God Help the Queen: A Monarchy Under Attack
It seems that there are rabble rousers in Britain who would seek to overthrow the monarchy and replace it with, well … something else. One such group, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, was founded in 1983 and calls itself, fitting enough, Republic. The group’s campaign manager, 36-year-old Graham Smith, when asked about the group’s intentions, stated “We simply want what’s best for Britain.”
Who is to decide what’s ‘best for Britain?’ After all, poll after poll shows that the public wants to continue the monarchy. The latest polls, such as that recently taken by YouGov for Prospect, conclude that the British are more concerned about who should take over as Britain’s next monarch rather than whether there should even be a monarch. By the way, daddy Charles is outrunning son William by 8 percent, 45% versus 37%, reversing a lead by William that was revealed in a poll taken five years ago.
Will “The Wedding” change minds?
Nonetheless, polls be damned, Republic’s Smith and his band of merry rabble rousers have convinced themselves that the British taxpayer is going to feel differently regarding the status of the monarchy when presented with the tab for Prince Williams and Kate Middleton’s wedding next month.
They went so far as to head north to Sweden to meet with the Swedish Republican Association, a group that, with similar goals regarding Sweden’s own monarchy, saw their member roster swell following a vitriolic campaign coinciding with the marriage last year of Crown Princess Victoria to Daniel Westling, her personal trainer.
Taking action to change minds
Following their trip, and with a renewed sense of purpose, Republic has budgeted $8,000 on an event that will be held on or about the day of the royal wedding. Perhaps, they muse, their party and the publicity that will surely surround it will work the anti-monarchists into a state. That, they hope, will encourage donations and dues from new members. After all, swelling membership rolls must surely be a goal for Smith who, it was pointed out, is Republic’s full-time campaign manager.
Watching all this play itself out from across the pond is a bit of a head-scratcher. After all, America is a republic; one that 200+ years ago fought a fierce fight to break away from Britain and its monarchy. Now, within their own ranks, the British find themselves faced with citizens who want to abolish the non-elected monarch, replace it with an elected ceremonial figurehead with no executive powers, and who claim, on their website, that “We believe a republican constitution is best for Britain.”
Photo credit: |Source=*File:Coat_of_Arms_of_the_United_Kingdom_(1837-1952).svg |Date=2010-07-20 14:14 (UTC)