While being generally anti-monarchy, I’ve never really had a huge interest in discussing or debating the authority and legitimately of it. But something has prompted a change of heart. Conservative MP Michael Grove decided to announce his now Government-backed suggestion of buying the Queen a £60 million yacht to commemorate her Golden Jubilee, and this has of course started the debates again. In this blog I will address if it is right or not to have a hereditary head of state, and if it is right or not to expect people to cough up this money when they may not support her power. Right.
Lets look at the most common arguments AGAINST the monarchy:
- It is an unfair cost to the British public.
- It’s un-democratic to have a hereditary head of state.
Understandable arguments. To those who have not looked into it. And as per usual, the answer is in the history. King George III, the
monarch known for losing the United States for the Empire, is lesser known for his role in the changing hands of the Crown lands. As KG III continued to grow his debt, the money he received from the rent of the Crown lands were not enough to make the payments. He therefore gave Parliament the lands in exchange for having the debt removed and to receive an annual salary. Since KG III, all the monarchs have voluntarily given Parliament the lands in exchange for getting the money they need to lead their lifestyle. Is this fair?
The answer is… Unfortauntly (for an anti-royalist like myself) yes. Although it is debated what the actual annual cost of the monarchy is, it is generally considered to be around £40-£60 million pounds. This seems like a huge amount of money for someone that has never received a single vote of legitimacy! In fact, it’s under a £1 per UK tax payer per year. And if we look at the income the Government makes on the Crown lands, it turns out to be about £120 million pound, making taxes roughly £2.50 cheaper per year. Ah, but we can kick the monarchy out and keep all the profits for ourselves, lowering taxes further! Nice try. While KG III did create a deal with Parliament, it was for the profit from the land, not the actual land. So technically, they still own it. So if we stopped paying them, they’d simply have to take it back from the lands they voluntarily give up. Sneaky royals. This is without going into the tourism argument (And if you’ve ever paid to go round a royal property you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s big business). So, that’s the money argument out the window.
Now for the slightly more convincing lack-of-democracy argument. The Queen is the person who allows Government’s to take power, therefore she must be the most evil supreme rule of the United Kingdom, right? Wrong. She is a theatre act. A symbol. A sideshow approving what Parliament would do anyway. Actually, scratch that. I’m sure she is planning world domination, including a declaration of war on every country ending with the letter a. But then again, maybe not. So, there’s that argument gone.
(See further arguments at the bottom of this blog).
So.. considering the wealth the Queen brings in to the country, and the fact that she doesn’t destroy democracy, should the UK taxpayer be expected to buy her a yacht for her Jubilee? In short, no.
Just because this country makes more off the Monarchy than it spends on it, should we be made to pay even more? No. Of course not. What if you don’t even like her? Why would you want to get her a present? Times are hard for people, so they shouldn’t be asked to pay more. So, what’s the solution? Private funding.
If Grove wants to buy the Queen a yacht, Grove can buy the Queen a yacht. As can his ol’ mate Lord Ashcroft, willing to give £5 million to the cause. Make the people who want it, pay for it. In fact, extend that idea to the whole of the monarchy. If you want it, you pay for it. Even if only 50% of people wanted it they would only have to pay about £1.20 a year. And then who gets the benefits from it? That’s right.. The WHOLE country. After all, she chooses to be the Queen of the country, and we are ALL her citizens. Regardless of who gives her a few quid. The perfect solution.
So this is me high-fiving the Queen, and sticking two fingers up at Michael Grove. You out of touch silly little man… Stop distracting the country about the only thing they really care about when it comes to the monarchy.
(Further arguments that somewhat detract from the point and strength of this blog:
- The Crown Lands were never really King George III’s to give. They were never any monarchs to give. They were stolen by William the Conqueror from the people, and since them these peasants have been allowed to live on them.
- The idea of a hereditary monarch detracts from my argument on the importance of class the other day. This divide is a huge problem, and one that this type of thing enforces.
- One of the only places you are likely to find the cost of £40 million quoted for the cost of the Royal Family is on the Royal website. If you search the internet you will find an array of costs from £20 million to £200 million, and unfortunately it’s likely to be at the cost of the scale. Still not disadvantageous, but not as lovely as I made it seem.
- People could, and probably would still enjoy a lot of the Tourism from Ex-Royal places of interest. Hey, if we executed them like the good ol’ days we’d probably rake in even more cash in tourism.
- People swear loyalty and even fight to death under an oath to the royal family. Come on.. )