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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLICAN PARTY NEWSLETTER
For a Civic and Constitutional Republic
Issue No 107 Saturday 07 September 2012
Highlighting news stories important to the Civic Republican view, particularly those that are overlooked or little covered in the main media.
Read more latest Republican stories on Democratic Republican Party Facebook Page
Peter Kellow writes
A party committee (called the Task Group) has been formed to lay down the core policies of the party and decide how the party should move forward, particularly with regard to the strategy going towards the General Election of 2015.
The Task Group will be meeting at Conway Hall, in London’s Red Lion Square next Saturday, 15th September 2012 and this meeting will last most of the day.
This is not an open meeting. Ten are attending but we still have room for one or two more. If you are interested in attending email me ASAP beforehand
The formal meeting will finish at 5pm and then we will adjourn to The Enterprise public house, which is on the corner of Lamb’s Conduit Passage and Red Lion Street, London WC1R 4PN.
If you would like to come to the pub and meet fellow republicans and the committee, do come along. We would be very pleased to see you. Come as early as you can but there will be a contingent there until at least 9pm and maybe after that.
We have a lot to plan and talk about. We can take no more of a politics of rank injustice, inequality and endless austerity, in bed with corrupt banks, selling out our wealth, our future, to a financial elite with no allegiance or interest in our great nation - neither its creative, hard working people nor its superb, innovative private enterprises upon which our future depends
Be a part of this republican revolution! We are unstoppable!
Text of video:
Well, it’s no big news that Britain is a divided country. Divided by class, divided by privilege, divided by wealth and divided by culture.
There are not many people that will openly say that they think that class division and inherited privilege is a good thing. Few would say that social mobility is a bad thing, that even the poorest should have the chance to climb the ladder, achieve things and have a better life.
But those same people will say we need the monarchy. The fact that the monarchy blatantly enshrines in our constitution and our society the principle of inequality of opportunity does not seem to trouble them
The monarchy stands out as a massive symbol of our class based, privilege based, wealth based society. Its malign influence permeates British society from top to bottom.
I have only ever heard one argument put forward in defence of the mediaeval monarchical system (apart from the trite one that is encourages tourism). It would be impossible to argue for it from basic principles and so people a supposedly pragmatic argument for maintain selection of our head of state by dynastic bloodline: “It works”
It works. But in what sense does it work? In making Britons subjects not citizens, forcing people to bow and scrape before it? In terms of giving a sense of identity and belonging to people living in deprived areas? In terms of representing the nation to foreign heads of state who need to speak to someone they can do business with? In holding up family values by its own conduct? There is not a single solitary sense in which the monarchy can be said to work. On the contrary there are many way it which it works to make our society dysfunctional.
And it is anti-democratic not just in the simple sense that dynastic bloodline denies us the opportunity to elect our head of state, but also because all the institutions of state are there to serve it, the monarchy, and not the people. All the great offices of state are formally entitled Her Majesty’s this or that.
It is said that Britain has no written constitution. That is not altogether true for the constitutional arrangements are plastered over signs and letterhead everywhere and you cannot fail to miss this.
The constitution is wonderfully simple. Everything belongs to the monarch and it in the service of it
No written constitution indeed. There is your written constitution. It is not written up in some obscure statutory document. It is emblazoned all around us in public places and on our own special private communications with the state
And remember, all this ownership is not by virtue of the law. It is not that the queen is above the law. She is the law. All constitutional, civic and constitutional law is embodied in her person and only hers.
So how do the rest of us fit into this constitutional scenario? How do we,the people, appear in this picture? This again is wonderful in its simplicity. We are subjects of the queen and it is by virtue of being her subjects that we gain our constitutional existence and only by virtue of this.
If we were not subjects of the monarch, constitutionally we would not exist.
We would have no nationality, no rights, no country.
This is why those who accept the system are reduced to chanting God Save the Queen. Without the queen they would not exist!
Of course, it might be said, this is theoretical because the queen does not actually exercise all her powers and rights of ownership of control.
But the point is this structure whereby everything points to the inheritor of a single dynastic bloodline means that the political and civil society operates in a completely different space from those operating according to well organised, legally constituted modern republican principles.
A principle effect of having all state institutions coalescing in the monarch is that the party who controls parliament effectively controls everything. In spite of his or her cozy weekly chats with the Queen the prime minister effectively usurps all her powers. If you substituted Prime Minister David Cameron’s for Her Majesty’s in the titles of the institutions I mentioned it would be very close to the truth about the real way the British state operates.
OK the civil service, the courts, may enjoy a measure of independence, but this is only at the PM’s say so and forbearance. And since the Thatcher years of the 1980s that forbearance we have seen time and time has been less and exercised.
No Prime Minister since Thatcher has been able to resist interfering with the Treasury, the Revenue service, the civil service, the constitution and so on. All that because what is officially Her Majesty’s de facto becomes the Prime Ministers.
In 1995, the well known economist and political commentator, Will Hutton, published one of the few works of the last twenty years on what used to be called political economy. Political economy means putting together all the various forces and factions in society and in the economy and seeing how they blend together for good or for ill. No easy task
Hutton’s book, The State We’re In, was a masterpiece and became an instant best seller. In spite of a lapse of 17 years its judgments need little in the way of revision. In fact the changes that have happened since its publication make its messages even more important to be heard.
Hutton tells us that the
Hutton had his finger on the pulse in 1995. As did the Sex Pistols much earlier in 1977 when they sang, even if they were a bit premature, that there is no future for the monarchy
The Democratic Republican Party is the only party to have a programme to correct the faults that Hutton identified and to bring closer the angry but entirely justified and morally correct dream of youth expressed by the Sex Pistols
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