posted by k
As a Brit, I find it slightly disturbing that children in the United States are expected to pledge allegiance to a gaudy piece of cloth. The pledge began with good intentions (the first version was written by a Christian Socialist). However, the idea of equality was omitted - apparently the text could only be agreed by making concessions to misogynists and racists.
The United States came into being with the Declaration of Independence, setting out the grounds on which a colony had the right to initiate revolution against a tyrannical ruler. It's still worth reading.
British subjects (Britain does not have citizens) can vote for qualified candidates for parliament. But MPs who don't believe in monarchy can't take their seats unless they're prepared to lie. Even the most moderate republican - someone who would do no more than vote for a republic if given the chance - is banned from taking a seat in parliament. Electors are allowed to vote for an honest republican but, should they do so, they will not be represented in parliament.
All new Members of Parliament and Members of the House of Lords are compelled to swear an oath of allegiance to the queen and her heirs.
A country which bars electors from choosing the representatives of their choice is not a democracy.
Gordon Brown has started a debate about constitutional reform.
The country may not be ready to become a republic. It may not be ready to debate the choice between a monarchy and a republic. But surely it's time to allow honest republicans to take their seats in the House of Commons.
There's a new petition on the Downing Street website. The text is simple and straightforward:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that the Oath taken by Peers and MPs no longer pledges loyalty to the Monarchy.
You can sign the petition by clicking HERE.