Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Elizabeth the Useless

On the reign of QEII, I find myself agreeing with Sean Gabb:

The motto for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee was “Sixty Years a Queen.” The motto now might as well be “Sixty Years a Rubber Stamp.” If, during the six decades of her reign, England has been transformed from a great and powerful nation and the classic home of civil liberty into a sinister laughing stock, the ultimate responsibility for all that has gone wrong lies with Elizabeth II.


Once the politicians make themselves, as a class, irremovable, and once they begin to abolish the rights of the people, it is the duty of the Monarch to step in and rebalance the Constitution. It is then that she must resume her legal powers and exercise them of her own motion.

The need for this duty to be performed has been apparent since at least 1972, when we were lied into the European Union. The Conservatives did not fight the 1970 general election on any promise that they would take us in. When they did take us in, and when Labour kept us in, we were told that it was nothing more than a trade agreement. It turned out very soon to be a device for the politicians to exercise unaccountable power. The Queen should have acted then. Indeed, she should have acted – if not in the extreme sense, of standing forth as a royal dictator– before 1972. She should have resisted the Offensive Weapons Bill and the Firearms Bill, that effectively abolished our right to keep and bear arms for defence. She should have resisted the Bills that abolished most civil juries and that allowed majority verdicts in criminal trials. She should have resisted the numerous private agreements that made our country into an American satrapy. She should have insisted, every time she met her Prime Minister, on keeping the spirit of our old Constitution. There have been many times since 1972 when she should have acted.

At all times, she could have acted – all the way to sacking the Government and dissolving Parliament – without provoking riots in the street

Gabb concludes:

The Queen has not sustained our national identity. It is actually worse than this. By expressing that identity, she has allowed many people to overlook the structures of absolute and unaccountable power that have grown up during her reign. She has fronted a revolution to dispossess us of our country and of our rights within it. How many of the people who turn out on Jubilee Day, with their union flags and street parties, will fully realise that the forms they are celebrating now contain an alien and utterly malign substance?


Sooner or later, the luck of the draw may give us a Patriot King.

As for Her Present Majesty, she may be remembered in the history books as Elizabeth the Useless.

Apart from a gratuitous reference to a "bunch of black Marxists", the article seems spot on.

Many of the events that Gabb refers to were before my time, but I remember the Lisbon Treaty. The public were promised a referendum. The Queen would have lost nothing by insisting on it. Indeed, a substantial portion of the population would have thanked her for standing up to our corrupt politicians. And yet, for reasons unclear, she rubber-stamped that act of treason.

Our Queen has succeeded at many things, and is deservedly well regarded around the world, but she has failed abysmally at her most important task: safeguarding our freedom and sovereignty.


I'm not sure whether to be amused or dismayed by this Radio 5 excerpt, in which the presenter is determined not to engage in any serious discussion of the question "Why should we celebrate the Jubilee?". Classic BBC.

1 comment:

  1. I find the argument here unconvincing, even though I can understand the frustrations that monarchy has not blocked serious change in the UK.

    Let me explain. First of all, the British electorate voted yes to a referendum to stay in the EEC - as it was then called - in 1975.

    Of course, subsequent legislative/diplomatic acts, alliances have been carried forth by governments that were elected, however imperfectly, by democratic vote. The Queen probably concluded (I say probably because I don't tell for sure), that all of these acts were and are reversible by governments, should they so choose. There is, on this argument, nothing to stop the UK from leaving the EU, for example. (That fact is often not realised; it is just assumed that our membership is irrevocable.)

    Had the Queen and her advisers acted in the way urged by this article, there would have been a constitutional crisis of such a scale that we would have now lived in a republic. Far from slowing any move towards our involvement in a European superstate, a UK republic would probably be embedded even more disastrously within it. I think I can say that with a fair degree of certainty.

    There needs to be a way for the UK monarch to have a means of testing the public's opinions more clearly so that he or she can, if need be, warn a government more effectively about a dangerous move or, like a US president, veto something sent from Congress. Without such power, a monarch who vetoed legislation would be toast in 24 hours. That is the reality. Sneering about "Elizabeth the Useless" is, frankly, foolish as it ignores this reality.

    The sad truth is that the monarch is a symbolic person, part of our public ceremonial life. It adds to the colour of the nation; it is not excessively burdensome or intrusive, though some of its members can be annoying from time to time.

    In terms of actual power, the Queen has little beyond influence. It may be that she has tried to persuade governments one way or the other, but until the records are disclosed, we cannot tell, and neither can the author of this piece or anyone else.