Saturday, March 24, 2012
Royal News Roundup
Alas, also in an eastern direction, in the Pacific Ocean, as we reported earlier, this week saw the passing of HM King Siaosi Tupou V of the island Kingdom of Tonga who died in hospital in the former Crown Colony of Hong Kong at the age of 63. While other members of the family, including his heir and brother, were at his bedside the Tongan Queen Mother held a special prayer service in Nuku’alofa. The King came to the throne in 2006 amidst a great deal of turmoil between the supporters of the monarchy and those who wished to see it shorn of its powers, and it was because of that trouble that his formal coronation was not held until 2008. Even then it was only after the King had agreed to defer many of his key privileges to the Prime Minister. Later economic troubles and continued agitation by “pro-democracy” groups obliged the King to give up most of his sources of income, and make no mistake about it -that matters a great deal. Look at the British monarchs after King George III or the penultimate King of Italy; when monarchs lose their economic independence from the government, they frequently become sidelined. Hopefully, slim as that hope may be, the new King of Tonga will reduce this trend and continue to provide real leadership for his people and country.
Just imagine, if these people had their way, the U.K. could be just like the Federal Republic of Germany with their disgraced, scandal-ridden President or perhaps the Italian Republic where an elected President with no power appoints a Prime Minister with extensive powers who no one in the country ever voted for at all. Maybe they would be lucky enough to have someone as powerful and democratic as the President of France whose only reaction to a bloody rampage by the terrorist Mohamed Merah was to crack down on what people do on the internet -and lawyers doubt he can even do that. Or, maybe the U.K. would be as fortunate as the United States where every four years people go into hysterics about how the entire fate of the universe hangs on “this” election and people get divided up into warring camps that always seem on the verge of open violence against each other and with every election ending with roughly half of the country positively hating the leader of their country. And remember, that’s the republic with the “best” track record. Still, as a friend of Britain, I should also give a word of friendly warning to the British people, if they ever become so separated from their senses as to embrace republicanism, you should be prepared for an absolutely monumental tidal wave of arrogant, self-satisfied smugness as such the world has never seen from the shores of the United States that though it may have taken a couple hundred years, you have finally admitted that “America was right” all along. Just be prepared for it.