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The Monarchy

The joke is on the British people

"It is not so much the absurdity as the evil of hereditary succession which concerns mankind."
Thomas Paine, (Common Sense)

Many British people revere the Family. For others, perhaps most, they are an entertainment. (Though Britain is the one country in which Kitty Kelley's The Royals cannot be put on sale). Few in Britain have a sufficient grasp on the idea of democracy to understand that the Family is an affront to human rights.

Whether or not there should be a monarchy should not be open to debate in a democracy. Good people may reasonably disagree about whether there should be one or two chambers in the legislature. Or whether elections should be held at three or five yearly intervals.

Some may want an hereditary head of state. Some may want military rule. But in a democracy no citizen should be obliged to accept either.

No citizen should be obliged to swear allegiance to an hereditary ruler to become a member of the legislature. No citizen should have to tolerate the hand of an hereditary ruler, no matter how light the touch, on the democratic process. No citizen should have their money taken from their pocket to pay to dress, feed, transport or entertain the arrogant scoundrels who call themselves "royal." No citizen should be asked to stand for a national anthem that begins "God Save the Queen."

No escape

There is no escape in Britain from the cancer of monarchy. It has metastasised into large parts of the British life. For the republican the affronts are continual.

Almost every British postage stamp bears the profile of the "Queen." Licking a stamp can thus become an act of obscene obeisance.

Photo royal mail van
Mail van with royal crown

So many British institutions, from the Royal Navy to the Royal Automobile Association, are attached to the monarchy that republican people feel alienated from many zones of British society. In Northern Ireland, where the police department is no longer called the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the authorities have begun to see that the symbols of monarchy are offensive to republicans. But in Britain, no such changes are still barely thinkable.

And although change may have begun in Northern Ireland, that region is in one way the saddest case. The people of those six counties have a wonderful chance, denied for now to the rest of the United Kingdom, to make their escape from monarchy, aristocracy and feudal ways in general. They could choose to join the rest of republican Ireland. But the majority of those to whom freedom is offered, fear to take the chance.

Pointer A brief guide to the British monarchy
Pointer A death in the family
Pointer BBC prepares for Windsor death

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