It’s a topic on which I’ve wavered back and forth over the years. When it comes to political sympathies, many who are on the right like me are pro-monarchy, while many on the left are republicans – few more so than Comrade Corbyn.
In the cold light of day, though, the best argument that the pro-monarchy faction in the UK has had to offer in my lifetime is ‘would you rather we had President Blair/Brown/Cameron/May?’ to which the instinctive answer is, well… no.
But it would very much depend on the role and the powers that a president had. Presidents such as those of Ireland or Italy have largely ceremonial roles, with limited powers that only really mean anything in the extremis of a political or constitutional crisis. The President of the USA is a far larger figure, of course, but is hemmed in by a constitutional system of checks and balances that prevents him from really doing much harm. The current and inevitable failure of Trump to deliver on his promises is testament to the fact that for all the wailing and gnashing of teeth his presidency has engendered, he really hasn’t changed the course of the Good Ship Washington in any meaningful way. Likewise, the President of France seems to have a lot of clout but he’s not able to operate as an autocrat and his tenure is punctuated by periodic democratic upheaval.
So my first point is that a properly constitutionally circumscribed presidency need not be a worse thing than the arrangement we have now, where much of our constitutional stability is in the hands of the Queen, who is considered, stoic, enduring and dignified.
I believe that the UK owes the Queen a great debt of thanks for the service she has done for this country over long years dating back to well before she was crowned. But when Queen dies, any gratitude we owed to her dies with her. It is not commutative to any of her heirs, because they have not in their own rights performed any sort of great service for this country.
Now lets consider what comes next.
It is likely (and completely beyond the control of the 67M people who live in this country) that dim-witted Charlie will be King for much of the rest of my lifetime, with his well documented penchant for high-handed meddling, motivated by the toxic cocktail of entitlement, arrogance and naivety that characterises much of the progressive elite.
Sooner or later, Charlie’s emotionally incontinent son will be crowned.
No voting, no regard for the will of the people, no periodic changing of the guard. Just a constitutional formality that the head of the nation will be for life, and by accident of birth, the scion of a German-Greek dynasty.
It isn’t good enough.
And watch how the attitude of the metropolitan left changes by degrees. First with the race-mixing celebrity marriage, then with the King who is a humourless environmentalist, Islam-appeasing halfwit.
We will go in a generation from “Well, would you rather have Queen Elizabeth II or President Blair?” to “Well, would you rather have King Charles the Spaniel or President Farage?”
The answer has to come down to one thing: The president may be terrible but, in ordinary times, there’s nothing he can do without the consent of parliament, and in any case he’ll be voted out at the next election.
The main barrier in the way to abolition of the monarchy is the House of Lords – another anti-democratic legacy of another age that has been poisoned and rendered dangerous by progressive imbecility.
So that’s where we need to start. With a fully-elected, senatorial, second chamber. After that, Charlie and his clan can be put out to pasture, replaced by a suitably defanged figurehead, periodically elected by popular vote.