In response to the announcement that we are going to have to pay £369M to refurbish Buckingham Place, Allan Armstrong and John Tummon of the Republican Socialist Alliance wrote the following letters to The National, which were both published.
Queen Lizzie is probably being shielded from the concerns of many of her subjects, who are being asked to cough up £370 million to do up Buckingham Palace. This, at a time when not only the usual “undeserving poor” but the “just about managing” JAMs are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Should she ever be informed, though, I’m sure she will answer: “Let them eat Tunnock’s Teacakes.”
Monarchies that continue in total disregard for their lowly subjects can find themselves in tricky situations when anger rises to breaking point.
Given that there is undoubtedly still a good number of her subjects who remain blindly loyal and wish the House of Windsor to continue, could I suggest a possible solution could take the royals out of the future firing line?
The monarchy should be privatised. Queen Lizzie acknowledges that the monarchy and Buck Palace belong to the state, since we are being told to pay for them. Therefore, the state should put the monarchy franchise out to tender. I don’t see why, in order to get best value for money, that other royal families should not be encouraged to put in a bid too: any remaining Jacobite claimants spring to mind.
There may even be some old Yorkists and Godwinsons around. Different palaces could be offered to different royal lines, a bit like the privatisation deal done over British Rail.
The Windsors would most likely, as present incumbents, be best placed to make the highest offer for the royal franchise, as well as the rental for Buckingham Palace and the other Crown properties they use. However, other contenders may be able to get big-bucks backing in the USA. Trump could see himself as a possible kingmaker.
The winners could charge for palace entry, special meet-the-royals events, as well as selling royalty-themed goods. For a price, they could also call upon their loyal supporters to join a royal fan club and sell them peerages and honours. Those getting lordships, though, would have to pay the state for a seat in the House of Lords. They would no longer be expected to do the “onerous” work they currently undertake, but could offer tourists photo opportunities instead, although perhaps nothing quite do vulgar as selfies.
This way, instead of royalty being the number one “welfare scroungers” they are at present, they could be transformed into a significant earner for the state – and still attract tourists too!
Allan Armstrong, Edinburgh, 23.11.16
In reply to Allan Armstrong’s letter on privatising the monarchy, if the current tenants of Buckingham Palace have, as reported, not decorated since 1952, then neither the current tenant not any of her vast extended family have lifted a paintbrush for at least 64 years.
The enormous number of unused rooms in Buckingham Palace surely falls under the Bedroom Tax and the failure over 6 decades to consult expert plumbers about the pipes, toilets and so on all means that unless these outstanding bills and unmet conditions of tenancy are paid and made good, in full, the Windsors should not be allowed to compete against other royals for the franchise of running this palace.
Furthermore, globalisation and free trade means that Allan Armstrong’s very Eurocentric list of potential bidders for this particular franchise has to be widened to Tans, Romanovs, Mughals, Incas and others. Let’s not forget that there are plenty of rich royals in and around the Gulf; if they are good enough to take over English football clubs, they should be given the chance to take on the privatised monarchy! Look what a difference they’ve made to Manchester City and imagine what they could do with Buckingham Palace!
John Tummon, Stockport, 25.5.11
For articles on Republicanism by Allan Armstrong see:-
The Case for a Break-up of the UK and ‘Internationalism from Below’ Response to the UK state at:-
For article on Republicanism by John Tummon see:-