The general election is only a week away, and the choice for voters could not be clearer – a botched Brexit under Boris or a Labour-led Government prepared to make radical changes. The monarchy does not, of course, feature in Labour’s manifesto, but its proposals to take back control of parts of the economy and shift power away from a privileged establishment are the stuff of republicanism.
Labour’s manifesto contains the promise of a constitutional convention. Although those who drafted this proposal may not have had the monarchy in mind, it will nevertheless provide us with an opportunity to question why we still have an unelected, privileged and expensive head of state.
In this election, our head of state will not be up for discussion. So we need your help to challenge this. Please donate what you can to help us campaign, or alternatively, join us here from just £10 a year.
Alongside the General Election, the big story has been Prince Andrew, who has decided to step back from his public duties, following the fallout from his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. There are still questions for Andrew to answer, and this whole incident shows the dangers of unelected royals having public roles funded by the taxpayer.
Thanks to Sue from Leeds, the royals knew the game was up for Andrew when her question was put to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn during the ITV leadership debate on Tuesday: is the monarchy fit for purpose? Corbyn, a staunch republican, diplomatically said “it needs improvement”, while Johnson said “the monarchy is beyond reproach”. This shows how out of touch our prime minister is, as more and more people question the existence of the monarchy.
Thanks to the generous support of our members, we hosted a lively and well-attended Labour conference fringe debate in Brighton which generated some press coverage. We were joined by Roy Greenslade (The Guardian), Hilary Wainwright (editor, Red Pepper), Alexandra Runswick (Unlock Democracy) and Stephen Pound, the retiring MP for Ealing North.
We’d like to wish the best of luck in this election to our republican candidates, and hopefully we’ll have even more republican MPs after 12 December.
We hope to be in touch with you soon with details of our New Year Social. In the meantime, however, please do keep in touch with us – we’d love to hear from you!
With best wishes,
The Labour for a Republic team