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Showing posts from November, 2010

"let us postulate..."

In case you, gentle reader, are not British but, perhaps, American, I have one big beef with the royal family:I didn't get to vote for them.Let me unpack that for you.There is no democratic accountability in monarchy. As a system of government, in undiluted form it most resembles a hereditary dictatorship — current poster-child: Kim Jong-Il. The form we have in the UK is not undiluted: Parliament asserted its supremacy with extreme prejudice in 1649, and again in 1688, and ever since then the British monarchy has been a constitutional, rather than an absolute one — a situation that leaves odd constitutional echoes, such as the fact that we have a Royal Navy but we a British Army (loyal to Parliament, and not under royal command).Nevertheless ...To use a metaphor: let us postulate the existence in the ante-bellum Deep South of benevolent, morally righteous slaveowners who did not flog or rape or oppress their slaves. (I know, I know ... it's a thought experiment, okay?) Would t…