According to the BBC ‘The Queen’ of England is set to sign a new equal rights charter, backed by all 54 nations of the Commonwealth, that covers democracy, discrimination, rule of law, international security and freedom of expression.
The royal spokesman said: “The Queen, as in all matters, is apolitical but is signing the document in her capacity as head of the Commonwealth.”
The word ‘apolitical’ pops up again later in the article:
“Sources close to the royal household said the Queen would not give her personal endorsement to the charter because of her apolitical status.”
It appears the royal spokesman is quite keen to get the message across that the queen is apolitical, but what does that mean?
Being apolitical means to not be interested in or concerned with politics, which is to say not interested in or concerned with the activities associated with the governance of a country. For the head of a nation and indeed a Commonwealth of 54 countries to claim that she is disinterested in the activities associated with their governance is nonsensical, especially since she’s about to take the time and effort to put pen to paper on a political agreement. It’s like someone who goes swimming every morning insisting they’re disinterested in swimming.
The royal spokesman tries to assert that the queen does not give her ‘personal endorsement’ to the charter, but sorry old chap you can’t sign something without endorsing it because the very act of signing something is to give one’s approval to it. This is why we don’t sign contracts or petitions we don’t agree to or find satisfactory and only sign those that we do. If we didn’t act this way signing things would be meaningless. Even a queen appointed by God himself cannot circumscribe logic.
Thus the queen will personally endorse the new equal rights charter the moment she finishes signing it, regardless of what her spokesmen assert.
Furthermore, taking the time and effort to sign a political agreement between 54 nations is a mighty strange thing for someone who isn’t interested in or concerned with the activities associated with the governance of a country to do. The queen’s own actions disprove her own spokesman’s claims.
If it’s the quality of being apolitical they’re after, then why don’t they get me to sign it? I’d be up for some free grub and a helicopter flight. Oh wait, that’s right, I’m not Head of the Commonwealth. Being the head of something is of course to be the person in charge of something; a director or leader, if you will. In this instance we have a person who is in charge of a nation, with the power to dissolve parliament let’s not forget, explicitly stating that she is not interested or concerned with the activities associated with the governance of the nation she leads. This is like a head teacher saying she isn’t concerned with what the teachers in her school do or a director saying he isn’t interested in what the managers in his company do. Brain freeze!
It’s amusing to me that the queen goes to the effort of explicitly stating that she is apolitical because such a person is exactly the kind of person that all politicians decry as selfish and undesirable in society come election time. The apolitical ones are that pesky minority who spoil it for everyone else; they are the ungrateful and disrespectful ones for refusing to engage in democracy and exercise the power bestowed to them by it. If the queen is apolitical, then she’s effectively declaring that she believes the actions of politicians to be meaningless, which is quite the insult to those who dedicate their lives to vying for the right to govern her lands. Though you’ll never hear a British politician criticise ‘Her Majesty’. How odd.
Actually there is one sense in which the queen is apolitical. Regardless of which political party is in power at any given time she still gets to live in a mansion, to eat the best food, to receive the best medical care and to be protected by a private army of security guards – all paid for by the money forcibly extracted from the pockets of productive people by politicians; the former whose fortunes she’s disinterested in and the latter whose efforts she deems meaningless.
God? The queen doesn’t need saving. She’s doing just fine.