I’m voting for The Queen

I’ve just finished reading a book about the assassination of the Romanov family by the Bolsheviks in 1918. It appears although Nicholas II was nicknamed ‘Nicholas the Bloody’ by his critics, he was a pretty ineffectual leader of the Russian nation in part due to his father’s failure to prepare him for the role. Nicholas’ wife, Alexandra, provided much of his drive, although not always for reasons of logic. Her association with Rasputin, who appeared to provide some relief to their haemophiliac son and heir, brought great disrepute on the family.

Having abdicated in 1917 and been held in captivity, at about 2am on 17th July 1918 the family were awoken, asked to dress and taken down to a half basement room in the house in which they'd been imprisoned for some months, along with three of their servants who had remained loyal to them. Eleven men filed into the room and proceeded to execute the family and servants. The daughters survived the first hail of bullets, partially protected by jewellery sewn into their clothing. Stabbing with bayonets also proved ineffectual, so shots at close range to the head finished them off.

Got me thinking about how lucky we are to live in a democracy… and then I started to ponder about it a bit more. Don’t think anyone can say the way Britain has been governed over the last few decades has been particularly good, especially not the last decade. It seems our way of government encourages short term decisions, a slow response to events because of the need to gain consensus, and at its worst vote buying. Today’s politicians seem only to have one objective in mind… to get into or stay in power. And when you think of Tony Blair, his deceit, self promotion and desperation in the final days of his leadership to ‘secure his legacy’ you can’t help but think something is wrong.

There’s a surprising variety of alternatives. If you’re interested in reading the full range click here. But I’m increasingly leaning towards monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II is our constitutional monarch who acts as a Head of State without any direct powers of government. But who would argue she could do a great job of ruling the nation? Although looking like everyone’s grandma, she’s clearly more than a match for any pompous politician. I’d trust her judgement to do what’s right for the country she’s been ruling over for 57 years.

Suppose the problem is that of succession. Charles seems to have his heart in the right place, but history shows things do go a bit wonky when the baton is handed on. How about a diarchy, when there are two rulers… possibly current monarch and heir? Or what if we voted who from the ruling family should succeed?

Had the first fall of snow of the winter this week. See pictures at foot of this post. Chickens were not at all happy, particularly Izzy chicken… being white, all you could see was a beak, a comb and some feet moving around! Also had the first incident of theft on the allotments for some time. On Tuesday evening sheds were broken into, although it seems nothing was taken. They appear to have had a look into mine through the windows and decided there was nothing of any value before damaging my neighbours’ sheds… they had locks and no windows to see in.

Sammy’s seventh birthday party this week. Grandchildren had great fun and Becky & Barry put on a good spread. See photos and video clips below.

Had response from Halfords (see last post about latest bike related issue) saying they’ll not pay for repair to hub gears since ‘it’s due to wear and tear from normal use over fifteen months’! Does that mean hub gears are only supposed to last that long??? So the bike will be going to Ben Hayward Cycles in Cambridge for repair and hopefully a letter confirming the problem was due to a faulty part so I can take Halfords to the County Court.

Seems such a long time since Linda and I managed to get out for a decent country walk. Hardly a day’s past when it hasn’t rained. Can’t wait until the turn of the year when the days will start getting longer.


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