from the public in the last year,
  • In the last year alone offered 7 placement opportunities given to work experience students and interns in his household,
  • Just this year, donated £50,000 through his Countryside fund to aid with the Somerset flooding,
  • Launched the Step up to Serve initiative to encourage young people  young people to “unlock their talent and potential”,  help counter anti-social behaviour and encourage them to take responsibility,
  • Written and published 8 books,
  • Provided his patronage to over 400 charities, using his position to draw media and public attention to these causes,
  • Dedicated his life in service to the UK and Commonwealth.

The Courtier thinks these particular detractors should choose their battles more carefully.

photo credit: Korona Lacasse via photopin cc

“Most amazing public servant” and why Prince Charles meets with ministers

David Cameron spoke about his weekly audience with The Queen today as Prime Minister after a question about what it was like to meet Her Majesty.

The PM said, “I find the experience of sitting down with her for an hour and talking about the issues the country faces… is actually an incredibly useful exercise. Explaining to someone so knowledgeable, who’s heard all of this before, about how we’re going to try and tackle these challenges.

“It’s of great benefit to me because I find it helps sort out the problems in my own head about the things that we need to do.”

A constitutional monarch is only useful when they have accrued experience and wisdom which they can share with their Prime Ministers, which leads us on to why Prince Charles actually meets with politicians.

Republicans would have you believe he takes these opportunities to thrust forward ideas about how he can increase his wealth or give himself legislative power. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In all accounts, the issues Prince Charles raises with ministers don’t even come close to benefitting him personally and in fact come to his detriment when detractors scoff and howl and jeer at him for trying to raise these issues.

Stephen Fry makes a very eloquent statement of support to this effect…

Still not convinced? Jacob Rees-Mogg MP explains fully why Prince Charles meets with ministers in his article in the Telegraph,

The Courtier likes to draw attention to the Prince of Wales’s motto when asked the questions ‘why does Prince Charles bother’.

Royal documentaries not what they used to be?

For those interested in documentaries about the Royal Family, YouTube is something of a bustling metropolis for all sorts films and TV series on Monarchy past and present. Because of this it’s quite easy to get a feel for how the production of these has changed over the year, particularly with the fly on the wall style documentaries in the royal palaces (which have always been a rarity in themselves).

Two of my all-time favourite documentaries are Elizabeth R (which until last year was lost in the mists of time) and Days of Majesty (produced around the same time as Elizabeth R, though quite different in style).

Elizabeth R was the second documentary of its kind to be produced after the now notorious (yet literally impossible to source) 1969 film Royal Family and it features actual commentary from The Queen about her life and role as Monarch. Some of what is said is rather as you’d expect with the role but the descriptions HM gives of some of the aspects of her life are genuinely interesting and it’s certainly the only extant example of HM giving any such commentary.

As with the 1969 documentary, Elizabeth R was withdrawn from public view shortly after it was released over fears it revealed too much about the Monarchy. Fortunately, some royal watchers who recorded the documentary at the time and preserved it for posterity managed to get it from VHS onto YouTube – when it first appeared on there about a year ago.

It’s thoroughly worth a watch for anyone with even a vague interest in the Monarchy.

Watching it now, it’s rather difficult to understand why it was withdrawn – though coverage in the early nineties didn’t include the (sometimes rather invasive) availability of info on the royals on the Internet today so perhaps it’s difficult to compare.

The second doc I mentioned – Days of Majesty – is a rather pleasant guide to the traditions associated with the Monarchy. When I first watched it, a lot of these were unknown to me (such as the Trial of the Pyx) and the film is very thorough in its scope. Broadcast in 1993, it also includes some rather interesting analyses of The Queen’s early reign and coronation along with an interview with one of her private secretaries at the time of her accession Martin Charteris who gives a detailed account of the time when Princess Elizabeth became Queen during a stop-off from a Commonwealth tour in Kenya.

Since those two documentaries, these kinds of films have become almost non-existent (perhaps due to the more aggressive media stance of the Palace taken during the nineties). Several attempts have been made and some quite notable and interesting to an extent (Monarchy: Royal Family at Work [2007] being one and ‘Our Queen’ in 2012 being the other) but for some reason, compared to Elizabeth R, they seem rather tame.

The Courtier wonders whether the likes of Elizabeth R would ever be repeated again in future reigns…