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Imagine - Issue 4 (2009)

Imagine - Issue 4 (2009)

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Published by Chris
The fourth 2009 edition of Imagine magazine, published by the British pressure group Republic.

Republic advocates for the abolition of the monarchy in favour of a republic.

http://www.republic.org.uk/
The fourth 2009 edition of Imagine magazine, published by the British pressure group Republic.

Republic advocates for the abolition of the monarchy in favour of a republic.

http://www.republic.org.uk/

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Published by: Chris on May 12, 2011
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05/12/2011

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Republic joins Battle of Ideas over reform
Bid to stop royal FOI changes launched
2010 Appeal breaks donations record
2009 | Issue 4
Back issues and more at www.republic.org.uk/imagine
 
Free
 
  W  I  N
  A   M  U  G  !   P A  G  E   9 
The voice of modern republicanism
We, the people
Republic pledges to put popularsovereignty at heart of reform agenda
See page 4
 
       
 
 
Republic has launched a campaign tostop the government from introducingan absolute exemption from Freedomof Information rules for the royalhousehold.As we reported in the last edition of 
Imagine,
the government is planningto remove that public interest test.This essentially means that theybelieve the interests of the royalsoutweigh those of the public, anextraordinary claim for our owngovernment to make.In a statement the government said:“In relation to Cabinet information,and information relating to the RoyalHousehold, it has become clear thatthose safeguards are insufficientlyrobust to protect our currentconstitutional arrangements, and needchanging." In other words, secrecy isa fundamental principle of the Britishconstitution.Republic believes that rather thanincreasing secrecy to protect ourconstitutional arrangements weshould be reforming our constitution.Lynne Jones MP has tabled aCommons motion in a bid to raise thisissue in parliament. We’ll be lobbyinghard to help Lynne block this moveand we have already had a goodresponse from members who havebeen writing to their MPs.Further work is being done tohighlight the issue in the media andwith party leaders. 
 “Republic has made so much progressin alerting the public to the misuse of power by the royals and the need for aproper republican alternative that itdeserves our support.”“Republic has made a lot of progressin the past two years - let's keep thatmomentum moving.”These are just two of the many of messages of support we received inresponse to our 2010 Appeal, whichwe launched at short notice lastmonth.As you will know, Republic recentlyreceived the news that one of ourregular sources of funding will be cutas a result of the recession. If we arenot able to raise the £15,000 shortfallbefore the end of the year we will haveto look seriously at scaling back thecampaign.On receiving the news, weimmediately wrote to all our membersexplaining the situation and set up adedicated page on our website with aspecially created fundraising video.The response was overwhelming. Atthe time of going to press we haveraised over £10,000 – two thirds of our total target – in just two weeks.Your donations have ranged from £5to £1,000. Every gift makes a hugedifference and helps to ensure thatour campaign will keep growing, into2010 and beyond. On behalf of everyone at Republic – staff, directorsand volunteers – thank you for yoursupport.But we're not out of hot water yet. Wemust raise the final £5,000 before theend of the year, so if you haven'tdonated yet please consider making agenerous contribution. You candonate online or simply return theform attached to the cover letter thatcame with this edition of 
Imagine
.We rely on the support of individualrepublicans to keep doing what we do– holding the royal household toaccount and making a positive casefor a new republican constitution.Now, more than ever, we need yoursupport.I'll leave the last word to anotherRepublic member who supported the2010 Appeal: “Republic is the onlyorganisation that stands for true andmeaningful democratic reform. If Iever win the lottery there will be alarge wad going their way, not just 25quid!” 
 
 “In other words, secrecy is afundamental principle of theBritish constitution.” 
2
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Imagine
 
Freedom of Informationrules to be challenged
 “If you haven’t donated yetplease consider making agenerous contribution.” 
2010 Appeal gets huge response -raises thousands in two weeks
 
£10,000 was raised in two weeks.
 
 
Imagine
|
3
 
I joined in the "debate" on theConservative Home site, promptedby Republic, when the issue of theRoyal Family arose. There was nodebate from the royal supportersbeyond insisting the royal familyoffered stability and held politiciansin check. From one man inparticular, paroxysms of fury, atthose who dared to question this.This character was all over the"discussion" attempting to respondto every comment. His approachwas to state over and over that heknew that the royals were best andto ask why republicans wereobsessed by the silly "fetish" of democracy. As his anger rose hisvulgarity did the same: lavatorialreferences to republicans urinatingon UK values, toilets flushing andreferences to s**t.This is a fundamentalist faith whichis not open to debate and ready towhip itself into a fury at anyopposition to their "goddess" or evenher image. One royalist stated thatmost of the republicans were"professional lawyers" and seemed toregard this as such a moral defectthat they had nothing worthwhile tooffer. Why this should be so or howhe knew was not explained. JamesMacintyre, in his The Politics Column,in The New Statesman of 5 Octoberreferred to "the fanatical Toryblogosphere". But criticise theroyals and mere fanaticism fallsshort of describing this lot. What wesee here is more like a cross betweenfundamentalist religionists and alynch mob. Question theirsuperstitious veneration of even apicture of their sacred object and theslim hold they have of reality is gone.Denis WatkinsWales
 
We claim to live in a democracy, yetour head of state is chosen by theWindsor womb, not the ballot box.
Liam Finn (Republic member)
 The more I studied the workings of the House of Windsor, the more of arepublican I became. It may havestarted as disillusion with PrinceCharles, a born abuser of hishereditary privileges, content to usehis unelected office to put leadingBritish architects out of business withhis cheap one-liners. But it grew intosomething much more fundamental.
Anthony Holden
 Morally, the monarchy is injurious. Itmakes affluent parasitism respectable.
Piers Brendon
I think this is one of the greatestmyths, that the monarchy has nopower. The monarchy has immenseconstitutional power.
Professor Adam Tomkins
Send your quotes toimagine@republic.org.uk
Imagine
The magazine of RepublicRepublicPO Box 69Brighton BN50 9GS
08708 508 825
imagine@republic.org.ukBack issues of 
Imagine
and moreinformation about the magazinecan be found online atwww.republic.org.uk/imagine.MembersLet us know if you would preferyour copy by post or email.
So they say...
 
 
Send your letters to imagine@republic.org.uk 
Multi-million pound Civil List hiketarget of Republic lobbying
 
Buckingham palace is currentlynegotiating a multi-million poundincrease in the Civil List when it comesup for renewal next year.Under a law introduced in the early1970s the Civil List is reviewed everyten years, but it can only go up or befrozen, parliament can’t cut thepayments without repealing that 1971law.As Britain continues to face tougheconomic times and all politicalparties talk about sweeping publicservice cuts Republic believes it is, atbest, crass to start lobbying for a hugeincrease in payments to the royalfamily. Instead the Windsors shouldbe looking at ways to cut their inflatedexpenditure.Republic has already received anumber of emails from MPs appalledat the prospect of a Civil List increase,and we received a promise fromGeorge Osborne that a Conservativegovernment will not protect the CivilList from public spending cuts.Further lobbying will take place inearly 2010 to ensure any proposedincrease is strongly opposed inparliament.A decision must be made by July. 
 

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