How can these co-exist, you might ask?
Obnoxio the Clown has answered it very tightly in about 500 words. Wish I could do it that fast. I think this is such a good essay that, as well as putting is link in, I’ll reviralise it here:-
There was a vote held at the House of Twits about whether or not Britain should abandon the constitutional monarchy. Contrary to what one might expect from a libertarian and, even worse, an Anarcho-Capitalist, I voted no. In fact, if I had my druthers, I’d undo that shameless huckster Blair’s “reform” of the Lords and re-instate hereditary peerage as well!
It’s crucial that I explain why. A constitutional monarchy is not the endgame objective of any Libertarian. It is profoundly unlibertarian that someone can rule over you by accident of birth. However, through happy accident, it transpires that having a ruling monarch that is required to give assent to laws, along with two strong chambers of debate is a pretty good mix for reasonable governance in a democratic, rather than an anarchic state.
And while a lot of libertarians resent the land-ownership of the hereditary peers, the fact that they weren’t all from the grasping, venal classes actually made them quite good custodians of our rights. If you look at the regime of New Labour, for instance, the official opposition was utterly useless in the Commons and all the serious defence of the common man ironically came from the Lords. And if we look at the rapid increase in common petty theft in the Lords, is it any surprise that it has all come about since Labour started throwing the money out there to be taken and then appointing people from the grasping, venal classes?
I’m not saying the Lords were saints before, but because they were disinterested and there wasn’t really anything in it for them, they tended to either not bother at all or take it seriously for its own sake. Sure they could influence big deals for their own back pocket, but they weren’t inspired to enact draconian laws because they’d get a chunk of cash for pitching up and then being “whipped” to vote.
Whether you regard it as class, or breeding, or just some kind of good sense and disinterest, the peers have acquitted themselves much better than our elected representatives, who do not represent us, but rather the interests of their party. And really, for this to work properly, you do need a stronger monarch. Unfortunately, Brenda has really screwed the pooch here and I positively fear Charlie. We need a monarch who would not give Royal Assent to draconian laws, or bad laws. The ideal situation is where all three are strong, because then it’s difficult for any one of them to overwhelm the others. At the moment, the party in power has a toothless opposition and the Queen just gives the nod to any old shit. In fact, she doesn’t even need to rubberstamp anything, as they can now just implement a statuatory order without debate or anything. Not that there’s ever any debate anyway.
Anyway, I’m rambling now. Ultimately, I didn’t really have a problem with the pre-’97 constitutional monarchy, because no one group of the government had too much power. Blair screwed that completely by abolishing hereditary peerages and every other “reform” he did. Now the Commons dominates and is only held in the vaguest of check by the Lords.
Having seen any number of elected-only government models around the world, the UK’s odd mixture of Crown, hereditary peer and elected thief was a very good one. If I had to endure a government, I would rather it was that one.
I would rather endure no government at all. But that wasn’t what was asked.