Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Royal family What is the point?

'Over privileged man goes for a walk with fiance' is not a headline. The Royal family is an out dated pointless institution that benefits the few and distracts the many. The arguments for protecting them becoming weaker day by day but is consistently propped up by media institutions, mainly (I would guess) because it is very easy to create news on a slow day.
They serve no purpose and should be sidelined as part of a restructure of the British political system.
The main arguments for keeping them appear to be 1. They are great for tourism 2. They do a lot for charity and 3. It is part of our heritage.
So let take a look at the arguments and put a bit of perspective on them.

1. Tourism, they are good for tourism in and around London, they do bugger all for tourism around the rest of the country. I live in town where one of the greatest kings was born - Henry Tudor, I don't see adverts in London saying 'Go and visit some of the real heritage of our country'. If the Royal family were moved to my model below, tourism would increase as access to Royal history would increase. Then, maybe the rest of the country that holds the heritage of the Royal history might get a look in on the tourism.

2. They do a lot for charity - good, they should but it is not a good enough reason to continue to support them in the way that we do. They can continue to do charity work without the privileges that we bestow upon them. Millions of people do great work for charity whilst holding down a job and paying the mortgage with very little thanks - why can't posh people do it as well?

3. It is part of our heritage. Yes it is but there are many more important parts of our heritage that get completely overlooked because they are not centralised enough in London. I would also argue that the 'Pomp and pagentry' is not part of our history - it is something that we created through our history and therefore we can take it away.  It is a very insecure nation that is not capable of changing the direction forward for fear of insulting the direction behind.

So what would I change?
The Royal family would be removed from the political system completely and replaced with an elected President from the Upper House which would replace the House of Lords. Buckingham palace would be used as the Presidential home but would be opened up much more for tourists. The Royal family would retain their name and any property that they have purchased with their own money. Anything else that is not paid for by the Royal family becomes part of the State.
The Royal family would retain its status as head of Armed services and the Church/protector of faiths but would no longer be a part of the political system and would not represent the country abroad.
This is a tweak of a system that other countries use, that recognises their position within our country but also recognises that the country has moved on.

Large parts of society love the Royal Family and they will still be able to, but for the rest of society, it is time to move on and have a political system that rightly reflects todays society.

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