Friday, August 09, 2013

Down with the (next three) King(s)!

This post is a bit behind the current news cycle, I tend to post my 2 pence worth on Twitter and Facebook these days, but sometime when you need to rant 140 characters just isn't enough.

This well written article in the guardian highlights the issue of our fundamentally anti-democratic monarchy. Now I know that there are more pressing issues facing our country; the recession, corruption, inequality and so on. But this is still a major blight on our democracy. Over the past few years we have been sending soldiers around the world on dubious missions to spread democracy to all and sundry. It seems crazy that in our so called modern democracy, with the birth of the messiah royal baby, we now have our next three heads of state all lined up and we don’t get a say in who any of them are.

I know there are lots of people who love the Queen, I agree she is a lovely old lady who has done some fine charity work, but her son has some very questionable views that he doesn't hesitate to thrust into the highest levels of our government.  Frankly I would like to have a say in whether he becomes the next head of state, if the majority of people disagree and want him then fine, that is democracy, but that is not how it works.

If we went to an elected head of state I know people would cry “what about tradition and heritage”. But what about them? With an elected head of state all that would stay, they can ride around in a gold carriage, open hospitals, heck they can continue to be called King / Queen for all I care, the difference being we get to choose who rides in the carriage. If you want Wills, then vote for him, if you would rather Stephen Fry had the job (assuming he would be up for it) vote for him, Stephen for King! Also if you don’t like them then in 4 years (or however long it happens to be) you get to choose again.

I know this is a minority view, but not that minor. As the guardian article highlights, 20% of the UK population would prefer to see the monarchy abolished. That is 12.5 million people. Let that sink in, 12.5 million people who want to have a say in who the next head of state is. But tough you have Charles, then William and then his sprog, end of story. They might be very nice and not put a foot wrong but they could also be terrible. It doesn't matter you are stuck with them.

I know, as a country, we have bigger fish to fry. But I believe that one day we will be rid of the last vestiges of this archaic and unfair institution.  Where one day any child in this country can be elected head of state (King/Queen/President/Prime Citizen whatever the position is eventually called) and where a child born to a certain couple doesn't have its life unfairly mapped out in front of it, bathed in a light of paparazzi flash bulbs and telephoto lenses.

Besides the issue of an unelected head of state, there are many other reasons that the Monarchy should go. The Republic campaign website gives a breakdown of what these are, as well as giving answers to the common arguments against a republic, I think they make compelling reading. I know many people disagree with me on this issue so I look forward to some lively debates and who know maybe, in my lifetime we might get to have a say about who heads the Great British nation.

My name is Thomas Cooper and I am a Citizen not a subject.

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