the dirty “r” word

i want to say right at the start that i did quite like the royal wedding – i got caught up in it and watched it etc etc. there was a nice feeling etc. however as i said in my blog post about it i was a bit concerned about the sheer level of media coverage and i set out my position in relation to the royal family – not wildly popular i wouldn’t have thought especially given the apparent love for the royals at the moment – irish visit, royal wedding etc.

i am certainly not advocating the violent overthrow of the monarchy as these people seem to be saying – i dont think that is at all the way forward. furthermore i think that site has a clear party political focus on it and that was not what i wanted to talk about or read about.

this week in Wales the queen et al came to Cardiff Bay to officially open the Fourth Assembly – semi interesting from a professional point of view and quite funny watching the great unwashed cheering from behind barriers and the funny hats that the Welsh well to do women picked out for the occasion, but more than that i was particularly interested in the sheer amount of flak that some members of Plaid Cymru (the nationalist party – the clue is in the name) took on various social media outlets about deciding not to turn up for the event. now personally if it had mean me i would not have given interviews to the press or made a song and dance, i would have simply got on with other things – constituency work and the like and gone about my business.

that’s right – i said it. oh dear. if i was an Assembly Member (for a ficitional party that i have apparently now joined – or even an independent, that might be better) i would not have turned up for the official opening today, because, and i am not embarassed or feel weird about saying it – i consider myself a republican. (please note – definintely not in the sense of the republican party in the States – simply not a royalist). and furthermore i do not see the problem in being a republican.

n.b – just to add that i also think that the swearing an oath to the queen in order to sit as an Assembly Member would have to be changed – Assembly Members are, are they not, first and foremost, answerable to their constituents?

as i said at the beginning of the post, i am certainly not advocating the violent removal of the royal family, simply that i do not believe that they should be the official head of state and certainly i wouldn’t be genuflecting any time soon. i have made my position clear about what role the royal family could play in British life in an earlier post. at this juncture i can do no better than to quote Samuel Vimes from the Discworld series:

“Whoever had created humanity had left in a major design flaw. It was its tendency to bend at the knees”

and furthermore, i saw this quote from one of my regional Assembly Members do the rounds on Twitter. i thought it excellent:

“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.”

and finally, i would also just like to say that i do not see anything offensive or morally wrong with the position and declaration of being a republican – just in case anyone was going to throw that back.

and finally finally, i would like to say well done to those Assembly Members who did not attend the official opening today in protest.

nuff said

… and i dont care who knows it!

I hope that I’m not alone when I say that I’m fed up with the royal wedding – really really fed up. I think I would describe myself as a republican except thatti have no problem keeping the royal family so long as:

– the taxpayer does not subsidise their activity / lifestyle
– they cease to have any role in constitutional matters / politics / formation of governments
– they become a self funding / self sustainable tourism attraction
– any appointments of members of the royal family to posts (trade ambassadors or whatever) are subject to Nolan principals and are only made after open and fair application processes
– funds generated by land / property ownership not only go into keeping up a minimum number of properties but also help to fund regeneration projects in surrounding communities

That’ll do for starters.

Now then, this royal wedding rubbish. I have no problem with people getting married. I have no problem with the extra bank holiday although I understand the SME argument for not having one – I mean there are quite a lot of days off that week already. Make no mistake though – I will be taking full advantage of it.

One of my biggest gripes – why is there so much news and media time being dedicated to this? There was a story on the BBC news channel yesterday about how long the Household Cavalry take to polish their uniforms and medals and practice for this thing – who cares? We’ll leave alone the sheer wastefulness of having from I can see is a largely ceremonial regiment dedicated to tourism and parading around a large gravel car park outside Buckingham Palace and stay with the media focussed question – how is that news? And secondly and perhaps most bizarrely when we are engaged in any number of conflicts around the world and in the same week that more information was released about the Nimrod aircraft and its viability why is the defence correspondent doing a piece on the horse boys???!!!!???

Royal wedding apps, memorabilia, pizza toppings and dedicated programming on any number of media outlets – its too much! Let them get married fine. Ok we need security but let’s not go completely nuts over it all – perhaps too late.

On the wider issue of the royal family as I said, let’s have them as a tourist attraction which is NOT subsidised by the taxpayer at all. I didn’t vote for them and as far as I can see many of them have displayed staggeringly poor judgement with regards their interactions with the real world.

I wouldn’t go as far to say let’s abolish the monarchy but they should not receive public funds or have any say in the way the country is run.

Does that mean I can still call myself a republican?