Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Progressive Republicanism

I'm perfectly happy with the monarchy, and for me the idea of a Republic of Great Britain (or whatever) is ruined by the idea that the President would either be Gordon Brown (in the French system) or else some superannuated political nonentity (as in the Italian system) like, ooh, Tony Benn or Roy Hattersley. That prospect is enough to keep me a loyal and respectful subject of HMQ.
There are still those, however, who believe that it is simply wrong for the titular head of state to be a hereditary leftover of the Middle Ages. It's a reasonable enough point, though since it concentrates almost entirely on imagery and symbolism it leaves me rather cold. What is much less of a fair point is his snarky intro.
Parliament should vote to abolish the monarchy, declare the United Kingdom “an independent, indivisible, sovereign, secular and inclusive democratic republic nation”, then give the Royal Family a fortnight to quit the palace and turn it into a museum.
That, after all, is what the Nepalese parliament voted to do with its monarchy problem a month ago (by a majority of 560, with only four votes against). Or is Nepal now too modern and progressive a society for us to emulate?
Well, leaving aside the rather unique nature of the fall of the Nepalese royal house (the Crown Prince went nuts and slaughtered almost all of it, himself included, with an AK47) lets have a look at who the Government of Nepal is shall we? A successful Maoist insurgency, who drew their inspiration from the shining path. Mick Hume will have a different opinion I'm sure, as befits a former editor of Living Marxism, but I don't see communist terrorists as being either modern or progressive. I'll need a better example of a modern state abolishing its monarchy before I'm sold.

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