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2021 AGM & Social Evenings

Please join our AGM. It will be held by Zoom on 8th July at 7.30 pm. Join our email list (here) and we will send you details of how to join the meeting and of our guest speakers.  

The AGM will be a chance to review our work and discuss our priorities for the coming year. We will also elect a committee to plan and organise our activities. Although all supporters will be very welcome at our AGM, you will appreciate that only paid-up members will be allowed to stand for office and vote. If you are not already a member, you can easily resolve that problem by clicking below.

                                       I want to join 

The AGM itself will be a short meeting, but this will be followed by discussion on the way ahead for republicanism.

There will be a lot for us to talk about – the further revelations about the use of the Monarch’s and Prince’s consent protocol, the massive boost in royal incomes from off-shore windfarming, the royal household’s past discrimination against black people, the 110,000 complaints the BBC received over the excessive coverage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, and the BBC’s problems over the Martin Bashir affair (we cannot condone Bashir’s conduct, but we have had indignant royal princes criticizing him for having given their mother a chance to speak for herself).

Earlier this month students at Magdalen College, Oxford were in the news for deciding to remove a photo of the queen from their Common Room. The week before, Ken Ritchie, representing Labour for a Republic, joined with Republic’s Graham Smith in an Oxford Union debate on abolishing the monarchy – they won convincingly (one of their opponents took to the Telegraph to express her outrage).  

Republican social evenings

We are holding our AGM by Zoom partly because of COVID rules, but also because we all of our members to be able to take part, irrespective of where they live. However, it is also valuable for us to meet together more informally, and we are therefore considering holding social events when circumstances permit. If you have any ideas for venues, please let us know.

We appreciate that the London area is where we have the largest number of members, but we are a national organisation and would like to have events in other parts of the country. If you would like to attend a Labour for a Republic event in your area and are able to help us organise it, please get in touch.

With best wishes

The Labour for a Republic Team

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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