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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: April ::
Re: God Save the Queen
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0668  Friday, 7 April 2003

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Friday, 04 Apr 2003 15:02:05 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen

[2]     From:   Sam Small <
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        Date:   Saturday, 5 Apr 2003 00:50:26 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen

[3]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Saturday, 5 Apr 2003 08:46:19 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen

[4]     From:   Carol Morley <
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        Date:   Saturday, 05 Apr 2003 09:30:58 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen

[5]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Saturday, 5 Apr 2003 13:08:17 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen

[6]     From:   Simon Morris <
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        Date:   Sunday, 06 Apr 2003 17:28:32 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Friday, 04 Apr 2003 15:02:05 -0400
Subject: 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen

Terence Hawkes writes,

>We need not split hairs. Either the assent of the monarch is necessary
>in order for British parliamentary Bills to become law, or it is not.

Wow!  What ever happened to the denunciation of false binaries?
Seriously, Australia, with the same parliamentary system, came very
close to passing an act of parliament doing away with the monarchy
altogether.  Clearly, then, parliament controls whether there is a
monarchy.

>Since it is, then parliament is not 'sovereign' and that's an end to the
>matter. The date when the 'royal assent' was last witheld is irrelevant.

It would certainly seem relevant in a country with little written
constitution where tradition can acquire the force of law.  The Supreme
Court of Canada forced Pierre Trudeau to consult the provinces on
constitutional changes, not because it was written anywhere that he had
to, but by reference to long-standing tradition.

>It may be witheld at any time. Indeed, as a means of influencing policy,
>unrecorded or barely intimated threats to withold it are always
>available to be deployed at the monarch's discretion . This office is of
>course normally open only to succession by birth and blood.

Under the Act of Succession, which was itself passed by parliament,
thereby making the monarchy into the creature of parliament, not
vice-versa.

Cheers,
Sean.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
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Date:           Saturday, 5 Apr 2003 00:50:26 +0100
Subject: 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen

I think we should get this thing straight - especially when discussing
Kings, Queens and Princes in view of Shakespeare's plays.  Elizabeth I
had real power and real responsibility - the word 'King' means the head
of Church, Judiciary and Parliament.  The current monarch of the United
kingdom, Elizabeth Windsor, has no political function whatsoever.  She
is a paid civil servant who does as she is told by the British
Government.  This includes the Royal Ascent and the Queen's Speech -
both functions she has to perform without question.

She, with her family, still retain titles that have been empty for some
time.  She may hire and fire servants and chose the fabric for her
bathroom curtains but little else.  She is a ceremonial head of state
that is useful to wheel out to foreign dignitaries who feel that meeting
her is a great honour.  She retains her job simply because she has
majority support of the British population - 60% to 40% the last time I
looked.  If she were deposed it would make no difference whatsoever to
the British governmental system or the British way of life except in the
imaginations of true cuckoo royalists who believe the world would stop
spinning if the Queen of England got a real job.  I suspect that such an
uneducated woman would find it difficult to find one.

SAM SMALL
http://www.passioninpieces.co.uk

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Saturday, 5 Apr 2003 08:46:19 +0100
Subject: 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen

"We need not split hairs. Either the assent of the monarch is necessary
in order for British parliamentary Bills to become law, or it is not.
Since it is, then parliament is not 'sovereign' and that's an end to the
matter."

But it ISN'T - not since the Parliament Act (1949). This Act says that
the monarch is not even required to CALL a Parliament, let alone sign
its bills. Of course, one might argue that this has been the de facto
case since the Convention Parliament. Which monarch called that? And
which signed Parliamentrary bills thereafter? And how did that monarch
come by their rights???

Coke may have been a great propagandist, and his notion of English
history was massively skewed, but after 1642, his view of English
constitutional law was made orthodoxy - by Parliament itself. We live in
a post-Cokean (post-Blackstonean) world.

m

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Morley <
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Date:           Saturday, 05 Apr 2003 09:30:58 +0000
Subject: 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen

Thanks to Matthew Baynham for the reminder: so long since I saw that
mind-blowing interpretation. And remember Bogdanov's 'Action Man'
trilogy of the 1980s. (Richard III, Hamlet and Tempest). Ariel's
leitmotif was an etherial Psalm, causing me to have the mother of all
postgraduate essay fits zooming around the Cabala and having huge fun
with his OT angelic possibilities. And hugely rewarding they were, too.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Saturday, 5 Apr 2003 13:08:17 +0100
Subject: 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen

Terence Hawkes wrote,

>Needless to say, a deep-seated disdain for the
>ballot-box has never inhibited the British from
>urging democracy on others, often by force of arms.

Indeed. It's only 27 years since the British crown dismissed an elected
prime minister: Gough Whitlam.

Gabriel Egan

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Simon Morris <
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Date:           Sunday, 06 Apr 2003 17:28:32 +0100
Subject: 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0655 Re: God Save the Queen

Professor Hawkes says:

>Either the assent of the monarch is necessary
>in order for British parliamentary Bills to become law, or it is not.
>Since it is, then parliament is not 'sovereign' and that's an end to the
>matter.

But perhaps we should distinguish the office of the monarch from the
office-holder. My reading of the unwritten constitution is that the
former is required to give the necessary assent, and that if the latter
tried to withhold assent, then he or she would be removed from office.

Simon Morris

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