Mr Toad should face the Witan


I’m an instinctive monarchist, probably because I’ve won two jackpots in life; being born in England during the reign of our greatest ever King or Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Or First as the Scots style her. She succeeded her almost equally popular father at a comparatively young age and, given her mother’s longevity genes will reign for many more years.

However, I’m increasingly disappointed with her heir, Prince Charles. Each year he becomes more of a pain. The Schleswig-Holstein-Sturzkampfgeschwaders are not blessed with natural intelligence; it needed the introduction of Bowes-Lyons canniness into the bloodline to temporarily reinvigorate the Royal pedigree from downward-spiralling dimness. Thus Charles is receptive, like Mr Toad, to the latest fad that attracts his attention. And so the Aston-Martin driver becomes an advocate of wind turbine subsidies whilst declaiming that we should become happier with less. Read this article and weep:

The man’s a fool and will do the monarchy irreparable harm. That’s why I have slowly, gradually, and with much regret, come to the decision that the monarchy in England in its present form must end with the present reign. Note that I’m not proposing a Republic, Sarkozy, Chirac, Mitterand, Obama, Bush, Clinton etc are all shining examples of the failure of the presidential system.  And I can’t stand the leftie PC proponents of republicanism like Alibhai-Brown.

Instead, I suggest that a modern form of the ancient Witangemot system of electing a monarch should be adopted. (See note. Ed) As the post-election befuddlement last year, or the current Belgian failure to form a government shows, the Civil Service will keep the country ticking over nicely. The Crown is just a symbol and anybody can be trained to perform the twiddly ceremonial bits. Squeaker Bercow is a case in point. Why would an oath to one’s fellow citizens to perform one’s duty be of any less value than to an individual who happened by accident of birth to inherit the title? So let us, the electorate, elect a King or Queen each May to act as the constitutional head of state for the next year. Someone of the exceptional calibre of Mrs Ann Timson

That’s definitely someone cut from the same cloth as Queen Elizabeth I. And she wears purple!

The modern Witangemot system that I propose is a modernised version of the Witan or Witangemot that flourished in Anglo-Saxon England from the 7th century until the usurpation of the English throne by William the Bastard. The original Witangemot was an informal cabinet of counsellors from the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy who assisted the King. Among its powers was the ability to nominate or confirm the heir to the throne from a pool of well-bred candidates. While the eldest son of the reigning monarch was usually crowned, the support of the Witangemot gave "democratic" authority in the fair and legal Anglo-Saxon society. Obviously, universal suffrage means that the modern Witan will not be limited to the great and the good of the establishment and I suggest that voting for the next constitutional monarch is conducted at the same time as local elections. More on the old Witan here:


Jim Baxter said...

I agree about HM QE 1.

But what after her? Could we not adopt the system of a number ancient peoples where we have a monarch for a year who is accorded all the glory and the trappings and deference but is then, at the end of the year, offered as a sacrifice to the moon in the most gruesome manner. It would all go on Youtube of course.

Richard said...

The Witangemot idea could still work, as long as it was applied historically correctly, i.e. wise counsel (= literally 'meeting of the knowledgable') rather than smart-suited party donors without a brain cell or moral scruple between them.

Brian said...

Great idea. Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, Aleister Campbell, Nick Clegg (so the Libdems don't feel left out), etc, etc. King for a Day or an hour on the plinth might be necessary until the backlog is processed.

Brian said...

I'm relying on the guided wisdom of crowds. Everyone eligible gets to vote. A series of the Ethics Factor or Morality Cum Dancing - co-hosted by Bruce Forsyth and Roger Scruton will improve the ability of the electorate to make reasoned choices instead of "he or she looks nice."

Richard said...

"Morality Cum Dancing"

There are two ways of reading that. I chose the wrong one.

Jim Baxter said...


Yes indeed. Just the boost that the economy needs. The monarchy is supposed to be good for tourism. Well, my modest proposal will wipe Trooping the Colour right off the air.

Brian said...

Richard, I lived in Chorlton-cum- Hardy, known as Chorlton to its residents tired of sniggers in this post-classical age. It was nearly twinned with Chisholm, Minnesota.

Richard said...

There's a village that you pass through on your way into Wales from Chester called Pant-y-Ffynnon (literally Valley-the-Fountain). A new road-sign was erected, spelt 'Panty-Ffynnon'. This was corrected, clumsily, in white paint by the locals. Then the correction was erased. Every time we went past, there was a yet another stage in the battle. Personally, I quite liked the idea of a panty fountain.

Foxy Brown said...

Prince Charlie is right about architecture though. I think we should keep the monarchy in its present form, if only to annoy the Yasmin Alibhai Brown's of this world.

Span Ows said...

I like the idea. Are you aware of the Witanagemot club? "The Witanagemot club is a collection of bloggers that believe that the current constitutional settlement is disadvantageous to England."

Trouble is it sort got in to infighting with the English Democrats (or something) and Toque wound it up. The old blogroll is still about on many blogs.

Brian said...

Span Ows: Yes. I was a member. The problem with things like that is the Peoples Popular Front For The Liberation Of Judea infighting - at least one more opinion than members. Rats in a sack, alas. But the root ideas were reasonable. I suppose it's like belief and religion, ie the bureaucracy of faith.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I prefer battles, Wars, between contesting 'Houses' Where are the Stuarts? they should demand the crown, after of course the sad demise of our wonderful Queen.

The houses could call upon people to follow them or the Windsors or any other family that wishes to participate. As Mohammed is now a very popular name the House of Mohammed may well be a winner. McDonalds would be another.

Then, of course, we must bring back the death penalty and have public executions where the axe man ensures a clean cut and the head falls into the basket. Now that would bring back community spirit.

We would have to have the 40% rule, ensuring that no tom dick or harriet families could join in. Families must have over 40% support of their townships.

The Witangemot system was of course for intelligent people. We are far removed from them now, are we not.

Dave said...

"How did you get to be king anyway?"

"The lady of the lake, her arm clad in the finest shimmering etc etc"

Monty Python as usual got there first.

I think that the Commonwealth will disintegrate when our Queen dies. I can't see the ozzies and kiwis bowing to old jugears. It's a useless invention anyway. How did Mozambique get in? Just so that 800 metre runner could win a few more medals?
RIP commonwealth. Set up by QE2. Will not survive her