Like so many aspects of our nations wonderful unwritten constitution the fact that our Head of State is given to us by accident of birth and not through election may seem illogical, however it is a practise which continues to work, and in many ways makes our country far freer, more democratic and whose people enjoy liberty’s that the citizens of other nations can only dream off.
Today Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will turn ninety years old. During her reign she has seen a total of twelve Prime Ministers, many of whom have done much to chip away at the liberties that we all take for granted and our unwritten constitution which protects them.
Most notably Anthony Blair who as Tony Benn said so well ran this country like a Tudor monarch, someone with a complete contempt for Parliament along with a desire to bypass cabinet all together through the creation of sofa government and the constant use of special advisors and orders in council. These actions should have been far more vigorously opposed by the Conservative and Unionist Party at the time, but shamefully have in some cases been extended since 2010.
It should also be remembered that it was the Labour Party, again not properly opposed by the Conservative Party, which shamefully chose to expel the hereditary peers from the upper house. Dispensing with a group of immensely experience individuals who owed their presence in the Lords to nobody, making them natural rebel against their own party government if it became necessary to put the interests of the country first. Does anybody reading this truly believe that the House of Lords has been improved by the expulsion of these peers and replaced by party donors and former, in some cases failed politicians? A practise which is sadly once again being practised by the present government.
But one of the wonderful things about the British political system in its present form is that we still have the ability to kick out a government, bring the removal van into Downing Street on the morning after, and then have a new government running the country by lunchtime. With the astonishing ability to reverse the hugely damaging decisions that the former has carried out.
In 1998 Neville Bonner AO, one of the few aborigines to ever be elected to the Australian Federal Parliament stated that ‘in the Westminster system there must be an umpire, that he or she must be above politics’.
It is an astonishing blessing to us as a nation that we, unlike our American cousins can revere our Head of State without getting embroiled in politics. This allows us to scrutinise and be far ruder and rightfully far harsher about or political class, traditionally done through a very anti politics media, immensely different to that of the Washington press core type.
Our unwritten constitution makes it possible for us to have a wonderfully vibrant, radical thinking democracy with the Crown sitting above an aggressive and adversarial Parliament.
What we need is stronger more principled politics. Politicians who put their country above their party, not those who are surrounded by staff who were just like them a few decades ago and whom in their twenties and sometimes even teens are already dreaming of nothing more than a career in politics or worse still journalism, members of whom seem to do little more than just repeat what is stated by the political class and then pass on the gossip of the day between each other, instead of coherently reporting and intellectually informing the British people about what is being done in their name.
Those in Parliament and those going into Westminster must now more than ever be men and women of duty, who feel and know in their heart that politics is a vocation, and not a career safeguarded by the closed club of Westminster surrounded and protected by walls of taxpayer’s money.
Today of all days is the day that those in our political and media class should look to a woman who from even before she was crowned dedicated her life to this country and its people. Now more than ever the greatest nation on earth needs parliamentarians who in the mother of all parliaments work for the promotion of justice and the preservation of liberty, all so possible but sadly at present so rare to find.
Adam is at present setting up his own business in men’s clothing accessories and intends to study History and International Relations at Birkbeck College next year. He is a constitutional monarchist and eurosceptic and will be campaigning passionately for a leave vote in the upcoming EU referendum.
You can follow Adam on Twitter at @gale_adam