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spikegifted - Random thoughts

 

Poll: Do you support the Monarchy

August 3, 2003

If you consider how much we invest in the monarchy compare with this country's budget, it is a drop in the ocean! If you consider how much commercial benefits the monarchy provides for this country, I'd imagine you'd think again abolishing the monarchy. Do you really want to vote for a non-executive head of state - a president of some sort like they do in Ireland?

Think carefully before you answer... Be careful what you wish for.  

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August 3, 2003

Look, everyone (or nearly everyone) can choose what kind of a job they do for a living, the Royal Family can't. Unless they marry into it, they're born to serve. How about that as a career choice - you don't have one!! And for what? A country full of ungrateful s.o.b.'s!

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August
5, 2003

You think being in the world media spotlight everyday of your entire miserable life is going to be easy? What special powers do the Royal Family have? I'm sufficiently curious that I think I want some examples from you... I don't think many people think the Monarchy is perfect and it isn't. However, they are improving things on a number of areas. The Prince of Wales, of example, doesn't even get funds from the Civil List and he pay taxes on his earnings. So, in effect, he's paying to his Royal Family job!

BTW, he doesn't even get to choose what to do - he was born into this position!! He's being denied of one of the most basic human rights - to choose a job!! And for what? I hope it is certainly not to provide you with a target of hate.

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August 5, 2003

quote:

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Since the beginning of the eighteenth century, the monarch has become a constitutional monarch, which means that he or she is bound by rules and conventions and remains politically impartial.

On almost all matters he or she acts on the advice of ministers. While acting constitutionally, the Sovereign retains an important political role as Head of State, formally appointing prime ministers, approving certain legislation and bestowing honours.

The Queen also has important roles to play in other organisations, including the Armed Forces and the Church of England.
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So, where is the monarch's power? There is, effectively, none.

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August 5, 2003

You do understand this sentence? '[H]e or she is bound by rules and conventions and remains politically impartial.' Does this mean the monarch has power? I don't think so.

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August 5, 2003

And thanks to the passage of time, the monarch has, effectively, no power.

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August 7, 2003

Well, I know they loose a lot of rights being part of the Royal Family... To start with, they don't have much rights to their own privacy. Nearly everything they do is under scrutiny... They don't have any right to choose their country of residency... They don't have much right to choose their occupations...

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August 7, 2003

quote:
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They have the right to be the royal family. For me, that's enough. They are "royalty" and we are merely "commoners". That I have a problem with. They are "the royal family". That in itself is the thing I have issue with.

They get into Oxbridge without question, even if their grades (like Williams) are poor.

They have the ability to knight people etc. etc. etc. I mean, anyone accepting a knighthood or any other carp like that is a complete idiot IMHO.
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I think you're digging a hole for yourself here... Based on the sentiment of your statement, you're pretty much beat because some have titles for something that they don't have a choice about - they get born into them. Well, if you're so p!ssed about someone having a title of sort, you can create one for yourself.

Another thing, the Queen gives out honors to people is her duty as a head of state. She doesn't choose who get knighted or honored - it's the politicians who decide who get titles. Wake up!!

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August 7, 2003

quote:
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Try arresting the queen for ANYTHING. You won't be able to do it. You can't even get the queen to give evidence in court.
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You can't get the President of the USA into court either, nor the ones in France, Germany, soon Italy, etc... Go figure!

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August 7, 2003

Come on, you're getting p!ssed because some people are born into that that goldfish bowl of a family... I can't see why you're getting so upset because of something they don't really have a choice over. Yes, they've great wealth and they've some privileges... But hey, as far as I can see, and good number others too, they're not exactly abusing their positions and privileges. To add to that, they actually bring significant benefit to the life and economy of this country. When was the last time you hear people talk about going to Monaco for the great Royal traditions?

Let's face it, they're don't really have a choice on whether they want the Royal Family thing, constitutionally speaking anyway. Yes, there had been people who walked away from the job for one reason or another, but there will always be someone else to take up the job as long as they trace the family line for long enough.

The modern Royal Family does still have some 'special rights', but don't really amount to much. Things like security is a necessity for any heads of states and their families - you think is funny to have half dozen of security guards following you everywhere? They're on the Civil List, but so are heads of states being paid salaries (they don't work for free, you know) and I doubt other countries get as much economic benefits out of their heads of states as the UK does. They've certain privacy rights, but that's to protect their own basic human rights. And they get to open public buildings, shake hands with other heads of states, put a sword on someone's shoulder and 'knight' him/her, putting up a brave face in front of the world media and everyone who comes across them... You think that's an easy thing to do?

The point is, and I think this is one area that you and I disagree completely, the members of the Royal Family is born to be servants of this country, they don't have a choice about it and they can't really get away from it without plunging the constitution into difficulties. They may be highly paid for doing their jobs, but I personally think they're doing a good job. The very fact that they don't have a choice about whether they want to remain servants to this country is a fundamental denial of human rights - they can't choose their livelihood. One of the foundation of a modern democratic society is the right choose how you want to conduct your life and how you want to earn a living. They're denied of these rights at birth.

You may be upset because they get to have 'His/Her Royal Highness' or 'His/Her Majesty' before their names, and they get to be treated as important people for no other reason than being born into the Royal Family, but I tell you what - they deserve every bit of admiration you can think of because the job of the Royal Family is not an easy one, no matter how well paid they're.

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August 8, 2003

quote:
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You are still not addressing my basic point; you are avoiding it. You should not have special rights based on your parents. This is the basic problem I have with the royal family. The only argument you have presented is "well, make up your own title". That's not much of an argument!
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Well, I think I've addressed it several times - they don't have a choice. You feel threaten by someone with a title and 'special rights' because you feel inferior to them. That's your own problem. I don't really care if someone has a title or 'rights' that I don't have because he/she is just another human being and it is up to me to make judgment of his/her character - not based on the prefixes or suffixes to their names, not based on their family and certainly not based on their parents.

Deal with your own inferior complex before you make judgment on other people who you know nothing or little about (except for what's being report by the media and your own imagination). If you allow yourself to intimidated by a 'title' or some 'rights', you're a lot shallower than I've assumed.

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August 8, 2003

My statement is based on my observation of your contributions to this thread. If you feel that my comments about you having an inferior complex is inaccurate, you're welcome to disproof it. However, based on what I've seen so far, you've a distinct problem with people from what you consider 'upper class' or 'aristocrats' and certainly with people who're 'royalties'. You're judging people based on their family and what they are rather than who they are. That is what I consider an inferior complex - an irrational feeling towards someone who has no particular reason to be better than you.

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August 8, 2003

I'm taking this to its most fundamental level here, so stay with me. I'm also taking the literal meaning of the 'birthright': a right of possession or privilege one has from birth, esp. as the eldest son. (The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1990 edition)

I find it very hard to see your line of reasoning: "I am not judging the people that are given these birthrights. I am judging the birthrights themselves." So, what is your point? Birthrights by themselves means very little. Birthrights only mean something when you apply them to people and the interpretations of birthrights by people transform a concept into reality. What do you want people do? Give up their inheritance and their rights at birth and only give it back to them if they 'deserve' them?

You're claiming your argument is based on equality, but this world is not about equality but the utilization of opportunities. Having birthrights is just another manifestation of opportunities. However, there're plenty of people who are born of 'high class' turned out to be losers and there're a lots of people who're born of poverty that turned out to be winners.

The whole point about birthrights is that the fruits of previous generation(s) can be passed down to future generations. That's what your ancestors and mine and almost everyone else's' had try to do and that's what I hope you and I will do in the future. These actions are to create a better starting conditions for our offsprings than other, less fortunate, people. This is birthright. The very fact that we're living in the UK is to a certain extent our birthrights. Are you suggesting that we should give up our citizenship and in exchange, work our way through the poorest of conditions to see if we deserve to live in this country?

Why should you be so against the whole idea of birthrights? I come for a relatively 'normal' family, 'normal' in the sense that our family is not rich but not poor either. But I've my birthrights too - my parents own an apartment, my family has a car, my family has 'family treasures' (meaning things passed down from previous generation(s)). I'm sure you've your birthrights, too. Did you have to earn yours? Or did your parents provided them? Even in the poorest corners of the world, there're birthrights - a tree/oxen/goat/etc being given to a child. You want them to earn that too?

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August 14, 2003

Ok, I recognize that you've distinguished between inheritance and birthright and you are saying that people need to earn their position in society (which I kind of agree, but I think royalty is something different).

To eliminate birthrights complete, you'd be looking some kind of a commune where all children are placed at birth. These children will of the collective attention of all their parents and have the collective financial resources of all their parents also. The children will have to work their way through the system to gain their positions. All this is fine. However, children develop different abilities at an early age, which also means the allocation of resources will be very different depending what are considered 'good abilities'. All, this will simply lead to another unfair system - would someone who's good with mathematics be allowed the same kind of resources as someone who's good at cross country running?

I don't disagree that someone has to work his/her way to positions in society. It is one of those positive social developments in the past couple of centries. However, I don't think we can eliminate birthright completely for it is part of the culture - wherever you look. In case of royalties, especially for the UK where it plays a significant constitutional part, birthright for them is a guarantee based on this country's constitutional makeup. It is not because they've earn it, it is because we need them there.

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August 16, 2003

I love the way you brought up history. In fact, that is about the best reason why things are done this way in this country and not others. History is responsible for lots of things, whether you like it or not. For example, history has a significant influence in language, culture, constitution, etc. It is history that put you where you're today. It is history that makes this country what it is and give its people the attitude, mentality, outlook, etc. Don't underestimate history. To a large extent, history shapes the present and possible the future.

It is also history that provide this country with a constitutional monarchy. Otherwise we may be living in a republic like the Germans or Russians or we may be living in an absolute monarchy like the Nepalese...

Together with culture, history shapes what is considered the 'norm'. You can't get away from that. The very definition of what is considered a 'norm' is based on historical precedents. Therefore, your argument of 'There is no reasonable argument as to why this should happen, other than history and it being "the norm"' is completely correct. Perhaps this country has been populated by a bunch of weasels who let their monarch woop their asses.

But that is clearly not the case. By and large, this country has a relatively successful few centuries of history. And this history wasn't created because this country was full of woop-asses. No! This country was successful because people (a good majority of them anyway) wanted good things to happen to them and they worked and fought for those good things. So if this country wasn't full of woop-asses, why did they keep their monarch?

My guess is because this country has been blessed with a succession of monarchs that were/are highly adaptive. I'm suggesting that there has been revolts and civil wars, they have been and bloody ones too. However, there's a mechanism within this country for the power-of-the-day to take on the criticisms, which in turn was/is fed back to the monarchy to change and evolve to adapt to the demand of the unhappy few. Hence over the years, there hasn't been a need to completely remove the monarchy.

It may be the case that you're not proud of living in a country where there is a living monarch. However, there're plenty of people in this country who are. I suppose if you're so unhappy with this country's constitution, you should consider one of the following two options:

1) Start a rebel group and arrange for something along the lines of 'Gun-power Plot Mk II'. Blow up the government, assassinate the monarch and replace it with a republic.

2) Get into politics and get yourself elected as prime minister and see if you can convince the rest of the country to rid itself of the monarch. Don't forget, if you're changing the constitution, you'd be out of a job also.

The choice is yours. However, I'm sure that you're going to find some hairline cracks in my arguments and you're going to give me another example of why you're not happy with living under a constitutional monarchy. That's fine by me... But other people may find it rather tiresome.

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August 16, 2003

However, you do recognize that under Protestant interpretation of biblical teachings, it is entirely possible for married couple to divorce. Hence Henry VIII broke away from Catholic Rome and this country became Protestant.

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August 18, 2003

There are two issues I want to deal with from your statement above.

Firstly, the fact that there're divorces in the Royal Family, makes the Royal Family more real. As you've pointed out, the UK has the highest divorce rate in the world, which means that a lot of parents have to face the rather unhappy situation that their children have to go through divorce. The Queen is no less or no less human than we're and she has to go through the same kind of difficulties as any other parent would have to.

BTW, couple of examples of Royals that have not divorced: Duke and Duchess of Kent, Duke and Duchess of Wessex.

The second point regarding your comment is that of divorce rates in this country. As you may or may not know, marriage is more simply 'being in love' with some. It is also about 'living with love' and 'dealing with love'. I believe that a lot of people are getting married without thoroughly thinking through the consequences of their actions. There is only one way to fix social problems of this kind - education and specifically, education of the domestic kind (not formally organized classroom education). It is up to parents to educate their kids in how to deal with these life decisions. There is nothing politicians can do about it, there's nothing the church can do about it. The only way to get out of this is for parents in this country, collectively, start to deal with the situation themselves. But then you have to ask: How many of them actually want to talk to their kids and even if they do, do the kids want to listen.

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August 20, 2003

Couple points here, so I'll address each in turn.

As I've pointed out in an earlier post, the world is not fair and intrinsic rights are not evenly distributed - just like wealth. It is not what is being inherited that is important, but how well the individual take advantage of the opportunities given within the limits imposed. Getting rid of the Royal Family is like the cries heard during the French Revolution - "get rid of them and the rich aristocrats and we'd all be better off!!" Well, after all the murder, pillage, death and destruction, there're still plenty of rich people in France and there's still an 'under-class' in France. So much for the battle cries.

The point about domestic part of education is that parents should spend the time to educate their children the so-call 'moral issues' - how to behave, how to conduct oneself, how to value and make judgement of situations and how to place emphasis on life. If kids can be influenced by reading Hello!, the parents clearly haven't their job properly.


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