Cost of main­tain­ing roy­alty is un­ac­cept­able

The Herald - - OPINION -

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.

Owen Kelly,

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.

Stu­art Chalmers,

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.

Ge­orge Dale,

Oak­wood Drive, Beith.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.