Friday, March 27, 2009

Monarchy and Patriotism

Tom Harris MP has attacked the Tory MEP who "ripped Gordon Brown a new ass", Daniel Hannan as unpatriotic.

He writes:

"What was truly repugnant about his speech was the total absence of any sense of patriotism. Some Tories on the extreme right of the party share the problem of some Republicans in the States: they don’t regard the head of government to be the nation’s leader unless he or she is also a member of their little party."

I did not like Hannan's speech, but to call it non-patriotic misses one of the huge virtues of the system of constitutional monarchy. We in the UK can feel free to attack any political heads of government without being unpatriotic precisely because our head of state is the Queen.

Modern Constitutional Monarchy actually works quite well. It encourages political freedom of expression by allowing expressions of political dissent from the government to be distinct from lack of patriotism.

If you were to take the modern countries in the world it is worth living in, the the Queen's 16 "realms" (The UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and 12 others), Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Spain would all come near the top places to live.

Even in less free countries, monarchies (which have some eye to the future), often provide more real political stability than transient "strong men" - Morocco, Thailand, Malaysia.

Monarchy is a damn near universal aspect of human social development. That being the case, we should be glad of the one we have.

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