Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Queen-sized error of judgement

I didn't watch the Queen's speech today (I haven't bothered with it for years - paint dries in a more entertaining manner), but if it's true that she called for reconciliation between Yes voters and No voters, it was a spectacularly ill-judged comment.  For starters, as a Yes voter I'm getting a bit bloody sick of being treated by the London establishment as a belligerent in an unfortunate war that should be forgotten as soon as possible, rather than as a participant in the greatest exercise in democracy in British (let alone Scottish) history.  But more to the point, after the shocking revelation that the Queen breached her duty of impartiality to intervene on behalf of the No campaign just days before the referendum, what we needed to hear from her today was an apology, or more realistically an embarrassed silence on the topic.

I'm not a monarchist.  I don't necessarily think that getting rid of the monarchy should be the number one priority after independence, but it's high time for it to be slimmed down and totally stripped of its remaining political powers.  We've learned over the last couple of years that those powers are far more extensive than we realised, and include the right to secretly veto legislation affecting the Royal Family.  That's just not on in a supposedly democratic country.

Hope you're all having a splendid Christmas.  I should have pre-scheduled a quiz or a word-search or something, but I didn't think of it in time!


  1. Agree wholeheartedly! I can almost hear the delighted braying from the British Nationalists.

  2. The most dysfunctional family of benefit scroungers the UK has ever seen and people look up to them beggars belief. Enjoy your hols and lets kick em up the bahookies in May.

  3. Does anyone even watch the Queen's Speech these days, except maybe for a few people wearing orange sashes?

    1. or that manky mob from ayebroke,we saw them attack wee lassies and rip up their saltires,aye brave wee donkeys,shouting we are the people lol we are tossers mair like

    2. here's me thinking it was the Orangemen who did that!

  4. I haven't seen a Queen's speech since I was a child.

    But of course it always makes the headlines of the news and you can't miss what they are pleased to call "highlights" on bulletins throughout the day, along with messages from the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    It always seems to me to be light on substance and heavy on twee rubbish.

    I heard the bit you mentioned, on the news, at my mother's house this afternoon, and I was struck dumb.

    She must have been aware that she was playing with fire by getting involved with Cameron and his plans (surely that lesson should have been learned from the Canada/Québec episode).

    Has no one told her that we all now know that she acted in concert with Cameron ... and that there are many people who are less than happy about her involvement in it.Why fan the flames while talking about reconciliation?

    Surely the sensible thing would to have passed over it in the speech. Once again the Establishment seems to be utterly unaware of the feelings of a fair size of the population.

    On the other hand, I suspect that most of the people who watch her address will be in agreement with her.

    I heard that she went on to talk about her Christian faith adn how it has moulded her life.

    I'm always somewhat bemused by the protestations of religious faith coming from that family with their amassed billions. Didn't someone in the Bible say that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich (wo)man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

    She and her family of scroungers should have been at a local food bank today making sure that people starved by her government's policies were benefiting from all that money the royals have piled up over the years.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. This is the kind of response that saddens me.

      What saddnes me is the willingness to believe the tripe that's perpetuated in certain circles of media about the monarchy... lies of such magnificent proportions it beggars belief that people actually subscribe to them.

      I never considered myself a "monarchist" until releatively recently... when I delved deeply into constitutional law and the security of our rights as citizens. This led me to studying the monarchy, what it is, how it works and what it does... and more importantly- does not- own.

      Firstly let me clarify... I am an atheist Scot who passionately believes in Scotland's independence. I care not one jot for religious reverence or the adherence to traditions for the sake of heritage. I am a practical, rational logical man... but I'm also a pragmatist.

      Fundamentally, I don't care who or what secures our constitutional laws. They could be a wee green blob from the planet Wibblefud, I don't care. So long as they are dedicated to preseving those legal rights and do their job well, I have no complaints.

      The function of our head of state (like any other) is to secure the nation's basic constutional laws from meddling political factions... in other words... to prevent a political animal with machiavellian intentions from scrapping the constitution that preserves our right to democratic representation.

      The Head of State stands as guardian of those rights.

      Fine, so then why a monarch?

      A monarch is not a politcal animal. They have been raised (deliberately) in a position of privilege to ensure they grow up without the need for developing political leanings or favouring any political ideology. This is because it was recognised by our politcal forebears that it is dangerous and counter-intuitive to have a politician guard the constitution from politicians! The monarchy is preserved as our NEUTRAL gauarantor of constitutional security.

      Consider... if a president favours a political party's ideology, he or she may be motivated to undermine the nation's constitutional laws to further that party's agenda... potentially with the end result of banning the right to opposition, free speech etc etc. In essence, you have a dictator!

      The US system employes 100 senators, a Supreme Court AND preserves the right of the people to bear arms... precisely because they understand that their system is weak by comparison to the monarchical system.

      The whole point of monarchy is to prevent that scenario. That's what a constitutional monarchy is... a neutral entity that we the people place above parliament to keep the politicians from asserting sovereign authority. We donlt need the right to bear arms and all the messy social ills that follow, becasue we keep a monarchy... who is also the head of our military and capable of proroguing parliament at will on our behalf to restore democracy.

      HM is our neutral guarantor of sovereign power above parliament.

      You don't have to be Christian, Protestant or a loyalist to appreciate that.

  5. What's the Queen on about?

    Sick of this talk of the legacy of division following the referendum and the need for reconciliation.

    I've just spent Christmas with family members where roughly half voted Yes and half voted No. There was no attempt at 'bridging these differences' as the Queen puts it, and there needn't be. Ever.

    I'm perfectly happy to go on holding a different view from those that voted the other way. Because the great thing about the referendum was that people were given the chance to vote in accordance with their beliefs whilst respecting those of others.

    Honestly, in a country still bearing the scars of sectarianism, we should be able to recognise real harmful division when we see it.

    1. Indeed. I have not witnessed any "division" between yes voters and no voters, neither at work, nor at church, nor on the family nor elsewhere. It's really just no-CAMPAIGNERS calling for reconciliation, by which they mean the independence movement should just give up and disappear from the political stage.

    2. The very fact you were able to have dinner with them shows you've reconciled... not everyone has or will.

      Nonetheless, it's a perfectly worthy sentiment, and frankly I'm amazed anyone's making a fuss over it.

  6. Thomas Paine once pointed out, to have a hereditary Head of State makes as much sense as having a hereditary mathematician. This has never been so obvious before than with this latest intervention. Even in trying to build bridges, they just keep tearing them down and building barriers. The very language they use is confrontational and provocative. There was no war, there was a lot of anger, but there were no riots. (except for the victory celebration in George Square by proud British folk) The no camp will call this courageous and magnanimous. The yes vamp will largely feel insulted and sadly for us, the no camp intend it to be so. Yes we have now reached the point were the no camp will now proudly use the term British as an insult. Irony - clearly - is not one of their strong suites. Its clear to me now that this is a process and its only just begun. Its beginning to dawn on the unionists as well. Hence the attempts at reconciliation. Sadly the means they used to secure their "union" will continue to define it as a dishonest and destructive force. So their reconciliation looks to much like a petted lip or clenched fist.

    1. So tell, me, James. When you have to decide on who will be the executor of your estate... will you consider just anyone of being capable of doing the job fairly and in accordance with your wishes? Or will you seek a neutral, fair and balanced individual who will execute your estate without favour toward any faction?

      THAT is why we have a hereditary monarchy...


  7. I didn't watch it, never do, partly because I know it would spoil a nice day. There will always be something I disagree over and above the farcical monarchy. I prefer to ignore it all and let them gradually alienate more people. Eventually, probably when her son assumes the mantle, the majority will see the monarchy as the farce it is . Until then it's probably best to just ignore them.

  8. Agree entirely She is no queen of mine How can she be the 2nd Liz when the first time never been!

  9. But are we not seeing a pattern here? We have Murphy biggotrying up the old religious division. We have Lizzy reminding the elderly and the Orange where their loyalties lie. I sense more agent provocateur trolls on a lot of the blogsites regularly now stirring division.

    They want the rabble to descend into factions. They want to divide the Yessers because they can see they are going to be trounced in May and its causing panic. They will have data showing the TV licence campaign and the newspaper boycotts. I know I am not alone in refusing to buy goods with Union flags on. There is a resilience to this campaign they are desperately trying to undermine.

    Leave talk of her Maj on the back burner. Try to ignore all the divisive crap and talk about the positive message that unites us. Do not allow them to dictate our agenda.

    We can be any kind of country with any kind of head of state we like. Once we are independent. Focus on the prize.

    1. I don't agree, actually. We now know that the tactic the Queen was following prior to the referendum was to attempt to nurture a sense of "foreboding", rather than to emphasise the positive nature of the democratic process. Presumably her game now is to try to weave a narrative that the whole thing was just so ghastly and divisive that it would simply be unbearable to go through it all again.

      That kind of nonsense has got to be tackled head on. Unfortunately the SNP can't do it, because they can't be critical of the Queen (in fact they feel they have to actively defend her at all times).

  10. James, your reply just proved Anonymous 12:10's point. There are so many conflicting views on the monarchy within Yes it would be better to let sleeping dogs lie until Scotland is in position to decide these things.
    Personally, i have no more faith in republican heads of state than i do in monarchies.

    In reply to james Morton, if i had to choose between the offspring of a family of mathematicians and some random here today gone tomorrow 'i have a nice smile and the papers love me' mathematician, i would pick the former every time. Look at the leaders the people of the 20th century elected, and the damage they caused. Being a republic made no difference.


    1. "There are so many conflicting views on the monarchy within Yes it would be better to let sleeping dogs lie until Scotland is in position to decide these things."

      That's an argument for literally taking no view on anything other than independence, which I don't think is sustainable. In any case, the point about the Queen's interference is not strictly speaking an anti-monarchy point - it's an anti-monarchy-breaching-its-constitutional-duties point.

      "Look at the leaders the people of the 20th century elected, and the damage they caused. Being a republic made no difference."

      And that's an argument for the abolition of democracy.

    2. Nice one - WWI was essentially about the fall out of three Royal first cousins.

      If only they could have got on better the 20th century may have turned out so differently.


    3. Anon - I think you have missed the whole point of Paine's comment. Neither make sense. An accident of birth does not make you suited to rule anymore than it automatically makes you capable of doing hard sums. Its about ability not birthright. I will always go for the capable and skilled individual, not the one with a sense of entitlement.

      The Queen is no more a head of state than her son will be. She is nothing more than a rubber stamp.

    4. Good replies 8:16, 11:18, 12:18, i actually agree with your points. If you compare europes monarchies and republics - Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, vs Germany, Ireland, Italy, France, etc, you can argue forever which constitutional blueprint suits Scotland best but IMHO it really makes little difference either way. There are peaceful, fair societies on both sides.
      The reason i posted in the first place is that when it comes to the monarchy you are dealing with a disproportionately emotive issue, particularly in west of Scotland. Sniping 'haud yer wheesht' at the queen just isnt going to bear any fruit and could even alienate yes voters intent on keeping HRH as head of state. (Yes, they exist.) Much more pragmatic to be seen to be standing together behind whatever stance the SNP are adopting and deal with it come independence.


    5. Strong republican at heart but I've been persuaded to stay quiet about it for several good reasons. Firstly as mentioned above, why scare off monarchist soft Yessers? Secondly the Crown may yet come to play a central role in some form of "soft" UDI not too far from that outlined here yesterday by Scottish Skier (see Jock Campbell's writings, most recently on YES Ideas). And sadly the Crown may also have to play a role in minimising the aggression of a possibly bankrupt British State toward an indy Scotland which has "stolen" "its" oil.

    6. Just as food for thought...

      Do any of you have locks on your doors? Do any of you expect to have the door of your home tried by a person of criminal intent on a daily basis?

      Most of us wouldn't. Most of us would consider that a remote possibility... but it;s still a possibility... and so we fit a lock as a "just in case".

      My point? I'd rather have the barrier between the politicians and the constitutional laws than not. I'd like to have the lock rather than risk the potential of burglarly.

      The monarchy is our lock and key, keeping our rights secure from political fad and potential despotism.

      The USA employs a Senate of 100 senators, a Supreme court AND alllows their citizens the right to bear arms (with all the social ills that come with it)... all in order to watch over the political animal that is the president.

      All at a cost of 1.5 BILLION dollars.

      We have a wee wummin and her faimly living in draughty old houses and castles among a pile of 200 year old antiques for a pittence by comparison.

  11. Up till this broadcast, I was relatively neutral on the monarchy, but I will not be reconciled to be treated as a second class citizen by a government I did not elect.

    It has only bolstered my determination to fight for Scotland's independence.

  12. Time to review the need for the continuation of what is effectively the epitome and figurehead of a class system based on accident of birth rather than ability and achievement. A very bad move by what is most obviously an English monarch chiding those scruffy democrats in her footsteps territory north of the homeland of England for exercising their "right" to question the status quo which encompasses food banks, sanctioning, attacks on the poor and disabled whilst the homeless rich and talentless upper class improve their standing.......bring out the guillotine.

  13. Britain is horrifically divided. Just look at polls. 1/3 Tory, 1/3 Labour, 10% Libs, 15% UKIP...

    No unity at all. A state completely torn apart by differing political views. You only need to visit comments sections on UK online news outlets to see the depth of discord.

    Queen's 2015 speech will obviously touch on this division, calling for reconciliation, following the re-reinforcement of it in the May General Election.

  14. I would like nothing more than to one day wake up as a citizen rather than as a subject.

  15. Prior to the purring revelations I was easy come ,easy go, now I am a die hard Republican.
    I will move at branch a motion for conference demanding a Republic in an Independent Scotland.
    Lizzie proved herself to be on the side of the British Establishment against the people of Scotland.

  16. I think when Charles III (oops - too scottish and Jacobite sounding I will just change my name to George VII - ah that is better less divisive and so more British ) comes along it will be an opportune time for a republican referendum.

    I think that will swing it.

    George, William, George....

    Did you see little Prince George in that jumper - he is soooo cute!


  17. Given her place at its pinnacle, I suppose it is fitting that the monarch should so clumsily epitomise the British establishment's total inability to comprehend the nature of what has happened in Scotland over the past couple of years.*

    We have had much talk of "reconciliation" from British politicians in Scotland in the months since the independence referendum. Most people, I suspect, recognise this as self-serving cant from those who would prefer that we forget the part they played in Project Fear - the campaign of distortion, deceit and dishonesty by which the people of Scotland were duped into forfeiting the democratic power that they held in their hands for 15 glorious hours on Thursday 18 September 2014 and return that power to the British political elites who are now so desperate to draw a veil over their deplorable conduct.

    The Queen's pious prating on the topic of "reconciliation" is somewhat different. It reflects the attitude of a British establishment which saw in the referendum, not a great exercise in democracy, but a threat to the entrenched power and privilege which defines the British state.

    To the ruling elites of the British state, the Yes campaign was not a heartening affirmation of true participative democracy - it was an uprising against the divinely ordained order. Whilst those engaged in the campaign to restore Scotland's rightful constitutional status gloried in a revival of political engagement and the organic growth of a genuine grass-roots movement, conventional power could only make sense of what was happening by translating it into the language of conflict, revolt and strife. The language of imperial power politics. The language of the British state.

    British politicians in Scotland want "reconciliation" so that they can get back to the cosy arrangements which guaranteed them a place in the structures of power and privilege which they like to refer to as "Britiain". The Queen voices the more general concern of the British establishment as a whole. An arrogant, disdainful concern that those fractious Jocks should stop rocking the boat and get back in their box.

    With a casual condescension that lacks any self-awareness, we are being told that we've had our wee fling and should now content ourselves with the old order and the old ways.

    In the vocabulary of the British establishment, "reconciliation" becomes a euphemism for resigned acquiescence and meek submission.

    How little they know. How little they understand.

    1. Hear! Hear! Peter. An excellent little piece. Says it all about the latter day "parcel of rogues in a nation" who sold Scotland for English gold and their own self enhancement.

    2. I respect your point of vew Peter, but I won't subscribe to it.

      Let's make something clear... Scotland is a part of the kingdom of Great Britain, of which HM is the Head of State. Her duty is to secure the laws that we the people of this kingdom produce from any sovereign parliament within the kingdom's borders... whether from Westminster or Holyrood or any other future parliament.

      She doesnlt support the politcal agenda of London or the Westminster system of elitism, she's above it, neutral to it, merely the securer of whatever system WE the people decide WE wish to live by. She doesn't dictate that system or impose it upon us... WE made it.

      Now that's not to say the system isn't flawed... it certainly is... and this is why we are seeking to remove our soveriegn authority from Westminster... through an assertion of independence.

      And when that day comes, HM will stamp her authority upon such an act... because she isn't there to oppose our will, she's there to uphold and secure it.

      Frankly, I think you're leading yourself up the garden path if you think HM's words were some kind of attack on our right to appose the Westminster system. And I'm disappointed a man of your intelligence would fall for it.

      Personally, I see HM's words (if in any way directed at us Scots) as encouragement to heal the divisions Westminster has driven through Scottish society for centuries.

      It's time to drop the angst and move on.

  18. A belated merry xmas.
    It seems totally bizarre and backward that we even have a royal family with such power in 2014, and that they are still allowed space on the airwaves to express their opinions on how people live their lives when they sit on assets belonging to the people, many of whom cannot afford to even heat their homes in winter. I watched a 'Christmas Carol' on xmas eve on the internet, I will be wathing more films of Dickens' social commentary writing, later today, it's a good reminder of just what is wrong with the westminster undemocratic regime and that we need to get rid of it,

  19. The crunch for Scots will come when her successor has to be crowned King or Queen of Scots.
    Will we accept this person being imposed on us from London?
    It will be up to her political representatives in Scotland (British Labour) to try and stem the democratic movement to self determination and possibly now,for many,since the purring revelations,a republican state.
    How could an independent Scotland now accept a head of state who is entirely opposed to the existence of that state?
    The sermon on the pound may have been the death knell of the Westminster run state but the purring from the Queen was the end of the road for the monarchy here in Scotland.

  20. Totally agree with Peter A Bell, particularly with regards to
    "the British establishment saw in the referendum a threat to the entrenched power and privilege which defines the British state"

    To the ruling elites of the British state, the Yes campaign was an uprising against the divinely ordained order".
    " the language of conflict, revolt and strife. The language of imperial power politics. The language of the British state".

    Her Majesty sat "motionless and expressionless" as she delivered her speech

    Which was preceded and ended by a military band.
    Why not for example, musicians from the Royal School of Music?

    No - the message is implacable power backed up by the military

  21. I agree this was totally disgraceful. And then the BBC span her call for healing of divisions in Scotland in the same breath as talk of reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

    Let's get this straight. There was no war in Scotland on this issue, no civil conflict, no murders or terrorism, just a peaceful political process culminating in a democratic vote, whose result has been respected by both sides.

    This is no Northern Ireland-style division to heal, just disagreement between people about what the best political future for Scotland looks like.

    When there is a general election in the UK or Scotland, the royal family doesn't get involved in behind the scenes briefings in favour of the (one would suppose) Tories, and then after the Tories win the election say we need to heal all the division that was caused by people considering voting for something else.

    This is political intervention and it is completely and utterly unacceptable for the monarch to be saying such things.

  22. Completely agree that her intervention in the referendum should be viewed as a disgusting abuse. I have even read that the Press corps, who are usually told to stay well back at the church service appearance, were told on this occasion to move in closer, and listen out for something important.

    I can only believe one day the vast majority of people in this country will weaken up to this manipulation, and we will leave this servile union with some dignity intact.

  23. Lizzie is speaking on behalf of the British establishment, telling us to get on our knees and bow to them. The imperial masters are clearly irate at the Jocks for getting ideas above our subsidy junkie stations. Know your place you Jock peasants, and do not challenge our state and power again.

  24. >>>This is no Northern Ireland-style division to heal,

    Give the Establishment a chance, they've yet to get going in royally screwing things up, with an attempt to annexe Shetland or Berwickshire into England for example, or close down all our banks and re-register the assets in London.

    Maybe then Queenie might have something to ask us all to calm down about, if we are still listening to her by then.

  25. The British establishment never gives up, never fails to push their mantra of how bad democracy is for us.

    Queenie said in her speech that it would take time to heal the rifts caused by the referendum. Funny, she’s never said that about a general election! And both are a normal part of a democratic process which supposedly allows for the say of the people and the will of the majority to win through. But no, the referendum continues to be viewed as something divisive, undesirable, a rogue and nasty part of the democratic process which really shouldn’t be allowed, and which harms normal harmonious relationships within families and within communities, setting those who wish legitimate change in a stultifying, dated system against those determined to uphold the inequalities and poverty imposed by cash-rich individuals and businesses that control governments.

    The Tories have upped the spending limit for the period before an election because their big donors and business backers have amassed for them a mighty war chest, ready to spend propagating whatever lies and misinformation will return them to power and ensure the cash-rich can continue to milk the system for all it’s worth.

    The queen does us a disservice involving herself in the democratic process, and insinuating the referendum was divisive. Debate and argument are necessary and healthy in a democracy, in an open society. To portray it otherwise is an act of a government cog, part of the misinformation culture that pervades the running of the UK.

  26. Along with Northern Ireland, we are the last remaining colony (I am not including the few British Overseas Territories) of England and we generate far too much revenue for them to let us go willingly, they will hang on tooth and claw. I foresee some very dirty tricks being played in the near future towards Scotland by a government already ridden with corruption and chicanery. Are we to see a repetition of the troubles in Northern Ireland?

  27. Absolutely agree that the only people talking about division and reconciliation are no campaigners and it is an attempt to try to close down the debate because they didn't get the clear and decisive result they expected. I know loads of no voters including my parents and the referendum has made no difference to our relationships, any more than a general election does. The simple fact is that most people don't talk about politics most of the time.

    By allowing herself to be used to promote the myth of division, as with her Crathie intervention, the Queen has shown a clear political bias, as confirmed by Cameron blabbing about her purring. The end result is that there will be many people, like me, who were soft monarchists before the referendum but are now firmly republican. In that respect her interventions have been self destructive. However, the monarchy is a separate issue to independence so I fully understand the SNP's position on the matter.

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  29. Perhaps she should just tell us how to vote in May 2015. It would save all that electioneering expense the parties go to and all the messing about with that democracy guff.

  30. I thought of Queenie today at Easter Road (4-0 to Hibs by the way) as her Rangers fan club belted out the usual unionist chants and waved the usual flags. She calls for reconciliation but has no idea of the venom that is spouted by these people who are not in the least interested in reconciliation and see nothing wrong with her intervention for the Union. She is a useless monarch, but sadly there are another three (Charles, William and George) lining up to take her place.