Monarchy is a remnant of a feudal system that has no place in democratic society - Banbury Guardian Letters

Is the Monarchy unaccountable, undemocratic, unrepresentative, hereditary, unmeritocratic and a remnant of a feudal system that has no place in democratic society? Letters
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Pause for thought

With platinum jubilee celebrations in full swing, I would like to challenge celebrants to reflect on exactly what has been celebrated – it is 70 years of a hereditary Monarch at the head of our democratic state. The only qualification for the job was an accident of birth. Merit had no place in that selection.

This is intended to be a rational appraisal to provoke debate about the legitimacy of a hereditary, undemocratic institution at the head of our democracy. Not a personal attack on the Queen.

From only one family can be appointed our head of state, the pinnacle of our social and political entity. Once enthroned the Monarch is for life for better or worse. We have no right to choose our head of state, whose job it is to represent us on the world stage and an institution that as last resort, can hold our government to account. But the Monarchy is itself unaccountable, undemocratic, unrepresentative, hereditary, unmeritocratic, a remnant of a feudal system that has no place in democratic society.

No other person can to aspire to become head of state. To any other high office, yes, but not head of state.

Is this really something to celebrate?

A monarch sheltered behind their wealth, living in palaces, surrounded by the wealthy ‘aristocratic’ hereditary few, cannot be truly representative of all the people of Britain.

We should be able to democratically choose a time-limited head of state for whom scope, limitations, checks and balances are enshrined in a written constitution.

Philip Holt, via email.

Articles strike a chord

After reading the Banbury Guardian on May 26, two items stood out as needing a mention .

No.1 – decline in footfall in the town centre, what happened to BID ( Banbury In Decline) and the Mary Portas of this world who were going to save town centres across the country and no doubt being paid very handsomely for it. Looks like another reward for failure.

An hour’s free parking would probably help, as in some other towns, but the council would rather see another empty shop unit. There is no one so blind as those who don’t want to see.

No. 2 – new tree policy for the county? Does that include the total destruction of the magnificent trees along Bridge Street park, was that a council decision or British Rail not wanting the leaves to fall onto the lines?

C Watts, Easington

Danger in woke views

Democracy depends on one simple thing; the minority must accept the will of the majority. It is sustained by another simple thing; everyone has the right to an opinion and they can work to change things next time.

The modern ‘woke’ belief in cancelling those who hold a different view and in hating them is very dangerous and shows ignorance of how things work.

History tells us if the second point is denied, democracy is replaced in very few years by a dictator. Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain and today most of Africa demonstrate this. Let us hope the dictator agrees with your views.

I disagree strongly with Carol Brown, but I assure you, I do not hate her!

She believes 17,413472 voters (51.9% of the biggest electorate ever), were influenced in the Brexit vote, by “propaganda and lies”. I have a much higher regard for the British voter, who I believe usually get things right. I sincerely hope her view is not because 64% of the working-class vote was to leave.

She criticises the prime minister over Covid. Does she really believe the decisions were his? He would have taken advice from the best brains in the medical world, who, of course, might have been wrong.

I do believe there was bad behaviour in No 10 and I deplore it. But I know it is the prime minister’s home and his office, and the office of some 400 others.

I have been the senior person in very large offices, and I knew illegal parties went on when people retired or at birthdays and weddings. They were illegal as alcohol was forbidden and they were not authorised to so use paid company time. But I attended some for perhaps 10 minutes to say a few words of appreciation to some long service retiring worker. But I did not see this as a party for me, but as an involved employer I thought it was my work duty, and I would have told Sue Gray just that.

Some good people keep out of politics because they fear the insults and hatred for difficult decisions taken on our behalf. Can we not be a little less censorious of those trying to serve us?

Sir Frank Davies, Deddington

Include old in celebrations

The upcoming bank holiday weekend to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a wonderful opportunity to get together with friends, neighbours and loved ones, and relive happy memories.

But at the Silver Line Helpline we know that, for many older people, the celebrations and street parties taking place in cities, towns and villages around the country will simply exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation that were already a struggle before the pandemic, but have been made worse by the restrictions and distress and damage Covid caused.

With the end of Covid restrictions, many people are quite rightly desperate to return to pre-pandemic life, but the Silver Line Helpline hears from many older people who feel more isolated and lonely than ever, with recent ONS statistics showing that one in six people aged 70+ have reported feeling lonely.

So it might be a lovely way to celebrate by inviting an older member of the family or neighbour to a street party, or for a jubilee lunch or cup of tea?

We also know that one in five older people still feel uncomfortable about leaving their home due to coronavirus, so if you have a relative, friend or neighbour who doesn’t feel like going out right now, then a phone call to see how they’re doing and have a chat can make the world of difference.

The Silver Line Helpline is also available 24/7, offering information and friendship to older people.

We are free, confidential, and open all day and every night on 0800 4 70 80 90.

To find out more about the vital work of the Silver Line Helpline please visit the website: www.thesilverline.org.uk

Dame Esther Rantzen

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