A guest blog by Zachary Adam Barker.
“Surely the birth of the third person in line to the throne can only be a good thing?” asked the BBC Radio Bristol presenter. The question was presented to me as though I was objecting to a self evident truth, beckoning the men in white coats to take me away.
The truth is, the birth of anyone is a good thing. The emergence of a new person into the world presents endless possibilities. What personality will they have? Will they have a family? What will they become? Most of those questions to a varying extent have already been settled even before the Royal Baby emerged. Their personality, warts and all will be heavily filtered through the ruthless efficiency of the Palace’s PR machine. They will have to have a family to ensure the continuity of the British Monarchy. Eventually they will become Head of State whether they want, or even deserve that position.
All of this puts a hefty burden on a child that has just come into the world. It also automatically grades any other British child as unworthy of taking or volunteering to take on that burden when they come of age.
What I objected most to the question put before me was what it implied about the state of British democracy. We are so disillusioned with our democracy and those who we elect to represent us that we are ready to walk away from the ballot boxes and sell ourselves to an idea that stands against rule by the people. The idea of monarchy presents a contradictory picture of human nature, it implies that those elected can be nothing more than vile human beings, while those appointed noble and virtuous.
This promotion of democratic discontent is what concerns me most. The British Monarchy tells us that our hard fought democracy and its values are simply not worth fighting for. MPs are suspect individuals by nature, yet heirs to the throne with suspect tax arrangements and a history of lobbying are assumed to be not. Expenses for MPs are pounced on, while private royal flights paid by the taxpayer are shrugged at. I refuse to support a system that speaks so ill of human possibility. People are corruptible elected and unelected. But freedom is worth fighting for. As a great man once said “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”.
If you’d like to write an article for us, please send it to email@example.com
Usual guidelines are 500-1500 words, but this isn’t set in stone.