The death of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II was announced today (8th September 2022).
Her eldest son Charles becomes king immediately. There is no vote in parliament by elected MPs to confirm his promotion. There is no parliamentary debate. Westminster MPs “swear allegiance” to the new monarch as do members of Scottish parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly.
A new head of state takes office without even a thumbs up as confirmation; there will be bows of the head.
Procedure in UK from one head of state to the next is not dissimilar to procedure in North Korea.
Democracy is absent.
The British royal family is not a benign ceremonial collection of celebs existing as a relic of an antiquated epoch. It is not a funny tourist attraction in silly hats. It is a fleecing machine that gorges on wealth generated by hard work of British people and of people in former British empire.
Directly via taxes and from rent from land “ownership” and indirectly via a network of offshore investment scams utilising the most despicable facets of exploitative capitalism, the royal family rakes in it at the public’s expense.
Their ancestors acquired land via pillage, theft, corruption and murder, and acquired their royalty via the same means. What exist today are descendants of thugs and recipients of proceeds of organised crime.
Ridding ourselves of royalty is a step toward removal of both a system and a perception thereof that perpetuates elevation, financially and legally, of people and institutions above us. They are elevated to positions that are generally (or perceived to be) unattainable for most people and their responsibilities to society are less obligatory than ours.
Among the falsely elevated are royals, politicians, senior armed forces personnel, senior police officers and police commissioners, bankers, brokers, wealthy business owners and judges, and institutions like Bank Of England, Stock Exchange, GCHQ and Supreme Court.
Most of those who we are supposed to admire and to trust and whose instructions we are supposed to follow achieved their loftiness via wealth begetting wealth, or via exploitation begetting wealth, or via the right alma meter, or via mutual back-scratching promotions, or via obedient bag-carrying and saying the right thing to the right people at the right time.
Elevated coteries of swindlers, thieves, fraudsters, lickspittles and liars occupy the houses of parliament, royal palaces, Bank Of England, Board Of Trade, government quangos and commissions, court benches, BBC governance and management, CBI, and senior posts in civil service, armed forces, police and intelligence services.
The key difference between false elevation and deserved elevation is that recipients of the former lack merit. Britain is the antithesis of a meritocracy.
What should happen to the British monarchy?
Weak methods of proposed change include
α) A vote in each parliament or assembly to confirm (or not) continuation of a monarch as head of state
β) A public vote – a plebiscite – to accept or deny continuation of a monarch as head of state
γ) Reduction in the constitutional influence of the monarchy alongside reduction in royal wealth
The first would not succeed because most MPs, MSPs and assembly members are not supportive of advances in democracy and many are fearful of doing anything radical or forward-thinking. They know how important the existence of royalty is in maintaining elite control; their reasoning is “if royals fall, what’s next to go?”
The second suggestion would fail due to politicians, media, think-tanks and professional influencers ensuring that campaigning on a referendum on continuation of the monarchy becomes an absurd “culture war” about “patriotism” and Britishness that descends rapidly into binary clipped slogans, abuse and division. Any attempt at meaningful presentation of reasoned arguments would be overwhelmed.
The third option is weak because royalty’s direct political influence is small and further reductions there would make little difference. The problem of royal wealth is a problem of wealth concentration and is part of a general problem. Constitutional and wealth reductions would not diminish usefulness of royalty as a false depiction of elite superiority and as a hook on which to attach simplistic pseudo-patriotism. Recovery of stolen wealth should occur as part of abolition of the monarchy, not instead of.
End of the monarchy: How to prepare for it and what needs to be done
There is no point appealing to existing political parties to end the monarchy. Tories know royalty suits their constant need for distraction via the basest form of patriotism, and most Liberal Democrats and Labour are similarly bound. SNP, despite its aim for independence, has not declared its intent for a specifically republican independent Scotland; pragmatism is SNP’s informant on royalty. Green Party is a republican party but it is so obtusely wedded to adherence to legacy rules that it lacks the tools to make necessary changes.
What needs to happen is creation of a political party with abolition of the monarchy as a clear, unambiguous, non-nuanced intention in its ideology and in its manifesto and that has, when in power, the confidence, courage and persistence to act decisively without delay. It must place royal dissolution within context of destruction of all unearned elevation and within context of annulment of all false ownership of wealth.
The process of ending the monarchy must include the following
- Terminate the position of head of state
- Erase all laws that discriminate in favour of royalty including Treason Felony Act 1848
- Cancel existing sentences applied for breach of any of the above laws and erase all convictions
- Relabel crown land as public land
- Convert royal residences and contents therein to public museums
- Erase royal words (including the word ‘royal’) and insignia from police and armed forces uniforms, regiment names, and publicly owned vehicles, ships and buildings
- Drop oaths of allegiance to the crown in parliaments, police, armed forces and elsewhere
- Change national anthem
- Assign royals’ ownership of land, shares and businesses in UK to public ownership
- Assign royals’ ownership of land in, and shares and businesses registered in, British tax havens to public ownership
- Assign royals’ ownership of land, shares and businesses in commonwealth countries to the people of each country
- Assign royals’ ownership of land, shares and businesses in non-commonwealth countries to public ownership
- Move royals’ savings, investments and gold to Treasury
- Apply a tax (additional to income tax, VAT and corporation tax) to royals on future income attained due to their royal background including, but not restricted to, income from book deals, podcasts, TV and personal appearances, image rights, think-tank appointments and consultancy posts at businesses and charities
- Return stolen property (jewels, diamonds, artwork, etc.) to the people of the countries from which it was taken
- Return governors’ residences in countries that had a UK royal head of state to public ownership in those countries
- Derecognise royal heads of state in other countries
- Cancel knighthoods, damehoods and peerages awarded by royals
- Remove royals from all publicly funded bodies, including Privy Council
- Bar royals from candidature for elected representatives in UK parliaments, assemblies, councils and equivalent
- Bar royals from employment in police forces, armed forces, military intelligence services and public services
- Bar royals from administrative, teaching or governance roles in education
- Bar royals from employment in banking and financial services, and at stock exchange and CBI
- Bar royals from employment as judges, magistrates, barristers or lawyers
- Bar royals from ownership or directorship of companies
- Bar royals from ownership of land
- Bar royals from ownership of property except for one home
- Bar royals from employment or governance at BBC
- Close Gordonstoun
The list of necessary actions above is not exhaustive of all that must be done. Any reluctance to act should be dismissed. There should be quick, effective and unrecoverable actions accompanied by clear, confident expositions.
The succession of Charles to the throne is neither here nor there for committed opponents of royalty. However, it is an opportunity to promote forcefully its termination.
Royalty is a con. It’s fraud. It’s a comfort blanket for the stupid. It is an impediment to progress. It needs to go.