If a British Libertarian Party etc etc etc (Part 6)…..Where does the Queen fit in to all this Brown-worship? And what ought a Libertarian Party think about a @Head of State@?


The Queen has been not just silent but almost invisible these last few days. There was a picture of her in a hat, doing something or other, but that was it. When the coming election has wiped the floor with everyone else, and Broon is @all we need@, where does the current Head of State fit in?

I despise conspiracy theorists, and those who know my rants about the nine-elevenists (I am told by a farmer here that they now call themselves “Truthers” – a hitherto unexampled stretching of wicked pride and hubristic narcissism till it creaks at the seams) but has the Queen done some sort of deal?

The English nation has always been quite pragmatic about head-of-stateness. Perhaps liberalism came into the world here, because we always in our hearts knew that the HoS was just that, a sort of totem, which could be raised, cast down, repainted, changed, pushed about sort of how we wanted. As it should be. We employ it, not it us. If the State’s going to become less imortant here, what sort of HoS does it need?

Hartlepool wisely elected a monkey, I believe, as mayor.

DD

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3 responses to “If a British Libertarian Party etc etc etc (Part 6)…..Where does the Queen fit in to all this Brown-worship? And what ought a Libertarian Party think about a @Head of State@?

  1. I don’t think the HoS issue is very important. Nobody setting up a new country would choose a hereditary monarchy, but ours is pretty inoffensive and has at least prevented a president Blair, or Thatcher. Admittedly a King Charles with his new age lunacy is going to be a bit weird, but hopefully he won’t be in the job too long. I note Broon has invited him into the Big Tent as well. Sigh.

    What constitutional reforms in general should a British Libertarian Party seek? Should the Scots be allowed to leave the Union if they so desire? Surely a libertarian first principle on that should be “yes”?

    What about the chambers of Parliament? An elected Lords would be more democratic, but on a practical level it would just be full of more dreary/dangerous career politicians toeing the party line. An appointed chamber creates a House Of Cronies, just another bastion of the illibertarian establishment. Give it back to the hereditary peers and- well, that’s not very libertarian is it?

    So, I propose a cranky idea. Make it appointed, by lottery. Any citizen may put their name forward for it. Every two years, half the chamber is picked at random from all the names on the list.

    What would we end up with? A house of Teh Peeple. A kind of citizens’ legislative jury (ooh, sounds a bit New Lab, sorry). People from all walks of life would get their chance to be representatives, without the need to worm into a party machine, which currently restricts politicians to a narrow class of party climbers.

    Perhaps some or many of our Peeples’ Lawds would be ignorant, dim-witted, confused or lazy, but at least it wouldn’t be any worse than the Commons. It would have no legislative powers, but revisonary powers, and an absolute veto. It could be a powerful mechanism for delaying the deluge of legislation. And those who win the lottery and show ability may use it as a springboard into electoral politics, maybe even producing a new class of independent MPs into the commons. Most significantly, most of the Peeples’ Lawds would be, like most of the electorate, not strongly connected to any of the Commons Parties, entirely free of party whipping and would to a fairly good degree represent a sampling of the views of the population at large.

  2. “So, I propose a cranky idea. Make it appointed, by lottery. Any citizen may put their name forward for it. Every two years, half the chamber is picked at random from all the names on the list.”

    Agreed, although I wonder if it would be better to simply include all citizens over the age of 21 by default rather than ask people to put their names forward.

  3. I’m inclined towards an opt-in list as many people would be unwilling, or unable to serve, so you’d get into a long round of “redraws”.

    But there are arguments in either direction. An “everyone” lottery (or an opt-out) may mean people would be offered a place in the Peeps’ Lawds who wouldn’t have considered opting-in, but once offered the chance decide to “go for it”. That may help balance the Peeps better as it wouldn’t just be full of pompous twits :)

    So there are arguments in either direction.