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Call for a republic through our motion to Momentum

The royals have taken a bit of a battering this year. Last month we wrote about the queen’s £100m pay rise and the Guardian’s exposure of royal involvement in politics. This month’s story has been Harry and Meghan.

The Oprah Winfrey interview pulled the curtain a little further back, letting people see more of the complete absurdity of a monarchy which is centuries out-of-date. Although our opposition is to the monarchy as an institution and is not about personalities, the extra evidence that the royals are just another dysfunctional family, perhaps no worse than average but certainly no better, helps to prepare the ground for our arguments.

Momentum

Momentum is choosing the motions which it will back at the Labour conference in September. We were invited to submit a motion, and what we sent has been put on the shortlist from which Momentum members will make their choices. If you are a member, or know others who are members, please ask them to vote for Labour for a Republic’s motion – and to vote quickly as the deadline is 1st April.

You can read our motion on our Facebook page. Many CLPs will be considering what they will support at the Conference. Why not suggest that your CLP also proposes this motion? (Please remind them that Labour for a Republic is always ready to provide speakers.)

Petitions

With the spotlight on the royals, ‘Republic’ has launched a new petition calling for “an open, honest public debate on the future of the monarchy”. You can sign it here.

Last Saturday The Times reminded us there are still 85 hereditary peers in the Lords. The Electoral Reform Society has followed this up with its petition calling for an elected second chamber.

Future meetings

At a recent meeting of our members, we decided to abandon the plans for any wider meetings until late May or June. At the moment most of us are hugely busy with election campaigns and we felt we should leave any further activity until after 6th May. We hope to be in touch when the elections are over with our plans for future meetings, both by Zoom and at the party conference.

Not yet a member? Now’s the time to join!

Best wishes

The Labour for a Republic Team

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The money and power of the monarchy

£100 MILLION pay rise for the queen

At the end of last week it was reported that the queen’s income was likely to rise by over £ 100m p.a. as result of the licensing of plots for off-shore windfarms. It’s not that the monarchy needs another £100m a year – it’s just the result of a ludicrous decision to give the monarch 25% of the income of the Crown Estate. 

A few weeks ago the queen honoured Capt Tom Moore for raising £ 33m for the NHS. The queen’s pay rise is going to be three times that amount, but it’s not going be of much help to Covid patients. 

What sort of country are we if we’ve prepared to give another £100m a year to an exceptionally wealthy woman when so many people have lost their incomes because of the pandemic, and when rising poverty places new demands on food banks?

The queen has more power over British law than we ever thought

This week the Guardian has reported how royal lobbying led to a proposed law being changed so that extent of the Queen’s fortune, and companies in which she was investing, would not be revealed. However, this was only one of the cases in which the Guardian found that the royals had applied pressure to change draft legislation through the ‘Queen’s consent’. This protocol requires the monarch’s approval of draft legislation which might affect the monarch’s interests. 

According to an expert in constitutional law
“The anti-democratic potential of the consent process is obvious: it gives the Queen a possible veto, to be exercised in secret, over proposed laws”.

What sort of democracy are we if allow a person, because of their parentage, a veto over what our parliament can debate?

Now we need to act. Please:

  • Write to your MP asking what they will do to bring this nonsense to an end (and if you have a Labour MP, what they think the Party should do);
  • Raise the issue in your CLPs and branches – encourage them to hold a discussion/debate on republicanism and remind them that Labour for a Republic is happy to ‘send’ speakers to Zoom meetings;
  • Encourage your fellow Labour members to join Labour for a Republic (by clicking here).

Best wishes

The Labour for a Republic team

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How we can campaign in spite of lockdown

The country may be in lockdown, but the problem of the monarchy has not gone away!

This year the pandemic has deprived us of a Labour Conference and the opportunities to reach out to new supporters which conferences usually provide. Several invitations to speak at CLP meetings had to be cancelled, and we have been unable to arrange meetings and events for our members.

There is nevertheless a lot we can do:

  • Many CLPs and branches are now holding meetings by Zoom. Why not suggest to your CLP that they have a debate on the monarchy? With Zoom it is very easy for us to provide speakers right across the country.
  • Labour will soon be electing its National Executive Committee. When the list of candidates who will be on the ballot paper has been confirmed, email them asking their views on the monarchy (and let us know of any replies you receive).
  • If you have a Labour MP, it would be very helpful if you were able to write to them asking for their views on the monarchy. You may want to tell them that recent opinion polls show that a majority of Labour members want rid of it!
  • Watch out for opportunities to say something about republicanism – there may, for example, be a member of royal family visiting an area near you, or there may be something in the news about royal extravagance. Use your social media, and write to your local papers, making the point that we want a society in which everyone is regarded as of equal worth and none have rank and status that is hereditary.
  • Check the website of Republic for recent press releases that you may be able to adapt and use locally. On their website you can also watch ‘The Man who shouldn’t be King’ – Republic’s documentary on Prince Charles and the Duchy of Cornwall.

Get in touch with us if you have ideas on ways we can campaign in the current situation, and the sorts of campaign you would like to see from Labour for Republic when circumstances permit.

Best wishes

The Labour for a Republic team