Libertarian Alliance Statement on the Royal Wedding

Statement by Sean Gabb
For the Libertarian Alliance
On the Happy Occasion of the Royal Wedding
29th April 2011

On behalf of those Officers of the Libertarian Alliance who do not yet regard the Monarchy with the contempt it richly deserves – which may or may not for the moment include me – I wish to congratulate William Mountbatten-Windsor and Catherine Middleton on this evening before  the happy occasion of their nuptials.

I must say that, although thoughts of an “elected” President incline me to projectile vomiting, my own regard for the Monarchy has been sorely tested over the past three or four decades. It does not concern me if Her Present Majesty is not a woman of great intellectual distinction – after all, our last Monarch who did not at least border on the subnormal was James I, and he was a Scotchman without potty training. Worse by far than slight stupidity is lack of character and lack of judgement.

Let it be granted that our Her Present Majesty is now a shambling old woman in her eighties. Until she became that, however, there was much she could have done to slow the progress of England into a sinister laughing stock. In strict law, she is our Head of State and Supreme Governor of the Church of England and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. She appoints all the bishops and judges and all the ministers and civil servants. She declares war and all treaties are signed on her behalf. The only thing she cannot do is make laws by her own authority and impose taxes. She must have the consent of Parliament for both. She can also veto any parliamentary bill she dislikes – and her veto cannot be overriden by any weighted majority vote of Parliament.

During the past three centuries, the convention first emerged and then hardened that all these powers are exercised in practice by a Prime Minister who is leader of the majority party in the House of Commons. The power of veto has not, I think, been exercised since 1708. The tacit deal has been that we regard whoever wears the Crown in public as the Lord’s Anointed, and the Monarch acts only on the advice of a Prime Minister who is ultimately accountable to us.

The resulting constitution is unwritten, and is usually rather opaque to foreign observers, who tend to the error either that the Monarch is all-important or that England is some kind of republic. Neither is the case. The deal described above rests on the assumption that politics is other than a cartel of tyrants and traitors. When the politicians begin to abolish the rights of the people, it is the duty of the Monarch to step in and to rebalance the Constitution.

That duty has been apparent since at least 1972, when we were lied into the European Union. Elizabeth the Useless should have acted then. There have been many times since when she should have acted. At all times, she could have sacked the Government and dissolved Parliament without provoking riots in the street. So far as I can tell, she has acted only twice in my liftetime to force changes of policy. In 1979, she bullied Margaret Thatcher to go back on her election promise not to hand Rhodesia over to a bunch of black Marxists. In 1987, she bullied Margaret Thatcher again to give in to calls for sanctions against South Africa.

And that was it. She is somewhere on record as having said that she regards herself more as Head of the Commonwealth than as Queen of England. Certainly, I have never seen evidence that she has lifted a finger to defend the rights of her English subjects. In my view, that abolishes my duty of allegiance to her or any of her likely successors – who are equally useless. All that stops me from becoming a committed republican, as said, is the certainty that a head of state chosen by any of the likely other methods would be still worse.

I sometimes feel regret that a constitution that reconciled liberty with political stability for longer than any other in recorded history has been subverted. More often, I range between bitterness and anger. I used to regard the French Revolutionaries with all the horror of a smug and patriotic Englishman. Nowadays, I think rather fondly of the tumbrils and the guillotine and those ghastly women knitting away beneath it….

But I suspect I am wandering from my stated theme. On behalf of the Libertarian Alliance – with the reservations stated above – I wish all happiness and prosperity to the Royal couple. At the last Royal Wedding, back in 1981, I spent most of the day in bed, listening to Die Meistersinger. This time, I suspect I shall be bullied into having a shave and watching every ghastly detail on the telly. Well, at least Tony Blair and Gordon Brown will not be polluting the event by their presence. If the Mountbatten-Windsors had shown a little more backbone when these wretches were in office, I might think more of them today.


5 responses to “Libertarian Alliance Statement on the Royal Wedding

  1. Be nice!!!!!!

  2. I liked it. I like tradition and I like events that bring people together. The Queen may not be to your liking, to imagine her “bullying” Lady Thatcher is a interesting statement to make. Lady Thatcher, under her premise of PM, would have ignored the Queens wishes if she had felt them wrong, or were against hers and the Conservative Governments views. Advice from the Queen is relative to the mission in hand. Lady Thatcher no doubt knew that. Far more was involved in the ‘debate and issues’ of 1979 and 1987 than the bullying of a PM by the Sovereign. Especially a PM of Lady Thatcher’s standing and determination.

    Having said that I too wish the Royal Couple much happiness and truth of a committed loving relationship. As I wish to all couple who get married.

  3. Very well. It went off very nicely.

  4. As the spectacle of the royal wedding unfolded, I began to write my thoughts on the monarchy, asking myself “what is the the ruling class, where did it begin and what relevence does it hold for humanity at this time?”….I wrote a few pages and then searched online and found this site. I share many of your opinions about what what the monarchy means for humanity. Like you, my opinion is not directed at individuals but at systems. The monarchy represents, for me, a system founded on bloodshed and theft and self appointed leadership that is far removed from the people it is supposedly serving. I would imagine, the beginnings of a monarchy, were the kings appointed by the people as heads of armies, warring for the aquisition of lands, resources and riches. This is the power by which humanity is mesmerised, imagining there is no other way, and that the monarchy represents freedom and democracy. Does it? I find most of what politics has to offer farcical! If politics is supposed to be facilitating the mangement of society then i’m pretty sure it is failing a great number of citizens on this planet.
    I’m not sure how it all came about and i don’t pretend to know, but human history is underpinned by war, indeed it appears to be the backbone of ‘civilisation’ when in truth, it is philosophy, the sciences and the arts that lifted our spirits. There is this idea that monarchs are appointed by God, but the God I know doesn’t need a church or a name or kings and queens to represent itself. The ruling class ordains itself in the name of the Christ, but the christ is the consciousness of all people and needs no such activity.
    In practical terms perhaps, in times when most of humanity had to work hard to eat, to build and to travel etc… the ruling classes made it possible for the greatest of creative minds to continue their work, with their patronage back in the day, but this knowledge should benefit all people and not just a privileged few. The monarchies aquired their great wealth, power and status through bloodshed and conferred upon themselves, titles and elite birthrights…handing down through inheritance the plundered wealth and properties to their offspring. They have engaged in greed, political corruption and entertained a percieved genetic superiority. Self importance has dominated monarchies. Rather than serve the people, the people serve them, simply through percieved ‘birthrights’! Where is the birthright of every individual of earth today when a select few have too much? We have aquired great knowledge and developed technologies and we have the ability to create a society on earth that is without war, without famine and preventable illness and have enough resources to build a new world where communities are important and self sufficient. The only global society we should aim for, is friendship and co-operation! yet we are still functioning under a primitive delusion that one individual is better…by birth….than another. We have a monetary system that supports those with the most, rather than provide for the most vulnerable peoples on this earth. And we have a frightening ‘Global’ agenda in full swing. What’s occurring? It is ethically corrupt to ensure a small percentage benefit from any new technology with the excuse of poverty. We keep announcing that we want a better world (around election times of course!) while clinging to cruel and out dated systems. Humanity created the monetary system, but we live our lives under the delusion that we have no control over it…that we must enslave ourselves and earn our basic rights. Is not every individual worthy of a home, good health, and education..simply by birth? Haven’t we learned that we are all born on the same small globe, hurtling through the universe, spinning on the arm of a galaxy? I wondered at the love and attention that millions of people gave to just one couple. It was lovely to see a couple in love of course, but I feel humanity is at a crossroads and the royal wedding illustrated for me, the mesmerism under which our societies are held. The people have yet to awaken to the truth that we have tricked ourselves into believing and supporting a system that is from the old world. No one needs a palace with 700 rooms. I wouldn’t want one. I’m happy with my spacious two bedder and my mini rainforest in the yard.
    In these times, when we know the reality of our place in this galaxy, I hope we can turn the page and create a better version of ourselves where monarchies are part of our colurful ancient history…but we, as a race have moved onwards and upwards with our hearts and minds intact and not descended any further into this madness.
    I am enjoying this site tremendously and I thank you for that.

  5. PS: yes i know how to spell colourful! :) x