Friday, November 25, 2016

What does the monarchy stand for?

Over on the NZ Constitution site, Morgan Godfrey nails what the real "symbolism" of the monarchy is: inherited wealth and power:

I sometimes wonder why we can’t do the same with our head of state arrangements. Isn’t it odd that “the Queen in right of New Zealand” lives 18,000 kilometres away in a palace built from Jurassic limestone? Nothing says “modern New Zealand” like the monarch of a rain-soaked island off the north-western coast of the European mainland.

I suppose it’s obvious I’m a partisan for a local and elected head of state. Not just for practical reasons, or even symbolic ones, but simply out of honesty. New Zealand is not feudal Britain. I struggle to summon any affection for a person who makes £304.1 million per year for no other reason than her exalted bloodlines.

The politics of envy! I can hear the accusations crashing against my door. Maybe I’m a bitter hack, but given the argument for constitutional monarchy so often seems to amount to nothing more than “symbolism” and “special relationship” it seems appropriate to state just what the monarchy represents – inherited wealth and power.

The clash with New Zealand's democratic and egalitarian values is obvious. Most of us don't want to live in a country where wealth and power are inherited. For many Pakeha, that's exactly what our ancestors fled here to escape!

An inherited billionaire descended from mass-murdering tyrants is not an appropriate symbol for modern, democratic New Zealand. Its time we cut that constitutional link and declared a republic.