(Image: Depiction of the Battle of Worcester, 1651, where Cromwell’s republican army finally defeated the last royalist resistance).
Ever since the unification of England in AD 927 under King Æthelstan, our nation has been ruled by a hereditary monarchy. During the times of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors, this was generally a positive thing as the rulers of the Heptarchy (7 Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England) were elders appointed by consensus as opposed to divine right. However, since the Norman invasion of 1066, our land has been ruled by foreign monarchs of one dynasty or another, without so much as a popular vote on the matter in a millennia. Of course, there was the period of 1649-59 where England was a republic in the immediate aftermath of the civil war, but again a foreign monarch took power to continue the injustice. Since then the monarchy proceeded to consolidate its power, acquiring territory and creating unnatural unions to further their game. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a result of royal alliances alone, as opposed to the will of the peoples of the nations concerned. Whilst their power is supposedly curtailed by parliament, they influence through their public exposure first and foremost, and the ruling monarch could in theory dissolve parliament at any time.
The single greatest reason for the abolition of the monarchy in England is that they are in essence a foreign power. There are many caveats here of course, as it is not so much a problem that they are related to our German and Danish cousins, but the current royal family have no real roots anywhere. They’re not Germans, they’re not English, they’re not Danish or Austrian or French – they are internationalists and will never understand what it means to be a homogeneous people. It is for this reason that they can never fully understand the people over which they rule, as their ideals will always serve an international agenda. They cannot claim to have loyalty to any nation in particular, therefore a sense of patriotism or moral duty to one’s country cannot be counted on from them. The tree of our royal family is a very tedious story to discuss, but we have not had a truly English head of state since Harold II, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England. Today we are ruled over by the same group of barons and royals that were put in place by the Norman invaders in 1066.
Many a conservative will claim that the royal family is part of our ‘Great British tradition’ and culture that we should preserve on a matter of principle. Similarly, many a liberal will claim that the royal family, for all its ills, is a good tourist attraction that brings vital revenue to the economy, as well as being a check on ‘political extremism’. Sadly both of these arguments are misguided.
Conservatives amongst the general public at large do wish to conserve things such as the monarchy from a perspective of culture and tradition, but it is not being ruled by a foreign monarchy that helps one discover true ‘Englishness’. It is also true that people must face reality and accept that radical change is sometimes necessary, particularly to fix a system that is broken. Those who generally vote for conservative politics seem to overlook the fact that there are a single family in our country that live better than everybody else, on the backs of everybody else – this is not a situation that is desirable to conserve. Meanwhile, conservatives in power will of course want to preserve the monarchy as it suits their own personal interests. Institutions such as the Privy Council allow collusion between politicians and the highest in the land, whilst legislation can be passed and wars declared using the Royal Prerogative powers delegated from monarch to Prime Minister. It essentially allows the people’s representatives to go over the heads of those they represent. Whilst these politicians talk of the monarchy being a check on ‘political extremism’, what they really mean is perhaps the will of the people might be behind somebody other than themselves, should there be any radical change in the political system.
The liberal argument of tourism and revenue generated by the royal family is also not accurate. Research suggests that foreign visitors come here first and foremost for our world class museums, great English scenery and our fascinating history – if Windsor Castle (the only occupied royal building open to the public) was ranked on a chart of the most popular tourist attractions, it’d come in 24th. In an English Republic, sites such as Buckingham Palace would be open all the time to tourists, but as a piece of history where it belongs. Furthermore, it is estimated that to sustain the lavish lifestyles of the royal family, the British taxpayer pays over £300 million per year – 100 times the cost of the Republic of Ireland’s head of state. That is £300 million that could be spent on the people, as opposed to a select few – our health service is on the brink of collapse and our education system need urgent costly reform, yet our priority seems to be sustaining a small group of people and their thrones and palaces.
What Would Change?
As you may have noticed, the reference in this article is predominantly to an English Republic, as opposed to a British one. This is because the dissolution of the United Kingdom is the next logical step after abolishing the monarchy. The Union after all began in 1603 when King James VI of Scotland simply inherited the English crown – 100 years later the political establishments of both nations decided to merge them into a single kingdom, without ever asking the people if they supported this idea. The Union began with royalty and therefore it is only fitting it should end with royalty. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland – whilst having much shared history and practises – are very different and should be allowed to further develop and prosper under their own sovereignty, directed by the will of their respected peoples.
The flag of England would also be called into question should the nation become a republic. The St George’s cross was first used by Henry II of England and Phillip II of France during the 12th century crusades, then by English ships in the Mediterranean to ‘enjoy the protection of the Genoese fleet’ (this is also a flag associated with Genoa). The monarchy at the time paid a levy for this protection. All routes back to the history of England adopting the St George’s cross as our national flag lead back to monarchy, therefore it is only fitting that there should be clean break upon the abolition of the institution. Furthermore, the St George’s cross is a Christian symbol used by many nations and institutions from the west to the Middle-East – it has no relation to the identity of the nation.
A proposal put forward by many for the adoption of a new flag is that of the Chartism movement of the 19th century. The Chartists took influence from the French revolution in regard to the monarchy and adopted a red-white-green tricolour flag inspired by the French tricolour republican flag. This flag was a symbol of revolutionary republicanism and was in use from 1816 until at least 1935 by abolition advocates. It was also the flag flown by the Chartists at their famous 1848 demonstration on Kennington Common, at which 300,000 people were present:
Unfortunately, this is remarkably similar (if not the same) as the current flag of Hungary. However, Hungary did not adopt this flag until 1957 and use a variant shade of red, therefore the two are distinguishable. In the event that this is deemed too similar, an alternative has been proposed in some circles for the flag to simply be inverted as follows:
The Chartist flag is often proposed as the flag for a republican Britain, as opposed to just England, but it is up to the other nations of the union – Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – to choose their flag.
Whilst the composition of the United Kingdom and the future flag of England are important changes, nothing is more important than the fact that an English Republic will ensure that all English people are valued as equals, as opposed to subjects of a higher power (the King or Queen). We will be free as an ethnic group to true self-determination and the will of the people can be reflected in a Head of State that is one of their own, a first amongst equals. The hundreds of millions of pounds spent on sustaining the lavish lifestyles of the royals can go back where it belongs, as investment into the priorities of the English people.
Make no mistake, wanting to abolish the monarchy is not solely the domain of the rabid leftists or the Scottish nationalists. From an English nationalism perspective, wanting a republican England is almost a logical conclusion of a journey of nationalistic ideas – where the people are the centre of state attention and the will of the people is truly reflected by the actions of their political representatives. Furthermore, republicanism in the spirit of Cromwell is not following the Marxist republican theories of the 19th/20th century. Cromwell laid down the basic ideas of socialism before workshy Karl Marx and his cronies defamed the ideology with their class warfare pseudo-logic.
Yes, it is a radical idea. No, it is not likely to happen anytime soon. But, an English Republic is certainly an idea to consider and something that will see growing support as the people come to realise that the monarchy does nothing positive for them. Watch this space, for we are living through volatile times politically and, anything can happen.