How many british republicans do we have?

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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#81  Postby cursuswalker » Jan 12, 2011 11:04 pm

jamest wrote:What's the point in being a British republican when the monarchy now has zero power, anyway? What would be achieved by abolishing the monarchy in the UK, as it now stands? Nothing.

I wouldn't mind, but the monarchy probably brings in much more wealth to the UK than it takes to sustain it. Tourists love it and it provides us/them with a living link to our history and evolution.

I can think of no other reason to get rid of the monarchy other than as a knee-jerk negative-response to the concept itself. That might have been relevant and pragmatic in the 18th century, but not now. Some people just need to grow up and think of what's best for the UK itself, instead of what's best for their fucked-up hippy ideologies.


you seem to have missed the whole subject of the royal prerogative, by which power british soldiers died in Iraq.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#82  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 13, 2011 8:46 pm

tolman wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:Prior to moving to Thailand I pretty much didn't care about the UK Monarchy either way.... after living in Thailand and seeing how obsequious Thais are to their monarchical system, I came to the realisation that a monarchy is an outdated political system.

Isn't that a bit like saying that going to a country with an authoritarian president makes one think that presidents are a bad idea?


Sometimes it requires seeing a system through new eyes to see its failings. When you're born into the UK system of constitutional monarchy, you take a lot for granted. Seeing the constitutional monarchy in Thailand and what it represents helped me to reflect on what it actually represents in the UK.

Note that I didn't actually say it's a bad idea, but rather that it's outdated.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#83  Postby Paul G » Jan 13, 2011 9:25 pm

jamest wrote:What's the point in being a British republican when the monarchy now has zero power, anyway? What would be achieved by abolishing the monarchy in the UK, as it now stands? Nothing.

I wouldn't mind, but the monarchy probably brings in much more wealth to the UK than it takes to sustain it. Tourists love it and it provides us/them with a living link to our history and evolution.

I can think of no other reason to get rid of the monarchy other than as a knee-jerk negative-response to the concept itself. That might have been relevant and pragmatic in the 18th century, but not now. Some people just need to grow up and think of what's best for the UK itself, instead of what's best for their fucked-up hippy ideologies.


Oh well if it means bringing in tourists then YAYYYYYZZZZZZZZZZZ.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#84  Postby David M » Jan 13, 2011 9:30 pm

Paula1 wrote:I'm a republican, in fact I just joined Republic after Matt making me aware of it, thanks Matt :thumbup:

http://www.republic.org.uk/

They are an embarrassment, the fancy dress costumes and rituals are just silly, and completely meaningless in the 21st century. They cost too much, there are too many hangers-on, and they take the piss.

I bow and kow-tow to no one :snooty:


And elected heads of state done have any rituals and other silly stuff?

We have what is to all intents and purposes an elected head of state, its the prime minister because that is in the government that the power to govern the country actually resides.

Look at the desparate and corrupt heads of state around the world that represent democracies and republics. I far prefer a separation of powers between the head of state and the elected government.

cursuswalker wrote:you seem to have missed the whole subject of the royal prerogative, by which power british soldiers died in Iraq.


And in what way does the exercise of the royal perogative by the Queen have any relevance to british soldier dying in Iraq?

All of the powers listed are ones that successive parliaments have allowed the government to exercise in the current way. There has been a slow transfer of perogative powers becoming statuatory but the fact that those have not been has nothing to do with us not having an elected head of state. The blame lies with our elected representatives and especially with their reluctance to stop the transfer of power from parliament to the ministers.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#85  Postby zoon » Jan 13, 2011 11:37 pm

cursuswalker wrote:you seem to have missed the whole subject of the royal prerogative, by which power british soldiers died in Iraq.

Was the monarchy, or crown powers, involved? According to the BBC at the time, there was a parliamentary vote of 412-149 in favour of the Iraq war - it probably required armtwisting and economy with the truth, but that's democracy in action.
The BBC (in 2003) wrote:Mr Blair suffered the greatest parliamentary revolt of his premiership when 139 of his party colleagues voted for an amendment saying the case for war was not yet proven.

But the government still managed to beat the rebel amendment and see its own motion supporting the use of UK forces in Iraq passed by a large majority - 412 to 149.

The vote came after the United States said its troops would invade Iraq even if President Saddam Hussein complied with an ultimatum to quit his country.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#86  Postby Teshi » Jan 15, 2011 2:42 pm

It seems that republicanism is tied up a lot with the War in Iraq in the UK, and yet the US, which has the kind of government you are talking about as better also went and Canada, which is a constitutional monarchy with a very similar system of government and division of power, didn't go.

I can see why people might think the monarchy is irrelevant and inefficient, but I'm not so convinced that being angry about the recent war alone is a good reason to be a republican.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#87  Postby Panderos » Jan 18, 2011 4:35 pm

A system of governance should be based on evidence as far as possible.

If you are pro/anti monarchy you should be able to justify it with reference to nations in the present or past who have had success or failure with a particular system.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#88  Postby Paul G » Jan 18, 2011 4:39 pm

Teshi wrote:It seems that republicanism is tied up a lot with the War in Iraq in the UK, and yet the US, which has the kind of government you are talking about as better also went and Canada, which is a constitutional monarchy with a very similar system of government and division of power, didn't go.

I can see why people might think the monarchy is irrelevant and inefficient, but I'm not so convinced that being angry about the recent war alone is a good reason to be a republican.


It's not the reason people are republicans.

It's very simple. In a democracy, public officials are elected.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#89  Postby Paul G » Jan 18, 2011 4:41 pm

Panderos wrote:A system of governance should be based on evidence as far as possible.

If you are pro/anti monarchy you should be able to justify it with reference to nations in the present or past who have had success or failure with a particular system.


I've yet too see a decent argument for having a monarch, that isn't a means of keeping a monarchy, as opposed to introducing one.

If the case for monarchy was so strong, wouldn't the pro camp be advising other countries to introduce one?
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#90  Postby tolman » Jan 18, 2011 5:13 pm

Paul G wrote:It's very simple. In a democracy, public officials are elected.

In the UK, aren't most of our public officials employees (civil servants/local government workers)?
I don't do sarcasm smileys, but someone as bright as you has probably figured that out already.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#91  Postby David M » Jan 18, 2011 6:59 pm

tolman wrote:
Paul G wrote:It's very simple. In a democracy, public officials are elected.

In the UK, aren't most of our public officials employees (civil servants/local government workers)?


Yes they are. A huge percentge of our public officials.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#92  Postby Paul G » Jan 18, 2011 8:23 pm

tolman wrote:
Paul G wrote:It's very simple. In a democracy, public officials are elected.

In the UK, aren't most of our public officials employees (civil servants/local government workers)?


Bah. I didn't mean public officials.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#93  Postby logical bob » Jan 24, 2011 9:54 am

jamest wrote:What's the point in being a British republican when the monarchy now has zero power, anyway? What would be achieved by abolishing the monarchy in the UK, as it now stands? Nothing.

I wouldn't mind, but the monarchy probably brings in much more wealth to the UK than it takes to sustain it. Tourists love it and it provides us/them with a living link to our history and evolution.

I can think of no other reason to get rid of the monarchy other than as a knee-jerk negative-response to the concept itself. That might have been relevant and pragmatic in the 18th century, but not now. Some people just need to grow up and think of what's best for the UK itself, instead of what's best for their fucked-up hippy ideologies.

James, I find myself in the curious position of agreeing with you.

All the arguments for becoming a republic seem to be about symbolism - we don't like what monarchy represents. If that's the only objection then we're agreed that having a monarchy doesn't actually do any harm. In an ideal world it would probably be worth becoming a republic, but the extent of the change in many, many laws would take a huge amount of parliamentary time. If we ever find we have a term of government where nothing pressing actually needs to be done we could devote it to symbolic gestures. Until then, let's live in the real world.

It's like hereditary peers and bishops in the House of Lords. Nobody likes the idea but the old style House of Lords did a pretty good job of restricting the sillier ideas of governments of both parties. When we finally end up with a fully elected second chamber we'll find it full of the same lightweights and yes men as the House of Commons.

A degree of constitutional inertia is good. We had a Lord Chancellor since the 12th century, then Tony Blair came along and abolished it in a morning so he could give the powers of the post to his mate who was sure not to ask awkward questions. It's clearly not a good idea. Constitutions are as good as the people who write them. That ours has evolved organically over centuries is no bad thing.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#94  Postby Blip » Jan 24, 2011 11:34 am

And I find myself in the curious postion of disagreeing with you, Bob. While I note your persuasive practical and pragmatic arguments, would you not concur that symbolism is frequently very important and that it is absurd for 21st century British people to be subjects of the Crown rather than citizens of the state?

On a lighter (?) note, I have heard that the three words most encouraging British people to embrace republicanism are King Charles III. ;-)
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#95  Postby logical bob » Jan 24, 2011 11:46 am

You're absolutely right Blip, it is absurd. Many of the ways things are done in Britain are absurd, which is one of the appeals of the place.

Would you concur that the people who say monarchy is unacceptable are often the same people who hold up Sweden and Denmark as examples of progressive societies? And if so, isn't that a bit odd?
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#96  Postby Blip » Jan 24, 2011 12:03 pm

logical bob wrote:You're absolutely right Blip, it is absurd. Many of the ways things are done in Britain are absurd, which is one of the appeals of the place.


Perhaps I should have opted for the word 'unacceptable'. While British eccentricity is to be applauded, so is a certain tendancy to iconoclasm among many of our populace. This is a case where we should privilege the latter, I suggest, on the grounds of social justice if nothing else.

logical bob wrote:Would you concur that the people who say monarchy is unacceptable are often the same people who hold up Sweden and Denmark as examples of progressive societies? And if so, isn't that a bit odd?


Because they are constitutional monarchies too? The point is well-made, of course, but I'd also hold up Iceland as another Nordic example of a progressive society. Perhaps the relatively advanced attitudes prevalent in these societies are a matter of overall culture rather than any specific constitutional arrangements?
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#97  Postby Panderos » Jan 24, 2011 12:11 pm

The iceland that collapsed recently? Or another iceland?

Anything that serves remind that the Prime Minister isn't God is a good thing.

Remember what Nixon said "If the President does it, that means its not illegal". We can do without that God complex, thanks very much.

Here is the rule: If monarchies work well, keep them. If not, remove them. The End.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#98  Postby Paul G » Jan 24, 2011 12:14 pm

Can we at least do away with swearing an oath to this "absurdity" ? If you want to keep the monarchy ineffectual, then at least make it ineffectual.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#99  Postby Blip » Jan 24, 2011 12:27 pm

Panderos wrote:The iceland that collapsed recently? Or another iceland?


I was referring to social attitudes: I make no comment on economics (except to note that social progressiveness tends to follow after prosperity for obvious reasons; it's hard to be progressive if you haven't got enough to eat).

Panderos wrote:Here is the rule: If monarchies work well, keep them. If not, remove them. The End.


I've already acknowledged the pragmatic argument, Panderos, but my objection is on principle. A hereditary head of state is simply inappropriate in the 21st century.

I think I may have already commented favourably on your avatar, by the way: if not, I do so now :)
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#100  Postby logical bob » Jan 24, 2011 12:30 pm

Blip wrote:
logical bob wrote:Would you concur that the people who say monarchy is unacceptable are often the same people who hold up Sweden and Denmark as examples of progressive societies? And if so, isn't that a bit odd?

Because they are constitutional monarchies too? The point is well-made, of course, but I'd also hold up Iceland as another Nordic example of a progressive society. Perhaps the relatively advanced attitudes prevalent in these societies are a matter of overall culture rather than any specific constitutional arrangements?

That's exactly what I mean. There seems to be no link between whether a country has a monarch and what kind of society it is. Which is why I wonder whether it matters.

Could you, Blip or anyone else, be as specific as you can about what it is that you find so unacceptable about monarchy?
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