The Nation

The big lie of British politics is that power rests in two places; the monarch appoints government ministers and priests of the established church, hands out awards to successful businessmen and famous artists, and introduces laws to the elected Parliament, which has just two powers: to raise taxes and to pass or reject the laws that the monarch—in this case, Queen Elizabeth II—proposes.

In reality, power rests largely in one place: the elected Parliament, which picks a prime minister from its ranks, who then wields all of the queen’s remaining powers—unless or until Parliament decides to pass laws that snaffle those powers for itself.

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