Thursday, 28 April 2011

Dieu et mon goodness isn't it over yet?

I'm getting a little tired of the ceaseless coverage of an event which hasn't happened yet, isn't breaking news and is planned down to the last vol-au-vent.

However, the fault does not lie with William and Kate, but with the media. It's like the build up to the cup final, except the difference (barring a huge shock from one or other of them) is that unlike the cup final, we know what the result is going to be.

Your favourite Canis Lupus is working tomorrow, some non-emergency public servants are, and no, I don't get double time or a day in lieu. No biggie, I'm not that bothered about the wedding. I really hope that the pair have a long and blissfully happy life together, God knows the family could do with a break after the awful matches made by the generation before William. But it isn't my wedding, I don't know the couple involved, so it really doesn't matter to me.

That doesn't mean I'm going to start railing against the Windsors or the notion of a Monarchy though. I wouldn't describe myself as a Royalist, but nor am I a Republican.

One thing tomorrow will show is that despite all our problems, be they self inflicted or otherwise, this country can put on one hell of a show. We do it with magnificence, class and style. The Americans do it with magnificence, but they do it with such military overbearing. That isn't to say that there isn't going to be soldiers all over the show tomorrow, but we do it in a style which is not so overtly overt. It's a difficult feeling to express, but it doesn't have that 'America, hell yeah!' feel to it.

The French do it with class and style, but you can't help the feeling that at the big occasion they still feel that it is a shame that they cut all those heads off. A president just doesn't have the gravitas that a monarch, or a monarch in waiting has. It's just a little, empty. It's like comparing the photo of the meal on the menu in a chain pub with the grub put in front of you, it looks promising at the outset, but ultimately fails to deliver satisfaction.

I think the Royal Family is important, I'm not going to wheel out the old tourism line, I'm not sure I buy it. What I do think the advantage a constitutional monarchy brings is that the person in the very top job doesn't ask for it, doesn't want it and very, very, very, very rarely uses the power they have. It is, I think, a perfect balance.

I like QEII, but I think she's taken her eye off the ball, especially when signing away her and our sovereignty to Europe, but despite what Cast Iron Dave would have you believe, nothing is irreversible. I'm not so keen on Charles, and I don't think he'll make an especially good King, but then if QEII takes after her mother, he probably won't have much, if any, time in the big job.

With William it is too soon to tell, but I think the early signs are encouraging. Say what you like about Charles, but the fact he has been able, despite the circumstances, to raise such a well adjusted and personable son does him enormous credit.

I don't want a President, another job for a washed up politician if we follow the French/Irish model, or a power hungry grasping politician if we follow the American model.

It is far from perfect, it is elitist, it is archaic, it is a relic of history, but I can think of no better, or at least no more preferable fashion to choose the head of state than the method we have. It is apolitical, it is random, it is sometimes perfect, it is often disastrous, but it is way better than leaving it in the hands of career minded, ruthless, venal, deceitful politicians.

The constitutional monarchy allows us to be seen at our best. Even though it can and does go wrong, at least we have a fighting chance of promoting a positive image, an elected President would always show us at our worst. The constitutional monarchy is alright by me.

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