Elizabeth the Useless: Sixty Years a Rubber Stamp


Thoughts on the Diamond Jubilee:
Sixty Years a Rubber Stamp
By Sean Gabb (2012)

Those of us who pay attention to such things will have noticed a difference between the BBC coverage of the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and of the present Diamond Jubilee. Ten years ago, the coverage was adequate, though reluctant and even a little stiff. This time, it has been gushing and completely uncritical. There are various possible reasons for my observation. The first is that I was mistaken then and am mistaken now. I do not think this is the case, but feel obliged to mention it. The second is that Golden Jubilees are rare events, and Diamond Jubilees very rare events, and that extreme rarity justifies a setting aside of republican scruples. The third is that the BBC was taken by surprise in 2002 by the scale of public enthusiasm, and does not wish to be caught out again. The fourth is that, while not particularly conservative on main issues, we do now have a Conservative Government, and this is headed by a cousin of Her Majesty. There may be many other reasons.

However, I believe the chief reason to be that the new British ruling class has finally realised what ought always to have been obvious. This is that, so far from being the last vestige of an old order, dominated by hereditary landlords and legitimised by ideologies of duty and governmental restraint, the Monarchy is an ideal fig leaf for the coalition of corporate interests and cultural leftists and unaccountable bureaucracies that is our present ruling class. The motto for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee was “Sixty Years a Queen.” The motto now might as well be “Sixty Years a Rubber Stamp.” If, during the six decades of her reign, England has been transformed from a great and powerful nation and the classic home of civil liberty into a sinister laughing stock, the ultimate responsibility for all that has gone wrong lies with Elizabeth II.

Now, I can – as Enoch Powell once said – almost hear the chorus of disapproval. How dare I speak so disrespectfully of our Most Gracious Sovereign Lady? Do I not realise that, under our Constitution, Her Majesty reigns, but the politicians rule? How, in all conscience, can I shift blame for what has happened from the traitors who actively worked for our destruction – Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Tony Blair, and the others – to a woman without executive function who has always devoted herself to our welfare? The answer is that, if she never projected the theft of our ancestral rights, it was her duty to resist that theft, and to resist without regard for the outcome – and it was in her power to resist without bringing on her head any of the penalties threatened or used against her subjects. But she did not resist. At no time in the past sixty years, has she raised a finger in public, or, it is probably the case, in private, to slow the destruction of an order of things she swore in the name of God to protect.

Let me explain the true functions of the English Monarchy. Many foreigners have looked at all the bowing and kissing and walking backwards, and thought England was some kind of divine right despotism. Others have looked at the assurances of Walter Bagehot, and believed that England was, to all intents and purposes, as much a republic as modern France or Germany. Anyone who believes either of these things is wrong.

The function of the Monarchy is to express and to sustain our national identity and all that stands with it. The Monarchy reminds us that our nation is not some recent arrival in the world, and that the threads of continuity between ourselves and our distant forebears have not been broken. England and its Monarchy exist today, and five hundred years ago, and a thousand years ago, and one thousand five hundred years ago. And, as we go further back, they vanish together, with no sense that they ever began at all, into the forests of Northern Europe. And with the fact of immemorial antiquity goes the idea of indefinite future continuation. Any Englishman who studies his national history finds himself uniquely in a conversation across many centuries. What an English writer said in 1688, or in 1776, or in 1832, is not alien to us now, and still has some relevance to our understanding of what kind of people we are.

Her Majesty has discharged her expressing function. However, since all this needs, at the most basic level, is for her to occupy the right place in her family tree and know how to smile and wave, she deserves as much praise as I might claim for having two legs. If, like the Emperor of Japan, she never said or did anything in public, she would still express our national identity. The problem is that she has done nothing to sustain that identity in any meaningful sense.

By law, the Queen is our head of state, and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and Commander in Chief of all the armed forces. She appoints all the bishops and judges, and all the ministers and civil servants. She declares war, and all treaties are signed on her behalf. She cannot make new laws by her own authority and impose taxes. To do either of these, she needs the consent of Parliament. On the other hand, she can also veto any parliamentary bill she dislikes – and her veto cannot be overriden by any weighted majority vote of Parliament. These are the theoretical powers of an English Monarch. Except where limited by seventeenth century agreements like the Petition of Right and the Bill of Rights, she has the same legal powers as Henry VIII.

During the past three centuries, though, the convention first emerged and then hardened, that all these powers should be exercised in practice by a Prime Minister who is leader of the majority party in the House of Commons. He may be called First Minister of the Crown. He may have to explain himself every week to the Monarch. Where things like Royal Weddings and Jubilees are concerned, he mostly keeps out of sight. But, as leader of the majority party in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister draws his real legitimacy from the people. No Monarch has dismissed a Prime Minister, or tried to keep one in office, since the 1830s. No Monarch has rejected a parliamentary bill since 1708.

Because it is unwritten, and because its various conventions are in continual flux, the English Constitution can be rather opaque. It is, however, based on an implied contract between people and Monarch. This is that, in public, we regard whoever wears the Crown as the Lord’s Anointed. In return, the Monarch acts on the advice of a Prime Minister, who is accountable to us.

But, like any other agreement in a common law country, this implied contract is limited by considerations of reasonableness. It ceases to apply when politics become a cartel of tyrants and traitors. Once the politicians make themselves, as a class, irremovable, and once they begin to abolish the rights of the people, it is the duty of the Monarch to step in and rebalance the Constitution. It is then that she must resume her legal powers and exercise them of her own motion.

The need for this duty to be performed has been apparent since at least 1972, when we were lied into the European Union. The Conservatives did not fight the 1970 general election on any promise that they would take us in. When they did take us in, and when Labour kept us in, we were told that it was nothing more than a trade agreement. It turned out very soon to be a device for the politicians to exercise unaccountable power. The Queen should have acted then. Indeed, she should have acted – if not in the extreme sense, of standing forth as a royal dictator– before 1972. She should have resisted the Offensive Weapons Bill and the Firearms Bill, that effectively abolished our right to keep and bear arms for defence. She should have resisted the Bills that abolished most civil juries and that allowed majority verdicts in criminal trials. She should have resisted the numerous private agreements that made our country into an American satrapy. She should have insisted, every time she met her Prime Minister, on keeping the spirit of our old Constitution. There have been many times since 1972 when she should have acted.

At all times, she could have acted – all the way to sacking the Government and dissolving Parliament – without provoking riots in the street. So far as I can tell, she has acted only twice in my lifetime to force changes of policy. In 1979, she bullied Margaret Thatcher to go back on her election promise not to hand Rhodesia over to a bunch of black Marxists. In 1987, she bullied Margaret Thatcher again to give in to calls for sanctions against South Africa.

And that was it. She is somewhere on record as having said that she regards herself more as Head of the Commonwealth than as Queen of England. Certainly, she has never paid any regard to the rights of her English subjects.

The Queen has not sustained our national identity. It is actually worse than this. By expressing that identity, she has allowed many people to overlook the structures of absolute and unaccountable power that have grown up during her reign. She has fronted a revolution to dispossess us of our country and of our rights within it. How many of the people who turn out on Jubilee Day, with their union flags and street parties, will fully realise that the forms they are celebrating now contain an alien and utterly malign substance?

This does not, in itself, justify a republic. Doubtless, if a Government of National Recovery ever found itself opposed by the Monarch, it might be necessary to consider some change. Such a government would have only one chance to save the country, and nothing could be allowed to stand in its way. But this should only be an extreme last resort.

Symbolic functions aside, the practical advantage of having a monarchy is that the head of state is chosen by the accident of birth and not by some corrupted system of election; and that such a head of state is likely to take a longer term, more proprietorial, interest in the country than someone who has lied his way into an opportunity to make five lifetimes of income in four years. We got Elizabeth II by a most unhappy accident of birth. But we may be luckier next time. Sooner or later, the luck of the draw may give us a Patriot King.

As for Her Present Majesty, she may be remembered in the history books as Elizabeth the Useless. Even so, she is our Queen, and has been that for a very long time. I suppose this should count for something come Jubilee Day.

15 comments

  • I really have no idea why so many grown men expect an old woman officially not allowed a political view to save them from the dementia that is representative democracy. A constitutional monarch can only be an ornament and it is truly asinine to expect an ornament to interfere effectively in politics without ending its own existence.

    • It is true that a constitutional monarchy is designed to be limited – the system is essentially a fusion of a medieval system with modernist civic republicanism – but it would be a mistake to believe that this leaves the Monarch with no power or without effect influence.

      Anyway, I am frankly tired of being lectured to about my country by foreign interlopers – and in this case, not even a white one. That is what the article is really about deep down (whether the author would care to admit that or not). Peoples and cultures need their own spaces. Perhaps Claire Khaw could help this objective by repatriating herself?

  • Claire Khaw. Did you actually read Sean’s article to the very end, or did you make your mind up about Elizabeth usefulness some years ago? To start with, she’s not always been an old lady and she’s in no way mere ornamentation.

    Buckingham Palace is a huge organisation in its own right with great influence and she sits right at the very top. She says, the rest do. So too with the Church of England. The difference between the two being, that whilst the palace has allowed by design the infiltration into its ranks by scores of British-born traitors, the church has been neglected throughout her entire reign by design.

    I, for one, will not weep at the eventual passing of our inglorious, inept and destructive Queen. Let time itself be the judge and let future generations decide where lays her place in English history.

    Well thought through and set down Sean. You improve with the years in many ways.

  • George VI was only about 56 when he died in 1952. Let us say he had lived another 25 years, to 1977, something not inconceivable…Do historians here think that George would have acquiesced in the EuroTreason of the late 60s/early 70s? I only ask, as perhaps his daughter was simply a more pliable young person.

    • “A more pliable young person.”—This may be the key to HMQ’s acquiescence to sundry horrors inflicted on us by politicians. At least in the 1950s. But one might have thought that after 20 years in the job she could have been a little more focused on the implications of ‘Europe’. Nonetheless and for all that, the picture of our constitutional monarchy, as set out by Sean, seems to me to be a far better arrangement than what any form of republicanism could offer.

  • I suspect that the only really decent Monarch we had in the 20th century was Queen Victoria – all 22 days of her!

  • Ignoring the fact that she has betrayed her coronation oath, (whether in ignorance or not) would you prefer having the Prime Minister as head of state; or basically a positively harmless, politically powerless elderly lady? (I don’t say she hasn’t caused harm by omission).
    Could any actual power in the Monarch be reactivated?

    • The Queen could still have refused to sign Rome in the early 70s. I bet she would have got away with it, and the foul harbingers of the modern British-Political EnemyClass, traitor ted at their head, would have had to fall on their swords rather publicly. France didn’t want us anyway.

      • Most ordinary people would probably regard the very notion of plaintive appeals for monarchical intervention in policy matters as rather crankish. There is also this modish belief that it is ‘undemocratic’. Witness the fuss made over the green ink letters of Prince Charles to various government ministers. This is one of the pressure points of the modernist faith in mass democracy, and reveals its holes and flaws. I write as someone who naturally leans towards republicanism: there are good reasons to remove the Monarchy, but there are also bad reasons. My fear is that the bad reasons will be the reasons why Elizabeth The Useless will also be Elizabeth The Last.

        Realistically, had Missus Windsor refused to sign treaties or exercised any of her formal reserve powers in any significant way, this would have resulted in her demise. The bought-and-paid-for capitalist media would have declared a “constitutional crisis”, though in truth this would not have been a constitutional crisis at all, but simply the constitution working in the way it is supposed to, with the Monarch carrying out her sworn obligations. In response, the government of the day would have engineered her abdication, maybe inventing a “scandal” of some kind to pressure her, or maybe blackmailing her in private [Maybe this has already happened?], so as to solicit her compliance while assuring conformity from her successor.

        That she hasn’t lived-up her sworn duties and obligations is understandable, given the nasty Fate that awaits her should she do so – but it still represents a betrayal. Even the most ardent Elizabethan sympathiser must, in an honest moment, look on “Her Majesty” and have thoughts akin to a Sedevacantist. Even if we allow the most generous case for her and accept that certain constitutional routes were blocked, she was still in a position to influence things hugely – culturally, socially and politically – and didn’t (or apparently hasn’t). Moreover, on reading the article above, it appears she has used what influence she does have to intervene on two occasions in a way that promotes an anti-indigenous agenda, which is frankly outrageous – and sufficient to warrant a one-way day trip to the scaffold.

        Is Elizabeth II the worst-ever British monarch? I think so, but it’s a subject probably worthy of an article on its own.

        • In the early 1970s, there were still enough of the generation before mine, and the one before that, to make a difference if they would have a reason to protest. The NeoCultural Marxists forged in the fires of the 1968 “student revolutions” (wrong word of course) hadn’t really got their act together yet. Any “constitutional crisis” conjured up by the media and the governing-EnemyClass, such as it was, would have been rather easy to stop.

    • They do it in Thailand every few years, and that country’s economic progress hasn’t suffered for it.

  • My reading of the matter is that Lizzie is a prisoner in her own castle. And has been since at least the 1970s; perhaps even since before she first sat on the throne.

    For what it’s worth, as long as states exist, I think there’s one thing to be said in favour of constitutional monarchy on the British model. That is, that the military report to Lizzie as their Captain-General, not to the politicians. So come the Revolution, when the politicians order the army to fire on the people, there’s a chance they will disobey.

    That said, she’s a silly girl. Not just for mothering that asinine son of hers. But for failing to take positive steps to ensure William gets the succession. That at least should have been within her power.

    • There are rumours that Britain’s most senior police officers have been preparing plans for “certain” demonstrations to be broken up by armed police using firearms in “certain circumstances”.
      Another urban legend is that disturbances will be assessed in real time on their ethnic content, as to whether to open fire. And that the Armed Forces will not be called upon in this role being regarded as “unreliable”; only the police. But I couldn’t swear to any of this, it’s just what people are occasionally saying.

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