2007 - 2020

Reasons for Abolishing the Monarchy

stop-celebrating-celebrity-feudalism-2It’s a complete waste of money. With an estimated annual bill to the taxpayer of £300m, the Queen and her family cost over 100 times more than the Irish president.

It’s embarrassing.

Polo. Magazine shoots of people playing polo.

Prince Andrew.

It makes us all into sycophants, drooling over these ridiculous people as we are witnessing from every pore of the media today.

Prince Charles and his spider-letters prove that they are interfering, political and a wee bit bonkers. They are supposed to be purely symbolic. They are nothing of the sort.

Senior royals now enjoy total exemption from the Freedom of Information Act.

They area bunch of lazy bastards. Seriously we had to contend with the idea that Prince William is taking it easy now but when he takes up ‘Royal duties’ he’ll really get going. So he’s kind of doing nothing right now but soon he’ll be, er, opening supermarkets and stuff like that? CgeUZ6zWEAAChOp

They’re not very good at it. Prince Philip is a racist old bastard who has spent 50 years going round the world being horrendous to people. Can you imagine what it would be like if you actually had decent people acting on your behalf? Like an actual person who could speak?

Michael Gove. If there’s a problem apparently he steps in. Seriously: “In fact, if the Queen becomes incapacitated in some way, a procedure already exists. Framed in 1937 legislation but originally formulated in the Regency Act, after George III finally went mad in 1811, it allows for the lord chancellor – currently Michael Gove – the Speaker of the Commons, the lord chief justice and the master of the rolls to step in if “by reason of infirmity of mind or body the Sovereign is incapable for the time being of performing the royal functions”.

It distorts the media. By constantly covering the most banal actions of these people – who by definition are never supposed to do anything really very interesting – we set a sort of template for normal news coverage that is just bizarre. Why does Kate Middleton’s dress sense trump striking workers or the latest poverty report?

Balmoral. The Royal Family function as an in-built symbol of privilege and landed-power. Any serious attempt at dismantling the concentrated pattern of private landownership in Scotland will get nowhere if it does not face up to the fact that the Queen’s ownership of Balmoral is a central part of the problem. It remains an totemic obstacle to radical land reform since it’s continued existence legitimises large-scale private landownership. Balmoral Buyout.

This is 2016. 

Nicholas Witchell.

Coins.

It’s all part of Parody Britain, where people dress up in tights in our parliament and there are swords and bugles and … I don’t want to live in some Ruritarian backwater.

The Queen’s just been given a castle. article-0-05EDED95000005DC-3_233x405

Prince Charles and his Bloody Biscuits. 

It distorts English identity. As Tom Nairn wrote in 2011:

“Nearly all commentators perceive Great Britain continuing to decline, as ex-imperial status turns into increasingly unavoidable marginality, screened by Special Relationships, the Commonwealth, and other old club subscriptions. This has so far striven to keep up appearances, via a kind of half-honourable decline: unwilling negotiations with retreat, rather than outright defeat, a piecemeal and staged withdrawal rather than mere eviction from the historical stage. However, the climate of accelerating decline brings other changes in its wake. I see now how at the end of the eighties I failed to focus sufficiently on one key motive for the successful working of ‘enchantment’: what one could call ‘surrogacy’, in the sense of an English identity-diversion from standard-issue nationalism to the symbolic supra-nationality of a Royal Crown and Family.

The unusual intensity and emotion of the latter has come from certain peculiarities of the former: as if a communal feeling unable to find appropriate modern expression has been compelled to find compensatory voice in another way, or upon a different (though related) level. Such deeper emotion contains a usually unacknowledged advantage. It absolves the majority English nationality from the customary ‘-ism’ of recent history. No

Anglo-nationalism is felt necessary in the standard 19th-20th century form. Of course it manifests itself in sub-standard form, round the edges, as panic over immigration, and distrust of ‘outsiders’ and multi-culturalism. Yet its political expression has been very limited, in a ‘British’ National Party tied to extinct racism as well as to state decline. Today’s problems are the by-product of  longer-range historical location. As Liah Greenfeld points out in her classic Nationalism: Five Roads to ModernityEngland was ‘God’s First-born’ in the formation of the Nation-state world: but this very priority meant that the English would not themselves become just another state, a national polity like all the rest.  Naturally the English had to adapt themselves to the world they had set in motion and fostered, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

But they did so in two main ways, both of which have now lost most of their sense. One was simply expansion: the ‘greater England’ represented by colonization and the emigration of one generation after another over the era of empire. The other was a ‘little England’ of rurality and imagined roots, supposed to have both preceded imperialism and in some ways persisted through it ― an enduring sub-stratum of earlier culture. During the later 19th and early 20th centuries the prime mover naturally sought to at least resemble the rest of the ‘nation-state’ normality it had fostered. Contrived timelessness was the answer. Thus the over-blown came to be counter-posed to  an under-estimated essence, a fictive inheritance variously interpreted as genetic or socio-historical.” More here.

They keep breeding. It’s endless.  Next up is King Charles III, who will be the oldest person ever to be crowned. Then King William V, then King George VII, and on and on and on.

It breeds an endless deference culture where people like Murdo Fraser talking about there ‘Queen’s Eleven” and writing tweets like this:

It’s really not good for tourism. Republic writes: “Chester Zoo, Stonehenge and the Roman Baths are all more successful tourist attractions than Windsor Castle, which is the only occupied royal residence to attract visitors in large numbers. If Windsor Castle was included in the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) list of top attractions it would come in at number 24.

Research shows that tourists come here for our world-class museums, beautiful scenery, fantastic shopping and captivating history – not because they might catch a glimpse of Prince Andrew. In a republic, royal properties such as Buckingham Palace would be open all year round, so visitors that do want to explore our royal heritage would have even more opportunity to do so. But, even if the claim were true, do we really want the whims of visiting tourists to determine what kind of political system we have?”

Beacons.

Old Horse-Face at the Rugby.

All that shit about The People’s Princess. harry-buffalo-022414

They’re part of some weird hunting class. Animal Aid has estimated that the number of animals killed on the Windsor Estate included:

  • 3901 pigeons
  • 1161 rabbits
  • 772 jackdaws
  • 325 squirrels
  • 191 crows
  • 159 foxes
  • 145 rats
  • 127 muntjac
  • 118 parakeets
  • 70 magpies
  • 56 roe deer
  • 55 rooks
  • 28 hares
  • 9 jays
  • 9 moles
  • 3 mink

(Parakeets?)

Those tv documentaries about Diana’s fucking butler. reg_634.harry.ls.10412_copy

Charities would benefit without them. It’s counter intuitive but true, as Republic puts it: “It is true that most royals are “patrons” of a string of charities, but very often this is only on paper – their name may appear on the letterhead, but they are not an active ambassador for that cause. Some royals certainly do help to raise the profile of certain charities they care about, but so do many actors, singers and sportspeople. And what about the millions of ordinary Britons who make donations and give up their free time to volunteer for good causes? They do so without any of the glory – or luxury trappings – that the royals receive. It’s also worth noting that when a member of the royal family visits a charity, it can cost taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds – often vastly exceeding any increase in donations. The royals gain more in PR than the charities do in support. But, as with the tourism argument, the amount of charity work the royals do or don’t do has no bearing on the question of whether we should have a monarchy. And of course, the Windsors would be free to continue their charitable activities as free citizens in a republic.”

We are told to ignore them (‘Gawd bless ma’am’) but doing so is dangerous. Seamus Milne writes: “… ignoring it leaves a festering anti-democratic dynasticism at the heart of our political system. As things now stand, Britain (along with 15 other former island colonies and white settler states) has now chosen its next three heads of state – or rather, they have been selected by accident of aristocratic birth. The descendants of warlords, robber barons, invaders and German princelings – so long as they aren’t Catholics – have automatic pride of place at the pinnacle of Britain’s constitution.

Far from uniting the country, the monarchy’s role is seen as illegitimate and offensive by millions of its citizens, and entrenches hereditary privilege at the heart of public life. While British governments preach democracy around the world, they preside over an undemocratic system at home with an unelected head of state and an appointed second chamber at the core of it. Meanwhile celebrity culture and a relentless public relations machine have given a new lease of life to a dysfunctional family institution, as the X Factor meets the pre-modern. But instead of rising above class as a symbol of the nation, as its champions protest, the monarchy embodies social inequality at birth and fosters a phonily apolitical conservatism.”

burch6_2016863aJulie Burchill writing a load of absolute shite about Diana as a Republican: “Diana was once again the commoner she had always really so radiantly been. And like other commoner heroes, she made it clear that loving one’s country and loving the sorry bunch of dysfunctional Graeco-Germans stuck on as an afterthought at the prow were two entirely different – and sometimes actually contradictory – things.

In the soft-focus shampoo commercials being churned out in such indecent haste, no glimpse of the other Diana has yet been seen. We have seen Diana the Good, Diana the Stylish, Diana the Dutiful. These were, of course, real and valid Dianas . But we have not yet seen the other great Diana – Diana the Destroyer. And destroyer she has been, gloriously so, with bells on the greatest force for republicanism since Oliver Cromwell.” Le-prince-Harry-se-deguise-en-nazi_max1024x768

It’s like something out of Made in Chelsea. While the media moans on and on about the Queen’s great service and how she works so hard, a lot of the time it’s just one big piss-up. The press is full of “Ten haunts where you might spot Harry (and friends) when he’s home on leave” type shit with the Mail boasting: “Whenever people have been worried, they’ve always wanted to party,’ says Piers Adam, the man behind Mahiki, The Rose Club, The Brompton Club and now Bodo’s Schloss, which conveniently opened next to Kensington Palace last month. ‘During the war, The Windmill and the Café de Paris were open and packed every night. When there’s an element of fear – even economic fear – people want to party. ‘And in London there are socialites with huge wealth who still want to show that off .’

Comments (68)

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  1. Bert Logan says:

    Once we get away … would we choose another monarch. Would anyone choose a system where family X get everything forever?

    The only alternative is a President, but with the way the media works, something this important is all to skewered by cheap nasty debate.

    I’m holding my breath till independence.

    1. Gareth says:

      There should be a lottery of all registered voters every 4 years or so. The voter drawn has to serve as head of state – like a kind of extended jury duty – until the next draw. There’s no real power with the position, so even if the person drawn is a total nutter they can’t cause any harm.

      1. Richard says:

        I would suggest that after each GE, the outgoing Presiding Officer is promoted to Head of State. He/She would still be elected democratically, and changed out regularly, but there’s no extra bureaucracy to add-on to the existing system.

  2. David Sangster says:

    Aw, Mike, and on her birthday, too! As Tony Blair would say if he got the chance : “She is… the People’s Granny”.

  3. Bryan Weir says:

    A bit of attention seeking going on here then?

  4. Mark Rowantree says:

    Couldn’t have put it better myself! In the modern era only the special circumstances of post-Franco Spain have saw a monarchy re-introduced, apart from of course the various faux- and pseudo-traditional ones imposed by the dear old British on grateful nations like Egypt or Saudi Arabia. What a paen to freedom they’ve proved!

  5. East Neuker says:

    Editor, I agree with all you have said, and I don’t always as you know. I have no idea what Bryan is talking about in his “attention seeking” remark above. My preferred outcome is a Scottish Republic, but independence will have to come first.
    The Windsors are a bunch of freeloading nasties who think they are superior to everybody, are allowed to do so by sycophants among the people and the media, and used by the UK “deep state” as a front for their real activities.

    1. Bryan Weir says:

      I have no great affection for the Royal Family or anything that they stand for but I am “old school” and comments like “Bastard”, “Diana’s fucking butler”, and “lazy bastard” are not the stuff of adult journalism IMO.

      Reducing the level of the debate to that of Internet trolling or a drunken discussion in the pub at 23.00 on a Friday does nothing for anyone’s credibility (once again, IMO!)
      ;o)

      1. John says:

        Agree with you Bryan , I am also of the old school and was often told if you have to revert to words of the gutter your argument is lost .

        1. East Neuker says:

          The level of crawling sycophancy on the BBC today would be enough to make many dope resort to colourful language. Personally I don’t think Mike went over the top in the piece, just demonstrated justified anger. However, that’s a matter of taste, and I respect your view one this. Instead of getting antsy about sweary words, Can we get back to making the case for a Scottish Republic now?

          1. I’m not normally a big sweary writer at all but they really are a bunch of lazy bastards …

          2. East Neuker says:

            I’m not sure where the “dope” came from….. I meant “people”. Maybe I’ve been smoking it or just am…. Ah well, it gave us a laugh.

        2. Black Rab says:

          It’s impossible to lose an argument because of language which someone might find offensive like swearing. Kurt Vonneguts novel Slaughterhouse 5 was burned in the USA because it contained a swear word in it, apparently an american soldier in the heat of battle says ‘fuck’. That soldier should have been sent home in disgrace ha ha.

          1. Bryan Weir says:

            It’s possible to lose credibility.

  6. Cathy McNamara says:

    Brilliant. You missed out compulsory purchase of Balmoral tho….

      1. Cathy McNamara says:

        Ok ye didnae…..

        1. “Balmoral. The Royal Family function as an in-built symbol of privilege and landed-power. Any serious attempt at dismantling the concentrated pattern of private landownership in Scotland will get nowhere if it does not face up to the fact that the Queen’s ownership of Balmoral is a central part of the problem. It remains an totemic obstacle to radical land reform since it’s continued existence legitimises large-scale private landownership. Balmoral Buyout.”

  7. John Page says:

    A written Constitution for a Republican Scotland with an elected Guardian as figurehead and safeguarder of that Constitution.

    1. Ian Kirkwood says:

      Yes. As long as it is like Botswana’s. Central clause number one must be: ‘The rents of land belong to the nation’.

  8. Me Bungo Pony says:

    You might want to check that Framlingham Castle thing. The only reference to it I could find was the one you cited, the Suffolk Gazette. However, that appears to be a spoof site, run by one guy, the motto of which is “you couldn’t make it up” and who is currently running a “buy me a beer campaign” on the site (£95 raised so far … so a bit of a bender on the cards).

    Maybe “WE” are giving her a castle for her birthday (though I don’t remember being asked to contribute …. what’s wrong with a box of chocolates and a gift token like we get where I work) but there appears to be dearth of real evidence for it.

    1. Norfolk Inn Queen says:

      Yes indeed – that article was written by a Jane Seymour (Royal Correspondent), and quoted a potato farmer by the name of Maurice Piper!

  9. Big Jock says:

    QEII!….Says it all about England’s history being seen to continue post 1707/1615, and the UK being a construct of English history. We are a region of England as far as they are concerned.

    1. SoFedUpWithBritainThatILeft says:

      Look, when the “two” countries merged (nobody cares about Ireland or Wales) they took half of the name of each country and merged them. From “England” they took “Engl” and from “Scotland” they took “land”. So the name of the new country became “England”! You can’t say fairer than that.

  10. Les Lumb says:

    There’s more important things than discussing the rights and wrongs of the Monarchy.I personal have an open mind and think they do a lot of good work.There is not a burden on tax payer it’s the ordinary citizen with good politics backing it up that determines our economy.

  11. Alf Baird says:

    Only two parties at this May’s election advocating abolition of the Monarchy – RISE and Solidarity – in case anyone has not noticed. Nicola (and Alex) are of course established members of ‘Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council’ (i.e. signed up advisors to the sovereign).

    1. East Neuker says:

      Goes with the FM’s job Alf – otherwise they don’t get all the briefings and papers they should. Part of UK system. Solution – independence, as advocated by both Alec and Nicola. Meantime we are stuck with UK nonsense

      1. Alf Baird says:

        “independence, as advocated by both Alec and Nicola”

        When? Should this not be in the past tense?

        As for the privie cooncil, is it no a case of – ‘if ye canna beat them join them’? Like the glorious 56? I’m sure the “briefings and papers” you refer to are what they want them to see.

        1. yesindyref2 says:

          As members of the Privy Council they get to see Defence and Security stuff, and the more Indy people are on that, the better we’ll be prepared for what the Unionists tried to identify as a weakness, naivety, ignorance of Indy Scotland. With a niggle niggle niggle.

          But Angus Robertson for instance has been preparing for Indy for such matters as much as he can by asking a whole load of parliamentary questions since at least 2011 – and getting answers or refusals. Nicola Sturgeon is automatically a member as FM. Next Indy Ref needs more knowledge, not less.

          1. East Neuker says:

            What’s your point Alf? Do you want to say outright that the SNP have stopped trying for independence? If so, just say so. You seem to have this on your chest. Get it off, so we can argue. As for the other stuff, that’s what you have to do until independence is gained. Stop fanning around and tell us what you actually want to do do instead of making bitter remarks. Come on then.

          2. Alf Baird says:

            My questions seem fairly reasonable and measured. You seem a little “bitter” though, unable to respond in a constructive way.

          3. Alf Baird says:

            “Angus Robertson…has been ….asking a whole load of parliamentary questions since at least 2011”

            I’m sure the British state must be quaking in its riding boots.

            “preparing for Indy” would be setting up shadow ministries for ‘reserved’ powers in Edinburgh.

      2. Frank says:

        That’s not true. Both Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond have stated that they support the monarchy even if Scotland were independence. Sturgeon’s probably a closet Republican but Salmond is on record in stating his support for the monarchy.

    2. Mike says:

      Not much point promoting the idea of anti monarchy when you’re running a campaign of election into a devolved Parliament which cant abolish the monarchy.

      Surely the time to be anti monarchy would be after the SNP wins our Independence?

      1. Frank says:

        Maybe we should postpone everything until after independence?

  12. I Clark says:

    Bryan Weir reasonably points out that Mike Small should perhaps have been more circumspect with some of the words he used. But we know – as far as we are allowed to know – how ludicrous, dangerous to democracy and how much an affront to social justice the institution is. We also know how despicable many of the people involved are. From these perspectives perhaps Mike was too restrained in what he wrote.

    We should be challenging (and mocking if necessary) those who promote the monarchy. How can anyone take someone like Murdo Fraser seriously? He openly and voluntarily displays his sense of inferiority. The worst bit is that this unionist almost certainly wants the rest of us to share this debasing experience.

    1. John says:

      I think this is much ado about nothing . When the Queen goes she will take with her a huge swathe of monarchists . The popularity for the monarchy is not so much the position itself but the person at it’s head . King Charles 111 will not have anywhere near her popularity, nor will he serve many years . King William is a completely different kettle of fish , I don’t see him putting country above everything else . This is when we will reach the stage when the Monarchy starts to downsize ,probably becoming more like the continental Monarchy’s , with few family members at it’s head .

  13. Big Jock says:

    Long to reign over us!

    How pathetic and antiquated does that sound in he 21st Century. Inherited state wealth and positions are corrupt, and against the principals of democracy. Why are we not having a referendum in Scotland to abolish the monarchy. I am not sure what the legal position would be on this, as she is the constitutional monarch of a state without a constitution!

    1. bringiton says:

      Good point.
      In the recent traditions of the British establishment,will Carlos be secretly crowned King of Scots behind closed doors in Edinburgh (as happened with his ma as Queen) or will the Edinburgh mob have it’s way and force him to remain King of England only?
      The London establishment will have to find a way,otherwise they can no longer call themselves the UK and that would never do would it.

      1. Jim Bob says:

        Auld Liz was secretly crowned in Edinburgh? News to me. Whether she’s called Queen of England or no, she is no such thing. Neither is she Queen of Scots; the last Queen of Scots was Anne Stuart (who also happened to be the last Queen of England.) United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the current remit. She only needed crowned the once as such (for the record I’m a Republican Scottish nationalist, but get fed up hearing this basic mistake repeated ad nauseum from all sides.)

  14. Haivers says:

    No offence to Mike – our hearts are in much the same place – but here’s my more restrained take on this from a while ago:

    http://haivers.com/2014/10/free-george/

      1. Alasdair Angus Macdonald says:

        I infer that you do not agree with a monarchy, Mr Small.

        I agree with you.

  15. Roland Stiven says:

    Agreed, time to end it.
    The parakeets are pet escapees that are happily breeding and living in the veteran oak trees of Windsor Great Park.

    1. Derek says:

      Parakeets?
      Yes there are thoosands of them. Not just in the park, but all over the counties round there. In woodlands, and in people’s gardens. When I lived down that way, a friend found a parakeet on a playing field and picked it up: it was unwell obviously. She took it to the vet hoping it could be reunited with its owner. The vet has to explain very hard that these birds totally wild and are now breeding successfully, despite british winters.
      So it looks like the royal family are doing their valiant best to remove the parakeets and restore proper british wildlife 🙂 Good on yer mam 😉

    2. ian says:

      For f**ck sake they actually shoot them!Being a vegi and for that reason alone they have to go.

  16. yesindyref2 says:

    I’m not really fussed either way. I don’t like the idea of a President, I tend to agree with the Unionists about for instance “President Alex”, much as I respect and like his style. But we do need a Head of State, most (all?) countries have one. Perhaps it should be the best comedian of the year?

    So I lean towards Monarchy as long as they’re relatively cost effective. “Recent research valued the Monarchy’s latest contribution to the economy at £1.155bn, but counter-research claims the Royals cost the tax payer £344m ”

    I’d like to see a proper balance sheet made up by PWC or whoever, so we knew for sure how much it costs or gives. Same for a potential President. But there’s a lot of hangers-on, I’d take them off the list.

    1. bigal says:

      We’re never going to see a balance sheet.

    2. Alf Baird says:

      PWC, KPMG, RBS……..PFI

      “I’d like to see a proper balance sheet made up by…….”? “there’s a lot of hangers-on”

  17. Gordie says:

    A Muntjac (I’ll google the poor cratur later)?

    1. Derek says:

      A little deer, dear. That’s one of the nice things about Bella; you learn something new every day.

  18. Tony Rozga says:

    Brilliant, agree with the whole lot, swearing an all. Favourite bits were land ownership, recreational killing of animals and a deference culture. Crawlers, buying estates and then shooting wild animals, doing as the royals do.

    1. tartanfever says:

      I’m with you Tony.

      After a lunchtime watching the BBC coverage of her walkabout in Windsor I sick to the back teeth of Kirsty Young and Giles Brandreth and the utter propaganda spouted from the various BBC commentators.

      This is the perfect antidote.

      Cheers Mike.

  19. Josef O Luain says:

    Corvid killing, kleptocratic scum!

  20. Coul Porter says:

    Quite appropriate to include a pic of Harry (Tatler’s Man Of The Year) wearing a Nazi armband. Perhaps in deference to his relatives?

    http://www.fpp.co.uk/online/07/11/Prince_Philip_relatives.html

  21. JGedd says:

    Ever since the wobble in the nineties where the royal circus train almost came off the rails and there were frothing articles in the royalist press actually beginning to contemplate the final days of the Windsor dynasty, the establishment has been shovelling royal glitz and glamour in the public’s face to bury those memories of seeing behind the facade and glimpsing very ordinary, flawed people.

    I think that there was a concerted and determined effort to save the dynasty, by those in the establishment who were unnerved by restive elements even in the ranks of conservative voters. They went into overdrive with a PR project to restore the tarnished image of the royal family and to divert the public from what had been for the establishment, a ‘nearly’ moment.

    If the public wanted glittering tableaux to goggle at, they would have them regularly, the royal cast parading in lavish frocks and colourful uniforms, the whole Ruritarian daydream for those who like to daydream, paid for by taxpayers of course.

    The whole tawdry enterprise plays into the snobbery of the class system and props up the edifice of sycophancy and patronage which is the UK. I can understand why the establishment needs to have a family which represents the certainty of destiny and inescapable inheritance but I really can’t understand what ordinary people get out of it.

    It’s one of those things that can divide a room full of people. Mention mildly that you think that there should be a republic and be prepared for a reaction from some that would suggest that they were closely related to the royal family and take personal umbrage on their behalf. It’s that level of emotional investment in people they can’t possibly know which baffles me. And worries me. It’s the irrationality of celebrity culture.

  22. Fay Kennedy. says:

    I just don’t get it with royalty. And here in Oz every news service every night has an extended item on these people. Am feeling quite unwell for it feels like an abuse of my psyche and it’s been going on since about 1953 the day she was crowned.

    1. ian says:

      I just dont get all that pointless death its not as if they are going hungry or anything.

  23. Graeme says:

    The problem with parties like RISE and Solidarity wanting to abolish the Monarchy is that the institution itself is actually rather popular. Unfortunately all polling suggest people rather like it. Old Queenie (who will have a very packed diary – especially by the standard of 90 year olds) has proven herself to be consistently more popular than any politician in the country for decades.

    Perhaps an interesting question is why the republican movement has been so unpopular ane unsuccessful in terms of shifting the debate?

    1. Bryan Weir says:

      Good question Graeme.

    2. Coul Porter says:

      Many of us are programmed to follow a (perceived) alpha hierarchy.

      This can either manifest itself as a predilection for the benign – football, royalty etc.; or in the more pernicious – as in Kim Jong Un / Adolph Hitler etc.

      The return of a ‘Young Pretender’ would present an interesting dynamic, don’t you think?

    3. JGedd says:

      The so-called popularity of the Royal family has a lot to do with the power of the media. Their constant promotion in the media serves a political purpose, to reinforce the idea of the unchanging status quo. Popularity, as you call it, is either to do with where you live or your own political views. I grew up in a working class area in which, if anyone had any affection for royalty, they certainly did not voice it. That situation would be reversed at a golf club in a well-heeled suburb.

      I tend to encounter people today whose views of the monarchy tend to vary from indifference to irritation. Like me, the irritation is chiefly to do with the media’s unctuous and sycophantic presentation of the royal family and so with this group, the constant [propaganda proves to be counter-productive.

      As referred to in the article, during the last great love-in for the royal wedding, there was not a great deal of enthusiasm demonstrated in Scotland. In the nineties, the media discovered just how dangerous negative publicity for the royal family might be for the whole institution and so they made sure that this would not happen again. It is obviously integral to their project of keeping the UK together.

      With most of us, however, it is a matter to be deferred until after independence. Alex Salmond pulled the teeth of that attack. Personally, he might support the Queen as head of state but it is a matter to be put to discussion another day. Meanwhile, those of us who detest the royal-story-a-day media just don’t read or view any of it.

  24. douglas clark says:

    On this, including the sweary words, I agree with Mike Small.

  25. John Edgar says:

    Change the qeuh back to the Southern General!

  26. Ian Kirkwood says:

    It is one hell of a bill. However it would seem cheap in one circumstance.

    If a future monarch were sufficiently interested in his or her people to decide to express a strong political voice in their favour against the vested interests of landowners that have dominated parliament for centuries, he could become a useful and cost-effective figurehead. At Magna Carta the nobility creggled King John and laid the blueprint for the limitation of monarchy. This was done so that they could themselves pocket the public purse in the form of socially created land rents (NOTHING to do with benefiting non-landowners). This is where we remain today and the monarchy has little to thank its nobility or parliament for in the centuries since.

    The reason it would be cheap is that the nation’s currently privatised AGR (Annual Ground Rent) equals the nations entire net income.

  27. MacTavish's Knees says:

    The King and Queen of Norway cycle round Oslo and their people love ’em. They are constitutional monarchs with one big advantage – they have a constitution to sit on. We don’t, and doesn’t it show. Will someone please write one. We need it.

  28. Donnie Switch says:

    I was jolly bucked up to see young Hewitt on television yesterday chatting to some young filly about his forthcoming holiday to some sports event. God bless, ye, Sir.

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