Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The "neutral" monarchy

According to its advocates, one of the advantages of the monarchy is that it is "politically neutral", and stays out of politics. That claim was blown out of the water a few years ago, when it was revealed that Prince Charles was lobbying Ministers on everything from architecture to education policy. And its just been demolished again with the revelation that (having been caught once) Charles is now laundering his policy views through his charities, which are lobbying on his behalf.

Oh, but it gets better. He's also been engaged in some personal lobbying, writing to the Mayor of London about planning issues. However, that information is being kept secret because releasing it would "undermine his political neutrality". Which is basically an admission that Charles is behaving in a politically partisan manner. All secrecy does is protect his hypocrisy, enabling him to deny it in public, while continuing to lobby in private.

So, if the monarchy isn't neutral, what’s the argument against having an elected head of state again?