Abolish the Monarchy: Why we should and how we will

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Abolish the Monarchy: Why we should and how we will

Abolish the Monarchy: Why we should and how we will

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Constitutional reformers who demand an elected upper house, or electoral reform, are often missing one of the main fault lines in our political system: founded on monarchy, we are still governed using the outdated toolkit of a monarchy, regardless of whether or not it is the King himself who wields power. I think this helped dispel a common straw man argument hurled at Republicans that we disdain our history and have no interest in people looking into it. Smith diagnoses this extraordinary episode, which culminated in the Supreme Court resorting to a legal fiction to annul Boris Johnson’s six-week suspension of Parliament, as a failure of monarchy. If you accept the monarchy, you must accept the moral compromise that comes with it, from its erosion of the principle of equality to the secret interference in our laws. I once asked an Indian friend of mine (India being a republic), if there were ever such concerns when India became independent and lost their principalities.

I was startled awake with the familiar story of the forced evacuation of the Chagos Islands not requiring any reference for an overview from Parliament and how the process is available to be repeated.Eventually, the government will be unable to ignore public clamour for a referendum on the monarchy’s continuation. As with many books, I imagine, the publication timing is selected deliberately because it might benefit sales. Since it hauled the author of this book off to the cells hours before Charles III’s coronation, in full sight of the world’s media, the campaign group he heads, Republic, has almost doubled its membership.

At just over 200-page the shortest polemic which effectively dismisses all the arguments for the monarchy. Smith’s sixteen hours in police custody has generated more publicity for his organisation than the eighteen years he’s toiled away campaigning to replace the monarch with an elected head of state. He also ignores the many benefits and advantages that the monarchy brings to the UK, such as its role in promoting national unity, cultural heritage, tourism and diplomacy. Worst case scenario, they gain a better understanding of why some are anti-monarchy; best case scenario, they reconsider their own views. Asking a royal sycophant to read this would be like asking a devout Christian to read The God Delusion.He sets out a vision for the future that I could see easily dismissed by critics because he isn't a politician and so can't possibly know how the parliamentary machine could work. For the purposes of transparency, I'll state that I've been anti-monarchist for my entire adult life. He often falls back on tired tropes in an effort to make himself seem more patriotic, and makes a couple of questionable comparisons that I found quite odd and behind the times for what is otherwise a progressive work. While I know we are a constitutional monarchy Smith goes into the framework of government to examine how power is not exercised by King or Queen but is subservient to that Prime Minister.

I hope that the monarchy is abolished soon but I don't share the author's view that it will happen anytime soon. Questions about the source of its legitimacy and the contract between citizen and state go unaddressed, as does the big one: why is a republic more conducive to human wellbeing than a monarchy? Both in principle and in practice, he states repeatedly, monarchy contravenes the ‘values’ of the British people: it is undemocratic, expensive and impractical; it enthrones privilege, nepotism and inequality.One moment we see the monarch, and are told of her great virtues, the next she is nowhere to be seen, as we're told that under no circumstances can the Queen be 'dragged into' doing her job.



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