The Necessity of Republicanism
What the Right gets Wrong about Monarchy
I expected that the Death of Elizabeth Windsor would be accompanied by propagandistic enthusiasm; it was. Equally predictable but worth greater consideration is how this enthusiasm has gripped those who sometimes identify as 'dissidents' from contemporary British culture and politics; nationalists, modernists, authoritarians, rightists: those who look on Elizabeth II's reign as a long trajectory of decline and hope for its reversal. I've been asked to respond to an article justifying Dissident Monarchism published by Angleson Walter on the Bancroft News substack. It makes a coherent case for defending the Monarchy representative of these feelings and I shall thus take it as a kind of stand-in for collective opinion.
I will limit myself to the epistemological consensus of public facts about the Monarchy. I will assume that they do not secretly wield powers greater than those stated in the constitution. Personally? I believe that aristocracy is a real mindset. I have seen persuasive evidence these people see themselves as a literally different species from us, that they trace their ancestry back to the Guelphs who fought the Ghibellines and see their project as financial dominion over the earth. The Queen is verifiably the protector of Freemasonry in Great Britain and several members of her family are 33 degree Masons. My private reason for opposing the British crown is that its hopelessly naive to believe this family will allow *anyone* else to exercise real power in their lands for any cause but their own. It doesn't matter what they personally believe, all that is needed is to know they have Deep, Deep Power and they'd be idiots to allow some British Mussolini to share power with them. All of this I will forget. I will labour to forget the Monarchy of Jeffrey Epstein and Kevin Spacey and focus only on what Ian Hislop would agree with me on.
King Charles III is the sovereign of Great Britain, he consents by historical precedent to allow his sovereignty to be 'pooled' in the two Houses of Parliament which in the 20th century were haphazardly turned into a democratic assembly of "the People" but which formally remains an oligarchy. Charles ceremonially opens Parliament and, except for the brief spell of the Fixed Term Parliament Act in 2011-19, he has the power to dissolve it. Unlike in Japan, there is no legal document officially stating the King is a 'ceremonial' monarch. This is a convention and like all conventions it relies upon a significant amount of agency on the part of those who make the bargain anew each generation. All Acts of Parliament are formally ratified by him. Lords are appointed in his name. The civil service, navy, air force, police, prisons and secret police operate under his name. The army as a Cromwellian creation alone does not. The British state, when it enters into legal relations with its subjects, is represented by the Crown; all trials in British courts take place after the clerk request all stand and recite a blessing for him. You cannot sue the King. Judges are technically appointed by the King, barristers can rise to the rank of King's Counsel to gain precedence in addressing courts and until quite recently the Professors of the world's leading universities were also appointed formally by the King. Ask any silk how KCs are actually appointed in the modern day and you will not get a clear answer, all we know is that a committee is involved.
The King technically owns all government documents and can read them at will as part of his "right to be consulted". While the Prime Minister must struggle to get access to files from different departments, Charles can request them fairly easily from the government archives because they are technically his. Access to official documentation in the U.K is governed by 'Crown Privilege' and thus by definition there are no rules or precedents for extending it to the crown. These papers are the material of the "red boxes" Charles has recently been photographed with. Elizabeth was said to read about 500 pages of official documentation every week. Every tuesday he has the privilige of a private audience with the Prime Minister lasting one hour; this meeting is never made public to anyone but the King and the Prime Minister. Alongside his 'ceremonial' role as the impersonation of the State, the King retains his feudal bodies such as the Privy Council which advise him on use of his prerogatives. Although these are appointed from members of Parliament, the rules on who gets which office and constitutes a 'senior' politician seem obscure; Penny Mordaunt, the author of that great tome Greater Britain: After the storm, is the current Lord President of the Council and thus occupies an office only slightly less senior than the Prime Minister. The Privy Council clearly has some power beyond the merely ceremonial evidenced by the "concerns" that Jeremy Corbyn's ascension into its ranks could 'compromise British national security'. Privy Councillors are appointed for life, meaning that former Prime Ministers and politicians will share in these rights to confidential government information.