What if...Britain became a Republic?

#1
Notwithstanding the inane TV coverage of the Jubilee events, the overwhelming sentiment in Britain - and across the Commonwealth - of the Queen is ‘job well done’. The nobbly-kneed beardy Republicans were as out of step and out of tune with public opinion as Sir Cliff Richard was at the cringing concert.

But, what if…Britain had become a republic? It could have happened after the Suez Crisis, or as a result of the alleged ‘Zuckerman plot’ in 1973, or indeed the Winter of Discontent in 1979 – or perhaps during the Miners’ Strike. Where would the UK (?) – perhaps the Republic of the Federated States of Britain – be now?

What would Britain’s influence be like in the world? Would we have gone fully ‘Europhile’ and adopted the Euro – or sought isolationism – and the end to the ‘special relationship’ with the US. Perhaps no Gulf War I and II? No Afghanistan? Certainly no Commonwealth, per se.

Although I am a loyalist I am also fascinated in the ‘what might have been’ for Britain. Any grown-up thoughts?
 
#2
About 37 months after the election of Tony Blair as President for Life, Gordon Brown would have organized a coup. Which failed.
 
#3
Yes - perhaps there was a Republican window in 1997 after the death of Diana. And who waould have stepped in as a 'caretaker president'. Tony by any chance?
 
#4
So few people vote (or are even capable of making an "informed choice") these days, it wouldn't be fair to ask them to vote for a president AS WELL!
 
#8
We tried a Republic, sort of, once, and decided it wasn't for us.

What we have done is retain the benefits of Monarchy - continuity, tradition, someone unquestionably apart from party politics - whislt at the same time developing the Republican option of binning a useless or destructive leader (Edward II, Charles I, James II, Edward VIII) when they become more trouble than they're worth.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#9
Crash
Your scenarios for possible move to a republic are all political **** ups so I don't see how a fuckup by politicians would entice the great unwashed to vote for a politician as Head of State.

The Monarchy made a huge mistake over their handling of the death of Diana but again there was no real wish for the Monarchy to go, just to get their act together.
I don't feel there are any real Republican feelings in this country at the moment, nor in the foreseeable future.
 
#10
I suppose it would depend on the type of Republic. Would we go for a figurehead President like Ireland and, to some extent, Germany? Or would we go for a serious head of government like the USA or even France? If the first, then no problem. Just make Elizabeth 2 the first President of the British Republic and carry on as usual. If the second, then a President with no majority in the Houses of Parliament might make for a few heated debates. A President who meets and greets foreign dignitaries and hosts lavish dinner parties or a President who makes the policies and then sees them voted down by Parliament.
 
#12
Notwithstanding the inane TV coverage of the Jubilee events, the overwhelming sentiment in Britain - and across the Commonwealth - of the Queen is ‘job well done’. The nobbly-kneed beardy Republicans were as out of step and out of tune with public opinion as Sir Cliff Richard was at the cringing concert.

But, what if…Britain had become a republic? It could have happened after the Suez Crisis, or as a result of the alleged ‘Zuckerman plot’ in 1973, or indeed the Winter of Discontent in 1979 – or perhaps during the Miners’ Strike. Where would the UK (?) – perhaps the Republic of the Federated States of Britain – be now?

What would Britain’s influence be like in the world? Would we have gone fully ‘Europhile’ and adopted the Euro – or sought isolationism – and the end to the ‘special relationship’ with the US. Perhaps no Gulf War I and II? No Afghanistan? Certainly no Commonwealth, per se.

Although I am a loyalist I am also fascinated in the ‘what might have been’ for Britain. Any grown-up thoughts?
It would be a bloody nightmare , we would be the same a Germany or France, fcuked .
 
#13
We'd have to put up with a load of turgid, self-seeking politicians lining their own pockets because they think 40% of the vote on a 50% turnout gives them "the people's mandate".
 
#14
It would be a bloody nightmare , we would be the same a Germany or France, fcuked .
Not so sure about Germany. An enviable standard of living, a budget surplus (now that the East has been rehabilitated), uber-powerful role in Europe, ridiculously low inflation, shiny cars, constitutionally pacifist, shiny cars (did I mention this?), great beer, etc etc. Yep, pretty fu%ked, I suppose...
 
#15
We'd have to put up with a load of turgid, self-seeking politicians lining their own pockets because they think 40% of the vote on a 50% turnout gives them "the people's mandate".
But we do anyway. How would this change under a republic - apart from making voting compulsary?
 
#16
After a brief period of largely verbal conflict between the pro and anti Monarchist camps things would have settled down rapidly as people realised we do transitions in a civilised manner and it isn't going to ruin the economy.

Britain would be viewed as a modern democracy and receive renewed respect within both Europe and the UN allowing us to move away from some of the baggage of our past that perhaps holds us back diplomatically.

Tourism would be up as we opened up fully Balmoral, Sandringham, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace etc. The Head of State would be wholly accountable and elected for a set period of time (No Putin style flipping roles) and might even be a Catholic.

Prince Charles would be running an organic food empire out of Truro. His sons would both still be enjoying solid military careers and perhaps considering standing for a maximum 8 year Presidency at some future point. Both would enjoy significant support should they chose to do so.

The Prime Minister would still be the Prime Minister. Lots of minor celebrities would be wandering about chuntering that they never got an OBE or Kinighthood for services to tap dancing. The Chinese economy would stumble as the polythene Union Flag and bunting industry sees a downturn.

Jeffrey Archer would be stripped of his peerage. Tony Blair and David Cameron would not get one. Politicians would have to be elected to hold office, no more fast-tracking and cronism that led to the likes of Baronness Warsii, Lord Adonis, Lord Sugar, Lord Digby Jones etc. Without a monarch we would not have to go touting round Europe looking for a new family line, like we did with William & Mary, when the line ends.

Patronage would end gradually as Royalist ideas and connections died out, there would still be a class system but it would gradually morph into a more even meritocracy

Within 50 years we will remain a world leading nation, with a history to reflect on but with a forward thinking outlook. Think of us as being like France with manners or Germany with less money. I would prefer the German model where the President is a figurehead over the French or US one. If we picked the US model we might just as well rebrand the PM.
 
#17
The only advantage I can see is guillotining Fergie.
 
#18
We tried a Republic, sort of, once, and decided it wasn't for us.

What we have done is retain the benefits of Monarchy - continuity, tradition, someone unquestionably apart from party politics - whislt at the same time developing the Republican option of binning a useless or destructive leader (Edward II, Charles I, James II, Edward VIII) when they become more trouble than they're worth.
Ironically it failed because Cromwell appointed his son as successor rather than allow successor to be balloted for under what was a very limited democracy at the time.

Cromwell 2 was soft as shite and rubbish thus proving the point that bloodline does not offer good leadership. Probably didn't help that the Cromwells were religious nuts, curmugeonly Puritans, either.
 
#19
Crash
Your scenarios for possible move to a republic are all political **** ups so I don't see how a fuckup by politicians would entice the great unwashed to vote for a politician as Head of State.

The Monarchy made a huge mistake over their handling of the death of Diana but again there was no real wish for the Monarchy to go, just to get their act together.
I don't feel there are any real Republican feelings in this country at the moment, nor in the foreseeable future.
Agree. The case for a Republic has to be proven to give benefit. That hasn't been done. Does not mean there is not lots wrong around the periphery of the Sovereign to be changed though.
 
#20
After a brief period of largely verbal conflict between the pro and Anti Monarchist camps things would have settled down rapidly as people realised we do transitions in a civilised manner and it isn't going to ruin the economy.

Britain would be viewed as a modern democracy and receive renewed respect within both Europe and the UN allowing us to move away from some of the baggage of our past that perhaps holds us back diplomatically.

Tourism would be up as we opened up fully Balmoral, Sandringham, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace etc. The Head of State would be wholly accountable and elected for a set period of time (No Putin style flipping roles) and might even be a Catholic.

Prince Charles would be running an organic food empire out of Truro. His sons would both still be enjoying solid military careers and perhaps considering standing for a maximum 8 year Presidency at some future point. Both would enjoy significant support should they chose to do so.

The Prime Minister would still be the Prime Minister. Lots of minor celebrities would be wandering about chuntering that they never got an OBE or Kinighthood for services to tap dancing. The Chinese economy would stumble as the polythene Union Flag and bunting industry sees a downturn.

Jeffrey Archer would be stripped of his peerage. Tony Blair and David Cameron would not get one. Politicians would have to be elected to hold office, no more fast-tracking and cronism that led to the likes of Baronness Warsii, Lord Adonis, Lord Sugar, Lord Digby Jones etc. Without a monarch we would not have to go touting round Europe looking for a new family line, like we did with William & Mary, when the line ends.

Patronage would end gradually as Royalist ideas and connections died out, there would still be a class system but it would gradually morph into a more even meritocracy

Within 50 years we will remain a world leading nation, with a history to reflect on but with a forward thinking outlook. Think of us as being like France with manners or Germany with less money.
Clearly you are talking about a transition occuring about now. I suspect when politics was more polarised (1960s - 80s) we may have ended up with more extreme parties vying for power in the wake of a schism, even if we put some of the more lunatic conspiracy theories of Peter Wright to one side.

All interesting points that I could not argue against. How would Britain be viewed amongst the Arab kingdoms, for instance?

Edited to add that Balmoral and Sandringham are private properties owned by the Battenburg/Windsor dynasty. Are you advocating the abolition of private property?
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top