4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Grand Delusion,
This review is from: The Grand Delusion: Britain After Sixty Years of Elizabeth II (Hardcover)
Professor Haseler's book is a superb examination of Britain and the British during the sixty year reign of Elizabeth II. It is a work that considers in great detail the nation's political fantasies, obsessions and realities. It highlights the enduring fantasy that has continuded to beat in the hearts of the nation's ruling elite (Monarch and politicians in particular)that, in spite of the loss of its empire, Britain remains economically, politically, and militarily a major player on the world stage; ready at a moment's notice to give Johnny Foreigner a good hiding if he steps out of line. This view, in which the nation's leaders have, in furtherance of their own delusions, preferred the position of the USA's dogsbody to their rightful place as a leading and committed member of the European Union, has taken the nation to war with a country that did not threaten Britain in any way, and has sustained an overblown monarchy that forever ensures that the British are encouraged to look to their past rather than the future.
There is no doubt that the Professor wishes to see the abolition of the monarchy. The fantasy, again, is that Britain's political elite always refer to the monarchy as being 'constitutional', and yet Elizabeth II, monarch by accident of birth, was never elected by the people, who have no say whatsoever in determnining the identity of the person who shall be their head of state. Not only that, there is a convention that the position of the monarch is never discussed by the people's elected representatives in Parliament.
This is most definitely not a book that flag-waving singers of Rule Britannia with right-wing tendencies and a passion for the Queen and her family would wish to receive for Christmas. They would be horrified by it. However, for anyone who believes that the time has come for the British to face the future secure in the knowledge of their rightful place in the world, and with a democratically elected head of state who is chosen by the people, then this book is both enormously readable and enlightening.