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29 August 2019


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I beg to differ about the assumption that the Queen has no power and “has” to do what the Government of the day says.

That is merely the custom. It’s a workable arrangement because don’t forget that her Government has to follow “custom” too.

The Government may not appropriate Royal powers, not even a little bit. They try from time to time and the Monarch or her representatives in the Commonwealth stamp hard on their fingers when they do - in private of course.

One of those quaint customs is that a Government cannot exist if it cannot get enough votes in Parliament to pass a budget to spend money. What happened in Australia in 1975 was that the left wing Whitlam Government couldn’t get enough votes in Parliament to pass a budget, instead of going to the people in a general election as they should have, they attempted to carry on. The Governor General fired the prime minister and put in another (Malcolm Fraser) who immediately called an election. The left wing never forgave the GG, they called the whole thing a “constitutional crisis”. It was nothing of the sort.

If the Queen thinks Boris has overstepped the mark, she will fire him, put in place a temporary and call a general election. There is nothing that Boris can do to stop her short of starting a civil war, in which case I know whose side I’m on.

English Outsider

Colonel - you have us there. I know very little about the entire monarchical establishment. Every now and again one sees the odd trustafarian or playboy emerge, but I'd assumed that most of them were diligently putting in the hours attending to the lower level duties Her Majesty can't fit in. Or getting smashed and hoping the press cameras weren't around. Perhaps one of your London correspondents could provide a more satisfactory account?

You hit another weak point when you mention the Hanoverians. It's true the current Royal Family isn't the real one, but there've been so many upsets since Alfred I don't think people notice any more. The Aethelingas pushed off to Hungary and the Stuarts, I think, to Rome and then Bavaria. Somehow or other there always seems to be a plentiful supply of replacements. Perhaps it's better not to look too closely at all that.

Perhaps it's best not to look too closely period. If you convert us all to republicanism I reckon the chances of getting proper hunting back drop to zero.


If our disgraceful MPs, with their media cheerleaders, continue to thwart our exit from the EU then the Queen might well need to step in and protect the people from our venal political class. As it is Johnson has chosen his advisors wisely, Cummings is machiavellian enough to see it through himself and the Queen shan't be needed. Nothing unusual in what the PM has done, this parliamentary session is the longest since the Long Parliament of the civil war. Sadly we lack a Colonel Pride.




So, if we overseas colonials had not revolted, then we would have Trump as PM and QE2 could simply dismiss him and call for a new parliamentary election to produce a new majority and PM more to her liking? Interesting.

English Outsider

Thanks. We've gone over your application with a fine tooth comb - we don't let just anybody in, you understand, not unless they're frightfully rich - and I am authorised to inform you that you have been accepted into the exclusive ranks of the British Freedom Fighters Association (Ltd). Congratulations and you will be invoiced in due course.

You'll find that various shady organisations - the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the Brexit Party and UKIP will now be knocking on your door. Sorry. We have to auction off our mailing lists because beer's got so expensive.

When you attend your indoctrination course (payment in advance, please!) there are one or two things you'll be expected to have studied -

1. When our American cousins pitched forty tons of tea into Boston Harbour they didn't do it because they didn't know how to make tea properly. Nor was it because they were fed up with being ruled by a remote, undemocratic and some say arrogant administrative apparatus in London. They merely wanted their remote, undemocratic and some say arrogant administrative apparatus closer to home so they could give it a good kicking every now and again. In your terms, too much power was devolved to too high a level and they wanted that power down within reach.

That's the essence of Brexit. Independence doesn't mean means going off and living in some fantasy land devised by Hoppe or whoever. It doesn't mean, unfortunately, that you're not still stuck with your political classes.

It means being able to control those political classes. They get up to all sorts of tricks if you can't. So it's unwise to let your political classes get too far out of sight and too far out of reach.

2. It's worth considering what would have happened in Burgoyne hadn't screwed up at Saratoga. What would have happened if he'd won? Would the then colonists have said "That's it then" and gone back to being loyal subjects of King George?

I think not. There'd have been a musket behind every tree and the place would have become ungovernable. Once that sort of fire's been lit there's no putting it out. Seems Lord North and his pals had the sense to see that, in the end.

The fire in England was lit quite accidentally. Some fool of a politician decided he'd promise a referendum. The promise wasn't meant and it was only made to keep his party rebels quiet. Then he found he had to keep his promise. He held the referendum - even Tusk advised it was too risky a gamble - but unexpectedly lost.

More fools of politicians spent the next three years trying to find some way of reversing that referendum result. They might still succeed. Say they do?

It'll do them no good. Once that sort of fire's been lit there's no putting it out.

We'll be sending a supplementary invoice to cover the study material supplied above. Payment by return, please.

By the way, some revisionist historians say that they really didn't know how to make tea properly. And they never found out. Pay those historians no heed. Their findings are true, but irrelevant.

English Outsider

Been grubbing around on the issue. Have lived in the border area, Irish side, and knew a little (only a little!) of the border during and after the troubles. But heard a lot. Naturally.

Split sympathies. As a devotee of Michael Collins I think a united Ireland is only right. As a UK citizen I don't want to see my fellow citizens in NI drawing the short straw. I can't see a solution to the sectarian Catholic/Protestant animosities. Why should I? I don't live there. What matters is that one sees none who live there able to propose one either. Except to leave it to time and hope things settle down.

But it's not a question of sympathies. It's a question of stopping the two sides bombing and shooting at each other. There, and after a lot of the aforesaid grubbing around, I'd say the increased probability of trouble is down to HMG under Mrs May. No question. A foolish, foolish woman in a foolish situation.

The Good Friday Agreement (Belfast Agreement) that all make so much of. That didn't stop the Troubles. The paramilitaries were defeated by an intensive military/Intelligence operation. Many mistakes, many tragic blunders, but in the end the paramilitaries were defeated. It left a hell of a mess behind - lots of little pockets of mafia style criminals, a lot of seemingly ineradicable drug and similar criminal problems from those who'd hitched on to the various causes, and a hostility and suspicion of the other side that persists to the present day and may yet spill over again. But the operation did the job. They were unable to keep shooting at each other, which was what mattered.

What the military/Intelligence operations couldn't sort out and didn't try to was the sectarian hatred. It's no good stopping the shooting if the politics aren't right. That's where the GFA came in.

Since Major, even before but ineffectually, UK politicians had been trying to broker some sort of political solution. Major's work has now been forgotten but getting that on a solid footing was his greatest achievement. Under Blair the effort went on, and I think he worked hard at it too.

The GFA is an odd compromise. Briefly, it allows the border Catholics to live as if they were already in Ireland and all Catholics to live as if they will be. It allows the Protestants to live as if they were staying in the UK. It's a two sided pretence that postpones the issue reasonably satisfactorily.

The way the Brexit process has been handled that useful pretence has been smashed. The Irish and the Northern Irish Catholics now see any Brexit settlement or none as a sure route to Irish unification. Some want it now. The rest want it later and expect it to happen for certain. In this they are backed to the hilt by the EU. The Protestants see that and for their part now know for certain the pretence is gone, and not the way they want it.

So the GFA no longer does the job it did. The issue didn't have to be handled like this but now, whichever way Brexit goes, there's the potential for serious trouble. A little, from what one picks up here and there, already starting.


As I recall, the queen derives her power from an aquatic tart who distributed a sword.

blue peacock

IMO, a decade after Brexit, if Boris really does get it done, the UK will find that it is much better off than under the thumb of the bureaucrats in Brussels who are far too busy regulating what type, shape & color of banana can be sold in "Europe".


Wales voted to Leave, and by a larger margin than the UK as a whole.

Barbara Ann

Odds of Boris advising HRH not to give Royal Assent to the 'No Deal' Brexit bill tomorrow? I read that this is perfectly constitutional and the Queen would be obliged to do as advised. The Executive is called that for a reason, I think you may be in for an exciting day.



Barbara Ann

Not HRH, HM.

Barbara Ann

Thanks for the correction Colonel.

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