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A Jubilee letter from a republican to royalists

Rob Williams
145340751 A Jubilee letter from a republican to royalists

A Jubilee scarecrow (who probably supports hereditary privilege) (Getty Images)

  • Have you got a picture of the Queen on the wall?
  • Do you stand up for the National Anthem?
  • Did you watch every minute of the Royal Wedding?
  • Are you planning a street party for the Jubilee?
  • You’ve got bunting haven’t you?

If the answer to any of these questions is YES, then this blog is for you – just for you.

It’s not going to be an easy few days for those of us who – unlike you – don’t like hereditary privilege.

Last year was pretty bad for us republicans as well.

The seemingly endless build-up to the Royal nuptials, followed by the tedious spectacle itself, followed by the astonishing sickly honeymoon love-in between Kate, William and the British media. There are three of them in that marriage (I’m looking at you The BBC).

So as the Jubilee weekend, with all its pomp, circumstance and street parties edges nearer I thought it might be useful to offer a bit of guidance for those of you who don’t understand why your republican friends won’t be joining in with the celebrations.

  • Firstly: We Are Not Miserable (or Amused).

Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but being a republican doesn’t mean you’re perpetually grumpy. We can and do enjoy things.

We just don’t like hereditary privilege.

We’re not spoil sports (I hope you enjoy the Jubilee weekend – honest) – we just don’t like hereditary privilege.

We don’t want to ruin it for you. We’re normal, like other people. I promise.

We just don’t like hereditary privilege.

So. When you encounter a republican friend, please don’t tell him/her that they’re being miserable.

They’re not.

They just don’t like hereditary privilege.

  • Secondly: About The Tourism.

We know all about the tourism money. The debate about how good the monarchy is for the tourist economy is complicated. There are arguments for and against.

If you want to read about how much the monarchy costs the taxpayer (and why it isn’t value for money) the nice people at Republic can help.

However it’s not about the money.

No matter how many tatty plastic replicas of Buckingham Palace the Royals shift it’s unlikely to make your republican friend change their view.

Because they probably don’t like hereditary privilege, you see?

The money brought in by the Queen through tourism doesn’t really have much bearing on matters if you’re against hereditary privilege.

Which we are.

  • Thirdly: The Royals Do Good Work.

I know they do. I see them on the BBC all the time.

They are generally seen opening something, or being the patron of something – being shown around something or somewhere or other – shaking hands and making inane comments (unless they’re Prince Philip in which case it’s bound to be something rude he’s saying).

Yes, they do good work.

But we don’t like hereditary privilege despite the good work those who benefit from it might do.

Their good work is fine – it’s good I’m sure – but it doesn’t negate the fact the Royals are the product of an outdated system of hereditary privilege.

Which incidentally republicans are against.

  • Fourthly: The Queen Is A Lovely Woman.

She does seem to be.

But not really knowing her I couldn’t comment.

David Icke thinks that the Queen is a six-foot-tall lizard (I’m not sure about that).

What I am sure about is that she represents an unfair, unequal and anachronistic system of hereditary privilege.

It doesn’t matter if she’s nice or not.

If it was my mum (who is nice) I’d still want her abolished (and me for that matter).

  • Fifthly: Why don’t you just lighten up and join in you miserable so-and-so?

Sorry, but republicans are likely to be busy over the Jubilee weekend.

Protesting, organizing alternatives to the royalist street parties, enjoying the sun if we have any. Drinking.

You can find details of some of the events taking place over the Jubilee weekend via those nice people at Republic again.

Your republican friend won’t be joining in with your royalist celebrations because they’re against hereditary privilege you see?

It would make them hypocrites wouldn’t it?

So. Hang up your bunting if you like. And have a great time.

But have a little think about that hereditary privilege thing whilst you’re doing so.

And have a little think about whether it’s something we should be celebrating at all.

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  • chrisnsmith

    The Royal Navy had to go to a lot of trouble to stop countries which maintained slavery reaping the economic advantages of their policy.

  • dewiapwiliam

    David119 – thanks for putting the key point so succinctly. Well done!

  • mess24

    Have only just seen this stupid comment, the slaves were out-numbered by the whites, and they were not allowed to vote anyway. Without wishing to break the goodwin law, there is a lot of times in history where what is publicly popular is immoral. I am not racist, but you are obviously the sort of coward who posts insults from behind a computer screen.

  • loftytom

     Sentence one. Whoosh!

    Sentence two, clause one, Goodwin has a capital G. Clause two please use are, not is.
    Sentence three, non sequiteur alert.
    Sentence three you post an unwarranted insult and then sit in judgement about keyboard warriors.
    Oh dear

  • yorickw

    This article is childish politics–these cartoon justifications of the monarchy are just the ones that no sensible person ever uses—so knocking them down is pointless.
    The arguments for the constitutional settlement we have are, roughly and without any precise analysis: (1) given human beings as they are, and not as an 18C rationalist would like them to be, they seem to like identifying with a symbolic “national person”–all observation confirms this, and human psychology is not so different now as we might imagine since the kings of yore; (2) cost is irrelevant–presidents cost more, on the whole; (3) it is good for the psychology of elected leaders to have someone (powerless, perhaps, but significant) to defer to—the egotism of elected leaders is very dangerous as every constitutionalist has always known–our way of controlling it is somewhat different from the US method, which has been less successful in may ways (cf. Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Bush Jr.); (4) and part of the last, it is healthy for the police and armed forces to have an ultimate if symbolic loyalty to something other than the current Government—see authoritarian governments world-wide on this whether elected or not. The US handles the last with “loyalty to the US Constitution” –but that’s too abstract for most normal people (see (1) above). None of this has anything to do with the silly pseudo-justifications in the article–it’s crucial that these arguments above do not depend at all on what the Monarch is like—give or take a raving lunatic.

  • mess24

     Sentance one, I guess you have no response to that as it shows your origional posted reply to my post completely missed the point before you then insulted me for no reason.

    Secondly, anyone can go around correcting the grammar of others, it does not add to your argument and it does not make you sound clever.

    Sentance three, I take it racist isn’t an insult then? You insulted me first, without properly reading my first comment, and that is cowardly. Most people who are insulted respond in kind.

    My origional point to which you responded is that just because the monarchy is popular, doesn’t make it morally correct.  Also because a lot of royal expenditure and activity is not disclosed, their popularity is due in a large part to public misconception.

  • sal else

    What don’t you support again .. I don’t think you made it quite clear *rolls eyes*

    Still Miserable if you ask me ….


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