Imagine 2009 Issue 4


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Imagine 2009 Issue 4

  1. 1. Free New B o 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 A IN AGE W P Back issues and more at
  2. 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 household. “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 British constitution.” 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 generous contribution.” 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. 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 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 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 Republic 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 Members 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. 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 change. 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 general election. 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. 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 Thomas Paine. 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, 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 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 movement. 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. 6 | Imagine Aspiration over fear Graham Smith 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 modern society. 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 that there is no alternative, no other system of government has yet been
  7. 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 James Gray 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 imagination. 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 Society. Scullion, whose commitment to Continued page 9 Britain's service men and woman could
  8. 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. 9. Imagine | 9 Battle of Ideas WIN A MUG Q 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? civil servants.” Graham was joined on the panel by former MP and BBC journalist Martin A 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 Royals & Regiments 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. 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 monarch. English monarchs 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 thousand years. 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 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, 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 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. 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. Win the Argument for just £3.99! Are you following us? “Monarchists routinely rubbish Find RepublicStaff on Win the argument every time with our nation by claiming that we the latest edition of How to Win the Argument! are dull and incapable of How to Win the Argument managing our own affairs.” delivers clear and concise You can now keep up to date with responses to the many common all the latest news and campaign and misleading arguments put alerts by following forward in favour of the RepublicStaff on monarchy. Twitter. How to Win the Argument has now been fully updated - the second edition is now available for just £3.99! Order your copy by sending a cheque to the usual postal address or buy online. Director Profile ≥ 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 teaches politics. ≥ invitations to regular events where you can meet the Republic team and our distinguished supporters She has previously worked ≥ regular reports from Republic’s campaign team, so for campaign you know exactly what your support is helping us achieve group Unlock Democracy. ≥ 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 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. 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@ 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. - 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 TOP TIP 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. coverage. Please ask your MP to sign EDM 83 today - you can email them right now via From Kate Didsbury 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? 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