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We need a fierce new republicanism, not the twee deference of liberal anti-monarchism

king charles

The queen was good at what she did; slick even. Her public faux pas were few, or not widely grasped enough to have wide impact.

King Charles III has no such reputation. He’s already sacked his staff and made several brattish clangers on video. He helped make a hero of his late wife Diana through his and his family’s antics, and his Jeffrey Epstein-linked brother Andrew will automatically deputise for the king in case of emergencies. On top of this, Charles has been for many years an ambassador for the British arms industry.

He must not have an easy ride, at least not nearly as easy as his life during his 73-year apprenticeship. The truth is, the king has to go, and so does the institution of monarchy. And no amount of monarchist (or republican) moralism about timing, or respect, or most laughably their ‘service’, should stop us saying it. Anything which inspires the bizarre queue – a sort of idiot ‘Human Respectipede’ – currently winding its way through London’s streets needs to go in the bin.

Immoral or ignorant?

That said, republicanism in mainland Britain is in a shocking state – despite a decent amount of support for it. Up to a quarter of Brits want an elected head of state – this goes up to 40% among young people. Meanwhile, 36% of Scottish people say the end of the queen’s reign should usher in a republic. These are sizeable minorities which are given few platforms in the mainstream media or public narrative.

And they are right to oppose it. The monarchy is a ridiculous and oppressive institution built on violence. There is no nuance to be had here: if you are a monarchist, or waver and drip over the question of monarchy (in which case, you may well be a monarchist), you are either immoral or ignorant.

If you can see the monarchy for what it is and don’t care, you’re clearly immoral. If you refuse to stop being spoon-fed lies about the British empire, you’re purposely ignorant.  At least the latter category might be redeemable through education, but not with things as they are.

The only specific organisation which speaks to this grand old strain of UK politics is Republic. Liberal, reformist, and flaky, its first call upon the death of the queen was instructive: let’s hold fire on debate until a more appropriate time:

Read on...

This should not shock. It is a feature of liberal republicanism that it is almost as twee and deferent as monarchism itself, and about as likely to seriously oppose the Royal institution. And this is nowhere more apparent than in the main organisation meant to oppose the Royal racket.

Left republicanism

There isn’t really a question about whether we need to get rid of the monarchy. It’s about how we oppose it in an invigorated and non-deferent way.

The questions of land ownership, foreign policy, democracy, landlordism, equality, climate change, and more run smack bang through the middle of the monarchy – the ridiculous medieval core of what purports to be a modern state. That is not to say its ideal replacement is a president. No capitalist state can ever be good enough. But a fierce new republicanism can start to address and oppose our own unique, and uniquely perverse, systems of power.

Republicanism, rather like free speech, is simply too important to be left to flaky liberals and self-assured Tories. It must become a key part of any strategy to increase working class power and confidence.

The question now is what that looks like.

Featured image via screenshot – YouTube/Channel 4 News

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  • Show Comments
    1. This is a good article.
      It calls out the ridiculous nonsense of the current pantomime of the transfer of monarchy from one generation to the next.
      … No election
      … No choice on the part of the people
      … No honest debate about the mediaeval charade that is taking place.
      … Not even a nod to concepts of democracy.

      We need a vigorous campaign for republicanism – Together with a campaign for democratic socialism.
      The two go hand-in-hand.
      Capitalism, monarchy and corruption must be exposed for the histopric evils that they represent.

    2. Ok just look at the yanks their system if one wants a elected president corrupted by monies then please don’t answer for me or alike minded yes we have sovereignty a job I wouldn’t like to do one wonders you and I can go down to the supermarket shops pubs restaurants they can’t their lives are hidden away nah we have a system you don’t like hmm when you have your way don’t cry it be worse then the one we got it doesn’t matter whot system man will corrupt it there be those who have and those who don’t but yes we have corrupted politicians untill that day the peasants show no more corruption then no change

      1. The US system they call Democracy is as flawed as Britain’s Constitutional Monarchy. Both are at the beck and call of the wealthy establishments. US candidates are bought and paid for by clandestine payments by wealthy individuals, wealthy corporations and wealthy foreign interests. So are Britain’s parliamentarians, and the ‘royals’ do their share of corrupting the British government to their point of view.

        Both systems need to be corrected. And you need to punctuate your keyboarding. Don’t be so lazy. You’re as demented as Charlie boy cursing about ink leaking from his pens. You’re both pathetic.

    3. Clear majority of the population don’t have a problem with the monarchy.
      Name the country on the world that reflects your constitutional and political role model that we can aspire to? Where is this far left republican utopia? Genuinely interested.

    4. Unfortunately, the majority of the population don’t have much idea what is going on in their name.
      The pantomime of the jubilee and the transfer of title of “Head of State” from one rich and privileged woman to her eldest son is all part of the great charade to keep us in ignorance.
      It’s time the British people grew up.

    5. Sod the feelings of the biggest bunch of parasites in this country! Sod tyhe memory of Brenda Battenberg! She sat back and did nothing while Thatcher and her coterie laid waste to this country and destroyed everything the workers fought struggled scrificed and died for!
      She could have stopped Thatcher from dressing paratroopers like cops and setting them on the Miners! Soldiers worshipped her like a god! If she had instructed them to disobey Thatcher, they would have obeyed her! It proves that Battenberg approved of the assault on the miners at Orgreave! She could have dismissed parliament at any time and asked the Opposition to form a government! Don’t say dhe couldn’t, she dismissed the Australian parliament (through her lapdog Governor-general, John Kerr) in 1972, bevause the AussiePM, Gough Whitlam, dared to announce a referendum on a republic. She could have got rid of Thatcher at any time but didn’t, proving she approved of everything that the Butcher of Grantham did. She is as guilty as Attila the Hen herself!

    6. Since the queen’s death, so much important news, notably worldly suffering and tragedy, has been overridden and omitted to make available as much newsprint and broadcast-time as possible for this one Englishwoman, however beloved she was. … Obviously I’m not the only news-consumer troubled by this blatant inequity.

      Thus, I wrote the following appropriate verses.

      ____

      WITH news-stories’ human subjects’ race and culture dictating
      quantity of media coverage of even the poorest of souls,
      a renowned newsman formulated a startling equation
      justly implicating collective humanity’s news-consuming callousness
      —“A hundred Pakistanis going off a mountain in a bus
      make less of a story than three Englishmen drowning in the Thames.”
      According to this unjust news-media mentality reasonably deduced
      five hundred prolongedly-war-weary Middle Eastern Arabs getting blown
      to bits in the same day perhaps should take up even less space and airtime.
      So readily learned is the tiny token short story buried in the bottom
      right-hand corner of the newspaper’s last page, the so brief account
      involving a long-lasting war about which there’s virtually absolutely
      nothing civil; therefore caught in the warring web are civilians most
      unfortunate, most weak, the very most in need of peace and civility.
      And it’s naught but business as usual in the damned nations
      where such severe suffering almost entirely dominates the
      fractured structured daily routine of civilian slaughter
      (plus that of the odd well-armed henchman) mostly by means
      of bomb blasts from incendiary explosive devices,
      rock-fire fragments and shell shock readily shared with freshly shredded
      shrapnel wounds resulting from smart bombs sometimes launched for
      the stupidest of reasons into crowded markets and grade schools …
      Hence where humane consideration and conduct were unquestionably
      due post haste came only few allocated seconds of sound bite—a half minute
      if news-media were with extra space or time to spare—and one or two
      printed paragraphs on page twenty-three of Section C; such news
      consumed in the stable fully developed, fully ‘civilized’ Western world
      by heads slowly shaking at the barbarity of ‘those people’ in that
      war-torn strife which has forced tens of thousands of civilians to post haste
      gather what’s left of their shattered lives and limbs and flee …
      Thus comes the imminent point at which such meager-measure
      couple-column-inches coverage reflects the civil Western readers’
      accumulating apathy towards such dime-a-dozen disaster zones
      of the globe, all accompanied by a large yawn; then the
      said readers subconsciously perceive even greater human-life devaluation
      from the miniscule ‘hundreds-dead-yet-again’ coverage.
      Consequently continues the self-perpetuation of the token-two-column-inch
      (non)coverage as the coldly calculated worth of such common mass slaughter,
      ergo those many-score violently lost human lives are somehow worth
      so much the less than, say, three Englishmen drowning in the Thames.
      Perhaps had they all been cases of the once-persecuted suddenly
      persecuting or the once-weak wreaking havoc upon their neighboring indigenous
      minorities—perhaps then there’d be far more compassionately just coverage?
      The human mind is said to be worth much more than the sum of the
      human body’s parts, though that psyche may somehow seem to be of
      lesser value if all that’s left is naught but bomb-blast-dismembered body parts.

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