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  • 1. Free New support network launched, see page 9 and enclosed leaflet for details. 2008 | Issue 4 The voice of modern republicanism INSIDE Campaign updates What’s new online Republic in the news Much more... The big challenge 5 years to win over public as political Charles says he wants crown by 65 See page 4 Republic FOI exposes military royals ! OK Richard Dawkins backs Republic BO 10 Adam Tomkins interview A IN AGE WP Back issues and more at www.republic.org.uk/imagine
  • 2. 2 | Imagine FOI exposes William flight Republic scored a significant media hit by using Freedom of Information laws to expose how Prince William had misled his commanding officers in the RAF. Earlier this year it had been reported that William had used a Chinook helicopter to fly to a stag party on the Isle of Wight. At the time the MoD said the flight was authorised and William's superiors knew the purpose of the trip. However, emails released to Republic under Freedom of Information rules show this was not the case. Republic passed the emails to the Mail on “It says a lot about William’s Officers were unaware the Chinook flight was taking William to a party. attitude to his military postings Charles’ birthday Republic responded to the revelations and the way royals are given by condemning the prince’s attitude, PR bonanza special treatment.” and demanding to know why disciplinary action was not taken Sunday who subsequently broke the against Prince William. Graham Smith The Clarence House PR machine was story on November 9th. As the paper in full swing as Charles Windsor put it: quot;[the] emails reveal that Prince celebrated his 60th birthday. The BBC online@ William misled his superiors over trips was fully signed up to the publicity republic.org.uk/news in military helicopters costing £50,000 campaign, broadcasting an hour and a - while allowing other officers to take half ‘documentary’ on Charles’ life. In the blame.quot; told the press: “William has abused his response Republic has accused the position and status to take advantage broadcaster of taking on a role of The emails showed that the officers in of military aircraft for his own cheerleader-in-chief for the monarchy, question didn't know the true nature personal use. It says a lot about forgetting its pledge on impartiality. of the flight until the story broke in William’s attitude to his military the media. One of the messages postings and the way royals are given It wasn’t just the BBC though, many revealed that Group Captain Turner special treatment in the armed forces”. commentators and journalists were was 'not aware of the detail' of the trip falling over themselves to heap praise and had he been aware 'the sortie FOI laws are set to be central to a new on the prince. Some went as far as would not have been flown and ‘Standards in Public Life’ campaign to calling Charles a ‘great public alternative means of transport would be launched by Republic in the new intellectual’. This was met with have taken PW to the IoW'. year. astonishment by Republic supporter and columnist Johann Hari, who made his own views clear in his Independent column the following week. Have you signed up to the NEW Urgent Response Network? Meanwhile Charles landed the taxpayer with a hefty security bill as Get the latest press releases and he laid on three lavish parties for his urgent action requests in your email closest friends and 75 European inbox - sign up today at royals. www.republic.org.uk/urgentresponse
  • 3. Imagine | 3 So they say... Good luck apart, the British monarchy Send your letters to imagine@republic.org.uk will not provide – by sexist, racist or religiously discriminatory descent – The election of Barack Obama was an on sticking his nose into things he’s the calibre of leadership that can be inspiration to us all. What nonsense unqualified to speak on. provided by elections every seven that the monarchists come out with, years for head of state. suggesting they’ve got all the colour Jan Kip Geoffrey Robertson and ’magic’. There’s nothing more Hounslow — inspiring and uplifting than seeing Our current rules don't just democracy in action, delivering discriminate against Catholics or I don’t think we should be historic change. What a contrast women. They discriminate against the campaigning for an alternative oath between America’s next head of entire British population bar a single of allegiance. Oaths are utterly state and ours. family: the house of Windsor. meaningless, they are a tool of Jonathan Freedland oppression, a demand for unthinking Declan McCarthy — loyalty. If someone is loyal they need Aberdeen Apparently 49 per cent of the Great not ‘swear’ an oath to prove it, if British Public believe that the Prince of they are not loyal, an oath will Wales should on assuming the throne I really enjoyed this year’s Annual change nothing. Better to do away have 'a voice on current political Conference. Great speakers, with them altogether. controversies'. Those polled by excellent reports. Well done all. YouGov must be republicans. Therese Walcott Will Self Trevor Heston Manchester — Bristol If not for that fortuitous journey Did you see the Atheist Bus through a royal womb, Charles It seems Charles is doing half our job Campaign raise £100k in one week? Windsor's quot;wisequot; arguments would be for us. Can I suggest we challenge Just think what we could do if gathering dust in the reject bin at him to a televised debate? He Republic had that sort of money. certain newspapers' letters pages. apparently wants to be ‘presidential’, Maybe a ‘republican bus campaign’ Johann Hari I wonder if he’s willing to be subject is long overdue. — to the same level of scrutiny elected Nominate a quote by emailing leaders face. I very much doubt it, Dan Roberts imagine@republic.org.uk judging by his appalling past record London Imagine BRITISH LIBRARY EXHIBITION The magazine of Republic Republic Republic has been included in the British PO Box 69 Library’s latest exhibition, TAKING Brighton BN50 9GS LIBERTIES: The struggle for Britain’s freedoms and rights. 08708 508 825 imagine@republic.org.uk The online part of the exhibition features video commentary from Graham Smith, Back issues of Imagine and more while our website is listed a source for information about the magazine further reading on the topic of monarchy versus can be found online at republic. www.republic.org.uk/imagine. You can find out more by visiting the website at Members www.bl.uk/takingliberties. Let us know if you would prefer your copy by post or email. The exhibition runs until March 2009.
  • 4. 4 | Imagine ‘Presidential’ Charles wants crown in five years ‘55in5’ challenge ver story . . . cover story . . . cover story . . . cover story . . . cove for republicans We’ve all seen recently how grassroots financial support for Barack Obama helped to radically changed the fortunes of the US Democrats in just a few short years. Republic is set to challenge Britain’s ten million-plus committed republicans to back our cause in the same way. We believe that with the right resources and a focussed campaign we can win over a clear majority of public opinion - 55% - in just five years. Republic believes its message is unassailable, that the case for a Charles: His ambitions would wind back clock on centuries of reform. republic is compelling and unanswerable. We know from Prince Charles sees a ‘presidential’ considered for the Queen to step aside experience that public commitment to role for himself when he becomes in favour of her son in five years time, the monarchy is fickle and superficial. King, a position which could be his in when she’ll be 87 and he 65. The We know too that, when faced with the just five years, according to two recent Express reporter responsible for the facts and the arguments that support reports. If true, the plans reported in story told Republic: “this is from very a republic, people quickly change their two Sunday newspapers could change credible sources from within views and support our cause. the face of the republic debate and Buckingham Palace.” create a new sense of urgency. The challenge is to build a campaign Republic, who accused Charles strong enough to push this issue up Windsor of wanting to ‘wind the clock the political agenda and into every “If Charles wants to get back on centuries of reform’ was not home and office in the country. More alone in condemning the notion of a involved in politics he should details coming soon! political King. Geoffrey Robertson, stand for election.” Paul Flynn MP, Liberal Democrat peer Dick Taverne and poet Benjamin TREASURER Zephaniah were among those joining the chorus of criticism. In the Sunday Times Jonathan NEEDED Dimbleby, biographer and friend of The reports apparently split Charles, wrote: “there are discreet monarchists, many of whom clearly moves afoot to redefine the future role Republic’s Treasurer, John favour the institution only if the of the sovereign so that it would allow Tarrington, has announced his monarch remains silent. Republic told King Charles III to speak out on intention to step down after more the press: “If Prince Charles wants to matters of national and international than two years in the voluntary turn the British constitution on its importance in ways that at the post. If you are interested in joining the Board and taking on head then he will have a fight on his moment would be unthinkable.” this role please get in touch with hands. If Charles wants to get Graham Smith at the usual address involved in politics he should stand for On the same day the Sunday Express or email. election”. revealed that plans are being
  • 5. Imagine | 5 Republican Round-up Republic has been busy gaining more conservative Liberal party in media coverage lately, with interviews opposition, and recently Green Party leader, Senator Bob Brown, tabled a on BBC radio, Sky News and other bill to hold a republic referendum at radio stations. We were quoted on a the time of the next federal election. number of occasions in the press, in connection with stories about Charles’ The Republic reception in parliament succession, and Graham Smith has Republic continues to visit schools, had more articles published on the was well attended, with Peter Tatchell, clubs and societies to give talks Guardian’s Comment is Free website. Norman Baker MP, Joan Smith and and presentations on what we do former BBC political editor John Cole and what we stand for. We also We were delighted when three film being among the guests. participate in organised debates. directors added their support to the The schools campaign continues campaign. Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and If you would like to invite Republic unabated, with Graham Smith, John ‘Bourne’ director Paul Greengrass all to give a talk please call Graham Campbell and others visiting schools backed Republic. Previously Paul has Smith on 07747 608 770. and colleges in London, Norfolk, Kent been quoted as saying the monarchy and across South Wales. Reports back is: “an intellectual nonsense in the In the talks we cover the key issues, from teachers have said that the talks 21st century and it absolutely panders why we campaign for the abolition are challenging, often getting students to the nostalgia that is the death of of the monarchy and what the to think critically about the monarchy this country.” alternatives are. for the first time. News from Australia continues to We also talk about what Republic Don’t forget, all events information look promising. Former Australian does, how we campaign and what can be found online at Republican Movement leader Malcolm plans we have for the future. www.republic.org.uk/whatson. Turnbull is now leader of the Message from the Chair Meeting the challenge John Campbell Each new issue of for Republic and the last couple of recent GMTV/Daily Mirror survey Imagine seems to months have seen a range of activities which put support for a republic at 43 mark a milestone in to help us secure the funds we need to per cent. Of course, the only poll that our campaign, and take our campaign to the next level. really counts is the referendum held this one is no You can read more about these in our after a full and open debate. That exception. regular Fundraising Section on page 9. said, if the survey is accurate it means there are around 26 million Republic made the headlines in all republicans out there! “As our media profile grows, so major British newspapers (and as far afield as The Times of India) last We need to galvanise that support, so does the need to invest in our month with our revelation that William please think about what you can do to campaign. Fundraising abused his position in the RAF. Our drive our campaign forward. Whether message is clear: royals and regiments you make a donation, comment on an continues to be a priority.” don’t mix. online article, tell a friend about us or write to your MP, it all makes our We also used Charles’ 60th campaign stronger and brings our Our Annual Conference in October celebrations - and his well-publicised goal closer. was a great success, with two truly plan to become a “presidential” inspiring speakers - author Joan Smith monarch - to gain further media As you’ll read on the opposite page, and political commentator Mick Hume. coverage and promote our vision of a while it might take a little longer to As always it was a real pleasure to see truly democratic Britain. actually abolish the monarchy, we so many Republic members there. You believe we can swing public opinion can read a full report on the As our media profile grows, so does behind us in just a few short years - if conference on page 8. the need to invest in our campaign. we have the resources to mount a Fundraising continues to be a priority major publicity campaign. Many of you will have heard about a
  • 6. 6 | Imagine Politics is no place for a prince Dick Taverne @republic.org.uk Prince Charles is a man of passionate A quick look at what’s happening convictions who at www.republic.org.uk and around expresses his views the internet. publicly, assiduously and provocatively. For instance, he Republic’s Facebook page now has believes he has a mission to save the over 1300 members. You can sign world from GM crops, which he Architecture: Charles’ outspoken up easily enough by visiting described in his recent Sir Albert views have damaged careers. www.republic.org.uk/facebook. The Howard Memorial lecture as quot;a page includes links to recent articles, gigantic experiment with nature and debates among our supporters and endorses, is that natural chemicals are the whole of humanity which has gone much more. good and synthetic ones bad: a seriously wrongquot;. He tells us that only principle every scientist would organic crops are truly sustainable. He Republic is soon going to be adding describe as a scientific howler. Charles has also urged the government to video to the website. Clips will also believes that homeopathy could promote alternative medicine and include video-blogs, interviews with save costs in the NHS if used to treat some of our high profile supporters asthma. This would be true only and on-the-street vox-pops. “If Charles were a private citizen because more people would die. no one could question his Hits to the website have jumped However, the merits of his views are over the past few weeks, no doubt freedom to say what he thinks.” not the issue. If Charles were a private thanks in part to Republic’s own citizen no one could question his work in getting into the press, and of freedom to say what he thinks. The course thanks to Charles’ bizarre snag is that he is the heir to the homeopathy in particular. In fact we suggestion that he can be a throne, yet seems unaware of the must go Back to Nature, because he ‘presidential’ King. proper role of a constitutional trusts Mother Earth to see to it quot;that monarch. The Queen sets an plants and animals are left to protect Changes are being made to the way impeccable example. No one knows themselves against diseasequot;. Science is you can renew your membership her views on GM crops or other clearly out of control, and he online. You’ll soon be able to set up controversial topics. She has given no questions its contribution to modern regular payments from debit or hint what she thinks about any aspect medicine as well as agriculture. credit cards, as an alternative to the of government policy. Nor do the other payment options. constitutional monarchies in Europe Such views are held by many, if not stray into politics. They have all generally in such extreme form. His We’re increasingly using email to let recognised, since the death of the comments about GM crops have no members know what’s happening. doctrine of the divine right of kings, basis: authoritative bodies including Be sure to let us have your address! that hereditary monarchs have no every national academy of science in right to interfere. the world, the World Health Last time we mentioned the Organisation, the European Guardian’s excellent ’monarchy’ Not so Charles. He feels he has a duty, commission and our own Food page. Well, the Telegraph has almost a higher calling, to speak out - Standards Agency have found no something similar, albeit a little more or, as he put it, to quot;keep sticking my evidence they cause harm. His views deferential in tone. Their ’royal 60-year-old head above an also conflict with present government family’ page can be found at increasingly dangerous parapetquot;. Even policy that encourages new GM trials. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ As for organic farming, its basic newstopics/theroyalfamily/. Continued opposite principle, which Charles strongly
  • 7. Imagine | 7 Citizens It would seem some people see the Best of monarchy as just a family, a family Lottery the Blog which would gradually shrink in size, popularity and profile and which would itself lose interest in ‘being the Formerly the 100 Club The ‘fading away’ myth monarchy’. Of course this is not the The Winners Are case. Not only is the monarchy Graham Smith - October 2nd designed to be actively self- A Blood - £94.00 (August) perpetuating, not only is it an One of the more bizarre arguments institution upon which our entire against republicanism is “why bother, J Coten - £99.20 (September) political and legal system is based, it the monarchy will eventually just fade is also occupied by a family who are away and die out”. It is bizarre on two F Saunders - £102.00 (October) as keen as the most sycophantic points. Firstly, it implies the person in royalists to keep it going. question isn’t bothered if the Since 2006 members have been monarchy vanishes into thin air. This winning cash prizes in Republic’s Comment o n l i n e @ suggests that they are in fact very own lottery fund-raiser. republic.org.uk/blog republican but are apparently too lazy to actually stand up and declare It’s very easy to do, just complete It is important to understand, the themselves as such. My reply would the form which came with your palace conducts a continuing PR be, if you believe in something, say Welcome Pack when you joined or campaign, seeking to reinvent itself so. If you don’t care, then tell us. But request a form and we’ll pop one in and secure public support for the next don’t pretend that an issue will be the post for you. generation. If the monarchy is to go, dealt with by the passage of time this campaign must be met by a simply so you can avoid the matter Every month a prize ticket is drawn. strong and vocal case for an altogether. You can enter as many times as you alternative. like by setting up a standing order Secondly, institutions of state do not to purchase regular tickets - each There are too many vested interests in just fade away. How would that pound paid is equal to a ticket in the monarchy. Too many people enjoy happen? How would such an the draw. the power, prestige and privilege the entrenched part of the British Crown provides them. It cannot fade constitution just vanish? Even if Remember, the more tickets sold away and will not fade away. It must popular support for the monarchy the bigger the prizes! be actively abolished. evaporated, a campaign is needed to provide an alternative and a political The Republic Blog features daily posts BE IN IT TO WIN IT! momentum. from Graham Smith and James Gray. of several architectural firms. Recently dangers to the planet posed by the Continued from opposite he jeopardised the career of Professor excesses of modern science are so more inexcusably, he does not restrict Edzard Ernst, the chair of great that it is his moral duty to save himself to speeches. He has used his complementary medicine at Exeter us from impending doom, he should position to damage the careers of University, who has spent 15 years renounce his claim to the throne. If he those he disapproves of, or, on a more studying the effectiveness and safety wants to succeed as a constitutional charitable interpretation, has been of alternative treatments such as monarch, he must shut up. He cannot blind to the effects the strong acupuncture and homeopathy. When have it both ways. A democratic expression of his views are bound to Ernst criticised a report on alternative country cannot tolerate a monarch have. medicine commissioned by Charles, who meddles in political matters and the prince's private secretary, as Ernst whose views only command notice not Many years ago, he famously claimed revealed in a recent letter to the because of expertise, but because of a that architects had done more damage British Medical Journal, complained to position that he owes solely to the to the City of London than the the university about an alleged breach accident of birth. Luftwaffe and described the proposed of confidence. Ernst endured quot;a extension of the National Gallery as quot;a gruelling 13 months of inquiryquot; before Dick Taverne is a Liberal Democrat carbunclequot;. Whatever the merits of his he was cleared. peer, Republic supporter and author opinions about modern architecture, of The March of Unreason - Science, Democracy and the New their expression by the heir to the The prince faces a clear choice. If he Fundamentalism. throne severely damaged the practice feels he must speak out, because the
  • 8. 8 | Imagine 2008 Annual Conference The monarchy will not go without a demonstrated fight, but it’s a fight we can win. That Republic’s own was the message from speakers at democratic Republic’s 2008 Annual Conference, credentials. held in October at the Directory of Social Change in London. The conference also saw the launch of a The theme of this year’s conference new booklet was 'How to Win the Argument' and collecting concise members heard a variety of responses to presentations on the progress common monarchist Republic is making on winning over arguments. Gareth the British public. Executive Chair Robson, Chair of John Campbell described a successful Republic's Policy and Writer Joan Smith speaks to the Conference. year that saw both an increase in Strategy Committee media coverage and a growth in (PSC), explained that membership. How to Win the Argument will be of Nepal’s recent transference to a updated in response to members’ republic, and the US election, to The conference got off to a lively start suggestions. (You can get your copy demonstrate just how invigorating when member Peter Kellow proposed online at www.republic.org.uk). democracy can be. a motion to change Republic’s preferred model of republic from a Speaking after the conference, John “A healthy and necessary parliamentary to a presidential one. Campbell described it as: “an inspiring Peter summed up his proposal by event which I hope has left our debate that demonstrated declaring that “It should be our members as energised as I am for the Republic’s own democratic democratic right, our republican right, fight ahead”. to directly elect our leader - separate credentials.” New Conference from parliament.” The motion was opposed by Republic’s Board of plans for 2009 Directors, and Campaign Manager Other presentations included ‘Winning Graham Smith urged delegates to view the Argument Online’, from Graham the current preferred model as a Smith, and ‘Developing Republic’ Republic’s Board has recently campaigning tool rather than an which saw Development Manager approved plans to split the Annual “article of faith”. James Gray update members on the Conference and Annual General progress Republic has made in Meeting into two separate events. increasing membership, attracting The AGM will continue to be held donations and developing a strong around the end of October, while “A successful year that saw both network of volunteers and advisors. the new Annual Conference will an increase in media coverage move to the middle of the year. Finally, guest speakers Joan Smith and and a growth in membership.” The plan is to give members and Mick Hume shared their personal non-members more opportunity to thoughts on Republic's campaign. enjoy debates on a range of Joan talked about her experience in topics, and to hear from a wider A frank debate followed as members rejecting an MBE and described the range of speakers. weighed up the advantages and monarchy's grip on the public disadvantages of advocating each imagination. Mick concentrated on The new Conference will be advertised to non-members too. A model. The motion was defeated by a the social implications of a small entry fee will be payable for wide margin, but all agreed it was a constitution in which power emanates the Conference, although the AGM healthy and necessary debate that from the crown. He used the examples will remain free to members.
  • 9. Imagine | 9 What you get with Network ‘25 invitations to quarterly events where you can meet the Republic team and our high Enclosed with this issue of Republic with a regular and profile supporters Imagine is an information leaflet reliable source of income as we regular reports from on Republic’s new membership work towards our goal of a British Republic’s national campaign scheme Network ’25. In return for republic. For more information team, so you know exactly email network25@republic.org.uk a monthly gift of £25 or more, what your support is helping or call Development Manager Network ’25 members receive a us achieve James Gray on 07920 776 329. range of benefits including your own exclusive Network invitations to special events. ’25 certificate Network ’25 has been established online@ and more… with our most committed republic.org.uk/network25 (see leaflet for details) supporters in mind, providing Fundraising news us achieve. And we’re beginning to see the results; income from small James Gray from donations is more than twice what it was last year. But we’ve still got a long way to go if we’re to effectively Firstly, thank you to with your feedback in mind. And counter the royal PR machine. all of you who hopefully we’ve also made it easier for attended our annual you to come to us with your ideas. conference in October. As a quot;full- Members are not only a regular and “We rely solely on the financial time republicanquot; it’s reliable source of income. There are always inspiring to meet members and members who lend us an office or a support of individuals to keep discuss the campaign with our venue for events, open their contact doing what we do.” supporters. For those of you who books or give us pro bono weren’t able to attend, I want to professional advice. And then there update you on the work we’ve been are those who volunteer their time undertaking to get Republic into doing all sorts of things – from Between twenty and forty per cent of shape for the fight ahead. stuffing envelopes to programming the public are already on our side – our database – that we simply couldn’t and that’s before the full and open function properly without. That’s why debate that we have been denied so “Members are the lifeblood of it’s so important to have a large and far. So our task is to get Republic into engaged membership. the position where it can kick-start our campaign, so we’ve worked that debate and effectively counter the hard to improve the way we monarchist propaganda. online@ republic.org.uk/fundraising communicate with you.” One of the most disheartening things we hear is: “I’d like to see the But fundraising remains the priority at monarchy abolished, but it’s never Members are the lifeblood of our Republic and will do for the going to happen.” Well I for one firmly campaign, so we’ve worked hard to foreseeable future. As a campaigning believe that it will happen, and sooner improve the way we communicate with pressure group, many of the sources rather than later. But the monarchy you. Many of you will have completed of income that charities rely on are won’t just fade away – we’ve got to our membership survey, which has completely closed off to us. This give it an almighty push! really helped us to get to know what means that we rely solely on the you want from us and what you want financial support of individuals to to see us doing (NB. The survey is sent keep doing what we do. to all new and renewing members, but James Gray is Republic’s full-time you can compete it online right now at Development Manager, with Hopefully we’re much better now at www.republic.org.uk/membersurvey). particular responsibility for fundraising and membership giving donors - of whatever level - a Our website, magazine and email development. picture of what their support can help bulletins have all been redesigned
  • 10. 10 | Imagine Republic Replies SPRING CONFERENCE Republic answers the most common monarchist arguments. BRISTOL They say: “It’s tradition!” REPUBLIC REPLIES Republicanism is as much an integral part of British tradition and history as the monarchy - perhaps more so. Victoria: Mother of royal tradition. Constitutional innovation and reform have been crucial to Britain’s and expand the power of those with development, and much more relevant the greatest stake in the welfare of our to modern times than our mock-feudal country – whether medieval Barons, monarchy. The Magna Carta of 1215, or, in the democratic age, all British the 1689 Bill of Rights, the Great citizens. It is important to remember Reform Act of 1832, and the that history has to be made – and each introduction of universal suffrage in age will make its own history. the 1920s, are all pioneering political advances. It is these traditions of It is useful to remember too, that reform we should hold dear. much of the so-called ‘tradition’ of the monarchy is a recent invention. The ceremonies surrounding Trooping the “Remember too, that much of Colour, Changing the Guard, the APRIL ‘09 the so-called ‘tradition’ of the coronation and the State Opening of Parliament have all been invented monarchy is a recent invention.” since the reign of Victoria. They are www.republic.org.uk/spring part of the monarchy’s continuing PR campaign - dressing up a shabby constitutional arrangement in fancy From Milton and Locke, through Tom dress and flamboyant occasions so as Paine and Mary Wollstonecraft to WIN A BOOK to distract the casual observer from modern campaigners and reformers the more serious questions about why Q such as Emmeline Pankhurst, our How many republics are the monarchy exists. history is littered with men and there in the women who have strived for a more Commonwealth? Our country has many traditions, modern and democratic society. some we can be more proud of than A others. It’s important we know which Since the earliest days of recorded Answers to the usual to cherish and which to consign to the British history, our nation has aimed address or email by history books. to curtail the power of the monarchy December 20th. Richard Dawkins joins Republic Win Darkness is where the stars Republic is delighted to announce that are, a book of poetry from Republic renowned biologist and campaigner supporter Patrick Jones. Richard Dawkins has added his name to Republic’s growing list of public Last quiz answer figures who back the campaign. was ‘Nepal’. Dawkins joins other eminent scientists The winner was John Bryant and Steven Rose in R Fennell. supporting our cause.
  • 11. Imagine | 11 Republic Interview Board Adam Tomkins News Republic interviews Adam Tomkins (left), Republic supporter, professor of constitutional law and author of How we should rule ourselves, available at www.republic.org.uk/shop. by Gareth Robson What age did you become a Presidents on the US model, and such The Board has been receiving reports republican? fear is both understandable and well- from Graham Smith on new campaign placed, in my view. Britons, on the and fundraising plans, as well as a AT. In the sense that I have been whole, do not actually want to rule number of interesting developments themselves - it is deemed too onerous with the media. More journalists and sceptical of the alleged value of the a responsibility - we would rather getting in touch with Republic since royal family I have been a republican someone else took care of it for us. our ‘Chinook’ story broke. Just as for as long as I can remember. I This reluctance to embrace freedom, work was beginning on a new watched the Charles/Diana wedding and the responsibilities that come with fundraising campaign called 55 in 5, live on TV when I was 12 years old and it, is Republic's greatest hurdle. Charles helped our cause by letting it remember feeling nauseated at the be known that he wants to be a pomp, servility and excess on display. What drew you to constitutional ‘presidential’ King. The reports also law? coincided with a story that the Queen What is the most compelling reason will make way for her son in five years’ for a British republic? AT. It is the law of power. Power is time. AT. The pomp, servility and excess the most fascinating phenomenon I The Directors were presented with a have ever tried to study. that is elemental to the monarchy is plan for changing the way Republic Constitutional law is the area of law degrading to the British people. It is runs its AGM and Annual Conference. that both facilitates and (sometimes) also damaging to the British people. The plan to split the even into two seeks to limit political power. We should regard ourselves as a free separate occasions was approved. Exploring the tension between these people exercising sovereignty over our twin goals of constitutional law has an own political experience. Monarchy With five new Directors on the Board a enduring fascination for me. makes this impossible. Under a timely ‘Induction and Refresher’ was monarchy sovereignty vests not in the held at our last Board meeting, What other constitutional or people but in the Crown. Famously, ensuring that all Directors can play an political reforms do you support, in we are subjects of the realm, not a full and active role in Republic. addition to a republic? citizens of a free republic. In this sense there can be no political AT. All prerogative powers should freedom in a monarchy: freedom and Director republicanism are inextricably linked. be abolished and replaced with appropriate statutory safeguards. Profile Is there anyone you would like to Judicial power in the constitution see elected as president and why? should be reduced. Executive power in the constitution should be more NAME: Ann Darnbrough AT. I think that the Prime Minister effectively subject to parliamentary DIRECTOR SINCE: Oct 2008 scrutiny and accountability. should be head of state and that the Parliamentarians must be fully monarch's current functions not Ann Darnbrough has had a long educated in the roles and importance exercisable by the Prime Minister career working with a number of of Parliament: parliamentarians must should be transferred to the Speaker disability charities. be made to understand that their of the House of Commons. We do not In 1980 she principal loyalty is owed to Parliament need a President as well. founded the itself, and not to any political party. National Information Forum What do you think is the monarchy’s and remains as its What would you do on the day a biggest strength or Republic’s director. British republic was declared? biggest obstacle? Ann joined the Board at this year’s AGM. Ann says: “The UK's head of AT. Pledge an oath of allegiance to AT. Tradition. Britons are state should be a person elected on the new Free Republic of Britain, and constitutionally and culturally merit rather than left to the vagaries celebrate! conservative. There is a fear of of automatic hereditary succession.”
  • 12. Republic is a campaigning organisation supported by thousands of British citizens around the country. It’s easy to get involved. This regular page shows you some of the simple things you can do to help promote Republic and make the case for change. online@ republic.org.uk/action Writing to your MP really does help JOINING IS EASY There’s a lot of scepticism these days about Members of Parliament and how Republic’s campaign work relies on effective our democracy is. But the support of people like you, writing to MPs really does help citizens who are committed to the idea of a republic. If you’re not a campaigns like Republic. member already you can join online or over the phone. For every constituent who makes the effort to write a letter, MPs often assume www.republic.org.uk - 08708 508 825 there are many more constituents who are concerned about that issue, but don't bother writing. The more MPs hear TOP TIP about an issue from their constituents, the more likely they are to take action. Writing made easy Sign up to all the newspapers’ online forums. That way, Republic’s website - www.republic.org.uk/mp - has more information on when stories are in the news how to write to your MP, including how to find contact details and to write or Republic has articles by email. You can also use the website www.writetothem.com. online, you can quickly and If you know the name of your MP, you can simply send a letter to: ‘Your easily join the debate. MP’, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. From Jon Carter What to say Republic member You can write more than once, but perhaps the first letter should simply ask if your MP supports the abolition of the monarchy, and if they would Send your Top Tip to add their name to Republic’s list of supporters. If you have done this, or imagine@republic.org.uk if you know your MP already supports Republic, you can write on individual issues. Remember, keep letters short, polite and to the point. Imagine: how far can yours go? Did you know, this magazine is a You could even leave it lying around valuable promotional opportunity in waiting rooms or staff canteens. waiting to happen? Help spread the word and promote Once you’ve read it, don’t file it in Republic with your copy of Imagine. the bin, pass it on to friends, family Leave your copy around for or work colleagues. someone to discover. Republic Campaign Ltd is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee operating under the name ‘Republic’. Registered number: 05891072. Registered address: Dalton House, 60 Windsor Avenue, London SW19 2RR. Find out more at www.republic.org.uk