by Rab Bruce’s Spider

The latest news about the queen’s interference in the business of the Scottish Parliament should come as no real surprise. Unfortunately, centuries of indoctrination and propaganda have led most UK subjects believing that the monarchy is a good thing; so good, in fact, that ordinary citizens don’t even qualify as citizens but are regarded as subjects. That has been reinforced by the matter of Queen’s Consent now coming out into the open.

There are two things I’d like to mention about this. First, the clamours for such interference and lobbying to be made public are absolutely justified. The Scottish Government’s craven submission to pressure from the monarch is bad enough, but to then try to conceal it behind a veil of silence is simply not acceptable in a country which aspires to be a modern democracy.

Of course, the Scottish Government could quite rightly claim that, without Queen’s Consent, some important Bills might not pass into law which could be to the detriment of the wider public. Perhaps carving out exemptions for the monarch is an acceptable price to pay in order to get parliamentary business done.

Actually, it’s not. What we are seeing here is that the Scottish Parliament is hampered by the same elitist entitlement which infects Westminster, where what goes on behind the scenes is more important than what is on public display. UK subjects are taught to believe in a benign monarchy which does much good work for the three nations and one province of the UK. Yet the truth is that the monarchy still retains its wealth and privilege and does nothing at all to help most ordinary people. Sticking up a plaque naming a hospital or other public service building after a member of the Royal family does not signify that the Royal family contributed in any way to the completion of the building. It is simple advertising to reinforce the position of the monarchy which never uses its wealth to better the lot of anyone outside the Royal family.

So what can be done about this? On the face of it, very little. Queen’s Consent is embedded in the procedures of the Scottish Parliament, and nothing can be done unless the monarch gives assent. However, the next time the queen’s lawyers demand changes, the Scottish Government should refuse to accept them. It should then announce in Parliament that the proposed Bill will not be proceeding because the Queen demanded exemptions from the laws which would have governed everyone else.

I know this may result in some important, perhaps even vital, legislation being stalled, but this might just have the effect of making the wider public wake up to the machinations of the monarchy. If and when Scotland does become a normal, self-governing country, we might then have a chance of becoming a Republic. At least in that situation, a venal Head of State can be voted out of office.