A Referendum to Abolish the Monarchy to Be Initiated In Britain When the Queen Dies
-by Alanna Ketler
The republican movement in Britain has recently announced its campaign to make a case for a future referendum in regards to the state of the British monarchy after the queen’s death.
For years the United Kingdom has been under the monarchy, paying large sums to the royal family every single year and essentially upholding very archaic traditions that in reality do little to add to the lives of the British citizens. Finally, people are starting to see through this charade and question what gives this family the right to sit on these thrones and live this lifestyle?
Republic, is a grassroots movement which includes over 5,000 members and 35,000 supporters feel that the British monarchy is not the “harmless tourist attraction some people think,” but that it has a long history of abusing the money that is funded by the public and meddling in the realm of politics.
Why Do We Even Have A Queen?
The group posted a statement on the evening of the Queen’s birthday, mentioning how the event “reminds us that support for the monarchy is bound up with support for the Queen.” Their website has a pink banner wishing Mrs. Windsor a “happy birthday”, right beside a subtle, or not, hashtag, “Stop the reign.”
In an interview with The Independent, Graham Smith, the chief executive of Republic, shared his and the organizations view to have a referendum as soon as possible. He feels that the period of time between the Queen’s funeral and her son, Prince Charles’s coronation will be an ideal time.
“It will be the first time most people have seen a change in the head of state,” he says. “I think that’s going to be a slightly odd, jarring experience for a lot of people. All of a sudden you’ve got this other monarch who has been hoisted upon us and no debate about who it is going to be.”
“For once, actually seeing hereditary power in practice – you’ll actually see the inheritance of the throne taking place.”
He added: “It [the referendum] is to get rid of it… it needs to be a straight-forward constitutional reform referendum. We may win or we may lose but the succession would change public opinion, it will change the nature of the debate.”
“I think most public opinion is indifferent to the whole thing and awful lot of it is tied up with the Queen. Over the next ten years the debate is going to pick up because people will be coming alive to the fact that Charles is looming on the horizon as King.”
Recently, during a convention of the Alliance of European Republic Movements in Madrid, Mr. Smith said that while there is “nothing wrong with turning 90,” there is “something wrong with turning 90 when you have been Queen of England for sixty-something years.”
In a recording of the event published on YouTube, Mr. Smith added: “When the Queen dies, the moment she is declared dead, Charles is king. So there is no gap. And there is certainly no official plan for a referendum. He is king immediately. The coronation would be about six months later.”
“So that will be an opportunity, after the funeral and before the coronation, for us to do some campaigning and say, ‘Hang on a minute, this is the 21st century, if we are going to have a new head of state then perhaps we want to have a vote.'”
The group was more than off put with the BBC’s coverage of the Queen’s birthday, Mr. Smith said, “The Queen’s birthday does not warrant this kind of coverage, it is inappropriate to celebrate a political figure like this and the public just aren’t that excited about the royals.”
“The BBC has a duty to report, not to celebrate the royals. That reporting must be fair, balanced and proportionate. So far this week the BBC has failed completely on those measures.”
“It’s completely over the top,” Mr. Smith told The Independent. “I don’t wish the Queen anything but a happy birthday but it does raise all these questions about the future of the monarchy.”
To those of us who are not living in the UK or have a country that has a monarchy, it seems pretty far out that this sort of thing still exists. As I mentioned earlier, it only takes a little bit of outside the box thinking to realize that having any sort of monarchy at all doesn’t really make sense. What made the people in those families so special and why are so many of our hard earned income tax dollars going to support these lucky/chosen few? This concept feels very archaic, outdated, and it’s about time these types of things were put to an end. Really, for what reason at all do we need a queen or a royal family for that matter?
Let’s hope this campaign gets the attention it deserves and open’s the eyes and minds of millions of oblivious Britains.