Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Age of Royal Non-Intervention

A.N. Wilson: Our Times: The Age of Elizabeth IIOver at the Daily Mail, A.N. Wilson gives an extract of his new book Our Times: The Age of Elizabeth II.

Some of what A.N. Wilson says:

It is often said that she has never put a foot wrong. Yet a conspicuous feature of her life as Head of State has been the way she has accepted recommendations for peerages, as well as the mangling of the House of Lords perpetrated by Tony Blair, without any apparent question.

In this, she differs markedly from her grandfather, George V, who prevented Asquith from creating 500 Liberal peers to force through Lloyd George's budget and certainly would have insisted upon a plausible alternative system being in place before the Second Chamber was deprived of its hereditary element.

There was no reason, constitutional or otherwise, why the monarch could not have questioned some of the rum coves Harold Wilson nominated for honours.

Similarly, common sense and decency should surely have prevented her from ennobling Jeffrey Archer (perjurer, liar, cheat) or Conrad Black (shady businessman, asset stripper and, eventually, imprisoned fraudster) or the gang of unworthies elevated by Blair, having offered loans or gifts to New Labour.

The Queen has many virtues but political courage is not one of them, and in allowing Parliament thus to fall further into disrepute she was in the wrong. The same can be said of other issues.

She is known to be agitated by the state of the Established Church as it moves through a series of self-imposed crises, but apparently feels powerless to intervene. Why? Is she not the Supreme Governor of the Church?

She is deemed to be worried about the danger to the Union posed by Scottish nationalism, but once again she seems to do nothing about it.

All these matters are the direct responsibility of the Head of State herself, not of her advisers, and her inactions are more serious criticisms of her than that her voice is a pain in the neck.

Link (Daily Mail) via The Monarchist.