Friday, April 21, 2006

God prosper long our noble Queen

And long may she reign !

Princess Elizabeth, aged 16
Picture from the National Archives.



UPDATE - I hate to repeat myself but ...


The monarchy is the living totem of our tribe.

In the US, to be republican is to be an American patriot, in Ireland to be an Irish patriot, in France to be a French patriot. There is no patriotic British republican tradition - what republicanism exists is, often explicitly, anti-British.

Monarchy, like religion, appeals to the irrational in human nature.

I use irrational here to mean something which human reason is ill-equipped to grasp or comprehend, but which may nonetheless play an important role in human affairs. Complex or imaginary numbers could be an analogy. I can't grasp the concept of the square root of -1, yet it plays an important role in physics. (Note - there are also numbers known as irrational numbers).

A society can get rid of monarchy, just as it can get rid of religion. But irrational urges in human beings cannot be so easily removed. If they cannot be expressed via the structures built up in Britain over the centuries, they will find an outlet elsewhere.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said sir! And to think I was pretty much a republican once...

Stuart said...

Why? The old bitch has a 'job' for life anyway, she's the world's richest woman and has the best healthcare the world's 4th largest economy can provide gratis without fear of MRSA or dyng on a trolley in a filthy hospital corridor....no waiting list either! So what precisely is God being asked to save her from?

JuliaM said...

"So what precisely is God being asked to save her from?"

People like you......

Anonymous said...

"So what precisely is God being asked to save her from?"

President Blair

Michaelcd said...

We are the one's, who need saving from President Blair!

Dangerouslysubversivedad said...

I'm sorry to disagree here, but Queenie abdicated her rights to her position and privilege the moment she signed assent for the Maastricht Treaty and formalised the precedence of European Law over British. The institution I respect, the person I absolutely do not.

Laban said...

dsd - in a constitutional monarchy the monarch is in the end subject to the people - as expessed via our imperfect democracy.

What did you expect HM to do about Maastricht - abdicate for her son ? Lead a military coup ?

If you respect the institution then you respect it despite whatever views on the individual you may have.

David said...

An irrational number is simply one that can't be expressed as a ratio of two integers, not one that is immune to rationality.

An imaginary, or complex, number is no odder.

Ill-used metaphors like this remind me of the Sokal affair. Well done.

Dave said...

I agree with DSD, the duty of the monarchy is to preserve the sovereignty of this nation and they have not done that.

Laban said...

Read the post, Dave1. A complex number is much more strange than an irrational one - and I specifically distinguished between them. The complex number is a great analogy - logic can't grasp it, yet it's useful.

Stuart said...

Juliam: your response demonstrates you are a shining wit ;~)

Anonymous: President Blair is indeed a nightmarish prospect - but one that already exists in all but name. Under a sane, civilised system, a president would be limited to a number of terms in office. As it is, he reigns supreme in E"R's name under the principle of the 'sovereign in parliament (look it up)

michaelcd: AMEN!!

DSD and Dave have hit the nail on the head. She failed in her most important duty by letting the politicians sell us out to the EU. Laban, she could, and SHOULD have used her influence, like her ancestors did, to prevent this. She could have refused the royal assent and disolved HER government to bring about a general election. That is her constitutional role. She shrank from it in order not to rock the boat and keep the "family firm" in business. She is a bigger traitor than Charles I

Laban said...

It would probably have lead to the dissolution of the monarchy.

After all, George VI didn't sack Chamberlain for Munich - although that didn't directly affect our sovereignty.

I appreciate your argument - that as Sovereign she had no right to cede the sovereignty which belonged to her heirs and successors.

But in that case she should have sacked Ted Heath, and given that the British people had just voted in a referendum on Europe, her position would have been a difficult one.

Cirdan said...

To paraphrase Father Brown, never trust a man who attacks reason.

David said...

Logic can't grasp complex numbers? Eh? Of course it can. It's a subject informed by logic that created them (or discovered them depending on your levle of Platonism...)

If you don't have an intuitive grasp of complex numbers well, I suppose you might not have an intuitive grasp of minus seven apples, or of infinity, or of transcendental numbers. Your argument from personal misapprehension doesn't make for a sensible analogy.

Squander Two said...

David's right about logic. It's intuition that can't grasp complex numbers -- pretty much the opposite of logic.


> It would probably have lead to the dissolution of the monarchy.

You think a government would be willing to try that over a mere EU treaty? Aye, right. And the Queen could of course have explained to the public why she was doing it -- that she was, in fact, constitutionally bound to do it.


> George VI didn't sack Chamberlain for Munich - although that didn't directly affect our sovereignty.

Not only did it not affect our sovereignty, but it was a feint to buy time: as I never tire of telling people, Chamberlain ordered the construction of Whitehall's underground war rooms on the same day as he made the "I have a piece of paper" speech. He knew war was coming, and knew the British would fight. George VI would have been privy to Chamberlain's real thoughts on the matter, not just what was told to the public at the time.

Laban said...

Any number, rational or irrational, (except 0) when squared yields a positive number.

Could you write down the square root of -1 ?

Squander Two said...

Yes:

i

You now appear to have confused "grasp logically" with "can write down using the numerals from 0 to 9". Not even remotely the same thing. The use of the letter "i" is no more arbitrary than that of the numeral "8", and you are very, very wrong to attach more logical significance to the latter.

It is precisely logic that gave rise to complex numbers.

David said...

Laban, on an subject I know I can see you talk nonsense and when corrected, instead of informing yourself, defend ignorance.

Should I suppose this is what you're doing in every other post? Talking nonsense, arrogantly?

Laban said...

David - yes, absolutely.