Friday, 10 June 2011

The Firm

With this lovely bit of Photoshopping on the cover and under the title President Windsor, Dominic Sandbrook in New Statesman last month lauded the political nous of the Queen, who has spent 60 years giving the impression that the monarchy is somehow detached from everyday political life. She is most certainly a political animal, having worked with 12 British prime ministers and 14 New Zealand prime ministers, 12 Australians and 11 Canadians. Without any training for the job, she has never, almost without exception, made a false move; we often underestimate just how much self-discipline and skill ;this must have taken.

The big problem with republicanism is that it is hard for us to imagine anyone else who could possibly make such a perfect Head of State. Sadly, although her sense of duty might induce her, in the interest of the country, to give up two or three of her residences, tell her awful family to pipe down, allow her head to be removed from our stamps and drop some of the pomp (and some of the duties) surrounding her present role, the fact that if she were to stand as a candidate in our first ever presidential election she would unquestionably get the kind of majority only previously enjoyed by leaders of totalitarian countries is irrelevant: she is too old.  

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