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What it means to be British ...

or does it?

State opening of Parliament Oct 2019


Until yesterday my feelings towards the Monarchy remained neutral.

As I watched the pomp and ceremony at the state opening of Parliament and listened to the speech the Queen had to deliver (whether she believed it or not) I felt compassion for the frail old lady who gives our country the stability that so many others lack.

Maybe we should embrace, instead of mock, the aged old traditions that resemble a pantomime in this modern and volatile and corrupt world.
We may not have the perfect system, but is there an alternative?

Comments

I like what you say about the system. I like the way politicians took a gamble on holding a referendum, even though it did not go the way I wanted. I shall always be European, whatever teh position ion 'Union'. Throughout the world, 'United' landmasses are usually hotchpotches of so many different cultures, the unity is a euphemism. A monarch who is accountable has more meaning to me than a pack of parliamentary cards forever being shuffled. That sounds like a mixed metaphor from 'Alice in Wonderland', but if we were Lewis Carroll, I reckon Elizabeth II would be Alice and the histrionic Queens would be ponsing around Westminster, with the rest of us sitting on a wall.
 
As I remember my British history, the first monarchs (at least with the early Anglo-Saxons) were elected. Having hereditary titles has always been chancy - some you must admit were better than others. I'm not sure our experience here in the U.S. has been much of an improvement. "Liberty," I think, evades us all, but "politics" surrounds all it touches like an iron maiden.
 
Pulse;bt14753 said:
I like what you say about the system. I like the way politicians took a gamble on holding a referendum, even though it did not go the way I wanted. I shall always be European, whatever teh position ion 'Union'. Throughout the world, 'United' landmasses are usually hotchpotches of so many different cultures, the unity is a euphemism.

While I consider myself to be European (I live in Portugal) I will always be English.... and that's what some friends can't accept and their attitude: You don't live in Britain so Brexit has nothing to do with you. WTF? LoL
 
I've got a British passport, but don't really consider myself English since I spent late childhood and early adulthood in Scotland. I hate nationalism and had not heard the Queen's speech till I saw your post; now I have listened to most of it but it does sound a bit programmed by that smug Prime Minister. I have nothing for or against any of them, though I do get tired when Americans harbour grudges against a dead king and blame the British for imperialism, which they have picked up, magnified and implemented in a ludicrously righteous manner.
 
The whole monarchy thing is inscrutable to me. I have no 'feeling' about it, like one way or the other. I sort of 'like' her but I don't get any... any 'thing' from it.
 
I just get bored of Prince Harry and Prince Charles. The Queen doesn't bother me; she seems to be doing the best she can in a tricky situation, not that she has much power. She's more of a mascot, frankly. Not that I follow celebrity.
 
Britain is primarily a land, not a people. Its characteristics, such as climate, geography, geology, flora and fauna, population density etc, influence the people who live here so much that they consider themselves to be British and their culture, which itself gradually changes, is then bound up with those influences to create the British mentality. However, being British always has at its foundation the land itself and how it affects our lives and that changes only very slowly compared to our culture.

Ex-patriots retain an affinity for their homeland which makes them British in a different way from residents of British protectorates who may have British passports of a kind but have never lived in Britain long enough to acquire that affinity for the British Isles.

I read that in the days of the British Empire there was a marked difference between British plantation owners on the American mainland and those in the West Indies in that the former regarded themselves very much as settlers and created complete lives for themselves in the new world, while the latter regarded their plantations just as workplaces and for example sent their children back to Britain for their education and so on. Being British is therefore clearly a psychological condition that very much relates to where one truly regards to be home.
 
The British people rightly love their Queen, as do New Zealanders, as she is also their Queen. She has been perhaps the best monarch, perfecting the ability to moderate politicians by knowing when, where and how much to say. Sadly, I think that they will love her even more when she is gone.

I have always thought that she would be the last Queen. I think that if the moronic, amoral Prince of Wales becomes King, it will be too much to bear and the move toward some sort of Republic will become unstoppable.
 
I often walk past merchant Taylor's school on my travels and sometimes in the summer watch a few overs of cricket from the road an think about my old school which was a state comp..I like a lot of posh stuff an it all feels very British...
 

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