Before Brexit the impression most people had of Britain was of a moderate nation of that had stood courageously through the ages for democracy and the rule of law. The quirkiness of our traditions and institutions, though they had been incrementally refined, were ancient and worth preserving. The funny hats and processions seemed anachronistic, but hey, that’s how the system worked, and if it ain’t broke why fix it?
Then we voted to become an independent democracy again, and it quickly became apparent that the system didn’t work at all. Or rather, it did work for the people who worked the system, but not those for whom the system was supposed to work. Laws, rules, traditions, deadlines and votes were respected when doing so maintained EU rule, disregarded when they didn’t.
We looked with new curiosity at the various bodies supposedly there to safeguard our interests and found them all to be headed by people opposed to our self-determination. Somehow, despite the fact that only about 16 million of our 45 million electorate voted for EU membership, 100% of our political institutions were headed by EU stooges: the BBC, civil service, House of Lords, Labour, Tory and Lib Dem parties, the Greens and SNP, the Bank of England, the CBI, TUC, DTI, the Electoral Commission, the judiciary, the Arts Council, the speaker, the British Chambers of Commerce, even the Parliamentary Committee on Exiting the EU! (I could go on).
We saw with new clarity that our votes had been a sham all along. When we had elected one EU supporter rather than another, one duly left Downing Street and another entered. But as soon as we voted for substantive change we saw our ‘democracy’ was nothing but Hobson’s Choice – votes were conducted on the understanding that the outcome was predetermined.
And where have our eminent leaders lead us? Humiliation. The world looked on in disbelief as a country that had been a beacon of civilisation, grovelled to foreign bureaucrats for permission to remain in an institution we had VOTED to leave. Our representative’s capitulation to them could not have have been in greater contrast to their contempt for us.
Which brings us inevitably to those at the very pinnacle of our society – the monarchy. I have defended the monarchy in the past as a benign institution that can provide moderation in times of political crisis; a type of constitutional safety valve that gives our society a sophistication that republics lacked, a threatened part of our culture that should be preserved. Those arguments are no longer credible. If the monarchy is there to provide a moderating check on the executive then when exactly is it going to begin functioning? We have just witnessed the total failure of our political system. The response of the monarchy? Silence.
Our membership of the EU is not voluntary. We are governed by a political block we voted to leave literally years ago. The most voted-for thing in our history has been cancelled. External rule has been imposed on us. Against our will. How can anyone claiming to represent us be a bystander to that?
They are happy enough to deliver lectures about the environment and human rights, why not simply say: “The vote must be implemented. We must leave.” What is so problematic about that? I would have thought it to be an observation of the self-evident. But hey, stating the obvious is clearly a big ask for some people, and what with the grueling schedule of fancy dress parties, and all that waving there is to do, finding time to say eight words must be tough to schedule.
If our Royal Family are not prepared to take our side in our hour of need then maybe they should give us our money back, find jobs, and fuck off out of our houses, so we can elect a head of state? Because right now they seem to be just another bunch of millionaires at the pinnacle of society who are unenthusiastic about democratic change.
Defending the tradition of the monarchy is not the cultural equivalent of saving the bees or the rainforest. It is a tradition worth preserving only if it embodies what makes us proud rather than what makes us ashamed. I know the Queen is old, that she has been a magnificent public servant in the past, and that her husband is not in the best of health, but what is the point of this institution existing if it is going to be an onlooker to our subjugation? The country has fallen. We need an Alfred the Great, a Richard the First, an Elizabeth the First, a Henry the Fifth. Where is our Queen?