Abolish the Monarchy: Why we should and how we will

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Abolish the Monarchy: Why we should and how we will

Abolish the Monarchy: Why we should and how we will

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The dust jacket, with its silhouette of St Edward’s Crown upturned, gives it the appearance of a lost Sex Pistols album. Although he is committed enough to the republican cause to lay down his freedom for it, there is something not altogether serious about the book he has produced.

I'd encourage everyone to read this book and then to get involved with the movement to abolish the monarchy. Even in my most evangelical of days as a teenager (I really must have been insufferable in my religious fervour) I could see that the belief the monarchy was somehow 'God-given' was simply not true. One of the stronger passages examines the prorogation affair of 2019 and the paralysis that overcame the queen as she struggled to reconcile her role of constitutional backstop with the expectation that the monarch do nothing to impede an elected government. As some of the largest land and business owners in the country, those interests are considerable so consequently is their interests in our lawmaking process.Furthermore, if those who decide the allocations of the real and unreal are cruel, mad or colossally wrong, what then? We should abolish monarchy, he says, because it stands for prejudice, elitism, favouritism and the like, values which are anathema to the British people.

There is no engagement with the writings of the German historian Ernst Kantorowicz, who exposed the sophistication of monarchical conceptions of the state. Rather than take a values-neutral approach to issues beyond the narrow question of how the head of state should be chosen, Smith makes republicanism a vessel for his own values, which he dresses up as those of the British people. Too often we Republicans get stuck hit with the usual freak examples of presidencies, usually from the US, Russia and occasionally France. But it isn't that any of them did anything bad, per se - although Smith points out that at times they definitely did - it is that there is no moral, economic, political or even historical reason why we need to keep this corrupt institution in place.Most importantly it is very thought provoking and the contents has actually changed my perception and opinions on many issues raised in this book. Asking a royal sycophant to read this would be like asking a devout Christian to read The God Delusion.

Nevertheless, nobody should be arrested for advocating what should really be common sense in this day and age. As with many books, I imagine, the publication timing is selected deliberately because it might benefit sales. For the purposes of transparency, I'll state that I've been anti-monarchist for my entire adult life.Making a compelling case for the various downsides of a constitutional conservation of inherited privilege, Graham Smith delivers a passionate and eloquent analysis of how monarchy impedes the full realisation of British democracy. Plus, there were always the arguments that the monarchy bring in huge revenues in tourism and that the British public overwhelmingly loved the royal family. Smith diagnoses this extraordinary episode, which culminated in the Supreme Court resorting to a legal fiction to annul Boris Johnson’s six-week suspension of Parliament, as a failure of monarchy. I appreciated the author’s direct but informative attempts to speak about republics in a hopeful but practical way.

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