The Queen and five questions for the Goddard Inquiry

Queen of United Kingdom (as well as Canada, Au...

Queen of United Kingdom (as well as Canada, Australia, and other Commonwealth realms) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. When did the Queen know about the abuse by the powerful predators?

The powerful predators were men who owed their allegiance to the Queen. They interacted with the Royal Household. They were her servants and ministers. Yet, we have not indication whether or not she[1] was aware of their behaviour. We have to assume, from the steady flow of news stories over the past 50 years, which mentioned prominent people and ministers, that she was aware. The question is whether she was briefed and what was in the briefing. From the knowledge question comes the next question.

  1. What did she do?

We cannot see anywhere that the Queen acted on these issues.[2] Did her courtiers act on these issues? Where is the evidence for those actions? If she has to remain politically neutral, does that mean that she abstains from political activity even if indirectly? If she abstains from political activity on such an endemic crisis as this, then perhaps it is time she abdicates. Why else is she there if as a Monarch she cannot act or influence the Crown to stop the abuse and bring the perpetrators to justice? If she did not do anything historically, what is she doing now?

  1. What is she doing about the issue?

Given the publicity of the Goddard Inquiry, we have to ask what she is doing about it now. The scandal is during her reign. It is on her watch as a monarch. We are told that it is her government and her ministers. What is she doing about it? When a Monarch fails the weak and the vulnerable, who need to be protected as a symbol of the public good, do they lose their legitimacy?[3] If the monarch is no longer legitimate should she abdicate?

  1. What did the Police get in return for reducing the charges and letting the powerful go with a caution?

The MPS and other police services must have derived some benefit from looking the other way or downplaying the issue of the powerful offender. Their failure to pursue the powerful gave the implicit, if not explicit, appearance that the police would not touch them.[4] Whom else can the victim appeal to if the police seek a quiet life and avoid investigating the powerful and protected? What is the implicit deal that such a trade involves? There must be influence ripples that can be mapped.[5] The alternative is that they did it simply out of expected duty. It is what the police do for powerful people.

  1. Is it time for the Queen to abdicate?

A new monarch would allow the country to have a new chapter. A new monarch could help reform a regime, from the individual level all the way to the Royal Household, which is tainted by the scandal. As the Queen represents the regime and what happens on her watch is her responsibility if only symbolically

In the 7/7 attacks, no one in the UK government took responsibility.[6] No one resigned. They explained that lessons would be learned to make sure that the opportunities that were missed would not be missed again.


[1] When we say She, it also includes the Royal Household that has to be considered as an extension of her person.

[2] I am aware that the Queen may not act publicly in politics. However, as an astute political operative, she can influence the public domain by the charities she favourites, the people she promotes or honours, and the efforts she makes through her courtiers.

[3] After the 7/7 attacks, the Queen made public remarks. see also It might be that the Queen may not wish to pronounce on the issue until the Inquiry has concluded.

[4] See also the way the West Yorkshire Police handled Jimmy Savile

[5] For an example of a basic form of mapping, using open sources, see Ian Pace

[6] As the article notes, “The twin reports into the London bombings of 7 July 2005 are marked by the characteristically British habit in these types of inquiries of listing a long series of failures and then not blaming anyone.” It then quotes the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) report with the now classic British Public Service response: “We believe that lessons have been learned.”


About lawrence serewicz

An American living and working in the UK trying to understand the American idea and explain it to others. The views in this blog are my own for better or worse.
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