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Royal Family: affront to democracy

THE FORTHCOMING marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton on 29 April is being paraded as a “feel good” moment for the whole country. Yet it has already cost £20 million for security while the rest of us have to put up with swingeing cuts.

The wall to wall coverage of the Royal wedding has provoked response ranging from anger to indifference. A poll carried out in November 2010 found that 31 percent “couldn’t care less” and a further 28 per cent were “largely indifferent” to the big day.

The anger came in when links between Prince Andrew, Duke of York (William’s uncle and fourth in line to the throne) and dodgy dictators were revealed.

But Prince Andrew isn’t just one bad egg. The whole family is up to it.
Among those invited to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton are:
• Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa – the butcher King of Bahrain
• The King of Saudi Arabia, who sent in troops to Bahrain to attack pro-democracy demonstrators
• Dictators including the Sultan of Brunei and Oman
Past the smiles and grandeur, the royal family keep these dodgy connections for a reason – to boost Britain’s status and profits to British business from the world’s most sickeningly wealthy oil-rich regimes.
They are at the centre of the circles of corruption and horse-trading among the world’s elites, using their hereditary titles to access all areas.

Undemocratic powers
The role of the monarchy is not just based on titles though. On paper, the monarch has extensive powers: to declare war, dissolve parliament and to rule by decree. In practice, these are limited, although they are normally exercised (officially ‘in the Queen’s name’) by the sitting prime minister.
For example, parliament was only given a role in deciding on declarations of war after the protests against the invasion of Iraq. Even now, the government claims the sole right to decide over intervention in Libya.
Other powers are greyer areas, such as the protocol when there is a hung parliament.

The monarchy’s powers mesh with those of other secretive committees and unelected officials, to undermine the democratic will of the people. This becomes especially important in periods of class struggle.

By appearing to be “neutral” and standing ‘above politics’, the monarchy gives those gathered around it the ability to repress or derail working class struggles, in the name of “Queen and Country”.

In Australia, for example, Governor-General Sir John Kerr used his powers as the Queen’s representative, to dismiss the elected Labour government of prime minister Gough Whitlam. He refused Whitlam’s request for new elections to the Senate, to resolve a constitutional crisis provoked by the Tory opposition, and appointed Tory leader Malcolm Fraser in his place.
The monarchy therefore has to be abolished. It is a rotten symbol of wealth and privilege, and a dangerous weapon in the hands of the bosses.

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