Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Support For Republic

Here is the latest press release from the British campaign group Republic :


Philippa Gregory, the British historical novelist, best known for 'The Other Boleyn Girl' has joined the ever growing list of high profile republicans to support Republic's campaign to abolish the monarchy.

Asked in a recent interview if she would ever write about the current Queen, Philippa replied: "No. I'm a republican, not a monarchist. I don't see the point of a monarchy."

Republic's Campaign Manager Graham Smith told reporters:
"We are delighted to have Philippa's support. Philippa is someone who knows what the monarchy means to British history, having written about many of the key characters in our past. Yet she understands that it has no place in our future."

"Republic welcomes Philippa as the latest in a long line of high profile figures who have backed our campaign in recent months."

'The Other Boleyn Girl' was turned into a Hollywood movie starring Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana.

Other recent additions to Republic's campaign include directors Paul Greengrass, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, television writer Maureen Chadwick and former Clash bassist Paul Simonon. Philosopher Julian Baggini, human rights lawyer Imran Khan and biologist Richard Dawkins.

Here are links to the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Republican movements.

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At 6:58 pm, Anonymous So17 said...

In my opinion the monarchy is a safety net should a nut job like Mugabe get into power.
A ready made alternative in waiting. whats wrong with that?
In terms of value for money this government spends that in one dept of bean counters in whitehall a week.I know all the pomp and ceremony will get up your nose but remember "men in tights" are less likely to commit genocide than "men in jackboots".

At 10:08 pm, Blogger greenman said...

The alternative view of course is that the monarchy could be used to bolster some "nutjob" in power (who made the correct noises that appealed to Royal interests and sensibilities) by appealing to "national unity" against any challenge to them. Alternatively, the monarch themselves could abuse their position. This seems increasingly likely in the near future given the forays into (usually reactionary and regressive) politics of the current heir to the throne (sharing the name of the last incumbent to be booted out). Charles can make political speeches and campaign on issues "close to his heart" or he can be a symbolic head of state - he cannot do both. The monarchy is an undemocratic anachronism at the heart of our system. The symbolic power it wields is more dangerous currently than the actual power it could potentially wield in a crisis (remembering that a crisis for the ruling class is usually an opportunity for the rest of us) - it represents deference, a superstitious and mystical relationship to power and the worst kinds of conservatism and change-defeating history worship. Far from the monarchy being an irrelevance, the leftist or radical who is not bothered about monarchy reveals a lack of understanding of the nature (psychological and sociological as well as legal, physical and economic) of the power of the British state.

At 12:20 am, Anonymous So17 said...

I try to see the monarchy in a more progressive manner. Of course the extreme right wrap themselves in the union flag and sing god save the queen but that is not her fault anymore than if they wrapped themselves in the greenpeace flag and blamed increased carbon output in this country on immigrants. Would that make greenpeace the enemy?
I see a greater threat to liberty.
Tony blair stated recently "i have always been catholic at heart"and his wife , a self proclaimed republican who showed no deference to the queen, on several occassions can be seen bowing and scrapping to the pope, who effectivly is a unelected head of state.
Be careful greenman of the motivations that drive some republicans.
Check your history the vatican loves right wing facsists: Hitler, mussolini, franco and all the heads in right wing juntas in El salvador, argentina and chile.
The vatican has never forgive or forgot England leaving the fold, and removing the monarch, defender of the faith you leave the door wide open.
Iam an atheist by the way.

At 7:56 pm, Blogger greenman said...

"Hold on to nurse for fear of something worse", eh? Never a very convincing argument. I think there are far greater dangers in the world than the "menace of Rome"!
Have a look at the roots of the ideas of the heir to the throne.
Google Traditionalism, Integralism and Perennialism. The sickly cult of Traditionalism manifests itself in more forms than Rightist Catholicism, and whether a deity is present in a Communion wafer or not is not a problem that causes me to lose much sleep. Forms of Catholicism such as Liberation Theology and the Catholic Worker movement are far more palatable than either reactionary born-again Protestantism or even "atheist" Royalism.
I find anti-Catholic conspiracism (particularly as an excuse for Royalism) a little ridiculous, if not borderline offensive to whole sections of the community, in this day and age.

At 8:45 pm, Anonymous So17 said...

I conversely say that i and obviously millions of others see no threat from the monarchy and dont lose sleep either.
dont get me wrong i am not some orange lodge radical, i like history and time after time i find the same culprits with the finger on the trigger but unlike most villains this crowd seem to be able to morph there way through history.
I am sorry that some might find these observations offensive but i believe in fairness. why does a muslim imamm have to justify his religion every time a terrorist bomb goes off when during the troubles i dont recall many priests having to do the same?
Why does Tony Blair make peace at any cost with Irish republicans yet makes war at any cost with muslims? (Having already established where his heart lay in previous post)

At 10:16 am, Blogger greenman said...

On your last point - Blair sought peace in the North of Ireland because continuing conflict was damaging capitalist interests in Britain by hampering trade and investment in that part of the UK which was an economic millstone for the rest of the economy, and because his other masters across the ocean wanted it for domestic political, strategic (see the importance of Irish airfields) and economic reasons.
Similarly, Blair made war on Muslim nations not because of Catholicism (which had not stopped him supporting gangster-terrorist-capitalists in Albania and Kosovo) but because the geo-strategic interests of US/UK Capital insisted on using the political capital generated by 9/11 for a land, military base and oil grab in the Middle East and Central Asia. See beyond the religious/ideological facade (important as it is, perhaps even for the ruling class to justify their self interested actions to themselves) to the base interests.
These base interests are a far stronger historical constant than theological difference.....

At 3:27 pm, Anonymous So 17 said...

Yes you are quite correct in your last post.
Raising an issue like catholicism can be emmotive i know, what i dont want to do is become a one trick pony conspiracy theorist.
I see many threats to my liberty none of which emenate from buckingham palace and i landed on catholicism as an example of one lot that would benefit from us becoming a republic.
Thank you for this debate, i hope you have a merry crimbo and happy new year.

At 7:23 pm, Blogger greenman said...

And a peaceful and restful season to all my readers - I have a feeling we are going to need the batteries recharging for what is to come in the New Year!


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