Letters: Malcolm Cox, July 22, 2016

Prince Charles waves gv

Picture by Simon Hulme PPP-160106-150855001
Prince Charles waves gv Picture by Simon Hulme PPP-160106-150855001

I welcome another letter from Jeffrey Dearling and, while others have already replied, may I add my respectful two penn’orth?

Thankfully, Jeffrey has skipped any historical reference this time around (don’t mention Cromwell!) so I can go straight to the point of his core beliefs.

I have found over many years that it is almost impossible to initiate any sensible debate on the monarchy within the local press. Even the most modest questioning of the monarchy, the structures that underpin it and our governance by it are not allowed an airing.

Jeffrey is an unquestioning monarchist and despite my republican leanings, I am happy to wish an elderly lady a happy 90th birthday, may she enjoy many more.

It is the institution and all that goes with it that I find profoundly undemocratic. The personal nature of this or that monarch is not the issue.

So much of the Brexiteers’ case revolved around that well-worn phrase “unelected bureaucrats”. Just for now, leaving aside the validity of that notion (there never is enough column space), I raise the glaringly undemocratic nature of our House of Lords.

As you will know, Jeffrey, from my previous letters, I always seek clearly attributed voices from those at the sharp end, from the historical record especially if they are contemporaneous.

Here then is an almost verbatim report (I struggled to catch every word) from Lord Owen in conversation with Becky Milligan (BBC Radio 4) on July 1. “My position is illegitimate, the place reeks of patronage, honours are bought and sold.” And now to my second item on this agenda. We saw yet again during the Somme commemorations that Prince Charles wears medals, his father has quite a chestful. Can anyone tell me just what these medals were awarded for? More importantly, how might this be viewed by soldiers who are injured or traumatised from frontline service? This is not a facetious question, it is something I find genuinely puzzling.

Finally, I do enjoy a firework display and I hope you get your wish for an “Independence Day” bash, Jeffrey, any excuse for a party say I, but before we celebrate, can you provide answers to the above questions? Such requests usually go unanswered, by which we draw obvious conclusions, so I look forward to reading your reply.

Malcolm Cox, Terrington St Clement