Friday, 14 November 2008

Happy 60th Birthday Prince Charles

Many happy returns Prince Charles but i have to be honest and admit that i don't much care for any of the dysfunctional Royal family. I would shrug my shoulders nonchalantly at the news if they they had got turfed out of Buckingham Palace and were now shoehorned into a 3 bedroomed maisonette on a housing estate in Islington but until the Revolution, they live in luxury at our expense.
Prince Charles is in the unenviable position of having to wait for his mother to die before he can step up to the job that he has spent the last 60 years training for although there are persistent mutterings that he should step aside for his rapidly balding son William.
Whether Charlie, William or Hewitt's boy ends up polishing the Throne with their Royal posterior the time has probably come for the Windsors to be scaled down. Not in the French sense with guillotines and whatever passes for a Bastille in England being stormed, but a more refined British way by slashing them from the civil list.
The Queen gets handed £8m annually as well as a £25m pot available for the upkeep of her many residences but apart from waving and handing down knighthoods to undeserving celebrities every New Year, the Royals do not provide value for money.
The old argument is that they bring in the Tourists and raise more for the country than they cost but i argue that we have more than enough attractions in this country for Johnny Foreigner to throw their Euros at and if they want an old queen to stand and gawp at, we have always got Elton John, and we could pay him in mini rolls.

5 comments:

Annie said...

to his dismay, my beloved shares his birthday with prince charles. (and no, he has never talked with me about tampons on the telephone.)remember when that happened during his long-standing affair with camilla?

iMuslim said...

You know, I can understand the £25 million for the upkeep of her residences, because we would have to pay that much anyway, even if we dumped the Monarchy, as those castles and manors would be considered part of the National Heritage.

I am not sure why her own allowance is so great though. Doesn't she earn money from various estates and investments?

Don said...

Probably uses it to employ an army of professional servants -- drivers, chefs, hairdressers, toenail clippers, and my personal favorite, as mentioned in the film Coming To America -- WIPERS!

Noah "Nog" M. said...

Lucy,
I don't know if from a governmental perspective you'd want to get rid of your Queen and Lords so quickly. They're the (very weak) check on the Commons that keep things from getting out of hand.

From what I know of the British Constitution (and I actually do know a lot about it), getting rid of Ole' Lizzy might not go well along with everything else. It would require fundamental changes in all of the other forms of the British Government.

Westminster systems are "Strong Prime Minister" systems with effectively nonexistent checks on executive power. These problems are very apparent in the "model" Westminster System that Britain runs on. Right now, hilarious as it is, the British monarch is the only theoretical check on executive power in Britain (yes, I'm laughing to, but only because it's true)

In order to solve many of these problems y'all Brits would need to create other institutions to check executive power. For starters, you'd need a potent second chamber to check the Commons or whatever it would be called in a non-monarchist state. The British Parliament is effectively a one chamber legislature at this point. Again, I'm laughing hysterically on the realization that the Lords were that check.

...Actually, instead of writing it all over again in this comment, I'll just refer you to the Constitution of the United States. It's a pretty good one and it will solve all of the problems getting rid of your Queen will create.



-Nog

ZenYenta said...

You know, it's true. Great Britain is one of the few places I'm sorry I'm never going to get to see, but catching a glimpse of a Royal wouldn't even be on my list. You've got the history of western civilization to take in over there. That's quite enough.

I used to work with a Scottish woman, who somehow or other had wound up teaching American history in a private school here. She said she left and changed careers because we just didn't have enough history to be interesting.