Queen Elizabeth and our attitude towards the Monarchy

It is always a big occasion when the Queen pops over from Buckingham Palace to pay her subjects in this part of the kingdom a visit. Before, I go any further I must declare an interest, I am a republican and  not just in a narrow Irish sense, but I generally think that monarchies around the world are in 2014 pretty redundant. The recent example in Spain of King Juan Carlos having to abdicate because of his extravagant holidays while his people suffer high unemployment and austerity is a case in point.

Likewise, the monarchy here has emerged remarkably unscathed from the austerity drive as the Sovereign Grant (from the taxpayer) has actually increased by 5% in the last year going from £36.1 to 37.9 million. We demand accountability from people who receive funding from the state all the way from the person on job seekers allowance right through to our MPs. Yet when it comes to the Queen and her family, we all seem to get hypnotised when the head of state we all pay for comes to town to walk around City Hall and visit our local jail. I treat any person who is elected with respect and monarchy should also be treated with respect, but deference is where I draw the line. Any person who is part of the system of government should always be questioned and held to account for the money they spend and the work that they do in their role. The recent trouble that Margaret Hodge encountered as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee in actually discovering just what exactly the Royal Family are spending their money on is an example of how ludicrous the current system is.

The Royal Family do bring strengths and I have no reason to disagree that Queen Elizabeth is anything less than a pleasant person with good intentions. But, in a democracy and one which prides itself on its liberal values, it is not just the responsibility of its citizens and our MPs to question the head of state, it is our duty. When Queen Elizabeth comes to town instead just waving flags and watching journalists trip over camera cords to get the next photograph, it would be nice if one of them asked her about money she spends and the job that she does. Likewise, if some of our MPs who represent some of the poorest constituencies in the country were to enquire, that would be good too.

In reality, I know the monarchy is not going anywhere and it has successfully adapted itself to the modern age. My gripe is that the rest of us seemingly haven’t as we drool over the next photo spread and comment on how lovely the handbag is. The monarchy is an integral part of our government. We got rid of the deference to MPs in the forties, followed by the Prime Minister in the fifties and today we should drop the timidity about the monarchy. I want questions asked by MPs and journalists about the work she does and yes, maybe are they value for money? The Queen isn’t a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother and Kate and Wills are not characters from Eastenders, we need to treat them as the figures that they are and question them about the work that they do on Britain’s behalf.




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  • Roy Walsh

    Well put David, like yourself I consider myself a Republican, not a kap republican which is a misnomer and I wish this lady guten tag and am quite willing to direct her to a bar where she, and her husband, can spend all night over a glass of the black beer, like Germans tend to do.
    However on the financial aspect, there can be little doubt that the monarchy in London does attract large tourist expenditure so, for there at least, is a financial benefit while their offspring, and grand offspring equally attract tourists so they do seem to earn money, as above, at least for london, probably sufficient to maintain their keep off the civil list, for now.

  • My attitude to my sister in laws car in the drive is the same as to a certain helicopter at Aldergrove.
    I am also a republican as well as a nationalist.
    I cant stand Monarchy.
    Its not so much the alleged royals themselves.
    Its the general toadyness around them. Not least the inane grins around UTV and BBC.
    My Auntie May (God rest her) was as a republican as possible….but loved a good royal story especially if it involved “Princess Margaret Rose” She would have loved Kate.
    Its the Don Camillo factor.
    Frustrating for republicans like myself when the females take too much interest.

    But I think the original post misses one point.
    The frequency of the visits indicate a normality.
    Nothing is incidental ….everything is planned.
    Crumlin Road….says it all.
    The odd thing is that Sinn Fein is wedded to this nonsense.
    They are the alleged keepers of the republican flame and yet remarkably on-side in a way that their republican rivals are not.

    Full marks to Nichola Mallon.
    And Claire Hanna. The Consort asked HER if she had a real job. Fair play for avoiding the obvious reply.

    But there is something serious here.
    The Past has been buried alive.
    The DUP and Sinn Fein have sold out their own victims and the broader victims in Society.
    Is it about Peace? Or is it about Power?
    I know what Id say.

  • Greenflag

    I’d prefer if the British people had an elected President who by law should have his/her official residence in Manchester and could have modest temporary residences in Glasgow and Cardiff & Belfast for use on visitations .

    It’s circenses more than panis i.e Monarchy as is the Papacy although neither come close to the hereditary family kleptocracy of North Korea’s first family .

    At least Queenie brings in some tourist dosh ditto Il Papa whether it pays for their upkeep not to mention the security costs I can’t say .

    Some people are I guess infatuated with the modern Royals just as they are with Hollywood celebrities and Sports stars which is I suppose a kind of vicarious living .

    Tradition dies hard eh ?

    I’ve just been watching a re run of the Wars of the Roses and how it gave Britian it’s modern monarchy .Yer man Warwick was a real kingmaker and a proper machiavellian b’stard for his era .Cromwell to give him his due put manners on them at least until the Hanoverians took up residence .

    Let’s hope Spain gives their Royals the order of the boot and that Britain does the same when Queenie passes. Give them a palace and let them compete in the labour market like everybody else ? Ditto for yer man in the Vatican !

  • GEF

    John Mooney “Frustrating for republicans like myself when the females take too much interest.”

    During the troubles I was over in Bradford visiting some friends. My friend took me down a street inhabited by families from Pakistan. Right in the middle of the street was one house decorated from top to bottom with all sorts of flags and photographs of the Royal Family (would put any Sandy-row loyalist to shame. My friend informed me the obsessive woman who lived in the house had all sorts of Royal memorabilia inside the house as well. The laugh was she was an Irish Catholic from Tipperary. Can you imagine her living in West Belfast.

  • Greenflag

    @ john mooney ,

    Like them or not as long as they are officially representing the British State they must be accorded the civilities of respect and any boorish behaviour by elected individuals regardless of party loyalties does more harm than good to the republican (not just Irish Republican cause ) .

    I’ll admit that I look forward to whenever the Duck of Edinburgh opens his beak .He’s been somewhat reticent in recent years and appears to have made fewer bloomers at least in public 🙁

  • Greenflag,
    There is a difference between Respect and Sychophancy.

  • The Raven

    While no great fan myself, I often wonder if the people who write some of the comments above, and had the opportunity of being in a room at the same time as Her Maj would actually say them to her face? Just a thought.

    The original post mentioned costs. It also mentioned handbags, but let’s focus on the costs. I support your right to take umbrage at the £40m.

    JUST maintaining Trident – and the UK’s dying grasp on the misnomer “world power” – each year is £4-500m; miscalculated benefit payments, £2.2bn last year; tax fraud, £14bn; policing parades, £28m in nine months last year. From the Torygraph, I picked up that Sarkozy’s annual budget at the Elysee was about £90m, including “a flower bill of 275,809 euros and 3,000 euros in fines for late payment of electricity and gas.” The annual cost of the German presidency is about the same as the monarchy.

    For other comparison, Ireland’s presidency of the EU last year cost €60m, down from a previous €110m. While President Higgins’ salary is fairly public, I couldn’t find comparable figures for the “cost” of the presidency including all the add-ons that are included for the monarchy in Britain. I bet it isn’t £40m; but I’ll bet there’s a few of the obligatory nurses’ salaries in there.

    The money in this case? In the ‘scheme of things’? A side bar.

    (Cue: ah but if it was your money from your own pocket? Well it’s obvious, innit? I’d be living in Helen’s Bay, probably buying a peerage.)

  • Greenflag


    ‘The laugh was she was an Irish Catholic from Tipperary.’

    Whats to laugh ? At least she’s loyal to the country that presumably afforded her a living which her own country could not ?

    Perhaps she felt isolated in deepest Waziristan and just needed to remind her neighbours that they were all resident in the UK ? Some folks are into flags and emblems and photos of royalty , popes and Prime Ministers /Presidents .

    Can’t understand it myself but there you are .I guess if it makes them feel good about the society they live in whats the harm ?

  • Charles_Gould

    I thought her lemon outfit was very nice.

  • Greenflag

    Mooney ,

    ‘There is a difference between Respect and Sychophancy.’

    I’m sure there is .Still when one looks at our politicians be they in the Dail , Stormont , Westminster or the USA Congress one suspects that the increasing disrespect held out for the members of these institutions in our modern day plutocracy has a good deal to do with the vertiginious rise of Sychophancy among said representatives over the past couple of decades . It’s no secret that all American Congressmen and Senators are millionaires for the first time in that nation’s short history . It’s also no surprise that the wealth gap between the rich and poor in the USA is the biggest of any developed country .

    Not a great advertisement for “republicanism ‘ is it ?

  • TwilightoftheProds

    The upside to monarchy is they make great national symbols-not always the encumbant, but the institution. To some they may be relics, but to others they are living symbols of the state’s history. I guess that reduces them to the level of regimental mascots or chattel-(think about it from birth they are conditioned to be fairly mute apolitical British symbols) but what the hell-every state needs its totem pole and ours can be pleasant figureheads (or tawdry soap opera) – but the institution marks the continuity of the state over centuries. Decent enough sort of symbol.

    A more considered critique rather than the fifth form ones about cost and class (cos there are much nastier, fatter targets that need hoisted onto the tumbril) is how the British executive nicked the power of the monarchy, and screens prerogative power behind that grand, ostentatious but relatively innocuous symbol. We could republicanise the British constitution but leave the monarchy intact. Most Republicans ironically make a fetish of the figurehead.Republicanism is about pulling back executive power and making it accountable. Currently Her Maj has, happily, bugger all. It also helps if you have put historical manners on them by decapitating one and deposing another. The symbol becomes ‘domesticated’.

    Plus if you do away with all that ceremony and symbol – you have to re -invent it – as Irish Republicanism and French Republicanism have done (and pretty well )- but why throw away that sense of continuity?

    Or if you cant be bothered reading the above – in a parallel universe there has been a President Thatcher and a President Blair.
    So I’ll put up with the courtly toadying and ignore Nicholas Witchell – it could be a lot worse and the head of state could be a lot more narcissistic and ‘power’ minded than the one we have now.

  • The Raven,
    I can only speak for myself.
    I was once invited to something “royal” (albeit a minor “royal”) and I never replied to the invitation to go.
    Rude? I just couldnt be arsed.
    Obviously if I was an elected politician, Id probably find a way of not going….unless of course I was a Mayor or some such….as there is a certain responsibility.
    But it would be minimalist.
    Anybody that knows me would know that I can keep a civil tongue in my head….but I wouldnt think Id be overly respectful.

  • Charles_Gould

    Next visit: queen will officially visit stormont and address mlas

  • Mc Slaggart


    “The upside to monarchy is they make great national symbols-not always the encumbant, but the institution. ”

    The institution is just sick.

    British one is particularly crazy in which a bunch of rich people get lots of public funding to run a lavish lifestyle and they even get the poor to pay to see their public property.

  • MYtwocents

    lovely woman, so nice to see her come to Belfast, great advertisement for attracting tourists to the place, its been on every news report today (British), makes a change from the usual news from home.

  • TwilightoftheProds


    any comments on the rest of the points I made?

    if the ostentatious wealth gets to you, and public support of same – we know there are better bigger targets who have socialised their debt by ransacking our future income and pensions.They don’t have courtly toadies but they do have gombeenmen and climbers who do a lot more for a brown envelope.

    Maybe that is one downside to the symbolism of the monarchy -‘keep you eyes on the old woman in the shiny carriage radical proles, focus the rage on that, whilst we hide the real wealth where you’ll never see it let alone get it’.

    If you think the institution is sick and utterly un-egalitarian, fine. I think it has some cultural worth. But for God’s sake don’t get distracted by the baubles, go for the real power. Clem Attlee and Bevin made a decent fist of it for awhile, and kept Liz in situ. Has Irish republicanism ever managed to enact a programme as they did?

  • Zig70

    The idea that someone should have a privileged position due to bloodline is perverse. You’d have to be thick to support a monarchy.

  • MYtwocents

    To get rid of the Monarchy when they serve us so well would be like cutting of ones nose to spite ones face, one would have to be a right silly sausage to do that.

  • TwilightoftheProds

    I agree – 90% inheritance tax on the liquid estates of all billionaires. Properties ceded to National Trust excluded.

  • DC

    I actually thought the event turned out to be very positive, the kiddies enjoyed themselves and the Queen in north Belfast with Peter and Martin, news worthy enough and interesting seeing them all in that locality together. For once it was hard to be cynical about a royal visit given the impact this one seemed to have, reminding us all how far we have come for it to happen and for people to experience it the way they did.

    Besides, there probably will be a republic soon enough, relatively soon, once conservative Islamic and other anti traditional British culture movements take root properly, over the next 50-75 years, you boys manage to hang around long enough and you’ll see it 😉

  • The UK has decided to go with Constitutional Monarchy. Those of us who are republicans wish it were different but that’s the way it is. As Head of State, ER11 deserves our respect but nothing more.

  • Gopher

    I like the fact that my Head of State does not have to partake in the grubby world of politics. I also like the fact if anyone ever tries to become a dictator the people have a figurehead to rally round. You get 1.69 dollars to the pound so for me the monarchy serves its purpose, stable governance.

  • Jagdip

    How cowardly for Queen Elizabeth to choose the window between the elections and the middening season to visit for three days. God forbid, she’d visit in July-September when her loyal subjects are waging mayhem on the streets against the PSNI.

    And how niggardly for Queen Elizabeth to shake hands with Martin McGuiness as joint first minister of Northern Ireland, all the while knowing the oath swearing antiquated allegiance to Queen Elizabeth, prevents MM and SF from entry to the House of Commons.

    As for the woman herself, my contacts in the royal household say she is indeed a nice woman and a good employer; in fact all the royals are well-regarded by those working with them, with the signal exception of Prince Andrew who seems to be regarded by everyone as a “complete shit”

  • Mc Slaggart


    “if the ostentatious wealth gets to you,”

    I do have a problem with the way that society is organised in relation to wealth. This is not my objection to the idea of royalty. My objection is that its completely an antithesis of Meritocracy.

    How the British have allowed the mixing of public property an private is particularly strange.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Living in two different republics did a great deal to shore up my support for the monarchy (before hand my support was more along flegger lines).

    If there was to be some revolution that gets rid of them then the publicity vacuum and mansions will be filled with WAGS and other second rate celebrities.

    Maybe some of the palaces will be open to ‘the people’ like the Schoenbroen in Venna.


    Go in, have a coffee, look at how people used to live, go to the zoo then head off.

    Lights off, big building lays empty.

    Just a waste.

    They cost bugger all (comparatively speaking), are a constant source of fascination at home and a source of delight abroad.
    People can’t get enough of them.
    So, I think they earn their keep.

    We’re always going to have a privileged class no matter what.
    Might as well keep them where you can see them.

    The Duke’s epic volume of non-PC bloopers is worth it alone….

    BTW, does anyone know if there’s any truth behind the rumour that De Valera toyed with the idea of asking someone to be the King of Ireland?

  • Banjaxed

    A most refreshing look at the Monarchy from one of my favourite authors, Hilary Mantel, culled from last Saturday’s Guardian Review. A much healthier opinion than the rather disgusting, brown-nosed sycophants who were commenting on this latest charade on yesterday’s BBC Talkback

    The literary world rejoiced this week when Hilary Mantel was made a dame, not least because fiction writers still seem under-represented in the ranks of Dame Commanders of the British Empire (the double Booker prize winner will join AS Byatt, Margaret Drabble, Penelope Lively and Jacqueline Wilson, all bar Byatt added in recent years as if in sheepish awareness of the need to boost numbers).

    Whether the Queen will feel equally joyous when she comes before her for the investiture remains to be seen, however, given the new signing’s description of an earlier encounter in “Royal Bodies”, last year’s lecture in which remarks about the Duchess of Cambridge attracted controversy. At a Buckingham Palace reception, Mantel wrote: “the Queen passed close to me and I stared at her. I am ashamed now to say it but I passed my eyes over her as a cannibal views his dinner, my gaze sharp enough to pick the meat off her bones. I felt that such was the force of my devouring curiosity that the party had dematerialised and the walls melted and there were only two of us in the vast room, and such was the hard power of my stare that Her Majesty turned and looked back at me, as if she had been jabbed in the shoulder; and for a split second her face expressed not anger but hurt bewilderment. She looked young: for a moment she had turned back from a figurehead into the young woman she was, before monarchy froze her and made her a thing, a thing which only had meaning when it was exposed, a thing that existed only to be looked at.”

    Perhaps, after reflection, she will discreetly delegate that particular investiture to the Prince of Wales. But he too will be subjected to the new imperial commander’s withering gaze. Earlier in the lecture, Mantel recalled Charles at an award ceremony when his suit was impeccable (as with “Thomas Cromwell in my novels, I couldn’t help winding the fabric back onto the bolt and pricing him by the yard”) but a glance into the wings suggested how he must be repeatedly jolted by a sense of hollowness: “You see that your life is a charade, that the scenery is cardboard, that the paint is peeling, the red carpet fraying, and if you linger you will notice the oily devotion fade from the faces of your subjects.” Still, better to be reminded of that than to be a cannibal’s dinner.

    Go on ya Girl, ye!

  • Billy Pilgrim


    ‘You get 1.69 dollars to the pound so for me the monarchy serves its purpose, stable governance.’

    When QEII came to power, you’d have got nearly five. How does a collapse of two-thirds prove stability?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Okay, just checked. Slight exaggeration. Correction needed.

    You’d only have gotten three-and-a-half. So the value of the GBP relative to the USD has only fallen by half on QEII’s watch, not two-thirds.

  • Greenflag


    ‘ I like the fact that my Head of State does not have to partake in the grubby world of politics. I also like the fact if anyone ever tries to become a dictator the people have a figurehead to rally round.’

    Check your facts . The Queen in theory is above party politics but she’s a constitutional monarch and thus by definition is political .

    When Oswald Mosley would be British Fascist Dictator was on the march quite a few of his supporters were British aristocrats and close to the House of Windsor . Benito Mussolini also had admirers among the ‘monarchists ‘ As for the admiring remarks about the German Fuhrer by the one time Queen Mother the less said the better .

    And yes if Hitler had invaded the Royal Family of the time would have been useful tools for the Nazis to maintain their grip on a quiescent Britain .After all he’d have protected them all from the Bolshies and Labour would’nt he !

  • Gopher

    Yup it does prove stability, *waves* at Euro and possible break up every five minutes. Last time I looked the monarch does not need to run an election campaign sponsored by big buisiness or trade unions so my facts are just fine thank you very much. As for dictators I believe the present monarch served against one without and would prove an unsurmountable object should one come from within.

    I look forward to the “Republics” attempts to avoid subversion in the next few years with their President. Feel somewhat safer with a monarch.

  • Billy Pilgrim


    ‘Yup it does prove stability, *waves* at Euro and possible break up every five minutes.’

    You’re implying that instability in the Euro proves the stability of sterling. But this is obviously fallacious.

    You also cited the value of sterling versus the USD as proof of its stability, and this in turn proved the desirability of monarchy. Yet I’ve pointed out that, going by the comparison that YOU have chosen, sterling’s value has halved during the second Elizabethan era.

    ‘Last time I looked the monarch does not need to run an election campaign sponsored by big business or trade unions…’

    The monarch doesn’t have to run an election campaign funded by anyone. She doesn’t have to run an election campaign at all, because there is no election.

    But your logic is undeniable. It’s absolutely true that the easiest way to rid ourselves of the scourge of corrupt election campaign funding would be to abolish elections.

    ‘…so my facts are just fine thank you very much.’

    The only fact you have provided is that a GBP is worth USD 1.69.

    ‘As for dictators I believe the present monarch served against one without and would prove an unsurmountable object should one come from within.’

    Why would there be a need for a dictator in Britain, when Britain’s elites are so thoroughly in control? Britain will only be in danger of falling to a dictatorship if its elites ever fear it has become too democratic. That possibility seems remote today.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed Greenflag, the so called “English Constitution” is so much smoke and mirrors that even though the last actual monarch to defy the Oligarchy was Queen Anne (two hundred years ago!), I’m sure that in an emergency an arguement could be cobbled together to “restore’ the dispensing power, if only temporarily.

    But why bother when you can have laws “dispensed” with by our own Assembly ministers! The flagrant flouting of stated planning policy by the environment minister during the Runkerry Golf War is just one example, and I have correspondance on certain other planning matters stating that the printed statements of policy do not in any way bind the decisions of a minister.

    And what is this with you and Mussolini? I’m never one for victim counts (see other posts) but in my queue of twentieth century monsters Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot, with quite a largish group of their close associates, are to be found much closer to the front of the queue than him.

    Although, yes, there was a lot of local big Whig interest in the continental interwar dictators, as I described at some length in other postings over a month back. And while we are on this tack, I was interested to note that what looked interestingly like some white Porzellan Manufaktur Allach pieces were on the mantlepiece of a certain big (open to the public) house in the Ards when I visited last summer. But I may be wrong as I failed to actually check the makers marks.

  • Gopher

    The UK is a stable country which is reflected in the present exchange rate, thanks largely to its system of government which includes the Monarchy. That part has never been tested by referendum largely due to it being a self evident fact and a pointless exercise. Democracy in action if you like. So what your telling me is a secret elites arranged for Cameron and Clegg to be in power they, must geniuses.because that Government can hardly pass water let alone legislation. Nope it’s benevolent majesty for me every time.

  • Billy Pilgrim


    ‘Democracy in action’ is never having an election – LOL!

    And I never said anything about ‘secret elites’. Britain’s elites are quite visible, out in the open, and we all know who they are.

    They don’t care about water legislation. They do care about financial legislation. As far as they’re concerned, Cameron & Clegg (and prospectively Miliband) do a fine job.

    And right at the top of the UK’s system of elites, patronage and power, sits ERII, the keystone in the whole corrupt edifice.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    It’s not as if she’s actually the Queen or anything……..


    Interestingly, the grandson of Francis II will be the first of the legitimate line of succession to have been born on British soil since King James III. Prince Joseph Wenzel Maximilian Maria of Liechtenstein’s father Prince Alois was working in LOndon at the time of his birth.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Sorry! It don’t make any sense without the link:


  • Mr O’Neill is not quite correct.
    “Queen Mary IV-III ” was an enthusiastic supporter of the German cause in World War One.
    Her son and heir (Rupert-Robert) was in the German Army fighting his potential “subjects”.
    As the Germans were the “gallant allies in Europe” of the Provisional Government of the Irish REPUBLIC, the current Stuart heir clearly has no ambitions in Ireland.
    Nor…does he have any ambitions in England or Scotland (his other two “kingdoms”).
    His crazier English (they are always English) “subjects” might choose to interpret his silence as “discretion” but actually he just avoids eye contact with Jacobites as they are clearly insane.
    To be fair to Francis, he is a blameless and very charitable decent old geezer….which is not a view widely held of his Liechtenstein branch in their very dodgy tax haven.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you John! While I have as yet to meet our true king (Ireland too!), I know a number of my fellow members in the Royal Stuart Society, whom I trust, who regularly visit him as close friends, and can fully bear out your comments on his character.

    “As the Germans were the “gallant allies in Europe” of the Provisional Government of the Irish REPUBLIC, the current Stuart heir clearly has no ambitions in Ireland.” How does this connect? Clearly the kind of “my aunt Mary…” statement my old history teacher warned me about all those years ago, (“Make sure the points you are making actually link up…..”)

    A week is a very long time in politics, John, let alone ninety-eight years and a number of changes of Constitution (let alone governments!) in Germany. But I admit entirely that Francis II is quite unlikely to make any serious move to place his viceroy in Dublin Castle in the near future.

  • MYtwocents

    Of course there where other kings before the Stewarts

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And, her with Marty and Peader MacSpideog, she’s still not the Queen………….

  • Roy Walsh

    Seriously lads, Eiru is our Queen, or one of her sisters.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    MYtwocents, yes, the Ó Néills for a start……

  • Mr O’Neill….ever meet a Greek Jacobite.? LOl
    You must check out the Yahoo Jacobite Group.

  • TwilightoftheProds

    if ever the saxe coburgs gotha/windsors louse up-I’ll happily consider one of the Stuarts. Its the thoroughly British way…..Different beastie, same role,same gene pool.

  • Greenflag

    We serve neither King nor Kaiser 🙂

    Bunch of parasitic degenerates the lot of them be they Stuarts, Hanoverians , or anybody else .

    We serve Wall St and the City of London 🙁

    Bunch of parasitic degenerates the lot of them be they Goldman Sachs , Barclays , RBS , HNBC , Citigroup , Bank of America etc etc 🙁

  • Red Lion

    Interesting that Australian support for their constitutional monarchy is on the up.

    Perhaps they realise like us Brits do, that it is a constitutional monarchy, not an absolute one.

    The British monarchy is a figurehead, full of symbolism and diplomacy. It does not wield power.

    If we got rid of it would we be any better off- is France?Is the USA just because they are republics? Man on the street wouldn’t be any better off.

    That said I wouldn’t mind a few reforms, like trimming down the hangers on

  • Greenflag

    twilight of the pods,

    .Different beastie, same role,same gene pool.

    same beasties , same parasites and same cess pool 🙁

    more likely

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Saddly, Greenflag, it’s not just a problem that can be addressed by simply getting rid of Mrs Windsor (to employ Tacapalls usage), although my own research has persuaded me that modern banking practice has its origins in the import of Dutch banking alongside the Dutch Usurper in 1688.

    The Bank of England and the National Debt start then, and Lord Aylesbury in his Memoirs speaks of an English people who balked at tax levels of a few pennies under James, and now accepted paying shillings in the pound under William.

    Also, the policies of universal tolerence which began under James (for references, see my postings over on the “Scarlet Woman” thread) are quickly pulled back to the limited franchises and old bigottries under William, (Locke is only interested in tolerence for protestants!) and notably Presbyterians as a group have civil rights in 1688 that they will not see again for over a century.

  • MYtwocents

    back to having a go at the Williamites are we, longing for the days of absolute monarchy?’ gees some people don’t know their born.

  • Well in this part of the world the Williamites get to have a go at the Jacobites a few thousand times a year.
    Surely the Jacobites can have a couple of posts on a message board.

    I doubt that Mr O’Neill and I will be cheering any Jacobite heir. As all modern (sic) Jacobites know …Lucifer was the first republican. He thought he could overthrow a king.
    Im reasonably content in my satanic ways.

  • I stood amongst a group of small people to get a few snapshots yesterday, including this one of the Royal couple doing the hokey kokey 🙂

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you, John, for you gallant defense of free speech and all too accurately diagnosing my concerns as being less political than historical. I’m interested in what a careful and honest examination of our history may tell us about the present, and those tangles that bedevil our attempts at developing a tolerant open society, (but I AM a member of the Royal Stuart Society!) It might help to say that I’ve found a considerable amount of common ground with Anthony Lester during numerious discussions with him on summer trips to a family house in west Cork.

    Oh dear, MYtwocents, it’s less “longing days of Absolute Monarchy” than the need to honestly confront the all too ugly self interest that motivated the men who brought Willaim over to further their own political ends, and persuaded the gullable of three nations that their best interests, too, were served by acquiescing in their coup.

    To Tacapell’s delight, I posted this document on Slugger a number of months back:


    I can highly recommend many of the other documents on the site for anyone open minded enough to want to actually know what was really happening at that time. James’s highly advanced (for the time) policies of universal religious toleration were grossly misrepresented ( as a Catholic plot!!!) to an all too gullable population to justify the Dutch invasion, and we in our small benighted polity are still living with the terrible consequences of these lies.

    Richard Kearney’s “Postnationalist Ireland” interestingly drew attention to the re-habilitation by the late Breandan Ó Buachalla of Ireland’s highly significant Jacobite experience, praising it for the light it throws on that selectivity with which the historical memory contracts all too easily to support and strengthen the tragic mutual misunderstandings of the two traditions in our province.

    For anyone who does not read Irish, I’d also recommend “Ireland and the Jacobite Cause, 1685-1766″ by Eamonn Ó Ciardha, who offers an interesting descriptive thread of Jacobite/Jacobin confluence, showing how the exiled Stuart’s espousal of enlightenment politics paved the way for the republicanism of the United Irishmen. On the simplest level, the legitimacy of the Hanoverian settlement continued to be seriously contested across the entire eighteenth century in Ireland! But there is much, much more for the curious……

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh dear! I’m not trying to suggest that Dick Kearney write in Irish, but that’s how it looks! It’s the late Breandan Ó Buachalla, whose majesterial book “Aisling ghear: Na Stiobhartaigh agus an taos leinn, 1603-1788″ is the source of much of the re-thinking of our traditions that is now occuring in Irish Jacobite Studies, that will require a deep grounding in Irish from any reader.

    I’d also highly recommend (for the origins of Stuart tolerence policy) “Making Toleration” by Scott Sowerby. For anyone brought up with the historical cannon, its an eye opener.

  • MYtwocents

    However William coming did herald in a more constitutional monarchy, which was a good thing, right?.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh dear, MYtwocents where do I begin? In a poem about an old friend of my my grandfather, Yeats says “there’s no luck about a house if it lack honesty”.

    Which is how I feel. A lot of the thraeds above are struggling with the fact that “a more constitutional monarchy” is actually no monarchy at all. The Whigs did not bring over either the Dutch Usurper or the “Kale Yard Kings” from Hanover to actually rule, simply to be asked to rubber stamp things the Oligarchs required, and that at great expense to the general public, so why have them at all? This hypocrisy is all too obvious to republicans both with a small and large “R”.

    Stability? All three kingdoms have had numerious political “shivers” ever since James VII & II was driven to exile. Even as recently as 1938 a king who thought that “something must be done” for the poor and out of work was compelled to abdicate, and has been slurred as a Nazi sympathiser to keep him from ever having any possible political influence.

    No, I can think of no good reason, other than ingrained sentimentality or sadism, for an honest person to wish for a “constitutional monarchy”. But I have every respect (and some sorrow) for the actual human being trapped inside such a crippling fate.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh, I’d forgotten tourism…..”great advertisement for attracting tourists to the place” and because we are so completely enslaved to the world vision of the banksters that Greenflag so eloquently (and properly) castigates usually, tourism pulls the pan down when weighed against such frivolous trivia as honesty and integrity.

  • Greenflag

    seaanuineill ,

    ” it’s not just a problem that can be addressed by simply getting rid of Mrs Windsor (to employ Tacapalls usage),’

    The problems of the current world economy and the relative decline of the middle and working classes WILL NOT be resolved by the abolition of monarchies nor the stringing up of corrupt banksters from street lamposts – There are not enough lamposts for a start .

    Tolerance of other’s religious and ethnic/cultural differences goes back a lot further than King James . Christians can claim that the historical Jesus of Nazareth the jewish nationalist zealot not only preached but practiced ‘tolerance ‘ .I believe his chasing of the ‘moneylenders ‘ out of the Temple was the only time he lost his ‘cool ‘ as it were . The Chinese Confucian and many other non european sages from many cultures also in their own ways preached the values of the Sermon from the Mount .

    Historically it seems that William of Orange was a much more tolerant ruler than he is given credit for .And the Spanish conquest/control of the Netherlands did’nt win the allegiance of many Dutch to the faith of their Iberian masters .A not unknown phenomenon in European or world history I’d say. I don’t doubt your arguments for Jame’s greater tolerance but it was not for nothing that his Irish troops at the Boyne named him “Seamus a caka ‘ for his non leadership on the field of battle .

    Neither do I doubt the court conspiracy to stage a coup to prevent a Catholic succession . Court conspiracies against KIngs and Queens have been part of English and European history since monarchy came into being . Having a monarchy without court intrigue and corruption /nepotism etc etc is about as realistically achievable as sending a human being to the nearest star Alpha Centauri in 5 minutes .

    Modern banking practices at least those practices which led to the recent and ongoing world currency wars is of a much more recent provenance than the arrival of then Dutch banksters into England in the late 17th century.

    The gullible of lot more than three nations were bought and sold for by their cowardly so called ‘ democratic ‘governments in the run up to the 2008/2009 economic meltdown. Somethings don’t change despite the passage of centuries .

    Governments in the west continue to emisserate their middle classes and send their weakest to the wall by cutting social services and keeping interest rates low so that their ‘banksters ‘ can recapitalise in order to further the latter’s interest .

    Churchill once said that scientists should be on tap but never on top . Our modern ‘democratic leaders ‘ in the West appear to have accepted that our international financial banksters should not only be on tap but also on top . Thats how it seems to your scribe at least from his perspective and from an overview of how so called ‘banking reforms ‘ have been to say the least unimpressive anywhere and least of all in the USA and UK .

    From my reading of Irish history I believe our exiled Jacobites and Wild Geese took service as paid mercenaries in the armies of France , Spain and Austria as ultra loyal monarchists ? In fact at the time of the French Revolution many of their descendants found themselves on the losing side of the French Revolution . I haven’t read O’Ciardha but on the face of it it sounds like some ipso post facto wishful thinking ?

    The history of the times you refer to is no doubt fascinating for a few but in terms of the present day economic and social realities facing the planet not all that relevant apart from the fact that they remind us that human nature has’nt changed all that much in half a millenium even if our modern technology and political institutions have .

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh dear, Greenflag, you need to read Breandan Ó Buachalla!

    ” but it was not for nothing that his Irish troops at the Boyne named him “Seamus a caka ‘ for his non leadership on the field of battle .”

    This is an old Whig cannard that Ó Buachalla’s big book so utterly demolishes that I do not, yet again, know where to begin. From memory, out of several hundred thousand songs and poems in Irish mentioning the Stuarts that were composed during the eighteenth century only a score or two employ those sentiments about James, and those by writers concerned, (how do I put this sensitivly?) concerned not to offend the Whig administration, or even to curry favour perhaps. ““Seamus a caca” is a nineteenth century republican adoptation of the old Whig eighteenth century cannon on James, that has since entered folk memory, rather as an Irish translation of Sir Henry Sidney’s comments on Sean Ó Néill ‘s “luciferian pride” has entered folk memory in the form of “Séan an Díomais”! It’s also worth remembering the the general that Naopleon thought of as the greatest soldier of all time, Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, spoke of James as the man he would pick if he wanted someone gifted enough to emulate Alexander the Great’s conquest of the World. The year before the Boyne James had stopped Schoenberg’s march on Dublin at Dundalk, and the old soldier’s letters to Willaim show just how in awe of James’s military skills he was.

    And, wait a minute, I did not say anywhere that James was the creator of the concept of tolerance, but after nearly two hundred yaers of intense religious bitterness in the three kingdoms, James’s clear passion for open minded tolerence (developed from his experiences of the Society of Friends) is a breath of fresh air. and the importance of an honest re-apprasial to dispel the truly harmful myths of at least one of our traditions scarsely needs explaining.

    Georges Sorel wrote of how for all the attempts at reasoned debate, the human race lives and acts on myths, and he invented the concept of the General Strike as a powerful myth of revolutionary change.

    William was “tolerant”, yes, in the liberal atmosphere of Holland, but was more than willing to go along with his Whig Junto’s wishes. My forthcoming book has quite a few interesting instances of his policies (or those he countenanced) in Ireland that would make your hair stand on end!

    I cannot fault your comments on the money men, we are usually on the same page on that one, but I cannot but ask you to save possible future embarrassment by actually reading at least some of the contemporary research that is completely re-interpreting much of this history! You would not have posted anything like “I haven’t read O’Ciardha but on the face of it it sounds like some ipso post facto wishful thinking?” if you’d actually checked out many of Ó Ciardha’s primary sources as I have. I’m not simply taking them at afce value! And I always force myself hold off from commenting strongly on anything I am not as fully informed about as I can be, or…….egg…face….etc, etc

    And there is no such thing as a discreet present reality. Just as we employ our life experiences through everything we do, during every moment of every day, so a culture, knowingly or unknowingly, employs its historical experiences for good or ill to articulate the present moment. Anyone living in these six counties cannot fail to have this thrust in their faces constantly.

    And lastly, delighted to see the lampost comment! I’d thought that perhaps no-one out there had actually read my “Ça ira” posting last Bastille Day………

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Unlike what it looks like with these long posts, I really try and cut back posts before cluttering Slugger up with my own fixations.

    I was starting something on myth and cut most out. Just ignore my comment on Sorel and myth, which in its original form went on far too long, and although I thought I’d cut it all out, malheureusement, a fragement is unfortunately left.

  • Dixie Elliott

    The problem was not how to defeat a nation in arms battling for all that makes life worth living, but how to fool a nation without arms into becoming the accomplice of its oppressor. And the strategic move in question is already being hailed as a great landmark of national progress.

    Yes, ruling by fooling, is a great British art – with great Irish fools to practice on.

    James Connolly 1914

  • Dixie Elliott

    The Royal Correspondent, Nicholas Witchell, told us during the recent visit of Wills, Kate and the fat future king to Australia and NZ that they had put back the cause of Republicanism in both countries for decades to come.

    This despite what the so called Republicans might have us believe is what McGuinness was assisting the British Government in doing here. Making the most repugnant aspect of British Imperialism acceptable to Nationalists…

    Ruling by fooling indeed.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Dixie Elliott, just a few years after James Connolly wrote your first quote, Freud’s nephew Edward Bernys wrote:

    ““The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

    Bernys is credited as the inventor of political PR and most Ad gurus I’ve known use him. So its not just the British, although they are the “professionals” dropping the line down into our particular pool.

    And I still think that Pearse’s “The Murder Machine”, exposing as it does these themes of control in education, should be required reading…….

  • Greenflag

    @ SeaanUiNeill,

    ‘This is an old Whig cannard that Ó Buachalla’s big book so utterly demolishes’

    I’ll take your word for it re Buachalla .Somebody might want to pass Buachalla’s revelation re James onto Peter Snow he of the BBC and Swingometer fame and a born Dubliner , who used the canard in his Battles of Britain history DVD a while back which is where I first heard the reference to Jame’s lack of gumption .

    Be that as it may whether via Bernys’s public relations , Goebbel’s propaganda , Giraldus Cambrensis’s twisted ‘truths ‘, or Shakespeare’s creative demonisation of Richard 111 or Churchill’s Minister for Information ( note not known as Minister for Disinformation) or the more recent mass truth dispensers of Pravda /Tass or the Telegraph , Independent or Newsletter/Irish News / An Phoblacht /The Times etc etc -I remain an inveterate skeptic of those who have found or claim to have found the ‘truth ‘ in particular in reference to ancient history , religion , ideological politics, or indeed party politics . As regards ‘science ‘ I remain less skeptical but always prepared to accept that when proven a new discovery becomes the new truth until it too is superceded by a greater one .

    Not that I don’t respect and even admire those who search for truth in the realms of history or science or politics but it’s when they actually claim to have found it -it’s usually long past the sell by date of it’s relevance for modern society and it’s issues .

    Ironically I’ve been watching a DVD re run of the Wars of the Roses which wars of course predated the Wars of Religion in England ,Ireland , Scotland by a century and while trying to verify the ‘truthiness ‘ of the DVD I googled some ancient history . And behold there was Perkin Warbeck , and Lambert Simnel fantastical characters I last read of in secondary school . I read Warbeck learned his ‘english ‘ in Cork and Simnel was crowned King of England in Christchurch Cathedral , Dublin . But the overall impression of watching this re run was the sheer brutality of the times as power mad factions killed each other off for whatever baubles (usually landed estates and titles) which they could obtain by ending up on the winning side . Kingmaker “Warwick ‘ and the Lord’s Stanley being more Machiavellian than Machiavelli himself .As for Margaret of Burgundy the mother of the future Henry VII and her direct line to God /religious mania and destiny- England can blame her for the Tudor Dynasty 😉 . Throw religious conflict into the above mix as it was a century later and the three Kingdom’s became a charnel house which still has repercussions in Northern Ireland to this very day .

    Point being and apologies for the above side trip the thread is about ‘monarchy ‘ and while there is much to complain about and critique in modern so called ‘democratic ‘ society I remain grateful to the non existent God of the Universe that I got my opportunity to see the brief light in the late 20th and 21st centuries in this part of the globe and NOT in Jacobite or Williamite Britain & Ireland or for that matter modern day Iraq /Iran/Afghanistan /etc etc . Timing is everything not that one has any control over one’s arrival into the light 😉

    Karma may be out there though I remain a skeptic . Despite his public relations genius -Bernys the man who helped make smoking in public socially acceptable for women in the 1920’s lived to see his wife die of lung cancer ( In later life he regretted his ‘freedom torch ‘ campaign for the tobacco murderers . Goebbels propaganda eventually caught up with him as his ‘lies ‘ were eventually brought to light and committed suicide along with his wife and their six children though in the case of the children it was parental murder .

    In todays world there is the hope that the internet will usher in a new age of ‘truthiness ‘ and ‘transparency ‘ .And while I still retain some hope that might yet become the case -the evidence up to now is that like all new technologies -be they chain mail , castles , cannons or cavalry or nuclear missiles this new googleable world remains just as capable and perhaps even more capable of even greater political , economic and financial corruption by local and international power elites than in the simpler days of Kings James & William of Orange .

    The French and American Republics were to usher in a new age of egalitarian democracy and the post WW2 states of Europe along with the USA and the rest of the developed world brought prosperity and new hope for the then rising middle classes and working classes as productivity gains were transferred to labour as well as capital . That changed in the late 1970’s and 1980’s under the influence of neo conservative ideologies then strident under Thatcher and Reagan . The later demise of totalitarian communism was reported/interpreted by one famous historian Fukuyama as the ‘end of history ‘ ?

    Somewhat prematurely in retrospect and no doubt always .
    Look around ‘Mission Accomplished ‘ has become ‘Mission Impossible ‘ or worse 🙁 History continues as always .

    Racism continues to exist in the USA and elsewhere despite the Civil Rights era legislation and numerous additions to it since the 1960’s . We can be certain though that without that ground breaking legislation ‘racism ‘ would be many times worse than it is and the USA might have descended into a charnel house in the 1970’s /1980’s and later . Ditto for Northern Ireland and elsewhere where overdue reforms threatened the ‘establishment ‘.

    For todays ‘democracies ‘ even if they are in reality ‘elitist oligarchies ‘ the challenge is to ensure that the Law and Politics does not continue to exacerbate the gap between the haves and have nots. For therein lies the seed of democracy’s self destruction . Chou En Lai ‘s dictum that it’s still to early to finally comment on the success of the French Revolution is imo even more valid today than 30/40 years ago when he was first quoted .

    We know what happened to Germany when their middle class was emisserated not just once but twice in the 1920’s and 1930’s . We know what happened to the Russian Tsars when their obstinacy to overdue democratic and social reforms linked into the upheavals caused by WW1 .

    We don’t learn form history ? Do we ? And I mean we in the global sense .Or so it would seem .

  • Greenflag

    error above last line -“form history” is not short for ‘ Formulated History which in retro seems neat term for the mythic pap that sometimes passes for historical realities here on slugger and elsewhere

    should read of course- from history.

    @ SeaanUiNeill ,

    ‘My forthcoming book has quite a few interesting instances of his policies (or those he countenanced) in Ireland that would make your hair stand on end!’

    Probably not though please release name and title of said book at appropriate time . I’ve been around enough of the globe and seen enough and witnessed enough of man’s inhumanity to man – to be as bald as a coot . Nonetheless I retain my hair 😉

    Despite that my overall impression is that are vastly more good folk than evil bastards everywhere I’ve ever been regardless of nation, race or culture . So I’ll remain a skeptical optimist while retaining enough pessimism to refrain from handing over the contents of my wallet to those who promise to save me from hell fire and /or ease my eventual path into the Elysian fields 😉

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Can’t find anything to disagree with anywhere above Greenflag. Oh I see that you’ve already encountered Bernys, but for the other listeners in, he was also shocked to find Gobbels gleefully filliting his work for tips on how to do organise his Anti-Semetic propaganda.

    I find Bernys and his descendants one of the greatest threats to human florinhing and freedom. Gobbels may have learnt from the PR of the democracies but his own experimentations have been very useful in turn to our “Democratic” masters.

    And I like your term “a skeptical optimist.” I’d like to think that I, too, am one, for I even hope that some of the great inherited vendetta the Whig Junto of 1688, without any clear intent, brought us in these six counties can be unravelled with dashes of historical truth. Not that there is ever a final truth….

    I heard somewhere that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it, while those who do are condemned to watching everyone else repeat it, but at least those of us who do try and unravel some of the historical pattern have an inkling of whats coming, and can do a Cassandra here on Slugger.

  • Greenflag

    “without any clear intent, brought us in these six counties can be unravelled with dashes of historical truth. Not that there is ever a final truth…”

    Too true however I believe said state is far too ravelled ever to be unravelled in it’s present format which is why I believe it’s sooner rather than later extinction and/or replacement would be in everybody on this island and the neighbouring island’s best interest . .

    How it will happen remains hidden in Pandora’s box but I’d guess that it’ll be demographics and political abstention /fence sitting that herald the end much more so than the methodologies of Goebbels , Bernys or modern day spin doctors .

    As to who among the NI political hierarchy reveals him or herself to be the Lord Stanley (as at Bosworth’s Field ) I can’t see as yet – but there is always a Lord Stanley out there waiting to jump on the winning bandwagon whether it’s an economic 4 wheeler or a political 2 wheeler 😉 ?

    Some would crudely call them ‘traitors ‘ or ‘opportunists ‘ . On a more positive note the War of the Roses would never have ended without them ( or even started ) . NI’s local spat will be eventually resolved by what were/still are called Lundys with the twist that they will be Lundys from both sides of the present stand off .

    Thats about as much Cassandra as I can conjour up for now .The cloud is disappearing and I now see large processions of adults dressed in regalia and stones being flung at policemen and drunken men standing atop police vehicles shouting obscenities – but now it clouds over again until next year and the year after etc etc etc .

    Now if I could only see the WC Final result through the cloud I could make a dent in Paddy Power’s or William Hill’s speculative empires 😉

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hiya Greenflag, with them boyos what used to wear Bowlers mustering on the horizon, I’d be joining you in some quite unjudicious self-medication with Talisker through early July if my liver had survived the stresses of the film business (journalists and alcohol! pussys!). As it is, I’ll be stocking up on some decent food and writing hard to a deadline with the gates to my lane tight shut.

    Lundy would have been remembered as a most sagacious man if the surrender had come off smoothly, as it almost did. And William might just have ended up back in Holland. History is never straightforward, and the crude self interest of those like the modern Lundys you suggest acts to tie or unravel the knots in our politics. “sooner rather than later extinction and/or replacement would be in everybody on this island and the neighbouring island’s best interest . .” I remember a friend’s grandfather saying “They should put the lot of them on an Island and let them fight it out among themselves! Hey, wait a minute….”

    “it’ll be demographics and political abstention /fence sitting that herald the end ” I fully agree. I’m all for Ghandi (highly influenced by James Cousins from the Antrim Road, who brought the Irish Ireland concept developed by William Rooney of political non-co-operation to India). As an old 60s pre-McGuffin Anarchist (as well as a neo-Jacobite) I would think that any real change will be effceted outside of orthodox political models by people and not by the likes of Bernys. My objection to these people is that they monkey with our sub-consciouses in the media ( yes, yes, I know how this sounds….) and I mean “monkey” rather than the “all powerful” model they like to present themselves under. I’ve spent enough time working with advertising gurus to see it in action, and to be inocculated ten times over against the political version.

    About the Wars of the Roses, have you read Josephine Tey’s “Daughter of Time”? It’s a strange detective novel, a sort of precurser of Colin Wilson’s “The Wench is Dead”, that has not only the re-habilitation of poor Richard III, but a few interesting paragraphs on the Wigtown Drownings.

    About half way down this old thread I had an extended tussle with Nevin over the Wigtown Drownings:


    I’m rather less than courteous in my postings there, but it’s another instance of Goebbels “Big Lie”, from the Scots Presbyterian Victors of 1688 in this case, and it fully deserved to be exposed. I attempted a re-write over on the Wikipedia page, but was wiped by a True Believer in the Event, an Eng Lit academic, and rather than go through dreary Wiki adjudication, I simply put in the proper references to all too telling primary sources (almost impossible to remove, as they are source material) so that anyone who cares can see that the story is simply propaganda.

    I trained in (fringe) Jungian Psycology at one point in my career(s) and I see these historical stories/myths that are bolstering up political positions with exploitative self interest hidden at their root, as the source of ingrained social neurosis across the entire community. My mentor in this, James Hillman, thought all private psychoanalysis a waste of time until these broad social knots are at least in part unravelled, and Norn Iron is a prime case “in its present format”! Making people aware that their actions and hatreds spring from the self-serving lies of others is at the very least a start in this unwinding process.

    And like you I wouldn’t be starting from here if I had any choice in the matter.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “Racism continues to exist in the USA and elsewhere despite the Civil Rights era legislation and numerous additions to it since the 1960′s.”

    I was talking to the West Indian writer Trix Worrell in the 1990s and he was surprised that I’d noticed that it was now far harder for non-white actors and writers to get on in the media that it had been when we were all young in the 1970s. The pattern seems to be that once a law is passed the problem is considered as answered and nothing more needs to be done. So nothing more is done……

    Another old mentor of mine, Ernest Gellner, has some interesting things to say about homogeniety, and the slow erosion of everything social to a state of undifferentuated entropy. His flash of optimism is in considering those people he dsecribes as counter-entropic, who just say no. So back to Ghandi and William Rooney……

  • “I’m rather less than courteous in my postings there, but it’s another instance of Goebbels “Big Lie”,”

    Tut, tut, Seaan, anyone with a titter of political wit would not be taken-in by Jacobite propaganda – or by ‘your own fixations’ 🙂

  • Greenflag

    SeaanUi Neill ,

    Whether one calls it public relations or advertising or propaganda or sub conscious ‘mind control ‘ that particular Pandoran gift is well and truly out of the box . The world and it’s economy and it’s political structures could not exist without these ‘tools ‘ as it were .

    If you can’t sell it then don’t make it is the first law in business . The second law is if you want to sell it you had better advertise . How you advertise is in modern times a whole new ball game . The newspaper industry’s among others decline is in part due to it’s failure to attract sufficient advertising . Rarely will anything sell itself at least enough in commercial volumes that will make a profit without ‘advertising ‘ which . Such is the nature of business for the most part .

    It was inevitable that what was first seen as the holy grail that led to great business fortunes should eventually end up in the competitive political world . Whether Goebbels got his inspiration from Bernys or not I’m not certain but theres no doubt that George Orwell got his inspiration for 1984 from his time at the Ministry of Information during WW2 .

    It has now got to the stage if not in the UK or Ireland then at least in the USA where the candidate who can raise the most cash , spend the most on advertising and can tell the biggest lies re his/her opponent wins the election most (not all mind you ) of the time . Democracy or whats left of it is now left in the hands of the most successful and richest ‘liars’ . The latter of course claim freedom of speech as their ‘constitutional ‘ right .

    The rationale behind negative campaigns against opponents is based on mass human psychology . Goebbels infamous but only too true ‘if you tell a lie often and loud enough it becomes the truth ‘ comes to mind . Of course the ‘lie’ has to be at least plausible for it to be accepted by those at whom it’s directed . It’s accepted by all that generally these negative campaigns seldom change the minds of the party faithful and to an extent they cancel each other out . They have however been proven to change the voting intentions /choices made by that small percentage of voters who ‘decide ‘ marginal constituencies .So it goes as we transition from democracy to plutocracy to what next ???
    Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World ‘ or something similar ?

    We’ve strayed a long way from ‘monarchy ‘ . I remain however an anti monarchist be they Jacobite or Williamite or Windsor more particularly so as we approach the August 1914 centenary of the demise of 22 million people which is what it took to remove the Houses of Romanov. , Hapsburg and Hohenzollern from their priviliged perches atop societies that might have done better without them imo.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Nevin, I know from what you usually post that you are finely attuned to contemporary politics. I appeal to your usual discrimination, to ask you to simply remove all pre-existing impresions from your mind and look at the actual historical evidence. I simply cannot believe that you would continue to accept these fictions concocted by violent revolutionary extremists for political advantage, and perpetrated by a successful regime against almost powerless opponents.

    The entire Witherow project is a farago of exagerations and lies taht bears comparison with the abuse of the popular imagination Edward Bernys concocted from his uncle’s psycological theories. The Kirk Triumphant Covenanters of 1688 created in power a vicious vindictive beast, thick with self servers and extremists. It was not the much more Christian creature it would become with the spread of New Light thought during the eighteenth century, but even there, as the events of the restoration and revolution were their foundation myth, the own lies and atrocities of their Covenantor predecessors were re-drawn in a mellow glow by later generations of sentimental writers.

    History is like engineering. If lies such as these are left unchallenged, the political machine that grows out of our historical experience becomes less and less efficent until we end up with the situation we are in where a sentimental softness to lying is so ingrained that we loose moral compass.

    Forget I have Jacobite sympathies, I do not let them interfere when I research and write real history, although its mischeviously refreshing to enjoy the effect they produce on Slugger, and forget that you have an ingrained belief in the myth of the “Killing Times”. You have two political powers in a life and death struggle, one attempting to hold unto a power that has been entirely wrested from them forty years before, the other willing to use any degree of terrorist intimidation and lies to sieze again a totalaterian power it has held (in the name of God) forty years ago. Both are strongly supported by ordinary people and by power blocks who will risk their lives and take the lives of others to achieve their aims.

    this is not the sentimental vision of ordinary, pious presbyterian people opressed by an all powerful state, its a civil conflict such as is going on in Syria with all the tragedy inherent in that. James comes into this attempting to reverse his brothers policies of repression and is at fisrt misunderstood as day by day he attempts to unravel the hard liners on the spot in Scotland. After three years of innovative liberal policies he is steamrollered by hard vested interests at home and abroad. You need to read Witherow in this context, and to this end we, professional historians, go back to the boring, unsexy texts like the letter of reprieve, which are just documentation and are not politicaly motivated propaganda.

    I’ve no desire to clog up slugger with a similar exchange to before. Anyone really wanting to assess the facts can get everything from my link above, but I appeal to your evident critical sense to honestly look at the real material before p affirming this historical “weapons of mass destruction”/ “Kuwaiti babys in black bags” item of manipulative propaganda is factual.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh Greenflag, all the above is all too true. But just as a tiny candle in a cathedral can shed faint light on the far extremities, so attempts to re-appraise serious historical propaganda poison such as the “Wigtown Drownings” lets the darkness know that truth continues to exist.

    Bernys himself writes of Goebbels using his work, and the Orwell allusion is apt. The hothouse development of Black Propaganda in WWII laid the foundation of much of how we are manipulated today. And regarding how this power may be used Myles Copeland once said that anyone who has a career in the Security Services and leaves poor is a fool who cannot identify opportunities.

    “We’ve strayed a long way from ‘monarchy ‘ . I remain however an anti monarchist be they Jacobite or Williamite or Windsor more particularly so as we approach the August 1914 centenary of the demise of 22 million people which is what it took to remove the Houses of Romanov. , Hapsburg and Hohenzollern from their priviliged perches atop societies that might have done better without them imo.”

    I’ve no desire to convert anyone. As I said on another thread to John Mooney, my interest is historical ratherthan political. I’m interested in how certain counterintuitive things may have implied quite different and perhaps better directions socially in other ages. I think that James’s policies were the better bet in 1688 for ordinary people with ordinary lives, and a rather more liberal society would have developed earlier if he had stayed in power. I remember Marx saying somewhere that the rights of the poor against the powerful would have been better served by the victory of Charles I against his parliament, who were oligarchs interested in bleeding the poor. But that the Parliament’s victory was much better for mankind historically as it was a step forward to the unfolding of historical inevitability. But as a person living the “here and now” at that time, I’d take the line that historical inevitability could wait and I’d rather be given that scant protection that the King offered rather than be stripped bare in the historical cause of humanity. Your thesis is generally right in that the King, nobility and commercial interest usually act in unison for one interest historically. so it is interesting to look at when they fall out, and it may not be for the reasons that cannonic history written by the winners has “spun” us.

    My own interpretation of some primary research is that James, King or not, was an honest man attempting to create a tolerant and just society (see Scott Sowerby’s “Making Tolerance”) which in my book would have more steadily educated his entire people into a better, more empowered situation. It was his confrontation with vested interests that lost him the crown, and notably, the Bank of England, the national debt, and the bloated state expenditure it allowed, all came in with the Dutchman our fellow Irishmen will be celebrating in two weeks.

    But I don’t think its “Monarchy” or “Democracy” or any other “ism” that do these things! It’s just particular people who care enough about other people. I’m kinda anti-It-all, pro honest activists, as I’d flagged with my teenage anarchism above, and I seem to be getting more radical as I get older. So again, no actual conflict on general principals, I don’t think.

    Hey, I hope I don’t get a Cárta Buí for excessive agreement! I mean, this IS Slugger……….

  • “when I research and write real history”

    So why do you indulge in such pro-Stuart and anti-opponent hyperbole, Seaan? What has that got to do with real history?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Nevin, you really do not need to go back there….

    I realise that to anyone who is deeply influenced by the seventeenth century foundation myths of the naissant Presbyterian establishment, any challenge must look like “pro-Stuart…hyperbole” but this is what happens when any long held item of generally accepted mis-information is actually challenged.

    I am not the final truth on these matters, nor would I claim that I am. The most any historian may attempt is a plausable story developed from carefully weighed evidence. None of us were there, and all of us must look at these events using what we have, primary texts and some artifects. There are no “final solutions” out there, and no final authority exists for any interpretation. We must all weigh every item of evidence we may muster and any attempt to repress evidence in support of one case will compromise the empirical methodology of our historiography. I’m making a jump over whole books when I post, and making compressed statements assessed against the entire range of evidence. We are, please remember, confronting a solid wall of misinformation concocted by the winners in a bitter civil war, and these are my conclusions after I have attempted to listen honestly to the long silenced loosers in that war also. And you may be sure when I write professionally, both cases are stated and carefully weighed against one another at some length.

    Last year you offered up a series of “proofs” of the “drownings” using current internet pages and modern journalism and I replied with contemporary references from the period, a range of current scholarship in the field and some reputable on-line transcriptions of contemporary texts. I do not see how I can offer you any greater access to a real history that will permit you to properly evaluate these events by lifting you to the outer side of the sentimental foundation myth material from which you have inherited the version you put forward. I know you to be an intellegent man, so for the life of me I cannot begin to understand why you do not simply go away and read carefully the material which I’ve pointed out, or actually find other contemporary (non-propagandistic) material that seriously questions my assertions if you are not then convinced.

    There is no other point to re-opening this arguement! I’d linked to it simply to enable Greenflag to look at some material on spin and historical mis-information. I already think that anyone with openess and objectivity re-reading the older postings will have everything they might need to come to their own conclusions.

  • tacapall

    Hi Seaan, as usual your postings are articulate and enlightening its refreshing to see someone attempt to peel away the layers of lies and innuendo on the onion that passes for history in this part of the world. The truth about the consequences arising from the so called glorious revolution cannot be underestimated, even today innocent human beings are being slaughtered in the name of Mrs Windsor but in reality its for those bankers and quislings in the City, the real Crown, the puppet masters who pull the strings of Cameron the money lenders and investors who for centuries have like parasites used human beings as capital and cannon fodder in their quest for wealth and privilege.

    In the words of David Griffin –

    “If mankind is to move forward into a better future than the one which has been planned for him, it is essential that we identify and correct some very basic flaws in the way our society is structured. These basic flaws however, were not accidental. Instead, they were very carefully planned, engineered, and executed, over many centuries, in order to allow a small secretive group, to gain hidden control over most every aspect of our lives. The one flaw which made all this possible was the establishment of our current system of banking and credit which allows a tiny private group of individuals to control the money supply used by `everyone`, and to continually siphon off a percentage of that money for their personal benefit and enrichment. Over time, this percentage compounds. The tiny group gets richer as everyone else gets poorer until at last, the tiny, private, hidden group owns everything, and everyone else is made their financial slave”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed, tacapall, and I often wonder just what a government that empowered its people, rather than “milked” and lied to them would be like to live with.

    There are all too many glass ceilings regarding the questions we are actually permitted to ask, the representation system that bolsters up the bankers seems to be considered as an absolute “given” that only the most unworldly would even begin to question. But here, in Ireland, the questioning of cannonic “givens” has been in play amongst our thinkers since the lies started in the sixteenth century.

    Have you ever read Dáibhí Ó Bruadair? Michael Hartnett did a great modern translation of his work (far from literal, but utterly in spirit). Ó Bruadair is among the first of our poets to describe the effect of the new “culture” of money on our ancient way of life. Even apart from Hartnett’s excellent English versions, the original Irish could have been written about the “today” your last big quote describes.

  • Greenflag

    @ tacapall ,

    While I would subscribe generally to the belief based on actual observable evidence that the moneymen of City of London/Wall St etc hold undue and overweening power over our cowardly elected politicians and whats left of our so called democracies -I draw the line at Griffin’s conspiracy theorising ..

    While the international and domestic financial sector may be awash with banksters and criminals of every nationality and none the idea that the current financial sector shambles has been planned centuries ago and that banking only became ‘evil’ in the 17th century as a result of William of Orange’s importation of debt into England is rubbish ,

    LIke it or not- banking was and remains shorn of it’s present day excesses and diversions -aided and abetted by self seeking and unthinking politicians – an essential sector in every economy on the planet .

    Those to whom we entrust political power are NOT addressing the underlying issues -exacerbated by the past 20 year trend in international finance which has seen several banks worlwide reach a size where they have become too big to fail and too big to jail .

    The USA/UK/France /Germany fear the rise of ‘trillion’ dollar banks in China and elsewhere in the emerging economies . As I said in an earlier post -we (the peoples of the world ) need another Bretton Woods or the present hidden ‘currency ‘ wars will deliver a 21st century world which will make the holocausts and slaughters of the 20th century look like child’s play.


    Money makes money and the money that money makes makes more money (compound interest ) and the way to make money first is to make it last (don’t spend it or at least not all of it ) and the first law of bankers is and woe betide the banker who doesn’t heed it -you only lend money to people who don’t really need it .

    Millions of people have the power if they but knew it to effect change . . All they have to do is stop borrowing and wasting money on stuff they don’t really need – call it a general boycott against international capitalism -until such time as their elected governments reform the banking industry so that it becomes the ‘servant’ of the people and society and not the weapon of mass destruction against societies which billionaire Warren Buffet termed it !

  • Greenflag

    SeaanUI Neill ,

    ‘Ó Bruadair is among the first of our poets to describe the effect of the new “culture” of money on our ancient way of life.’

    Alas ‘lieing ‘ did’nt begin in the 16th century neither in Ireland nor anywhere else . It’s inherent in human nature and has been since the species evolved past the threshold of self consciousness . Chimpanzees don’t lie nor do sharks .

    Ancient Irish Gaelic society was no paradisum of democracy or ‘fair play ‘ Irish traditional society had it’s necessary hierarchies of kings , chieftains , abbots , bishops etc etc and you can be sure that the rights of those at the bottom of the hierarchy were no greater than those of their english , scots or welsh equivalents.
    Thats the nature of monarchy and given the times the nature of the then economy .

    Ancient Gaelic society lost out due to it’s failure to adapt to or absorb the ‘new ‘ money economy and it’s accompanying ‘new ‘ religion . Part of the failure was due to it’s political war for survival against the neighbouring islands earliest imperial conquests . When the Great Earls gapped it for Spain and France etc they were merely fleeing to another part of Europe then also in the throes of the then ‘new ‘ economy had they but known it .

    Failure to adapt/absorb the economic /trade /monetary future is a sure marker for cultural marginalisation and or destruction . Contrast Japan’s ‘absorbtion ‘ of Western economic imperialism -1860 -to 1945 with that of say other parts of the world in the same era .

    Geographical location plays a huge role of course in the course of history . Ireland both lost and won on account of it’s ‘location ‘ in regard to the world’s first truly global empire which reached it’s pinnacle of imperial in 1914 since which time it’s relative decline continues apace .

    Still the present day inhabitants of all of these islands enjoy a standard of living and health which they would’nt have had back in the 17th century and a few extra rights as well .

  • tacapall

    “While the international and domestic financial sector may be awash with banksters and criminals of every nationality and none the idea that the current financial sector shambles has been planned centuries ago and that banking only became ‘evil’ in the 17th century as a result of William of Orange’s importation of debt into England is rubbish”

    Greenflag I don’t remember saying anything about banking only becoming evil in the 17th century my point was that in return for their treachery those quislings and investors from the city were rewarded with their own wee tax haven and were given carte blanche to plunder the world. I’ll remind you William and Mary were two of the first private investors in the then newly formed Central bank of England the second oldest central bank in the world and the model for all central banks since then. It is also historical fact that private investors financed Williams rise to power and the people of Britain and Ireland were burdened with the debt that followed the so called glorious revolution.

    Money does indeed make more money especially when your the one who’s printing it and charging others for the privilege of using your currency IM sure you’ll also remember its not the American people or the American public who own the dollar nor is it the British people or the British government who own Sterling, its private individuals who charge a fee for every 1 dollar and every one pound that enters the market. So stopping borrowing nor spending money on stuff we really don’t need changes nothing.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Ah Greenflag, that’s the usual version that has strongly entered the contemporary imagination through the writings of popularists such as Sean O’Faolain, who in his “Great O’Neill” vividly describes a dying culture sclerotic in its inability to change. It’s such a compelling image that yet another vivid picture which presented an Ireland of the later middle ages, evolving the features of modernity in a parallel development to other European countrys, such as Alice Stopford Green described in “The Making of Ireland and its Undoing” was completely excised. The truth comes somewhere between these, and both are supported by primary texts, but the crude native savagery of the O’Faolain version comes primarily from the texts of those conquerers whose interest it was to play down or ignore both the first springs of modernity and a deep rooted Gaelic culture that was rapidly being re-configured (as in other peripheral countries) by exposure to the Europen Renaissance. As D.P Moran said, and I quoted, while back, “the children that we have allowed ourselves to become….look nervously to our masters to find out how much good we may believe of ourselves. England did not flatter us; so today we are a mean race in our own estimation.”

    I use the term “lying” not to suggest any unique origin here, but to describe the systemstic villlanisation of the Irish culture from that period in the sixteenth century when the policy of surrender and regrant shifted from an attempt to simply anglicise the locall nobility and bring in a structure of English shires and laws under Anthony St. Leger, to a systematic policy of conquest and plunder under Sussex and Henry Sidney, (oh I know I sould really unpack all this, but that really would take pages).

    I fully agree (of course) that we don’t really expect democracy in any modern sense from mediaeval or early modern society, but we can still find art forms such as Dáibhí Ó Bruadair’s poety that so utterly hits teh note of some of those things that do not seem to change within the human condition. And sometimes in his bitter invective, the destructive grab for everything by a powerful few is described so vividly within a poem, that the similarity to our present day appears to me to be undeniable. Some things will probably never change.

    And, while it’s undenyable, also, I feel, that corrupt and self seeking things are regularly planned (I’ve been at some of the meetings where a carefully researched budget is divided up by the “more powerful”), I tend to think that a great mess of conflicting interests drives everything along. Although the natural “plagerising” of any money making ploy and the connservitive continuity which ensures constant reusage of the forms of economic activity that evolve, gives the entire process a strong family resemblance over the centuries. So in a way, there is a pretty self-evident process of planned expolitation going on, but as O’Brien in 1984 describes, its power lies in that its not able to be clearly seen as a discreet group. It is comprised of a varying number of people who with their dependant families flux wealthy and poor again over long periods within a great financial machine. Only a few careful families such as the Rockerfellers in the States appear to avoid the inevitable “rags to riches to rags again” in five generations that seems to be the rule.

  • daytona600NI

    Just thought I’d add my two pennys worth.
    From London originally. Lived in Sth America, Asia and Australia and Nth Ireland the last 14 years. Catholic father from Enniskillen and CofE mother from London.
    A purely English perspective – but regardless of religion in all my 28 years of living there I rarely came across anyone with such complicated viewpoints about the monarchy as most of the people on here. I read about half the way down and my head started to hurt. You are all incredibly intelligent with some amazing insights so I shall add mine.
    The Queen just like you and I did not choose to be who she is. Like you and I we were born the way we were. I see all these arguments about loyalist this and republican that. I once asked a man who had never lived in the south what makes him a nationalist/republican? His reply ‘Because I want to belong’. This was a 70 year old man who had suffered in the Troubles in Derry and spent a lot of his later years suffering from depression. Just like Liam Neeson said when firstly declining the Key to the City the first time ‘ He was always made to feel like a 2nd class citizen because of the flag waving unionists’.
    It’s human nature to want to belong and to be accepted. I believe the Queen has done an incredible job over the years. I for one would not like to be in the spotlight 24/7. I enjoy my anonymity and would not swap my life for any of the Royals. Only the Royal knockout tournament comes to mind when I think of major gaffs they have made (Duke of Ed the exception).
    I was raised in both Churches and had friends of all religions and we were all British and all respected the Queen.
    This though was because we didnt have the 12th celebrations and have loyalism rammed down our throats. The flag also was respected by Catholics and Protestants because we didnt see our differences under the flag.
    I have jumped from one thing to another, its late and I am not as eloquent as most on here. I think she is doing a good job and the fact she had a private audience with McGuinness realy does stick it to the bigots in the OO and she knows it and obviously doesn’t care which I know does rile them.
    I know I’d prefer her than Charles so long may she reign and long may she continue to visit members of Sinn Fein.

  • MYtwocents

    “I know I’d prefer her than Charles”
    I agree skip straight to William.
    “so long may she reign”
    “and long may she continue to visit members of Sinn Fein.”
    indeed as its as good a sign as any that their killing campaign has been suspended.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Unfortunately, MYtwocents, “skip straight to William” is not the way it works. Monarch (for life) succeeded by eldest, then for life.

    If you want to pick and choose, then its called “Republicanism”. In this you have the rather dubious advantages of voting to select a cynical, self interested “master” who offers you redress of your grevences, and who in turn can then be de-selected in favour of a clone who again offers you redress of your grevences. With monarchy you have the small advantage of not having to go through this dreary and soul destroying process, and of getting to know the faults and vices of your “master’ over a lifetime. And you know who is talking to the real powers that be.

    And, honestly, what’s it all matter, anyway? The crown has only as much actual “power” (or “meaning” in the usual parlance) as their “masters” find useful for them to have ever since 1688. But you could say the same about Ó Bama and his like too, in their system-traps.

    Me, I quite like Charles, despite the fact that he’s from a line of usurpers and is posing as heir to the throne. But then I’m “alternative”, flakey, like trees and want serious re-forrestation (see my profile) like him. And as someone who values the rare experience of real human freedom, rather than subscribing to political systems that claim to guarentee “Freedoms,” I do not see any great advantage in picking out a master, or a little over six hundred masters. They are still exercing the same old control of your life. And don’t tell me that “they are our servants”, any face on experience with any politician who disagree with you over anything really meaningful quickly bursts that little bubble. While God may mandate a king, the “people” have mandated the “elect” and don’t they know it. Talk about absolutism…..

    Now, if it helps, I quite liked the son the one time I was in the same room as him. I was having a pizza in Windsor one Friday long, long ago and William came in with a school friend, to just do a normal thing and eat lunch. Over the better part of an hour he was about fifteen foot from me, acting perfectly naturally, and he seemed to be actually quite a nice kid. But you could easily pick out the special branch “cover’ sitting or standing in SAS style “diamonds” both in the Piazzarea and the street outside. What a life! And to repeat what I said to you above:

    “No, I can think of no good reason, other than ingrained sentimentality or sadism, for an honest person to wish for a “constitutional monarchy”. But I have every respect (and some sorrow) for the actual human being trapped inside such a crippling fate.”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And they are all still not the legitimate line of sucession, by any of the rules upon which monarchy as a serious system actually should function. Just a bit of window dressing for what used to be called “Whiggery”. So, I suppose, that knowingly or unknowingly, we’re all “Republicans” now……..

  • IrelandNorth

    It’s not uninteresting how the Republican Party in the USA, as the party of socioeconomic privilege, are to all intents and purposes colonial Tories, despite being the heirs apparent of Patriots who put an end to the madness of King George (III). Equally not uninteresting how Fianna Fáil (FF) politicians in teh republic often effectively inherit their father’s seats in the Dáil, asmost by way of peerage succession. To say this is not to argue for monarchy, constitutional or otherwise, but to flag up a certain tendency in humanity towards Me Fein-ism (MD-ism)Myself Alone-ism. Whilst residual anitpathy evaporated form many after HMs respecful bowing in Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance, public subsidy of private privilege is questionable.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    IrelandNorth: “It’s not uninteresting how the Republican Party in the USA, as the party of socioeconomic privilege, are to all intents and purposes colonial Tories, despite being the heirs apparent of Patriots who put an end to the madness of King George (III).”

    I cannot remember who said that all nationalism only lasts as long as it is out of power. I think this also applies broadly to any other political idealisms. This is seen by all the realists I know as a very good thing, encouraging as it does political pragmatism, but it seems to be a very bad thing in practice for ethical politics, developing as it does ” a certain tendency in humanity towards Me Fein-ism (MD-ism)Myself Alone-ism.”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh, before I forget, “The recent example in Spain of King Juan Carlos having to abdicate because of his extravagant holidays while his people suffer high unemployment and austerity.”

    Well, as a Bourbon, inheriting under a system bound by Salic law, he’s not actually the King of Spain either……


    In this context its interesting to note that the strongest current claimant in my book, Carlos, Duke of Parma, is a committed socialist. His grandfather Xavier fought against the Nazis in France as a maquis, was taken prisoner and sent to Dachau.

  • Greenflag

    @ tacapall

    Elites (monarchical , military ,financial or in the modern parlance corporations ) have been ‘plundering ‘ the world since Sumerian times . As for needing ‘carte blanche ‘ to plunder the world ? They’d have done it anyway .

    While I don’t doubt your historical accuracy as to your description of events in early Williamite Britain or earlier still in Holland – the past is the past and cannot be undone . The Tsars are not coming back either -neither is the crash of 1929 nor that of 2008 but as income inequality continues to rise and as middle and working classes continue to get squeezed economically and as more people people ‘opt out ‘ of the economy then even the current ‘plutocracy ‘ that is still called democracy by those with their heads in the sand will usher in a new tyranny of the financiers using mass surviellance of populations and judicious pay offs to those elements who will execute their interests .

    You’ll note I’m more concerned with the present day while being mindful of the past .In that respect your comment above

    ‘ its private individuals who charge a fee for every 1 dollar and every one pound that enters the market.’

    I’ll assume means the provision of ‘banknotes ‘ by Central Banks to the more Private Banks ( Barclays /BOA/ Goldman Sachs / HNBC /Allied Irish /Deutsche bank etc, at virtually zero cost so the latter can lend it out to others (and this is just one small example ( Pay Day lenders ) at say 7% so these can then gouge their ‘risky clients ‘ for rates of interest above 20% and of course much higher when delinquencies inevitably set in .The vicious circle is completed with Governments ‘bailing out ‘ the banks by fleecing taxpayers and savers via low interests and then cutting government programs for the weakest in society to get the ‘cash ‘ to recapitalise the banksters ‘ so the vicious circle can continue ad infinitum ? I take it that is your view/starting point ?

    Since the mid to late 1970’s the relative economic position of the middle and working classes in the West has deteriorated . The reasons for this are many but the trend continues despite so called banking reforms . It’s made more complicated because of whats called globalisation and huge gains in productivity via outsourcing to cheaper labour (more competitive ) countries with less developed minimal labour rights and conditions and increased efficiency via advanced technologies , robotics etc etc . The failure of the western middle and working classes to reproduce in sufficient numbers to provide the cheaper labour that modern western capitalism requires to remain competitive has resulted in millions of immigrants being brought in to do what many of the locals refuse to do at the wages offered . This is a worldwide phenomenon btw .

    All I’m saying and have been saying for a long time is that rising inequality brings with it declining ‘democracy ‘ until eventually politics becomes the ‘bought toy ‘ of a tiny minority of the very rich .It’s at that point and they’ve reached that point in the USA that the penny will sooner or later drop and the tumbrills or their USA equivalent will roll . What happens after that is anybody’s guess but don’t rule out a return to the Europe of the 1930’s and 40’s or even worse in the USA .

    ‘So stopping borrowing nor spending money on stuff we really don’t need changes nothing.’

    Voting for Labour in the UK instead of the Tories or SF instead of FF/FG in the Republic or instead of the DUP or SDLP won’t change anything either not in the financial sector anyway ..

    For our ‘political elite -all of them to a different degree of course have been bought into the neo con view of world economics and financial sector led capitalism .

    Which is why I take the view that it’s up to people themselves to take the only action they can take against a system which continues to lead to ever increasing inequality and will bring about the end of what we like to call ‘democracy ‘

    Our economy is based on 70% consumer spending .Part of the reason why the economy’s ‘recovery ‘ is not recovering is that wages and salaries have been stagnant vis a vis productivity gains for the past 20 to 30 years .In the USA they are trying to increase the minimum wage to where it was 30 years ago. The GOP and the rich (the more stupid among them object.

    Trade Unions have been effectively disembowelled in terms of their capability to defend worker’s interests and now represent such a small section of the workforce that they can almost be totally ignored politically .

    Ergo people themselves have to send a message to their politicians that the present ‘capitalist ‘ systems favours only the very rich and that ‘we ‘ the people will no longer accept it. .

    Thus the boycott of banks , insurance companies , corporations that are known to exploit their workers etc etc

    Of course people can wait for their Governments to tackle the financial sector industry and regulate the reforms that are needed to return to a less unequal society -but as of now that looks impossible and unachievable outside of World War 111 🙁

  • Greenflag

    @ daytona 600 NI

    If your head hurts reading this stuff take an aspirin 😉 As to the fixations re the monarchy it’s just part of the local atmosphere on Slugger . I’m certain you are telling it like you have experienced and seen it . And you are correct the vast majority of people in England are not bothered either by the monarchy nor by Northern Ireland /Ireland -Why should they be ? It’s not their country other than part of Ireland is under UK jurisdiction .

    As to you are all incredibly ‘intelligent ‘ ? lol .I’d have said some are incredibly fixated and I’d define intelligence in somewhat narrower terms .

  • Greenflag

    SeaanUi Neill,

    Some 400 people own more wealth between them than 170 million Americans . The last time such wealth and income ‘inequality ‘ of such an order reigned was in 1928.

    I refer you to Robert Reich’s (Former US Secretary of Labour under Clinton ) whose DVD ‘Inequality for All ” gives anyone who is confused as to how rising ‘inequality ‘ has come to be the defining condition of the 1975-2014 years with no end in sight .

  • Greenflag

    @ SeaanUINeill ,

    If the USA adopted a monarchical system then see above some 402 people would own more wealth between them than 175 million Americans .

    Monarchical rule even of the constitutional kind is not a tenable solution to the current inegalitarian trends in western societies and the eventual destruction of whats left of ‘democracy ‘ .

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hiya Greenflag, I’ve met quite a few people from all the elite groups in the US who might be called wealthy, and the prevailing trend seems to be for the middling holders of old wealth to loose it steadily to new. Its a very fluid situation outside statistics. Old families such as the Clintons can use politics to climb back up the money loss pole, but I know of quite a few whose capitol is running down fast, with trends that favour money makers.The meritocracy has worked to the degree that if you define the best, as the best at being most ruthless, then the recent trends to much greater fluidity of wealth allows them to skin both the poor and anyone within the older elite who is not as ruthless as themselves.

    And, yeh, I agree, there is no going back, even if it were desirable, to Monarchy, but I do not see how anyone working within the present political institutions can even begin to make a dent on the growing concentration of wealth. To re-think everything we need other models, and I tend to see the issues of history as a way of thinking outside the box in order to imagine new models. We are usually so enaged in predictive impressions (see my 12.25 posting today over on the Peter Hain thread) that we automatically use our memories and experiences to “predict” (like predictive spelling on a phone) the end of any unfolding event we meet with. It encourages habits of “mindlocking”.

    History has other, counterintuitive patterns, such as Charles I dying, as he rightly claimed, “a martyr for his peoples freedoms”, or the rule of one man, Napoleon, being the requisite to allow the French Revolution to stop being provincial French nationalism and to develop the Universal applicability for popular empowerment we see it as having. We live in the present, but the present is fed by the past, and if we are fed a diet of historical lies, we have no honest guides to show us the way out of the bog.

    Even the kind of non-cooperation you recommend to re-empower the people runs historically back to Ghandi (for one) and through him to Irish Ireland thought, and arguably, back to the sixteenth century Irish lords,such as Seán Donnghaileach Ó Néill, who ran non-cooperative rings round their enemies. Popular freedom certainly has many other sources, but if you want a tree to thrive, you turn first in your planting to native stock.

  • Greenflag


    ‘but I do not see how anyone working within the present political institutions can even begin to make a dent on the growing concentration of wealth. ‘

    This insightful billionaire can only see too well where we (humanity ) is headed as a result of neo conservative ideological stupidity and our politicians trough snouting


    Mind you the 99% will never rule per se . The problem is not wealth creation per but the type of ‘wealth ‘ creation which is /has been based in recent decades on financial tools designed to remove risk and reward ‘rentiers’ . When Warren Buffet states it’s wrong for his secretary to pay a higher rate of taxation than himself you can believe him and when former GOP Republican candidate Romney pays 13% even lower than the capital gains rate of 15% while half the American population are paying much more is just further proof that whereas Corporations may be people as per the Law they are very special people and get all the goodies. Some huge entities such as Bank of America and GE pay no tax at all at all .

    And yet the neo con ideologues bay for more saying that US corporation tax is the highest in the world . Well it may be but when no corporation is paying it then whats the point of having it ?

    Counterintuition has it’s place in the field of strategy in business, politics and other human endeavours no doubt . But there is also the fallacy of composition

    When everybody is equal -nobody is equal – When everybody is white nobody is white , when everybody is rich nobody is rich or as I found out to my chagrin after several years of renting cars at airports from a particular rental ar company ‘When everybody is preferred nobody is preferred ‘

    We may live in the present and it may be fed by the past -in some places e.g NI but that won’t build the future and neither will current political and economic problems be resolved by digging up the Stuarts or Oranges or Hanoverians much less the O’Neill’s or Hohenzolleens /Hapsburgs etc . Our (NI, ROI, Britain ) economc futures are being as of now NOT by our political represnetatives but by the faceless men in Wall St/London & Brussels and several other centres of global financial power .

    When a huge bank like Paribas is ready to pay a 9 Billion dollar fine to the USA for it’s deliberate breaking of agreed sanctions by the US & French governments then you can be sure that they are not the only ones in the financial hierarchy which are increasingly treating elected governments as a joke 🙁

    As billionaire Hanauer puts it – pitchforks -will effect necessary change but Britain may muddle through like it has before although there were a few times when it looked like the game was finally up for the ultra priviliged in British society .

    Of course the USA could be more problematical with some 50 million guns in private hands and nobody wants to think what the denizens of New York or indeed any other large metropolis in the West would do to each other if the supermarkets shelves are empty for a week .

    As for planting -I’m forever improving my piece of earth with compost etc etc and I can say that I’m no longer dependent on the supermarket for 100% of my continued existence . But I’m down to maybe 20% 😉