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Republic Magazine | Issue 3 2010
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Republic Magazine | Issue 3 2010

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  • 1. Republic saw a massive surge of new supporters sign up to our website and Facebook page in the week following the announcement of the wedding of William Wales and Kate Middleton. The palace is clearly gearing up to use the event as a PR exercise but polls and newspaper sales suggest the people aren’t that interested. That gives us an opportunity to push our case for reform as the wedding provokes renewed debate about the monarchy. It will also be a welcome dress rehearsal for the jubilee in 2012. We have launched a wedding mug and new pin badge to mark the occasion and plans are being developed for activities and events catering for those who are bored with wedding news. In January Graham Smith will be meeting with our friends and counterparts in Sweden to learn about what they did when faced with a major royal wedding earlier this year. Republic has been busy getting on the airwaves and in the papers, trying to break through the waves of sycophantic coverage. The BBC were inundated with com- plaints over their coverage of the announcement, to which they responded on their Newswatch programme. In response to the increased activity we have been taking on new volunteers and have launched a new urgent appeal (more about that in this magazine). We have also been advertising to recruit a new administration officer to deal with the increased membership. T H E V O I C E O F T H E R E P U B L I C A N M O V E M E N T 2010 • Issue 3 • FREE Wedding plans prompt surge of new supporters for Republic Page 2 Republican round up Page 3 Trained from birth? Page 5 Sad news from republic Page 7 An urgent appeal
  • 2. Church of England denies Bishop free speech The Bishop of Willesden was suspended recently after posting comments about the royal wedding on his Facebook page. While the comments appeared to many to be a little crass Republic defended his right to speak out against the hype around the wedding and to voice his frustration about the celebrity culture surrounding the royals. Republic said in response: “The key question is this: if the comments had been made about the Rooneys or the Beckhams would anyone have taken notice? We cannot start treating the Windsors as quasi-religious figures who cannot be blasphemed against.” People want choice Republic responded to polls showing a clear majority favouring William over Charles as the next monarch by pointing out that support for the hereditary principle is collapsing under a clamour for choice. Of course the logical conclusion of giving people a choice is that the line up of candidates must extend well beyond the Windsor family. Republic on the Alan Titchmarsh Show Republic’s Graham Smith has been on the Alan Titchmarsh Show twice in recent months, firstly to discuss Prince Charles’s political lobbying and then again to debate the implications of the royal wedding. Unsurprisingly the audience and other guests were stacked in favour of the monarchy, but Graham was able to get our points across and promote Republic to a large ITV audience. New royal finance deal to be challenged The government has announced plans to replace the civil list with a new ‘sovereign support grant’ equal to 15% of revenue from the Crown Estates. As the Crown Estates is property of the nation, not the royal family, we see no justification for this. Republic will be challenging the new plans and calling for proper budgeting to be done for future royal funding so we can properly scrutinise how the royals spend taxpayers’ money. Palace demand poverty grant Freedom of information documents revealed recently that Buckingham palace requested money from a government grant set up to alleviate poverty. Graham Smith told reporters: “This sense of entitlement speaks volumes about the attitudes of the Windsors and their household. For them it’s all about take, take, take. This is an outrage. Once again we need a full disclosure of royal finances and the management of the palaces.” REPUBLICANROUNDUP 2 CONTACT REPUBLIC REPUBLIC HAS A NEW ADDRESS AND NEW PHONE NUMBER Republic Campaign Suite 14040 145-157 St John Street London EC1V 4PY T: 020 7608 5742 (Don’t worry, we’re phasing out our two PO Boxes, so if you’ve sent anything to either one we’ll still get it). Republic relies on the financial support of republicans like you. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a huge difference. Donate online at www.republic.org.uk/donate or call 020 7608 5742
  • 3. By Republic’s Campaign Manager Graham Smith The whole argument is of course completely daft – the royals get no such training, and what they do requires no training. To suggest that anyone can learn to be an astronaut or fighter pilot, a physicist or brain surgeon, or an engineer or school teacher during their adult life, but ‘being a royal’ needs a lifetime of training from birth is quite obviously a silly notion. Yet it is one we hear quite often, perhaps proving the old adage that the monarchy makes otherwise intelligent people say some very silly things. The argument also begs the question about the rights of the Windsors and why they believe they can deny their children the right to choose their own destiny and career path. It also falls down on its own merits – if training from birth is needed why does that mean it must be hereditary? Surely infants from across the country can be assessed according to parentage, genes, health etc and a handful can be chosen for the training. Of course that’s also a stupid idea, but no more so than the notion that royals are ‘trained from birth’. Whatever the weaknesses of this particular argument, it has now been fatally undermined by the introduction of Kate Middleton to the family. She is what the media love to rather offensively call ‘a commoner’, her background has not been one of royal ‘training’ and she has not been prepared for royal duties all her life – yet the monarchists expect her to be Queen. Camilla is a starker example, as she had no idea she would have the chance to marry Charles until much later in life. So we could have two Queens in succes- sion without this crucial training to fall back on when the job gets really tough. I’m struggling to take this line of argument seriously, but let’s not hear anymore nonsense about ‘training from birth’, any competent adult can be head of state, and the British people are quite capable of choosing among the candidates. The only ‘training’ people need is the experience and challenges of normal life – something the Windsors rarely see. [This article was originally posted on the Republic website at www.republic.org.uk/comment] ‘Commoner’ Kate means end to ‘trained from birth’ claim 3For more news from Republic go to www.republic.org.uk One of the side effects of the Wales/Middleton wedding is that monarchists can no longer carp on about the importance of someone being ‘trained’ from birth, because, if they get their way, they’ll have Queen Kate in a few years time, someone who certainly had no royal upbringing as a child.
  • 4. Is the royal wedding driving you to drink? Get Republic’s royal wedding memorabilia while stocks last Go to www.republic.org.uk/shop to see our range of Republic and royal wedding merchandise. All profits go to help the republican cause.
  • 5. It was with great sadness that we had to break the news recently that John Campbell, who served as our Chair for six years until June this year, died in October following a brief battle with cancer. John made an enormous impact on Republic, chairing our board through a crucial period of growth and change. With his wife, Suzanne, John attended virtually every meeting during his time as Chair, making the journey each time from Cardiff to London. As well as serving as Chair John would regularly join Suzanne in speaking at schools and universities, championing our cause with a heartfelt passion. His commitment and enthusiasm were inspiring, not only to those of us who worked closely with him on the board but also to any who witnessed the engaging and forthright lead given by him at the many Republic AGMs and Conferences held during his chairmanship. At this year’s AGM former Chair Stephen Haseler and Campaign Manager Graham Smith paid tribute to John’s character and commitment. Stephen spoke of his deeply held sense of republicanism and his democratic spirit, which came through in the way he chaired meetings and dealt with members and directors. Graham Smith said: “I know one of the most common questions or challenges John would have faced when debating the monarchy in schools and universities was “well who would we have as president? Who could replace the queen?” Well I know the answer to that: had John lived to see his dream of a British republic realised I would have been proud and honoured to vote John Campbell for president. He was a great guy, a good friend and a valuable leader – the right man at the right time, he did us proud and we will miss him greatly.” John Campbell remembered at Republic meeting 5Read what we’ve got to say at www.republic.org.uk/blog John Campbell Lecture The Board has agreed to launch a new Annual John Campbell Lecture in honour of John’s huge contribution to the cause. The first lecture will take place sometime during the spring or summer of 2011. Republic is planning a series of demonstrations outside Buckingham palace over the coming weeks and months. If you want to be involved get in touch with Graham Smith on 07747 608 770 or email him at: graham@republic.org.uk Demonstrating our case for a republic
  • 6. The 2010 AGM was held on 13th November. The meeting heard reports on the campaign and a presentation on our Freedom of Information work. Former political adviser Paul Richards and Republic volunteer William Summers talked about how FOI rules work in relation to the monarchy and about our efforts to get released information about royal security and Prince Charles’s lobbying. Later on members broke into groups to discuss a variety of issues to do with the campaign, from talking at schools to working with the media. Ideas that were reported back to the main meeting will be fed into our strategy review currently underway. The day ended with a talk from Helena Tolvhed (pictured) from the Swedish republican association, who talked about their experiences in the run up to the Swedish royal wedding in June this year. 6 The AGM saw a number of directors stand down and new directors elected for the first time. At the board’s first meeting new officers were also elected: Emily Robinson (pictured) is now Executive Chair, Jen Gingell is Vice Chair and Tim Sharp is Treasurer. Among those standing down were long serving directors Cyril Meadows, Joe Coten and Charles Brooker. Former Chair Gareth Robson has also stood down since the AGM. Suzanne Campbell, who served as Treasurer for the past eighteen months, stepped down too. In recognition of her commitment to the cause the Board has awarded Suzanne Life Membership of Republic. Six new directors were elected to the board: Jen Gingell, Paula Feehan, Peter Jenkins, Arthur Parry, Ben Bishop and Jayde Bradley. The new directors bring a wealth of experience from commercial and campaigning sectors. Further details about the new board and staff can be found at www.republic.org.uk/staff All change at the top Emily Robinson, Republic’s new Executive Chair Helena, Tolvhed from the Swedish republican association 2010 Annual General Meeting Are you signed up to Republic’s email list? If not you could be missing out on important updates, invitations and campaign actions. Sign up at www.republic.org.uk or contact us with your email address.
  • 7. Our allies in Common Cause, the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand republican movements have also been busy with wedding news. Recent polls have put Australian public opinion firmly back in favour of ditching the monarchy. In New Zealand the wedding has sparked off renewed debate on the issue. For more information regarding Common Cause please go to: www.republic.org.uk The Common Cause members are: The Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand www.republic.org.nz Autralian Republic www.republic.org.au Citizens for a Canadian Republic www.canadian-republic.ca 7Help us create a democratic Britain by making a donation at www.republic.org.uk/donate A Common Cause for republicans As we gear up for a busy eighteen months of campaigning we are launching a series of major appeals, starting with an urgent call for a £15,000 injection of funding. WE NEED YOUR HELP, NOW MORE THAN EVER With the palace spending millions on PR we have our work cut out fighting for change, but it’s a fight we can win with the right resources. We urgently need the staff and resources to help us respond effectively in the media, deal with the growing numbers of new members, organise a series of events throughout the year and raise the profile of Republic to new heights. Donations can be sent by cheque to the usual address or made online at www.republic.org.uk/urgentappeal An Urgent Appeal
  • 8. 1. YOUR DETAILS Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Address and postcode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Telephone number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. YOUR MEMBERSHIP RATE Our standard membership rate is £24 but you can pay anything above our minimum of £10 (£5 for students). I wish to pay £24 £50 £100 £__________ 3. YOUR PAYMENT METHOD We accept payment by credit/debit card or cheque. Please make all cheques payable to ‘Republic’. Credit or debit card Name on card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Card type Visa (Delta/Electron) MasterCard Switch Solo JCB (no Amex or Diners) Valid From/Issue number 􀁆 􀁆 Card number 􀁆 – – – 􀁆 􀁆 􀁆 􀁆 Expiry date mm/yy 􀁆 / 􀁆 3 Digit Security Code (back of card) 􀁆 􀁆 􀁆 􀁆 4. RETURN Please return to a Republic representative or send to Republic Campaign, Suite 14040, 145-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PY. © Republic 2010. Republic Campaign Ltd is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee operating under the name ‘Republic’. Registered Number: 05891072. Registered Address: Suite 14040, 145-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PY. Designed by Stuart Ogier www.stuartogier.com. All photos of the British Monarchy © The Royal Household. REPUBLIC MEMBERSHIP FORM Republic’s publications Find out more about the arguments in favour of real constitutional change. Find out more at www.republic.org.uk/shop Help the environment, pass Republic Magazine to a friend When you’re done with this magazine don’t put it in the bin, pass it on to friends or family or leave it in a public place where others can pick it up and read it. You’ll help promote the campaign just by leaving your magazine around for others to read. Friends and Family: Have they joined? Don’t forget to ask your friends and family to join Republic. With the wedding rarely far from the top of the news now is an ideal opportunity to raise the issue and, if need be, persuade people to back our campaign. If your friends and family support Britain being a republic – get them to join Republic! Next time your family all get together might be the best time to recommend they join Republic