for sa ok
See p le
The voice of modern republicanism 2009 | Issue 4 age 5
We, the people
Republic pledges to put popular
sovereignty at heart of reform agenda
See page 4
Republic joins Battle of Ideas over reform
Bid to stop royal FOI changes launched G!
2010 Appeal breaks donations record MU 9
Back issues and more at www.republic.org.uk/imagine
2. 2 | Imagine
Freedom of Information
rules to be challenged
Republic has launched a campaign to
stop the government from introducing
2010 Appeal gets huge response -
an absolute exemption from Freedom
of Information rules for the royal
raises thousands in two weeks
“Republic has made so much progress
As we reported in the last edition of in alerting the public to the misuse of
Imagine, the government is planning power by the royals and the need for a
to remove that public interest test. proper republican alternative that it
This essentially means that they deserves our support.”
believe the interests of the royals
outweigh those of the public, an “Republic has made a lot of progress
extraordinary claim for our own in the past two years - let's keep that
government to make. momentum moving.”
These are just two of the many of
messages of support we received in
“In other words, secrecy is a £10,000 was raised in two weeks.
response to our 2010 Appeal, which
fundamental principle of the we launched at short notice last difference and helps to ensure that
month. our campaign will keep growing, into
2010 and beyond. On behalf of
everyone at Republic – staff, directors
“If you haven’t donated yet and volunteers – thank you for your
In a statement the government said: support.
“In relation to Cabinet information, please consider making a
and information relating to the Royal But we're not out of hot water yet. We
Household, it has become clear that must raise the final £5,000 before the
those safeguards are insufficiently end of the year, so if you haven't
robust to protect our current donated yet please consider making a
constitutional arrangements, and need As you will know, Republic recently generous contribution. You can
changing." In other words, secrecy is received the news that one of our donate online or simply return the
a fundamental principle of the British regular sources of funding will be cut form attached to the cover letter that
constitution. as a result of the recession. If we are came with this edition of Imagine.
not able to raise the £15,000 shortfall
Republic believes that rather than before the end of the year we will have We rely on the support of individual
increasing secrecy to protect our to look seriously at scaling back the republicans to keep doing what we do
constitutional arrangements we campaign. – holding the royal household to
should be reforming our constitution. account and making a positive case
On receiving the news, we for a new republican constitution.
Lynne Jones MP has tabled a immediately wrote to all our members Now, more than ever, we need your
Commons motion in a bid to raise this explaining the situation and set up a support.
issue in parliament. We’ll be lobbying dedicated page on our website with a
hard to help Lynne block this move specially created fundraising video. I'll leave the last word to another
and we have already had a good The response was overwhelming. At Republic member who supported the
response from members who have the time of going to press we have 2010 Appeal: “Republic is the only
been writing to their MPs. raised over £10,000 – two thirds of organisation that stands for true and
our total target – in just two weeks. meaningful democratic reform. If I
Further work is being done to ever win the lottery there will be a
highlight the issue in the media and Your donations have ranged from £5 large wad going their way, not just 25
with party leaders. to £1,000. Every gift makes a huge quid!”
3. Imagine | 3
So they say...
We claim to live in a democracy, yet
our head of state is chosen by the
Send your letters to email@example.com
Windsor womb, not the ballot box.
I joined in the "debate" on the opposition to their "goddess" or even Liam Finn (Republic member)
Conservative Home site, prompted her image. One royalist stated that —
by Republic, when the issue of the most of the republicans were The more I studied the workings of
Royal Family arose. There was no "professional lawyers" and seemed to the House of Windsor, the more of a
debate from the royal supporters regard this as such a moral defect republican I became. It may have
beyond insisting the royal family that they had nothing worthwhile to started as disillusion with Prince
offered stability and held politicians offer. Why this should be so or how Charles, a born abuser of his
in check. From one man in he knew was not explained. James hereditary privileges, content to use
particular, paroxysms of fury, at Macintyre, in his The Politics Column, his unelected office to put leading
those who dared to question this. in The New Statesman of 5 October British architects out of business with
This character was all over the referred to "the fanatical Tory his cheap one-liners. But it grew into
"discussion" attempting to respond blogosphere". But criticise the something much more fundamental.
to every comment. His approach royals and mere fanaticism falls
was to state over and over that he short of describing this lot. What we Anthony Holden
knew that the royals were best and see here is more like a cross between —
to ask why republicans were fundamentalist religionists and a Morally, the monarchy is injurious. It
obsessed by the silly "fetish" of lynch mob. Question their makes affluent parasitism respectable.
democracy. As his anger rose his superstitious veneration of even a
vulgarity did the same: lavatorial picture of their sacred object and the Piers Brendon
references to republicans urinating slim hold they have of reality is gone. —
on UK values, toilets flushing and I think this is one of the greatest
references to s**t. Denis Watkins myths, that the monarchy has no
Wales power. The monarchy has immense
This is a fundamentalist faith which constitutional power.
is not open to debate and ready to
whip itself into a fury at any Professor Adam Tomkins
Send your quotes to
Multi-million pound Civil List hike firstname.lastname@example.org
target of Republic lobbying Imagine
The magazine of Republic
Buckingham palace is currently family. Instead the Windsors should
negotiating a multi-million pound be looking at ways to cut their inflated
increase in the Civil List when it comes expenditure.
PO Box 69
up for renewal next year.
Brighton BN50 9GS
Republic has already received a
Under a law introduced in the early number of emails from MPs appalled
08708 508 825
1970s the Civil List is reviewed every at the prospect of a Civil List increase,
ten years, but it can only go up or be and we received a promise from
frozen, parliament can’t cut the George Osborne that a Conservative
Back issues of Imagine and more
payments without repealing that 1971 government will not protect the Civil
information about the magazine
law. List from public spending cuts.
can be found online at
As Britain continues to face tough Further lobbying will take place in
economic times and all political early 2010 to ensure any proposed
parties talk about sweeping public increase is strongly opposed in
Let us know if you would prefer
service cuts Republic believes it is, at parliament.
your copy by post or email.
best, crass to start lobbying for a huge
increase in payments to the royal A decision must be made by July.
4. 4 | Imagine
Republic pledges central
role in reform movement
over story . . . cover story . . . cover story . . . cover story . . . cover story . . . cover story . . . cover
The parliamentary expenses scandal
has pushed the issue of constitutional AGM adopts Statement of Principles
reform further up the political agenda
than ever before. People right across
the country are coming to the view
that the way we do politics has to
Republic has pledged to place itself at
the heart of the constitutional reform
debate, which is why we have signed
up as partners to the Power 2010
campaign and why we’ll be
campaigning on constitutional reform
issues in the lead up to the next
One of the big mistakes pro-reform
campaigners have made in the past
has been to dismiss the issue of the Republic was able to report a solid record of growth in media exposure.
monarchy, to compromise on the key
Republicans from across the country protect the privacy of Republic
gathered in London in October for members by establishing an
“Republic believes power should
Republic's 2009 Annual General unincorporated association in addition
belong to the people by right. Meeting. to the limited company. The second
was to adopt a new statement of
It should be “we the people”
Republic's Executive Chair John principles reflecting the core values of
who are delegating power.” Campbell updated members on republicanism. All motions were
another successful year which saw passed by a clear majority.
issue of popular sovereignty, the idea membership and media coverage grow
that “we the people” must be in dramatically. Graham Smith explained The statement of principles, which has
charge. The debate has too often the strategy behind this growth and been placed on Republic’s website,
been couched in terms of people described some of the key events and raised a number of issues which were
asking if the government would be initiatives of the previous twelve debated at some length. The
kind enough to delegate power. months. statement sets out the basis for our
republicanism and commitment to a
Republic believes power should This year's financial report was the more democratic Britain, answering
belong to the people by right. It first to be presented by Republic's new some key objections put to us in the
should be “we the people” who are Treasurer Suzanne Campbell, a course of the campaign.
delegating power to our politicians. director of the campaign for over six
years. Suzanne explained that Professor Stephen Haseler, former
This is the message we’ll be taking to Republic's accounts would be Chair of Republic, was awarded life
MPs, candidates and the media in the presented in a new format to meet the membership for his services to
lead up to the next election, a time rigorous reporting standards of the republicanism. Stephen gave a wide-
when our constitution will be on full voluntary sector. ranging and humorous speech that
display for all to see, even more so if touched on all aspects of the
we end up with a hung parliament and Two important decisions were made republican case. A lively question and
the Queen choosing our PM. by the AGM this year. The first was to answer session followed.
5. Imagine | 5
Republican Round-up NEW BOOK
Republic has recently secured the new Commons motion calling for the OUT NOW
backing of Paul Heaton, formerly of proposed FOI changes to be dropped.
A new collection of essays has been
bands The Beautiful South and
published by Republic to mark the
House Martins. Also joining the News from around the
200th anniversary of the death of
cause are comic, actor and writer Commonwealth has been
Robin Ince and heavy metal front-man encouraging. A visit by Charles and
Mark Greenway. You can find out Camilla to Canada was met with The book, Good Company: Ideas on
more about our high profile varying degrees of hostility and Modern Republicanism, includes
supporters by visiting our website at indifference. A visit to Australia by essays from Michael Mansfield,
www.republic.org.uk/supporters. Edward Windsor was virtually ignored Claire Rayner, Peter Tatchell and
by the press, while the debate others.
We had a packed venue for Anthony continues to grow in New Zealand,
Holden’s talk at the Plough pub in not least thanks to the hard work of You can purchase a copy online at
central London. A month earlier we our counter parts in the NZ republican www.republic.org.uk/shop or by
had an excellent event in Hampstead, movement. sending a cheque for £4.99 to the
at which Jonathan Bartley, from usual address
Christian think tank Ekklesia, spoke Graham Smith recently visited Oxford (with your
about his republican convictions. University and Eton college to deliver name, address
talks and participate in debates on the and write ‘Good
A parliamentary reception was held issue of republicanism. Company’ on
in early November to launch our new the back of the
Freedom of Information campaign. Remarks made by a Labour candidate cheque.)
MPs Lynne Jones, Brian Iddon and about the Queen ended up helping our
Doug Naysmith were there, all of cause as the incident prompted a raft
whom have since put their names to a of calls for media interviews.
Message from the Chair
Making the case for real change John Campbell
Our recent Annual announced that it could take another way we do politics.
Membership Survey fifteen years to make the upper house
(see page 8) has fully elected. That means the whole That's why Republic is working hard to
shown that you, like process will have taken over 100 years put republican principles at the heart
me, support a whole in all! Far from being flexible, our of the wider constitutional reform
range of other constitution is clearly an obstacle to movement.
democratic reforms in addition to the democratic reform
abolition of the monarchy. It's been another fantastic year for
Republic which has seen dramatic
I'm afraid however that there is all too
“By abolishing the monarchy we growth in membership and media
often a sense of “tinkering around the treat ourselves to a unique coverage. Our supporter base – that's
edges” in the constitutional reform you – is now more active and engaged
opportunity to protect our than ever. I've no doubt that 2010 will
liberties and rights.” see more exciting developments as
Republicans know that the one key our movement gets bigger, stronger
reform from which all others must and louder. With the fantastic
follow is the abolition of the monarchy By abolishing the monarchy we treat response we’ve had to our survey and
and the adoption of a new constitution ourselves to a unique opportunity to our recent 2010 appeal, I’m more
based on the power of the people – protect our liberties and rights by certain than ever that we have what it
not the Crown. limiting the powers of those we takes to get the job done.
choose to govern us. And in the
You'll often hear our current process we can seriously examine – On behalf of everyone at Republic,
constitutional ragbag described as for the first time – the full range of have a peaceful festive season and a
“flexible”. In fact, it's the exact democratic reforms and decide prosperous New Year
opposite. Jack Straw recently together which ones will improve the
6. 6 | Imagine
Aspiration over fear
This is an issue our
country needs to face
up to. It is a real
issue of real politics.
This is about Britain, today, how we
govern ourselves, how we relate to
each other and to our politicians, how
we manage power in this complex and
So let’s cut to the chase. The
monarchy must be abolished. It
serves no useful purpose for the
people of this country, yet it provides
limitless power to the government and
From among our nation of 60m not one person can contend with Charles?
to our politicians. And it provides a absurd assertion completely at odds sophisticated society. We are an
regal cloak for that power, a cloak that with the truth. And it is a simple advanced society, with technology our
deflects serious debate about our truth: Our politicians are pro- great grandfathers could barely have
politics and the power our politicians monarchy because our monarchy is dreamt of when they were young.
wield. pro-politician. It gives them more Who made this country what it is?
power than they could ever wish for. Doctors, scientists, intellectuals,
engineers, leaders, explorers,
“Monarchists will tell you the
Monarchists will tell you the British businessmen and women, Nobel
British people couldn’t possibly people couldn’t possibly elect laureates, artists and entrepreneurs.
someone better than Charles Windsor
elect someone better than
to do the job of Head of State. In one
Charles Windsor to do the job.” breath insulting this great nation of “Flying to the moon anyone can
thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs,
artists, inventors, explorers and learn, being head of state?
Monarchists will tell you monarchy accomplished soldiers. Not only are That’s a job only for Royals.”
provides stability: But tell that to the the British people too stupid to make
dozens of nations plunged into civil the choice – monarchists claim – but
war, conflict and revolution over the from among our nation of 60 million
past two centuries – a litany of not one person can contend with the Did these people receive “training
monarchical instability and chaos that genetically ordained virtues of Charles from birth” to achieve greatness? No,
has led to all but a handful of nations Windsor, or Harry. they grew up in a challenging world,
becoming republics. competing against their peers, against
Monarchists will tell you that who we the normal pressures of life. And in
Monarchists will carry on about were born to is more important than their adulthood they strived for
tourism: A vacuous and irrelevant what we achieve. They will tell you success and they got there. And yet
distraction without evidence. that the Windsors are “trained from monarchists insult the greatest people
birth” for the job. But consider this: of our country by demanding that the
Monarchists will tell you our Queen Britain is a great country, an position of head of state must be
keeps power from our politicians: An accomplished, modern and reserved for the Windsor family,
because they have been “trained from
Do we have your email address? birth”. Flying to the moon anyone
can learn, being head of state? That’s
If we haven’t you could be missing out on important a job only for Royals.
campaign news and regular opportunities to help us
spread the word and tell the world about what Republic Of course monarchists will tell you
is doing and saying. Email email@example.com. that there is no alternative, no other
system of government has yet been
7. Imagine | 7
devised that could replace our
monarchy. They’ll say republicans
Military manoeuvres: Royals,
can’t agree on an alternative and
cannot say what that alternative might
regiments and chests full of medals
be. And in an appeal to apathy and
inaction they’ll claim it’s just all too
difficult, so let’s not bother to aspire
The Queen lays the
to a better way of doing things, let’s
first wreath at the foot
just stick with what we’ve got.
of the Cenotaph and
bows. She is followed
Theirs is a creed of fear, of clinging to
one by one by the other adult
what they know, it is a belief founded
members of her immediate family, all
on distrust of the people. And this is
in military uniform. This year Prince
sad, as there are serious, important
Harry lays a wreath for the first time,
issues at stake. There are
representing his father who is on an
fundamental questions facing Britain’s
official visit to Canada. After the Royals and military “intertwined”.
politics: these are questions of power
ceremony, which marks so many
– who has it, how do they get it, in
tragically shortened lives, the Queen
whose interests are they exercising it hardly be stronger. After 14 years in
stands motionless as God is implored
and how can they be held accountable the Navy and Marines he became a
to extend hers.
for it? caseworker for an ex-forces charity.
The official Remembrance Sunday
“I want Britain to have the very “When I watched Edward Windsor on
ceremony is a powerful reminder of
TV, laying a wreath at a war memorial,
just how deeply the monarchy and the
best, the best of everything - and with his little uniform and all of
military are intertwined in the popular
and that means the very best his medals, I only feel shame and
disgust” he says. “Shame that we can
democracy.” allow this person to represent the
“They must reconcile a need to courageous men and women who have
given up their lives for their country -
And there is an alternative. In place of mark the lives of their fallen
and disgust that the Windsor family
the monarch an elected Head of state,
comrades with a strong anti- can carry on the pretence of 'serving
a notable figure, popularly elected, us'.”
accountable and so able to act in a monarchy impulse.”
real and meaningful way, to play a real Geoff Harries, a republican who served
part in our politics and our public life. for 14 years in the RAF, has a more
Not a partisan executive office but a Republic counts many former service
nuanced view of the royals' part in the
single representative head of state, men and women among its
proceedings. “The royal family have a
chosen by us to represent our nation. membership. For them, Remembrance
right and duty - as we all do - to
events can be particular unsettling.
remember those who gave their lives
Monarchists have a dreary, negative They must reconcile a need to mark
in defence of this country” he says.
and uninspiring view of Britain. Best the lives of their fallen comrades with
leave alone they say, all too difficult a strong anti-monarchy impulse.
But Harries resents the fact that the
they say, you can’t trust the British media has made the Windsor family
people they say. Mark Sutton, a Republic member from
the focal point of the Remembrance
Nottinghamshire, was in the Army
events. “My focus is on my own act of
I don’t have that view. I want Britain from 1981 to 1986 and on reserve to
remembrance - two friends of mine
to have the very best, the best of 2005. He doesn't feel that the royals
were killed in Aden during the
everything – and that means the very should be involved in Remembrance
emergency of 1967.”
best democracy. events at all. “Wasn't it imperialism
and militarism that caused the Great
As for the military careers of the
War to begin with?” he asks. “Then
royals, both Scullion and Sutton
surely these two things should be kept
describe them as “a joke”. “It has
away from any ceremonies.”
This is an edited version of a speech always been the case that the
delivered to the Eton College Orwell Windsors would never be put in a
It's a feeling shared by Stephen
Scullion, whose commitment to Continued page 9
Britain's service men and woman could
8. 8 | Imagine
2009 Strategy Survey Results
We had a fantastic response to our illustrates the vagaries of
Annual Membership Survey, sent out hereditary public office. At
to all paid-up members in August. all other times we will
Republic's Policy and Strategy continue to put forward a
Committee has been poring over your positive, aspirational case
responses since then and many of for a republic based on
your suggestions have been discussed sound principles of
in detail by staff and Directors. We've democracy and
responded personally to all members accountability. We asked you to nominate campaign priorities.
whose ideas we are going to
implement. These principles are shared by a great into the press and media” to be our
many more people than you might top priority in 2010. Happily, this is in
Most of you were very happy with the realise - it seems that Republic line with our campaign strategy and
range of communication methods we members underestimate how many we are confident that our media
use to keep members updated on the other republicans there are. More than profile will continue to expand in
campaign. A small number of you felt 90 per cent of you were unaware that 2010, leading to both a higher level of
that Imagine was too “low brow” and there are over 10 million republicans debate about the monarchy and a
suggested including more academic in Britain (a figure extrapolated from a larger, more engaged membership.
articles, while others felt the exact range of recent opinion polls). This
opposite. As always, campaigning is a demonstrates that we may need to
balancing act and we seem to be work harder at communicating the “Most of you had seen Republic
getting that balance right for most of very significant level of support there representatives on TV, heard us
you. is for a republic.
on the radio or read about our
One of our key aims over the past year campaigns in the press.”
“The fact that opinion is divided has been to increase the level of
engagement that members have with
in this way suggests again that
the campaign. Our efforts seem to Beyond getting into the press, it is
we are currently getting the have paid off, with more than 50 per also clear that we must continue to
cent of you having taken a campaign work with other democratic renewal
balance about right.”
action (such as signing a petition or groups and ensure that republican
writing to your MP) in the last twelve principles underpin the wider reform
One issue that came up a number of months. While this is an excellent agenda. The vast majority of you
times in your responses was personal response rate for the campaigning support a range of other constitutional
attacks on individual members of the sector, we clearly need a much more reforms in addition to the abolition of
royal family. Some of you felt that we active membership if we are to pass the monarchy. A written constitution,
should avoid criticising the royals the 'tipping point' into a mass proportional representation and an
altogether and instead concentrate movement. A number of initiatives, elected upper house were the most
solely on promoting the core such as Republic Towns, are aimed at popular.
principles of republicanism. Others achieving this.
(roughly the same number) felt This demonstrates that Republic's
Republic was being too soft on the Another crucial way of building a more membership is motivated by a broad
royals and that we should make more active supporter base is to ensure our commitment to democratic reform,
frequent, and stronger, attacks on the campaigns are covered by the national rather than the “envy” that
Windsor family. media. Most of you (67 per cent) had monarchists often attribute to us.
seen Republic representatives on TV, While remaining a single-issue
The fact that opinion is divided in this heard us on the radio or read about pressure group, Republic will continue
way suggests again that we are our campaigns in the press in the last to work with other reform campaigns
currently getting the balance about twelve months. This reflects the where our interests converge.
right. We will forcefully criticise an significant increase in media exposure
individual royal when there is a we have gained in the last year or so – Don’t forget, you can keep the
serious constitutional point to be a trend which you want to see feedback coming in at the usual email
made, if there is evidence of continue. The overwhelming majority and postal address.
corruption or if their behaviour (91 per cent) of you wanted “getting
9. Imagine | 9
Battle of Ideas WIN A MUG
Republic’s Graham Smith joined a parliament and government: an How much does Republic
panel debate at the annual Battle of understanding that parliament is ours, claim the monarchy costs
Ideas festival, discussing ‘Parliament: MPs should be representatives of the British taxpayer ever
Reform or Revolution’. ordinary people, not public officials or year?
Graham was joined on the panel by
former MP and BBC journalist Martin
Bell, Jessica Asato of think tank “Power delegated by us - in a Answers to the usual
Progress and James Panton, Oxford address or email by
limited fashion - to our servants,
lecturer in politics. January 1st.
those we freely elect to legislate
The debate was dominated by the
and govern in our name.”
need for change in the aftermath of
the parliamentary expense scandal.
Graham’s key message was that “A new vision of power. Power not
tinkering with the system we have now being gifted from on high, handed
down to us from time to time by our
“We need a new way of doing benevolent masters, but power
delegated by us – in a limited fashion
politics. A new understanding of – to our servants, those we freely elect
the role of parliament and to legislate and govern in our name.”
government.” Martin Bell argued for electoral reform
and primaries at elections. James
was not going to be enough. He made Panton also called for the abolition of Go on - visit the shop...
the case that it wasn’t a question of the monarchy and defended the role
reform or revolution but revolutionary of parliament, warning against the
reform. current climate of ‘anti-politics’.
He told the debate: “We need a new You can listen to an audio recording
way of doing politics. A new of the debate at
understanding of the role of www.battleofideas.org.uk.
Royals & Regiments www.republic.org.uk/shop
Continued from page 7 of medals and awards which have not Queen and Country are completely
been earned and are therefore totally unrelated - “a bit like 'love and
situation of danger” says Scullion. He meaningless and immoral.” sausage'” he jokes. Harries, whose
cites Andrew's Falklands experience: military service took him to Cyprus
“The amount of protection that he We're often told that the monarchy is and the Omani island of Masirah,
received was always 'hush, hush' but I essential to maintaining loyal, believes the phrase is “outmoded and
had it on good authority from my disciplined armed forces. After all, no longer relevant. Today's men and
friends who served there that he was service men and women fight “for women of the armed forces would still
well protected. It's all just a game to Queen and Country” don't they? be willing to serve and fight for a
them.” That phrase means “absolutely republic, as they would regard it as
nothing” to Scullion. “It just makes me fighting to preserve their families
Harries is less dismissive. He believes feel extremely annoyed and upset. If freedom and way of life.”
that both Andrew and his father did Elizabeth Windsor was an ordinary
have genuine military careers and citizen then I would be only too happy So the message from these republican
earned the right to wear campaign to protect and serve for her as well as ex-servicemen is clear: it is not
medals. Harries' criticism is reserved the rest of my fellow citizens.” unpatriotic to believe the link between
for the other Windsor men: “It makes monarchy and military must be
my blood boil to see Charlie and his Sutton thinks it's “a bizarre term”. He broken. Royals and regiments don't
brother Edward weighed down by rows explains that for him the concepts of mix.
10. 10 | Imagine
Best of the Blog Republic TALKS
Gareth Hughes Protestant. The hereditary principle,
which I believe has no place in our
society, seems not even to be rock
As a kid, I was given a
solid when it comes to picking a
picture chart of
since William the
Just imagine that when Elizabeth
Conqueror. I’m sure it was given me 6:30 for 7pm start, 2nd February
Windsor dies, Parliament declares that
‘learn’ me some history, but it subtly The Plough
neither Charles nor William shall
brainwashed me into thinking that 27 Museum Street
become king, but they had decided to
British monarchy is a long, unbroken London
pass the crown to David Carnegie,
chain stretching back almost a WC1A 1LH
aged 48, of Brechin, Scotland! As far
as I can tell, Mr Carnegie is as far from
Guest speakers Brendan O'Neill,
the throne today as Georg Ludwig was
Of course, it’s nothing like that. The editor of Spiked, and Pam Giddy,
in 1714. The royal gossipists talk
succession from one crowned head to director of Power 2010, will discuss
about the possibility of skipping the
another has been squabbled over the royal prerogative powers and
ever unpopular Charles Windsor, for
throughout that time, making the line what they mean for British
their poster boy ‘Wills’, but there is
of succession as complicated as a democracy.
precedent for a much larger jump -
London Tube map. I remember on my
long live, King David!
childhood chart that even the FREE ADMISSION
accession of Charles Stuart jr was
backdated to his father’s execution, online@ Republic TALKS is a continuing
completely missing the glaring republic.org.uk/blog series of events being held in
historical reality that England and London and throughout the
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure
Wales, and later Scotland and Ireland, country.
David Carnegie is a nice bloke, but I
were a de facto republic for just over a
don’t want to be subject to a monarch
decade, and the earliest attempt at a Details will be posted online at
whoever it is. After all, Mr Carnegie
modern, rather than mediaeval, www.republic.org.uk/whatson as
happens to be the son of a duke, and
well as in Imagine.
lives with his wife and three sons in a
nice little castle. I want to live in a
“As far as I can tell, Mr Carnegie If you would like to suggest topics
Britain where any common citizen –
or guest speakers for future talks
is as far from the throne today regardless of class, ethnicity, gender
please get in touch at the usual
and religion - can rise to the highest
as Georg Ludwig was in 1714.” address or email.
office in this land with the consent of
the electorate, and then make way for
the next First Citizen after a few years. arrangement that is clearly absurd,
republican state. Monarchists cast this
indefensible and incompatible with
period as the Interregnum, ‘between
However, I tell you about King David any reasonable ethical framework one
kings’. However, no one, whatever
because it highlights just how flimsy a would like to have for this country.
their political stripe, in the period
lot of the monarchy’s ‘tradition’ really
used such an anachronistic term.
is. The image of a long, unbroken Gareth Hughes is a member of
chain of hereditary monarchs Republic and a guest contributor to
There have been lots of twists, tricks
stretching back through history with the Republic blog. Get in touch if you
and breaks in the chain of monarchy.
nothing but the best intentions for would like to contribute an article to
One that perhaps needs a little more
their country is myth, not history. The the blog or Imagine.
publicity is the great big fudge in the
emphasis on the line of succession
rules of succession that led to Georg
and pedigree is not built of some
Ludwig von Braunschweig-Lüneburg
divine order, but is there to stop the Join the debate at republic.org.uk/
becoming monarch in 1714. There
toffs squabbling. After all, the blog. Articles are posted by Graham
were around 56 people higher up the Smith, James Gray and guest
fluttering scraps of our constitution
list of succession, but Parliament bloggers.
define the monarchic succession as to
chose him on the basis that he was
Protestant heirs of a German princess
Protestant, whereas the others were You can submit articles to the usual
called Sophia. A constitutional email address.
either Catholic or not known to be
11. Imagine | 11
Republic of Plinthland On Saturday September 5th Pauline and passports, which she handed out
Godfrey took her place on the fourth to passers-by. She conducted votes
plinth on Trafalgar Square. Pauline on adopting a constitution and a new
was one of thousands of randomly anthem and spoke about why
selected people chosen to spend an Plinthland’s “nearest neighbour”, the
hour on the plinth doing, well, UK, should also be a republic.
whatever they wanted. It was part of
Anthony Gormley’s “One & Other” Pauline’s enthusiastic display in front
exhibition that ran for three months. of a large crowd attracted the
attention of Sky Arts, who invited her
Pauline chose to use her hour to onto their regular One & Other
declare the plinth the “Republic of programme to discuss her Plinthland
Plinthland”, an opportunity to promote idea further.
Republic and republicanism.
Pauline is now busy organising a
Pauline had printed Plinthland money Republic Town in Suffolk.
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network‘25 NAME: Emily Robinson
DIRECTOR SINCE: October 2006
Emily is a Visiting Tutor at Goldsmith
Network ‘25 is Republic’s regular giving club. In return University in
for a monthly gift of at least £25 you will receive: London where she
≥ invitations to regular events where you can meet
the Republic team and our distinguished supporters She has
≥ regular reports from Republic’s campaign team, so for campaign
you know exactly what your support is helping us
achieve group Unlock
≥ free entry for you and a guest to all Republic’s paid
events, including our Annual Conference.
Emily says: “When I visit other
For more information, and to join online, visit our ‘join’ countries which are republics, I find
page at www.republic.org.uk/join and select the
Network ‘25 option.
that their national symbols and
ceremonies celebrate the political
struggles of their citizens. I would
love it if ours could do the same.”
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.
Get your MP to back EDM 83
As you may know, the government recently
JOINING IS EASY
announced plans to remove the ‘public Republic’s campaign work relies on
interest test’ on FOI requests relating to the the support of people like you,
monarchy. This will effectively mean a citizens who are committed to the
blanket ban on access to royal documents. idea of a republic. If you’re not a
For background information on these member already you can join online
proposals see our Freedom of Information or over the phone.
page on the website.
www.republic.org.uk - 08708 508 825
Following the launch of our campaign earlier
this month, Lynne Jones MP has tabled the
following Early Day Motion:
“That this House disagrees with the
proposed removal of the public interest
test for access through the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 to information held I’ve signed up to Republic’s
by public authorities relating to the Royal
Urgent Response Network, so
Household’s function and activities, and with the blanket ban on accessing
Royal documents that would result; and instead supports the removal of the whenever a press release
exemption of the Royal Household from the provisions of the Freedom of goes out I can use it write a
Information Act 2000.”
letter to my local press. It’s a
EDMs are an excellent way to raise awareness of an issue, galvanise support and great way to get local
gain media coverage.
Please ask your MP to sign EDM 83 today - you can email them right now via From Kate Didsbury
writetothem.com or write to them at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. Republic supporter
Remember – this EDM is not about abolishing the monarchy or criticising the
Windsor family. It’s about the principle of political transparency, which all MPs
from all parties should be able to support. Send your Top Tip to
Imagine: how far
can yours go?
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valuable promotional opportunity in waiting rooms or staff canteens.
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