THE PARTY TO END OUR MEDIAEVAL MONARCHY
With British politics in total disarray there has never been a better time to break the mould.
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Peter Kellow writes
Two US Marines died on Friday in a Taliban attack on the Camp Bastion base where Prince Harry was being stationed. Four British airmen were also described as being “seriously injured” although the extent of their injuries and whether they are life threatening has not been revealed.
There is absolutely no doubt that the marines died because Prince Harry was in the compound. As Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, confirmed “We attacked that base because Prince Harry was in it and so they can know our anger.”
It is hardly surprising that his presence provoked a Taliban attack for killing the prince would be a great coup for them. As the Daily Mail reports:
…on Friday, 16 fighters dug beneath a perimeter fence on the camp’s eastern side and ran towards the airfield, where they were challenged by US Marines. They fired rocket-propelled grenades and rifles, killing the two Marines and destroying aircraft including Harrier jets and Cobra helicopters. …. [A] gun battle continued for three hours with the Taliban desperate to reach Harry’s accommodation …. The Prince was rushed to safety as the Taliban closed in.
The inadvisability of having a royal in a war zone was made clear earlier this year when Rear Admiral John 'Sandy' Woodward commented on the deployment of Prince William to the Falkland Islands
‘To have a Royal anywhere near the front line is a bloody nuisance for the rest of the front line. You have to take extra precautions that he doesn’t get shot down, that his plane doesn’t fail. You maintain it three times as carefully. If you have a Royal on board your ship it is the end of your career if he gets so much as a scratch. It’s never said, but it goes without saying.
So why go to all the trouble of placing Harry there at this time endangering the military operations and soldiers’ lives?
The reason is obvious, but the cowed British media won’t say it. Instead they quote the Taliban stating the reason in an attempt to discredit the argument. Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said: "…the Prince was seen in naked pictures in England. To cover this shame, maybe he can atone by showing that he is fighting beside their soldiers in Afghanistan."
The narrative here is as obvious as it is appalling. A few weeks ago Harry disgraced himself in a sex party in Las Vegas, one of the world’s capitals for gambling, prostitution and organised crime. As well as having sex with unnamed women, he played "strip billiards" with them. He demonstrated his contempt for normal standards of behaviour, for women, for his country and his family.
Talk of respecting his privacy is nonsense. He is inevitably in the public eye. And, anyway, what you do in your private life shows the kind of person you really are. The idea that you can compartmentalise your life having one set of standards in you private life and another different set for your public life is ridiculous. You are what you do whether in private or in public.
If you are in a position of power the public has a right to know about you. This is universally accepted for holders of democratic political office and it must be the same for those chosen for offices on the basis of bloodline – as long as we have such offices
So what do his advisors do? They attempt a damage limitation exercise trying to show a different side of the man. From being seen in a totally comprising situation of sleaze and self-indulgence, he takes on the role of soldier in the Afghan war, “fighting” alongside truly brave men – men who have been in the war zone for months. These men have not had time out for erotic escapades in Sin City.
By stationing Harry in Afghanistan, military lives are put at risk. Let’s be clear. There can be no possible military use for the Prince in Afghanistan. The only justification stated for putting him there is that he will somehow improve morale by his presence. But with the deaths and injuries resulting from his presence now recorded, it is practically certain that he has reduced morale. And there is the ongoing problem of defending him and making sure, as Rear Admiral Woodward put it, that he does not receive “so much as a scratch”.
The Mail reports that the mood at Camp Bastion was ‘doubly sombre’ last night in the aftermath of the attack on the base…. “.
The manipulators of public opinion on the monarchy have sunk to new depths by sacrificing lives in attempting to project a positive image of Harry. But he is a loose cannon - loaded with ammunition. For how long will the craven British media continue to defend him?comments powered by Disqus
The word "republicanism" has been used at various times to mean different things, but there remain three essential usages.
The three usages are not mutually exclusive but indicate the a successive narrowing of the scope. Starting with the broadest meaning, these are:
design the constitution so as to create a just relationship betwen all citizens. Constitutional republicans recognise that a primary danger all societies face is the development of excessive power in the hands of its leader or leaders (executive) which then threatens the goal of justice. This concentration of power is avoided (a) by creating separate institutions of government having separate powers and (b) by rotating executive offices. Monarchy is incompatible with (b) and so anti-monarchism inherently forms part of constitutional republicanism.
Anti-Monarchist or Anti-Royalist Republicanism concerns mainly this last aspect of constitutional republicanism: the desire to abolish the constitutional monarchy. Anti-Monarchism is often motivated by the sense of outright injustice represented by having an inheritary head of state and by the pernicious effect that this.
Civic Republicanism embodies an ancient concept of republicanism that goes back to Cicero and Aristotle. Civic Republicans start by arguing that in order to achieve a good society we need to encourage virtue. This begs the question: how can we create virtue in a secular society? In a religious societies virtue was encouraged by the expectation of reward in the afterlife but clearly this will not do in a "modern" secular society. Civic Republicans argue that virtue can be encouraged in a secular society by correctly designing our institutions. These institutions can be divided into (a) institutions that make up the government and (b) the institutions that make up the civil society.
Constitutional Republicanism concerns itself primarily with (a), the institutions that make up the government, that is to say, the constitution. Its goal is to
has on the whole of society from top to bottom. Matters concerning royal extravagance, unfair tax advantages and the expense of the civil list also motivate anti-Monarchist feeling. All these arguments are important to a Republican Party but it must also look beyond abolition to the kind of society we want. Abolition will represent a one chance to fix many ills. We cannot lose that opportunity..
Single issue parties exist. But, for a party to be long lasting and for it to lay down a tradition, it must embrace the whole range of issues that society faces. For this reason the Republican Party must include Civic Republicanism and Constitutional Republicanism. It must advocate the abolition of the constitutional role of the monarchy, but its primary focus has to be the construction of the society and the constitution that follows abolition.