It was a bad day for the monarchy when the Independent broke the story of palace attempts to gain access to money from the state poverty fund to pay their fuel bills. And for those in denial over this one - I have had a response from a monarchist just saying it’s not true - just remember the palace confirmed the story, it’s never been in any doubt whatsoever. This had been discovered through Freedom of Information requests which the palace has now been made exempt from, meaning that if this happened again we could not find out. A Republic spokesman was quoted on that day: “These documents are clear evidence of the contempt the Palace has for ordinary people in this country. We have our head of state demanding cash that has been set aside for low-income families, for the most vulnerable in our society.
“This sense of entitlement speaks volumes about the attitudes of the Windsors and their household. For them it’s all about take, take, take.” That was what most people felt. My partner when fuelling up at a garage that day was met by an enraged mechanic absolutely furious and outraged at the story and delighted to be shown a Republic membership card - the first he’d heard of it. The fact that the palace could even consider making such a request is astounding. While let’s remember when they were previously asked to by the government committee looking into their requests for more money they refused to open up the palace to the public for more days per year in order to be more self-sufficient, and they failed to deliver documents asked for by the same government committee. So they clearly feel they can do whatever they like, not what they’re asked to or for. A very similar response when Elizabeth decided to honour Andrew with one of the highest honours in her personal gift, after his associations with criminals, dictators, and a convicted paedophile came out, when the people, even government ministers were calling for him to be dropped from his position as Trade Ambassador - this was her considered response. And now despite having ‘stepped down’ from the position, there he is still flying off to Saudi Arabia on public money. Next year they’ll be trying hard to promote the monarchy as being all about a benign 85 year old woman. Do not be fooled. The monarchy is a vast, unaccountable institution comprised of many vested interests, the core family both complicit and sacrificial, and nothing about it is benign. This country is full of 85 year old women and they all deserve at least as much respect as Elizabeth Windsor, many of them rather more. Toadying, sycophancy, obsequious crawling behaviour to this institution and those who populate it is nothing short of a sickness.
We have to remember though, that the all-pervasive insidious nature of the institution means that many people are unconscious of its reality. The poverty fund story was a truth that got out and they’ve plugged that gap. We should publicise that truth loud and far and reiterate it, amongst others. We should concentrate on criticising the actions of the monarchy but to make it too much about the personalities involved is a counter-productive mistake - the perception could be that we’re criticising people when the truth is if we had a ‘royal’ family who were philanthropic, altruistic angels, well for one thing they would abolish themselves at that point, but we still wouldn’t want a monarchy because it’s not about them personally at all, they are to a greater or lesser extent puppets of the establishment and it’s the establishment which has to fall because it’s fundamentally wrong and damaging. There’s no point if we just get a new bunch - we don't want any, of any stripe, sex or religion. The most dignified and momentous thing that they could do now is to wait not upon the order of their going but to just bow to the advance of democracy in 2011, take up their sycophants, and go.