The Western Front

A Loyal Life

A remark I recently overheard on FOX News captured a key difference between Sir Alfred Sherman, whose assessment of the Thatcher years I now have in my hand, and those minicons who float on and off of FOX.  Commenting on the visit of Prince Charles to the United States, one of the news interpreters began grousing that the English have royalty.  This complaint went beyond noting the dangerously stupid remarks that the Prince of Wales had made about Bush’s failure to show a proper appreciation for Islam.

The minicon’s censure boiled down to this: By perpetuating monarchy, the British are negating the democratic ideal that “nobody should be born into a higher position than anyone else.”  I wonder where this “conservative” has been living.  Certainly not in the United States, where the children of rap artists (assuming they have them) and politicians have vastly more influence and visibility than I do.  At least monarchy permits such privilege in return for real responsibility.  And if one can point to the questionable intelligence of the present British royalty, one can also cite the sterling intellectual and moral qualities of today’s Habsburgs and those of at least several Balkan claimants to unoccupied thrones.

An attribute that shines through Sherman’s Paradoxes of Power: Reflections on the Thatcher Interlude is the loyalty displayed...

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