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Grumpy quote of the day

I am sitting next to the beach at Lyme Regis, south Dorset. The sun is out, the Brits have a public holiday due to the Royal Wedding, and I have deliberately fled central London to be down here. A good choice, as it turns out. This has to be one of the nicest parts of the UK.

The Daily Telegraph has one of those gushing, pro-Royal editorials written, I sometimes think, with the deliberate desire to wind up the malcontents out there. It seems to have succeeded most admirably, judging by this fellow in the comment threads by the name of “tyburntree”:

“….a nation with much to celebrate…”
Er, like what exactly? Treason committed at the highest levels. Illegal wars. Thoughroughly undemocratic parliamentary system. Deliberate population replacement and destruction of indigenous identity and culture ( contary to international law). Islamic extremism. Children killing children. Strutting Peacocks and thieves in our House of Shame. A three party dictatorship. Useless police. Useless courts. Useless schools. The refusal of our political class and courts to deport foreign criminals. Holiday camp prisons. Mulitculturalism. And last but not least a series of broken coronation oaths that have left this country at the mercy of an EU dictatorship.
Independent English Republic now!”

This is what might count as a sort of grumpy, right-wing kind of anti-royalist. I suspect that Samizdata regulars might agree with some of the sentiments expressed here – although the stuff about “deliberate population replacement” sounds a bit hysterical to me – plus the line about “illegal” wars (what, so it is okay so long as we get UN approval for them?). And for a person who seems to be concerned about the loss of “indigenous” identity and culture, why does this man want a republic? Like it or not, a constitutional monarchy is part of that “indigenous culture” of the UK, and has been for a long time. To be a republican, as this guy must surely know, is to make a pretty big break with tradition.

I am an agnostic about republics and monarchies – I think the system we have now is no worse than any likely alternatives. Republics have not, by and large, been noticeably less prone to the follies of socialism and big government than constitutional monarchies. Arguably, the reverse.

Anyway, I’ll unashamedly be raising a glass to the happy couple today. We can resume normal service tomorrow, whatever that means.

45 comments to Grumpy quote of the day

  • Edward

    It was Margaret Thatcher who remarked that people who thought a politician would make a better head of state than a constitutional monarch ought to become acquainted with more politicians.

  • Jerry

    I’ve never understood the fascination or boarder line worship for the royals.
    Why ?
    They remind me of hood ornament – shiny, somewhat attractive, expensive ( incredibly so ) and completely useless.

    What is their purpose ? Maybe a metaphorical ball of yarn to keep the masses occupied ?

  • Indeed. I sympathise with everything quoted up to the last sentence, but I can’t see how a republic would improve anything. It makes more sense, if something drastic is to be tried, to go the other way and give actual royal rule a try…

  • George

    nothing indigenous about the monarchy, descended from Normans and Germans

    There is no conflict between supporting the rights of the English and opposing the ruling elite.

  • nothing indigenous about the monarchy, descended from Normans and Germans

    So the suggestion seems to be to only keep traditions that can be traced back to the stone age?

    A very handsome and likable couple. I hope that they are truly and madly in love and that they live happily ever after (as royals or not).

  • George

    So the suggestion seems to be to only keep traditions that can be traced back to the stone age?

    No, just disagreeing with the argument that a constitutional monarchy is part of the “indiginous culture” of the uk. Or that it is inconsistent to object to mass immigration but not support the monarchy.

    On a personal level William is by all accounts a very nice bloke and Kate has done fantastically well for herself and I admire her for it.

  • the other rob

    I’ve never understood the fascination or boarder line worship for the royals.

    Jerry – as opposed to, for example, the borderline worship of the office of the presidency in the USA?

    Since moving to the US, I’ve tentatively come to the conclusion that while in the UK one can, when the politicians turn out to be self-serving malignancies, at least look to The Queen and take quiet reassurance, in the US there is no such recourse – the politicians are all one has.

    I suspect the lack of, for want of a better term, “something better” may be responsible for much of the public acceptance of blatant graft and corruption in the body politic over here.

  • “Kate has done fantastically well for herself ”

    If she is the sane and uncomplicated person she’s presented as, I don’t know how well for herself she’s done.

    As the economy gets worse, the lockstep Murdoch Press are going increasingly to have to resort to hysterical tabloidism, and the Royals are an easy and convenient target. I wouldn’t envy anyone living in a gilded cage over the next few years.

  • No, just disagreeing with the argument that a constitutional monarchy is part of the “indiginous culture” of the uk.

    Welllll…There has been a monarchy far longer than there has been a “UK”, so what exactly counts as “indigenous” then? My ancestors arrived in 1066, so I guess I am not “indigenous” but rather French… but of course Normans were not really French either but rather a Nordic conquering class who arrived in Normandy about 900 AD… and there is even some evidence my ‘Nordic’ ancestors were actually Goths originally (the Proto-Germanic kind, not the Whitby kind), so… then are people of Saxon decent the only indigenous to these isles? Or are they too ‘Germans’ given they too were invaders? Or are only Celtic ‘Britons’ indigenous? And of course the Celts were not the first inhabitants of these isles either… Heh

    It goes on and on…

  • George

    It goes on and on…

    yes indiginous would appear to be a pretty useless term.

    I suppose the only people who could really claim to be indiginous would be Africans in Sub Saharan Africa.

  • Laird

    Apparently worship of Royals is endemic in the UK. How else to explain the explicit ban on the use of footage of the wedding in any “drama, comedy, satirical, or similar entertainment programs.”

    Where’s Monty Python when we need them?

  • Jaded Libertarian

    Oddly enough for an Anarcho-Libertarian Voluntaryist I quite like Monarchies. I wouldn’t be adverse to the complete dissolution of parliament and a return to a pure monarchy.

    I’d prefer a voluntaryist anarchy, but out of all systems of government Monarchy is my favourite. And here’s why:

    If you accept that we need rulers then you have a number of choices. Obviously you want good men and women to act as rulers. If you let them select themselves, you will not have good men. Good men do not want power over their fellow man. You will end up with scoundrels who want power. This is the system we have now – the fact that we get to choose amongst the self selected wannabes is neither here nor there.

    If you hunt down the best man for the job and force him to be a ruler whether he wants to or not, that would be brutal. Because at any given moment the good men of society could be swooped upon and thrust into a situation that will consume their whole lives. This would be terribly unjust. Such a system would be very vulnerable to corruption as well.

    If you somehow were to let the people have a total free choice as to the rulers, their small minded self interest will cause individual liberty to rapidly erode away to nothing. The tyranny of the majority is still tyranny.

    So if you absolutely must have a ruler, what better way than to establish a heredity title? The family that is “cursed” with this position can in some ways be compensated with a degree of status and wealth. The chances of them being complete scoundrels can be greatly reduced by “breeding” them to rule, and constraining them within walls of ceremony which reduces how sudden and drastic their edicts might be.

    At least this way you might, just might, end up with a good king.

    As it stands I would suggest there is essentially no chance of a good prime minister or a good parliament.

    And, at the end of the day, “I’m the king!” is a heck of a lot better a justification for authoritative acts than “It is the will of the people” or even worse, “It’s for your own good!”.

  • Jerry

    other rob –

    I see the fascination / boarder line worship on my side of the pond as well.
    That’s what I don’t understand.

    What is so marvelous about this ‘family’ ??

    Maybe it’s envy.

  • Jim

    @JadedLibertarian: an absolute monarchy? Thats a bit much. They might do all sorts of bad things like abolish the right to silence and jury trials, introduce imprisonment without trial, introduce all sorts of new crimes, levy unfair taxes, or enter into treaties with foreign powers, start wars against the will of the people.

    Oh, wait a minute……………

  • RAB

    Completely agree with Perry. I am Welsh therefore Celt, therefore indigenous?

    Well not really. My surname locates me in Yorkshire where my great grandfather came from. My mother’s part of the family came from Dorset, and there is the pure Welsh speaking part of the family. So how Welsh am I? Well as Welsh as I feel, I guess.

    Interestingly the Saxon Kings, of which Harold was the last of course, were elected (albeit from a very small pool of the eligible). but elected nevertheless.

    Which broaches an interesting question for our strict Hereditary principle. I too would like to elect our next Monarch, rather than be stuck with the fuckwit, Chuckles Buggerlugs the Third after good Queen Bess dies.

    My first choice would be Princess Anne. A Naff Orf!! Queen would be so refreshing when our craven Politicians want the Head of State to get out the Gold Plate to welcome some murdering thug from foreign parts they want to do dodgy deals with.

    But failing her, skip right to William and Kate. They look a thoroughly modern couple to me, untramelled by the past baggage of the centuries of Protocol. Good luck to them both.

    Anyone, frankly, but Buggerlugs. That thick as a brick man on a mission will destroy the Monarchy all on his own in under five minutes of Ascending the Throne. He will never shut up, never stop meddling and never stop writing to Cabinet Ministers in Green Ink.His best friend are shrubs, because no humans can stand to be near him.

    Without our Monarchy our historical continuity will be gone (and a great chunk of our tourism industry) and frankly, it’s pretty much all we have left.

  • Laird

    I basically agree with JadedLibertarian. One point he didn’t mention is the fact that elected politicians all compete to pick our pockets to buy our votes. An hereditary constitutional monarchy has no need to do that, and thus gives at least a chance of rational governance.

    Of course, that’s probably a manifestation of the “grass is greener elsewhere” syndrome, coming from someone who has spent his entire life under a strictly democratic form of government which is rapidly descending into tyranny of the majority. The idea of a king is gaining appeal.

  • If Australia is to remain a Monarchy I’ll vote to give the Windsors the flick and go for for Queen Maz of Tasmania and Prince Fred of Denmark. They’ve even got a bunch of sprogs to take care of succession.

  • Gary

    Its an outdated, outmoded institiution which represents the parasite instincts of humanity.

    I am, of course, talking about marriage. Marriage is a means by which weak men and weak women seek to live off each other, using each other as tools to get what they want. The mutually parasitic relationship between men and women is most amusing indeed. Women marry to avoid doing any work,men do so purely for sex (the bad news for them is that women, unless they are of the superior Asian variety) become hideous and repulsive very quickly).

    If you can’t get through life without leaning on someone else I suggest you shoot yourself and stop being a burden.

    As for the Royal Wedding. Its a giant Cosplay party but without the boring costumes. Its also an example of blatant Fanservice to dumb Americans, a big show for the foreigners who have taken over the country.

    Certainly, its preferable to have power thrust on a ruler than them having actively sought it, but you still get the same incompetence.
    And let’s not forget the Queen and her brood are shameless welfare sponging freeloaders. The Queen herself is know to have pinched taxpayers money.

    I must say, I did not know William and the Duke of Edinburgh had fought in so many wars. Unless, of course, they were given medals without earing them, unlike the soldiers who die and suffer crippling injuries.

  • Jaded Libertarian

    You’re not married, are you Gary?

  • And they say all the good ones are taken.

  • Gary

    The single life is the best life, and it is also the life which nature intended for us. Men and Women exist purely to bonk each other, nothing more. People need to get a grip and face up to what we truly are.

    The whole fairytale BS of weddings is a delusion largely designed to please sad old women who read Mills & Boon novels.

    I would not want to marry a woman who thinks the answer to life’s challenges is to sponge off a man. Marriage is a sign of weakness, a mark of cowardice. Marriage is a distortion and bastardisation of human experience which narrows and constricts our potential, it is the enemy of human growth and advancement.

  • RAB

    Nor is he likely to be Jaded. ;-)

    Oddly enough it was my and the wife’s Wedding Anniversary this week. Thirty Three years.

    If you cannot bear to have and give mutual support to a person you love being with and would die for if nessessary, you are a pretty miserable specimen of a human being Gary.

  • Jaded Libertarian

    Gary you clearly consider yourself enlightened person who chooses to be single because he is more evolved.

    But have you ever considered the possibility that the reason you are single is because you are a misanthrope?

    Might be worth mulling that one over for a while…..

  • I figure Gary must be divorced to have the views he does on marriage. The right sort of ex-wife would do that. ;-)

  • Gary

    [comment deleted by the management… obnoxious troll is obnoxious]

  • Prechrchet

    The building block of any society is the family. Dysfunctional families lead to dysfunctional children, who grow into dysfunctional adults, which leads to a dysfunctional society at large. (This is what is happening here in the States.)

    The best way to combat this is to have healthy, solid marriages.

    I, for one, wish William and Catherine all the best. Perhaps they can (and I believe that they will) set a better example than some of the other Royals have in recent years.

    Who knows? Maybe people in the Western World will be inspired to work harder to make their marriages work?

  • Gary

    “If a couple wishes to have some kind of gathering of friends, then that is OK. But vows and state licenses are abominations of love. It is so sick and twisted that ‘They’ messed with our spirituality in that way.”

  • Roue le Jour

    Re absolute monarchy, it doesn’t have to be absolute. We have two houses, why not make use of them? Her Majesty and her peers are, by and large, grownups. Let them do the important stuff, control of BoE, tax rates, defence of the realm, and let the commons spend their days bickering about outreach consultants and diversity coordinators.

  • the other rob

    Roue le Jour – the UK once had an effective House of Lords, the members of which were unfettered by the sort of careerist politician nonsense that dominates the Commons. To an extent, they did just what you suggest.

    Sadly, Neo Arbeit eliminated most of them, replacing them with apparatchiks of various parties. A great pity. The few that I knew well were thoroughly decent people.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    William I don’t know about, but Gary might profit from reviewing the Duke of Edinburgh’s record in WW2. The guy was genuine Hot Stuff.

  • jdm

    I just want “the management” to know that I really like this new Gary character.

  • Laird

    Personally, I’d rather have IanB back. He had more intelligent things to say, and said them better.

  • Sunfish

    There has to be a story here. Gary, what the hell did she do?

  • Personally, I’d rather have IanB back. He had more intelligent things to say, and said them better.

    Indeed, Ian was far more intelligent, and therefore far more destructive. I’ll take several Garys a week over Ian any week. Good riddance.

  • Laird, I find the “ban” slightly worrying – although I have seen several instances to show that it is being widely ignored – but I think calling it a ban is something of an attempt to stir up a story. “Restriction in the contract for broadcast” might be a better description. If you follow your link, it says,

    “Clarence House, which oversees the affairs of Prince William and drew up the broadcast contract with the BBC, issued a statement saying that it was “standard practice for these kinds of religious ceremonies to include a clause which restricts usage in drama, comedy, satirical, or similar entertainment programs.”

    i.e. it’s not a legal ban on you doing your satire, just on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and other purchasers of the footage doing theirs.

  • Constitutional monarchy (complete with court and landed gentry) is a system I’ve considered to be superior to democracy before, although I am surprised to see so many nodding in agreement here.

    Another advantage is that the well-off and well-to-do (from birth) are less likely to turn out to be grasping thieving expense-abusing scumbags.

    And if they do, guillotines are not too difficult to build. without switching to a new set of thieves and villains every five years, the public are likely to stay angry, and stay angry at the same people.

  • Midwesterner

    I’m pretty much with Jaded, Laird, etc on the monarchy thing. If you want to sort things out in the UK, restoring the constitution would be the way to start. You really do have one, it is just scattered across many documents.

    Start by eliminating all life peerages. By all means, get rid of the law lords (and of course that supreme court that only compounds the error). If the law is too complicated to be understood by people of average intelligence and knowledge, then simplify the law, don’t professionalize it. Some of you may think they were an improvement but all they really were was a turning over of the law to the lawyers. And to qualify for a seat in Lords, perhaps clarify that to count as a hereditary title, they must inherit it. Perhaps for several generations.

    wh00ps makes a good point about the shell game and keeping track of who is the thief du jour being a lot easier when it is hereditary.

  • Gary

    Its still censorship, which ever way you try to sugar coat it.

    Accepting a crap system just because you think it is not as crap as others shows a poverty of ambition and a depressing poverty of imagination. It’s the equivalent of sticking with a ZX Spectrum because it’s “simpler”. Given the British people despise imagination, its hardly surprising they are incapable of coming up with something better.

    I want something better. Ideally, a computer or cyborg should be head of state. Far better to be unified by logic than idiotic sentimentality.
    I’d prefer Hatsune Mikku to the Royals.

    And to reiterate my earlier point, what has a relationship between two people got to do with the state? Nothing. Its an abomination; vows and certificates cheapen love, they make it mundane and kill it..

    Family is not the bedrock of society, that’s utter twaddle spouted by God botherers. I would say friendships are more important than families.
    Don’t you remember what Philip Larkin said about parents?

  • Laird

    Natalie, you are correct that it is a contractual restriction, not a “ban” in the legal sense. I understand the distinction, and stand corrected. But if, as I understand to be the case, that restriction is standard language in all broadcast contracts of this type with the BBC, and if the BBC is the exclusive source of footage of the royal wedding, then it amounts to a contract of adhesion and is indistinguishable from a straightforward ban. (And as such it is probably legally unenforceable, but if the ABC were to ignore it I suspect they would have difficulty getting future such contracts with the BBC.)

  • Edward King

    Gary wrote:

    I must say, I did not know William and the Duke of Edinburgh had fought in so many wars. Unless, of course, they were given medals without earing them, unlike the soldiers who die and suffer crippling injuries.

    William only had three items on his uniform, his pilot wings (which he earned), the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (which everyone in the forces got) and the Garter Star (which, OK, his granny gave him ;-))

    The bulk of the medals Prince Philip has he earned in a little spat called World War II, including a Mention in Despatches for his actions during the Battle of Cape Matapan. That’s the equivalent of a Bronze Star with Valor clasp for any Americans reading.

  • Jacob

    Salvador Dali defined himself as and anarchist monarchist.

    I would applaud a absolute monarchy that kept some semblance of order, by did little beside. There were many such monarchs in the past…
    Also monarchs used to behead some of their ministers from time to time, which shows they weren’t so dumb…

  • Johnathan Pearce

    One of the things that is sometimes thrown at libertarians, either by socialists or paternalistic Tories, is that we believe in “atomistic individualism” – a world where people form no lasting ties of mutual support. This is nonsense, of course. Freedom includes the freedom to enter into long-term, mutually nourishing relationships, of which marriage is the most obvious example.

    There is no reason, as this odious “Gary” character claims – why a consensual marriage – (key word being consensual) should be “parasitic” in the least. The sum is greater than the parts, etc. And indeed, Gary’s world seems to require people to avoid any kind of lasting relationships, whether romantic or commercial. Are business partners “parasitic”, on this PoV?

    Of course, it is possible that Gary is a troll. But if you are sincere, Gary, then I suggest you go and get professional help. Your remarks are vile, and suggest to me that you are a badly damaged either by your own failed romantic efforts, by family, or simply due to some sort of mental problems.

    I am serious. You sound monumentally fucked up. I am usually not wrong about these matters.

  • Paul Marks

    You do not understand J.P.

    The English “Volk” can not have an herediitary head of state – after all look at the terrible crimes against the German Volk, committed by members of the House of Hapsburg and the House of Wittelsbach. These Austrian and Bavarian Royals (amongst others) worked against the “Man of Destiny” Adolf Hitler himself – does this not prove their wickedness! Those impure of blood (such as the evil degenerate Paul Marks) must be gassed, and their remains turned into soap. That is true freedom! The freedom of the English Volk!

    To be serious for a moment….

    I think I can guess the real name of the person who wrote the confused mess you quote – at one moment supporting national independence, at the next moment denouceing wars approved by the Queen in Parliament as “illegal” (“illegal” under the rules of the United Nations – the sort of transnational government that he just denounced).

    And at one moment proclaiming support for English traditions – whilst the next demanding a Republic (ignoring the fact that the Monarchy is at the heart of both British and English tradition).

    If the writer is who I think it is – then he is a twat (there is no point in using delcate language about him). But the main problem is that he calls himself a “libertarian” and controls something that has the word “libertarian” in its title.

  • Alasdair

    Paul Marks – does the name Anna Raccoon mean anything to you ?

    (BIG grin)