Monday, August 18, 2008

The Oath of Allegiance and the Crown-in-Parliament

As thousands begin to have their homes repossessed or lose their jobs; as the ‘credit crunch’ bites and interest rates rise in the economic downturn; as teenagers are stabbed to death on an almost weekly basis; as women are raped, children abused, and the elderly prepare to freeze to death over the coming winter, it seems that 22 MPs have chosen to dedicate their time and effort to demanding repeal of the oath they are obliged to swear in order to sit in Parliament – a declaration which has been sworn by those joining or returning to Parliament for more than 500 years.

Shame on them. And shame in particular upon the professing Conservative, Peter Bottomley, whose name appears among the sundry second-rate Socialists and irrelevant Liberal Democrats, thereby permitting the proposal to be labelled ‘cross-party’. Loyalty to the Crown must be the very least one might expect from a Tory, and the appearance of the name of a professing Conservative on this motion serves to remind us that there are traitors in our midst.

The wording of the oath has been much amended over the centuries, but currently reads: 'I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.' Atheists are allowed to replace ‘Almighty God’ by saying that they 'solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm' their allegiance.

The campaign group Republic is planning a legal challenge, saying the current rules ‘discriminate against Catholics, Muslims, Sikhs and members of other religions who object to swearing allegiance to the head of the Church of England.’ It also breaches the human rights of those who have 'firmly held beliefs' against the monarchy. Republic spokesman Graham Smith says: 'It is vital we challenge these offensive and discriminatory oaths of allegiance. They are completely out of date.'

The moment words like ‘offensive’, ‘outdated’ and ‘discriminatory’ appear, and appeal is made on the grounds of ‘human rights’, it is inevitable that the EU will be the final court of appeal. But Cranmer is yet to hear from any British ‘Catholics, Muslims, Sikhs’ (has Republic discriminated against Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Jedi Knights?) who have a problem taking this oath.

And where does such reasoning end? The next step will be a demand for an alternative national anthem, for how can atheists or republicans stand and sing ‘God save the Queen’?

But Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, who is spearheading the campaign, asserts that this ‘is a matter of democracy’. He says, ‘I'm put here by my constituents and it's to them I owe my allegiance. Taking the oath to an unelected person is a nonsense.'

Yet Norman Baker and the other 21 MPs, not to mention most of the media, have got it quite wrong. This is not an oath which demands allegiance to an ‘unelected person’ - the Queen – an individual, but to the Crown – an institution which is the embodiment of British State, the Constitution and the Rule of Law. It has been the means by which all those who have sought to subvert the state and assassinate the Monarch (quite literally) have been kept out of Westminster. As terrorists like Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness refused to swear the oath of allegiance to the Crown, they were legitimately barred from taking their seats at Westminster. To abolish the oath, or, as Mr Bottomley would have it, to make it optional, would be the end of the Crown-in-Parliament, and would lead inexorably to the end of Constitutional Monarchy.

The tensions between Crown and Parliament appear to surface every few centuries or so, and the Constitution adapts to accommodate the latest demands. The oath of allegiance has historically been sworn by MPs, judges, church leaders, the military and police officers, but now it is deemed to breach ‘human rights’. Instead, the Commons and the Lords should be permitted to swear allegiance to their 'constituents and the nation'.

It is difficult to believe that the very bodies which are ignoring the oath made by Her Majesty to Almighty God to govern her people ‘according to their laws and customs’, and which are denying their constituents a referendum on the EU Constitution, have any regard at all for either their constituents or their nation. The Sovereign is apolitical, unpartisan, and the embodiment of the sovereignty of the nation, for she is the ultimate defender of the rights and liberties of the people, in whom sovereignty ultimately resides.

Those MPs who have a problem with the oath understand little of history, less of the Constitution, and nothing of the political philosophy of sovereignty. The oath is not a mere form of words to subject the Commons to the Monarch, but it serves to remind those who govern us that they are themselves accountable not merely every four or five years to their constituents, but daily to the Crown and to Almighty God. The oath constitutes one of the precarious checks and balances in the exercise of power, and serves to mitigate against the ‘elective dictatorship’ which would otherwise be absolutely omnipotent for its term of office.

But this is not the first time the complex relationship between the Crown and Parliament has been scrutinised in the context of the EUs ‘Charter of Human Rights’. The Act of Settlement has been subject to objection for violations on the grounds of its ‘anti-Catholic’ provisions, and is now ‘subject to the Commission’s tolerance’ - i.e. it can stand for the present, but is under review.

It is kind and benevolent indeed for our masters in Brussels to tolerate the British Constitution.

All of these developments fly in the face of the Queen’s promise ‘to maintain to the utmost of (her) power the Laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel and the Protestant Reformed religion established by law’, and her added assurance, with Bible in hand: ‘The things I have here before promised I will perform and keep. So help me God.’ In swearing this, she committed herself and the Crown-in-Parliament to uphold the supremacy of Scripture. Thus every Member of Parliament swearing their Oath of Allegiance, while not being constrained in their individual conscience to profess the Christian faith, is certainly declaring their commitment to defend biblical Christianity. Allegiance to the Crown must, at the very least, demand a defence of the oaths and promises the Monarch makes to his or her subjects, for, unlike other European nations with monarchies, the British Throne is not merely a symbol of popularity or an ingredient of constitutional ceremony with minor political functions, but the maintaining legal foundation of biblical Christianity.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very big welcome back, Your Grace, I trust that you are suitably refreshed by your Retreat. You have been sorely missed these past few days.

I agree with every single word here. Let our so-called political masters at Westminster be warned, and reminded of their place, they are public servants first and foremost.

Their stance on taking the Oath of Allegiance is one that must be investigated at the hustings. I certainly will withhold my vote from any candidate who will not take it.

18 August 2008 at 11:50  
Anonymous vexed romanist said...

This Catholic feels discriminated against by the idiots who are using him and his coreligionists as a flimsy pretext to undermine the realm. To the Tower with the 22.

18 August 2008 at 12:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back your Grace.

I wonder if we ought to ask David Cameron to take a leaf out of the book of Hattie Harperson and require any candidate to ascribe to the proper Oath to the Queen or be de-selected. If she moans about Human Rights we can offer to trade against her party's requirement for any would-be candidate to support "the woman's right to choose"

18 August 2008 at 12:40  
Anonymous the recusant said...

This particular Catholic was proud to swear allegiance to his Monarch (many summers ago) and resents any tin pot cabal of EU federalists (MPs or otherwise) usurping his religious affiliation for their own purposes. A little cheesy perhaps but does any loyal British subject feel anything but pride when the Union Flag is raised and the national anthem played as our athletes are bringing home the gold. Saying that the Act of Settlement clearly is ‘anti-Catholic’ and I believe it will eventually be removed in its present form from the statute books; in doing so it will not diminish the role of the monarch, Charlie will do that on his own.

(Glad your back Mr Cramner)

18 August 2008 at 13:41  
Blogger mckenzie said...

No surprise here for me, nor should there be any for her Majesty. Sources say that the Palace has sought expert independent and critical views about the EU's plans. Now if the Queen herself was worried enough to consult independent advice separate from the Prime Minister, doesn't that suggest that she was worried she wouldn't get an accurate answer? Her main worries were about article 10 of the draft text of the Constitution. This states: "The constitution and law adopted by the union's institutions in exercising competences conferred on it shall have primacy over the law of the member states." Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead, said: "It is wonderful that at last the Palace has got wise to this." He said that in most respects the constitution would relegate the Queen to the role of a "glorified head of a county council".
Tory backbencher Douglas Carswell, a leading Euro-sceptic, said: “The way this treaty was signed was underhand and grubby and a betrayal of the UK. It shows this treaty has no proper legitimacy. And I think it also shows how useless our Parliament is."
The instrument of ratification was signed by the Queen (now deposited in Rome?), who had no choice. Because Mr Brown had signed the treaty, she was constitutionally forced to follow suit.
We do indeed have traitors in our midst! But what will it take to wake up the people? I have used terms like 'sheeple' in the past to vent my frustration, but have leaned that this has the opposite effect on the 'herd'. I think the most effective weapon these traitors have is their uncanny realisation of 'class conceit': it will be YOUR undoing.

18 August 2008 at 15:13  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Arthur Toynbee said at the 4th meeting of the conference for: International Institutions for the Scientific Study of International Relations held June 8th - 10th 1931 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

"...I will not prophesise, I will merely repeat that we are at present working discreetly but with all our might, to rest this mysterious political force called Sovereignty, out of the clutches of the local national states of our world. And all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands. because to impugn the sovereign of the local national states of the world is still heresy, for which a statesman or a publicist can be, perhaps, not quite burnt at the stake but certainly ostracized and discredited. The dragon of the local Sovereign can still use it's teeth and claw when it is bought to bay..."

18 August 2008 at 15:26  
Blogger Sam Tarran said...

Welcome back, Your Grace.

One of the more ridiculous aspects of this plan by the republicans is to replace the oath by the MP to the sovereign with an pledge to his constituents, completely in ignorance of the fact that MPs are not elected to represent constituents, but to advise the monarch, as encapsulated in the enacting clause of any typical Act of Parliament.

18 August 2008 at 16:03  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace is truly refreshed , it appears the masked ball we have been forced to attend is becoming jaded , and the disguises are slipping .

a lie is always a lie , a deciet is always a deciet .

18 August 2008 at 16:25  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

(a) Idiots like Graham Smith are always offended on behalf of other people, who are probably not offended at all; and who cares if they are in any case, except idiots like Graham Smith.
(b) You say the Queen "had no choice" but to sign the constitution. She could have chosen not to sign it, thus provoking - or, rather, bringing out into the open - the constitutional crisis brought upon us by our being absorbed into the EU.

18 August 2008 at 17:29  
Anonymous Voyager said...

‘discriminate against Catholics, Muslims, Sikhs and members of other religions who object to swearing allegiance to the head of the Church of England.’

or Head of The Commonwealth indeed....

Perhaps MPs from the Tartan Satrapy can pledge allegiance to the Scottish People leaving English MPs to swear an Oath to the English Nation...

LibDems can simply affirm obeisance to EU and UN

It is really time for Mps to stop taking the mickey out of the public by pretending they have anything but an abiding contempt for them

Maybe they can clasrify the term The Crown in Parliament when they refuse to acknowledge The Crown itself...far better to bring back Old Ironsides - he knew how to deal with MPs

18 August 2008 at 17:30  
Blogger Dean McConnell said...

Welcome back your grace.

What splendid oaths! May they remain in force and be well kept.

The clause "according to the law" should answer any legitimate difficulties. I fear the objections you list come not from concern for real rights but from a lack of allegence to all Her Majesty stands for and represents - all the gifts that God, through the Isle of the Mighty has brought to mankind.

18 August 2008 at 17:58  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...


18 August 2008 at 23:06  
Blogger the doctor said...

I am sorry to introduce a note of dissent here , since up until now I have been a Royalist . When H.M. gave the Royal Assent to the Treaty of Lisbon she became plain old Betty Windsor , or so it may appear .

18 August 2008 at 23:08  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

Kick the Door f*****g door In Generals.

( sorry your grace )

18 August 2008 at 23:49  
Blogger Richard Hooker said...

I cannot but agree with Your Grace.
I am minded of Master Shelley,

". . . the loftiest fear all that they would disdain
to think were true:
Hypocrisy and custom make their minds
The fanes of many a worship, now outworn.
They dare not devise good for man's estate,
And yet they know not that they do not dare."

19 August 2008 at 11:20  
Anonymous steadmancinques said...

Graham Smith;
'Well have you argu'd, sir, and for your pains,
Of capital treason we arrest you here'.
(Shaks., Richard II)

What morons like Smith fail to realise is that the oath to the sovereign is an oath, not just to his unfortunate constituents, but to the British people as a whole. The Acts of Settlement, the Bill of Rights and the coronation oath make it clear that sovereignty rests with the people, the crown in parliament is its visible form, and the maintenance of the Protestant faith is an integral part of that constitution.
I have been banging on for some time that the Treaty of Lisbon hands that sovereignty over to Brussels, ('such a parcel of rogues in a nation'). Thus the sovereignty that was wrested for the people in blood from Edgehill to Marston Moor, maintained against tyrants bent on world domination, from Louis XIV to Hitler via Napoleon and the Kaiser, is signed away at the stroke of the pen. At least Brown was shame-faced enough not to sign the wretched document in some grand ceremony of hypocrisy, but surreptitiously, in a dark corner.
Not only is British sovereignty destroyed if the thing is ratified; Commonwealth states such as Australia are appalled that their Head of State has been made subject to a foreign jurisdiction without the slightest pretence of consultation.
Has Oliver Cromwell started recruiting yet?

19 August 2008 at 16:40  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Grrrrr! Decades of 'feminists' doing unspeakable things allegedly to make things better for me, as a woman, and now someone wants to change something else (for the worse), allegedly to make things better for me, as a Catholic.

Not in my name! Whom do I sue, please?

19 August 2008 at 20:02  
Anonymous William said...

What actual meaning can be ascribed to an oath of allegiance to the MPs' "constituents and the nation"? Allegiance to an individual, or to an institution, or to a body of law, makes perfect sense, and it is for the most part pretty clear when one is in default of such allegiance; but allegiance to an amorphous group of individuals, with nothing in common except their residence in a particular constituency or country, is effectively meaningless. How is one to judge which particular constituents, or which interests within the nation, take precedence over others as claiming one's "allegiance"?

Such an oath can mean anything one wishes, or nothing at all, and absolutely any action can be defended in terms of such an oath. Better to have no oath at all than one whose sole effect will be to give a veneer of respectability to dishonesty and partiality.

19 August 2008 at 22:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In any case, YOU can now vote about Free Europe Constitution.

Vote YES or NO at !

20 August 2008 at 10:28  
Anonymous WannabeAnglican said...

We have the same disease here in the U.S. where officeholders swear an oath to the Constitution they then proceed to eviscerate. I hope they are reminded of their oaths for eternity.

20 August 2008 at 13:33  
Blogger freescotlandnow said...

You can only support the oath if you are happy to have no republicans in parliament. If so you are no democrat. The MP's are right and in Scotland our MSP's oaths should be to the people of Scotland.

21 August 2008 at 16:25  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Why has our beloved treasonous monarch who spares no effort in protecting the English people and thier religion,bought a mansion a couple of miles from Denver airport,which beneath its runways has an extensive network of tunnels,44 miles long ,with decontamination sprinklers installed in the ceilings?Do you think that she knows something that we do not?

21 August 2008 at 19:27  
Anonymous William said...

Freescotlandnow, there is no problem with having republicans in parliament so long as they are willing to
work within our present system of parliamentary democracy (where sovereignty is ultimately vested in the Crown in Parliament) to effect the constitutional changes they desire. What's not acceptable, and indeed cannot be in any democratic system, is for them to refuse allegiance to the very system they intend to use to bring about their preferred reforms. An oath of allegiance to the Crown does not prevent one from arguing, and seeking to legislate, for a system in which the Crown in no longer the focus of sovereignty.

And to repeat my earlier point: what would an oath "to the people of Scotland" actually mean? On absolutely any controverted matter, there would be a range of opinions and a diversity of interests within the "people of Scotland". So to what or whom exactly would the MSPs be taking an oath of allegiance? Or would it just be a pretty and sentimental form of words, signifying nothing?

21 August 2008 at 21:00  
Blogger freescotlandnow said...

Sovereignty in Scotland resides with the Scottish people (Dating from the declaration of Arbroath in 1320) while in England it is traditionally believed that it resides in parliament. (Presumably that's because England chose their own Kings when they decided they didn't like the ones who were legally entitled to the throne.)

An oath to the Scottish people would mean that our parliamentarians would promise to do their best for the people who elected them and would mean that they recognise the Scottish people's right to decide ther own destiny.

At the moment all republicans are forced to take an oath which they don't believe in. Some refuse to do so and therefore never enter the parliament, others lie thinking it meaningless.

I think that all parliamentarians are there to represent their constituents and owe their loyalty to them, not the Queen.

In Scotland many MSP's do not believe in the continuation of the UK/British state which was created in 1707. An oath to Britain is therefore inappropriate and in fact it is not required in NI or Wales.

I have an email from a Conservative MP who admits the situation is inconsistent (and wanted to remove the oath for Northern Irish MP's) but he was unwilling to make any efforts to change it and instead referred me to the Tories lone Scottish MP.

The oath is an anachronism and it bans honest republicans from entering parliament. Unless they humiliate their political principles they must do without their salary and their constituents won't be represented.

This is quite simply wrong within the 21st century. If Britain or Scotland wants a monarch that's fine but we shouldn't be forcing our elected representatives to support the monarch before they even enter any of our parliaments. Such is not a true democracy.

27 August 2008 at 22:51  
Blogger Chalcedon said...

Shame on us for not having an elected head of state and a republic, a true democracy for grown ups, instead of this Ruritanean monarchy nonsense.

31 August 2008 at 19:03  
Blogger sexy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

14 January 2009 at 07:31  
Blogger Citizen Against Oath of Allegiance said...

James 5:12 (New International Version)

12Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned.

I am wondering what Christian Bible his Grace is referring to.

3 August 2010 at 19:29  
Blogger Citizen Against Oath of Allegiance said...

I think parliamentarians as well civil servants as well new immigrants to countries like Canada, no their history quite well. As to taking oaths as having some fundamental Christian foundation makes no sense at all too me. Here are the words of The Christ on the topic of Oaths.

James 5:12 (New International Version)

12Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned.

Not only were the taking of oaths anti-Judeo/Christian ethic in Medieval Europe, they are still to this day. It's amazing how truth can be so twisted. Time to emancipate yourself from Mental Slavery.

3 August 2010 at 19:41  
Blogger Citizens Against Oath of Allegiance said...

Correction my grammar at times gets the best of me, enthusios, I believe the Greeks called it; earlier post, I wrote..."new immigrants to countries like Canada, no their history quite well, when it should read "know their history quite well,"

4 August 2010 at 16:55  
Blogger Anne Palmer said...

Is this the beginning of the END of the Oath of Allegiance to the British Crown?

I understand that it has been sugested that the proposed elected Police and Crime Commissioners are not to swear their solemn loyal, faithful and true Oath of Allegiance to the holder of the British Crown but an "Oath of Impartiality." As the proposals for elected Mayors and elected Police Commissioners which for hundreds of years we have managed without alteration, now stem from the Government's Localism Act, an Act that started its Journey in the European Union, I question if this new proposed "Oath of Impartionality" is the beginning of the end of Oaths of Allegiance to the wearer of the British Crown and all that, that Crown stands for and was fought for in the last war for this Countries FREEDOM?

2 September 2012 at 23:22  
Blogger Anne Palmer said...

Further to the above re Oath of Allegiance to the British Crown. I think you may find that the proposed change re the Oath of Allegiance thought up for elected Police Commissioners is unlawful, for the true Oath is lodged in various Constitutional Documents one of which is the Declaration and Bill of Rights 1688/9 brough out for the people of this Country. This remains complete. (Also as noted by the then Speaker of the House of Commons, Betty Boothroyd) The Oath of Allegiance has its origins in the Magna Carta, signed on 15 June 1215. The Oath remains complete in the people's Declaration and Bill of Rights 1688/9.

Many of "today's" people fought in two World Wars to protect and keep our own Common Law Constitution, particularly our Rights in the Bill of Rights, rather than allow foreigners to force their laws upon any one of us here in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. They fought for their own way of life and their King and their Queen and for those that came after them. Each and every British person's Oath of Allegiance is to British Crown,and to the wearer of that Crown, and LONG MAY IT BE SO.

10 November 2012 at 23:05  

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