Thursday, 2 June 2011
Boycotting Mrs Windsor
For the third time now, I will not be attending the official opening of the Senedd by the English monarch which is due to take place on Tuesday.
I am a republican. I am a Welsh republican, but as a socialist I support the calls of republicans in other parts of the UK for the abolition of the 'British' monarchy.
Writing shortly after the coronation of the present monarch, DJ Davies wrote:
"We should bear in mind that the Queen is not a symbol as is often claimed, but the personification and incarnation of the English state, its history, its tradition, even its religion...Note how the Queen is surrounded by military pomp, how she is represented as the owner of the armed forces and how she is required to inspect them on all occasions of national or imperial importance."
DJ goes on to argue for a Welsh monarchy - his 1953 article is entitled 'Wales must have a king'. This is where DJ Davies and I part company.
In the modern Wales people should not be subjects, we should be citizens. The monarchy represents a hereditary class system which perpetuates inequality. The royals are an unaccountable, privileged elite allowed and encouraged by government to expand its wealth through the patronage of the civil list, the honours system and the land assets their ancestors pillaged from common people. The income they can expect to make from the Crown Estates land in Wales in future years is money that could be well used by the cash-strapped Welsh government.
Unlike all other spenders of taxpayers money, the royals are under no obligation to hand their accounts over for scrutiny to the National Audit Office and are they are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
Deference and sycophancy are expected (what is that bowing all about?) and happily given by most media outlets, while a huge numbers of people are employed in a PR team to promote the 'brand'. After quite a few years of limited success, they seem to have achieved quite a turn around in more recent times.
We like to think we live in a meritocracy. We don't. If we did, all children would be able to aspire to be head of state. Under a monarchal system, they can't. You can only be born into the monarchy. It's random. The democratic argument in favour of republicanism is best summed up by Imran Khan, Human Rights lawyer on the Republic website who says:
"One of the notions of a democracy is that you elect those in power and you can remove them if they abuse it. Fundamentally, it's about accountability."
Since I want her gone, I'll be elsewhere when she comes to open our Senedd.