Sunday, 2 September 2012
A gift to all Republicans
Although there is a general understanding of the Queen’s right to be consulted, to encourage, and to warn the government of the day through regular audiences with the Prime Minister, this article in the Guardian shows that she and Prince Charles’ power over new laws is greater than thought. Apparently any new proposal that might adversely affect their private interests must be approved by them before they are passed into law.
Most would see the monarch’s right be consulted on the administration’s proposed solutions to current issues as being a valuable extra check on the government of the day and particularly in the case of the present Queen whose knowledge, built up over many years, must be to the nation’s advantage. Indeed ex prime ministers have remarked that, in the case of particularly vexed issues, to be able to speak with the Queen – knowing absolute confidentiality would be maintained – has been a singular advantage. However, that legislation that might adversely affect her or Prince Charles’ private interests must be approved by them before it passes into law does detract from what can be seen as broadly a positive aspect in the process of government.
The Queen does have the power to withhold ratification [Royal Assent] from any Bill – but this has not been refused since the creation of the United Kingdom in 1707 and would be seen as an extreme act under a system where the sovereign is expected to act on the advice of her ministers. However, this right to protect her and Prince Charles’ private interests could possibly become the focus of discontent during the current austere times.
An article in the Mail nearly two years ago showed that a third of the country still is owned by the aristocracy who make up just 0.6% of the total population. In times where there are not enough jobs and this is likely to be the case for many years to come, the passing of significant parts of this land to the nation be become small holdings for families without work would bring great relief to a considerable number of the people.