Constitutional Affairs

Readers of the Mists of Antiquity pages of this magazine may have smiled at the writers reported there as earning scorn for their credulous approach to myth and legend, but in fact many of these can be excused in part for having accepted too easily the word of others, sometimes respected historians, they believed they could trust. They were gullible and innocent, and they had not set out to seek public attention, nor to invite ridicule.

But what can readers think of a man who deliberately sets out to attract attention by writing to a newspaper of large circulation, and uses the opportunity to publish rubbish?

This is what he wrote:

A legitimate leader of a free people, a man not foisted on us by bloodline, a man chosen by the consent of the governed, a man who represents our choices on many issues but, neverthless, a womaniser, a philandererer, must, according to the media, be driven from office.

I agree. Let us remove all philanderers from office. First, let us remove those who were not chosen by a vote of the people, those who are not legitimate holders of governmental power, dictators, monarchs, Prince Charles, for example. Next we remove the elected philanderers. Okay?

Andy Johnson
(Former member of the Florida
House of Representatives)
Talk Radio 970 WVOJ, Jacksonville

". . . . . . . dictators, monarchs, Prince Charles, for example."

Prince Charles has no "governmental power". His mother, the monarch, "reigns but does not rule", being only the symbol of the people's sovereignty, not its tool. (The tool is the elected government.) The Queen is the choice of the people and is confirmed as such by the people's representatives in Parliament. She occupies the throne because she is enabled to do so by an Act of Parliament (the Act of Settlement of 1701), and her nomination as the legitimate successor of her father, King George VI, was made at her coronation by the Archbishop of Canterbury as representative of Parliament and acclaimed by the Queen's Scholars of Westminster School as the voice of the people, as has been the custom at coronations since very ancient times. This act of nomination and acclamation ratifies each monarchs's succession under the 1701 Act of Settlement.

This correspondent, claiming to be "Andy Johnson, (Former member of the Florida House of Representatives)" but who, of course, may be someone else, is a clown. If he believes what he wrote in the letter, he is an ignorant clown.

Perhaps one of our American readers could contact Andy Johnson at "Radio 970 WVOJ, Jacksonville" and suggest to him that (if he did indeed write this ridiculous letter) before he exposes himself again he really ought to read the notes on the role of British sovereigns in the preservation, in partnership with Parliament, of the liberty of the British people. These were first published here in relation to the increasing power of Brussels in the enactment of British law, but that part directly relevant to the quoted letter is now reproduced below.


The United Kingdom as a Sovereign State

The basis of the British system of government is a closed loop:

  • the People are sovereign;
  • their sovereignty is represented by the Monarch whom they, the People, choose;
  • the Monarch, as head of the Government, oversees the work of the Government;
  • the Government governs the People.

(The Government thus governs the People with the consent of the People.)

In addition to representing the People's sovereignty, the Monarch has other roles of a representative nature. The Monarch is:

  • the symbol of the nation's unity;
  • the leader of society;
  • the nation's host (to foreign heads of state and to Parliament);
  • the senior mortal in the established church (in England);
  • the source of justice;
  • the Fount of Honour;
  • and the nation's chief executive.

The Monarch, as head of the Government, is responsible for the effective coordination of a triad: the legislature; the judiciary; the executive. The Monarch calls and dissolves Parliament, appoints and dismisses prime ministers - and in these four actions retains the freedom of choice necessary to protect the people the Monarch represents.

  • Legislation is thus the power of the Sovereign in Parliament.
  • The Monarch appoints the judges: and thus justice is the power of the Sovereign on the Bench.
  • All executive orders, whether civil or military, are given on behalf of the Monarch: thus executive power is the power delegated by the Monarch in Council.

The Monarch's office is authorised by the Act of Settlement 1701, which gave the descent of the Crown to the Protestant heirs general of Sophia, and the Monarch succeeds to the Crown at the moment the predecessor dies. However, the ratification of that succession which the Monarch's subsequent coronation signifies is not owed to the Act: it is the gift of the people the Monarch is to represent until death. At the coronation, the Sovereign is acclaimed as the choice of Parliament acting for the People, and the coronation oath, whose continuous history can be traced to the time of the Confessor, and whose development embraces the Magna Carta, confirms that the Sovereign's authority is itself subject to the Law (and thus all authority delegated from the Sovereign is subject to the Law).

Without the Monarch, Parliament cannot legislate, for although the Royal Assent is given by the three Lords Commissioners for the Monarch, that Assent has first to be authorised by the Monarch. While it is true that the full authority of the Monarch as Sovereign may be attained only with the Three Estates of the Realm assembled in full Parliament, the Monarch will always retain the Royal Prerogatives: to dismiss the prime minister; and to dissolve the Parliament. We have a balance; we have a closed loop; we have a sovereign people. That is the situation today.


"a man who represents our choices on many issues" and corrupts our language
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