Sunday, 17 May 2009

Queen and Goverment - Dissolving Parliament

There have been articles in the press today about the Queen's "dismay" at the current expense saga. A Royal insider says:
Her Majesty has made clear her displeasure at what she has learnt. She is concerned about the effect that it is having on Parliament's standing.
The Queen rarely comments publicly on political issues, yet unless Brown looses an important vote in parliament or has a motion of no confidence passed against him. The Queen is the only person that has the power to dissolve parliament, would she though?

I can't imagine the Queen would be impressed by recent revelations, as she has always been transparent and considered in what she spends. If parliament continues not to take decisive action, she'll inevitably be drawn into the saga, as calls for an election grow louder. I suspect the information leaked does have some foundation because of those factors.

Brown will not want to go down in history as a Prime Minster that had his government forcefully dissolved by the Queen, and ideally she will not want to break with convention and get involved in politics. As people taking sides with monarch or state could potentially become quite a divisive issue. The best compromise will be to give Brown a warning and time frame to act within. Stating she will make a public statement voicing her dismay on her government otherwise. Brown is on the back foot enough for him not to call buff.

Yet this is an issue that should go beyond convention into moral obligation. We can not be ruled by a parliament we have no confidence in. If this saga continues to grow in absurdity, I hope the Queen will exercise her power and effectively press the emergency stop button.

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