Thursday, 9 June 2011

Paul Flynn MP's speech on 8th June 2011 on Philip's 90th birthday address in the Commons, in its entirety, from Hansard.

12.53 pm
Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): The supreme achievement of the Duke of Edinburgh is that he is working at the age of 90. This is a magnificent example and one that has been followed by a constituent of mine, Mr Harry Polloway, who is working as a toastmaster at the age of 97. I last saw him in the Jewish cemetery in my constituency, where we were commemorating the death of May Mendleson, who died last year at the age of 108. Continuing work into that period of life is a wonderful example to set, and one that we can look at with some embarrassment and shame in the House, where I believe the oldest Member—a distinguished Member—is just 80 years of age, and we have only five Members over the age of 76.
This group of people are disgracefully under-represented in the House. If we are to have a proper reflection of senior citizens, we must look to have all-80-year-old shortlists at the next general election. In the light of the heroic examples set by Prince Philip, Harry Polloway and May Mendleson, that fault needs to be corrected.
However, my purpose in speaking today is to make another point. As someone who is not a royalist and is happy to say that I am a republican and always have been, I want to ask why on earth, in this age, the address is to be “humble”. Are members of the royal family superior beings to the rest of us? Are we inferior beings to them? Is Prince Philip superior to Harry Polloway and May Mendleson? That was the feeling of the House seven centuries ago, when we accepted the rules under which we speak now.
We live in an egalitarian time when we recognise the universality of the human condition, in which royals and commoners share the same strengths and frailty. In the House, when we speak of the royals—not just the monarch, but all the family, without any limit—we are denied the chance of making any derogatory comment. That might extend to first cousins who are a long way distant from the monarch. There is no question but that the monarch—the Head of State—should remain above the political fray. We have been well served by this, particularly recently.
However, if these occasions are to be greatly valued, it should be possible for Members to utter the odd syllable that might be critical. I do not have anything to say in this case, but the sycophancy described by the Prime Minister when he referred to someone asking Prince Philip a fairly obvious question when he came off a plane must sicken the royal family. When they have an excess of praise of this kind, it is devalued.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Paul Flynn MP's full comment in Parliament today on the Prime Minister (I mean, sinister)'s 'humble address' to 'prince' Philip.

"Why on earth is this a humble address in this age? Are the royal family superior beings to the rest of us? Are we inferior beings to them? This was the feeling of the House seven centuries ago when we accepted rule under which we speak now. We live in an egalitarian time where we recognise the universality of the human condition, in which royals and commoners share the same strengths and frailties."

Also please sign the petition to

Change the National Assembly for Wales' oath of allegiance to one to the People, not the Queen!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Facebook refusing another link to Walesonline - 'Republican AM to snub Queen’s Senedd opening

A REPUBLICAN Welsh AM is to snub a visit to the Welsh Government by the Queen this week.
South West Wales Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins will spend the day of the Queen’s opening of the fourth session of the government at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay tomorrow visiting businesses in Bridgend to find out if they are beginning to emerge from recession.
Ms Jenkins said: “This is the second time I’ve decided not to attend the royal opening of the Senedd.
“As a republican, I have no interest in meeting either the Queen or any member of the royal family.
“My wish is for Wales to become a modern, independent country, and I cannot see any place for an outdated concept like the monarchy within it.
“In order to progress towards becoming a modern and successful country, the most important thing we have to do is get the economy going again.
“The past decade has not been kind to Welsh business and the Welsh Government must do what it can to enable companies in towns like Bridgend to thrive and grow.
“It is my job as an Assembly Member to scrutinise the work of the Welsh Government and press it to provide opportunity for the economy.
“One of the best ways I can do that is by bringing views back from the business coal face.”
Ms Jenkins said she would like to hear from any member of the public in Bridgend who wants an issue to be aired in the Senedd.'

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Chris Bryant, you would make Keir Hardie sick

The following is an article published by South Wales Echo which I've been trying to link on Facebook - it won't let me as they say it's been flagged up as 'abusive'.  What do you think? #censorship

AM Leanne Wood snubs Queen

A WELSH Assembly Member has come under fire for “snubbing” the Queen.
Staunch republican Leanne Wood is boycotting Tuesday’s ceremonial opening of the fourth Assembly, choosing instead to pack emergency boxes for people who cannot afford food.
The Plaid Cymru AM insisted: “It is nothing short of a national scandal that there are people who cannot afford to feed themselves in modern day Wales.
“This is why I have decided to spend the day with the Rhondda Foodbank because, like the other projects in Wales, they provide a last resort for people who have nowhere else to turn when they cannot afford the essentials in life.”
But her stance has riled Rhondda’s Labour MP Chris Bryant. He said: “This is just childish attention-seeking.
“Most people in the Rhondda, whether they are republicans or monarchists, reckon the Queen does an exceptional job and would expect all members of the Assembly to show her a certain degree of respect.
“With all her experience, I suspect the Queen could teach Ms Wood a thing or two.”
The Plaid AM has absented herself three times because of the royal connection since her election in 2003.
She said: “In the modern Wales people should not be subjects, we should be citizens. The monarchy represents a hereditary class system which perpetuates inequality.
“The Royals are an unaccountable, privileged elite allowed and encouraged by government to expand its wealth through the patronage of the civil list, the honours system and the land assets their ancestors pillaged from common people. The income they can make from the Crown Estates land in Wales in future years is money that could be well used by the cash- strapped Welsh Government.
“It is worth remembering that while millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is spent every year on maintaining the Royal family and their hangers-on in the style they are accustomed to, adults and children are going hungry because they have no money to buy food.”

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Elizabeth the Last

It has begun. The palace PR machine has geared into action just as we drew breath from the onslaught of the wedding to "bring the whole nation together in celebration" which happened just before Scotland voted to "break the nation apart as soon as possible if you think we're swallowing this".

Undaunted, they now bring us a celebration of 60 years of an unelected, unaccountable head of state absorbing millions in public money every year for herself and wider family, sitting on and rendering paralysed and inaccessible the national assets of palaces, castles and art collection, a voiceless puppet facilitating monarchic power to the Prime Minister and Privy Council, the apogee of an undead class system draining the blood of justice, fairness, common sense, humanity and reason from our society at every level.

We say this should be celebrated as 'Elizabeth the Last' as even people who have worked in royal households have said Elizabeth should be the last monarch. Those who want to honour this woman should be appeased - as the Last she should be as immortal as Cleopatra. If you let Charles take the throne the monarchy will die with a whimper.

Elizabeth should be allowed to retire into the sunset, as any other woman in the country would be allowed to at the age of 85, with her dogs, her horses and her 90 year old husband whose apposite clarification of the 'royal' 'work' is crystal clear: - "Any bloody fool can lay a wreath at the thingamy" "I'd much rather have stayed in the Navy, frankly". We say it's time to let them both off the hook and facilitate the complete extrication of monarchy and 'royalty' from any role in government, any access to public money and any custodianship of national assets. Timed to be done by next year would be perfect.

In the meantime we would appreciate a balanced coverage in place of the "Everyone in Canada is absolutely thrilled at the honour the 'royal' couple are bestowing by their visit" school of hyperbolic propaganda. Thanks.