Weary that his republican views could put-off some Labour voters, Jeremy Corbyn has been keen to make clear that he won’t fight to scrap the monarchy — ‘it’s not the fight I’m interested in’ — if elected Prime Minister. So, what of his rumoured successor John McDonnell and his team?
Just in time for the Queen’s birthday celebrations, Steerpike has been passed an article that the shadow Chancellor’s media advisor penned back in 2011. In the article for the Guardian, James Mills argues that the Royal family ought to be funded by donations from the public:
In this he argues that a suggestion by MPs and the Lords to donate £85,000 for a gift for the Queen sounds like ‘a great way to pay for the royals’ in general:
‘The anti-monarchist group Republic argues that the true cost of the royal family is a staggering £200m a year; others claim it works out as only 60p a person. So if £85,000 can be plucked up for a glass window, why can’t we rustle up 60p a head?
If the royals are truly worth it and we are truly free, then those on the right who advocate free choice and a smaller state should be the first to go cap in hand on to the streets on their behalf.’
Among his ideas for ways to fund the monarchy are calls for ‘teary eyed royalist commentators on the left such as blogger Dan Hodges’ digging deep or touring the country performing charitable deeds. This would apparently allow the Queen to ‘send her future generations to charity schools such as Eton, or make sure her family can continue to afford to use private healthcare such as Bupa’. If that doesn’t work out, Mills suggests ‘Royal Aid’; ‘so that we can see again all their knighted rock’n’roll royalty playing fundraising rock concerts in the royal gardens’.
Mills concludes that it is time the big society served the Windsors — as well as the plebs:
‘I will follow this closely and I suggest all republicans do so too – because if £85,000 can be raised in a year for one of the wealthiest families in our country, then although as Thomas Paine also wrote, “[royal] tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered”, we will at least discover if it is easily funded; because if the big society is good enough for us plebs, then it is good enough for the wealthy Windsors.’
Vive la Revolution!