Donald Tusk is the President of the European Council. He was voted in for a second term by the 27 countries of the EU, not by a popular vote of the people.
He serves until the end of 2019.
Earlier in the week, Mr. Tusk caused offense by saying that “there’s a special place in hell for those who support Brexit.” Later, Guy Verhofstadt, special EU negotiator on Brexit, further elaborated with: “Lucifer himself would not welcome Brexiteers, as they would divide hell.”
So, Brexit has brought religion to Europe, a continent that sorely needs it!
These insulting and, at the same time, amusing comments overlook a significant truth about Europe. Religion is involved. Let me elaborate.
COMING OUT OF A CULT
Leaving the EU increasingly resembles coming out of a cult. Independent thinking is discouraged and blind obedience is expected. Members are deceived about its history. The finances are strictly controlled by the people at the top, who divert a significant amount of donations to take care of themselves. After leaving, there will be a period of meaninglessness; and withdrawal symptoms will take some years to work through.
The EU Treaty allows people to leave, in exactly the way Britain has left. So why are the British being treated this way? Because if they are a success, others may want to leave as well and the cult would lose members as well as financial support.
It’s not just Juncker and Tusk who have benefitted from largesse. Others have, too, including some prominent British officials. Veteran British socialists, Neil and Glynis Kinnock received millions of pounds when they were EU officials. Others have gotten fat on the EU “gravy train,” as it’s often called.
After the Protestant Reformation in the early part of the sixteenth century, the Church of Rome was in a panic. Rather than reform the corrupt practices of the church, it clamped down. The “counter-reformation” led to an incredible persecution of non-Catholics. Of great concern was the preservation of the influence and material wealth of the church.
“(The counter-reformation) was the period of Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation. It began with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) and ended with the 1781 Patent of Toleration. Initiated to preserve the power, influence and material wealth enjoyed by the Catholic Church and to present a theological and material challenge to Reformation, the Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort . . . ” (Wikipedia: counter-reformation).
History is repeating itself. As authoritarianism is very much a part of Europe’s DNA, so the EU is reacting to Brexit with its authoritarian instincts.
At stake are the inflated salaries of top EU officials. Jean Claude Juncker, the President of the EU Commission, is paid over $31,000 a month. In addition, he receives generous allowances to cover travel and other expenses. So it’s very similar to the counter-reformation, with the desire “to protect the influence and wealth enjoyed by the church.” We may see the Inquisition and the expulsion of Brits yet ahead. (Hundreds of thousands of Protestants were expelled in the counter-reformation!)
This is the reason Britain turned its back on Europe in the first place, rejecting the authority of the Church of Rome. In 1534 King Henry VIII declared himself Supreme Head of the Church of England, thereby rejecting papal authority.
England was effectively cut off from Europe. One of the first decisions Henry made was to legalize the Bible, which had been suppressed for over a thousand years by Rome.
That same Bible tells us a little about Europe’s future. After the upheaval that is taking place right now, there is to be a union of ten nations. We know it’s still ahead as it remains there until the return of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 17:12-14 says: “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”
Europe and religion are inseparable, then, now and in the future.
EU – US Trade War
“As nearly 100m Americans watched Tom Brady, the veteran quarterback of the New England Patriots, lift another Super Bowl trophy last Sunday, many will have noticed that Mercedes-Benz was the sponsor of the gleaming new stadium in Atlanta where the game was played.
“The German carmaker, owned by Daimler, recently moved its US headquarters to the state of Georgia from New Jersey, cementing its commitment to the south-eastern United States, where it already owns a big manufacturing plant in Alabama.
“But even as the Mercedes-Benz logo flew high over the biggest American football match of the year, it and many other foreign carmakers operating in the US worry that their love for doing business stateside might be unrequited.
“The US commerce department is due to issue a report by February 17 declaring whether it believes automotive imports constitute a threat to US national security. Such a finding would inflame an already tense trade relationship between the US and Europe. After the conclusions are published, Donald Trump will have 90 days to decide whether to follow up by imposing tariffs on imports of cars and car parts. That prospect has filled European policymakers in Brussels and beyond with dread.
“The EU has been adamant that it would react strongly to such a move, stopping budding trade negotiations with Washington and retaliating with its own tariffs on a list of US goods. ” (James Politi, Financial Times, 2/8)
Fourteen years ago I gave a sermon in England on Bible prophecy as it relates to the United Kingdom. I speculated that eventually the United Kingdom would be whittled down to England, just England.
My reasoning was simple. As the “multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19) was a blessing, and the strength of Ephraim was to be that multitude of nations, so, in accordance with Deuteronomy 28, as the people turned away from God, they would lose the multitude of nations, until they were down to what England was during the time of Elizabeth I, just England.
It all tied In with the Protestant Reformation. The zeal for independence from Rome and the need for trade sent England around the world in search of markets. These trading posts were the origin of the British Empire, the empire “upon which the sun never set.”
It was not just mercantile considerations. After the legalization of the Bible in 1537 (it had been banned under the Church of Rome), there was an enthusiasm for God’s Word that encouraged believers to take it around the world. King Henry VIII was on the throne at the time the Bible became available. In 1546 he admonished the people on their enthusiasm, thinking it improper for people to read it in the pubs.
Almost five centuries later, the reading of it anywhere would be beneficial. The fact is that the more people sin, the more the nation will suffer. This applies to all nations, but especially to the descendants of ancient Israel. And few people in England today know what sin is.
CONTRASTING TWO FUNERALS
In “The Abolition of Britain,” Peter Hitchens writes about this. He shows how much England changed between the funerals of Sir Winston Churchill on 30th January 1965; and the funeral of Princess Diana on 6th September, 1997.
“The final days of imperial Britain are bracketed – appropriately enough – by the funerals of an old man and of a beautiful young woman. The first, of Sir Winston Churchill, reached into a past of grandeur and certainty, while the second, of Diana, Princess of Wales, foreshadowed a future of doubt and decline. The two events were different in every possible way, except that both were unmistakably British. The dead warrior was almost ninety, full of years and ready to die. He represented the virtues of courage, fortitude and endurance, was picturesque rather than glamorous, and his death was expected. The lost princess was snatched from life in the midst of youth, beauty and glamour. Her disputed virtues were founded on suffering (real or imagined) and appealed more to the outcasts and the wounded than to the dutiful plain heart of England.” (“The Abolition of Britain,” by Peter Hitchens, 1999, pages 1 & 2).
Churchill’s funeral was the last hurrah of Imperial Britain. The hundreds of thousands who lined the streets were deferential, tipping their hats when the cortege went by. They were a generation of God-fearing people who believed that the British Empire had been the greatest empire in history, that the Queen was chosen by God, that their system of government was the best in the world. They respected the royal family. They even respected their politicians, even though they did not agree with them. In a world of turmoil, there was civil order, something to be proud of. They were a confident people, self-assured and independent.
Over the next 32 years, it all changed.
Now, they lead the world in the number of websites devoted to atheism. They are a nation of emotional basket cases rather like Diana herself. They are sexually immoral, a people with no moral compass and no backbone, either. Today, in parliament, there’s hardly a real man amongst them. They cower before the European Union, afraid to make any decision. Afraid to leave, afraid to stay – leaderless. They have forgotten their friends, family, really, the Old Dominions, turning their backs on them in pursuit of a European chimera.
Worst of all, they do not realize any of this.
In that 32-year period the country changed. Quite literally, in fact, as many of the people who live there now are not even of British descent.
“Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned. Aliens have devoured his strength, but he does not know it, yes gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it, And the pride of Israel testifies to his face, but they do not return to the Lord their God, nor seek Him for all this.” (Hosea 7:8-10)
This describes Britain today.
UK TO BREAK UP?
The challenges continue to mount. The official name of the country is the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” But divided Ireland presents a real problem for the UK in its negotiations with the EU. Nobody wants a “hard” border with customs and passport controls. But this cannot be avoided when the UK leaves the EU. The EU is not cooperating with Britain over this, giving the UK a real headache. A hard border could mean a return to all the fighting of previous decades. A soft border is only possible if Ireland unites, which means Northern Ireland leaving the United Kingdom. The majority in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU. It would also mean the fall of the Conservative government as they rely on the votes of the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party).
Northern Ireland dropping out of the UK means the United Kingdom would have to change its name to Great Britain, the name given to the country when Scotland and England merged.
In Scotland, as well, the majority voted to remain in the United Kingdom. If Northern Ireland leaves the UK, the Scots are more likely to follow. So then it will just be England.
It’s logical. Seventy years ago, the British still had the biggest empire in history. Gradually, they gave it all away. Would anybody now be shocked if the United Kingdom ceased to exist? If Ireland and Scotland were given away?
Footnote: Somebody has written and asked if I think the election of Donald Trump will delay the prophesied end time events? Quite the contrary. The election of Donald Trump has turned the world upside down, with alliances broken and trading systems overturned. The growing separation between Europe and America alone speeds up prophetic events.
We’re back from Indianapolis after delivering one of our cats to our daughter and family. We stayed three nights, to see the family and for the cat to get adjusted to her new situation.
I offered to go get some cat food, but our daughter and granddaughters would not allow me near the pet food aisle after my last blog!
I don’t know what it is but whenever I visit them I go into “vacation mode” – I don’t feel like doing anything. I just want to relax. This is not fair to them. We help take care of three (sometimes, five) grandchildren in Lansing; then have four when we visit Indy.
Our family Sunday ended up being a day in front of the television with our granddaughters who introduced us to the British series “Father Brown,” available on Netflix. It was actually quite good, though some things did irritate me. For example, whenever the priest prayed in Latin, the closed-caption subtitles simply said: “Prays in a foreign language.” Don’t most people know that Latin has been the lingua franca of the Catholic church for almost 2,000 years?
Family members are all trying to be healthier, which meant no junk in the house. If I had remembered that, I would have taken some goodies to nibble between meals. I was so hungry, at one point I called our daughter in Lansing and said: “Can you come down immediately and bring some food?” I was just being humorous – it’s a 4+ hour drive; and I could have gone to a local grocery store if I thought I might expire.
Mike, our son-in-law, is a very good cook and the food was excellent. I decided to join the healthy eating and then continue it at home, which is what I’m now doing. I feel better already. I’ve had no indigestion for a week and feel more energetic. The dog food last week probably helped.
It was really nice to have a break from everything, including world news.
BACK TO MORE REALITY
The terror attack in New York on Tuesday is a reminder of the constant threat to our lives that emanates from radical Islam. It’s also a constant reminder of how hopeless our governments are – they keep letting in Muslims en masse, trying to claim that “Islam is a peaceful religion that has been hijacked by extremists.”
Trump called immediately for Congress to abolish the Diversity Visa Waiver program. This is a lottery that enables 50,000 people a year from usually poor and backward countries to enter the United States. They may then sponsor their relatives and friends to enter the US. Tuesday’s murderer brought in 23 over 15 years. Most of these people go straight to the bottom of our economic ladder, competing for jobs with low income Americans.
(Do the math. If one man brought in 23, multiply 50,000 x 23 = 1, 150,000 people per year. That’s in addition to the one million plus who get a visa the normal way.)
President Trump immediately called on Congress to change the law. That’s commendable. The law needs to be changed. But, then, why didn’t he react the same after the Las Vegas mass shooting? Changes to the law are desperately needed.
It’s been over twenty years since the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, Australia. 35 people were killed in a little over half an hour. The conservative prime minister, John Howard, immediately called on parliament to pass tough controls on assault weapons.
“Twelve days after the Port Arthur massacre, the Australian prime minister, John Howard, announced a sweeping package of gun reforms in a country where firearms had long been considered an essential prop in the national mythology of life in the bush.
“At that stage the gun lobby was the ruling lobby in Australia,” says Philip Alpers, associate professor at the University of Sydney. “What happened at Port Arthur is that they were outpaced, outflanked and outwitted by a man who had the power to move in 12 remarkable days.”
“Tim Fischer was leader of the National party and Howard’s deputy prime minister in the Coalition government, charged with persuading skeptical country voters to support, or at least accept, reforms. “Port Arthur was our Sandy Hook,” he says. “Port Arthur we acted on. The USA is not prepared to act on their tragedies.” (The Guardian 14th March 2016).
The Sandy Hook massacre of kindergarten children took place on December 14th, 2012. Congress did not pass any laws following the deaths of 26 people, including 19 children. If the country could not make any changes after the deaths of so many young children, it’s doubtful they will ever come.
President Trump and others reacted to the Las Vegas shootings by saying, “Now is not the time to discuss gun control.”
Then, when will it be the time? Immigration policies make the situation worse – the killer at Virginia Tech ten years ago was from South Korea. The Boston Marathon killings were also the work of new arrivals.
Changes can be made without encroaching on the Second Amendment, which says:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Today, the US definitely has a “well regulated militia,” so America’s needs have changed. At the same time, people do have a right to defend themselves. There’s a balance. It’s time for a national debate.
On the highly successful Australian TV show, “Janet King,” Janet, a senior employee of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS; sometimes referred to as “Crownies”), is appointed by the country’s Governor-General to head a royal commission into gun violence. It’s time the United States had a presidential commission to look into mass casualty gun violence, with the remit that it report back to the president and the public within twelve months, making recommendations to effectively reduce gun violence.
NEW ZEALAND MAKES THE NEWS
Before we leave the Antipodes, New Zealand has a new, radical prime minister.
Jacinda Ardern is only 37 and the third female leader of the country. She wants to restrict immigration into New Zealand – one of her first acts was to ban the sale of homes to people living outside of the country. She is a left-wing republican, meaning she would like to end NZ’s relationship with the Crown thereby giving greater power to the politicians, of which she is the chief! Interestingly, she is also a former Mormon who has strong views on churches that encourage families to shun former believers like herself; she left the church over its anti-homosexual stance.
QUOTE: “President Xi (of China) believes that America is in steep decline and China rising in a power game that will define our century” (Carrie Gracie, China Editor, BBC News, 11/2). President Trump is about to visit China.
Today, November 2nd, is the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in London to commemorate the celebration, boycotted by the anti-semitic socialist Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn.
The famous Balfour Declaration was announced in the middle of World War I by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, at a time when Great Britain was the dominant power in the world. It committed His Majesty’s Government to establish in Palestine a home for the Jewish people. It was one of the most important documents of the twentieth century and a major fulfillment of Bible prophecy. It led directly to the establishment of a Jewish nation in the Middle East, the country now called Israel.
An independent Jewish nation had not been in existence since Roman times. The Roman Jewish province of Judea rebelled against Rome in 66 AD. The Romans crushed the Jewish Revolt in 70 AD, destroying much of Jerusalem in the process. The Jews rebelled again from 132 AD-135 AD. Once again, the Romans crushed the revolt. This time, the Jews dispersed to other parts of the Roman Empire and beyond. For almost two millennia, they did not have their own country. But scriptures made it clear that the Jews would be back in their homeland, called Judah in the Bible (the Jews were only one of the twelve tribes of Israel).
Zechariah was a prophet 2,500 years ago. His Old Testament book is a Millennial prophecy about the Second Coming of the Messiah. Judah figures quite prominently in events at the time immediately prior to Christ’s Return.
Note Zechariah 12:2-3 – “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”
And Zechariah 14:2-4 – “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”
The last verse is clearly still in the future. Jerusalem, Judah, revived after almost 2,000 years is once again a central point of geographical contention, with neighboring nations and tribes wanting to destroy the country. As if perpetually drunk, they desperately try to destroy her, so far not succeeding.
Five days after the Balfour Declaration, Russia had a second revolution. Earlier in the year, the Czarist regime had fallen and was replaced by a parliamentary system. Elections were scheduled for later in the year. Two weeks before the election, the Bolsheviks (communists) staged a coup on November 7th that overthrew the interim government of Alexander Kerensky. They proclaimed the world’s first communist state. It brought seven decades of misery to the country, with despotic leaders that made the czars look like Sunday school teachers. Communism has gone, but the country remains a dictatorship, though claiming to be a democracy.
The Bolshevik Revolution was the second revolution of 1917; there was an earlier revolution in 1905, which led to the establishment of the Duma (parliament) but still left the czar with ultimate power and authority. Russia’s parliament today is also called the Duma and is the people’s assembly. However, some would say that Vladimir Putin is a new Czar, with all the power and authority.
500th ANNIVERSARY OF PROTESTANT REFORMATION
Tuesday was the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg church in Germany. We should all be thankful to Martin Luther. He had the courage to stand up to the Church of Rome, ending the monopoly the Church had in western Europe. All churches today owe their freedom to Luther.
I watched a two-hour documentary on PBS recently about Martin Luther and the Reformation. He is considered the greatest theologian of all time, due to the fact that he wrote more books and articles on the Bible than anybody else. He also translated the scriptures into German.
Later in life, asked to sum up his writings, he replied: “God forgives.” That was of paramount importance to Luther, who struggled all his life with sin, as we all do. Hearing that, I thought about all the churches that have come out of Luther, directly or indirectly. Many have one thing in common – they can’t forgive. How ironic.
VISIT TO NOAH’S ARK
Earlier in the month, we were in Cincinnati, Ohio. A group of us, including four of our grandchildren, took the opportunity to visit Noah’s Ark, which is just over the state line in Kentucky. It’s well worth a visit, if only to get a better idea of the size of the original ark. This replica is built according to biblical specifications.
I’m very thankful that the enterprising Australian behind this project was inspired to build the Ark (and the Creation Museum nearby). More and more people are biblically illiterate, so it’s good that somebody has kept the story alive. I found the wall plaques explaining everything interesting, but I do not agree with his theory that the earth is only 6,000 years old.
We had been told to allow three hours for our visit. With two 5-year-old twin boys, we went through quite quickly, in exactly two hours. We left early — because it was raining!!!
The following evening we had a group of Barbadians over for dinner. Wonderful people. They had actually come from Barbados to visit the Ark. They are also Young Earthers, believing in the 6,000 years. We agreed to disagree and still remain friends. That’s the way it should be.
I’ve been asked why I quote so often from the Daily Express and Daily Mail newspapers, two Conservative British tabloids.
The answer is quite simple: they have the best web sites. Check them out sometime.
The Guardian and Independent, more intellectual papers, are constantly asking for money whenever I check their sites; whereas the Times, the Telegraph and the Financial Times make very little available.
The biggest problem with the two papers I use is that they often sensationalize news items.
I will try to find alternative sources, but, realistically I will have to use them occasionally as I don’t have the funds to pay for subscriptions to the more highbrow papers; and they have to request money as they have smaller circulations.
(This blog is a fully independent blog that has no connection to any church or secular organization. It was started to keep people informed on international affairs in light of the scriptures. Financial support comes from myself and readers who graciously donate to help cover costs.)
We’re visiting our daughter, Alix, her husband, Mike, and their family in Indianapolis. Seven of our grandchildren are with us in the house. Our son’s two girls had to stay behind for basketball try-outs on Sunday.
The 5-hour drive south was stressful, to put it mildly. Not only did we have to contend with road construction that seriously impacted our speed but we had three young children in the van, one of whom hates traveling and kept asking to go home. Even after we arrived, he still wanted to go home, asking Grandpa if we could leave late at night just to get away from it all. He must have sensed my stress!
It’s now Friday lunchtime. Just as I sat down to write, Evan, one of Alix’s twins, rode in a laundry basket down the steep stairs and crashed into the front door. He’s ok – I’m not sure about the door and the laundry basket has definitely seen better days! (Not to mention Alix’s heart failure!)
A few moments earlier, our autistic grandson who has a tendency to run away and get lost, knocked on the front door. We’ve no idea how he got out but at least he came back. He’s 4. He’s a late developer – I ran away when I was 3.
Evan is clearly a troublemaker. I have been sipping whisky in an attempt to kill a sore throat, though it doubles as a coping mechanism with all the activity around me. I just looked up to find Evan took my whisky bottle over to his mom and asked her to pour him some “juice.”
In spite of the occasional stress of sheer numbers, I still think that the opportunity to have time with grandchildren is a tremendous blessing and we truly enjoy every minute of it.
We are, of course, in Mike Pence territory. He’s been Governor of Indiana for four years and is highly spoken of by, seemingly, everybody. He’s done a good job governing the state, which has a financial surplus.
I thought he was treated badly on Monday by his opponent Tim Kaine in the Vice Presidential debate. Mr. Kaine kept on interrupting Mr. Pence so that he could not get his points across. Kaine was rude while Pence responded like a gentleman.
Another difference between them was over the issue of abortion. Kaine squirmed and waffled while trying to explain how he supports abortion when his own church, the Church of Rome, is against it. He said he felt it would be wrong of him to force his own view on women who want abortions. Mr. Pence, a Protestant and regular church-goer, reaffirmed his total opposition to abortion and said that, as Governor of Indiana, he has been promoting adoption as a means of encouraging women to give birth, rather than have their unborn child murdered. He reminded viewers that Mrs. Clinton supports partial-birth abortions, allowing women to abort babies when they are close to delivery. He even quoted Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”
Mrs. Clinton supposedly takes her Christianity seriously – she’s a Methodist, a church now opposed to abortion.
Kaine and Clinton can only be described as hypocrites, supporting the murder of innocent children, while claiming to both be people of faith.
This year’s US presidential election cannot be encouraging any country to adopt the American system of government. Comments heard overseas are along the lines of: “Out of 330 million people, this is the best you can come up with?”
The ignorance of the rest of the world shown by Gary (“What’s Aleppo?”) Johnson, who is now claiming that knowledge of world affairs is “over-rated,” must be another influencing factor.
So, it’s not surprising that Canadians welcomed Prince William, his wife and two children, to British Columbia and Yukon. The future King and Queen of Canada, with their son, Prince George, who will succeed his father on the throne 40 or 50 years from now, ensure that Canada’s current system of government will endure for the rest of this century.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, just like the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. There are also 13 other Commonwealth Realms over which the Queen reigns. In addition, she is Head of the 53-nation Commonwealth of former British colonies. The British government has no authority over any of these countries.
Although many people think the 90-year-old Queen doesn’t do anything, the left-wing Independent newspaper in Britain wrote the following on her responsibilities:
“Her schedule is incredibly regimented, with multiple formal proceedings, events and processes she has to adhere to every day.
Meetings with ministers and officials take up a large portion of her day and, like most of us, she spends a big chunk of her time at work.
The Queen’s working day begins at her desk scanning the daily newspapers. She then proceeds to go through some of the 300 letters she receives from the general public every day. Some of these letters the Queen reads and replies to herself, while with others she tells members of her staff how she would like them to be answered.
Her Majesty will then see two of her private secretaries with the daily quota of official papers and documents. She receives a huge number of correspondences from Government ministers and her representatives in the Commonwealth and foreign countries. All of these have to be read and, where necessary, approved and signed.
A series of official meetings or ‘audiences’ will often follow. Each meeting usually lasting 10 to 20 minutes.
If there is an Investiture, a ceremony for the presentation of honors and decorations, it begins at 11.00am and lasts just over an hour.
The Queen will then lunch privately although every couple of months, she and The Duke of Edinburgh will invite a dozen guests from a wide variety of backgrounds to an informal lunch.
If Her Majesty is spending the morning on engagements away from her desk and other commitments, she will visit up to three venues before lunch, either alone or jointly with The Duke of Edinburgh.
In the afternoons, the Queen often goes out on public engagements and prepares for each visit by briefing herself on who she will be meeting and what she will be seeing and doing. Her Majesty carries out around 430 engagements (including audiences) a year and will regularly go out for the whole day to a particular region or city.
The afternoon draws to an end with a meeting of the Privy Council with several government ministers.
Early evening can involve the weekly meeting with the Prime Minister, which usually takes place on Wednesdays at 6.30pm.” (Independent, 9/9/15)
She is also available to all Commonwealth leaders.
Prince Charles will inherit the same responsibilities, as will Prince William, then George, in turn.
In contrast to the US, where party politics has seriously damaged the unity of the country, the Queen brings people together in a non-political way.
Western democracies, in the main, have one of three distinctly different forms of democracy.
The US presidential system is one.
The “Westminster” (British system) is another. This is just as democratic. People elect their representatives to parliament. The dominant party’s leader becomes the prime minister. The Queen remains outside of politics, but contributes greatly to political stability and national unity.
The third option is a mix of the two, with a parliamentary form of government and a prime minister but, instead of a monarch, there is an appointed figurehead president, with similar powers to the British monarch. The Germans, Italians and Irish have this form of government. A serious weakness was shown with this system in 1934, when the German president died suddenly and the new Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, simply abolished the office and had himself proclaimed “Fuhrer.” This could not happen in a constitutional monarchy – when the Queen dies, automatically Charles becomes King.
Although some people in Canada would like to see the tie with the Crown abolished when the Queen dies, Canadian John Fraser summed up their arguments this way: “Queen Elizabeth has done a great job for Canada; therefore let’s make sure there is no monarchy when she dies.” (“The Secret of the Crown,” John Fraser, 2012) The reasoning really doesn’t make sense.
Fraser points out that Canada is one of the most successful countries in the world, thanks partly to its political system, which includes a major role for the Crown. The country’s birth owes its origin to the Crown and the people’s allegiance to it. Even the current Liberal Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is committed to maintaining the tie with the Crown – indeed, he invited William and Kate to Canada, along with their two children. Next year, Prince Charles and his wife will be in Canada to join in celebrations for the 150th anniversary of confederation.
"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened." — Sir Winston Churchill