If Flanders and Swann had been alive today, they could probably have written a perfect satirical song about Brexit, taking the mickey out of both the UK and the EU. They
would have done it in a very gentle but pointed way as they have taken the mickey out of the English with this song.
Ideology, bigotry and cultural misunderstanding are interfering with the Brexit negotiations on both sides at the moment. In an attempt
not to lose face on either side, both the EU and the UK governments are finding it difficult to significantly compromise on anything reasonable. Accompanying all of this are politicians, organisations, corporate businesses, cultural and scientific institutions
on both sides of Brexit, proffering their warnings against the catastrophe of an ideological outcome.
No one trusts the government – not even the members of it – and Theresa May has paid blood money to the Protestants in Northern Ireland
to keep her government in power. The Labour Party meanwhile, is chomping at the bit just waiting for an opportunity to bring the government down and take its place. The Scottish government were delivered of the shock in the recent General Election, that it
was not a forgone conclusion that the people of Scotland want to leave the Union. The leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party may claim that they are the largest party in Scotland, but they would likely lose another referendum.
But unlike most other
countries, and some of those in the EU, the UK has a constitutional Monarchy. Oliver Cromwell may have thought that he had abolished the Monarchy for good in the mid-seventeenth century and made sure by beheading Charles I. But he went too far and as soon
he was gone, the Monarchy was invited back – Charles II had been waiting in France for the call. Cromwell had put together an ordered standing army, which still exists today, but his politics were equally as blinkered as those of Charles I. However the
absolute power of the Monarchy had been broken and the present constitutional arrangement has developed to this day. The government may only operate through the appointment of a Prime Minister by the Queen and all laws only become effective with the Queen's
assent. But other than that the Monarchy is above politics.
Up to the middle of the twentieth century, Edward VII, then George V and George VI guided the monarchy through World Wars, an Abdication and the dismantling of the Empire. Since 1952, the Queen
has guided the Monarchy through rapid and extensive technological change. She has understood the intrinsic value of the British Monarchy and dealt with the challenges. Now as she is in her nineties the effort of State visits abroad are often too demanding,
so she has delegated the more strenuous ones to her children and grandchildren.
For some reason no sooner does a country evict its Monarchy, than later on they reminisce fondly about it. So when the UK wants to be represented abroad but separated away
from politics, they send the Queen, or now her children. The Queen's personal values are strong and loyal, and she has managed to convey these to her children, despite the family problems some of them have had. While Brexit involves politics and ideology,
the Monarchy can ride along untainted by all of this. Just to remind the EU that there is another view of Britain, the Duke (second in line) and Duchess of Cambridge were despatched on State visits to Poland and Germany last week. They visited a war-time concentration
camp in Poland, then went onwards to the country which had committed the crime in the first place. But this was an international visit for the UK to say 'we love the EU really, but we just don't want to be told what to do'. To even reinforce the projected
warmth, Prince George and Princess Charlotte shared the limelight and are now also ambassadors of goodwill.