Wednesday, 12 December 2012

born free?

Reply sent on behalf of Elizabeth Windsor re our letter in the previous post: -

'Buckingham Palace

7th December, 2012

Dear Miss Smith,
 The Queen has asked me to thank you and all the signatories for your letter of 26th September, and I must first of all apologise for the delay in replying.  Due to the very high volume of mail received in recent weeks, it has not been possible to reply until now.
Her Majesty has taken careful note of your comments regarding the Monarchy and the Untied (sic) Kingdom, and I am to thank you for taking the time and trouble to let The Queen know of your views.
Yours sincerely,
Mrs Sonia Bonici
Senior Correspondence Officer

Miss Marjory Smith and Signatories'

Of course, we have no queen and Elizabeth is not a majesty to us.

We can only wonder what can have been going through the heads of the human beings at the centre of the maelstrom of the last week or so.  The febrile boiling hotpot of media hyperbole and over-reaction to a tiny foetus is a manifestation of insanity itself.  We are told the titles this being will inherit on birth, we are told the position and role it will take in our future government.  Really?  Madness.  The solemn sonorous tones of the media sycophant, who has assimilated the royal accent that the two in the line of succession tried to lose, told us of what we are led to believe is the appalling consequence of some of this media attention, all well before the child is anywhere near being born and in the space of a few days of the announcement of its existence.  Common Sense and Reason, wrote Thomas Paine.  Rights.
For the love of all of these and much more besides we say again, end the monarchy now.
We wish everyone the rights to vote for their own government, stand for election, say what they think in public and determine their own destiny.  It's never too late.       

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Open letter to Elizabeth Windsor.


Considering your octogenarian status and the relatively short time you may have left to yourself we feel it would be remiss if we did not at this juncture make some last attempt to alert to you to the fact that you have been and are being misinformed, ill-advised and psychologically, emotionally and intellectually poisoned by your contact with the institution of monarchy, as are all your family and the peoples of Britain.
In a country claiming to be a 21st century democracy this institution is a hypocritical anomaly, a fossil which props up an outdated feudal political system and simultaneously rots it from within. Monarchy is fundamentally and irrevocably wrong. The inheritance of position in government, of status, privilege, influence, access to public money and the opaque accounting of same, the immunity from laws, the personal powers of veto for the monarch and the heir on government legislation which affects their private interests, the forced oaths of loyalty, regardless of political views, as a prerequisite of democratically elected representatives taking up their positions to work for the people, the cult of caste encouraging sycophancy and obsequiousness purely over societal position and birth - all these things are totally indefensible.
History will look back upon monarchy as an evil thing, make mistake no longer. It will be seen as the murderer, the enabler of massacre, the stifler of talent, the oppressor of spirit, the deadening dull boring mundanity of meaningless pointless waste of time and energy that it is, the empty nothing that it is, the dead thing.
You are supposed to have a human right to vote for who governs you, as are we. You should have the right to determine your own destiny and the right to speak your thoughts in public - these are pretty basic freedoms. There are people far older than you who have had to cope with far worse things than an end to the restrictions, pantomime and circus of monarchy. We give you advice entirely congruent with your utmost wellbeing when we urge you to initiate talks now for the extrication of your family from this ridiculous position as soon as possible and forever. It would be the best exit ever from the monarchic stage, bar none. And the last. 


This is a letter not a petition and the 163 names below have signed up as a representative snapshot of the estimated 18 million plus people in Britain who currently do not want a monarchy and who are not now being properly served nor represented by the media, politicians nor structures of society.  The letter has also been sent in in hard copy on 1st October 2012.  If you would like your name added to the website version only thereafter just email

Marjory Smith

Eben Myrddin Muse

Bob Wiggin

Paul Bates

Renee Davis

Richard Vernon

Mel Hepworth

Angela Miller

Mark McGinlay

Dominic Bell

Sarah Balfour

Paul Johnson

John Jones

Leyton Dodds

Bill Hart

John Kelly

Tristan Alexander

Stiv Gillan

Jamie Docherty

Scott McMahon

Mick Higgins

John Sweeney

Brian Hale

Steve Wilson

Davy King

Stuart Malcolm

Anne Kathleen Nielsen

Maureen Wallace

Simon Nelson

Lynn Higgins

Frederick Nye

Caz Smith

Ben Fowler

Gavin James Campbell

Rafa Luna

Ian Mcvey

Rebecca McKinlay

John Robinson

Kevin Bell

Michael John Taylor

Kevin Paul Allerton

Ollie Coxhead

Lawrence Molton

David Harvey

Joe Coten

Jennifer R. Jeynes

Doug Beard

Elaine Morris

Tricia Bates

Kenny Mitchell

Andy Stewart

Murdo Maclean

Martin Shapely

Jason Sandy James

Mark Hollinrake

Gary 'gigs' Weir

Paul Kinnear

Janetta Willis

Sharlee Stringer

June Maxwell

Mark Stephen Jones

Karl Bough

Peter Clarke

Mike Cunningham

Niall MacLennan

Harri Ap Owain Glyn

Elsa Kerr

Stephen-Cewydd Holcroft

Marjorie Godfrey

Alice Johnson

Aidan Campbell

John Fiddes

Gail Fielding

Alan Rorrison

Doug Troup

Edel Carroll

Mike Allen

Colin Birch

Johnny Darkly

Campbell Stewart

Raibert McPhadraig

Gary Briggs

Paul Kealy

George Macbeath

Lance Dyer

Shaun Iggleden

Graham Barnes

Billy Ross

David William Humphrys

Norman Sinclair

Dave Fletcher

David Malcolm

Michael Jones

Andy Barnes

Nick Collins

Joe Shooman

Loretta Caughlin

John Tollan

Mitch Hayworth

Tony Nicholls

Conchur Ó Muadaigh

Rob Cameron

Michael Swann

Dobromir Angelova

Paul Chapman

David Milsom

Nigel Singh

Phil Thompson

Fred MacMillan

James Whittaker

Paul Robinson

Dale Latimer

Linda Tilsen

Gary Bamber

Walt Ferguson

Dec Smith

Kenny Kerr

Sean Kane

Mo Ungi

Eòsaph MacGillebhràth

Dave Emsley

Lee Hyde 

Mandie Lee

Tim Chiswell

Dave Cann

Tom Dunn

Michael Hughes

Julie Flynn-Ciniglio

Seán O'hAmhsaigh

Kyle Gray

Paul Daverson

Billy Fotheringham

Benny McGuire

Ben Baxter

Paul Owens

Jillian Nicol

Roddy Williams

Ian Coulson

Brian Carpenter

Gavin Paterson

Gerard Cassidy

John Morland

Paul Gribbin

Grahame Morrison

Mel-Annie Brudenell

Philip Ridge

Teddy Brul

Lars Nunnegaard

Monique Buckner 

Martin Knox

Donald Roderick MacKinnon

Mary Amanda O'Connell

Lee Tea

Dan Read

Frazer Mckenzie

Ju Ju Norton

Ryan Cockman

Joseph Nelson Salazar

Todd Collins

Billy Muir

Robert Britton

Eleanor McCarthy

Stewart Culbard

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Guest Blog

Currently, in order to take part in parliamentary proceedings, all democratically elected representatives of the people at Holyrood and Westminster must swear an oath to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Elizabeth Windsor and her heirs and successors. Alex Samond predicates this with the statement that his party's primary loyalty is to the people of Scotland, and others have stated that they take the oath under duress, but it is sickening that this compulsory oath to monarchy is in place. Monarchy is the opposite of democracy and should have nothing to do with representation of the people. This forced oath is an oppression and an insult. Several MSPs and MPs are members of Republic, the campaign for a democratic alternative to the monarchy, yet to do their job for the people who elect them they have to swear an oath they don't mean a word of. The first thing parliament does is make them lie.
The evil excuse for the massacre of Glenoce was a six day delay in the swearing of an oath to monarchy, which monarch subsequently signed the massacre order for two companies of the Argyll regiment to genocide the Macdonald clan. If you look in the phonebook you can conclude they didn't quite follow orders, though it was terrible enough.

I share James Keir Hardie's opinions on the subject of monarchy and the puerile nature of it. It reinforces and is at the apogee of a decrepit feudal political and class system. It is populated by nameless officials who speak as if they are buildings 'the palace says', 'Clarence House denies'. It is secretive and has recently been made more exempt from Freedom of Information laws so that if it again asked for money from the State Poverty Fund which is set aside for schools, hospitals and low income families, as it did when Labour were in power, we would not now be able to discover this, nor what the answer would now be to this incredible example of the monarchy's sense of entitlement to any and all public money. I suppose that's what absorbing £200 million plus every year of public money does to you. Westminster has overseen a deal which allows the piracy of national asset revenue direct to the institution of monarchy and refused Holyrood control of Scotland's part. If monarchy was free it would still be a poison. Its message is that everyone except this one family are common lownesses. Nothing infuriates me more than switching on the news and having the spectacle of a member of this one family as the remnants of Hanoverian monarchy trailed out in some imbecilic non news story. The BBC particularly went completely insane over the jubilee and prior to that the society wedding of William Wales and Kate Middleton - they had five times more staff working on it than other channels and have refused to disclose how much, of our, money they spent on coverage. There were still items such as on the cake being shown on breakfast TV nine months after it happened. And him in that redcoat uniform...

Can anyone remember what happened just a few days after “The wedding to bring the whole nation together”? ? I'll tell you. Scotland voted in a landslide for a party whose stated aim is to pull this whole bloody awful set up apart. Not long after that was the moment when a little spark of hope lit in my heart and I had a sea change on independence. The real possibility suddenly hoving into view of Scotland escaping the fossilised behemoth of Westminster and it's only a hop, step and a 'carravooltchin' to a much fairer, healthier society and so many things which seemed difficult are suddenly within our grasp. A yes we can moment where people dare to dream things they never thought they'd see, where anything is possible.

Soon after the swearing in at Holyrood Alex Salmond was on my TV assuring us that Elizabeth Windsor would remain head of state in an independent Scotland. Mary McCabe who wrote, proposed and got accepted at the '97 SNP Conference the motion that there should be a referendum on the monarchy within the first term of an independent Scottish Parliament now states that retaining the monarchy meantime is about putting as few hurdles as possible in the way of the future negotiations about independence and says 'there are people in the British establishment prepared to go to the wire over the issue of the monarchy'. I say exactly who are these people in the British establishment? What do you mean by 'go to the wire'? The people should be told the truth. If you're frightened of them, tell us. I did wonder if I saw fear in Alex Salmond's eyes.

Keir Hardie said people's heads were turned by Westminster “the best men's club in Europe” and often “forgot why they were there and who put them there”. That is as true now as it was when he made the observation. It really hasn't changed much at all. Over a hundred years after an Act was passed decreeing the House of Lords would be determined by popular mandate, this has yet again failed to materialise. The precedents, habits and traditions of the way Westminster conducts itself are maintained as if it were a political museum. I really wish it was. The power at Westminster comes from the Crown in Parliament and the royal prerogative powers placed with the Prime Minister and Privy Council. These are not democratic powers, they're autocratic and monarchic and they are not relative to the electoral mandate gained or as in the current situation, not gained, at the ballot box. The power available to whomsoever manoeuvres into Number 10 is unaccountable and corrupting. Currently we have King Dave and he alone can decide to do a U-turn, or not, to have a yacht, or not, to alone bring in a policy when no-one else in the cabinet agrees with it, as he did recently with minimum alcohol pricing for England and Wales. The royal prerogative powers are wielded to suit, for instance were extended to expel the Chagos islanders in 1962. This was deemed unlawful by the High Court in 2000 so the Labour government used royal prerogative power to issue an Order in Council to achieve the same effect and won their appeal in the Lords after this was also found unlawful. The royal prerogative powers enable writing of law, going to war etc without reference to parliament. It is supposed to be constrained by constitutional convention but as we have no written constitution the conventions have been described as “whatever the government wants them to be”. It's a right royal stitch up of the people, who are not being properly represented and are not in any kind of proper control of government. 'The power to make great changes' may be deeply desired by people with altruistic motives, but also by those with completely avaricious ones. It's far too arbitrary. The people still have all the power of a hereditary establishment against them – Cameron, Osborne and Johnson are all from families who were in the same kind of position hundreds of years ago. That is neither natural nor healthy.
In the game of Westminster power-grab it is 80 or so seats in what is termed 'Middle England' which hold the keys to the castle, these are the voters yenned for and courted with policies, image and rhetoric. The bare-faced cheek and mummery of Ed Miliband one day in Glasgow referencing Hardie to promote Scottish Labour and then a day or so later issuing a fawning congratulations to monarchy for being in an unelected position propping up this rotten system for 60 inglorious years.

During the passage of the Scotland Bill at Westminster, Labour MP Dennis Canavan tried to get the requirement for an oath at the Scottish Parliament replaced with an affirmation “I do hereby acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and, do hereby declare and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests shall be paramount.” Westminster did not pass it. Rejected as a Holyrood candidate by New Labour despite 97% support from his local party, he stood as an Independent Labour candidate and was expelled from the party. He got the biggest majorities in the Scottish Parliament both times he stood. He now supports the Yes campaign. He is the kind of Scottish Labour party we want and need, now.

The SNP I know contains some honourable and good people but some of us could never join a party identifying as 'nationalist' as we feel, and Scotland is really, internationalist. I also do not trust the leadership of the SNP who seem happy to fudge issues and allow misconceptions to go unchallenged, primarily that they can decree now what will be so in an independent Scotland. The SNP will most likely crumble in independent Scotland, there will certainly be splitting off and if they called themselves the Scottish Independence Party and declared the truth, that they are not likely to be in the same popular position ever again as they are in this period of advancing towards independence, but they are happy and willing to fall on their swords for the greater goal, they would be unanswerable. This may be difficult for those who have stalked the corridors of Westminster's unaccountable power and centuries of very old money, but if they want a place of real note in history they should bite the bullet, and certainly forget about trying to inveigle any royal prerogative powers into independent Scotland.
The current rump Scottish Labour Party leadership bemoan that the SNP leadership have Scotland on pause while they play games, but the situation with the Westminster political system, which is hung together on a dodgy deal done with monarchy centuries ago, is that it effectively has democracy on pause and has done for quite some time, for people all over these islands. We can do better than that and our move may be the catalyst for change in other countries too.

If we let the people speak they will, but we have to give them the choice to choose. Currently on the monarchy the SNP and Labour offer no difference – the Jubilee debate saw republican after republican in the SNP getting up in the chamber at Holyrood to make fawning comments on monarchy. The party of Keir Hardie were the same. Why do they do that? What are they afraid of or who are they trying to play games with – is it the institution of monarchy, or the people of Scotland?

We should lay our cards on the table. Set a clear agenda which sets out the removal of this anachronism. Offer the Windsors citizenship in an independent Scotland and the human rights to vote, stand for election and determine their own destiny. If they don't like that, Hell mend them and cheerio to them.
If we make a party which offers the people what they actually really do want, they will go for it. Stop trying to hoodwink and second-guess the public. Tell them the truth and let them choose, that's what this is all about after all.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

dissent and debate

The YES to Independence campaign is about to launch in Scotland this Friday, followed shortly thereafter by the 'Jubilee' holiday - the establishment trying to reinforce the institution of monarchy aided by a sycophantic media hyperbole.  So vile it is like trying to spoonfeed us, and especially children, something sickening and poisonous while rotting corpses litter the house.  It's out of control.  Astonishingly, this weekend there has been an attempt by parts of the YES campaign to silence any discussion whatsoever on the subject of the monarchy, saying this will damage the campaign.  The reality is that trying to silence people is what is damaging and absolutely unacceptable.  As if the intolerance and imposition of monarchy upon us was not bad enough already.  It is completely and utterly wrong to try to stifle debate on this or any other issue. 

Scratch the surface and one of them declares as a monarchist.  So no-one is supposed to say anything for fear of upsetting the monarchists?  Why would that be?  The answer is because they have no arguments to debate with, which they even admit themselves, 'not one decent, logical, morally-sound argument for the retention of the Royal family in the 21st century'  wrote a monarchist on Sunday here before claiming 'we love' Liz Windsor, as if it was about her as a person and not about a secretive, monolithic institution absorbing millions in public money every year, with an outrageous sense of entitlement to any and all public money astonishing populated by anonymous officials who speak as buildings - 'the palace says' 'Clarence House denies', an institution reinforcing and perpetuating an antiquated feudal political system with monarchic powers swilling around to be accessed by whomsoever manoeuvres their way into Number 10, completely disproportionate to the democratic mandate their party did, or did not, gain and irrelevant to any deals struck with other parties.  Too much of the wrong kind of corrupting power, available at Westminster.

How can we 'love' this remote woman who most of us have never met, nor ever will meet, and whose image is so very carefully controlled, as is she?  We do not know her.  Your town will contain a sweet old lady who may appreciate a bunch of flowers if that's your motivation - give one of them some of your 'love'.  Monarchists who profess 'love' for Liz Windsor should perhaps consider being at the centre of this stultifying institution as 'their' queen is an abuse of her a sad life  She has no human right to vote, stand for election or determine her own destiny, she has not the right to speak anything but the elected government's words.  She is silenced in public as the institution also tries to silence dissent from the people. She and her son do have the right to veto government legislation of course and she has access to the Prime Minister's ear every week where no-one knows what she says then when she is not silenced.  Still it would appear that this 'royal' family would be happier and we'd all be healthier if they were a corgi-whisperer or a woffly weatherman.  Certainly there are monarchy fanatics like this who fill their homes, or business as in this case, with memorabilia and try to impose their fanaticism on others, but there are fanatics of many things and people, so what?   Should one of the Beatles or Bay City Rollers have been head of state?

We're told 'the problem' for republicans is everything we say 'makes perfect sense 'and yet here we are'.  Ah, as if by magic.   The monarchy springs up like a snowdrop through the frozen ground.  Absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the £36,000+ ,of public money of course, that offices at Clarence House and Buckingham Palace have access to every single day to use in the PR promotion of the institution of monarchy then?  Not the relentless sycophantic media.  Nothing whatsoever to do with the insidious permeation of institutions and organisations with 'royal' this, 'royal' that, patron of this, patron of that, the Crown in Parliament, the Sovereign at the core and apogee of a class structure never dismantled, the same families in power century after century.  The descendant of the schemer behind the Glencoe massacre and the union, John Dalrymple Master of Stair, in the House of Lords now.  In 1911 the House of Lords and parliament passed an Act stating it would become determined by popular vote rather than heredity, and then, what happened?  Did they all prick their fingers on a needle and fall asleep for a hundred years?  They may as well have.  The excruciating spectacle last year of the Speaker of the House of Commons whispering in the chamber about how "very rare, very sparing and very respectful" any mention of the royal family should be, when MPs were trying to discuss the unfortunate behaviour and associations of Andrew Windsor.  Perhaps a fairy dies every time the royal family is mentioned in Westminster.  But apparently none of this is what is reinforcing the monarchy, which is actually a Christmas miracle in the face of its own indefensibility.  Aye right.

Monarchists are trying to tell us that a majority of people are so enamoured of Elizabeth Windsor and so thrilled in anticipation at the prospect of Charles as their next head of state that they won't vote YES to independence if they think NO is the best way of keeping the monarchy?  The concept is ridiculous.  What about the many who will vote YES as the best and quickest way to get rid of it?  That's the reality.  And how do you argue for escape from the Westminster system without talking about what the Westminster system entails?  It makes no sense.  Tell the truth and shame the devil.  This should be about opening things up not shutting them down, about moving forward not standing still and terrified.     
People should not be silent, nor bow their heads, nor be forced to stand up for something they don't believe in or are actively opposed to and they should not be forced to swear an oath of allegiance they do not mean one word of.  Any blind faith some people might have in monarchy is their problem, not ours, and they're welcome to it.  People can carry on their worshipping and fanaticism about this family after they have been removed from hereditary position in government, access to public money and occupation of public buildings and land.  Don't be surprised if they might not want you to though.


Monday, 20 February 2012

The Palace and the Pit - from Keir Hardie speeches and writings - Forget your 'royal' baby

In June, 1894, occurred the terrible disaster at the Albion Colliery, Cilfynydd, South Wales, when over 250 men were killed.  About the same time President Carnot, of France, was assassinated and the Duchess of York gave birth to a son, the present Prince of Wales.
Mr A.G. Gardiner, in a character sketch of Keir Hardie in his book, 'Prophets, Priests and Kings', wrote of Hardie's antipathy to royalty: 'He hates the Palace because he remembers the Pit.'
In an editorial article in a special edition of the Labour Leader, June 30th, 1894, Keir Hardie wrote the following article, entitled 'Snobbery' : -
'The Welsh holocaust puts everything into the shade this week.  Two hundred and fifty human beings, full of strong life in the morning, reduced to charred and blackened heaps of clay in the evening.  The air rent with the wail of the childless mother, the widowed wife and the orphaned child.  Woe, woe unutterable everywhere, all through that fair Welsh valley.  Only those who have witnessed such scenes, as I have twice over, can realise what they mean.  Only those who know, as I know, that these things are preventable and solely due to man's cupidity, can understand the bitterness of feeling which they awaken.  We are a nation of hypocrites.  We go wild with excitement and demand vengeance when some hungry half-mad victim of our industrial system seeks to wreak his vengeance on the society which is murdering him by inches; and we piously look heavenward and murmur about a visitation of providence when two hundred and fifty miners are blown to bits because society places more value on property than it does on human life.  Coal must be got cheap - even if 1200 sturdy miners are murdered yearly in the process - twelve hundred hearths made desolate.
Never, surely, did the innate snobbery of respectable British society show itself to worse advantage than on Monday of this week.  At a quarter to four on Saturday last 251 men and boys were killed by an explosion in the Albion colliery Cilfynydd, near Pontypridd, in the Taff Valley, Wales.  That same evening at ten the Duchess of York was delivered of a son at the White Lodge, Richmond.  On Sunday evening about half-past nine, President Carnot, on his way to the theatre, was stabbed by an assassin, and died shortly afterwards.  Monday's papers were full of these things.  in every case the London morning press on its placards made announcement of the events, though in every case the murder of the French President took precedence.
The Daily Chronicle and the Daily Telegraph evidently consider the birth of a prince of more importance than the murder of 251 Welsh miners, as the items were disposed of in the following order -


The evening papers were even worse.  The Sun, Liberal (T P O'Connor's paper), the Star, Liberal, the Echo, Liberal Unionist, the Evening News, Tory, all came out with placards on which there was not a reference to the Welsh disaster, the murder of Carnot alone being noticed.  The Chronicle puts its account of the murder in a black border.  No black border is given to the account of the murder of the Welsh miners.  Three full columns are allotted to the former; only 2 and 1-5th to the latter.  The Star leading article is headed 'France - Our Sympathy'.  Not a word about the Welsh miners.  The Sun article is devoted in Tay Pay's best style to Carnot and the royal baby, with two fugitive references to the Welsh disaster.
And these are the papers from which the working classes expect political light and guidance.  Never in the history of British journalism was there anything more offensively snobbish than the display with which I am dealing.  Everyone would mourn with Madame Carnot, and rejoice in a subdued kind of way with the Duke and Duchess of York in the birth of their child, but it is to the sore-stricken poor of that Welsh valley, that the true hearts of this great nation will turn with its overwhelming sympathy.  For the lick-spittals of the press who have no ears for the cry of the poor widow and orphan, and who attempt to see in the birth of a child to the Duke and Duchess of York, an event of Divine significance to the nation, there can be nothing but contempt.  The life of one Welsh miner is of greater commercial and moral value to the British nation than the whole royal crowd put together, from the royal Great Grand-mama down to this puling royal Great Grand-child.'
What he wrote in the Labour Leader he did not fear to say boldly on the floor of the House of Commons in a speech opposing a motion moved by Sir William Harcourt (Hansard, June 28th 1894): -
Sir William Harcourt's motion read as follows: -
'That a humble address be presented to congratulate Her Majesty on the birth of a son to His Royal Highness the Duke and Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York'
Mr KEIR HARDIE - "Mr Speaker, on my behalf and those who I represent I am unable to join in this public address.  I owe no allegiance to any hereditary ruler (interruptions) and I will expect those who do to allow me the ordinary courtesies of debate.  The resolution, Sir, proposes to congratulate Her Majesty on the birth of a son to the Duke and Duchess of York.  It seeks to elevate to an importance which it does not deserve an event of daily occurrence.  I have been delighted to learn that the child is a fairly healthy one, and had I had the opportunity of meeting its parents I should have been pleased indeed to join in the ordinary congratulations of the occasion.  But when we are asked as a House of Commons representing the nation to join in the congratulations, then in the interests of the House I take leave to protest.
There is one aspect of this question which concerns the House of Commons.  A Minister of the Crown is required to be present on this interesting occasion.  I submit, Sir, that such a proceeding is not calculated to enhance the dignity of this House in the eyes of the nation.  (Interruption and a voice, "Rot.")  The hon. gentleman may say "Rot."  If this hon. gentleman mixed freely with the common people as I do, he would have known their opinions on this question.  Sir, that point of view demands that a protest of some kind should be made in this House.  It is a matter of small concern to me whether the future ruler of the nation be the genuine article or a spurious imitation.  Now, Sir, this proposal has been made because a child has been born into the royal family.  We have the right to ask what particular blessing the royal family has conferred upon the nation that we should be asked to take part in the proceedings today.  We have just heard it said that Her Majesty had ruled for over half a century.  I would correct that, Sir, by saying that Her Majesty has reigned but has not ruled.  I remember, in reading about the proceedings in connection with the Jubilee, that one point made was that during the fifty years of Her Majesty's reign the Queen had not interfered in the affairs of the nation.  That may be reigning, but it is certainly not ruling.
Then, there is the Prince of Wales.  What high dignity has his Royal Highness conferred upon the nation?
Colonel SANDERSON (Armagh) - I rise, Sir, for the purpose of moving that the hon. member be no longer heard.
Sir WM. HARCOURT - I hope that the hon. and gallant member will not press his motion.  I do not think it would tend to produce the result he desires and which I think we all desire - namely, the prevention of disorder.
Mr KEIR HARDIE - I was about to observe that I know nothing in the career of the Prince of Wales which commends him especially to me.  The "fierce white light" which we are told "beats around the throne" sometimes reveals things in his career it would be better to keep covered.  Sometimes we get glimpses of the Prince at the gaming tables, sometimes on the racecourse.  His Royal Highness is Duke of Cornwall, and as such he draws £60,000 a year from the Duchy property in London, which is made up of some of the vilest slums.  (Cries of "Question.")
Mr SPEAKER - The hon. member must keep to the terms of the resolution.
Mr KEIR HARDIE - I will bow to your ruling, Sir, and proceed to the subject of the resolution.  We are asked to rejoice because this child has been born, and that one day he will be called upon to rule over this great Empire.  Up to the present time we have no means of knowing what his qualifications or fitness for that task may be.  It certainly strikes me - I do not know how it strikes others - as rather strange that those who have so much to say about the hereditary element in another place should be so willing to endorse it in this particular instance.  It seems to me that if it is a good argument to say that the hereditary element is bad in one case, it is an equally good argument to say that it is bad in the other.  FROM HIS CHILDHOOD ONWARD THIS BOY WILL BE SURROUNDED BY SYCOPHANTS AND FLATTERERS BY THE SCORE (Cries of "Oh! oh!") and will be taught to believe himself as of a superior creation.  ("Oh!" oh!")  A line will be drawn between him and the people whom he is to be called upon some day to reign over.  In due course, following the precedent which has already been set, he will be sent on a tour round the world, and probably rumours of a morganatic alliance will follow (Loud cries of "Oh!" "Order!" and "Question!"), and the end of it all will be that the country will be called upon to pay the bill.  (Cries of "Divide!")
As a matter of principle, I protest against this motion being passed, and if there is another member of the House who shares the principles I hold I will carry my protest the length of a division.  THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT FIND AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A VOTE OF CONDOLENCE WITH THE RELATIVES OF THOSE WHO ARE LYING STIFF AND STARK IN A WELSH VALLEY, and, if that cannot be done, the motion before the House ought never to have been proposed either.  If it be for rank and title only that time and occasion can be found in this House, then the sooner that truth is known outside the better for the House itself.  I will challenge a division on the motion, and if the forms of the House will permit, I will go to a division in the hope that some members at least will enter their protest against the mummery implied in a resolution of this kind.
Mr SPEAKER - The question is that an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty to congratulate Her Majesty on the birth of a son to his royal Highness the Duke and her royal Highness the Duchess of York.
The putting of the question was followed by loud cries of "Aye!" from all parts of the House.  Mr Keir Hardie alone replying in the negative.  Mr Speaker declared that "I think the Ayes have it," but Mr Keir Hardie challenged the statement.  The House was cleared for a division.  On Mr Speaker again putting the question Mr Keir Hardie repeated his negative, but did not again challenge Mr Speaker's words.  "The Ayes have it."
The Address was accordingly agreed to.'
A Chamber full of deplorable crawlers of no sensibility.  Only one principled man.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Keir Hardie remarks on diamond jubilee

'Even under a representative system of government it is possible to paralyse a nation by maintaining the fiction that a reigning family is a necessity of good government. Now, one of two things must be – either the British people are fit to govern themselves or they are not. If they are, an hereditary ruler who in legislation has more power than the whole nation is an insult. Despotism and monarchy are compatible; democracy and monarchy are an unthinkable connection.
If we are for the Queen we are not for her subjects. The throne represents the power of caste – class rule. Round the throne gather the unwholesome parasites who cling to the system which lends itself to their disordered condition. The toady who crawls through the mire of self-abasement to enable him to bask in the smile of royalty is the victim of a diseased organism. No healthy, well-developed people could for one moment tolerate an institution which belongs to the childhood of the race, and which in these latter days is the centre, if not the source, of the corrupting influences which constitute Society.
The great mind, the strong heart, the detestation of wrong, the love of truth whether in cot or palace will always command my respect. But to worship an empty form, to make pretence to believe a gilded mediocrity indispensable to the wellbeing of the nation – where is the man who will so far forget what is due to his manhood?
In this country loyalty to the Queen is used by the profit-mongers to blind the eyes of the people. We can have but one feeling in the matter – contempt for thrones and for all who bolster them up.'

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Oath of Allegiance campaign

We have recently contacted Scottish ministers pressing that the Oath of Allegiance to Elizabeth I and her heirs and successors, sworn by MSPs prior to taking their seats at Holyrood as representatives of the people, be made voluntary rather than compulsory as soon as possible. As many MSPs and the First Minister state prior to taking the oath, their primary allegiance is to the Scottish people. We believe the oath sworn should refect that truth and an alternative oath should be drafted.
We’re asking that people contact their MSPs and press them politely on this issue. You can find out who your MSPs are here Find your MSPs  Currently some MSPs are members of Republic Scotland yet the first thing they must now do in a democratic Parliament to which they have been elected as representatives of the people is swear an oath they do not mean. That is a blight on the bud of Scottish democracy and must end.

We are calling for this now as the 320 year anniversary of the Glencoe massacre is on February 13th this year and this revolved around the clan Chief, MacIain, having been six days late in swearing an oath of allegiance to the king.

That day 13th February 1692 two companies of the Argyll regiment of the British Army were given an order signed by the king to massacre Scottish children in Glencoe. It was the orginal plan of the Secretrary of State, James Dalrymple Master of Stair who played a crucial role in the subsequent 1707 Treaty of Union, that all the clans be destroyed. ‘I hope the soldiers will not trouble the government with prisoners’ reads his letter to that effect. But they only had the excuse for the Macdonalds - the Chief had to make his way through blizzards and was an old man. He went to Inverlochy (renamed 'Fort William') and was told he had to sign at Inverary. But Glencoe was a public relations disaster as the soldiers had been guests of the Macdonalds for nearly two weeks prior to the massacre, unaware of the order to come, so the act was ‘murder under trust’. Of course they could not carry out their orders to the letter which were to ‘put all to the sword under seventy’that they ‘be cut off root and branch’and that MacIain’s ‘sons do upon no account escape your hands’. They used guns which alerted the whole glen. Many escaped including the Chief’s sons but 39 were murdered and died horribly including women and children and about the same number perished in the snow trying to flee.
The order is in the national Library of Scotland. (transcript below)

You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels, the Macdonalds of Glencoe, and to put all to the sword under seventy. You are to have a special care that the old fox and his sons do upon no account escape your hands. You are to secure all the avenues that no man escape. This you are to put into execution at five of the clock precisely; and by that time, or very shortly after it, I'll strive to be at you with a stronger party. If I do not come to you at five, you are not to tarry for me, but to fall on. This is by the King's special command, for the good and safety of the country, that these miscreants be cut off root and branch. See that this be put in execution without feud or favour, else you may expect to be dealt with as one not true to King nor Government, nor a man fit to carry Commission in the King's service. Expecting you will not fail in the fulfilling hereof, as you love yourself, I subscribe these with my hand at Ballachulish.
Feb 12, 1692
Robert Duncanson
For His Majesty's Service,
to Captain
Robert Campbell
of Glenlyon’

We say there should now be no forced oath of allegiance.  What kind of future do we want for Scotland?  Should it be one of reason, rights and common sense or should the first thing in the Parliament be a forced oppressive oath redolent of a tyranny that should be over?

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

This parcel of war criminals

Today's Scotsman contains an article which references the Master of Stair 'this most expert and effective advocate of the Union ' and orchestrator of it in 1707 who dropped dead a few days later after his drivel and iniquity. For some reason it fails to mention that for which he is even more infamous – he was one of the king's Scottish ministers found responsible by the inquiry into the order 'by the King's special command' in London to two companies of the Argyll regiment of the British army to massacre Scottish children at Glencoe. The king having signed the order shielded Stair from any punishment other than being dismissed from the Secretaryship of State. Of course the king slunk away unpunished.
Not just a parcel of rogues then, orchestrators of 'murder under trust', completely morally bankrupt, evil men.

And we're told there will be a king Charles and another king William. Really? 
Of course we have a king now, he's called David Cameron and he might have the tiniest of little minorities and have had to cook up a connivance with the LibDems but that's irrelevant once he is in Number 10 as then he has his shiny mitts on the royal prerogative and he now has more power in the confines of this country than Barack Obama has in America. He can take the country to war, write law, decree yachts, on his whim it stands. If there were a queen there she could do the same, and if there were a democratically elected governing body in the same city as she was, like say for instance a Greater London Council and she didn't like who the people of London had voted in she could simply say "I abolish you" and that would be that. And that's exactly what she did.  The royal prerogative might not actually be used to do things in every case but it can be used by the PM and by the Privy Council and lies behind the great power Prime Ministers have to see that their will is done.
So people of Scotland have given Alex Salmond an amazing democratic majority and David Cameron is coming at him with the autocratic, unaccountable, corrupting, dangerous, tyrannical, fundamentally evil power of a king. Westminster is a creaking ancient mess and so is the unwritten constitution full of pointless precedents and traditions, only those in the government have any power to do things and Cameron trumps all else. Half the government is unelected and so is the head of state. So quaint in a 21st century 'democracy' don't you find? So sick. Speaker John Bercow said to Paul Flynn MP when the latter was attempting to criticise Andrew Windsor's errors in judgement and boorish behaviour when representing the country as Trade Ambassador: "References to members of the Royal Family should be very rare, very sparing and very respectful. We have to be very careful in our handling of these matters."  How crawling.  How ridiculous. And the Speaker is all about the rules.

Scotland has a chance to escape this, to move into a new landscape where the people truly govern themselves. Only this will deactivate the SNP vast coalition with its one over-riding aim of independence, only then will Scottish politics breathe and move on. If we wait for more of the so benevolent 'giving' of powers that Cameron tries to kid us with as he 'gives' legal power (I give you the power to reform the cobweb-ridden half-baked joke that anachronistic Westminster 'democracy' is Cameron, get on with it, but you'd better be quick), where are the Crown estate and renewable energy powers Alex Salmond asked for with his huge mandate from the Scottish people?
Cameron and Westminster will give absolutely sweet FA powers to the people of Scotland, or England or anywhere else unless it's cooked up to the Westminster system's benefit. We must take those powers for ourselves. Absolutely all the way. Wake up, peoples of Britain.

'Born from Evil

the union, Jack
the butcher's apron'