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Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise

Sat reading in bed in those innocent days.

‘What’s the book?’ Eric says.

‘Kings and Queens of England’.


‘Monarchs!’ Ernie cried.

Eric looked suitably mortified.


From that point of view,

Monarchy’s all right.

‘And what do you do?’

They have nice hats,

A twinkle in the eye

And friends in high places

(Though not as high as theirs).

Why should we dislike them?

They don’t bother us with elections;

They always move in the same directions.

With plastic flags and badges

And wartime songs by Vera Lynn,

Their diehard fans clog up the trains

And start to wave when no one’s in.


◄ Census

Purfleet ►


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Stephen Gospage

Thu 4th May 2023 08:09

My thanks to everyone who commented on or liked this poem. (Thanks, Greg - it's a long time since I saw the Holy Grail). The Eric and Ernie joke (yes, it was expletive, of sorts) lives on, happily uncensored.
I don't object to a monarchy. We have one here in Belgium which, like the UK version, has no power but is reasonably popular. It is much less costly and more discreet that than in the UK, as most European royal houses are. Maybe the British monarchy, with its rather bloated pomp and entourage, will have to slim down to suit the mood of the times.
There is something to be said for an elected head of state, even one with little power, who can bring something to the role which a hereditary monarch can't. Take the example of Michael D. Higgins in Ireland. But somehow I can't see the British crown disappearing for a while, as long as they give people something harmless to smile about.

Thanks once again for the interesting exchanges.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Thu 4th May 2023 07:49

Was Ernie's "Monarchs!" meant as an expletive?
As in: Monarchs to you too!

Just sayin':

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 3rd May 2023 17:36

Dr David Starkey quotes Edmund Burke's view of the relevance
of a Monarch...that its existence personifies the general public
need to invest the individual feelings of each citizen in an
individual sense of involvement with all the aspects of the
Monarch'a own perceived character, good, bad and indifferent,
thus providing a valuable balance against the actual authority
that the Prime Minister (the real power, and the alternative
"Monarch") wields in the lives of the people. Dr Starkey
explains how No 10 Downing Street is in fact, a building that
faces in two directions. The famous No 10 door towards Parliament and the other side towards Buckingham Palace,
a visible but seldom recognised "marker" of the separation of
that power under the Constitutional set=up.
As for the fondly remembered Eric and Ernie: i wonder how
they would be looking at the forthcoming ceremony and its
relevance to maintaining a tried and tested system. Somehow,
I can hear Eric muttering: "If it works, Sunshine, why fix it?" 😙
Why indeed?

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Wed 3rd May 2023 16:35

So nicking the title of Ernie's book somewhat this is a poem



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John Coopey

Wed 3rd May 2023 14:32

I was once holding forth on the iniquities of an elitist non-elected head of state when someone asked me "Who would you rather have?"
And it's a good question.
If we had had an elected President in recent times we would probably have had Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Boris Johnson. Now you may like or loathe any of them but one thing is indisputable - they are all divisively partisan.
On balance I am now 51-49 in favour of a monarchy - which is one way of saying "I don't really care".

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Russell Jacklin

Wed 3rd May 2023 13:52

Staunch royalist and lover of democratic politics where the head of state is not a backstabbing two-faced politician, and I'm proud to be.
There is nothing worse than a slimy President like D Trump as head of our beautiful country.
The sovereign's purse for 2022 was 86 million, which is just 15% of the profit from the royal estates.
That is good value considering the tourist revenue they bring in that should go to veterans but doesn't, it's not the monarchy that pays the old and pays for the NHS it's politicians and there is nothing more crooked

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Wed 3rd May 2023 10:23

You say that Royalty spares us elections.
If we did have elections for them, and we were given a choice as to whether we should be footing the bill for a bilionaire's gig, -whilst our elderly are forced to turn their heating down, and our forces veterans are sleeping on the streets, unable to access mental health treatment for their PTSD,
I suspect the results might be: "please procede away from me in short sharp jerky movements" otherwise known as "eff right off"!

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Wed 3rd May 2023 10:11

Thank you Stephen. "Their diehard fans clog up the trains..."

I wonder whether the homeless "diehards" who clog up the streets of Wales are fans of Tywysog Cymru, and whether they think they should have some choice in footing the bill for Charlie's gig?

Deaths of homeless people in Wales rose by 27% in 2022 compared to 2021.
In 2020, 63 homeless deaths were recorded in Wales, which fell to 60 in 2021 and jumped to 76 in 2022.

On any given night, tens of thousands of families and individuals are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness across Great Britain, this includes over 200,000 households in England alone. For the last five years’ core homelessness has been rising year on year in England, reaching a peak just before the pandemic when the numbers of homeless households jumped from 207,600 in 2018 to over 219,000 at the end of 2019. By the end of 2021, 227,000 households across Britain were experiencing the worst forms of homelessness.

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Greg Freeman

Wed 3rd May 2023 09:31

That argument is all very well, Keith, but to all intents and purposes it is the prime minister that is the head of state, not the monarch. See how the ailing Queen was forced to agree to the illegal prorogation of parliament by the unspeakable Jacob Rees-Mogg standing over her at Balmoral. See how Charles was banned from going to the climate summit by the equally unspeakable Liz Truss. Royalty's role is purely ceremonial, a disguise. So long as they keep their mouths shut, they get to keep the trappings. That's the deal.

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keith jeffries

Wed 3rd May 2023 09:19

Thank you for this reminder of more innocent times. A photo of Eric and Ernie in bed these days would create an uproar. They would be accused of perverting the minds of the young.
Royalty spares us elections but could one imagine a politician from the present House of Commons as Head of State? Give me Charles III any day.
Thank you for this,

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Greg Freeman

Wed 3rd May 2023 08:33

Thanks for this gentle poem, Steve. 'They don't bother us with elections.' Yes, that's probably why the hoi polloi love them, as much as anything. And thanks for reminding us of that lovely Morecambe and Wise joke, that I'd forgotten. Meanwhile here's Monty's take on it. Says it all, imo, as he so often does

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