British politicians on monarchy “wouldn’t that be an appropriate time to call it a day”

Prince Andrew may have done significant damage to the British monarchy. His disastrous interview led to his brother Charles asking their mother Elizabeth to dump him from royal duties. British politicians are suggesting that once the Queen’s reign ends maybe all royal duties could be dumped.

Daily Express: End the monarchy? SNP Sturgeon demands talk on Royal Family future after Prince Andrew row

The Royal Family has been caught up in the furore surrounding Prince Andrew’s car crash BBC interview over his relationship with the disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein. In the biggest crisis the Queen has faced since the death of Princess Diana, some are now calling for a national debate over the monarchy’s future. Jeremy Corbyn has led the way with calls to rid the UK of its Royal tradition, saying that he would create a Head of State to replace the Queen.

In an interview with GMTV, Mr Corbyn said: “I think it’s time that we just moved on and said, when the Queen completes her reign, wouldn’t that be an appropriate time to call it a day and have an elected Head of State.”

And now it seems that Nicola Sturgeon has lent her support to Mr Corbyn’s republican agenda.

In an interview on ITV News At Ten on Thursday, the SNP leader argued that it was time to have a debate over the role of the monarchy.

When asked whether the Prince Andrew affair made her consider whether the monarchy is fit for purpose, she replied: “I think it raises a number of questions.

It’s most unlikely anything will happen (beyond whittling down the hangers on like Andrew) while Elizabeth remains queen, but if party leaders in the UK are openly questioning the monarchy, or saying it should end in the next decade or so, then it must have just about done it’s dash.

There’s even less need for the monarchy here on the other side of the world. It really isn’t relevant to us in Aotearoa, apart from providing a bit of hob nobbing and rubbing shoulders with royal celebrities for some of our politicians.

Prince Charles has just visited and that was very low key. I think that most of us just didn’t care.

It would be simple for us to become independent of a ruling system that hasn’t ruled for a long time, here or in Britain. We could keep something like the Governor General here, maybe renamed, for some official signing stuff and a token check on the power of politicians, but we wouldn’t need much.

I don’t think we need a president, or anything called a president. That would imply some sort of power that they shouldn’t have.

I doubt our politicians would have the gumption to drop the monarchy. Jacinda Ardern seems to like the hob nobbing. Simon Bridges seems quite conservative so I doubt he would do anything semi-radical on the monarchy.

But it could be forced on us if Britain separates it’s governance from the monarchy. If they do that it would be more ridiculous than it is now to maintain a connection that has no relevance to modern New Zealand.  they Queen hasn’t been here for yonks and won’t be back.  Princes come and shake a few hands every few years but I’m sure we could manage without that sort of poncing.

Theresa May calls for snap election

Missy has details of the big news from the UK overnight:


This morning Theresa May has called for a snap General Election on 8 June. She will take it to the House of Commons tomorrow for the vote, she needs 2/3 majority to overturn the Fixed Parliament Act for this election. Labour have indicated they will vote for the snap election.

She reportedly spoke to the Queen yesterday to tell her of this decision, and discussed it with Cabinet this morning. At just after 11am local time she spoke to media.

It appears the disruptive politics of the opposition parties, and the threats to undermine and disrupt Brexit, has led her to this decision. She is essentially calling the bluff of the opposition who say that the Government has no mandate for their Brexit strategy.

This is a smart move. There was talk a month or so ago that she would call a General Election before triggering Article 50, but when she didn’t, all talk of it stopped. However, by having the election now it means that instead of about a year post Brexit, there will be about 2-3 years post Brexit before the General Election.

There was no indication that she would be calling an early election, though some speculation began this morning when No. 10 said there would be an announcement by the PM, but it was still a surprise to everyone in the media and other MPs. Corbyn was interviewed on GMB this morning and nothing was mentioned about the possibility of a GE.

Theresa May reportedly made the decision over Easter, and has moved quickly on the decision.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/18/breaking-theresa-may-make-statement-downing-street-1115am1/

The radio this afternoon has been interviewing MPs from other parties (all men) who have all been very negative, and suggesting that Theresa May is running scared, and that she wants to have an election before her disastrous Brexit plan becomes public, to be honest they were sounding more desperate and scared than May.


Nicola Sturgeon has claimed that calling an early General Election is a huge political miscalculation because Scots will reject the PM’s divisive agenda. It is a little ironic that she is calling the PM’s agenda divisive since her agenda since last June has been divisive.

Nicola Sturgeon didn’t answer questions as to whether her case for a second referendum would be undermined if the SNP performed worse than in 2015. She claimed that the 2016 Holyrood election result has given her the mandate for a second referendum, however, Ruth Davidson – leader of the Scottish Conservatives – plans to make opposition to a second Independence referendum central to their campaign, and send a strong message that they oppose the SNP’s divisive plan for a second referendum.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/18/nicola-sturgeon-surprise-general-election-political-miscalculation/


Labour seem to be in disarray – again.

There is a lot of speculation on what will happen to Jeremy Corbyn after the election and the expected severe losses that Labour will suffer. Already he is being asked if he will resign after the election if Labour loses seats, but he is not being drawn on that.

One senior Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, said he will not stand in the election due to differences with the labour Leadership, and not long after his announcement another MP, Alan Johnson also said he will not stand again, it is expected that more will follow.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/18/jeremy-corbyn-refuses-say-will-step-labour-loses-snap-election/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4420822/Corbyn-admits-mistakes.html

UK and Scottish parliaments clash over second referendum

UK Prime Minister has repeatedly said that “now is not the time” for another Scottish referendum on independence, but the Scottish Parliament has just voted in favour of “seeking permission” for a referendum before the UK leaves the European Union.

BBC: Scottish Parliament backs referendum call

Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a second referendum on independence for Scotland had been formally backed by the Scottish Parliament.

MSPs voted by 69 to 59 in favour of seeking permission for a referendum before the UK leaves the EU.

Ms Sturgeon says the move is needed to allow Scotland to decide what path to follow in the wake of the Brexit vote.

But the UK government has already said it will block a referendum until the Brexit process has been completed.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who met Ms Sturgeon for talks in Glasgow on Monday, has repeatedly insisted that “now is not the time” for a referendum.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she is not seeking confrontation.

“My argument is simply this: when the nature of the change that is made inevitable by Brexit becomes clear, that change should not be imposed upon us, we should have the right to decide the nature of that change.

“The people of Scotland should have the right to choose between Brexit – possibly a very hard Brexit – or becoming an independent country, able to chart our own course and create a true partnership of equals across these islands.”

She added: “I hope the UK government will respect the will of this parliament. If it does so, I will enter discussion in good faith and with a willingness to compromise.

“However, if it chooses not to do so I will return to the parliament following the Easter recess to set out the steps that the Scottish government will take to progress the will of parliament.”

But this looks like a clash of wills between her and Theresa May, and between the Scottish and UK parliaments.

Ms Sturgeon is expected to make the formal request for a section 30 later this week – after Mrs May formally starts the Brexit process by triggering Article 50.

Scottish voters rejected independence by 55% to 45% in a referendum in 2014, but Ms Sturgeon believes the UK voting to leave the EU is a material change in circumstances which means people should again be asked the question.

There certainly has been a material change in circumstances.

While May and her UK government prefers no split it may make sense to find out if that is what the Scots want and take that into account with exit plans from the EU.

Her Scottish secretary, David Mundell, has said that the timescale could include “the Brexit process, the journey of leaving and people being able to understand what the UK’s new relationship with the EU is, so they can make an informed choice if there was ever to be another referendum”.

He added: “We are not entering into negotiations on whether there should be another independence referendum during the Brexit process.

The Scottish Parliament vote may or may not change that position.

There may be some chicken and egg here.

Would plans for the UK exit from the EU be easier if they knew whether Scotland was going to split or remain?

Or should another Scottish referendum wait until they know what the exit from the EU is going to look like for them and the UK?