26 de abril de 2011

Sobre la monarquía británica

La monarquía británica es una institución muy antigua sostenida por costumbres y reglas arcaicas y excéntricas. Pero, con todo y eso, es conveniente y difícilmente se podría encontrar una mejor alternativa.

Esta es una de las conclusiones a la que llega Simon Jenkins en un artículo que publica en Prospect. Aquí el artículo.

Aquí algunas de las ideas/párrafos más interesantes:

... The hereditable principle has always vexed philosophers. It is an offence against fair play: vesting office, property and preferment in blood, when they should be vested in merit. Yet heredity is rife in every society. While most people exclude it as a basis for public office, in other respects they behave as if all strictures do not apply to themselves...

... Republicans object to heredity being the basis of any power in the state, and understandably so. Such monarchical powers are listed sonorously in textbooks—yet they are, as Walter Bagehot, author of The English Constitution (1867), said, a matter of form rather than reality. The supposed power of a constitutional monarch to “summon” parliament and “appoint” a prime minister or member of parliament (by ennobling him or her) is a mechanical device that treats the monarch merely as the state anthropomorphised. Were the Queen to behave as if the implied discretion were real, her office would instantly crumble. The last time a prime minister was chosen by the monarch against the wish of parliament was in 1832, at the height of the reform crisis...

... Another objection to a monarchy lies in its privileged access to the prime minister to “advise and warn,” and in the royals’ use of their position to advance personal views. Allowing Prince Andrew to become a British trade ambassador was clearly a mistake, to the embarrassment of most who have to deal with him. Prince Charles’s wilder crusades are vulnerable to criticism and even ridicule, but the system is robust enough to handle the occasional eccentricity. As for access to the prime minister, this is a privilege enjoyed by a motley crew of tycoons, party donors, elder statesmen and newspaper editors. The British establishment is riddled with such networks, and while the monarch is in a unique position, there is no obligation on a prime minister to listen. It is not as though Margaret Thatcher took many lectures on economic policy from the Queen.

... All nations have elements of magic, myth and ceremony to their processes. These may reside in palaces and churches, museums and galleries, rituals and traditions. Hereditary monarchy is a spectacular embellishment, but in the same category. We would not invent it if it did not exist, if only because its essence lies in encapsulating a nation’s continuity over time, which a family is uniquely positioned to do. I would not try to “justify” this. But politics is about more than reason. Where monarchy exists, as in Britain, it carries advantages. Just as a monarch is lucky in inheriting a throne, so a nation is sometimes lucky in inheriting a monarch...


De acuerdo, los británicos tiene suerte y son una excepción.

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