Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Monarchy and Political Impartiality


I know many readers will have heard about the Facebook page out of the U.K. called “Conservatives for a republic”. It is disgusting, bald-faced treason no doubt about it but is all the more annoying because this is the same Conservative Party that is commonly referred to as the “Tories” which was the name used by the royalists of the English civil wars and those loyalist Americans who supported their King during the Revolutionary War. How far the faithful have fallen. Of course, it is no great secret that the Conservative Party in Great Britain has been becoming increasingly less and less conservative all the time, leading many to entertain the notion that the once derided UK Independence Party might become a major force in British politics as more people on the right abandon the “Tories” for UKIP. So, this should, perhaps, not be so surprising but it is disheartening considering that so many avowed traitors have already made themselves at home in the Labour Party and even more so in the Liberal Democrat Party. Who then will be the major party that can be counted on to stand firm on loyalty to the Queen and monarchy? It may be more disheartening yet. The British Conservatives may not be that conservative anymore, but, I wondered; what about other notorious “right-wingers” in the English-speaking world?

Not wanting to wander far, I checked in on the Dominion of Canada and looked around at the most beleaguered and put-upon media outlet usually condemned as being simply a refuge for right-wing conservatives. I looked for stories or posted photos dealing with the monarchy and checked the feedback from the Canadian public on these issues; people who, as they are watching this hard-to-find network, I would assume to be ardent conservatives. It was not all bad, thankfully, but I was still very distressed by the level of ignorance and outright treason on display there as well by members of the Canadian public. Ideally, of course, all political parties would be absolutely loyal to their sovereign and the institutional foundations of their country, proud of their national history and their form of government but, of course, that is seldom the case. However, I cannot be alone in considering it more odd coming from self-proclaimed “conservatives” who one usually associates with having a greater respect for tradition and patriotic love of country. Why then can so many (and even a “few” is far too many) be so openly treasonous when it comes to the one institution that is the backbone of the UK, Canada and every other Commonwealth Realm?

Some may think, in the case of Canada at least, that the right in the “Great White North” may simply be infected by the republicanism of conservatives in the United States. It is worth considering as it is simply a matter of fact that, like so many others, with the dissolution of the British Empire and the trend in Canada to distance itself from its British roots that the country has drawn closer to the United States. The United States has a tremendous impact on almost every aspect of Canadian life. No country is as economically important to Canada as the United States and in terms of culture Canadians watch American television programs, American movies, listen to American music, shop in American stores, eat at American restaurants, wear American clothes and even keep a close eye on American politics. However, because all of that is true, many Canadians make a conscious effort to define themselves by how they are different from Americans and certainly there is no greater difference than the Canadian monarchy. That IS the great difference as both countries were originally in exactly the same boat as colonies of British North America prior to the Revolutionary War at which time the United States chose the path of rebellion and republicanism and Canada chose the path of loyalty and constitutional monarchy. Just as Americans revere their Founding Fathers, any patriotic Canadian should be expected to equally revere the loyalists who were the founders of their country.

I think there must be more to it than that. After all, the desire to be unlike the Americans does not override the republicanism of many on the left who still oppose the monarchy for being undemocratic, unfair and all the usual meaningless jargon like that. Could it be, perhaps, that many on the right have come to view the monarchy as being politically opposed to them? I would submit that it is at least possible, but it is a shame considering that the royals themselves have made no conscious effort to do so. After all, the monarchy and members of the Royal Family are demanded to be totally impartial and completely outside the rough and tumble world of politics. The problem is, however, that royals feel that they have to do something and of course many in the public demand that they do. So, they tend to adopt causes to champion and many of these are often seen as being in line with the political left rather than the right. In many cases, this is still not the fault of the royals in question but rather is a result of the fact that government these days, all over the world, keep getting bigger and bigger. There is a law or a regulation or a set of government guidelines on practically everything so that nowadays there seems to be very little that is not political.

Take an issue like global warming/climate change/whatever they are calling it this year and you will see what I am driving at. Personally, I think most of it is a bunch of nonsense, yet that does not change my opinion of those royal figures who have made it one of their major causes as so many have, from the Prince of Wales to the Prince of Monaco. Once upon a time, this would not have been a political issue at all. I am not an old man but even I remember when it was not, when it was simply an effort to make people more environmentally conscious and to persuade people to stop littering, to recycle and to strive to do whatever they can in their own lives to reduce pollution and promote cleaner air and water. However, at some point politicians got involved and governments began regulating the issue. Suddenly individual choices were in the balance, public money was being spent and so environmentalism became a political movement. I would disagree, but I would suppose there are those on the right who view environmentalism as a left-wing agenda and would resent someone like the Prince of Wales taking a political position they strongly oppose. I suppose that could motivate some to no longer be supportive of the monarchy.

Perhaps one of the most far-reaching issues has been what we can perhaps label under the umbrella term of “tolerance”. It is a little bit hard to pin down with one name because it basically involves a shift in western values and the very idea of nationhood. Like it or not (and for me, it is definitely “not”) there are a great many people in Europe today who oppose the very idea of a nation-state. Others do support distinct nations but based on a set of political principles rather than on nationality and there are still small minorities that think a country should be reserved to the native nationality alone. Obviously, a monarch could not possibly make all of these groups happy given their wildly divergent points of view. Similarly, values have changed and, whether people like to admit it or not, are subject to government regulation. If a monarch stood up for traditional values they would be accused of intolerance, one of the worst of the modern secular “sins”. Instead, most royals act in accordance with the wishes of their elected governments to promote tolerance and diversity and other such ideals (most of which, personally, make my skin crawl). Traditionalists bristle at this and it may cause conservatives to forget the loyalty they owe to their sovereign and drop support for the monarchy. However, for all too many of these types, it simply reveals a loyalty that was never sincere in the first place. They seem to have boundless energy when it comes to judging and blaming their royals, but show very little in working to convert their neighbors or elect representatives that reflect their own values -in other words changing the culture. Of course, if more people devoted themselves to that mission the current state of affairs would never have come about would it?

I have said it a hundred times, but I will say it a hundred more; playing the blame game never solved anything. Once confined to the left, it seems the right (or “conservatives”) are catching on to the idea as well. Yet, it is so much easier than actually making an effort to DO something, no matter how small, to get involved, to participate and to start with the people around you. The world did not get the way it is overnight and it will take more than one night or one monarch to set things right again, or at least as near as possible (things have never been perfect and I for one do not believe they ever will be in this existence). What will certainly never make things better is allowing the last edifices of traditional authority to crumble or for conservatives to pile on with the republicans in denigrating their monarchs. Snotty remarks on the internet will change nothing, everyone has to take action, do what they can in their own life with those around them to start moving the needle back in the right direction. It is not easy but it is possible. I live in what is probably the most staunchly republican country in the world and yet even here there is no one that I know personally, who I interact with on a regular basis who is any longer anti-monarchy. Before being critical of monarchs, everyone should ask if we are truly doing all we can. If the culture changes, I have little doubt the politics of monarchs will change as well but, let me stress, even if they do not, conservatives especially should always be loyal even if opposed to certain policies. Personal loyalty to your sovereign is something that should be absolutely non-negotiable.

11 comments:

  1. The left represents the poor; the right represents the rich; only a hereditary, impartial monarch can possibly reconcile these two camps. Politicians are the cause of most of the worlds' problems, yet some people still view them as an answer.

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  2. Ray, I didn't post your comment because I didn't want to assume you were okay with your address being public. I don't make mine public but few people seem to have a problem figuring out what it is based on the level of hate mail I get. The best way to get in contact with me is right here. I check for comments often and with my email it takes a lot longer to get to each one.

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  3. I like this post in general, in my opinion politics should be nothing but policies of a nation, unfortunatly this has come to mean almost everything. Oh, D V I should tell you, I'm as right as right can be, yet we are lower middle class. Right and left have much less to do with economics as morality. Right supports traditional morality and faith, tends towards the importance of family. In economics it simply believes that it is best for the income to exceed the out go, our only economic opinion.

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    1. The richest people I know are all on the political left, they like the fashionable rejection of traditional values and have enough money that no amount of higher taxes would ever cause them any pain. On the other hand, I know many people with even less than me who are on the right because they go to Church and want to keep what they earn. There are alot of divisions like that. Rural areas tend to be right-leaning and urban areas are invariably left-leaning, regardless of how well off on average they are.

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  4. Sir would you mind sharing with us some of the hate mail that has been sent to you? If so can you also debate it . I would love to see that. -A Malaysian Sultanate Monarchist

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    1. I have done that before, a couple of times, may have to again. People seem to enjoy seeing me take abuse.

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    2. No, we simply like to ridicule those abusing you in our minds. We are with you!

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  5. Great points! Thanks for letting us know this.

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  6. For all that he supports various programs that could (at least superficially) be considered leftist, I notice that every time the Prince of Wales speaks his rather conservative mind on subjects like architecture or literature he gets a real drubbing in the press. I remember he caused a real row when he called some developer's new buildings ugly (which, btw, they were). And while he may not be an especially shining example of religiosity, he is an outspoken supporter of the traditional language Book of Common Prayer in the C of E (as opposed to their insipid "alternative" services). It would seem that even though he (like all of us) failed to live up to all that language, he still sees it as something for which to strive, not something to be dumbed down. And that is not something, IMHO, any of us should be impartial about!

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    1. Odd isn't it, how when HRH speaks of architecture he is being "political" but not when he speaks about global warming. Religion, likewise, would not have been considered "political" in the past but today, it seems, everything is political.

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  7. It is not a surprise. When we make the Peopel the supreme Authority over society, the People then go itno a frenzy to decide whatis and is not Right. Everything in society affects the peopel so you will find enough peopel o politicixe anything. Republics, and the Republican Mentality, breeds this.


    As to Conservaties int he UK and Canada prefering Republicanism, it is a sad Truth that Democracy has become the New Traditional Value. In a sence, America and France took over the world by winnign the Hearts and Minds of the worlds populace. Peopel are taught roudn the world to venerate Democracy. Its become the Expectation for a Society. Peopel are inspired by the sturrign words of Republican Leaders, liek Jefferson or Paine, and this has become the new Relgiion ofour age. Peopel elarn it in Grade School, high School, and Unviertsity, and it is reinforced in Culture again and again.

    So in a sense, its the New traditionalism, and COnservatives who uphodl it, whoel rejectign True Tradition, still uphold modern cultural Traditional Values.


    Of coruse it doesnt work, and its precicley ebcuse politicians must do someign and the peopel always find somethgin to complain about, but that is life.

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