Last night, dozens of people, including an MP, gathered at a Labour Party pressure group to express their opposition to having a “white, privilege man” lead the country in the future.
Just weeks after the Queen’s passing, the discussion—dubbed the “naughtiest” fringe event at the Labour Conference in Liverpool this week—heard the argument for a British republic.
Guests, including Labour MP Richard Burgon, listened as the presenters argued that the democratic principles of the Labour Party and “accidental” power are “incompatible.”
Author Paul Richards, Guardian writer Polly Toynbee, and Dr. Adam Tucker, an expert in constitutional law at the University of Liverpool, served as moderators for the discussion.
The principal topic of debate was the monarchy’s future after the passing of the Queen, a subject that has caused division within the party. On Sunday, during a performance of God Save the King during the conference, there may have been some disagreement.
The crowd laughed as Mr. Richards welcomed them to the conference’s “naughtiest fringe gathering” as he began his own speech.
In response to complaints made earlier this week that it was “terribly inappropriate” to debate whether the monarchy should be abolished at the conference in the aftermath of the Queen’s departure, Mr. Burgon, a member of Labour’s left-wing Socialist Campaign Group, fired back.
The statute was altered in 1993 to exclude the king from inheritance tax on private assets, as opposed to state assets, he said.
“I believe that these are still important issues to research.” And those who value the Queen’s service may continue to have these opinions. No one is being insulted in any way. In a democratic society, it is appropriate to have this conversation.
It happens a day after Jeremy Corbyn, a previous leader of the Labour Party, criticised Keir Starmer’s proposals to have the party sing the national anthem at its annual conference.
It was “very, very weird,” according to Mr. Corbyn, for party members to sing God Save the King during the convention in Liverpool.
Singing the national song, according to the previous head of the Labour Party, is “excessively nationalist.”
Following the passing of the Queen earlier this month and the coronation of King Charles III, Keir Starmer and party leaders decided that the national song will be performed at the Labour conference for the first time in its history.
Although Ms. Toynbee said she would have preferred for the Queen to be “Elizabeth the last,” she cautioned against Labour calling for the overthrow of the monarchy in the next general election.
“Our task is to gradually convince people, which is working as the tide is flowing slowly and in a republican direction, until such a time there is also a majority of people want to open up the entire topic, have a genuine conversation about it,” she added.
Of course, there is never an ideal moment because either Queen Elizabeth is still living and it wouldn’t be a good idea, or she has passed away and it wouldn’t be a good idea either. Therefore, there is never a good moment to bring up this subject.
I would have preferred for her to be “Elizabeth the last,” but there was not even a fraction of a second between her taking her last breath and her son receiving the crown the very next instant. There was never a time when we could have even brought it up.
The King could be “less well suited” than his mother to navigate the “tightrope of our politics, constitution, and ritual,” according to Dr. Tucker.
No political authority should ever be retained by inheritance, he said.
Following the passing of the Queen, according to Mr. Richards, it is “the perfect moment for examination.”
In his opinion, there is nothing “revolutionary” about wishing to live in a republic, he said, asserting that since Britain has a constitutional monarchy, “we’re the strange ones.”
Cardiff Central’s Welsh Labour Assembly representative, Jenny Rathbone, was also present.
At least until the end of the century, according to a brochure distributed at the event, Britain would have a ‘white, privileged man’ as its head of state.
There’s little question that this will increase demands for the monarchy to disappear, it said.
‘Labour for a Republic’ thinks that being born by accident disqualifies one from holding the highest office in our nation and is wholly at odds with Labour’s principles of democracy and equality.
“Under a republican constitution, the people as a whole would be sovereign, with a head of state chosen on the basis of merit and charged with upholding our constitution.” ‘Labour must take the lead on this,’ we assert.
Labour emphasised at party conference last night that it “is not responsible for the content of fringe gatherings.” In the midst of the Tories’ divisive tax reduction scheme, some Labour MPs have the audacity to declare that their party will win the next election.
When questioned about the gathering earlier this week, shadow minister James Murray emphasised that the party never organises nor supports fringe activities.
The question of whether it was proper to debate whether the monarchy should be abolished at the conference was put to him by Sky News host Kay Burley. He said, “The fringe activities are neither organised by the Labour Party or sponsored by the Labour Party.”
That is not the opinion of the Labour Party frontbenchers, including mine and Keir Starmer’s.