2007 - 2020

It’s Not Going to Be Easy, It’s Not Going to Be Comfortable, But it Needs to Be Done

The Royal Family can survive a lot.

They can survive flirting with fascism.

They can survive Princess Margaret in Antigua.

They can survive the decades-long monologue of racism by Prince Philip.

They can survive the treatment of Princess Diana.

They can survive allegations of large-scale tax evasion.

They can survive sex-scandals and divorce and being a dysfunctional family in the public glare.

They can survive being in a car crash that risked the life of a child.

They can survive watching Harry and Meghan being sculpted into ‘Social Justice Warrior Royals’ – an upgrade on the ‘Peoples Princess’ propaganda – and then being run out of Britain by a culture of racist tabloid fear and frenzy (when Brexit met Megxit).

They can survive throwing a party by Prince Andrew at the Queen’s Sandringham House estate for Ghislaine Maxwell’s 39th birthday (a “straightforward shooting weekend”).

They me even be able to survive Prince Andrew being exposed as someone who abused sex-trafficked under-age girls.

What they can’t survive is their own family members being exposed to self-reflection.

 

As Britain teeters on the edge of multiple self-inflicted crises, revelations from Ghislaine Maxwell threaten the worst scandal for a family replete with disgraceful behaviour and the Queen enters her 95th year, the greatest threat remains Harry and Meghan’s glance backwards at Britain’s imperial past. Because the monarchy isn’t some marginal sideshow to the empire and the Commonwealth it’s at the very heart of that history.

The imminent release of royal correspondence in Australia (deemed “secret” – they were designated as “personal” records, and therefore exempt from the usual 30-year access rule and under embargo of the Queen)- linked to the dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam‘s Labour government in 1975, will call the role of the monarchy in modern Australia into question.

Read the full archive of “palace letters”,  more than 200 exchanges between the Queen, her private secretary, Martin Charteris, and Sir John Kerr, Australia’s then-governor general, in the period leading up to Kerr’s hugely controversial dismissal of Gough Whitlam’s Labor government here.

In this suppressed episode Sir John Kerr dismissed without warning an elected government that held a clear parliamentary majority and appointed Malcolm Fraser, the Liberal leader. The role of the monarchy in Britain’s imperial past is not something about a remote past – a Victorian shame – but something that was live up to 1975.

 

 

The sort of cliche-ridden vague self-aggrandising posturing of Harry and Meghan is laughable. These are refugees from feudal privilege seeking asylum on the island of Instagram to pose as some kind of weird hybrid of lifestyle influencers / Social Justice Warriors by hijacking other peoples misery and reality.

If as has been argued the lefts demands for “defund the police” to “cancel rent” to “pass the Green New Deal” — are part of demands for a new society – then in Britain, and particularly in Scotland, it must also mean a call for Abolishing the Monarchy. The royal family have reinvented themselves over time, but the failure of the Harry/Meghan Re-Boot is significant and the collapse of Britain coincides with the collapse of the propaganda model of the monarchy is no coincidence.

It’s not going to be easy but it needs to be done.

Comments (22)

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  1. Bruce McQuillan says:

    I think to call Harry and Meghan “Social Justice Warriors” does a disservice to the term because change starts with you and justice begins at home. How much more so for a Prince ?

    There is not one societal ill in any civilization that does not likewise damage the nations of the UK. Not one cause that could not be fought for over here. Not one injustice not crying to be addressed. Not one negative aspect of life in the UK that is not magnified in the US: racism, division, inequality….

    However, the guy did put on a uniform and fight for his country. He lost his mum. He’s probably desperate to connect with someone and when he does desperate not to lose them.

    1. “Change starts with you” represents almost everything that is wrong with our politics. The idea that social change will come about from Harry’s personal epiphany is, sorry, hilarious.

      I dont believe for a second that Harry fought on the frontline for his country.

      1. Bruce McQuillan says:

        Whether you personally choose to believe something or not has no bearing on whether it is objectively true or untrue.

        If you are saying that the concept of taking personal responsibility “represents almost everything that is wrong with our politics” then who should bear responsibility for the choices you make. Someone else ?

      2. Jacquie Tosh says:

        We’re you in Afghanistan at the same time as Harry? Several young people I know were and they had nothing but admiration for him.
        I will criticise the Royal family for many things but not Harry for his service

        1. The idea that we put a senior member of the Royal family in active duty on the front line is not a serious proposition

          1. Bruce McQuillan says:

            Not used to seeing Bella Caledonia go for dog whistle politics and mere conjecture masquerading with conviction as fact but you live and learn.

    2. Black Rab says:

      Harry fought for his country……………who attacked the UK then?

  2. Jacob Bonnari says:

    I believe that you’re undermining the argument here when you say “The sort of cliche-ridden vague self-aggrandising posturing of Harry and Meghan is laughable”. Any re-examination of the Empire by a member of tbe Royal Family is something to be applauded and presents an opening for a proper dialogue on BLM and how Britain came to have an empire. It may take many years for him to develop a full appreciation of the complexity of the topic but consider that he is perhaps for the first time in his life been free to engage with a controversial political topic. With the support and guidance of his wife he may even get to the point where he can lead some of the discussions publicly and argue for reappraisal of Britain’s imperial past. That would be earth-shattering for the English identity. If he’s smart he’ll bide his time until his gran has passed, using that period to continue to educate himself.

    You and I both are republicans and have no illusions of the crimes of Empire but PH will reach parts of England’s population who would ignore anything a Scottish or even Labour politican said on the topic of Empire.

    1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      I tend to agree with Jacob Bonnari here.

      Change occurs when individuals begin to change themselves – it is a process which develops over time. Of course, Prince Henry (to give him his proper monicker) has had a very privileged and exclusive life and has, in the past behaved in unacceptable ways (such as dressing in an SS uniform). However, he appears to have moved in attitude from where he was, probably due to the influence of his wife.

      One of the ways in which attitudes are changed is when people begin to pay attention to ‘narratives’ that they had previously ignored and as a result of this awareness begin to reflect on what it is saying and adjusting their previous attitudes (it can go in both directions). There are a number of factors which influence whether someone ‘attends to a narrative’ or not and one of these is about the ‘narrator’. A royalist from a pretty comfortable background is unlikely to give a ‘narrative’ about the Royal Family and Empire from me much attention. This will be due to factors like my accent, my socialist views, my working class background, etc. despite the evidence of two degrees from a Russell Group university and a modicum of recognition within the public sphere. However, that person is more likely to attend to a statement from Prince Henry, simply because it is Prince Henry.

      In order to bring about societal change, some people who previously opposed it have to change their minds and be welcomed.

      I recall a discussion about 30 years ago about discrimination against women in particular occupations and, in the course of the discourse I stated that I did not want my daughter to be excluded from any occupation because of her gender. I was immediately assailed by a woman shouting that if that was the only reason I supported change then she did not want ‘people like you on our side’. (This woman’s was an exception to the views of other women at the meeting.) Sadly, I think that the article has a hint of that about it.

      If we want Scotland to be independent than we have to convince some people who voted NO to vote YES.

      1. Jacob Bonnari says:

        I certainly agree with the your sentiments about needing to make NO voters open to YES arguments.

        Bella Caledonia has a good brand with lots of potential and I can’t think of anywhere else in the online space of Scottish politics which would be able to reach out to the NO voters.

        It needs to be a space for debate, and encourage people from viewpoints it doesn’t share to alight here.

        But in order to do that it needs to drop the polemics and sense of moral purity that it has.

  3. Daniel Raphael says:

    Of course these pampered parasites are posing–they don’t know anything else, that’s what decorative/symbolic people are supposed to do–but it’s possible, as one of the other commenters observed, that even the mild words uttered by the former Royal could bring to the attention of some people matters otherwise dismissed out of hand.

    Silver lining aside, of course the monarchy should be abolished. Which reminds me–have Meetings in Council in the UK been removed from the armamentorium of Royal rule? I recall having read about the dire and despicable role of this antidemocratic mechanism in determining the fate of the wretched Chagos Islanders, e.g.

    I think this article is right to point out that monarchy isn’t just an ornament from the past; in unscrupulous hands (perhaps you can think of a few?) it can be used to draconian effect in thwarting popular rule. Australia knows.

  4. Mark Bevis says:

    Everything to do with the royal family just makes me cringe, and I generally avoid issues around them like the plague. so I’ve self-censored here before I upset too many people!

  5. David Scott says:

    The role of the monarchy has Not been enhanced by the tolerance by her Majesty of the abuse of her parliament during the Fraudulent Brexit charade. When it was revealed that she had been ‘misadvised’ she should have, literally, instructed her Lawyers

  6. SleepingDog says:

    Pretty much.

    The question of whether there is actually a letter written in the Queen’s handwriting saying “Crush Democracy Now!” should be met with some eye-rolling. Plausible deniability was not invented yesterday, and is explicitly associated in British culture with Royalty. “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?” and all that. Shakespeare’s plays are full of rulers (mostly royals) trying to get others to do their dirty work without leaving a recorded trace, from King John’s dropping especially horrible child murder hints to Pompey’s regret that Menas asked if he wanted his rivals murdered instead of just getting on and doing the deed, as now he had to say ‘no’ instead of rewarding him afterwards (in Antony and Cleopatra).

    Of course the Queen has committed serial crimes against democracy, that is her job. Not just in the formal British Empire, but outside, and after ‘independence’, through conspiracy and invasion. And her family have been rewarded for carrying these atrocities out. If she’s still on the throne when/if Scotland becomes Independent, it would only be true to form if she backed a coup against an elected government. In fact, having an extreme right-wing political institution like the British constitutional monarchy with its command of the armed forces (and much, much else) is the reason that a hint that any left-wing government elected here will face a military coup carries so much weight, and may put some voters off accordingly.

    In fact, it might be a good idea to refer any royalists to the government to the PREVENT programme, along with other right-wing extremists.

    It is interesting to note that the same people who set themselves up as champions of free speech in the UK appear utterly silent on the completely unfree speech of the Queen. Her letters to ministers are locked up indefinitely, no public ear must ever hear her weekly discussions with the Prime Minister, all those ultra-long legal embargoes on royal mutterings. One can only hope they fervently back the rights of royal whistleblowers to speak out.

    And then there is the mutually-supporting link between British royalty and nuclear weapons, the one reinforcing and defending the other. Worth looking into.

    Royal charters everywhere. A muzzling technique, perhaps? I was going to donate a few quid to the National Theatre before I found out it was actually still the Royal National Theatre (misleading web domain, what).

    The Royals are the enduring edifice of excess. They jut far above what is sustainable for families in the modern world, and justify proportional excesses further down the juggernaut of injustice that a modern slavery class props up far beneath and deep in shadow. For the good of the planet, they must go. Interestingly, the point about putting minor royals in the kidnap zone raises the question of what is a king’s ransom (common term for the most money imaginable) these days.

    Hearing Meghan speak in the video above just reinforces the overwhelming impression of those young-and-upcoming CIA agents with a point to prove that US dramas are always casting. Her career-making-or-breaking attempt to seize control of nuclear weapons on behalf of the USAmerican Empire is not only audacious, it points out what an Achilles heel the monarchy is for its host country. Still, it’s not likely that Nicholas Witchell is going to ask the Queen if she’d launch World War 3 any time soon. Given that the Queen is the only person legally allowed to decide who our enemies (external and internal) are, it might be useful to ask which civilian populations she is targeting for excruciating megadeath, though.

    1. James Mills says:

      Royalty – a worse and more persistent virus than Covid !

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @James Mills, virus maybe. Some kind of parasite. There have been cases of royalty draining its host’s life-force (or at least the national exchequer, as in the case of the Shah of Iran’s monstrously-extravagant party in the desert—Storyville’s documentary interviewed people who viewed the event as virtually bankrupting the country and precipitating the Shah’s downfall amidst an outburst of popular anger). Anyway, now tourism has tanked, what were the other reasons for having a hereditary monarchy, a mafia family running the country, headed by the world’s longest reigning supervillain complete with multiple lairs guarded by armies of minions and wielding weapons of global destruction from her Death Yacht? It’s not like her grandfather fought off a Japanese occupation or anything. No, her paternal grandfather (fearing a popular uprising here) denied asylum to Tsar Nicholas and family and blamed the decision on the elected Prime Minister Lloyd George, while her paternal grandmother Mary of Teck was arch-enemy to the suffragist movement: anti-democratic to the core (but willing to hide behind elected officials).

        1. Indyman says:

          We seem to be on the same page here.

  7. Josef Ó Luain says:

    The Restoration was necessary for the deflection of the public gaze from a nascent Establishment engaged in skulduggery behind the throne. The narrative of Royal Family, bolstered by scarlet and golden pageantry, wasn’t just idly dreamed-up. Nicholas Witchell is unlikely to be signing off, or on, for the moment.

    @Black Rab Yes, I was wondering the very same thing.

  8. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

    I wonder what we’d have instead of a hereditary monarch to fulfil the constitutional function of the head of state or symbol of the state’s sovereign power. An elected president, perhaps?

    Would decisions to exercise sovereign power still be delegated to the parliament, government, and judiciary in the making, executing, and administering of those decisions respectively, thus limiting through its division the state’s ability to exercise that power over (i.e. coerce) its subjects?

    The old chestnut of whether we should have a hereditary or an elected head of state is a distraction. What matters most are the checks and balances by which we limit the exercise of sovereign power over individuals in civil society, regardless of how that power is symbolised. It matters most because freedom from coercion (liberty) is a necessary condition of personal autonomy, irrespective of whether that coercion carried out in the name of a People or in the name of a King or Queen.

    In envisioning a future state, should we not be focusing rather on deepening the division of sovereign power between the state’s legislative, executive, and judicial functions and, in particular, on how we can curtail the power that government ministers still exercise over our legislative assemblies?

  9. Jack collatin says:

    But, come independence, the Saltire will have a neat wee Butcher’s Apron sewn in to the top left hand corner, just like Australia, New Zealand, and all those ‘Commonwealth’ countries who still worship at the feet of the Great White Mother in London?

    There are still those who believe that Johnson will relent if we vote SNP in a landslide next May.
    Meanwhile they are floging arms to S Arabia as long as they promise not to use them to slaughter Yemeni peasants.
    What a world we live in.

    Scotland needs to rise up and take back control of its government; It will be the Glorious 12th soon. Surely a mass demonstration perhaps by flooding the 18% of Scotland owned by the chinless wonders with ‘hill walkers’ and ‘ramblers’, during a Killing Season which sees the Brit Nat Oligarchy head North to slaughter animals for fun, would be a good platform to begin the fight back?

    To persist on asserting that the Iron Heel Oligarchy will buckle in May next year and ‘allow’ another Referendum in frankly alarming.

    We must take our country back with the same alacrity as that shown by the Belted Earls Robber Barons and their willing lackeys, the ‘Parcel of Rogues’, showed in handing our nation over to England 300 years ago.

    1. babs nicgriogair says:

      Any re-examination of the Empire by a member of tbe Royal Family is something to be applauded and presents an opening for a proper dialogue on BLM and how Britain came to have an empire. It may take many years for him to develop a full appreciation of the complexity of the topic but consider that he is perhaps for the first time in his life been free to engage with a controversial political topic.

      I would agree with this. We are all human beings from exceedingly different backgrounds contributing to these hopefully progressive online debates.
      Let’s understand more and condemn less.

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