Cost of maintaining royalty is unacceptable
BRIAN Henderson (Letters, May 16) believes we should try to enjoy the royal wedding and berates
Kevin Mckenna’s rejection of the British monarchy as an “ultra-left philosophy”.
In his defence, I thought that Kevin Mckenna’s recent article (“Royal wedding reminds us how Britain celebrates inequality”, The Herald, May 12) deftly and accurately highlighted the continuing existence of an institution that underpins the fabric of inequality and privilege in
Britain. The reality in the UK of the 21st century is that the very presence of a monarchy helps perpetuate anachronistic class divisions and not just social acceptability of inequality but, as Mr Mckenna states, is a celebration of it.
The unacceptable cost of maintaining “The Firm” and all it entails through the Sovereign Grant and Duchy of Lancaster in stable economic times is questionable enough but in times of austerity becomes morally indefensible, particularly when we casually throw additional expenses like the forthcoming wedding and the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, costing quite literally a queen’s ransom, into the mix. To rub salt into the wound, the recent Paradise papers reveal the Queen’s investments in offshore financial centres to avoid tax and also in the Brighthouse company, scourge of Her Majesty’s poorest subjects.
Our present-day monarchy may masquerade as historical tradition but is, in truth, a business enterprise which owes its favoured status solely to the British taxpayer. Like Mr Mckenna I have always been mystified why so many British citizens continue to revere the monarchy in an age when forelocktugging and subservience ought to have been cast aside in favour of multi-cultural equality, integrity and inclusion as epitomised historically by the traditional socialist values of the Labour Party, hardly an ultra left-wing philosophy. Unfortunately, many Britons share Mr
Henderson’s views and it appears that a combination of those who yearn for nostalgia and pageantry, those who benefit materially and politically or those who view them as an embodiment of a British national identity will ensure that the monarchy, contrary to genuine egalitarianism, endures.
8 Dunvegan Drive, Stirling.
BRIAN D Henderson exhorts us to enjoy the royal wedding, despite Kevin Mckenna’s misgivings, “sincerely held though they undoubtedly are”. He asks whether we “really want or need a republic based on ultra left-wing philosophy” in place of the monarchy and its admitted imperfections. He will be disappointed to hear that Mr Mckenna’s views are gaining traction. Far be it from me to deny Mr Henderson any enjoyment he may derive from the forthcoming game of charades but his exhortation feels like being lured into the circus with the offer of candy floss. The days of candy floss and circuses have gone. Time has come for a debate about why we have a monarchy in the 21st century. I would throw the House of Lords into the ring while we are at it.
St James Avenue, East Kilbride.
THE TV evening news all this week has started and finished with constant updates on the royal nuptials and has used the situation in Palestine and other world horrors as fillers in between. Prince Louis’s birth certificate has his father’s occupation listed as “Prince” and I will, perhaps mistakenly, assume that Harry’s marriage certificate will list the same occupation for himself. If you didn’t laugh you would cry.
Oakwood Drive, Beith.