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Old 06-04-2012, 05:28 PM   #4
DanaC
We have to go back, Kate!
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 25,847
I generally find myself slightly conflicted about this sort of thing. On the one hand, anything that gets whole communities acting together and celebrating a well-meaning and inclusive brand of patriotism is no bad thing. And as a historian working on 18th and early 19th centuries I feel a strong sense of continuity and connection through events like the Jubilee. A direct line back to a time when that British identity was being forged in a form we would recognise as similar to our own. A time when the royal family was engaging in an incredible marketing and spin project. And a time when national and civic processional display was an intrinsic part of our culture.

On the other hand, at a political and moral level I see no fucking reason whatsoever why I should be 'subject' to a monarch. And yes, it's true, theyhave very little actual power and influence, but they hold a truly important constitutional role: they have the Royal Prerogative. It is that simple fact that means a British prime minister does not have to seek the permission of Parliament in order to go to war.

The existence of the monarch and the Royal Prerogative hands an amazing amount of executive power to the Prime Minister. In reality, the political system applies checks and balances, but theoretically the PM has powers that third world despots would consider acceptable. Because the Prime Minister is the Queen's Prime Minister, not the people's.
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