When I first saw The Telegraph’s headline “Gordon Brown pledges to end ‘discrimination’ in Royal succession” and the BBC News headline “PM and Palance discussed reform” I felt the terrifying shiver of dread that yet another British institution would be given the New Labour treatment. For once though it seemed that common sense reigns, with religious tolerance and sexual equality being the main thrusts of the changes addressed.
However then i thought a little about what this all meant.
Yes, the changes are sensible and logical in the modern world and maybe it is time for an update since the rules of succession were laid down in the 1701 Act of Settlement. It is far better than the normal tobloid rantings of abolishment, in fact the BBC included the results of a poll by ICM Research that showed 76% of people want the monarchy to continue, but is now the right time for this topic to be discussed?
We’re in the middle of a global economic crisis, and Gordon Brown is hopefully busy steering the country between the icebergs that formed during his years as chancellor of the exchequer, so is this the best time to enter raise new laws regarding succession before parliment for discussion? After all the Queen is in good health, her son and heir would not have his succession modified by the changes, and in fact at this time even his son and heir would not have his claim changed by these regulations. Making an estimate based upon the ages of Prince Charles and Prince William you can easily surmise that the regulation changes being raised may not have any imapct on the monarchy for the next 50 years or more!
Could this possibly be just a ploy to draw the newspaper headlines away from the upcoming G20 debacle (Reuters)?
It sounds like the campaign for change has died before it began, with members of all of Britain’s main political parties agreeing that there are more pressing matters at hand that need to be addressed before this regulation is addressed.