Whether a monarchy really fits the bill

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“Is there really a democratic paradox in having a constitutional monarch as head of a modern European democracy?” asks Shirley Smeaton (Letters, 16 December). Yes Shirley, the clue lies in the question.

You can have a monarchy or a democracy but not both. One insists on the “divine rights” of unelected, unaccountable and unrepresentative kings (and queens) with all their powers and privileges; the other on the will of the people.

And if Shirley believes that the monarchy really has the “consent of the governed”, as she puts it, why are we never allowed to put her theory to the test? As a democrat I would be happy to let the people of Scotland (or “subjects of Her Majesty” if she prefers) decide whether they believe the monarchy really is a “(past) doctrine that is still relevant” or rather a feudal relic completely out of place in a world where egalitarianism, democracy and enlightenment are our guiding principles.

Colin Fox

Scottish Socialist Party

Alloway Loan


Isn’t there more to “Royal consent” than meets the eye regarding keeping “Elizabeth, Queen of Scots” in a possibly independent Scotland, asks Shirley Smeaton.

Presumably the Queen would open the Scottish Parliament, parade in state and make the Queen’s Speech.

Then for all Scottish bills to pass into law the Queen would need to sign them.

Would there be the First Minister’s weekly trip to the palace to report to the Queen?

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk


Chapter 10, Building a Modern Democracy of The Scottish Government’s Guide (Scotland’s Future), claims that Scotland’s independence would continue the Union of the Crowns that occurred in 1603.

However, this is contradicted by a claim in the same section that Scotland would become the 17th member of the group of Commonwealth states that have the British monarch as their head of state (the Commonwealth realms or dominions) and an attempt is made to pretend that the latter arrangement constitutes a return to the “Union of the Crowns”.

This is nonsense. The 1603 Union was unique (in Britain anyway), one monarch ruling directly over two separate nations.

Becoming a Commonwealth realm would not return Scotland to this unusual union, which vanished in 1707 with the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Scotland would join the realms alphabetically between Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and lose its present special relationship with the monarch, who even owns property in Scotland. The monarch owns no property in any other Commonwealth nation.

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan