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The Royal Family: response to Roz
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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #1
08-06-2011 11:39 AM

Roz said on another thread:

Quote:
robin orton and brian clearly want to deflect the argument away from the Royal Family without attempting to justify why on earth we should be funding these events and bank rolling these people. Please can they do so as you simply cannot berate people on 100k on milking the system whilst there are multi milliionaires around who've been doing it for years. If its the 'same old story' from me, its the same old silence from them.

If people want to live their lives through a soap opera there's always Coronation Street. No pun intended. My preferred outcome in respect of royalty is that they exist but cost us substantially less and that people take a more hardened view of them as they tend to do in most European countries that still have a monarchy. Its a matter of national subservience here that seems to fit in with and shape the British character.

That to me is realistic and a starting point. There persists in the country a view that these people have a moral right to have financial and societal superiority over us.


If you have a hereditary head of state, you automatically have a royal family, and therefore you have royal weddings, royal births, royal rows, royal illnesses, royal deaths, royal adulteries, royal divorces, etc. People take a natural interest in the dramas of other people's family life, particularly if we feel we all know them and when something particularly exciting is happening in them. You can call this 'living their lives through a soap opera' if you like, but I think that may be a bit patronizing.

As to your concern that 'we are bankrolling these people' and that there 'persists in the country a view that these people have a moral right to have financial and societal superiority over us', I think heads of state do need to have a degree of 'societal superiority' in that they need to command respect and to be in a position to give a moral lead in times of national crisis. As to the money, I don't know whether you think the royal family have an extravagant lifestyle; nor do I know whether, to the extent that they do, it is paid for by the tax payer rather than from their private resources. OK, for historical reasons, our royal family (like, I suspect, many others) have quite a lot of personal wealth, but not as much as a lot of other people in this country who I at least would not think are, generally speaking, any more deserving. I think the royal family, particularly the Queen, do a difficult job pretty well on the whole.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,348
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
08-06-2011 11:50 AM

I think a deal was done some years ago. Some of their personal wealth was handed over to the state in return for the civil list, which pays for their offical duties.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #3
08-06-2011 01:14 PM

Sherwood, do you mean the income from the Crown Estates? This was surrendered by George III in 1760 in exchange for the Civil List. Quite a long time ago!

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Cellar Door


Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #4
08-06-2011 01:17 PM

robin orton Wrote:
This was surrendered by George III in 1760 in exchange for the Civil List.

What?! Was he mad?

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #5
08-06-2011 01:59 PM

Probably not (yet!). It was the year of his accession and his predecessors had run up quite a debt. Until then the monarch had been personally responsible for all the costs of civil government (net of certain taxes). (Parliament was responsible for defence spending and the National Debt.) So probably it wasn't a bad deal, in the long term.

(All this learning is from Wikipaedia, as usual!)

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jgdoherty


Posts: 275
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #6
09-06-2011 10:32 PM

Robin Orton's view that "I think heads of state do need to have a degree of 'societal superiority' in that they need to command respect and to be in a position to give a moral lead in times of national crisis" is unsustainable..

HM, Queen Elizabeth aside, "societal superiority" has no part to play in a modern democracy. Her dignity is immeasurable and of an old school, almost magical in character, that contributed hugely to our survival as a British nation.

However in a different generation presented with an all seeing media eye and where elected leaders demand that people be measured by productive hard work for the least possible cost, it is difficult to see a case for her successors to justifiably inherit that stratospheric level of respect. Their ability to somehow acquire any grounding that could provide moral leadership that is superior to those they might seek to rule may prove illusory.

The measure of democratically elected leaders' merits and their ability to command respect should lie in their statesmanship and promotion of adherence to democratic, cultural and constitutional principles.

Gaining an elected mandate helps too.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #7
10-06-2011 08:03 AM

Roz seemed to be accepting the hereditary principle as such, JG, but didn't seem to me to be accepting some of the consequences. If you want to argue for an elected head of state, fair enough. In my more optimistic moods, when I dream that liberty, equality and fraternity might be achievable political goals, I sometimes think myself that we would be better off making a peaceful transition to a republic. But then I sink into gloom again when I think about how deeply engrained the class system is into our national culture, and conclude that, like the French in 1789 and the Russians in 1917, we could have a republic only if we had a revolution - not just political, but economic and cultural as well. I'm not sure I want a revolution - the risks of collateral damage are, in terms of death, destruction and misery, are probably too high.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
12-06-2011 07:00 PM

Actually, I dont really accept the hereditary principle but I appreciate that getting rid of the monarchy is not what people want or at least want to be seen saying. I would settle in the first instance for less adulation and subservience like there is in other countries. Also, our taxes go towards policing and providing security for their weddings and now jubilee, and I really do not see this as justified in the current economic circumstances nor do I understand why anyone would view such expenditure as reasonable.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,348
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
13-06-2011 07:18 AM

I understand that every hotel room in London was occupied during the royal wedding. Also we sold lots of studio rentals to other tv companies.
I think the royal family probaly are a profit making organisation for the UK!

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #10
13-06-2011 08:45 AM

Certainly popular overseas.

I wonder who in this country could name the presidents of either Germany or Italy ? I would imagine 99% of the populations of these countries could name our head of state.
France and US have a different system where the head of state also head of government.

I would imagine The Queen brings in a good sum of money and goodwill to this country.

Roz can you not accept you may be wrong.

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michael


Posts: 3,197
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
13-06-2011 09:23 AM

I wonder how many people in Germany, Italy or the UK could really name our Queen as Mrs. Elizabeth Mountbatten-Winsor. But then it is possibly that the citizens of Germany are more familiar with the Saxe-Coburg dynasty.

The French royal family continues to generate tourist revenues for France, with Versailles being a popular destination. Even the pharohs of Egypt, despite no longer ruling, continue to attract visitors to Cairo.

I doubt that an elected president would work out much cheaper than the royal family does today, just think of the cost of all those pesky elections, not to mention a referendum to decide if the role should cease being hereditary.

But whoever is the head of state, it will not stop tourists visiting the Tower of London, Winsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, and Hampton Court. Royal weddings, funerals, and corinations do not happen regularly enough to make any significant difference to the the 6th largest economy in the world.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #12
13-06-2011 09:33 AM

I agree with Michael. Anyway, I always wince a bit when people defend the monarchy on the grounds that it's a tourist attraction and earns us foreign currency. That sort of argument is a bit too utilitarian for my taste. The monarchy should be above such sordid calculation.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #13
13-06-2011 04:31 PM

I'd really appreciate knowing how much money they bring in, both gross and net of expenses, and where exactly it goes to. I don't call a few hotels in Bayswater ' the economy'. Most of the time I would imagine that London is pretty sold out anyway being especially attractive to European Union tourists. As someone said, France still does well out of its monarchy even though they've been dead for soem time...

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,348
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #14
14-06-2011 07:32 AM

I know people in the hotel industry. Rooms are often vacant.

Anyway, if we abolish the monarchy, Gordon Brown or Tony Blair will move into Buckingham Palace. Is that what you want?

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
14-06-2011 12:34 PM

What I want is for someone to provide evidence and a transparent and sound business case which justifies the continued amount of tax revenues we pay to support their lives and their existence and proves that they bring in more than they cost. Even a statement or two on added value would be acceptable.
And that includes the policing and security bills for royal (I'm no longer capitalising them).

If someone can genuinely show that they provide an unequivocal net positive return then I'll shut up for good on this one. Which should please quite a few people apparently.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #16
14-06-2011 01:10 PM

I am not sure who has the time or inclination to compile these figures Roz.

Are you sure you are just upset you did not get an honour last week.

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jon14


Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #17
14-06-2011 02:05 PM

Roz Wrote:
What I want is for someone to provide evidence and a transparent and sound business case which justifies the continued amount of tax revenues we pay to support their lives and their existence and proves that they bring in more than they cost. Even a statement or two on added value would be acceptable.
And that includes the policing and security bills for royal (I'm no longer capitalising them).

If someone can genuinely show that they provide an unequivocal net positive return then I'll shut up for good on this one. Which should please quite a few people apparently.


You can't quantify all the benefits of having a royal family. Why should the head of state have to 'add value'? Have you quantified the benefits of an alternative to see if that adds up to an unequivocal net positive return?

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #18
14-06-2011 03:12 PM

No, because I'm not the one arguing in favour of them. Those who justify them by saying that they bring lots of money in should provide supporting evidence.

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #19
14-06-2011 03:44 PM

Cost to tax payer of Royal Family 38.2 million per year - about 62p per capita.

Estimated added tourist value 500 million. This is likely to be exaggerated (figures from the tourist board), but even if it is exaggerated ten-fold, that means a net gain to the economy.

I would still abolish the monarchy because I don't believe in hereditary superiority. I think that this is more important argument than the economic ones.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,348
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
14-06-2011 04:31 PM

The country got rid of the monarchy years ago by cutting off the King's head. But by popular demand the monarchy was restored.

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