T Nation

The Prvilege of Nobility in Modern Britain


This is a question for Britons out there.
Do the nobility in Britain enjoy distinct privilege in society over their former subjects?

The reason I ask is, the fact the House of Lords still exists and COULD exercise power has always been something that turned me off about Britain.

I generally thought the system of better-births had become vestigious and without much meaning. Then because of this, the commoners were not turned off by it.

However, I recently met a Scotsman studying in the USA, and a Nepalese who had spent 15 years in the UK. Both of them expressed frustration, stating that Britain is barely a meritocracy and that the best positions pass through privileged hands before anyone else. They further explained that the Noble class is gifted cushy 'boss' position via nepotism, and that they bring in men lower-birth to do all the work. They started that Britain is sort of like an hour glass, with a privileged and worthless nobility at the top, and a bottom of spoiled welfare leeches. In the middle are a plurality of hardworking Britons and educated coolies brought on, who barely manage to keep the thing going. These poor sapps do the work for both classes.
The Scotsman also expressed his dismay that without a constitution the UK is still just a feudal state. He seemed very displeased with the state of affairs...

Do you all agree with this man's assessment? Can you explain to me what degree the nobility have privilege over others in Britain?


Quite the opposite. They have been disenfranchised and largely lost their estates.

The House of Lords is one of the things that made Britain more stable than any other country on earth. It acted as check and balance and also enfranchised the nobility who are entitled to represenation like everyone else.

You idiot. The remnants of the nobility hold no 'privileged' positions and haven't for half a century. Even then they shared that privileged position with 'the upper classes.' Upper classes in Britain don't even exist anymore in any meaningful sense.

Right, now I know either you or they are lying and quite stupid. Stop wasting peoples' time with bullshit.



Do you have tourette's syndrome or is there a reason why you are attacking me for asking a question about what two guys from my Uni told me? Did I say I felt this way - no, that is why I am asking you a question. Ironically, your country doesn't hold this royalty deal in such high esteem either because you all kicked the Queen off to see once you got independence too. Me thinks by your tone your opinion might be highly biased.


They told you that did they? They told you Britain is 'still just a feudal state' ruled by 'the nobility?' Well if they told you that and you gave it any credence you would have to be stupid and gullible. That's why.


Obviously, Britain is not a feudal state in the most literal sense of the word, that was never what he meant. So obviously, I don't believe it's a bunch of Radish farmers and Braveheart bad guys. It's the same as saying 'slavery never ended in the USA', indicating that it transformed into a crippling debt system that keeps people trapped in static wage positions entirely dependent on paying off huge interest amounts just to subside.

What I got from both these men, was that the UK is a stagnant society carrying on immoral institutions, that have long died off in many other European states. These institutions that the Americans (North & South) crushed in their wars for independence.

This is why those men are here, to avoid those institutions, and come to a land of greater opportunity.

I found that quite believable as the UK is basically shit mediocre or poor at everything since World War 1, just barely scraping to hold on to past glory.

Before I talked with these guys, Britain always seemed inherently backwards to me with their maintenance of the system of royalty and nobility. Such institutions are undoubtedly unfair and prey upon the subjugation of other people for no other reason than hierarchy and nepotism. The enrichment of the few at the expense of others for no real reason other than 'title.' An arbitrary assignment of value divorced from reality.

There is absolutely nothing -good- about nobility and royalty. So no, I didn't really find it hard to believe in fact, we only started discussing politics because I expresssed disgust at the monarchic system.


Britain was the free-est country on earth. The classes were closer socially and politically than any other country in Europe. Part of the reason why Britain didn't experience the political upheavals that every other Western European country experienced in the 19th century. Part of the reason why Britain is still a monarchy(a constitutional monarchy with a codified constitution) when every other monarchy in Europe collapsed. It's why the British monarchy survived the first world war intact whilst the Romanovs, Habsburgs and Hohenzollerns were overthrown.

The British royal family contributes far more to society than it gets back. I don't have the time nor inclination to give you a lesson.

You know nothing about the British monarchy, British history or Britain. I have nothing further to add.


So I knew you were a Christian, then I found out you are a Santorum supporter - making you a neocon. Now I find out you're a monarchist...

It's like the trifecta of idiocy has been completed.

Sex Machine, you only spare me the lesson, because there is no lesson to be had. There is NOTHING good about heriditary social class and privilege. So you're right we have nothing to discuss. All those 'crown estates' that the royalty rents out and shows to touists, were built off the backs and blood of subjugated people. Everything they had and have is stolen.

If your people every grow a pair, you would withdone them just like the Romanovs got.
It is not a slander to greater Europe that they killed their monarchies, it is a damn medal. Britain needs to catch up, and put Queen Elizabeth in the iron maiden already.

Also, I have no idea what freedom you are talking about. You all live under CCTV and total control of political correctness. Before that you had to pay taxes just to hold up a parasite class of rats, and I hardly think the oppressive British government that the Americas rebelled from could be called free. NTM the near slavery the Irish lived in under the absentee-landlord system, or the entire global racket that hierarchy evolved into depriving men of across the world of their liberty if not their life. Yes, sounds like a great free enterprise of liberation you all were engaged in. :rollseyes:


My people? Remember I said you don't understand Britain or what you're talking about? I'm IRISH. I'm not interested in carrying on with this nonsense. Okay, I'm a 'neo-con monarchist' - whatever you like.


All I knew was that you were Aussie. So I guess you're an Irish Aussie. Here a gold star.


And you guys were gittin along so good there for a minute.


sex machine is all correct, rohyn seems to base his perceptions of britain of Samuel Pepys' diary and anti-Margret thatcher sentiment

btw, britain is awesome at many things since WW1. Literature, arts, music, various industries



There is only one set of Americans and those are the people of the United States of America. No where on either American continent do people refer to themselves as North American or South American. You are a citizen of your country, not your continent. A Frenchman would never say they are European. So unless you're talking about the Civil War, please do not refer to everyone on these continents as American.


Shit, the Irish have myriad reasons to hate the British, it's amazing he's defending them as much as he is.

The truth of the matter is that the British monarchy is lucky to still be around, after the Victorian era. After Albert died and Victoria effectively stopped governing, the country had to govern itself. Her son was not interested in governing, and was very limited in what he could do. Parliament had to govern by itself for over 30 years. Most Britons thought they were doing fine and could do better without the interference of a monarch and there were many movements to try and rid Britain of the monarchy. With the Prince of Wales's shameless spending and parties and flaunting of wealth he did not have, the people were getting fed up. It's only when Victoria started taking slight interest in governing again did the people relax, and when she died and the Prince of Wales took over, and became a very good king (kind of shocked a lot of people) did the people start believing again in the need for a monarch.


That's just... not true.


Not so much defending Britain as sorting the fact from the cloud cuckoo, pie-in-the-sky stuff from the OP. And I'm not normally this rude to people but the OP has a reputation for offensive and provacative posts.


You have no idea what you are talking about.
US Americans claim the name 'American' for themselves. However in all of the Americas people refer to themselves as 'Americans' to separete themselves from their former European overlords.

You probably aren't familiar with this because you do not speak Spanish. However in Spanish, the term American refers as much to Latin America as it does to the United States. Thus when referring to people from the United States or the adjective for it the terms, Anglos, Yanki, Gringo, Norte Americanos (North American), or Estadounidense (UnitedStates-ean) are used.

This is far less prevalent but still true in the countries of North America. It is less common in Mexico for people to refer to Americans as NorteAmericanos, however Mexicans consider themselves to be American people in that they inhabit the new world. Due to proximity however, they defer to using 'American' to identity Gringos often.

In the vast majority of Latin America however, as I said, American refers to the entirety of the New World and not just the United States. Even in Spain, 'Estudios Americanos' ie 'American Studies' refers the study of the people of the New World, largely that of Latin America.

Just because you think you own the term 'American' doesn't mean the rest of the world feels that way.


You're about 4 monarchs off, we cut the head off Charles I, and the monarchy hasn't 'ruled' since. And there has been a 'parliament' since the early medieval period.


Yes it's true. But we shouldn't let that get in the way of a good story.


No shit, Sherlock, I know that. HOWEVER, the monarchy was extremely close to losing power during Victoria. If you people hadn't really wanted a monarch, Cromwell would have truly succeeded and not been overthrown by Charles II. And seriously, how well did beheading a monarch work for you? You still have one, right?


Cromwell, 'Lord Protector for Life' had been dead for 18 months. His son Richard had abdicated because he didn't have the support of parliament or the army. The convention parliament restored the crown.