Abolition of the Monarchy – First step on a long road.

It is my contention that the UK Monarchy is biggest factor holding the country back from much needed change that would see it shrug off the last vestiges of colonialism and seek its proper position in the modern world.  We desperately need a written constitution enshrining our rights in a modern equalitarian, inclusive and participative republic.

Whilst we cling to the outdated and illogical institution that is the Monarchy, we will continue to believe we are “Great”, we are a world power somehow, in spite of all the evidence, still able to shape events all over the globe.  Of course the word “Great” is used in Great Britain in the same way we refer to Greater London, as a geographic notation.  But this semantic confusion is symptomatic of our ability to delude ourselves that there is something quintessentially British about a monarchy and that somehow without a monarch we would no longer have a national identity.

Why outdated? The history of Kings is that they started as tribal warlords who would protect the tribe from attack, and then conquer other tribes and lands. The respect and tributes paid to the King were in return for the guarantee of security. History is, of course, littered with pretenders who wanted to usurp the power of the King and become the new King,  this was sometimes necessary if the King did not have the leadership or warrior qualities that were required at any particular time. This of course has always made nonsense of the “hereditary” monarchy, up until very recent times, first born sons and daughters of monarchs have been pushed aside. 1936 being the last example in the UK. The UK monarch has not lead our troops into battle since 1743 (George 11 who was a German). So we, as a people, do not owe our tribute to the present Monarch as our protector from foreign foes, although she is of course head of the armed forces.  So a monarchy is a form of government that belongs to a different time, and the UK has been the slowest to recognise that those days are gone. In the last 150 years the French, the Russians and the Germans have all become republics. Each is of course are members of the G8 richest group of nations and have not suffered economically or militarily from abandoning their monarchs. The French and Russians are also permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Why illogical? The western world prides itself on its freedom and democracy. Where is the logic in the elected leader (Prime Minister) and elected lawmakers (MPs) of the UK swearing allegiance to an unelected, hereditary Head of Sate? That shows that the electors representatives are not free as they must pay homage to a birth right, and that we do not respect democracy enough to allow our Head of Sate to be chosen in that way.  There is another anachronism, the monarch is unimpeachable. The British legal system means that the monarch is above the law, the Monarch and the first in line to the throne cannot be prosecuted no matter what crimes they commit. Amazingly some argue this is a good thing; they cite the corruption perpetrated by other countries heads of state and believe because we have a monarch that will not happen here. Of course it is impossible for it to happen as the monarch can do no wrong!  Even the USA has the power to impeach the President, and it is the power to hold leaders to account that is the cornerstone of democracy. Without that democracy is a sham. We will soon the celebrating the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta a document that enshrined rights of Nobleman to protect them from the absolute power of the Monarch. So even then there were those who recognised that it was necessary to have a mechanism to hold power to account, unfortunately virtually all of the Magna Carta has been repealed, and there is no modern mechanism to hold current Monarch to account.

 

I believe a new written constitution enshrining a new British democratic republic is essential to safeguarding the future of our country. It is impossible to imagine that happening and somehow accommodating the Monarchy.  Therefore we should as a first step have a referendum on the future of the monarchy, and hopefully agree it is right to call time on the bow and the curtsey and move forward to a better future. 

edited on Apr 15, 2015 by David Taylor

Ruobing Wang Apr 5, 2015

Hello, Dear Contributors

 

Welcome to the refining stage! In the next 2 weeks, we are looking forward to working with you, in order to refine selected ideas and produce concise final propositions based on these ideas. 

For this purpose, Head of State facilitators would like to remind you of the new features available to every contributor at this stage. Now, you can add, amend or withdraw votes already cast. This would be very important for us to see which ideas truly reflected your preferences, and to ensure that your preferences are represented fairly. 

Also, in the selected ideas, many overlap with others. Please use your judgment when choosing and voting on the ideas that are truly representative of your views.

 

Best,

Robin

Head of State Team

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