Friday Argument - Should we ditch the monarchy and become a republic

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opplock
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You're in good company there Derek. My favourite photo of Eric Clapton shows him reading the Beano.  

petegammonplug
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Afternoon James,

Appreciate the reply although it does still infer that those with different opinions to you cannot think critically and make stupid decisions. Oh well.

Thanks for the offer of classes but I'm good.

I did write a rather longer reply but it went somewhat off the 'Friday Argument' topic.

ATB,

Pete.

aerobod
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Hi Pete,

Plenty of people who have differences of opinion to me can think critically, plenty of people who have the same opinion as me can think critically too.

On the other hand there are plenty of people who both have the same opinion and a different opinion to me who don't think critically at all and will take information from any source whether it is accurate or not and consume it as if it is the truth - these people I call followers, not thinkers.

Depends on where you pigeonhole yourself, it is not for me to say.

James

petegammonplug
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Evening James,

Fair enough. I wonder where you pigeonhole me. Most on this forum just ignore me. 

Followers or thinkers?

Just for a bit of fun, as you are a Guardian reading thinker let me guess your thoughts.

The EU is a benevolent, democratic force for good and Brexit will be a disaster.

I was lied to and didn’t understand what I was voting for.

48% > 52%

Orange Man bad, the Clintons are not crooks and Hillary should be President as she won ‘the popular vote’.

Unlimited, unregulated immigration is good and to question this is racist.

The BBC is impartial, or maybe even a little right leaning.

There are 50 something genders, men can menstruate and fall pregnant. Women can have semen. To question this is 'transphobic' and a reason to lose your job and worthy of police investigation.

A six year old is capable of choosing their gender even if they cannot choose their bedtime.

The science is settled.

I can change the temperature and climate of the planet by not eating meat once a week and paying more tax.

The NHS is the envy of the world. (Although no other country has followed the model.)

The NHS would be much improved if only we could throw a lot more money into its insatiable maw.

All cultures are equal.

The burka empowers women.

Halal slaughter is acceptable but fox hunting is barbaric.

George Monbiot's call for an end to farming is sane and sensible.

Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.

ATB,

Pete.

 

aerobod
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I think I would grade you 'F' there Pete for less than 50% accuracy, lots of incorrect stereotyping.

I rate the Times, Guardian, New York Times, Globe and Mail, The Hill amongst others as newspapers that have journalists that strive for accuracy. Sun, Mail, Express, Mirror amongst others where it doesn't seem to be a leading trait. My online media reading is far more varied than just a few MSM titles, though.

I'm an ardent capitalist and social liberal, Richard Branson being the sort of business exec I like, although he seems to have lost his edge lately. I know it should be "Sir Richard Branson", but titles mean nothing to me, I would just address him as Richard, much as I addressed by first name the CEOs of the companies I have worked for. No need for any title such as Mr, Mrs, Dr, X, etc, I just respect people as individuals, no matter who they are.

Trump is just obnoxious, corrupt and incompetent and at the least a sociopath, wouldn't matter if he was right or left wing (he was a Democrat supporter until about 10 years ago). He totally lacks one iota of moral fibre.

I don't believe there is a god or gods, but totally respect those who believe in a god, that is their prerogative. Just don't try to convert me to your religion unless you want a lengthy debate on your beliefs, my beliefs, the universe, life and everything (I have managed to keep Jehovahs Witnesses in debate on the front step for a couple of hours, on several occasions in the past).

I don't use the NHS, but the privately operated doctors offices and other government services provided in Alberta by private business are in my experience a lot more efficient than equivalent services in both the UK and US, but I'm all for publicly funded medicine like we have here, have no qualms over private business providing it if more efficient for the government to pay them as opposed to providing it themselves

I'm a 1%er, but most of my good friends aren't, I have no upwardly mobile ambitions. I don't mind paying my way, ensuring that good government services are provide through taxes, of which I've hit the maximum marginal tax rate (currently 48% here in Alberta, Canada) over the past couple of decades. 

I have managed and have many non-heterosexual colleagues, I respect how they choose to live their lives the way they want and was fully supportive of Canada being one of the first countries to recognize gay marriage.

I had a great time working in the MOD as an engineer working on defence projects and fully support the need for armed forces as a last resort to maintain peace and stability, I wear a red poppy during Remembrance week, but respect the right of others to not wear one or wear one of a different colour.

About 50% of my neighbours are immigrants from countries around the world (as I am), adding a lot to society and the economic success of the country - something I believe Brexit will damage from a UK perspective.

Having closely followed the long term trade agreements and difficulty in establishing reasonable terms for Canada over the past 30 years, I can see that the UK is unlikely to be in a better position on trade outside the EU in the future.

Brexit doesn't affect me negatively at all, but the consequences will affect my relatives. From my perspective, I will benefit from a low pound when visiting them.

I like my meat and a clean environment, support the Alberta oil sands if tight environmental controls are kept in place and see the need to move to alternate energy as quickly as possible to protect the environment, but extreme and rapid moves are not practical, environmentally sound or financially possible.

I don't think I will spend as much time incorrectly stereotyping you as you did to me, but my impression from your posts are from someone like Angry Frank: https://youtu.be/ETqncRvQHWk

Oh, just to bring this thread back on to topic, the Monarchy requires change in my opinion, more of a Dutch approach would be appropriate: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchy_of_the_Netherlands

 

James

Jonathan Kay
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Severing Boris' head would have delighted the Corbynistas but the monarch has been politically toothless since the Glorious Revolution of 1688. 

A Head of Government was removed in 1975. I haven't seen any subsequent constitutional change that would prevent that happening again.

I seem to recall that the judiciary overturned the illegal prorogation of Parliament. I can't comment on the size of her teeth but Baroness Hale of Richmond's brooch packed a mighty constitutional punch.  

It came out OK in the end but the process was severely deficient. It only happened because of ad hoc litigation by individuals. The government argued that the courts didn't have jurisdiction, and many experts still think that to be the case. But the point about the monarchy's contribution to the process is that it got the law wrong and the processes weren't transparent to the people. 

And that system of judicial review and protection is now in the government's sights... which might only leave the "toothless" bit.

Jonathan

Jonathan Kay
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I mentioned earlier that my preference for not having a monarchy has social as well as constitutional bases.

There's a particularly nasty recent incident in the protection of Peter Ball by the heir to the throne. Because of the work of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse this is now in the open. It wouldn't have been otherwise. It's worth reading the whole report to get a picture of how this sort of secret unaccountable influence works. (There's also a current television documentary about this.)

Jonathan

Jonathan Kay
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The consistent quote is that as a former member of the military he put on the uniform to serve queen & country.

That's one better than what MPs have to declare:

"I (name of Member) swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God."

Nothing about country, constitution or constituents.

Jonathan

Jonathan Kay
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Thanks again, Tim.

Establishing a system of proportional representation (not AV) for all public elections. For parliamentary elections, my preference would be multi-member constituencies using the single transferable vote. The Jenkins' commission AV+ proposal (produced under the Blair government) also has merit.

Agreed that this is important. I don’t think that the monarchy particularly inhibits this, except in the general infantilisation of constitutional debate.

Moving to an identifiable enforceable constitution (your 1st priority) -
if you mean a written constitution, backed by an independent judiciary, then yes, this would be high on my priority list too.

Agreed. I think that the existence of the monarchy is a major barrier to serious debate about our constitution. And that we suffer as a result.

Reducing the powers of Ministers including the Prime Minister, and increasing scrutiny of their appointment and performance (your 2nd priority) -
I believe in devolving power to the most local democratic unit that makes sense [that in itself is a long discussion!]. However, under the last 3 shades of government (Labour, coalition and Conservative) the direction of travel has been the opposite. Effective scrutiny is essential at all levels of government.

Agree about devolution and subsidiarity. But I think that at national level the power of the Executive has grown far too big, and that this only happens because of Prime Ministerial power, and that that whole approach only exists because of the history of royal powers.

Removing an unelected legislating chamber including its theocratic components (your 3rd priority).
Being picky, the current Lords set up is a revising chamber, not a legislative one. But I know what you mean. I think a second chamber is an important constitutional check and balance (especially under FPTP, but also under PR too). My ideal would be to see a combination (majority) of elected and non-elected "experts" to counterbalance the "careerist politician" tendency that a fully elected chamber would entail. (i.e. not the current hereditary peers and CofE bishops or ex-MP life peers).

Agree about the importance of access to expert advice. I used to worry about how those get those checks and balances and what a second chamber should look like. But now I know that other liberal democracies manage without one I don’t. The checks and balances could live elsewhere, and that would be part of a decent constitutional reform.

No more referendums. On anything. We're a parliamentary democracy (or we should be). Our elected representatives should be making these decisions and being held accountable for them.

I don’t think that the monarchy swings this one way or the other.

Jonathan

 
HendrixsWhiteSt...
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The Guardian .... sorry Grauniad ?

#WrongAboutEverythingAllTheTime

Interesting comic but not really a thinker's paper....

 

 

'scuse me while I kiss the sky