Monarchy: follow the money?

I saw an interesting argument shared, a few days earlier, about the monarchy and the money it costs. Calvin Hodgson, a politics student from Chester, argued that it is morals, not wallets, we should be convincing, when talking about republicanism.

To avoid misrepresenting what he says, I’m copying the main thrust of his argument below:

It seems simple to me that when a monarchist uses the money argument they are confessing that their head of state position is for sale to the wealthiest landowner on the island. They believe that money is an acceptable way to choose a head of state. This is what should be pointed out to them. That is the question. Is the position of head of state for sale? No? Then we should not have a monarchy. It should not matter whether or not it is cost effective, even though it isn’t. It is very easy for individuals to ignore finances, most people ignore their own financial situation most of the time, let alone the country’s. The moral argument strikes though, principles are a lot harder to ignore. Never mind £2.2 million cost of visits to local councils, forget the £106 million security cost taken on by the metropolitan police, the £30 million to private state buildings, the £68.7 million lost from the Duchy of Lancaster, the £25.8 million lost from the Duchy of Cornwall, and of course the £76.1 million sovereign grant, and much more, all of which total more than the money given by the crown to the government. Forget that, as hard as it may be, for the time being. If we can effectively convey the moral argument then none of that even matters. Why should we do this? Because the reasons for founding our republic will echo through this country’s future, and it would be a huge injustice to have wealth put before principle. It is a precedent we will come to regret.

I think there’s a place for arguing about money. Not just for money’s sake, but because the distribution of money in a money-based society represents the priorities of those who govern. That the state gives money to some people and not others, not on merit but because of birth, is a very compelling argument.

I agree that we shouldn’t put too much emphasis on money, though. Any argument of the sort should end with an ‘of course, we shouldn’t let money decide the nature of our democracy’. Yet there is a need to address arguments that monarchists use.

This is why I am partial to the ‘three Ps’ approach, as it succinctly includes the money argument on a practical level:

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2 thoughts on “Monarchy: follow the money?

  1. Thank you for an interest in what I wrote, the blogosphere can be a daunting endeavour. I confess that I am pathologically conscientious, and I do not beckon for republic without reservations. I fear that if the interregnum is not done correctly we shall be adrift and sinking. Whilst the monarchy is a painful and ugly nail, taking it out without quickly finding another that fits will be costly. Money can be so partisan, to me the only way to argue for the movement is universal arguments. If you argue money then the socialists will say it should go to the poor and the tories will say its good for the country and libertarians will say it shouldnt be taxed at all and the greens will say it should go to ecological preservations and UKIP will say use it for border controls (and the lib dems will…well I dont know what theyd say) and itll just be one big mess.

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