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There are many British and Commonwealth contributors to the board here and today is a very sad day for them.

I hope you all will accept the condolences and respects of an old American cavalry corporal on the passing of HM, Queen Elizabeth II. She was fixture in lives of everyone exposed to Western media, the stern but loving grandmother, and beacon of tradition when everything in the world seemed to be changing. This is the change of a cultural epoch for all of Western Civilization.

The Queen is dead. God save the King.

 

Cavalry Respects.jpg

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In the interests of balance I should point out that many of us in the UK and the commonwealth do not mourn the passing of a relic of empire, nor do the Welsh as a whole look forward to the prospect of yet another Englishman being appointed as our prince to remind us of our place.

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I'm certain that many Irish and Scots have similar feelings. For that matter, a lot of my own Americans are in 'so what' mode.

But I meant my post as a courtesy and as empathy [something I'm not altogether 'good' at] to those who are upset or saddened by the death of HM. Like it or not, Elizabeth was a constant in Western culture, a figure that most in Western civilization regarded with familiarity and respect. So I don't think it's inappropriate to recognize that and offer condolences for it. As for King Charles III, as I understand it he's actually fluent in Welsh and has 'taken an interest' so to speak in Wales generally. I could very well be wrong in that, but that has been my impression of the man for over 30 years.

Think of it this way: I myself am not a Catholic, but in the inevitable event of the death of Pope Francis I will still offer my respects to my Catholic friends who will be effected by it. I see it as the civilized and courteous thing to do.

Edited by svensson
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My post certainly was not a criticism of yours, @svensson, merely an attempt to raise awareness. If outsiders listen to our media they are likely to get the mistaken impression that the queen and her office were/are universally loved in the former empire.

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10 hours ago, Vile Traveller said:

In the interests of balance I should point out that many of us in the UK and the commonwealth do not mourn the passing of a relic of empire, nor do the Welsh as a whole look forward to the prospect of yet another Englishman being appointed as our prince to remind us of our place.

You know I probably come from a bit of a leftie republican end of UK politics, but i can't help but feel that sometimes the old saying " if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all " is appropriate.

This is one of those times. Britain had a monarchy before it had an empire, it has one now pretty much the empire is a thing of memory. . As for the Welsh thing ,the prince of wales is a ceremonial thing - nobody is doing it to remind you of your place.

Edited by Agentorange
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37 minutes ago, Nozbat said:

I think its best to say Your view of the Queen may vary (YVQMV)...   I still think of them as Saxe-Coburg-Goethe rather than Windsor, a name they adopted in WW1

I'd be more upset if David Hasselhoff died

We get that a lot in the UK, an utter unwillingness to accept immigrants and outsiders as British no matter how much they try to fit in. I've always rather despaired of the attitude myself.

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On 9/9/2022 at 8:46 AM, svensson said:

There are many British and Commonwealth contributors to the board here and today is a very sad day for them.

Thank you for including the Commonwealth in your remarks.

Whether people are sad or not, most of the commentary is ignoring or breezes past the fact the Her Majesty The Queen of Australia/Canada/Papua New Guinea/New Zealand/Antigua and Barbuda etc has also died.

[It’s weird enough we have a new “King of Australia” but the Australian Constitution recognises Her Majesty’s heirs and successors so things just carry on as normal. However, no one until now has noticed that the State of Victoria (where all of the Chaosium team in Australia live) has a weird loophole, where everyone here needs to swear a new Oath of Loyalty. Time for the Republic of Victoria I say!]

Edited by MOB
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7 hours ago, Agentorange said:

As for the Welsh thing ,the prince of wales is a ceremonial thing - nobody is doing it to remind you of your place.

One hears that a lot, from the English.  As do the Scots, and the Irish.  

I was at a dinner where the hostess asked me "Why do the Scots want a referendum on independence?  I can't understand why anyone would want to be separate from the English."

My reply was "That's why."  She didn't understand.😒

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Well, I don't think this is the thread for discussions about UK politics... Not that I wouldn't read them, it would interesting as Hell from an American perspective.

But I think Charles III and William V have enough work ahead of them without people stirring the pot before their predecessor is even buried yet. We're all at a historical moment where the world holds its breath for a moment, that instant between the moment change happens and you first start feeling the effects of that change.

I fully expect the UK to pull out all the historical stops in the funeral and national observance of the Queen's death. There are a lot of staffers at Buckingham, Windsor, or Canterbury Cathedral that are going to be short of sleep for the next 10 days. As I know from my own mother's arrangements, you can plan something to a fare-thee-well but when it's time to put that plan in motion things can get confused in a hurry.

Something that not many Commonwealth citizens understand is that Americans have a strange fascination with the trappings of monarchy, even though we rather thoroughly rejected that form of government nearly 250 years ago. I think we quietly wish we had a steadying influence like a constitutional monarch like the Crown to focus all the patriotism on, instead of investing in an elected official who will only have the job for 11 years maximum [assuming a POTUS dies in office and the VP is reelected twice]. It makes one wonder what might have happened if George Washington has become King George I of the United States. Try this one on: with the vagaries of genealogy and all, there would be a fairly good chance that Gen. Robert E. Lee might have been King Robert I....

For entertainment value, here's a link showing the three senior lines if George Washington HAD become King [I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around 'King Bushrod']

washington-family-tree-e1563478799707.pn

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No.

You don't get to enjoy the extreme privileges of being the head of state of the united Kingdom and much of the commonwealth without taking responsibility. This is definitely not the time to "say nothing at all" about the atrocities committed by the British on the queen's watch. Just a short sampling:

  • The Malayan Emergency (1948-1960)
  • The Mau Mau rebellion (1952-1960)
  • War in Yemen (1962-1969)
  • Bloody Sunday (January 30, 1972)

Many people across the globe are paying their respects to the queen out of ignorance of the extent of evil committed by her post-war empire, which is not surprising given the success of Operation Legacy and the ongoing collaboration of the media. Readers of this thread now do not have that excuse to defend the indefensible.

The queen was a highly political figure, not a media celebrity or gaming personality whose deaths we rightfully commemorate here. Consequently this is a highly political topic which really should not be aired on a gaming forum.

Edited by Vile Traveller
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7 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

One hears that a lot, from the English.  As do the Scots, and the Irish.  

I was at a dinner where the hostess asked me "Why do the Scots want a referendum on independence?  I can't understand why anyone would want to be separate from the English."

My reply was "That's why."  She didn't understand.😒

Well, here's the thing, if Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond were to drop dead tomorrow - i wouldn't say anything mean about them. I might be the case that I didn't like them or their politics ( I'm just using this as an example ).  But I would understand that to many Scots they were profoundly important figues, either politically or historically. that they inspired affection, respect, stood for ideals and Scottish values ( insert values of your choice here ). Even if i hated them ( which i don't )  I'd keep my gob shut because I would understand that to many Scots their death would represent a loss and would have an emotional impact - and I'd respect that.

Now when the dust has settled ( maybe after the funeral ) then there would be time for criticism and evaluation. But in those first few days when those who did feel a loss were having those emotions I'd keep my peace. That's just me.

And to quote the cartoon " that's all folks "

 

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1 hour ago, Agentorange said:

Well, here's the thing, if Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond were to drop dead tomorrow - i wouldn't say anything mean about them. 

Oddly enough, I didn't say anything mean about Queen Elizabeth II.  I am very sorry for her family's loss.

It is a mistake to believe all Britain is in mourning, however.  

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4 hours ago, Vile Traveller said:

. Consequently this is a highly political topic which really should not be aired on a gaming forum.

it's only a highly political topic because you've made it so. It started of as a gentle expression of condolances from forum member to possibly some others. those members who took it as such could have just said "cheers"  those who didn't take it as such could simply shrug, ignore it and move on.

Some of us don't think it's a highly political topic - we think it's Svensson being nice. And regardless of our own views we've taken his post in the spirit in which it was offered.

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As I mentioned above I also took svensson's post in the spirit in which it was made. I merely pointed out the facts behind the dead person as most people seem to be unaware of them. I have to believe they are unaware, otherwise they would knowingly be celebrating decades of frequently brutal colonial oppression. Now, if you wish to continue pretend none of that happened, that the commander-in-chief of the British military during those atrocities was not a political figure, and that we should all make believe that she was just a nice old lady ... go right ahead, I'm not stopping you.

Edited by Vile Traveller
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The Crown is just a figurehead, a symbol of Great Britain. Elizabeth herself never expressed any strong political opinion other than to support the constitutional monarchy of which she was the head. In many ways, the ruler of the UK is rather like an American Vice President. They're seen but not heard.

But blaming the Crown for policy decisions of its Government is like blaming the Vice President. The VP may have an opinion on policy, and that opinion may be solicited on occasion, but the orders to act go out over another person's signature, in the UK's case various Prime Ministers.

As to your comments about several of the British military interventions, there were good and bad wars in there. As the UK retreated from empire, it had some major problems to deal with. If they'd just abandoned several of the colonial possessions, nations that had less than 100 college graduates in them for example, it would have been a tribal bloodbath.... Rwanda times ten. Then, of course, there is the UK's utter reliance on the Arabs for oil and access  to the Med via the Suez Canal. That meant that UK policy was chained to Egypt and Nasser /Sadat, and the KSA and House of S'aud. THEN you add the attempt to pull out of India, by request of the Indian people, without IT turning into another farking bloodbath. We can see the results of that even today.

Running down your list of colonial interventions, there were several that had completely legitimate causas belli. Malaya and Indonesia were completely legitimate. Putting down a Communist insurrection or a blatant power grab for territory... and doing so with remarkably few casualties... can hardly be called 'imperialism'.

But others CAN honestly be called 'bad wars'... wars for the sake of corporate interests or proxy wars fought for 'allies' where just as bad as the enemy. Oman and the Radfan come to mind as conflicts in those categories.

There is no literate citizen in the world who is completely happy with their military's record. War is a messy business and once you start dropping ordinance it can be very hard to reel it in. This is why war is and should be the LAST resort instead of the first.

But you don't blame a flag or a document because poor policy decisions. You blame the people you put into office that made those decisions. Great Britain spent 1000 years pulling the teeth out of their monarchs in favor of the House of Commons and whoever the Prime Minister is. There is very little the person wearing the Crown can do if they violently disagree with policy, and were they to do so half of the UK would lose their freaking minds over it. Elizabeth Saxe-Coburg and Gotha /Mountbatten /Windsor had damned little say in the events some of you take issue with and it's rather unfair to blame her for them. Blame Churchill, Eden and MacMillan all you want. THEY made those decisions.

PS:

I understand why someone would not like the UK's military record after War Two... there really is some bad ink in there. But you can take comfort in this: At least Britain didn't screw the pooch like the French did. You wanna talk about nasty, culture-changing wars, nothing the UK did was as ugly as Indo-China and Algeria... or even America's Vietnam.

 

Edited by svensson
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On 9/10/2022 at 1:19 PM, Vile Traveller said:

The queen was a highly political figure, not a media celebrity or gaming personality whose deaths we rightfully commemorate here. Consequently this is a highly political topic which really should not be aired on a gaming forum.

If any former president died, I would not object to condolences being offered here, and would not step in to object even if it were the worst of presidents. It is ironic that you of all people are objecting to politics being aired, when you are the one who made it political. Offering condolences on any death is not a political act.

Somehow it's simultaneously outrageous that we have an unelected head of state, and also that that powerless figurehead didn't exert their non-existent power to overrule our democratically elected government.

Don't you just love and hate cognitive dissonance!

Edited by PhilHibbs
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On 9/10/2022 at 1:41 PM, MOB said:

Thank you for including the Commonwealth in your remarks.

Whether people are sad or not, most of the commentary is ignoring or breezes past the fact the Her Majesty The Queen of Australia/Canada/Papua New Guinea/New Zealand/Antigua and Barbuda etc has also died.

[It’s weird enough we have a new “King of Australia” but the Australian Constitution recognises Her Majesty’s heirs and successors so things just carry on as normal. However, no one until now has noticed that the State of Victoria (where all of the Chaosium team in Australia live) has a weird loophole, where everyone here needs to swear a new Oath of Loyalty. Time for the Republic of Victoria I say!]

 

As a fellow Victorian, I find this amusing.

Or to put it another way: "We are amused."

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On 9/10/2022 at 5:19 AM, Vile Traveller said:

...

The queen was a highly political figure, not a media celebrity or gaming personality whose deaths we rightfully commemorate here. Consequently this is a highly political topic which really should not be aired on a gaming forum.

A question I have -- a very genuine one, from an ignorant perspective here in the USA -- is:  how much genuine blame (and/or credit) accrues to the UK monarch these days (vs. blaming/crediting the Prime Minister, the Parliament, & even the various entrenched bureaucracies still enacting policies never-revisited or never-rescinded from prior PM's & MP's (cruft does accumulate, after all (we have a fair bit of it here in the States; both per-state & at the Fed)))?

Edited by g33k
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3 hours ago, g33k said:

A question I have -- a very genuine one, from an ignorant perspective here in the USA -- is:  how much genuine blame (and/or credit) accrues to the UK monarch these days (vs. blaming/crediting the Prime Minister, the Parliament, & even the various entrenched bureaucracies still enacting policies never-revisited or never-rescinded from prior PM's & MP's (cruft does accumulate, after all (we have a fair bit of it here in the States; both per-state & at the Fed)))?

Fair question.

I mean, we have problems with that in the US too. For just one example, in a recent Congressional vote the Republican Party shot down a bill to compensate veterans who suffered lung injuries due to toxic fumes from burning garbage and sewage at camps in Iraq and Afghanistan. The press [which does indeed have a liberal bias - - that allegation is absolutely true] lambasted the GOP over it and waaaay down at the bottom of the article they finally mentioned why the GOP voted it down. Turns out there was half a trillion dollars -- 450+ billion dollars- - of pork money that absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with veterans or health care. This is right on point for the GOP: their big thing to cut government waste and cut the budget.

Now, I'm not saying I vote Republican. I have in the past, for my own reasons, and may do so again when the right candidate comes along. But I'm not a member of any political party and I never, ever vote the 'party line'. In my state's politics I'm considered a Centrist, but the press and the Democrats were pretty unfair in this instance.

And from what I've seen of Tory v. Labour politics in the UK, it appears that the same thing happens there.

And I should also note that I'm not damning one party /position or another. BOTH of them do this kind of nonsense. What I object to is the practice itself, but then, that's politics in a democracy. It's a nasty business from one end to the other.

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13 hours ago, g33k said:

A question I have -- a very genuine one, from an ignorant perspective here in the USA -- is:  how much genuine blame (and/or credit) accrues to the UK monarch these days...

Supporters of the monarchy do not blame the monarch, as she/he has no political power to overrule our democracy. Some opponents do blame the monarch, I would leave it to them to say why, since I support the monarchy I would be in danger of being influenced by bias in characterising the motives of "the other side".

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Let me declare an interest in this question - I am a life-long republican (UK variety!), child of similar.

It is very hard to answer the question, since a lot of influencing has gone on behind closed doors for centuries.  There are at least 160 Royal immunities from laws governing the rest of us, and I am reasonably sure they wouldn't want to lose a single one!  Therefore I would think such influence is both limited and circumspect.

On the other hand, if it became known (via orchestrated leak to friendly news sources) what the Royal will was, I can't imagine any PM who would want to publicly disagree.  

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