John Tummon of the Republican Socialist Alliance has written a response to The Sun‘s revelations about a photograph from 1933 showing Zeig Heiling royals. This is a slightly edited version.


Robert Lacey (aka Lackey), a serial Monarchist apologist, was on Radio 4 on the 20th July arguing that, and I kid you not, because the British Monarchy “goes back to Alfred the Great and the mists of time”, they are a private family and therefore entitled to absolute privacy and should not have to divulge the content of their archives.

They don’t – the Saxe-Coburg Gothas (before their name change in World War One to try to get away from their Germanic origins while conserving their wealth and power) have been in Britain only since the 19th century. Before that, any origins they have are to be found in central Europe. They were an import of convenience in Victorian England after Victoria provided an interlude when the previous Hanoverian (yes, also Germans) lot grew mad due to inter-breeding (that’s what Monarchy gets you eventually). Go back further and the previous import of convenience was from the Netherlands (complete with a Dutch army of occupation billeted on London and the Home Counties which has been airbrushed from history because we are supposed to believe in unbroken centuries without invasion). Before that, the Scottish monarchs and then a long line of French imports going back to William I.

Of course this isn’t the national narrative we are encouraged to believe, just the historical reality. Monarchy has been recycled despite its frequent failures because the system underpinning it – the Crown in Parliament – is the best means of oligarchical cover for ruling behind our backs yet known to English capitalism and its aristocratic bedfellows.

Sod the Queen’s Nazi salute – she was a kid at the time, but nowhere in the press does it vilify the late Queen Mother, who was in her TWENTIES when she did this. So there is absolutely no excuse for the old crow, who presented me with my degree with a shake from her white gloved hand, which I endured for the sake of my watching parents in the gallery of the Albert Hall.

250 years of Hanoverian and Saxe Coburg Gotha archives rest unobserved in a safe in Windsor Castle, beyond the scrutiny of any historians who could unearth this on behalf of the public who fund the civil list.

This family lies at the apex of an oligarchy that toyed with Fascism on a significant scale in the inter-war years. There is no excuse, as the Sun and an Oxford Don argue, that the 1933 footage came before the gas chambers were known about – Hitler had been politically active since 1921 and Fascism was well known as anti-Semitic, anti-communist, anti-gay and anti-black as well as lots of other things. The British aristocracy fell for him because they feared that communism would take away their inherited wealth and power and that democracy was dying. Hitler therefore provided the best option for them in a 2-way choice between communism and fascism.

Just to put a bit of historical context on this, from the accession of Hitler in 1933, the Cliveden Set, a group of expat rich Americans and British aristocrats, who met regularly at this stately home, had been earnestly discussing what the British response to the Third Reich should be. By 1936 they had convinced the Foreign Office to send Lord Halifax for talks with Hitler, with a view to putting in place a negotiated extension of German power in Eastern Europe.

It was only because Claud Cockburn revealed this plan on 17 June 1936 that it travelled beyond the ranks of the semi-secret oligarchy into public discussion and generated an opposition which attacked the idea of foreign policy being decided ay private gatherings in country houses by a bunch of well-connected upper class toffs. The result was that a popular opposition to ‘appeasement’ was assembled which eventually overturned policy. This entire process has been airbrushed from history by the way a hand-me-down version of the Second World War that has long been accepted in this country, complete with the airbrushing of most of the career of Winston Churchill up to 1941.

The Saxe-Coburg Gotha family may or may not have been even more supportive of the Cliveden policy than we already know. The point is that we will never know, because their archives are kept private. This is part of what the political system we have – the Crown in Parliament – means. Intrigue and secrecy are part and parcel of how it has always operated.

The latest example is Jack Straw and a bunch of privy councillors being ‘pointed towards’ the Investigation into Freedom of Information. There is little doubt that the right to demand information from the state will be significantly reduced once this ‘investigation’ by ‘the great and the good’ has run its course.

Are we as free as we are told we are by those who hide their manoeuvres from us?

20th July 2015


also see article by John Tummon at:- Defining Republicanism