Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Ode to my majestic lady

Whenever I think of the pageantry and tradition the British wrap the power and glory of the state in I cannot help recall the phrase the Iron hand in the velvet glove and in this case the state having to carry though the austerity is the iron first and the monarchy as they have been since King Charles days is the most splendid of splendid velvet gloves. So why celebrate this deception? Well deception it is not Burke says “A nation which is just force will not stand for no one can love it but a nation covered in mercy of velvet will stand for others for it can do what must be done but also bring joy and glory to its people”. Today we celebrate our monarch and through it are nation for the real reason the real meaning behind our monarchy is not some tedious constitutional role but as a symbol of everything we take pride of in this nation and such a symbol must by its necessity be a-political. Unless a nation be defined by its politics (and what a sad nation that would be) the symbol of itself must be beyond the temporary and faddish claims of politics. The monarch is beyond it and has steadfastly remained beyond it, allowing itself to be moulded and adapted to the needs of the people. I think sadly of the self-harmed caused in republics to the nationhood caused by the political infighting and the shattered nationhood this leave behind a danger our apolitical head preserves us from. The monarchy and the almost Wallace and Grommet contraption which serves as our nation’s constitution has proved a very effective break of the lust and whims of are leaders (both elected and otherwise). It is impossible to radically alter the constitutional arrangements of this nation without removing the monarchy (a beloved institution and often far more well-loved then these hidden changes). There are those that say the monarch herself does not veto bills and quite rightly so; we have an entire democratic structure to deal with that but the existence of the monarchy and thus the preservation of the pseudo constitutions prevents radical constitutional reform without the whole system crashing down upon the deranged heads of those little men trying to reshape the system in there temporal and self-serving image. Link to both these points; that the monarch is the self-image of the nation and a break of the lust of powerful men is there role as that most important pillar of good order the pillar of tradition. Now those who oppose the monarchy will cry out that slavery was once a tradition but this is both not true and a misunderstanding of the greatness of tradition. A tradition survives you cannot quote something that occurred and declare it tradition. A nation with no tradition is not a nation but a collection of squabbling idea with no senses of itself or perspective and it also have nothing it values beyond itself. Tradition becomes part of the whole, it give all a sense of continuity and place and a reservoir of values to resort to in time of hardship. Indeed given this year the wonder of the tradition that has surrounded and glorified the jubilee has lifted our nation. One of the other great features of the monarchy is there holistic leadership. This is both due to their apolitical basis and of their traditional standing. Think back during the war and the three pillars upon which the survival of our nations rested; the people, Churchill and of course the monarchy. The monarchy who withstood bombing and threats against their person and the monarchy which forsook its golden throne to participate in the war effort whilst still carrying the nation. I can think of the sons of any presidents whom have left the comfort of their families office to adorn uniform and fight for their nation but that is the depth of leadership and selfless devotion the monarchy embodies and performs. I could go on and on about the glories of a monarchy alongside a democratic parliament; I could talk about economic benefits, I could talk about embodying duty and I could talk about their faith role but I do not wish to bore my reader. I will simply conclude with this, whilst the monarchy inspires national devotion and love. A selected head of states (the standard system for the symbolic head of state in a parliamentary system) adds none of these things and even an elected symbolic head add nothing but merely electing the now empty symbol and that is not enough to remove a well-loved and significant aspect of British life.

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