The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Tied
11 Points
The Contender
YYW
Con (against)
Tied
11 Points

It's time to privatize the British Monarchy

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Post Voting Period
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after 6 votes the winner is...
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,094 times Debate No: 27643
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (22)
Votes (6)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

Thanks to the policies of the Conservative-led British Government, the rich have become richer while the poor have become poorer. But it's not just the working class who have suffered at the hands of the current rightist government: the middle class (who normally vote Conservative) have also been hit hard and have seen their family tax credits slashed; their child benefit payments withdrawn and their cost of living increase much faster than their salaries - and this all to fund tax cuts for bankers, tycoons and the aristocracy.

I believe that it's time to redress the balance in favour of ordinary people by privatizing the British Monarchy and using the proceeds to fund tax rebates for people on low and middle incomes.

Let's consider the Queen and the Royal Family: none of them are elected; nor did they compete with rival candidates to be appointed to their roles; no, they were simply born into their positions of privilege, power and vast inherited wealth - they did absolutely nothing to earn anything that good fortune has bestowed on them.

In these austere times of economic gloom the royals cannot expect to continue to live the high life while all but their ennobled entourage and other particularly posh people suffer - it's time they realised that their titles, palaces and other publically-owned assets will be opened up to the free market with the benefits going to the less fortunate members of society (i.e. almost everybody else).

Of course, the royals do have their own personal wealth and property (such as Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House), and I'm not suggesting that they should be deprived of this, but most of their property including the major palaces, castles, stately homes, land, antiques, fine art, vehicles and other miscellaneous assets actually belong to the nation and are held in trust by the Monarchy - and this is in addition to the Crown Estates which is a separate entity valued at eight billion pounds.

Let's take the Royal palaces, castles and country estates, aren't these ripe for development as hotels and resorts? Wouldn't you pay good money to stay at 'The Grand Hyatt Buckingham Palace Hotel and Spa' right in the heart of central London? Or how about the 'Holiday Inn Windsor Castle All-Inclusive Resort' for affordable fun for all the family and conveniently located for Heathrow Airport? Or maybe the 'Mandarin Oriental Kensington Palace Hotel and Casino' would be more your style?

And what about the Royal cars and carriages? These could be rented out for weddings, stag parties and hen nights at top dollar rates. Similarly, the Royal train and helicopter could by hired out as part of corporate entertainment packages.

Meanwhile the Royal collections of fine art and antiques could be sold off to the highest bidders raising billions for the British public.

And the Royal titles must be worth a mint too - for instance, how much do you think the likes of Donald Trump, J.K. Rowling, Lakshmi Mittal, Simon Cowell, Paris Hilton, Carlos Slim, Elton John, Roman Abramovich, Bono, Lloyd Blankfein or Madonna would pay for the five-year contract allowing them to be the sole, official holder of the ceremonial title "His Majesty the King" or "Her Majesty the Queen of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Greneda, Belize, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia, The Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Papua New Guinea, British Indian Ocean Territory, Gibraltar, Bermuda, The Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory, St Helena and its dependencies, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Anguilla, the Pitcairns; Lord of Man; Duke of Normandy; Duke of Lancaster; Commander in Chief of the British Armed Forces; Fount of Justice; Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England'?

It's got be worth a few pounds to someone, especially considering their bust will be printed on those pounds and they get to go on state visits around the world meeting other heads of states and having celebrities bow and curtsy to them, hasn't it?

Obviously, the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales, and the various Dukedoms will fetch a bit less but they will still raise a fortune - and save a fortune too: if Prince Harry ever gets tired of attending drunken orgies in America, finds a nice girl to settle down with and wants a spectacular wedding like his brother Prince William had, he will have to pay for it himself rather than charge it to the British taxpayer like his brother did.

Furthermore, the long-suffering British taxpayer would no longer have to fund The Sovereign Grant, which is the amount of money provided by Government to the Royal Household in support of The Queen's official duties, or the Civil List, which is the amount of money provided by the Government to meet the official expenses of The Queen's Household.

In conclusion, as well as saving hundreds of millions on funding the decadent lifestyles of the Royal Family, the privatization of the Monarchy would raise many billions which could be used to benefit ordinary British citizens.

Thank you.

Sources:
----------
The Monarchy FAQ's :http://www.royal.gov.uk...
The Royal Finances; http://www.royal.gov.uk...
The Monarch and the Commonwealth: http://www.royal.gov.uk...
The Monarch and the Church: http://www.royal.gov.uk...
The Monarch and the Law: http://www.royal.gov.uk...
The Monarch and the Armed Forces: http://www.royal.gov.uk...
The Royal Collections: http://www.royal.gov.uk...
The Royal Residences: http://www.royal.gov.uk...
The Crown Estates: http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk...
The Royal Transport: http://www.royal.gov.uk...
YYW

Con

I'll refute with evidence the lot of my opponent's claims and in doing so (1) demonstrate the flaw of my opponent's logic and (2) argue against the resolution.

The Welfare of Brits:

PRO begins by arguing that as a result of the governance of the Conservative-led British Government, the gap dividing the rich and poor has grown and both the middle and working classes have suffered in various ways. And yet, he want"s to privatize the British Monarchy?
-By his own admission, the problems he seeks to redress are not caused by the Monarchy but by Conservatives in Parliament. Perhaps instead of abolishing that institution most central to British identity, it would be more appropriate that Labour make a come-back in English political leadership.
-Judges should recognize that at PRO has failed to demonstrate the link between the Monarchy and the problems which he seeks to remedy; as such, his first argument is flawed.

PRO continues to explore various undemocratic characteristics of the Monarchy, and yet, rather than demonstrating how privatizing the British monarchy would remedy the various afflictions to the middle and working classes (which he attributes to the Conservatives in Parliament), merely asserts that Queen and her family possess various material benefits and others of the middle and working classes do not.
-Still, PRO has yet to offer a reason why the privatizing of the monarchy would alleviate the harms (which he argues are caused by Conservatives in Parliament) to the middle and working classes.
-Judges should note that this argument misses the point PRO is going for.

PRO then cites a plethora of examples of attributes of the Monarchy which he asserts must be "worth a few pounds to someone." As such, I believe PRO is trying to argue that those attributes ought to be sold to offset some of the cuts in benefits experienced by the middle and working classes. Additionally, since the expense of the British Royal Family is dealt with by, PRO argues, British tax dollars, money could be saved by eliminating that public expenditure.
-But just how costly is the British Monarchy? The BBC reports that it costs about 41.5 million GBP. (1) Even the most bolstered estimates (from Republic) assert that "The estimated total annual cost of the monarchy to taxpayers is "202.4m, around five times the official figure published by the royal household ("38.3m last year)." (2) This would seem an immense cost, but for the fact that the Crown Estate produced in revenue for the British Treasury a sum exceeding of 200 million GBP in the same fiscal year. (3) How? From the interest it accumulates annually. The Crown Estate was estimated in value to exceed 7.3 billion GBP in 2011. (4) It is such that on a fairly relative basis, the actual cost of maintaining the monarchy is marginal. Moreover, whenever the Crown Estate produces more than the cost of maintaining the Monarchy, that profit is returned to the British people. Were the monarchy to be privatized, this would no longer continue.
-However, Even "Republic" is willing to concede that the actual cost of the monarchy is kept from, and therefore unknown to the public. (2) That being the case, where the extent of the cost cannot be accounted for, it is rather absurd to advocate for a policy that (a) does not address the cause of the problem and (b) would have an unknown impact even if implemented. Granted, it"s not hard to understand that the upkeep of the monarchy is expensive, but even assuming the highest cost -as estimated by Republic- the implications to the structure of the British government would be immense.

Here"s what PRO didn"t account for:
-The actual cost per person for maintaining the monarchy per person is marginal; about 69 per person per year. (3) The overwhelming majority of the population, despite having to personally pay about 69 pence every year in tax dollars for the cost of the monarchy, polls reflect that 70-80% of citizens support the continuity and endurance of the institution, the queen and the Royal tradition in the United Kingdom. (5) (6) (7) (8)
-So, while the cost may be present, the bulk of Brits see no reason to fix an unbroken system. Since democracy seems to be a concern of pro, perhaps he should be admonished to listen to the masses. The people, as such have spoken.

Long live The Queen!

Sources:

http://news.bbc.co.uk...
http://republic.org.uk...
http://www.royal.gov.uk...
http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk...
http://www.independent.co.uk...
http://www.ipsos-mori.com...
http://www.populus.co.uk...
http://news.bbc.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

With thanks to YYW for accepting this debate, I should like to take the opportunity to comment on the news that Prince William has put Kate up the duff by saying "Congratulations, on your joyous news Your Royal Hignesses, but don't expect me and my fellow taxpayers to feed and clothe your over-privileged offspring when its born, no way, you are all going to have to fend for yourselves if the Government takes my advice, yes, that's right - you and your blue-blooded brethren may soon be privatized."

Not that the ennobled embryo will have to worry about money when it's born, even the Royals are privatized; his parents have got loads of family money, certainly they'd never have to worry about the cost of vaccinating their baby against measles which, according to Unicef estimates kills 164,000 people a year " that's 450 a day - with 95% of measles deaths occuring in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures, because the cost of measles jabs is just $1.00 / 69 pence each.

"69 pence?" I hear you remark, "That amount sounds familiar."

So it should, that's the amount my opponent cited as the annual cost to each of Britain's 66 million citizens of the Royal Family.

It may not sound much but the choice is a stark one, do we spend this money saving 164,000 lives every year by providing measles vaccinations the world's poorest 66 milion people, or do we instead lavish it on one of the world's richest familues in order that they may enjoy outrageously extravagent and obcenely oppulent lifestyles?

Personally, I don't think 164,000 people, 75% of which are children, should have to die every year just so one extremely posh family in England can enjoy the ultimate in decadence and splendour.

And privatizing the Monarchy should not be seen, as my opponent suggests, as a punishment for wrecking the economy - that was down to the greed and incompetence of investment bankers and the laissez-faire economic policies of their friends in the Conservative Party.

However, when times are tough it is only right that those with broadest shoulders, that's the Royal Family, should bear the greatest load: it's manifestly unfair that the working and middle classes should suffer all the economic hardships while the upper class live in ever-increasing luxury.

Furthermore, the privatization of the Monarchy would raise a fortune - the esitimate is 44 billion pounds, that's equivilent to a cash rebate of 1,692 pounds for every one of the UK's 26 million income tax payers.

So, while the polls my opponent cited concluded that the majority of British people were not in favour of abolishing the Monarchy, I suspect that if they were asked if they would rather have: (a) the Monarchy privatized and the Royal Family rely on its own private income, thus enabling the Government to give every income tax payer a cash rebate that would pay for a family vacation somewhere nice and sunny or (b) just leave things as they are; the results would be quite different.

Thank you.

Sources
----------
Impact and Cost of Measles: http://www.unicef.org...
Asset Value of the Monarchy: http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
YYW

Con

I also thank Brian for his insightful perspective. That said, I should note that in this instance, I am doing something that I almost never condone. I am responding to a debate while heavily intoxicated. Essentially, I"m on the eighth drink this evening and would like to apologize in advance if what I am about to proffer is less then coherent.

"But are you celebrating the royal pregnancy?" you ask.

No. No I am not. I am just pre-gaming for the night to come. That said, let us begin.

Brian begins with an interesting point, that the money the British people spend on maintaining the monarchy could be better spent on things like fighting various illnesses. Perhaps it would seem like that is the case, but let"s consider the practicality of that argument.

Aside from the fact that the UK has a system of universal health care in place, it is improbable that the money from the monarchy, were it to be privatized, would be allocated to the irradiation of the medical malady which he so articulately laments. The measles are dreadful, but he has offered no evidence to suggest that if the monarchy were privatized that the capital raised from such an episode would be redirected towards the advancement of health care in any sense.

I agree with him that the societal fighting of the measles is a worthwhile cause, but considering -as he earlier noted- the presence of conservatives in Parliament it is unlikely that additional funds to that end should find their way to the combatting of measles. A dreadful shame.

However, if the King enjoyed the kind of power he did at one point in British history -before his power was castrated by "democratic" reformers- perhaps he might have been able to allocate OTHER funds to that end without the parliamentary nonsense we have all become so accustomed to reading about in the Telegraph, that is, when the Telegraph actually reports on something other than celebrity gossip. C"est la vie.

That said, Brian missed my point regarding the monarchy. I never suggested that privatization would come as punishment for wrecking the economy. After all, my opponent and I agree that it was the conservatives that did that. Again, perhaps Labour should be brought back, but only if the people of the United Kingdom will it. As it were, they don't seem to at the moment. Granted that democracy seems to be something that my opponent is interested in, he is further admonished to take the will of the people into consideration. The solution to the plight of the English people is not to privatize the monarchy... it"s to get Labour back into power.

Moreover, while the privatization of the monarchy might raise a fortune, let"s recall that it"s "privatization" not "nationalization" that Brian is arguing for. That means that the capital generated by the sale of the monarchy would not go to the people of England, but to the Crown Estate, which presently contributes it"s surplus revenue to the betterment of the citizens of the United Kingdom, but would no longer were it to be privatized. Rather, it would be an independent firm, meaning that it would keep the profits it generates.

And let"s recall that in all of this, the actual citizens which are subject to the rule of the monarchy itself prefer the continuity of the monarchy as it exists, as a majority. Brian"s speculation, while interesting, really holds no merit where he lacks the evidentiary substantiation to ground his postulation. So while the wording of the survey may have had a different impact, we just don"t and can"t know that now. What"s important is that at present, the Brits have spoken.

And what do they say?

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

I don't know about you all, but I'm rather looking foreword to the Diamond Jubilee.

All together now:

CHEERS!

*raises glass of alcoholic beverage*

*drinks*

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

--
See previously cited sources.
Debate Round No. 2
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
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Posted by daerice 4 years ago
daerice
This was fun to read! Thanks guys
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
I'm not bitter, Heineken, just confused by your RFD. If it bothers you to be questioned on your decision, then don't write one.
Posted by Heineken 4 years ago
Heineken
YYW, your bitterness is unwarranted. I said it MAY have been the wrong word. As in....a semantic argument could be formed to dispute his use of the word (which you attempted). Unfortunately, varied forms of Privatization exist. His approach more closely resembled standard Asset Sale Privatization. Either way you argue, we're talking about some form of privatization.

Your definition of nationalization didn't properly apply. He argued for the free market use of the royal assets, not the flat-out liquidation of all assets for equal distribution to the people. Consider his words:" Let's take the Royal palaces, castles and country estates, aren't these ripe for development as hotels and resorts? Wouldn't you pay good money to stay at 'The Grand Hyatt Buckingham Palace Hotel."

Nationalization calls for the assets to be given to the people. Privatization allows for the assets to be made available for public domain free market development. I'm sorry that I've given you the impression of improper voting but I am quite certain my vote is justified and....the most thorough RFD in the entire debate.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
That's tremendously interesting to me;

So you read into PRO's case what you thought he meant -but didn't actually say- and judged the round based on your reconstruction of his case, rather than his case.

I mean, I know people do that all the time, but I've never seen someone admit it.

I do appreciate your honesty, Heineken. I really do.

Many thanks!

-and great taste in beer, btw. But for what it's worth, I was drinking Becks when I wrote the last round, lol.
Posted by Heineken 4 years ago
Heineken
I understand your point about privatization vs. nationalization.

However, we need to consider the argument in context of the round 1 resolution. Pro didn't argue for an absolute privatization of the royal estate. His goal was more of a "Robin Hood" approach, by sharing the assets. I would concede that privatization may have been the wrong word to use, but the terms described in the round 1 resolution dictated a clear context. As per Pro:

"I believe that it's time to redress the balance in favour of ordinary people by privatizing the British Monarchy and using the proceeds to fund tax rebates for people on low and middle incomes."
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
@ Heineken and Phantom

I'm curious. Did you guys understand the point about the difference between nationalization and privatization? I didn't harp on it because I thought it was obvious, but granted that you both gave me the loss, I'm wondering if that was articulated clearly enough to be understood.
Posted by Heineken 4 years ago
Heineken
Overall, a fairly entertaining debate. Without a doubt, Pro adequately described a wealth imbalanced and rightly established the monarchy as a "fiscal snooze button." The royals appear to be maintaining a massive hoard of wealth in a state of stasis, while it could be used to stimulate the economy.

Con attempted to overcome the argument by blame shifting the fiscal crisis to parliament, but that doesn't address the untouched wealth hoarded by the monarchy. In fact, it didn't address the burden at all, because Pro never claimed that the Monarchy caused the crisis. He simply pointed out that are privy to assets which would be better used to stimulate economic growth.
Pro also established that the Monarchy is an institution, making the assets assigned to the Monarchy a wealth without private ownership. Pro also argued that otherwise private assets should remain private.

I feel Con set up a straw man by claiming a failed link between the Monarchy and the problems he seeks to remedy. the link was flagrantly obvious. The institution of the Monarchy is privy to a superfluous amount of wealth, that could be liquidated for the sake of economic growth without depreciating the status and private wealth of the individual members of the Monarchy.

While Pro's second round argument for medical aid was rather weak, Con made axiomatic assertions without sources to counter his opponent. Having failed, still, to overcome the initial burden, I voted that Pro successfully (if narrowly) held on to his premise.
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Posted by brian_eggleston 4 years ago
brian_eggleston
I think the reference to my spelling of "privatization" - in the UK it is usually spelled with an "s" rather than a "z". The use of the 'American' spelling was deliberate because a} this is an American-dominated website and b} the "z" spelling is the correct spelling in British English too, even though "s" variant is more common (only The Times routinely uses the "z" spelling in the UK).

For more information, please consult the OED!
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
brian_egglestonYYWTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con won narrowly in arguments and everyone seemed tied eveywhere else. I am pro-monarchy and hoped to see a mighty debate here, but the arguments dissapointed me. Con refuted Pro's arguments well on wealth and money.
Vote Placed by Heineken 4 years ago
Heineken
brian_egglestonYYWTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
brian_egglestonYYWTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think pro showed that privatizing the monarchy would result in a lot of wealth gained. Con posted numbers on the what the monarchy did gain but pros were larger. The poll con posted didn't exactly reflect what pro was advocating as well.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
brian_egglestonYYWTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were more convincing, as he showed that the monarchy leeches money from the hardworking citizens to support an unnecessarily indulgent lifestyle.
Vote Placed by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
brian_egglestonYYWTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think the monarchy is an outdated institution that has no place in a democracy. However, Pro's arguments were mainly about what could be done with the money saved. There were much better arguments to be had. Con rebutted well and also used sources better.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 4 years ago
GorefordMaximillion
brian_egglestonYYWTied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro was wealth envious and idealistic. con had better arguments.