Peter Jones asks whether SNP government minister Aileen Campbell was “flying a kite” on behalf of the First Minister in remarks she made on TV at the weekend obliquely offering the people of Scotland a referendum on the monarchy after a Yes vote next year (Perspective, 13 August).
It’s a good question. I would love to know his thoughts, but unfortunately his article ducked the substantial issue of whether we should replace our unelected, unaccountable and unrepresentative head of state, as a significant proportion of Scots prefer, and focused instead on the rather more trivial matter, if I may say so, of the use of referenda themselves.
The commentariat’s repeated inability to rationally debate the role of the British monarch not only does their readership a disservice – to my mind it demonstrates a lack of confidence in the case for the status quo.
The political classes in Britain today insist no one cares about the Queen’s constitutional role as head of state, or that the role itself is largely benign. But they do not convince.
Perhaps The Scotsman could initiate a rational and fully informed debate on the important issues involved by inviting one contributor to defend the current arrangements and another to set down the case for a modern democratic republic.
The discussion could show which other nations emulate Britain when it comes to the [non] election of our head of state. It could point out there is no US king, German queen or French monarch at the head of those states and even the emergent Bric nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – long ago scrapped the “divine right of kings”, “hereditary privilege” and citizens being referred to as “subjects” or “commoners”.
Meantime, the Independence movement in Scotland will hold a rally atop Calton Hill on 21 September, the scene of a famous earlier “Declaration for a modern democratic republic” initiated by supporters on the day the Queen officially opened the Holyrood Parliament building back in 2005.
Scottish Socialist Party