As the Queen’s Jubilee approaches can I just take this opportunity to make Shetland folk aware of the organisation Republic, campaigning for a democratic alternative to the monarchy in the UK. Please check out the website at www.republic.org.uk.
There are many of us now that believe that it is time for the UK and Scotland to have an elected accountable head of state with no-one allowed to assume the role through privilege of birth.
I resent being described as a subject of Her Majesty; I resent the reserved role that one particular aristocratic family has managed to retain without transparency or public accountability. I resent the significant amounts of public sector money being poured into jubilee celebrations in the middle of the worst recession in a generation and against the background of cuts, redundancies and serious reductions in local authority services.
Once again a royal jubilee/wedding/funeral/birth is used as a substitute for a presidential campaign – free heart-warming publicity for the royal family in a game where no-one else is allowed to play. The fawning celebrity worship which is about to reach fever pitch shows how powerfully the royals market themselves and how skilfully they are able to manipulate newspapers and TV away from ever questioning their right to rule. Bread and circuses!
Hereditary public office goes against every democratic principle. And because we can’t hold the Queen and her family to account at the ballot box, there’s nothing to stop them abusing their privilege, misusing their influence or simply wasting our money.
I would like to be able to vote for the position of head of the UK or Scottish state but I am not allowed to. I am disappointed at those political parties who argue for a retention of the monarchy – notably and more recently the SNP – in keeping us locked into a medieval, backward looking and obsequious constitutional settlement.
I would like the new undemocratically appointed Lord Lieutenant of Shetland to take note.
I am sure that if the Queen ran for election as the head of state tomorrow many people would vote for her. I might not, but it would be nice to have the choice.
Member of Republic and
11 Upper Baila,