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"Royals/Royal Weddings - do we need them?"

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Tue 30/11/10 at 09:23
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
With the announcement of the impending wedding of Kate and Prince William the country seems to have been made a little brighter in times of trouble.

Or at least that's what the press wants you to think. Does it, though, matter in this day and age whether a royal wedding is taking place? Is anyone that bothered by our Royal family any more?

The Case For
There certainly are plenty of people excited by a royal wedding. It does seem to be more of a soap opera style event though, a case of forgetting your own troubles for a fantasy wedding, the likes of which we haven't seen since Charles and Diana.

Companies who will benefit from merchandising must be happy too, plates, nick nacks and all sorts of anything that can have the likenesses of the Prince and his fiancée marked upon them will be being prepared for next year with the view of making money.

It will bring in visitors from other countries too, especially those royal-mad US citizens who will come over in their droves and hopefully bring some money into the country.

It may also mean that we have the option of another future King and Queen in addition to Charles and Camilla, a somewhat preferable one at that according to some.

The Case Against
Money. It will cost a fortune in a country that can barely afford to keep itself going at the moment. OK, so the Royal Family has publicly agreed to help out themselves, something unheard of in the past, but it will still be a drain.

Also, an official day off is going to have an effect on business. Many business are going to have to stay open and to do that they'll have to pay their staff more just to stay at work on a holiday, it's estimated to cost British business millions extra.

And do we really care about this couple? Aren't the royals outdated anyway?
Tue 13/12/11 at 13:30
Regular
"HELLOOO"
Posts: 29
WE DO NOT NEED THEM

IT'S A FREE COUNTRY!!!!!!
Fri 06/05/11 at 16:12
Regular
Posts: 2
its the only thing that makes this country great.......the history and the royals
Wed 04/05/11 at 02:06
Regular
"Monochromatic"
Posts: 18,487
Sibs wrote:
The Monarch being overtly political is discouraged. I'm pretty sure there's nothing forcing them not to do so aside from 'convention'. And while the Queen may appear non-partisan (no-one knows what goes on behind the scenes so no-one really knows to be honest), do you really trust Charles, William, his children, their children, ad infinitum to be always non-partisan?

I see no reason not to trust them.
I'm also fairly sure that constitutionally there are measures in place to make sure that governments can act independently of the crown and there has been since around the time of the reformation. I may be totally pulling this out of my imagination but I'm sure it was signed around the time of the Stuarts to stop the ridiculous merry-go-round of Protestant/Catholic royalty and the resulting civil war it had caused.
* Goes to look *
Yep, 1689 Bill of Rights. James II runs off leaving the government in charge and the government offers the vacancy to William and Mary, on the condition they sign the new constitution.

I know that (officially at least) the sovereign has played no part in government since the great reform bill about 200 years ago.
Tue 03/05/11 at 23:48
Regular
"Peace Respect Punk"
Posts: 8,069
Nin wrote:
What you just described is little more than ceremony, I'm fairly sure it's written somewhere in law that they're not allowed to exert any political influence and are even discouraged from discussing it.

The Monarch being overtly political is discouraged. I'm pretty sure there's nothing forcing them not to do so aside from 'convention'. And while the Queen may appear non-partisan (no-one knows what goes on behind the scenes so no-one really knows to be honest), do you really trust Charles, William, his children, their children, ad infinitum to be always non-partisan?


Garin wrote:
We dont have any law but we do have constitutional convention. If they decided to interfere it would end up in court. And basically they'd lose. Its fairly clear that our (unwritten) constitution has superceded the law. And I doubt they're going to be come up any compelling arguments that they should be allowed to circumvent democracy.

Partly my point - I never said it was realistic that the Monarch would use these powers. If they did the powers in question would almost certainly be challenged and abolished, which begs the question why they still even have them in the first place (even if it's just according to the written letter of the law, but not in practice).
Tue 03/05/11 at 22:44
Regular
"Devil in disguise"
Posts: 3,151
Nin wrote:
What you just described is little more than ceremony, I'm fairly sure it's written somewhere in law that they're not allowed to exert any political influence and are even discouraged from discussing it.

We dont have any law but we do have constitutional convention. If they decided to interfere it would end up in court. And basically they'd lose. Its fairly clear that our (unwritten) constitution has superceded the law. And I doubt they're going to be come up any compelling arguments that they should be allowed to circumvent democracy.
Tue 03/05/11 at 21:55
Regular
"Monochromatic"
Posts: 18,487
What you just described is little more than ceremony, I'm fairly sure it's written somewhere in law that they're not allowed to exert any political influence and are even discouraged from discussing it.
Now in my view their major benefit is that they keep political ego's in check. If you want to see what happens to politicians when they've not got someone more important above them, take a look around the rest of the world.
I'll add that I think it's beneficial to have at least someone who is seen as above political corruption or taking sides. Without the Queen, who is supposed to set an example? Sheriff Cameron of Nottingham?
Tue 03/05/11 at 21:55
Regular
"Devil in disguise"
Posts: 3,151
I dont know how you sleep at night Sibs. The fear that a 85 yr old woman is going to seize power and embark on a tyrannical reign of the UK must be overwhelming.
Tue 03/05/11 at 21:35
Regular
"Peace Respect Punk"
Posts: 8,069
I dislike the point about money from tourism making it okay. An unelected ruler is undemocratic - it shouldn't matter how much cash they bring in, and it's unknown whether they are a net gain or loss for the UK taxpayer since the Monarch is exempt from Freedom of Information laws (meaning we can never know how much tax they avoid paying and how much the taxpayer subsidises their existence on top of the Treasury handing them a big lump of cash every year). And as for tourism, people come to Buckingham Palace all the time without knowing if the Queen or anyone else is 'in' - no-one expects to see them, it's about seeing the Palace itself, the funny looking guardsmen, and looking at the history of the country. By all means keep the Palace and the funny looking guardsmen. But we don't need a Royal Family to keep them.

Money aside, it's a bit rich for the UK to be preaching democracy in Iraq, Afganistan, Libya, etc. when we still have some very outdated rules regarding the power of the Monarch.

At the last election we had a Hung Parliament and it was the Queen who 'invited' Cameron to become PM after it became clear Brown couldn't continue. But she could have chosen anyone and asked them to form a government - it could have been Nick Clegg, or it could've been Caroline Lucas (the Green leader who won her seat in Brighton) or even someone who wasn't an MP. Convention dictates that political parties decide who should be PM through party negotiations and inform the Queen, but this is a convention only - it is not a legal requirement, meaning that legally the Monarch can totally ignore the wishes of the voters when appointing a PM.

No-one seriously ever thought she would choose anyone but Cameron because he won most seats and most votes - but what if it had been more close. The decision of who is PM would have rested with the Queen, not the electorate. It's all well and good to claim that no Monarch would ever use such a power to go against the electorate, but then why do they still have the power at all? If it's never going to be used, get rid of it. There are plenty of other powers the Monarch clings on to that most people would be totally up in arms about if they were ever used in the modern day (eg. the Monarch can dissolve parliament and trigger a general election at any time and for any reason - they can also refuse any request by the ruling PM for Parliament to be dissolved so an election can be held).
Sun 01/05/11 at 16:05
Regular
"Carpe Diem"
Posts: 154
I'll admit that I'm a hypocrite. I watched it, more than once now. In fact, the more I see of it the more I like it. Guess it's just the inner patriot or something.
Sat 30/04/11 at 10:31
Staff Moderator
"Freeola Ltd"
Posts: 3,299
I did watch the wedding, I have to admit. (Was meant to be going to Ikea with some mates, but we got up late after the night before....)

I'm suprised how much I didn't mind it (my fiance and her mum were watching it, I was monging out on the sofa).

In terms of this old deabte too, Alistair whateverhisname is made a good point yesterday.

England/Britain has pretty much one focal point for the rest of the world, and it isn't whether we are currently Labour or Tory is it?

The world has pretty much adopted the Royal family and as someone has already said, when the world thinks of the Queen, they think of Elizabeth having a nice cuppa (in general at least with exceptions).

They are our only major brand, and if we didn't have them, what's to stop us being just another Belgium (sorry Belgium). :D

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