After yesterday's blog about President Barack Obama's planned summit with Argentine President Mauricio Marci in San Carlos de Bariloche, I'll bet you thought things couldn't possibly get any stranger in an increasing strange political world. Add to that the fact that Russia has warned - in no uncertain terms - North Korea to "calm down, cool it, and mind your tongue or else face the consequences," and the world couldn't possibly become more upside down. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong, and I found this article, shared by Mr. G.L., another testament that we "live in interesting times":
The focus here is that H.M. Elizabeth II apparently let her clear feelings on the European Union, and the possibility of Britain's exit from the same - the so-called
"brexit" - be known to Britain's Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg:
THE Queen has been hailed as a backer of Brexit tonight after details emerged of an extraordinary alleged bust-up between her and Nick Clegg over Europe.
Her Majesty let rip at the then Deputy PM during a lunch at Windsor Castle, The Sun has been told.
The 89-year-old monarch firmly told passionate pro-European Mr Clegg that she believed the EU was heading in the wrong direction.Her stinging reprimand went on for “quite a while”, leaving other guests around the table stunned.
The monarch is also said to have revealed her Eurosceptic feelings during a separate conversation with MPs at a Buckingham Palace reception.
One of a group of Parliamentarians in a circle with her at the time asked Her Majesty for her thoughts on Brussels.
The Queen is said to have snapped back angrily: “I don’t understand Europe”
A parliamentary source, who relayed the remark to The Sun, said: “It was said with quite some venom and emotion. I shall never forget it”.
Now, amid all of this, we have the usual reassurances that Britain really isn't a monarchy, and that the monarchs have "traditionally stayed out of politics," the bottom line of which is, "Nothing of significance here, don't worry, she's just old and out of sorts, move along:"
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “The Queen remains politically neutral, as she has for 63 years. We would never comment on spurious, anonymously sourced claims.
But we would do well to remember that the British royal family is one of the richest in the world, and where there is wealth, there is, of course, power, and the monarchy sits atop that quinessential fact of British politics: it sits atop a very old, and very entrenched, oligarchy. One need only think of "Bertie". Thus, when the Palace calls and invites you to come around for tea, or dinner, and a private "chat," you go, and you listen... And that tradition of remaining neutral in politics? Well, since when exactly? Since Charles I? Charles II? William? or, in more recent times, Edward VII, an egregious case of a monarch who reigned publicly, and ruled privately?
There's something else noteworthy in this article, and it gave me pause. Consider the implications of these statements:
Anti-EU campaigner and Tory MP Jacob Rees Mogg said: “I’d be delighted if this was true and Her Majesty is a Brexiter.
“The reason we all sing God Save The Queen so heartily is because we always believe she is there to protect us from European encroachment.”
Another leading Tory Eurosceptic, MP Steve Baker, said: “This is a happy day for those of us who have sworn allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors.
“I would be delighted to welcome Her Majesty to our cause.
“I’ve insisted the government must not to drag the monarchy into this debate, but I may have to make an exception to my high principles on this occasion.”
This is a strong signal that there are deep divisions within the Tory party and the wider British body politic, and how it plays out is anyone's guess. But it does remind me of a certain British play, where a monarch, after decades of "traditional non-involvement" in politics, suddenly exercises one of the few remaining powers of the Crown, and refuses to sign a Bill of Parliament into law. Will it happen? Probably not. But there is that other tradition of the British monarchy that every now and then raises its head, when monarchs realize that in order to reign, they must occasionally and under extraordinary circumstances, also rule.
See you on the flip side...