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Should we abolish the British Monarchy? Show more Show less

The Royal Family is a pillar in the British cultural and political landscape. The country tunes in for their weddings, places bets on their baby names and earnestly discusses their wardrobe choices. But with the monarchy's diminished role in politics, is it time we relegate this relic to the annals of history? Or does it serve a greater purpose in modern society?
The monarchy is a valuable part of British public life
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Key source of soft power

The British Monarchy is a big influence in how the world sees Britain and how we interact with other nations.

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Context

In order to maintain its influence in the world, Britain needs more than just military and political power. The Royal Family is a valuable tool of appealing to the international stage in a way that transcends the divisive nature of politics.

The Argument

When people think of the UK, the first thing they think about is usually the Queen, in all her quaint old lady glory. She is a sympathetic and well-known figure, a link to a past more decadent and special than our own turbulent times. This goodwill that the Royal Family generate towards the UK is hard to measure, but it is definitely true that having the Queen as an apolitical figurehead of the country is better for public perception than a divisive, scandal-ridden Prime Minister. Furthermore, the benefits of having apolitical and well-regarded diplomats is a general improvement in relations between Britain and other nations. If Prince William can make a good impression on Donald Tusk, or on the people of Brussels, perhaps the Prime Minister won't have as hard a job negotiating the Brexit deal. Having this form of soft power is deeply important for the UK, whose main exports have long been cultural. Losing the Royal Family will deprive the UK of a rich vein of cultural capital it otherwise profitably mines.

Counter arguments

The Royal Family is not the only way of maintaining our influence in the world. We have diplomats and public figures who can do the same job at a fraction of the cost. They can also do it a lot better. Members of the Royal Family have consistently been a source of embarrassment and international faux-pas - from Prince Phillip's offhand racist remarks on trips abroad to the scandals involving Prince Harry's nude bum. The Royals are not trained, qualified or accountable for the scandals they might create and are not the agents we want representing us.

Premises

1. Maintaining political influence on the global stage should be a valid goal for the UK 2. Soft power is a crucial way of maintaining British political influence, and we shouldn't undermine it 3. Abolishing the Royal Family would severely undermine British soft power 4. We ought not to abolish the Royal Family

Rejecting the premises

3. Abolishing the Royal Family would severely undermine British soft power The Royals are not the only agents of British soft power. They are in fact ineffective and replaceable.

References

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Proponents

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 27 Jun 2018 at 15:29 UTC