New support network
launched, see page 9 and
enclosed leaflet for details.
2008 | Issue 4
The voice of modern republicanism
What’s new online
Republic in the news
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 !
Richard Dawkins backs Republic
Adam Tomkins interview A
Back issues and more at www.republic.org.uk/imagine
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
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
Republic responded to the revelations
and the way royals are given
by condemning the prince’s attitude,
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
William misled his superiors over trips was fully signed up to the publicity
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
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
Imagine | 3
So they say...
Good luck apart, the British monarchy
Send your letters to email@example.com
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
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.
Trevor Heston Manchester
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
judging by his appalling past record London
BRITISH LIBRARY EXHIBITION The magazine of 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
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
You can find out more by visiting the website at
Let us know if you would prefer
your copy by post or email.
The exhibition runs until March 2009.
4 | Imagine
wants crown in five years
ver story . . . cover story . . . cover story . . . cover story . . . cove
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
Zephaniah were among those joining
the chorus of criticism.
In the Sunday Times Jonathan
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.
revealed that plans are being
Imagine | 5
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.
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
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 | Imagine
Politics is no
place for a prince
Prince Charles is a
man of passionate
A quick look at what’s happening
at www.republic.org.uk and around
expresses his views
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.
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
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/.
principle, which Charles strongly
Imagine | 7
It would seem some people see the
Best of monarchy as just a family, a family
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.
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
You can enter as many times as you
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 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!
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
throne severely damaged the practice feels he must speak out, because the
8 | Imagine
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
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.
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
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
a monthly gift of £25 or more,
what your support is helping
or call Development Manager
Network ’25 members receive a
James Gray on 07920 776 329.
range of benefits including
your own exclusive Network
invitations to special events.
Network ’25 has been established online@ and more…
with our most committed republic.org.uk/network25
(see leaflet for details)
supporters in mind, providing
us achieve. And we’re beginning to
see the results; income from small
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.
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.
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
picture of what their support can help
bulletins have all been redesigned
10 | Imagine
Republic Replies SPRING
Republic answers the most common
They say: “It’s tradition!”
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
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
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
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
Our country has many traditions,
modern and democratic society.
some we can be more proud of than
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
to curtail the power of the monarchy
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.
Imagine | 11
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
republicanism are inextricably linked. be abolished and replaced with
appropriate statutory safeguards.
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
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
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
British republic was declared?
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
conservative. There is a fear of of automatic hereditary succession.”
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From Jon Carter
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You can write more than once, but perhaps the first letter should simply
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