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Volume 53 Number 12, May 5, 2023 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Pre-Coronation Issue

Coronation of King Charles III

The Monarchy - A Block to the Progress of Society

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Coronation of King Charles III
The Monarchy - A Block to the Progress of Society

King Charles III and the Monarchy:
A Fiction Beyond Resuscitation?

Charles' Pro-War Symbolism and Interventions:
"King's Democracy" Is a Lynchpin in Britain's Warmongering Role in the World

Not My King:
Demonstrations in Wales and Scotland

Coronation of King Charles III

The Monarchy - A Block to the Progress of Society

Ever since Thomas Hobbes wrote his treatise on state power Leviathan in 1651, the monarchy has been promoted as a guarantee of stability, using the logic that without a person of state to which all look up, a figure of unity and shared values, then the "mob" would follow their unholy desires, a war of all against all. The maintenance of the monarchy is therefore still put forward as the key to the functioning of society. This is precisely what needs to be overturned. The functioning of society, the political system and institutions of which today in Britain are dysfunctional, requires that the monarchy be abolished. The argument that it provides continuity is not very convincing when what is necessary and what people aspire to is change, change into a society where the people can take control of their lives. How can it be seriously argued that maintaining the monarchy is what gives people control of their lives? The fiction that the monarchy sets the example in providing service to others is barely able to be maintained, when the hard reality is of class privilege and entitlement. Peoples at home and abroad are hungry for change and are rejecting this fiction and demanding accountability.

Queen Elizabeth II has been promoted as being above the fray, a saint-like though human person, a symbol of everyone being in it together. This was nicely captured by the then Labour Prime Minister Jim Callaghan when he wrote in the year of the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977: "The Throne, as the summit of our institutions, provides a unifying influence for our people, and no nation is better served by the summit of its institutions. But it is not to the Throne as an institution that you will deliver our Address tomorrow, Mr Speaker; it is to Her Majesty the Queen as a person that we ask you to render our thanks." And, also nicely corroborated by Elizabeth II herself when she said of the Prime Ministers who have kissed her hand: "They unburden themselves or they tell me what's going on or if they've got problems and sometimes on can help in that way too. They know one can be impartial ... I think it's rather nice to feel that one's a sort of sponge and everybody can come and tell me things. ... And occasionally you can be able to put one's point of view which, perhaps they hadn't seen it from that angle." [1]

This fiction cannot continue. As long as the monarchy continues, society will continue to be blighted. Everything indicates that the role of the monarchy is more than a symbol, where power has simply been transferred to monarch-in-parliament. It is a lynchpin in the arrangements of the state, and has ramifications not just in Britain, but throughout what is now the Commonwealth. But it also has implications wider afield, in the sense that peoples are struggling against the kind of disempowerment that a monarchical system represents, that only a "strong" government or head of state can ensure stability in the face of the natural tendencies of the "mob", who otherwise engage in anarchy and violence.

In Britain, the English Civil Wars of the 1640s gave rise to the beheading of the monarch and the abolition of the House of Lords. The period which, from the royal perspective, has been known as the "interregnum" was a period of serious debate centred on how the people can decide how government should function. This can be said to be of its time, or premature, but the crucial implication of that period is it was the onset of a democratic revolution which has still to be consummated

And at the apex sits the monarch, waiting to be toppled, a necessary requirement for the democratic revolution begun in the 17th century to be completed. Of course, is it not sufficient in itself, but how can the democratic outlook be blighted by such an institution, holding the levers or the symbols of temporal, that is to say, military, and spiritual power in its hands - it could be said, "hard" power and "soft" power? Stability, peace and security cannot be maintained by such an institution. The opposite is the case. The monarchy represents everything that is rotten, obsolete, aggressive and anti-democratic in the society of today.

There cannot be a "common purpose" uniting everyone that it is promoted that King Charles will represent as long as society is dominated by narrow vested interests. Whether promoted as the present catchphrase of "levelling up" or the assertion that "we are all in this together", it is clearly not the case when working people are struggling with the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, class privilege, and attacks on their rights. Charles himself is a living proof in real life that there can be no common purpose when his sovereignty rests in possessing obscene wealth. This is not what working people aspire for either. "Levelling up" is a cruel joke while the accumulation of wealth and power in fewer and fewer hands continues apace.

In this whole context, the challenge which confronts the people as a whole is how to end their disempowerment and put themselves in a position of being in control of all affairs which are affecting their lives. It stands to reason that as long as the fictitious person of state in the shape of the monarchy is at the apex of all the political and constitutional arrangements, this challenge faces a serious block. The status quo is not an option.

It is necessary for the progress of society to remove the block to the people's empowerment that the monarchy represents.

[1] P Hennessy, "The hidden wiring: unearthing the British constitution" (London: Victor Gollancz, 1995)

Article Index

King Charles III and the Monarchy

A Fiction Beyond Resuscitation?

Whatever happened to the Defender of the Faiths, the self-proclaimed champion of diversity, protector of the human and natural environment? Many were shocked by the late Queen's funeral, with Charles playing a leading role, by such sectarian one-faith-only religion being pushed, and by the military might on display. Both the Archbishop and Charles later claimed a direct link of the crown to God, as represented by the Church of England, of which Charles becomes head, while 5,000 military personnel marched behind the coffin. It would appear that the coronation on May 6 will have the same character. Despite Charles's initial protest, the anointing with the so-called holy oils (vegan this time but claimed ancient and sourced from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem) will be unseen, bestowing on Charles mysteriously the apparent approval of the Almighty.

The attempt to give the fiction of ruler to be held in awe to the tarnished image of Charles the person, however, has a problem in that not only is the man and his coronation receiving scant enthusiasm from the working people, but he also it would appear fails to meet up with the requirements of the establishment. Lambeth Palace, the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, urging viewers to shout their allegiance at their TV screens at the appropriate time only adds to the incongruity of the occasion! Whereas the late Queen certainly did interfere in state matters where they concerned her private interests, this was done in secret. Charles, it seems, will not show such restraint. It remains to be seen, given the weakness of his support, if this results in his simply becoming linked to one faction in the competing ruling circles. Perhaps the military?

Charles III opening Parliament and addressing both Houses on the government's "Levelling-UP" Bill!

These are times of transition, times when all the old arrangements of ordering society are finished, but where new arrangements have not yet come into being. These are times which cry out for new arrangements in which the working people find a way through their struggles on so many fronts to become the actual decision-makers, to speak in their own name, and to order society in their interests, not subject to the will of the oligarchs, the warmongers, and the rogues and charlatans in their service. These are undoubtedly dark times, where everything is being done to divide people, confuse them, overwhelm them, and deprive them of an outlook which can resolve things in their favour. However, even in these times the face of the New can be discerned.

For, while the coronation of King Charles III is clearly an attempt to resuscitate the Old, the working people of England, Scotland and Wales, and the island of Ireland, as well as the peoples of the former Dominions and colonies, rejecting the fiction, will take a different view!

Article Index

Charles' Pro-War Symbolism and Interventions

"King's Democracy" Is a Lynchpin in Britain's Warmongering Role in the World

These days much is talked about of the role of the monarchy as if they are something separate and aloof from the Parliamentary system in Britain and especially when it comes to Britain's warmongering role in the world. The monarchy has long been promoted as just a symbol of national identity, family values and unity, and especially representing those values in times of war. However, besides the huge wealth that the Royal family has accumulated on the backs of the people, officially "the King is the head of the British state, the highest representative of all the nations of Britain on the national and international stage" [1]. All are expected to swear allegiance to the King, or at least look up to the monarch as the person of state, whilst the Prime Minister, whom the King formally appoints is the "the head of the British government", speaks in the King's name and that of His Majesty's government for the period that the Prime Minister remains in office.

The King meets with the Prime Minister once a week, receives daily boxes of state papers for his signature, and receives information on current matters. He presides over the Privy Council of government ministers which meets on average once a month. The King formally has a say in enacting Parliamentary legislation alongside the Prime Minister and the very few Ministers that draft the Parliamentary laws in Westminster. Since the Queen's death, members of the Parliaments in England, Scotland and Wales and in the military alike have already had to swear allegiance, or had their allegiance updated to Charles III as their King and as their "commander-in-chief" even before the Coronation takes place. In other words, Britain is a "King's democracy" and the Parliamentary constitutional order is not a democracy for the people of Britain, or the nations and nationalities of Britain. Quite the opposite. All MPs have to give the King their allegiance and the military their lives and not the people they are supposed to represent or defend.

Since the conquest and occupation of Wales, Scotland and Ireland the British monarchy has always been at the centre of Britain's centuries of bloody colonial wars of occupation, colonial empire and slavery of hundreds of thousands of its subjects in the colonies. This was then surpassed by even bloodier imperialist wars in Asia, Africa and Europe at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Following the Second World War the crimes committed across the "Commonwealth of Nations", such as suppressing the national liberation movements and massacring and assassinating the insurgent forces were done in the name of the monarch, while the people's wealth was stolen, not least by the Royal Family itself. These wars abroad and ambitions for world domination have continued to this day. Of course, today those ambitions far outplay the reality as Britain declines as a world power and desperately strives to hang on to its "greatness" by clinging to the coattails of US imperialism. Today, with the death of the Queen and the Coronation of Charles III there is no change to this outlook of the "King's democracy" as a lynchpin in Britain's warmongering role in the world.

Whilst it is an ignominious shadow of the Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953 [2], the Coronation of Charles III is going to continue the tradition of a military parade with 6,000 soldiers sailors and aviators escorting the King and hundreds of military from 35 Commonwealth countries. British warships and army bases across the country will fire their guns in salute to King, and later military aircraft from World War II to modern fighter jets will perform a flypast over the Buckingham Palace. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace for the government in a press release announced that "we can be enormously proud of the professionalism and precision of our Armed Forces as they honour His Majesty, their new Commander-in-Chief". Admiral Tony Radakin, chief of the defence staff, said the military side of the Coronation "reflects centuries of tradition, but is indicative of the integral role the armed forces play in modern Britain".

King Charles III intervening in Germany to try and bolster US and NATO's ambitions to unite Germany behind them in their dangerous proxy war in Ukraine against Russia

In other words, this "British exceptionalism" as one historian described it to retain the monarchy which is such an outdated institution is an attempt to continue to act as a cover for Britain's warmongering ambitions in the world. They will continue to wheel out that the armed forces of Britain are fighting for "King and Country". What is certain is that Britain is alongside the US and NATO as they step up their proxy war against Russia in Ukraine and also threaten China.

In fact, on March 30, on his first state visit abroad before he had been crowned, Charles III delivered a warmongering speech [3] to the German Bundestag, in Berlin. He claimed that Russia was responsible for the "scourge of war that is back in Europe" as if he had nothing to do with Anglo/US NATO expansion and the 2014 Maidan coup in Ukraine. He claimed that Russia was "unprovoked" by the West and that it was Russia and not the US that had threatened the "security of Europe" together with our "democratic values". He said that we "have not stood by" and that "Germany and the United Kingdom have shown vital leadership". He declared that as "Europe's two largest donors to Ukraine, we have responded with taking decisions which might previously have seemed unimaginable". Indeed it is beyond belief that he is advocating that Britain and Germany should be united in their escalation of the war in Ukraine instead of striving to bring about peace. One of the reasons for his visit to Germany , as well as his failed visit to France, is that there are huge demonstrations and opposition to war in Germany, France and Europe. Charles III is intervening to try and bolster US and NATO's ambitions to unite Germany behind them in their dangerous proxy war in Ukraine against Russia.

Without even any caveat that the two countries should at least be also be striving to find a peaceful settlement to the conflict, Charles III hailed "Germany's decision to send such significant military support to Ukraine is remarkably courageous, important and appreciated". He went on to boast: "Today, our pilots are flying side-by-side on joint operations over our Baltic allies. Here, in Germany, our armies have established a joint Amphibious Engineer Battalion, which I will visit later today. Germany is the only nation in the world with which the United Kingdom has such a joint unit, an extraordinary testament to the partnership we enjoy."

This "King's democracy" is the lynchpin in the support for US and British warmongering and their oligopoly interests in Europe and the world, especially the British war industries. The King has served as an arms lobbyist for decades as Prince of Wales. One infamous example was in 2014 when the British Prime Minister could not convince the Saudis to agree to the financing of a multi-billion-pound arms deal. Prince Charles was despatched to the Middle East to a festival supported by BAE Systems to perform a sword dance wearing traditional Saudi attire. The next day, Saudi Arabia and BAE announced the deal had been finalised for the supply of Typhoon jets from UK firm BAE Systems to Saudi Arabia, jets which were to be used in the bombing of Yemen and the British backed war there. The King and his government have a golden share [4] in BAE systems, the largest manufacturing company in Britain, which is a monopoly built out of most of the previous arms manufacturers and now among the largest arms producers in the world. Today, it can be said that BAE Systems defines the British economy as a "war workshop of the world" [5].

The conclusion is that the "King's democracy" and Parliamentary constitutional order must be rejected. The obsolescent forces who at present hold the reins of power, and who are so desperate to divert the people's striving for empowerment must be rejected. Never have the times been so insistent in calling out for democratic renewal over the decisions of war and peace and for anti-war government, when the negation of democracy in this Coronation and the king is being thrust down the people's throats. The stand must be that sovereignty needs to lie with the people and not the King!

1. What Is the Monarch's Role in British Government? Stephen Wood
2. In 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, 30,000 armed forces took part in the procession - 3,600 from the Royal Navy , 16,100 from the Army and 7,000 from the RAF, 2,000 from the Commonwealth and 500 from the Colonies.
3. His Majesty The King's speech at the German Bundestag
4. Golden shares are a type of holding that gives its owners special powers. For example, the owners can veto certain strategy decisions, block other investors to build up a significant stake and stop a takeover by another company. They have the same profit and voting rights as ordinary shares, although one golden share will correspond to 51% of voting rights. They have been implemented by governments to retain some level of control over companies that used to be state-run but ended up going private during the 1980s and 1990s, mostly in the defence and energy sector. It's an accepted practice in the UK but it has been ruled unlawful in the European Union.
Listed on the London Stock Exchange to have golden shares, include BAE Systems PLC, Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, as well as some dockyard assets of Babcock International.
5. BAE Systems is Britain's largest engineering company and its order intake for 2021 totalled £37.1bn, taking its order backlog to £58.9bn. Among much military hardware and ships it builds Britain's nuclear attack submarines and Typhoon fighters. Demand for BAE's weapons, ammunition and military equipment soared over the last two years. BAE employment in UK 36, 000 and 90,000 world wide in 40 countries. Underlying operating profits for 2022 came in at £2.5bn - up 12.5 per cent on 2021 - as top-line sales grew by 4.4 per cent to £23.3bn.

Article Index

Not My King

Demonstrations in Wales and Scotland

Not My King march - Cardiff - May 6

Rali Nid Fy Mrenin I Cwrdd wrth cerflun Aneurin Bevan, 12.30pm
Ged o Fai, i fynd tuag at y Garreg Cylch, Parc Bute am ginio mawr Gweriniaethol. Dewch a picnic!
Meet at Aneurin Bevan Statue, 12:30pm 6th May, to end at Stone Circle, Bute Park for the Big Republican Lunch. Bring a Picnic!
This is not a Republic event. It is organised by Cymru Republic. Their Twitter is @CymruRepublic

March for Independence - Glasgow


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