ICM have carried out a poll for the BBC in connection with Evan Harris’s current Private Members Bill, which would put men and women on equal footing in succession to the crown and would remove the current laws that prevent the crown passing to anyone married to a Catholic (though not the laws preventing a Catholic succeeding to the throne themselves).

81% of respondents thought that an heir to the throne should be able to marry a Catholic and still become monarch, with 15% disagreeing. 89% would support women and men being treated equally in the succession.

On the broader issue of the monarchy, 76% of people said they would like the monarchy to continue after the present Queen, while 18% said they would prefer a Republic.


44 Responses to “ICM poll on the monarchy”

  1. ’76% of people said they would like the monarchy to continue after the present Queen,’

    ‘Wonder if the result would be the same with a reworked questions asking whether we want King Charles and his second wife?’ On a personal level my attitude is totally different between the two. I suspect the result would be markedly different for the general population when the next stage was clearly stated rather than a vague post QE2 period…

    Report comment

  2. I think Jack may be right. Although I am in favour of abolishing the monarchy anyway, my opinion is significantly hardened when I think about it in terms of Prince Charles becoming king. The very thought sickens me.

    Does anybody know how the 76% compares with previous polls on the monarchy? Is support for it increasing or declining?

    Report comment

  3. This is one of those issues where I passionately couldn’t care less!

    Report comment

  4. This is a 2% reduction in support from 2 years ago. Still a massive increase in support compared to the post-Diana years where most polls hovered around the 60% range.

    Report comment

  5. I don’t know how the poll was worded, but your summary of it describes reports as to whether the monarch, or somebody in line to the throne, should be allowed to marry a Catholic. This is a misinformed way of looking at things.

    Actually, the Queen in England is arguably catholic already: the Church of England regards itself as catholic in being universal and part of the apostolic succession (read the Anglican Creed).

    The real issue is whether the monarch should be allowed to be a ROMAN Catholic. The Pope is a Head of State, and the objection, based on massive threats to England between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, is that the monarch of England is sovereign. If the monarch pays obedience or gives allegiance to any foreign head of state, including the Pope, England’s independence is lost.

    Judging from what I have recently read in the papers and heard on the radio, just about nobody understands the political reasons why members of the royal family have been blocked from being Roman Catholic: they just see it in terms of morals and human rights.. And if people don’t understand the questions the relevance of their answers to opinion polls on the subject is limited.

    I wonder how many people answering this poll are aware of difficulties that have arisen from Roman Ctholic monarchs elsewhere in Europe in signing legislation, particularly on sexual matters. And whether such awareness, e.g. by rewording the questions, would change their answers. Try perhaps: “Should the Queen be allowed to veto laws, e.g. on abortion, that are against her personal religious beliefs?”

    Interestingly, the papers suggest that Brown is only thinking of changing the marriage laws concerning the royal family, not the restrictions on the allegiance of the monarch personally. And for the reasons I have given above, this is understandable (and in my view very essential).

    Some of my ancestors were persecuted as Huguenots. The Roman Catholics play a long game: they are prepared to wait centuries. Sadly, Angusa is probably right that most people couldn’t care less. But freedom depends upon eternal vigilance (as New Labour have forgotten). The poll suggests that the English are losing track of a historically vital issue.

    If I may be allowed a view, I would like the law changed so that the monarch and the royal family should have freedom to follow any religion provided that this does not entail political allegiance to a foreign power. Instead of being prevented from being Roman Catholics specifcally, they should be prevented from being Roman Catholics because this would contravene the general principle I have stated in my previous status (just as it would be objectionable for them to give allegiance to, say, The Aga Kahn). And if the Roman Catholics are unhappy about this, they could resolve the situation by giving up the Pope’s status (and I think the status of the head of a few Roman Catholic Orders) as a Head of State. Personally, I think that this would enhance the Pope’s theological authority anyway, and would assist in resolving schisms which a Christian religion under threat cannot afford.

    Report comment

  6. Very thoughtful post, Frederic.The situation is indeed complicated. Am I right in thinking that the Roman Catholic church insists that children of ‘mixed’ marriages are brought up as Roman Catholics? If so, and a future monarch married a Roman Catholic, the children would be Roman Catholics and would therefore be unable to succeed. Presumably the succession would descend to the nearest branch that was still ‘pure’ Protestant.

    @Jakob. Whatever your views on individual members of the Royal Family, the alternative to a monarchy would mean having a politician as Head of State, which would immediately alienate at least half the country.

    Report comment

  7. ‘@Jakob. Whatever your views on individual members of the Royal Family, the alternative to a monarchy would mean having a politician as Head of State, which would immediately alienate at least half the country.’

    Not quite accurate; the vast majority of countries with a Westminster type system have figureheads fulfilling the monarch’s role who are not politicians. USA type presidential systems are different. The vast majority of the world works very happily without having monarchies.

    To be honest I believe in democracy, as such I am against the monarchy. We bomb other countries which aren’t democratic but yet we aren’t. It’s a funny old world…

    Report comment

  8. “Not quite accurate; the vast majority of countries with a Westminster type system have figureheads fulfilling the monarch’s role who are not politicians.”

    Such as? France? Germany? Zimbabwe?

    Report comment

  9. “The Roman Catholics play a long game: they are prepared to wait centuries. ” Frederic are you serious? If you said that “the Jews play a long game” you would rightly be criticised as a bigot. Anthony are you going to allow comments like that?

    If you want to talk about 17th century religious atrocities there were plenty on both sides and they have no relevance to modern politics. It is absolutely appalling that in the twenty first century there are people out there who still believe that people should be discriminated against because of their religion.

    Report comment

  10. He’s not saying that ‘playing a long game’ is a bad thing, so what’s the problem? You may disagree with him, but it doesn’t make him a bigot. Would it be bigoted to say that Roman Catholics play a short game? If not, why not?

    Report comment

  11. It implies that there is some kind of Catholic conspiracy to bring down our government. Catholics are a group of individuals who share a common faith, not some kind of KGB

    Report comment

  12. As Frederic says, if the Queen had to swear allegiance to another head of state (the Pope), we have lost our independence.
    Catholics are a group of individuals, certainly, but the Roman Catholic Church as an organisation has it’s own agenda, just as any other religious organisation or nation will have an agenda which may be completely alien to the individual members of that organisation.

    For instance, I would hope that the British Government over the generations (whatever the party) would have the interests of Britain at heart (though one does sometimes wonder!), and would seek to extend the country’s influence and power. That is pretty irrelevant to me in my everyday life, but it doesn’t make it less true.

    Report comment

  13. Jack – YouGov have quite often asked the question giving three options – whether people would like the Queen to be succeeded by Charles, or skip a generation to William, or the monarchy to be abolished on her death. Have a google for the answers.

    Pete B – France is a hybrid quasi-Presidential system, not a Westminster model system. Zimbabwe was a Westminster system until 1987. It may yet move back to being a Westminster system, but certainly isn’t there yet.

    Germany is a Westminster-ish system. Normally they do have politicians as President, but politicians who have taken a step away from the rough and tumble of politics – the current President was a former head of the IMF, Roman Herzog was a former federal judge, Johannes Rau on the other hand was a former candidate for Chancellor for the SPD – so some Presidents do have that background.

    From Frederic’s comment, the interesting example from the continent of how a deeply religious catholic monarch combined their faith with their duty to give royal assent to bills passed by the legislature was King Baudouin of Belgium, who abdicated the throne for a single day while an Act liberalising Belgium’s abortion laws was given royal assent.

    Report comment

  14. I’m still with Pete on the Westminster thing. All the ones I can think of either have the Queen (as they are commonwealth) or a president. Australia and Canada spring to mind. Israel is a good example of why president’s don’t work while we are on the topic, their former one has just been charged with rape.

    Than again, many people would say Israel is a good example of why the Westminster System is good, but in my view the jury is still out.

    Report comment

  15. I haven’t counted, but I would have thought that the majority of Westminster-model systems (however you define that) would be in the Commonwealth. Many of those have the Queen, or her representative as their Head of State.

    Horst Kohler (current President of Germany) was a politician before he went to the IMF. Roman Herzog was judge, but before that he was a politician (Minister of the Interior in 1980).

    Anyway, I think it is 99% certain that WE would have an ex-politician as president if we had no monarchy. Mmmmm, let’s see, would Neil Kinnock or Jeffrey Archer be more divisive? These are just examples. I can’t think of anyone who is well respected by all shades of political opinion.

    Report comment

  16. I think it would be possible to frame a question which would get a very high degree of support for a republic, (although I’m not trying to imply I’m a republican myself).

    For example, a preliminary question could ask people whether they thought that their children and grandchildren should be able to achieve whatever position in life they desired through their own efforts and merit. Assuming that 99% of people would give an affirmative answer to this question, a second question could then be posed asking them whether – given their answer to the initial question – they thought this ability to achieve anything through merit and effort should extend to the most important positions in society, including head of state. (The question would make no direct reference to the monarchy or a potential republic).

    This would probably produce a high level of support for a republic, maybe as high as 50%.

    Report comment

  17. 76% of respondents prefered to retain The Monarchy. ‘Nuff said.

    Anthony, is there a regional breakdown for this poll? Is the problem the usual suspects…?

    Report comment

  18. Pete B – that doesn’t stop the monarch marrying a Catholic, the two issues are seperate. For what its worth I don’t think we can have a Catholic monarch while the monarch is head of the C of E.

    Comments about “the Catholic Church” are one thing, comments about “the Catholics” are quite another and sound like the rhetoric that has been used by some very unpleasant groups throughout history and have no place in what is meant to be a civilised forum.

    On the poll itself I am surprised that 11% of people seem to think that discrimination against women is ok.

    Report comment

  19. It’s a shame that the rights of succession are being lumped with the prohibitions against Roman Catholics. I assume that is by design to deal with one on the back of the other as the main pressure on the two issues seems to be from certain Roman Catholic lobbies. Surely it would be better to deal with the rights of succession first, as I cannot imagine that would be very controversial – or perhaps I am wrong?

    Report comment

  20. @ Andy Stidwell – “This would probably produce a high level of support for a republic, maybe as high as 50%.”

    Probably but your question relies heavily on people being ignorant of what is actually meant by ‘Head of State’ in this instance.

    I’m ambivalent about the monarchy. I’m not very interested in them but I don’t see any great advantage in getting rid of them other than it being a satisfying bit of gestural politics for those of a republican persuasion. They don’t cost us very much compared to, say, the useless war in Iraq or bailing out banks. It’s clear that a majority of the population does value the monarchy and that it provides a sense of heritage, continuity, tradition and so forth that would be impossible to replace with a new ‘Head of State’ office. As with many things, it seems to me a matter of ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it?’.

    Report comment

  21. This is an area where public opinion might well move sharply once a debate is underway, especially if by then the end of the current Queen’s reign is in sight. The arguments in favour of making the monarcy a “fairer” institution, arguing that females and roman catholics who are the children of the monarch should have the same “right” to inherit the crown as boys and non-catholics, risk opening a can of worms. For it won’t be long before people (I don’t include politicians in that definition) start saying “why is it any more fair to give change the law to give a particular girl the right to inherit than to make it possible for my daughter or son to qualify for the role?” Once the issue of “fairness” in the succession as between members of the royal family is raised, it will rub up against the inherent “unfairness” of the fact that such an important function in our egalitarian democracy – and the wealth, power and priviledge that goes with it – should be reserved only for those who have a particular set of genes. The exemplary way in which the Queen has fulfilled her functions, and particularly the fact that in vivid contrast with modern politicians she has not seemed to be primarily interested in serving her own personal interests, has masked that basic contradiction for the last fifty years or so. Until she dies, any discussion of this will have to overcome the fact that most people will think the role is working as well as it could do and can’t see the point in risking a change to a system which might end up being run by policitians for politicians. That equation will change once we have the prospect of self interested politicians vs self interested aristocrats. Until the realities of that situation arise it is extraordinarily difficult to construct poll questions which will unearth what public attitudes will be. But it would be fascinating to try.

    Report comment

  22. Surely Roman Catholics should not qualify as monarchs or their consorts until the reigning Pope declares ex cathedra that Pius V erred in claiming to dethrone Elizabeth I in 1570, and that British subjects must always owe their full loyalty to our head of state and not to the Head of the Vatican City State.

    Report comment

  23. The we’d-have-to-have-a-politician-as-head-of-state argument has always stuck me as ridiculous.

    Firstly, the monarch doesn’t actually do anything anyway so there’s no reason to replace it with anything. Just give Parliament the powers it already has in reality.

    Secondly, it’s not as if Prince Charles is some sort of universally respected unifying figure. I get the impression that most people have a fairly poor opinion of him.

    Thirdly, the argument always strikes me as Tories winging because we’d inevitably elect a less conservative head of state if given the chance. It reminds me of how the Tories used to claim universal suffrage was a bad idea because the masses couldn’t be trusted to make a good choice.

    @Quincel

    “Israel is a good example of why president’s don’t work while we are on the topic, their former one has just been charged with rape.”

    Are you arguing that presidents are uncontrollably one-man crime waves, or that people always vote for rapists?

    @Fluffy Thoughts (E.D.P.)

    It’s interesting how monarchists are so keen to shut down debate. Are you worried that people might change their minds if they think about it for too long? “Nobody want a republic so just stop talking about it!”

    It’s also fascinating to note how your reverence and respect for the majority opinion evaporates whenever you consider the prospect of voting on a head of state.

    Report comment

  24. @ Jakob – I think a lot of people are invested in the continuity that a monarch provides, which is why the issue of an alternative Head of State arises. Prime Ministers come and go, but the monarch remains. Republicans may not like it or think it rational but a big swathe of the public likes that continuity and finds it reassuring.

    As for Prince Charles – he seems to be becoming more popular as he ages. Never liked the man myself but my impression is that, in terms of public opinion, he’s shifting out of sad-crackpot-middleaged-heir-apparent territory and into the venerable zone. He’s never going to be as popular as the Queen but he’s not loathed either.

    I don’t see most British people having the necessary revolutionary zeal for republicanism right now, and the ICM poll confirms that.

    @ Anne – do you really think British society is that egalitarian? I don’t. Look at the issue of inheritance tax, for example. Most people favour a fairly high threshold. Check out the 2006 Populus poll here: http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/176

    Report comment

  25. New ICM poll – C44 L31 LD18. See PB.Com.

    Report comment

  26. Rob. We are none of us perfect; but I tried my hardest not be be bigoted. I passionately believe in human rights, of which the Roman Catholic Church in recent history has been one of the most influential proponents. I have reread what I wrote and I honestly do not think I said anything overall that deviated from support for religious freedom and equality, although see the fourth paragraph of this follow-up. And even if I did, I did not mean to.

    The whole purpose of what I wrote was to re-examine the psephological aspects of the issue in a way that separated out the political dimensions from the religious dimensions. I realise, however, that the question of how the political and the religious relate is a difficult and fraught one, And I went beyond the strictly psephological, which I am increasingly reluctant to do, to suggest a possible, if difficult, direction in which one could look ahead to dissolve political differences, in a spirit of Christian fellowship.

    With respect to the “long view”, Christians believe in eternal truths. So do Jews, Muslims and adherents of other religions, although of course their beliefs differ. And it is a good thing they do.

    Perhaps I might clarify myself at this point. In my view we need vigilance not to stop adherents of a particular religious view, but to ensure that religious and political debate is undertaken within a framework that protects political freedom, including democracy, and equality as well as freedom of religious expression and other human rights. This is perhaps a hopelessly idealistic aim, but we should at least try. If the paragraph I wrote about the Huguenots did not express this stance, it was meant to, and I apologise for such failure.

    I agree that Protestants as well as Catholics perpetuated appalling practices in the seventeenth century (and at other times too). Adherents of both types of Christianity bitterly regret such history.

    I agree with John Hawkesworth that it was unfortunate for a bill to lump together issues about the eligibility of Roman Catholics to become the monarch with others to do with sexual equality in the order of precedence. Not least, if you start thinking about the underlying principles in detail it is not entirely clear that the two proposals are consistent.

    Report comment

  27. “I’m ambivalent about the monarchy. I’m not very interested in them but I don’t see any great advantage in getting rid of them other than it being a satisfying bit of gestural politics for those of a republican persuasion. They don’t cost us very much compared to, say, the useless war in Iraq or bailing out banks. It’s clear that a majority of the population does value the monarchy and that it provides a sense of heritage, continuity, tradition and so forth that would be impossible to replace with a new ‘Head of State’ office. As with many things, it seems to me a matter of ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it?’.”

    Ho hum, gestural politics, eh? For those who are of a republican persuasion, it’s a bit more significant than that. The monarchy is at the apex of a system of unearned privilege and power, as far as I and many others are concerned.It all flows from this ludicrous throwback and it’s holding back as a country – helping to ensure that the average and chinless continue to be promoted far beyond the talented and, er, chinful. Personally I find the very idea of inherited power, let alone one under the system of primogeniture, extremely offensive.

    The good news is that while present incumbent is a game old bird, her successor is a king-sized prat, whose succession will change the game completely. The challenge for republicans is to present a convincing alternative under which a head of state can be elected from beyond the bounds of traditional party politics. This is where the Australian republican campaign screwed up – and that in a country in which a prime minister was sacked by the monarch a little more than thirty years ago. Couldn’t happen here, could it??

    Report comment

  28. I suspect that if there was a straight ‘Yes or No’ referendum on continuing the monarchy, Her Majesty would score even higher than 76%.

    Report comment

  29. ShaunDubai,

    If there was a referendum at the moment then the monarchists would certainly win, but I think it would be closer than the polls suggest.

    For one thing, republics are politically engaged and hold strong views on the matter so they’d be more likely to turn out than many monarchists who are apathetic.

    The other factor is that a referendum would be preceded by a debate which I think republicans would do well out of.

    The default media approach to the Royal family is fawning, and the republican case is rarely heard so a referendum would surely see much better than usual media coverage for republicans.

    The other reason to suppose that republicans would do well out of a debate is just that we have the better arguments. The monarchy makes absolutely no sense, and is quite clearly unjust.

    Report comment

  30. @ Clive – “For those who are of a republican persuasion, it’s a bit more significant than that. The monarchy is at the apex of a system of unearned privilege and power, as far as I and many others are concerned”

    Mmm, but it’s you and not all that many others (statistically speaking). Moreover, abolishing the monarchy won’t magically put an end to “unearned privilege and power” unless it’s part of some sort of Socialist revolution which there also doesn’t seem to be much support for.

    Report comment

  31. There is no logic in a monarchy, but two arguments for keeping it.

    President Thatcher
    President Blair

    To which the instinctive reaction of many is: God save the Queen, LONG may she reign.

    Until there is agreement on what kind of president we have, for how long they serve and how they are chosen we have no option but to continue with the present arrangements.

    If we could pick from a shortlist of former Presiding Officers of the Scottish Parliament, I’d be a happy republican with even my least preferred choice.

    I live in Rothesay, and the Duke of Rothesay comes here wearing his kilt. My wife has met him a couple of times. He’ll do the job OK, but his mum has set a high standard. He is bound to disappoint some.

    I was certainly impressed that an 83 year old woman with a strong sense of duty would climb up a ladder into a helicopter to welcome the new FM on his home territory despite the fact that he has a part time job round the corner from her home. GB wouldn’t even lift the ‘phone to congratulate him.

    I’m only 69 but because of a recent accident, my wife wouldn’t let me climb a ladder or fly in a helicopter.

    Some years ago there was a private meeting involving Alex Salmond and the Duke of Rothesay. Deals may have been done, though its doubtful if either of them would remember because IrnBru or another local beverage of similar colour was consumed.

    Maybe the Duke of Rothesay, who likes Scotland and stayed for some weeks with a former colleague of mine on Berneray, could be a useful ally in the transition to independence.

    Report comment

  32. “The Roman Catholics play a long game: they are prepared to wait centuries. ”

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! LOL

    I think the best bet for the Monarchy is that the monarch dies early on in a Tory parliament, otherwise I think the enemies would leap at the chance to strangle it “…with the entrails of last priest” hopefully (Diderot)!

    If George become Charles III, the symbolism will be so great as to pretty much be a “death of a thousand cuts”.

    I think the *only* hope for it, as Liz probably knows, is for Diana’s lad to become King Wullie V, and do a sponsorship deal with Volkswagen!

    The trouble is, who’s going to marry him? Live a life in the company of Sun journalists and showjumpers?
    Prince Volkswagen’s generation doesn’t look much like the marrying kind… so you just imagine the complexities of Step-Queens and half-princes.

    I just can’t see it lasting much longer; unless they privatise the monarchy and sell bits of it off to foreign investers!
    In which case we can look forward to a new dynasty of footballers and reality-show champions to sing to!

    Report comment

  33. John B Dick, there are two sides to the argument as to whether “President Blair” is a reason for keeping the monarchy.

    I suspect that many republicans would suggest that an elder statesperson elected Head of State, on the German or Irish model, would have taken positive action on, in particular, the legality of Blair’s war against Iraq.

    Report comment

  34. Let’s consider an alternative issue; what does it say of the UK that some people wanted to continues with legal anti-Catholic prejudice and / or blatant sexual discrimination? Surely the only reasons are

    a) They didn’t understand the question – worrying

    b) They really are blatant religious bigots and/ or anti-women – very worrying

    or

    c) the 10/15% against the proposals represent what I view as the ‘UK must be an historic theme park / all change is bad even when change is obviously needed’ group of society.

    Now, this to me is the first time I have a clear percentage for this group (and consider it on your local issues; how many people in you area complain about each and every change on the ‘it wasn’t like that in the old days so we don’t need it now’ line ).

    It’s a worrying aspect to our society that such a group will, as a matter of course, object to all change. Maybe this explains the maximum UKIP vote( that was a a cheap shot, sorry…)?

    Report comment

  35. ‘John B Dick, there are two sides to the argument as to whether “President Blair” is a reason for keeping the monarchy.’

    Going back to my opening post; King Charles makes Pres. Blair seem equally good. (And bad)

    And note, abolition of the monarchy does not mean a Presidential system axiomatically- one just needs a figurehead-look at Ireland or Australia.

    I must admit I have a personal preference that all members of the govt. (including figureheads) should be elected or appointed by those for whom I vote. Accidents of birth is not a reason for an inherited position, not even for the house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

    Report comment

  36. Jack – I agree with all your points and yet still support the Monarchy, I just don’t think it is particularly broken, and so don’t want to fiddle with it. On the other hand I think it is wrong that people should inherit a position of such power and wealth. Our constitution is weird but fairly effective.

    Report comment

  37. Rob; you need to look at holding two incompatible positions.

    It’s the one I began with; QE2 till death is emotionally understandable but King Charles you’d have to be joking. That’s the point where an emotional, irrational attachment to QE2 stops and a logical belief in democracy cuts in.

    It is not the issue of monarchy being ‘broken’; that is the ‘England has to be an historic theme park’ tabloid press argument. Do you believe in democracy or not? If not, then logically we can have dictators / Generals / etc as the principle of democracy is gone. If you don’t believe in democracy then alternatives are possible, including monarchies.

    Yes, I know it’s cuddly to think of QE2 but the principle is that either one has a real democracy or one doesn’t- if one doesn’t have a democracy then all alternatives are logically equally legitimate including dictatorships.

    Finally it’s quite simple– one either believes in democracy or one doesn’t. If you don’t then monarchies / dictatorships etc are all equally logical governmental systems.

    Report comment

  38. Jack,

    “if one doesn’t have a democracy then all alternatives are logically equally legitimate”

    “one either believes in democracy or one doesn’t. If you don’t then monarchies / dictatorships etc are all equally logical governmental systems”

    Repeatedly stating a false dichotomy does not make it any less false.

    Report comment

  39. Xavin,

    No it doesn’t. But if one does not keep repeating it, how else can one hope to persuade people it is not false ? It was always thus for the proponents of mob rule.

    There is nothing logical about democracy. It is just as emotional a philosophy as any other since it roots are the concepts of “fairness” and “equality” – neither of which are inherently rational.

    That of course will attract howls of protest from some quarters, which merely demonstrates their inability or unwillingness to analyse their position from first principles.

    There is nothing contradictory in having a democratically elected legislature subject to the supervision of a hereditary monarch. When republicans like Jack rail against the fact that the monarchy has majority support they reveal that their support for “democracy” is selective – they only accept the majority view when it happens to coincide with their own prejudices.

    If they were true democrats, then, instead of seeking to impose those prejudices onto the majority, they should examine their own position in order to understand why they are a minority, and how they can reconcile their opinion with that of the majority.

    For the record, Monarchies have served the world for millenia and in all quarters of the globe. The fact that this system has emerged independently as the preferred model of very diverse societies suggests that it has intrinsic merit. Rather than reject it out of hand, one should seriously question whether the elective dictatorship which is more often the product of “democracy” is the model which has less intrinsic validity.

    Report comment

  40. promsan

    Your comments are the best example of the nonsensical nature of monarchy.

    Frederic Stansfield IS entirely correct in his assessment. And as for Charles, Duke of Rothsey (isnt it?) I bet he’ll reign as George VII not Charles III- after all there was a damn good reason we got rid of the Stuart dynasts

    Report comment

  41. However monarchy is better than a presidential system or a German system of Chancellors … Chancellor Brown for example! LOL

    Report comment

  42. Dean,

    What exactly is nonsensical about Monarcgy ?

    Please explain why a system that has served this country so well for over a thousand years should not continue for another thousand .

    Report comment

  43. Paul,

    Horses served us well for over a thousand years, but I don’t know anyone who saddles up to go to work.

    I’am sanguine about Monarchy, but I don’t think “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is a match for “Always try to improve on what you’ve got”.

    It’s a bit like saying;

    “See here chaps, little portable stereos may be okay for little japanese people but the British Radiogram Company has always made Chest radiograms and always will, walkymans indeed”…..

    Peter.

    Report comment