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27/04/2011

Republic of Monarchy, please


Democracy - The belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief, in which power is either held by elected representatives or directly by the people themselves.

Meritocracy - A social system or society in which people have power because of their abilities, not because of their money or social position.

Royal Wedding hype is starting to dominate the national conversation here in Britain - there is a real sense of excitement amongst people, fuelled by the media which is generally pro-monarchy (why bite the hand that often feeds you?). However, I am a strong believer in democracy & meritocracy - unlike some of those invited to the wedding - and support Republic which campaigns for a democratic alternative to the monarchy. So this week is quite a frustrating one (although the spring sun helps).

The monarchy, an antiquated second chamber and the lack of consistent federal governance / lack of an English national assembly or regional assemblies all inhibit our country's ability to fully function as a fair, open society.

Unfortunately we live in a culture dominated by the cult of celebrity and are governed by a change-adverse political elite - as highlighted by the debates running up to the Alternative Vote Referendum which too often talk about preserving 'British political traditions'.

I do not buy into the arguments for such traditions - because as I see it, such traditions have propped up the remnants of a feudal domination system, such traditions maintain much of the Victorian class system, such traditions hold people back from reaching their full potential, such traditions exclude people based on their economic background, religious beliefs, sexuality etc., such traditions reduce accountability for those who hold power and so on.

As a matter of principle, I feel called to oppose this.

So whilst I wish William Wales and Kate Middleton all the best in their personal lives, I will not be celebrating the huge (24 carot gold, diamond encrusted) anchor on the continuing quest for a democratic and meritocratic society in Britain.

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