Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nothing to do with us

Murray McCully is off to CHOGM in Perth this week, where the British will try and gain agreement for a change to their archaic and discriminatory rules on the royal succession (though not too much change, mind - women are OK, but Catholics aren't. They're eliminating sexism, but retaining bigotry). On the one hand, any reduction in discrimination anywhere in the world is welcome. But at the same time, its worth asking: what does this have to do with us?

While New Zealand retains the Queen as our de jure head of state, the blunt fact is that its Britain's monarchy, not ours. The Queen is British, not a kiwi. She doesn't live here, and we don't elect her. And the same will be true of whoever succeeds her. If the UK wants our "permission" to change their rules on their monarch, then of course we shouldn't stand in their way - they're an elected government, and it would be unthinkable to exercise a foreign veto on their wishes. But we shouldn't pretend that its really anything to do with us. The British monarch is just another colonial relic we haven't got around to ridding ourselves of yet - rather like our flag.